As someone who is not fluent in Latin, I have always wished for a way to better understand the Roman way of thinking. I have been put off in the past from De Rerum Natura because the translation that is in the public domain and is all over the internet, by W.E. Leonard, is virtually unreadable to anyone not initiated into the details of Latin poetry. In contrast, the translation used here is eminently understandable by almost anyone.
But more brilliant even than the translation is the narration by Mr. Griffin. Lucretius himself would be smiling if he could hear what Mr. Griffin has done with his work. I dare say this production opens the ideas of Epicurus to a whole new generation that otherwise might never have taken the time to get to know this work of art. I have heard it said that the Romans intended their works to be read aloud rather than read silently. I do not know if that is true, but this audiobook should be exhibit one for anyone who wants to argue in support of that point. The tone, the inflection, the pacing... all combine to make a complicated subject come alive, as if Lucretius himself were patiently explaining his position to a listening pupil.
The ideas of Lucretius and Epicurus merit careful reexamination in the modern world. The fair-minded listener will easily separate Lucretius' errors of fact, which stemmed from the limited state of science, from his far more important method of thinking and approach to philosophy, which need no revision.
If Lucretius and Epicurus ever get the monumental credit they deserve for their contributions to philosophy, it will be in no small part to this production by Mr. Griffin. To any new student of Lucretius I would heartily recommend this oral presentation over ANY written translation.
Simply outstanding. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have several other audiobooks by this narrator and they are all excellent, but of those I have heard clearly this is his masterwork.
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