Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 – 55 BC) was a Roman poet and philosopher. He is author of the Latin epic poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things), comprised of six books in hexameter verse that address topics in Epicurean philosophy, including the atomic theory, the nature of the gods, freewill and determinism, the nature of mind and soul, sensation and thought, cosmogony, how the physical world is ordered and regulated, and the development of human civilization. The poem is a key source for our knowledge of Epicureanism and it had a major impact on Western thought in the Enlightenment and early modern period.
The most accessible English translation of Lucretius’ De rerum natura, with facing Latin text, is the Loeb edition of W. H. D. Rouse (revised M . F. Smith) Rouse & Smith 1975. There is also a verse translation by R. Melville in the Oxford World’s Classics Series with a good introduction by D. P. Fowler Melville & Fowler 1999. The collected papers in Algra et al 1997, Gale 2007, and Gillespie & Hardie 2007 highlight a range of literary and philosophical approaches to Lucretius.
|Introductions||David Sedley offers the best introductory article on Lucretius Sedley 2013.|
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