New PDF release: A reading of Lucretius' De rerum natura

By Lee Fratantuono

ISBN-10: 1498511546

ISBN-13: 9781498511544

ISBN-10: 1498511554

ISBN-13: 9781498511551

Lucretius’ philosophical epic De Rerum Natura (On the character of Things) is a long didactic and narrative occasion of the universe and, specifically, the realm of nature and construction within which humanity unearths its dwelling house. This earliest surviving complete scale epic poem from old Rome used to be of sizeable effect and importance to the advance of the Latin epic culture, and maintains to problem and hang-out its readers to the current day. A interpreting of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura deals a complete remark in this nice paintings of Roman poetry and philosophy. Lee Fratantuono unearths Lucretius to be a poet with deep and abiding curiosity within the nature of the Roman identification because the teenagers of either Venus (through Aeneas) and Mars (through Romulus); the implications (both optimistic and detrimental) of descent from the immortal powers of affection and battle are explored in bright epic narrative, because the poet progresses from his invocation to the mummy of the youngsters of Aeneas via to the burning funeral pyres of the plague at Athens. Lucretius’ epic deals the potential of serenity and peaceable mirrored image at the mysteries of the character of the area, whilst it shatters any desire of immortality via its bleak imaginative and prescient of post mortem oblivion. And within the technique of defining what it capability either to be human and Roman, Lucretius deals a frightening imaginative and prescient of the perils of over the top devotion either to the gods and our fellow males, a statement at the nature of pietas that might function a caution for Virgil in his later depiction of the Trojan Aeneas.

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24 Venus is the mother of all things, the lifegiving and nourishing alma mater, 25 as it were; she is the mother of the sons of Aeneas by her parentage of the Trojan exile, and since she governs all things, she is a suitable associate for the Latin poet who will seek to expound on Greek philosophy in his native tongue for one son of Aeneas in particular—Memmius. Who was this Memmius, and what significance, if any, should be attached to the signal appearance of this son in the poem? 26 We must first note that it appears that there was no “son of Memmius,” at least none of any relevance to the patronymic in Lucretius’ proem; the commentators duly note that Memmio will not scan, and so Memmiadae it must be.

One may well wonder if there are metapoetic considerations at play here, at least in terms of poetic craft and the matter of language and vocabulary; soon enough the poet will consider such problems less opaquely. 156 Mother of the Children of Aeneas . . 449 . . quaecumque cluent), must be either a property or an accident of matter and void. Here the poet commences his crucial discussion of the coniuncta and the eventa or “events” that we see in the realm of nature, in the vast (indeed, infinite) expanse of the universe.

Lucretius’ epic is eminently Roman; it is centered both inside, and apart from time (that is to say, it strives to be both contemporarily relevant and removed, rather like the Epicurean gods, from the limits of the temporal). Lucretius’ poem encompasses the history of the Romans both from the vantage point of their Trojan origin (embodied by Venus), and their development from the rise of Romulus and Remus—the children, as it were, of the shewolf (embodied by her lover Mars). Lucretius’ work calls on its readers to be like the gods of Epicurean theology, safely removed from worry and anxious stress.

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A reading of Lucretius' De rerum natura by Lee Fratantuono


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