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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



7574
Lucretius Carus, On The Nature Of Things, 5.146-5.234


Illud item non est ut possis credere, sedesLikewise, thou canst ne'er Believe the sacred seats of gods are here In any regions of this mundane world; Indeed, the nature of the gods, so subtle, So far removed from these our senses, scarce Is seen even by intelligence of mind. And since they've ever eluded touch and thrust Of human hands, they cannot reach to grasp Aught tangible to us. For what may not Itself be touched in turn can never touch. Wherefore, besides, also their seats must be Unlike these seats of ours,- even subtle too, As meet for subtle essence- as I'll prove Hereafter unto thee with large discourse. Further, to say that for the sake of men They willed to prepare this world's magnificence, And that 'tis therefore duty and behoof To praise the work of gods as worthy praise, And that 'tis sacrilege for men to shake Ever by any force from out their seats What hath been stablished by the Forethought old To everlasting for races of mankind, And that 'tis sacrilege to assault by words And overtopple all from base to beam,- Memmius, such notions to concoct and pile, Is verily- to dote. Our gratefulness, O what emoluments could it confer Upon Immortals and upon the Blessed That they should take a step to manage aught For sake of us? Or what new factor could, After so long a time, inveigle them- The hitherto reposeful- to desire To change their former life? For rather he Whom old things chafe seems likely to rejoice At new; but one that in fore-passed time Hath chanced upon no ill, through goodly years, O what could ever enkindle in such an one Passion for strange experiment? Or what The evil for us, if we had ne'er been born?- As though, forsooth, in darkling realms and woe Our life were lying till should dawn at last The day-spring of creation! Whosoever Hath been begotten wills perforce to stay In life, so long as fond delight detains; But whoso ne'er hath tasted love of life, And ne'er was in the count of living things, What hurts it him that he was never born? Whence, further, first was planted in the gods The archetype for gendering the world And the fore-notion of what man is like, So that they knew and pre-conceived with mind Just what they wished to make? Or how were known Ever the energies of primal germs, And what those germs, by interchange of place, Could thus produce, if nature's self had not Given example for creating all? For in such wise primordials of things, Many in many modes, astir by blows From immemorial aeons, in motion too By their own weights, have evermore been wont To be so borne along and in all modes To meet together and to try all sorts Which, by combining one with other, they Are powerful to create, that thus it is No marvel now, if they have also fallen Into arrangements such, and if they've passed Into vibrations such, as those whereby This sum of things is carried on to-day By fixed renewal.
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Quod si iam rerum ignorem primordia quae sintBut knew I never what The seeds primordial were, yet would I dare This to affirm, even from deep judgments based Upon the ways and conduct of the skies- This to maintain by many a fact besides- That in no wise the nature of all things For us was fashioned by a power divine- So great the faults it stands encumbered with. First, mark all regions which are overarched By the prodigious reaches of the sky: One yawning part thereof the mountain-chains And forests of the beasts do have and hold; And cliffs, and desert fens, and wastes of sea (Which sunder afar the beaches of the lands) Possess it merely; and, again, thereof Well-nigh two-thirds intolerable heat And a perpetual fall of frost doth rob From mortal kind. And what is left to till, Even that the force of nature would o'errun With brambles, did not human force oppose,- Long wont for livelihood to groan and sweat Over the two-pronged mattock and to cleave The soil in twain by pressing on the plough. . . . . . . Unless, by the ploughshare turning the fruitful clods And kneading the mould, we quicken into birth, [The crops] spontaneously could not come up Into the free bright air. Even then sometimes, When things acquired by the sternest toil Are now in leaf, are now in blossom all, Either the skiey sun with baneful heats Parches, or sudden rains or chilling rime Destroys, or flaws of winds with furious whirl Torment and twist. Beside these matters, why Doth nature feed and foster on land and sea The dreadful breed of savage beasts, the foes Of the human clan? Why do the seasons bring Distempers with them? Wherefore stalks at large Death, so untimely? Then, again, the babe, Like to the castaway of the raging surf, Lies naked on the ground, speechless, in want Of every help for life, when nature first Hath poured him forth upon the shores of light With birth-pangs from within the mother's womb, And with a plaintive wail he fills the place,- As well befitting one for whom remains In life a journey through so many ills. But all the flocks and herds and all wild beasts Come forth and grow, nor need the little rattles, Nor must be treated to the humouring nurse's Dear, broken chatter; nor seek they divers clothes To suit the changing skies; nor need, in fine, Nor arms, nor lofty ramparts, wherewithal Their own to guard- because the earth herself And nature, artificer of the world, bring forth Aboundingly all things for all. THE WORLD IS NOT ETERNAL And first, Since body of earth and water, air's light breath, And fiery exhalations (of which four This sum of things is seen to be compact) So all have birth and perishable frame, Thus the whole nature of the world itself Must be conceived as perishable too. For, verily, those things of which we see The parts and members to have birth in time And perishable shapes, those same we mark To be invariably born in time And born to die. And therefore when I see The mightiest members and the parts of this Our world consumed and begot again, 'Tis mine to know that also sky above And earth beneath began of old in time And shall in time go under to disaster. And lest in these affairs thou deemest me To have seized upon this point by sleight to serve My own caprice- because I have assumed That earth and fire are mortal things indeed, And have not doubted water and the air Both perish too and have affirmed the same To be again begotten and wax big- Mark well the argument: in first place, lo, Some certain parts of earth, grievously parched By unremitting suns, and trampled on By a vast throng of feet, exhale abroad A powdery haze and flying clouds of dust, Which the stout winds disperse in the whole air. A part, moreover, of her sod and soil Is summoned to inundation by the rains; And rivers graze and gouge the banks away. Besides, whatever takes a part its own In fostering and increasing [aught]... . . . . . . Is rendered back; and since, beyond a doubt, Earth, the all-mother, is beheld to be Likewise the common sepulchre of things, Therefore thou seest her minished of her plenty, And then again augmented with new growth.
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Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

8 results
1. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

3. Xenophanes, Fragments, None (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4. Lucretius Carus, On The Nature of Things, 1.44-1.49, 1.54-1.55, 1.62-1.111, 1.116-1.118, 1.123, 1.250-1.251, 1.256-1.257, 2.67-2.79, 2.434-2.435, 2.646-2.651, 2.992-2.993, 2.998, 2.1090-2.1104, 3.23-3.24, 3.935-3.939, 3.964-3.965, 3.1003, 3.1024, 3.1045, 4.12-4.39, 4.768-4.776, 4.800-4.806, 5.76-5.90, 5.110-5.145, 5.147-5.415, 5.795-5.796, 5.821-5.824, 5.1169-5.1171, 5.1173-5.1176, 6.70, 6.379-6.422 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 10.77, 10.139 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10.77. For troubles and anxieties and feelings of anger and partiality do not accord with bliss, but always imply weakness and fear and dependence upon one's neighbours. Nor, again, must we hold that things which are no more than globular masses of fire, being at the same time endowed with bliss, assume these motions at will. Nay, in every term we use we must hold fast to all the majesty which attaches to such notions as bliss and immortality, lest the terms should generate opinions inconsistent with this majesty. Otherwise such inconsistency will of itself suffice to produce the worst disturbance in our minds. Hence, where we find phenomena invariably recurring, the invariableness of the recurrence must be ascribed to the original interception and conglomeration of atoms whereby the world was formed. 10.139. [A blessed and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness [Elsewhere he says that the gods are discernible by reason alone, some being numerically distinct, while others result uniformly from the continuous influx of similar images directed to the same spot and in human form.]Death is nothing to us; for the body, when it has been resolved into its elements, has no feeling, and that which has no feeling is nothing to us.The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.
6. Porphyry, Letter To Marcella, 24 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

24. No god is responsible for a man's evils, for he has chosen his lot himself. The prayer which is accompanied by base actions is impure, and |45 therefore not acceptable to God; but that which is accompanied by noble actions is pure, and at the same time acceptable. There are four first principles that must be upheld concerning God—faith, truth, love, hope. We must have faith that our only salvation is in turning to God. And having faith, we must strive with all our might to know the truth about God. And when we know this, we must love Him we do know. And when we love Him we must nourish our souls on good hopes for our life, for it is by their good hopes good men are superior to bad ones. Let then these four principles be firmly held.
7. Epicurus, Letter To Menoeceus, 124, 123

8. Epicurus, Letter To Herodotus, 76



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
anger Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
anthropomorphism Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
brutus, marcus Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
connections within, in greek thought McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
cosmology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
creation and ownership, hellenistic views McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
culture and nature blended Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
des places, e. Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
diogenes laertius Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
diogenes of oenoanda Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
epicureanism, theology of Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
epicureanism Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
epicureans McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
epicurus, authority in the de rerum natura Bryan, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228; Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228
epicurus, on divine kindness Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
epicurus, theology Bryan, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228; Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228
fear Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
god, in greek thought McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
gods, in lucretius Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
gods, location in epicureanism Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228
gods Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
greece Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
hecate Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
le bonniec Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
logos, as world creator McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
lucretius, de rerum natura (dnr) Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
lucretius, devotion to epicurus Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228
lucretius, epicurean theory of sight Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
lucretius, theology Wardy and Warren, Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy (2018) 228
lucretius Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223; Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
materialism Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
matter McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
meteorology Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70
mind, in lucretius epicurean theory of sight Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
mind McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
nature and culture, blended Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
numinousness, conveyed in poetry Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
numinousness, of nature Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
perception, lucretius epicurean theory of perception/the senses Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
personification Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
proclus Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
religions, roman, lucretius Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
religions, roman Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
rome Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
senses, lucretius epicurean theory of the senses Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
strife' McDonough, Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (2009) 106
touch, in lucretius epicurean theory of sight Nuno et al., SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism (2021) 58
touch Jenkyns, God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination (2013) 223
velleius, epicurean philosopher Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (1995) 139
xenophanes Lehoux et al., Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science (2013) 70