How do you translate ”the most vivid and violent realisation of risk“ in the following context? More than five hundred years after Poggio’s death, in the late 1980s, scholars were examining one of nearly two thousand papyrus scrolls excavated from the private library of a wealthy Roman whose fine villa in the seaside resort of Herculaneum had been consigned to oblivion by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ad 79. The scrolls themselves, carbonised into lumps, had been preserved beneath thirty metres of volcanic debris. The library, it turned out, had housed a large collection of Epicurean philosophy and, lo and behold, among it: fragments of Lucretius’s long-lost ‘On the Nature of Things’. How strangely fitting that a book calling on humanity to knuckle down and accept the uncertain nature of the world should have so succumbed to "..."
Jul 7, 2015 9:17 AM
Answers · 3
(I'll use the UK spelling with an "s.") "Realisation" can have two different meanings. This is the less common meaning. Usually, "realisation" means something that happens in our minds. We see things in a new way, or we become aware of something. "I wondered why there was no mail, then suddenly realised it was Sunday." "Realisation" can also mean something happening in the real world. It can mean that a possibility becomes real. It can mean that --something imagined has been built, --something has been achieved, --something unlikely has happened. In your passage, Vesuvius was always a risk, and when it erupted, that risk was realized, in a "vivid and violent" way. Here are some other examples of this usage: "Walt Disney World is the full realisation of Walt Disney's dream." "In 2002, a computer model showed that the effect of a hurricane on New Orleans would be disastrous. During Hurricane Katrina, the worst fears of the engineers were realised."
July 7, 2015
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