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Download On the Nature of Things Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample On the Nature of Things (Unabridged), by Lucretius
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,354 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lucretius Narrator: Charlton Griffin Publisher: Audio Connoisseur Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This famous work by Lucretius is a masterpiece of didactic poetry, and it still stands today as the finest exposition of Epicurean philosophy ever written. The poem was produced in the middle of first century B.C., a period that was to witness a flowering of Latin literature unequaled for beauty and intellectual power in subsequent ages. The Latin title, De Rerum Natura, translates literally to On the Nature of Things and is meant to impress the reader with the breadth and depth of Epicurean philosophy.

The poem's scope, even by modern standards, is staggering. Lucretius peers into the secrets of nature with a kind of innocent curiosity and offers a scientific explanation for all sorts of phenomena: stars and planets, oceans and rivers, plant life, reproductive activities, the soul and immortality, and the nature of the gods, among others. According to Lucretius, mankind can be freed from the stifling structures of religion and superstition by studying the works of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. All it takes is the strength of character to look at the natural world in an uncompromisingly level and unemotional way, to observe and live in the world according to precepts laid down by the great Epicurus in the fourth century B.C. That being so, according to Lucretius, it will be possible for man to lay aside superstition and fear and to become as godlike as he can.

Even though humanity was driven by hungers and passions it little understood at the time, Lucretius' bold poem sought to embolden men with the self confidence to get along in the world without recourse to myths and gods. In order to free themselves, men would have to adopt a personal code of self-responsibility that consisted of living and speaking personal truths founded on the work of Epicurus. On the Nature of Things is about the universe and how men should live in it.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Caroline | 2/15/2014

    " Wonderful translation by AE Stallings, one of my favorite poets. Lots of playful language. The lines flow nicely, and the sentence structure to get the rhymes is not obtrusive. Quite startling prescience at times about atomic structure, while other explanations of natural occurrences are pretty amusing. The section on death and its aftermath--or not--is very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Marks54 | 2/14/2014

    " I read this after reading the Greenblatt book, "The Swerve". This is nothing less that a full philosophy written as a poem. I could not begin to summarize this, short of noting the materialism and the link with Epicurus.. My Latin has never been adequate for real reading, so I got an English translation. I got the audio version, so I could hear the poem read. It is an amazing book and lots of fun. I dispensed with the commenrary, since that was also covered in Greenblatt. Even in English, it is a really engaging work and I found myself regretting that I had not read this earlier in life. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim | 2/12/2014

    " A monument to the triumph and foibles of logical induction. On the one hand he builds on what, to modern readers expecting primitive science, are the shockingly solid foundations left by Democritus and Epicurus, but in other cases his boundless confidence in logic allows him to shore up mistaken assertions as to how something as small as the midday sun can radiate so much heat. Whatever you might say about its accuracy, the poem is certainly inhabited by a striking personal style, and intriguingly, the book ends on as a treatise on disease devolves into a prolonged and explicit catalogue of the sufferings of the dying in plague-stricken Athens. Regardless of whether Lucretius died of illness or suicide (which of the two has never been determined), the context lends the passages a sense of morbid catharsis from a man, one way or another, coming to the end of his tether. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kelley Ross | 2/10/2014

    " This book was really fascinating. Lucretius lived from 100 B.C. 'til 55 B.C., according to the summary, and yet he was able to make all kinds of wonderful insights about the world around him. Although many of his theories we now know to be false, it is amazing how much he had right. I did find the ending of his study very, very odd however. Why go from discussing magnets and metals into a horrible, gruesome tale of the plague? The book ends abruptly; he doesn't even offer a scientific explanation for the plague. "

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