Lucretius, De Rerum Natura

LCL 181: 282-283

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pauca queunt et quae sunt prima fronte locata. nam certe iacere ac largiri multa videmus, non solum ex alto penitusque, ut diximus ante, verum de summis ipsum quoque saepe colorem. 75et volgo faciunt id lutea russaque vela et ferrugina, cum magnis intenta theatris per malos volgata trabesque trementia flutant; namque ibi consessum caveai subter et omnem scaenai speciem †patrum matrumque deorum† 80inficiunt coguntque suo fluitare colore. et quanto circum mage sunt inclusa theatri moenia, tam magis haec intus perfusa lepore omnia conrident correpta luce diei. ergo lintea de summo cum corpore fucum 85mittunt, effigias quoque debent mittere tenvis res quaeque, ex summo quoniam iaculantur utraque. sunt igitur iam formarum vestigia certa quae volgo volitant subtili praedita filo, nec singillatim possunt secreta videri.

Praeterea omnis odor fumus vapor atque aliae res 91consimiles ideo diffusae e rebus abundant, ex alto quia dum veniunt intrinsecus ortae, scinduntur per iter flexum, nec recta viarum ostia sunt qua contendant exire coortae.

  • 71quae sunt Lachmann: sunt OQP: sunt in (cf. 97) Q corr., AB
  • 79patrum matrumque deorum (or deorumque) OQP: patrum coetumque decorum Munro: patrum turbainque (earlier partemque) decoram M. F. Smith: personarumque decorem K. Müller. Many other suggestions have been made
  • 92intrinsecus Lambinus: extrinsecus OQP (for the corruption cf. 6.1099)

De Rerum Natura, IV

stationed in the front rank, they are less able to be impeded. For assuredly we see many things cast off particles with lavish bounty, not only from the depths and from within (as we said before)a but from the outermost surface, amongst others colour not(3) Colour indeed we see to be thrown off from the surface; seldom. This is often done by yellow and red and dark purple awnings, when outspread in the public view over a great theatreb upon posts and beams surface; they tremble and flutter; for then they dye, and force to flutter in their own colour, the assembly in the great hollow below, and all the display of the stage . . . . . . .; and the more the walls of the theatre are enclosed all round, the more all within laughs in the flood of beauty when the light of day is thus confined. Therefore, since canvas throws off colour from its outermost surface, everything else must also cast off thinjust as we assume things in general do. semblances, because in each case they throw off from the outermost surface. There are therefore fixed outlines of shapes and of finest texture which flit about everywhere, but singly and separately cannot be seen.


Besides, all smell, smoke, heat and other such things stream away from objects all diffused abroad, for this reason, because they arise from the depths, and as they come forth they are torn up in their tortuous course, there being no direct openings to the paths to let them push out together when they have

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucretius-de_rerum_natura.1924