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  • In preparation for the upcoming series of Skype sessions to read and talk through Lucretius, I am putting together a "Reference Edition" PDF which contains three of the best Public Domain translations (1743 Daniel Brown, Hugh Munro, and Cyril Bailey). When put together and bookmarked in a single PDF, it is easy to compare alternative translations to get the best fix on the original meaning of the text. I will post that new PDF here soon, and we can use that ensure that everyone participating in …
  • Yes Todd that is a good point, and it needs to be noted in this discussion. As usual I tend to analyze things in terms of how a non-expert / non-academic expert would hear it, and I think that this is something that they need to hear in very clear terms. My reading of the Latin back when I last looked at this is that indeed the latin was "eventum" and while that surely is not a 100% correlation to "event" -- it's my general understanding of the main connotations of the words in general use that …
  • Here is another which zeros in on my main concern -- lack of necessity. As stated in the letter to Herodotus, whatever we observe in the universe that happens with regularity happens,absent the effect of the swerve that is visible in the actions of higher life, as the result of "necessity:" Let me find that cite: Here is the Bailey version, but he does not use the word necessity as I have seen it used elsewhere - he calls it "law of regular succession": "Therefore we must believe that it is due …
  • I am glad you brought this up Todd because it is a subject I think is important. If I recall the story goes that Epicurus originally got interested in philosophy because of his rejection of common understanding about "chaos" in relation to the origin of the universe, and it is my view that most "regular" people have been thoroughly indoctrinated to the view that there are only two options: Either (1) "God" created the universe, or (2) that the universe arose "accidentally" from "chaos" and that …
  • (Quote from Todd) Yes, that is exactly the issue. In my work I am going for understandability for the modern reader, not for the modern commentator/philosopher class, who in my view have generally made a mess of things (Quote from Todd) Yes I agree that essential or non-essential is exactly the issue, but what separates the two except that we observe that at some times they are together as one, but at some times the things observed are separated? To me that distinction qualifies most strictly as…
  • Well probably this is just one of those myriad of examples of why, if everything were clear and everyone agreed on anything, there would be no need for this website or for us to be discussing Epicurean philosophy! Anyway thanks for the opportunity to discuss this.
  • Thank you Todd! Yes I went back and checked to be sure that Lucretius had both accidens and eventum from which to choose, and it appears he did. As to whether the shades of meaning today match those in ancient Rome, it's very hard (for me) to say: I am not familiar with what Greek words we have to work with, presumably that would be in the letter to Herodotus if anywhere.
  • Joshua have you studied the word "accidens"'s Latin history? I would be curious how you would contrast that to eventum, since that appears to be what Lucretius used.