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Nancy Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
Library Journal, March 2011

In this first-century BCE epic poem, Roman poet/philosopher Lucretius explores the doctrines of Epicurean philosophy, systematically teaching how the universe is not the creation of a supreme being but can instead be explained by natural laws. He also anticipates several modern ideas, as in his theory of atomism, a belief in the existence of atoms that produce the materials we see around us. Ian Johnston, who produced a new verse translation for this recording, captures the poetic force of the original without sacrificing clarity, while narrator Hugh Ross (Aristotle: An Introduction) delivers a clear and lively performance. Though some listeners may have difficulty with the scientific explanations, this audio offers a poetic and persuasive rendition of a philosophical classic and is recommended for academic and large public libraries.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review, January 2011

On the Nature of Things is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of the only surviving work of the Roman philosopher Lucretius, born in 99 BC. In On the Nature of Things, Lucretius sought to liberate his fellow Romans from their fear of the gods, and their fear of death. Lucretius argued that the gods are not directly involved in life, and therefore there is no need to appease them; he also argued that death is the end of a human being’s body and soul, and therefore there is no point in fearing it. An unforgettable amalgamation of insight, now in a new English translation by Ian Johnston and intuitively performed by theater, film, and television actor Hugh Ross, On the Nature of Things deserves the highest recommendation especially for public and college library collections.

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