Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.06.02

ALSO SEEN: Marcel Conche, Lucrèce et l'expérience. Collection Noêsis.   Saint-Laurent (Québec):  Éditions Fides, 2003.  Pp. 223.  ISBN 2-7621-2486-7.  EUR 18.00 (pb).  

Reviewed by Tobias Reinhardt, Somerville College (

In the catalogue entry on p. 6 (and only there), the work under review is called a 'Nouv. Ed.' I suspect it is a new edition of the work of the same title listed as published in 1967 in the entry on the author in the French Who is Who. However, I was unable to get access to a copy of the earlier work to verify this.

There is no explicit declaration as to the intended readership of the work. Presumably it is an audience without knowledge of Greek or Latin, looking for an introduction, and interested in Lucretius as a philosopher as opposed to a poet. No scholarly work published later than the 1960s is quoted in the main text, and I have found no awareness of more recent scholarly debate (the bibliography, however, includes some more recent items, and one of the appendices at the end of the work makes reference to them). Direct references to Lucretius or other texts on Epicureanism are given according to a rationale which is difficult to understand, and in any case these references are so few and far between that no beginner would find his or her way through Lucretius' poem guided by the work under review. Accounts of Epicurean doctrine are often idiosyncratic (cf. e.g. p. 10 fin. on the Epicurean distinction between katastematic pleasure and pleasure 'in motion').

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