Synopses & Reviews
Martin Ferguson Smith's work on Lucretius is both well known and highly regarded. However, his 1969 translation of De Rerum Natura--long out of print--is virtually unknown. Readers will share our excitement in the discovery of this accurate and fluent prose rendering. For this edition, Professor Smith provides a revised translation, new Introduction, headnotes and bibliography.
Martin Ferguson Smith has for many years been one of the leading Lucretian scholars in the world. . . . We should expect from the beginning then that we are in the hands of a wise and learned guide as soon as we open his Lucretius, and this expectation is certainly borne out by the quality of this sensitive and thoughtful edition. . . . The Introduction . . . is excellent. Smith outlines in a highly accessible manner what little is known of Lucretius' life and times, the poem's position and status in the Epic and Didactic tradition, and the philosophy of Epicurus that Lucretius puts forward, but also manages to include some of the most up to date research, including recent scholarship on the Herculaneum papyri. . . . But of course, the translation is the most important part of the work . . . [and] it is streets ahead of the competition. . . . I can recommend this book unreservedly. --Gordon Campbell, Hermathena
The translation is accurate, clear, readable, and vigorous. The introduction is excellent. It provides the basic information to the non-specialist reader without overburdening him or her with excessive details. The background on what is known of Lucretius' life, contemporary events, and Epicureanism is all very helpful. Smith has incorporated the most recent research, including the new discoveries of Epicurean materials from Herculaneum. --Charles Segal, Harvard University
For anyone concerned to understand the Epicurean philosophical tradition from the inside, the republication, in an updated version, of Martin Ferguson Smith's little-known translation of Lucretius is welcome news. Meticulous, judicious and reader-friendly in equal measure, it embodies the fruits of a lifetime's study of Lucretius' poetic masterpiece. --David Sedley, Christ's College, University of Cambridge
About the Author
Martin Ferguson Smith is Prof. of Classics Emeritus, Univ. of Durham, United Kingdom. Among his scholarly achievements are his revisions of the Rouse translation of De Rerum Natura for the Loeb Classical Library.