Welcome Eugenios!

  • Welcome Don ! And thanks for joining us! When you get a chance, please tell us about yourself and your background in Epicurean philosophy.


    It would be particularly helpful if you could tell us (1) how you found this forum, and (2) how much background reading you have done in Epicurus. As an aid in the latter, we have prepared the following list of core reading.


    We look forward to talking with you!


    ----------------------- Epicurean Works I Have Read ---------------------------------


    1 The Biography of Epicurus By Diogenes Laertius (Chapter 10). This includes all Epicurus' letters and the Authorized Doctrines. Supplement with the Vatican list of Sayings.

    2 "Epicurus And His Philosophy" - Norman DeWitt

    3 "On The Nature of Things"- Lucretius

    4 Cicero's "On Ends" - Torquatus Section

    5 Cicero's "On The Nature of the Gods" - Velleius Section

    6 The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda - Martin Ferguson Smith translation

    7 "A Few Days In Athens" - Frances Wright

    8 Lucian Core Texts on Epicurus: (1) Alexander the Oracle-Monger, (2) Hermotimus (3) Others?

    9 Plato's Philebus

    10 Philodemus "On Methods of Inference" (De Lacy version, including his appendix on relationship of Epicurean canon to Aristotle and other Greeks)

    11 "The Greeks on Pleasure" -Gosling & Taylor Sections on Epicurus, especially on katastematic and kinetic pleasure.

  • Peace and Safety!

    It's a pleasure to have found this site and forum. It's been a long road to The Garden, but, in many ways, I feel a resonance with Epicureanism that I haven't felt in awhile. I've made my way through a number of paths. Years ago, I felt an affinity to Buddhism. More recently for various reasons, I found myself drawn to exploring ancient Greek philosophy. First, the standards (Plato, Aristotle), then the Stoics. Via the Stoics, I began reading about these Epicureans. That was an eye-opener! Ancient Greeks (and Lucretius) who spoke of atoms, of superfluous gods, of no fear of death because afterwards we don't exist, many beings on many worlds. Wow! And as I delved deeper, I found more to lure me in further. I began reading. Found Diogenes Laertius' Lives X, then Lucretius (Stalling), Diogenes Oinoanda; then DeWitt, then academic treatments likeThe Ethics of Philodemus by Tsouna; Hadot; Nussbaum's The Therapy of Desire; Tim O'Keefe; most recently Catherine Wilson. I'm still torn on Cicero. He's no friend to Epicureanism but he's useful. I've recently started Frances Wright.

    Using the list:

    1 The Biography of Epicurus By Diogenes Laertius (Chapter 10). This includes all Epicurus' letters and the Authorized Doctrines. Supplement with the Vatican list of Sayings.

    2 "Epicurus And His Philosophy" - Norman DeWitt

    3 "On The Nature of Things"- Lucretius

    4 Cicero's "On Ends" - Torquatus Section

    6 The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda Martin Ferguson Smith translation using website.


    I've also been using Epicurus' writings to study Classical Greek which has been enlightening... And fun!

    In closing: May you practice well and may you your life be lived with purpose! Εὖ πράττειν καὶ Σπουδαίως ζῆν.

  • Welcome here Don . :)Your name or nickname in greek means the one that is of noble birth.

    From DL we read : Epicurus was an Athenian, and the son of Neocles and Chaerestrate, of the demos of Gargettus, and of the family of the Philaidae, as Metrodorus tells us in his treatise on Nobility of Birth.


    Εὖ πράττειν (may you practice well) καὶ ἡδέως ζῆν (and living pleasantly).

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • Thank you for the pleasant greeting! :) It *is* actually the Greek form of my real middle name. I felt it would be an appropriate one for the forum. I had forgotten about Metrodorus' work. Thanks for the reminder!

  • I had to check the original DL: Περι εὐγενείας. Thank you again, elli !

    Edited once, last by Don ().

  • I think the name Eugenios in english is Eugene. This work "περί ευγενείας" (on the nobility of birth) by Metrodorus has been lost. It is only mentioned by Diogenes Laertius in his book with the biography of Epicurus.


    However, if we study very carefully our survival sources we can draw many conclusions of what means to be someone of "noble birth". The first principle and the most important for Epicurus and his philosophy is that is against herd's/mob's morality which is usually connected with misery, apathy, and contempt of what is beautiful/well, free and pleased, that is to say, herd's/mob's morality is whatever that leads to the pain and the decadence of any society.


    But Epicurus on the basis of his philosophy declares: since I use the methodology of the Canon that came by Nature, for studying properly the Nature, I' m also capable enough to set the moral values/Ethics and for myself and with those that are like myself that we did agree to set them likewise since we all have the same goal.


    Because when any moral values have been set by the mobs and their leaders - that are also connected with laws in a society - provoke fears, anger, pain, and contempt for hurting each other, these are against the goal of pleasure as Nature has set for us. So, then, says Epicurus, I have the autonomy that is synonym with "παρέγκλιση" (swerve) to find the right strategy to change and even the image of gods or any established laws if those are hurting the relationships among the people.

    And as the brave Pericles in his Epitaph (survived by Thucydides) declares: «τὸ εὔδαιμον τὸ ἐλεύθερον, τὸ δ' ἐλεύθερον τὸ εὔψυχον κρίναντες». i.e. we are judging that bliss means freedom; and freedom means bravery.…and they are surely to be esteemed the bravest spirits who, having the clearest sense both of the pains and pleasures of life, do not on that account shrink from danger.


    An honest philosopher is a free and brave spirit who does not say words that are liked to the ears of mobs or of monarchs/oligarchs and above all, an honest philosopher is not absolutist particularly of what is good and what is bad to become a tyrant himself or having any relationship with tyrants, and oligarchs and those people that are followers of false religions and false philosophies. And when we say false is whatever is against human nature that provokes/produces pain and not pleasure.


    An honest philosopher knows how to put and his/her personal limits (among pleasure and pain), as well as, he knows very well where are the limits in a society of the regimes that are called - with political terms - Democracy and Tyranny. IMO both those regimes have to do on the basis of frankness of speech. The too much Democracy of a majority that speak about foolish things that are against Nature and pleasure, it is not Democracy, it's foolishness. And whoever says in a society issues that lead to the benefit and pleasure of the majority of the people, and that person is being censored by the few, it is not Democracy it is Oligarchy and Tyranny and it's foolishness too.


    Here is an image with an epigram for Epicurus by Athenians, that is survived by Menander.


    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • And here is an image with a very important ES 29 :


    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!