Epicurean Communities of the Ancient World

  • School at LAMPSACUS (modern Northwestern Turkey) Founded by Epicurus

    The GARDEN (O KHΠOΣ) of ATHENS (Central Greece) Founded by Epicurus

    Community in CORINTH (Peloponnese peninsula, Greece)

    Community in CHALCIS (Euboea island, Greece)

    Community in THEBES (Boeotia, Central Greece)

    Community in THESSALONIKI (Macedonia region, Greece)

    Community in KOS (Southeastern island of Greece)

    School at RHODES (Southeastern island of Greece)

    School at AMASTRIS (Northern Turkey) Founded by Tiberius Claudius Lepidus

    Community in TARSUS (Northwest Turkey)

    Community in PERGAMON (Western Turkey)

    Community in COLOPHON (Western Turkey)

    Community in EPHESUS (Southwestern Turkey)

    School at MILETUS (Southwestern Turkey) Founded by Demetrius Laco

    Community in OINOANDA (Southwestern Turkey) Supported by Diogenes

    Community in RHODIAPOLIS (Southwestern Turkey)

    School at ANTIOCH (South-central Turkey) Founded by Philonides

    School at APAMEIA (Western Syria) Lead by Aurelius Belius Philippus

    Community at SIDON (Lebanon)

    Community at TYRE (Lebanon)

    Community in ALEXANDRIA (City of Alexander III of Macedon in Egypt)

    Community in OXYRHYNCHUS (Southern Egypt)

    School at NAPLES (Southwestern Italy) Founded by Siro

    Community in HERCULANEUM (Southwestern Italy) Lead by Philodemus

    Community in ROME (Western Italy) Inspired by Albucius

    Community in AUGUSTODUNUM (Eastern France) Inspired by Albucius

    [Epicurus'] philosophy rode this tide. It had reached Alexandria even before his arrival in Athens. By the second century it was flourishing in Antioch and Tarsus, had invaded Judaea, and was known in Babylon. Word of it had reached Rome while Epicurus was still living, and in the last century B.C. it swept over Italy.” (De Witt, Epicurus and His Philosophy 29)

    Both Thessalonica and Corinth must have been strongholds of Epicureanism.” (Ibid. 338)

    After the third century BCE there were Epicurean centres in Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt: adherents, identified from their cities, came from Tyre, Sidon, Tarsus, and Alexandria. Epicureanism also expanded west. […] The existence of communities in the Naples region is attested by both Horace and Vergil. […] Epicureanism can be attested in a board variety of locations: Herculanem, Sorrento, Rhodes, Cos, Pergamon, Oenoanda (the Lycus valley), Apameia (Syria), Rhodiapolis, and Amastris (Bithynia). Locations like Athens and Oxyrhynchus provide evidence for the preservation of Epicurean writing, as well as Herculaneum. […] Asia Minor (notably Ephesus, Alexandria, and Syria are all suggested as prime candidates for its location.” (King, Epicureanism and the Gospel of John: A Study of Their Compatibility 11-13)

    It will be worth our while to observe how admirably Epicureanism was equipped for the penetration of Asia. As mentioned already, the branch school at Lampsacus was strategically situated for dissemination of the creed along the coast of the Black Sea. On the west coast of Asia there was another school at Mytilene […] Still further to the south was the original school at Colophon, close to Ephesus. […] The gateway to Asia, however, had been open to the cred of Epicurus for three centuries before Paul’s time and Tarsus was a center of Epicureanism. […] Epicureanism was the court philosophy of Antioch during the reigns of at least two kings of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes and Demetrius Soter." (Ibid. 62)

    In it he attests the widespread Epicurean communities of Athens, and Chalcis and Thebes in Boeotia.” (The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism 20)

    "We meet Epicureans not just in Athens, where they were amongst Paul's audiences, but we also come across Epicurean communities in the West, in Herculaneum or Sorrento, in the East, on Rhodes and Cos, in Pergamon, Lycian Oinoanda, Syrian Apameia, in remote southern Lycian Rhodiapolis or in Amastris in Bithynia on the Black Sea. (Ibid. 48)

    "It has recently been discovered that the extensive mosaic floor in the House of the Greek Authors in Autun (ancient Augustodunum) includes portraits of Epicurus and Metrodorus (Blanchard-Lemee and Blanchard 1993; Frischer 2006: paragraphs 10-20)." (Gordon, The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus 141)

  • Thank you for setting this up Nate!

    Note also: There is a copy of this map in the Gallery section with several comments here: Epicurean Communities of the Ancient World

    The reason for posting this thread is that the graphic and associated research is apt to draw a lot of comment over time, and it will be easier to keep track of that if we handle it here in a discussion thread