• Hello, Cassius et al.!

    I am a teacher of Latin, Greek, and philosophy at a private high school in the northeast. My earlier graduate studies were devoted to philosophy, with an emphasis upon the recent continental tradition, i.e., Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, etc., but I have since gone on to pursue a graduate degree in Classics. My connection with Epicurus and Epicureanism comes largely through my close and careful reading of Lucretius, whose poem I have taught many times and will continue to teach so long as I'm permitted to do so. As I've explored, with my students, the philosophy of the Hellenistic period more broadly, I've been struck by the strong revival of interest in Stoicism of late, without an Epicurean correlate. It seems to me that if many of the denizens of the twenty-first century long for the solace of Stoicism, they would do well to consider the wisdom of Epicurus in equal measure. Perhaps the age-old misunderstanding of Epicureanism as a debased hedonistic philosophy lingers even to this day. Most of my own students, once both "options" have been laid out for them, more commonly veer toward Epicureanism.

    Anyway, thanks so much for welcoming me aboard! I look forward to many fruitful discussions, etc.


  • Thank you for being here jnamiotka and thank you for the background info! Most of us here are not trained professionals like yourself, so your expertise is very valuable here in addition to your classroom. There are many questions to ask over time, especially about Lucretius, but this one pops to mind due to my present attention to transcribing it:

    Have you come across in the past the 1734 English edition of Lucretius published by "Daniel Browne" as linked here: http://www.epicureanfriends.co…d=on_the_nature_of_things

    I have just a little formal training in Latin, and not nearly enough to trust my own translations, so in substitute I rely on cross-checking passages between Bailey, Munro, Martin Ferguson Smith, and anyone else I can find who I believe is trustworthy enough to consider. I recently came across this 1734 edition and find it to be pretty useful, but it frustrates me that I am not able to cite the translator - Daniel Browne apparently being the publisher. It's hard for me to believe that the title page and intro seem to make no reference to the translator.

    I should mention I am also aware of the Creech translation, which I think was owned by Jefferson (maybe he had the Daniel Browne too) but I haven't yet tried to transcribe it, and if I remember correctly at those times I looked at it, the English didn't seem particularly better in any way than the others I've cited above.

    I've focused primarily on those old enough now to be in the public domain, as being freely usable, plus that of Martin Ferguson Smith, which I suspect might be the current champion for accuracy. If you teach Lucretius and have any comment on translations I would love to hear it.

  • I studied very little Latin, and became curious to re-take the study of Latin after listening to "O Fortuna" recently. I WAS able to publish a piece for a classics publication on the history of comedy as a tool to promote secular values thanks to being referred to the editor by someone who wrote a review of my book for The Humanist. Here's my piece.


    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • Welcome @jnamiotka and thanks for joining us. Just a little curious to ask you : the texts of the book you're teaching at school are in the new greek or the ancient greek ?

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • Hi, all!

    Cassius: Although the reliability of Wikipedia is not rock-solid, this is a helpful list of Lucretius translations:


    My sense is that Cyril Bailey's translation is the most literal, but I'm especially fond of Leonard's. He seems to really "get" Lucretius.

    If you're wondering about any particular passages in DRN, I'd be very happy to take a crack at them: just send them my way!

    Finally - alas, my username is not Greek at all; it's just the first initial of my first name and my last name. Not too exciting, I fear.

    Hiram: I look forward to reading your work!

    Elli: I only teach ancient Greek. I'm afraid I don't know modern Greek, though the alphabet is the same!

    Cheers, everyone, and thanks for your welcoming words!

  • Jnamniota: Actually I had not seen that list, or not recently enough to remember it. Thank you! I see it lists the translator as anonymous so apparently the translator is not a mystery only to me. I presume it's not Lucy Hutchinson since one of the plates does say "a new translation" and it appears her was almost one hundred years previously.

    "If you're wondering about any particular passages in DRN, I'd be very happy to take a crack at them: just send them my way!" < I will take you up on that offer!