I was just reading the Letter to Herodotus in working on my personal Epicurean outline and realized I had forgotten how much I love the word Epicurus (and other ancient Greeks) used for the universe:
Transliterated, this is:
tò pãn or simply "to pan"
This is the same "pan" as in "panhellenic" or "pantheism."
I've seen it translated as:
- the sum of all things
- the sum total of all things
- the universe as a whole
- the whole of being
... among others, sometimes using several of these in the same text for the same word: τὸ πᾶν. It takes all those English letters for 5 Greek ones.
I think one of the reasons it brings me so much pleasure is its simplicity. A definite article: τὸ, and a simple 3-letter word: πᾶν. I'm tempted to capitalize it, as in To Pan. Let the trumpets sound!
At its simplest, it could be translated The All or The Whole. It could also be translated as The Everything Everywhere. The word really encapsulates for me the elegance and succinct nature of the original classical Greek.
Sometimes it's the little joys that are the best
Just had to share.