By Lee Fratantuono

Lucretius’ philosophical epic De Rerum Natura (On the character of Things) is a long didactic and narrative social gathering of the universe and, specifically, the realm of nature and production during which humanity unearths its dwelling house. This earliest surviving complete scale epic poem from historic Rome was once of tremendous effect and importance to the improvement of the Latin epic culture, and keeps to problem and hang-out its readers to the current day. A studying of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura deals a accomplished 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 id because the youngsters of either Venus (through Aeneas) and Mars (through Romulus); the implications (both confident and detrimental) of descent from the immortal powers of affection and struggle are explored in brilliant epic narrative, because the poet progresses from his invocation to the mum 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 realm, while it shatters any wish of immortality via its bleak imaginative and prescient of post mortem oblivion. And within the means of defining what it capacity either to be human and Roman, Lucretius bargains 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 may function a caution for Virgil in his later depiction of the Trojan Aeneas.

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Lucretius’ poem—in the absence of Ennius, the first surviving Latin epic on a grand scale—has in some ways even loftier goals than his narrative predecessor. Lucretius’ theme is the nature of the universe, and thus everything; Lucretius’ poem is simultaneously both removed from the constraints of time, and deeply immersed in the sentiments and contemporary realities of republican Rome. His poem is a synthesis of the epic tradition that preceded it, and, not surprisingly, a tantalizing and difficult map for the Latin epic poets who were deeply under its spell and irresistibly challenged by its alluring demands.

Philosophical, we might say scientific, reliability offers something of an assurance to the audience; one can more or less predict what will come into being (unexpected monsters thereby excluded). ). 197 . . ut verbis elementa videmus). 100 Lucretius keeps the reader focused on the metapoetic and the literary; the world of the epic poet is a microcosm of the world of nature at large. The pages of the poet are, as it were, like the void, and the letters the atoms or matter that are in constant motion therein.

69 Once, the chosen leaders of the Danaans foully besmirched the altar of the goddess of the crossroads with the blood of Iphianassa. 70 Archaismus again; we are plunged into the very opening of the Greek expedition to Troy (the reverse image of the Trojan flight from the city with which Ennius likely opened his epic). The scene is one of Lucretius’ most memorable, and the second in his lengthier, descriptive mythological evocations. Homer’s song of Demodocus may have inspired the poet’s description of the love of Venus and Mars; here there is clear enough resonance of the world of the war at Troy, a war launched by Greeks after the throat of a young girl was cut so that ships might sail.

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