On the nature of things[ De rerum natura]


by Lucretius

I am reading this book.

Lucretius was way ahead of the times.

His ideas are music to my ears even if some of the science has been improved on, this is definitely a good book.

I like his discussion on folly of fearing death, the soul and immortality mortality

He says on the folly of fear of death

Therefore death to us 
Is nothing, nor concerns us in the least, 
Since nature of mind is mortal evermore. 
And just as in the ages gone before 
We felt no touch of ill, when all sides round 

I will tell you more when I finish 😛

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

13 thoughts on “On the nature of things[ De rerum natura]

  1. “Never trust Roman poets…” signed: Romulus☺

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  2. aguywithoutboxers says:

    There was an excerpt by him in an article that I read last fall. The download is on my work computer. When I find it, I’ll send the link to you. I hope all is well with you, my Nairobi brother. Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

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  3. Witty Ludwig says:

    I’m sure you will have particularly savoured this line in book 1:

    “tantum religio potuit suadere malorum”

    I don’t have it to hand but believe it might have been line 101.

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    • makagutu says:

      The context of that line tells much. He finishes this part with it

      I fear perhaps thou deemest that we fare
      An impious road to realms of thought profane;
      But ’tis that same religion oftener far
      Hath bred the foul impieties of men:
      As once at Aulis, the elected chiefs,
      Foremost of heroes, Danaan counsellors,
      Defiled Diana’s altar, virgin queen,
      With Agamemnon’s daughter, foully slain.
      She felt the chaplet round her maiden locks
      And fillets, fluttering down on either cheek,
      And at the altar marked her grieving sire,
      The priests beside him who concealed the knife,
      And all the folk in tears at sight of her.
      With a dumb terror and a sinking knee
      She dropped; nor might avail her now that first
      ‘Twas she who gave the king a father’s name.
      They raised her up, they bore the trembling girl
      On to the altar- hither led not now
      With solemn rites and hymeneal choir,
      But sinless woman, sinfully foredone,
      A parent felled her on her bridal day,
      Making his child a sacrificial beast
      To give the ships auspicious winds for Troy:
      Such are the crimes to which Religion leads.

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  4. Witty Ludwig says:

    Do you know what the name of the translator is that you are using? He seems archaic and surprisingly sloppy in places; perhaps because he’s trying to reflect the metre in lofty, poetic English.

    A more accurate translation for that final line, and one I think contains more passion and stresses the sentiment much more, might be:

    So potent was religion / in persuading men to do evil.
    So very capable was religion / in impelling to evil.
    / in persuading to do evil deeds.

    Combinations of variations of that sort would carry the sense better.

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