Early Epicurean Community - Listing of Known Epicureans Thoughout History

  • Do we have a definitive list of the first five centuries of Epicurean leaders (or just any Epicurean, for that matter)? Following the expectation Diogenes Laërtius sets in his biography of Epicurus, I'm looking for a "perpetual succession of his school, which, when every other school decayed, continued without any falling off, and produced a countless number of philosophers, succeeding one another without any interruption."


    I'm going to light this fire if it's not already burning, starting with dates for context...

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    387 BCE: Plato founds his Academy

    348 BCE: Plato dies.

    341 BCE: Epicurus is born on the Island of Samos

    338 BCE: Aristotle begins 3 years of teaching 13-year-old Alexander III of Macedon

    334 BCE: Aristotle founds his Lyceum.

    327 BCE: A 14-year-old Epicurus is tutored by a Platonic philosopher named Pamphilus

    326 BCE: Alexander III of Macedon invades India; Pyrrho follows. As a result...

    325 BCE: Pyrrho adopts the agnostic Indian school of Ajñāna and develops Skepticism

    323 BCE: An 18-year-old Epicurus serves two years of required Athenian conscription

    321 BCE: A 20-year-old Epicurus moves with family to Colophon and studies Philosophy under the Peripatetic Praxiphanes, and then, Nausiphanes, a Democritean pupil of Pyrrho

    316 BCE: A 25-year-old Epicurus observes Halley's Comet with Nausiphanes

    311 BCE: A 30-year-old Epicurus begins teaching in Milytene on the island of Lesbos

    310 BCE: A 31-year-old Epicurus relocates Northward to Lampsacus on the mainland

    309 BCE: A 32-year-old Epicurus directly witnesses a Total Solar Eclipse

    306 BCE: A 35-year-old Epicurus moves to Athens and establishes the Garden!


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    HEGEMONHEΓEMON /hɛːːɡe.'mɔːn/ – "Leader of the Community"

    Hegemon: EPICURUS of SAMOS (c. 341/0 – 270/69 BCE)


    KATHEGEMONESKAΘEΓEMONES/ka.tʰɛːːːɡe.'mɔːniː z/ – "Guides with the Hegemon"

    Kathegemon: POLYAENUS* of LAMPSACUS (c. 345 – 286 BCE)

    Kathegemon: METRODORUS* of LAMPSACUS (c. 331/0 – 278/7 BCE)

    Kathegemon: HERMARCHUS* of MYTILENE (c. 325 – 250 BCE)


    DIADOCHEΔIAΔOXE /diː a.dɔː 'kʰiː/ – "Succession"

    Scholarch (1st): HERMARCHUS* (c. 325 – 250 BCE) from 270 BCE to 250 BCE

    Scholarch (2nd): POLYSTRATUS* (c. 300 – 219/8 BCE) from 250 to 219/8 BCE


    NOTE: Scholarchs after this period will not have personally known Epicurus.


    Scholarch (3rd): DIONYSIUS of LAMPTRAI (c. 280 – 205 BCE) from 219/8 to 205 BCE

    Scholarch (4th): BASILIDES of TYRUS (c. 245 – 175 BCE) from 205 to 175 BCE

    Scholarch (5th): PROTARCHUS of BARGHILIA (c. 225 – 150 BCE) 175 to 150 BCE

    Scholarch (6th): APOLLODORUS (c. 200 – 125 BCE) Scholarch from 147 to 125 BCE

    Scholarch (7th): ZENO of SIDON (c. 166 – 75 BCE) Scholarch from 125 to 75 BCE

    Scholarch (8th): PHAEDRUS (c. 138 – 70/69 BCE) Scholarch from 75 to 70/69 BCE

    Scholarch (9th): PATRO (c. 100 – 25 BCE) Scholarch from 70/69 BCE to 51 BCE


    Over a century passes ... the Garden seems to fall into disrepair. By the 1st-century, Empress Plotina, wife of Tiberius, petitions her adopted son, Hadrian to support the dilapidated Athenian Garden on behalf of their scholarch, Popillius Theotimus.


    Scholarch (16ish): POPILLIUS THEOTIMUS (early 2nd-century CE)

    Scholarch (17ish): HELIODORUS (2nd-century CE) Hadrian writes him.


    "Later in the century it is on record that the school became a beneficiary of the bounty of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 CE), who bestowed a stipend of 10,000 drachmas per annum upon the heads of all the recognized schools" (DeWitt, Epicurus and His Philosophy, 332)


    KATHEGETESKAΘEΓETEΣ /ka.tʰɛː gɛː 'tʰːiːz/ – "Down From the Guides" or "Teachers"

    Kathegete: NEOCLES* of SAMOS (3rd-century BCE) brother of EPICURUS

    Kathegete: CHAERDEMUS* of SAMOS (3rd-century BCE) brother of EPICURUS

    Kathegete: ARISTOBULUS* of SAMOS (3rd-century BCE) brother of EPICURUS


    GNORIMOI*ΓNOPIMOI* /gnɔːriːːmɔː 'iː /"Known Familiars" or "Disciples"*

    IDOMENEUS* of LAMPSACUS (c. 310 – 270 BCE) main financier of the Garden

    BATIS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) IDOMENEUS wife; METRODORUS' sister.

    LEONTEUS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) husband of THEMISTA

    THEMISTA* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) wife of LEONTEUS

    APOLLODORUS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) brother of LEONTEUS

    CARNEISCUS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) writes book on friendship to...

    PHILISTAS of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) inspired CARNEISCUS to write

    COLOTES* of LAMPSACUS (c. 320 BCE – 268 BCE) popular Greek satirist

    HIPPOCLIDES* of LAMPSACUS (c. 300 – 219/8 BCE) Valerius maximus, i.8.17

    PYTHOCLES* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) of Epicurus' Letter to Pythocles

    MENOECEUS* the EPICUREAN (3rd-century BCE) of Epicurus' Letter to Menoeceus

    CRONIUS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) former student of Eudoxus of Cnidas

    LEONTION* (3rd-century BCE) "lioness"; companion to METRODORUS

    HEDEIA* (3rd-century BCE) "delectable"; companion to POLYAENUS

    EROTION* (3rd-century BCE) "lovely" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    MAMMARION* (3rd-century BCE) "busty" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    NIKIDION* (3rd-century BCE) "victress" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    BOIDION* (3rd-century BCE) "calf-eyes" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    DEMETRIA* (3rd-century BCE) Common name; not a pet or nickname "-ion".

    THEOPHILIA* (3rd-century BCE) attested by 1st-century Roman poet Martial

    CTESSIPUS* (3rd-century BCE) attested in a letter fragment written by Epicurus

    MYS* (3rd-century BCE) male slave granted freedom who managed publishing


    HELLENIC PHILOI ΠIΛOI – /pʰiːːː 'iː / "Friends" or "Associates"

    DIONYSIUS of HERAKLEIA (c. 328 - 248 BCE) "renegade" Stoic convert

    ERASISTRATUS of ANTIOCH (c. 304 - 250 BCE) associated with a school in Antioch

    ALEXANDRIA of ANTIOCH (3rd-century BCE) associated with a school in Antioch

    EUPHRONIOUS 3rd-century BCE) ridiculed by Plutarch; possible contemporary of Aelian

    CINEAS the EPICUREAN (3rd-century BCE) advised King Pyrrhus of Epirus (Plutarch)

    PHILONIDES of LAODICEA (c. 200s – 130 BCE) Founded Antioch school

    THESPIS the EPICUREAN (2nd-century BCE) student of Scholarch BASILIDES

    ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANES (c. 200s – 164 BCE) King, and student to PHILONIDES

    DIOGENES of SELEUCIA (c. 200s – 146 BCE) put to death by Antiochus VI Dionysus

    NIKASIKRATES of RHODES (2nd-century BCE) Criticized by PHILODEMUS

    TIMASAGORAS of RHODES (2nd-century BCE) Criticized by PHILODEMUS

    EUCRATIDES of RHODES (2nd-century BCE) Known only by his gravestone

    PHILISCUS (2nd-century BCE) Sent and expelled from Rome with ALCAEUS in 154 BCE

    ALCAEUS (2nd-century BCE) Sent and expelled from Rome with PHILISCUS in 154 BCE

    DEMETRIUS LACON (1st-century BCE) Founded Milesian school; taught PHILODEMUS

    PHILODEMUS of GADARA (c. 110 – 30 BCE) manuscripts preserved in Herculaneum

    BROMIUS (1st-century BCE) peer to PHILODEMUS; ZENO's pupil (On Sign-Inferences

    PTOLEMEUS the WHITE of ALEXANDRIA (1st-century BCE) a "sophist" per Laërtius

    PTOLEMEUS the BLACK of ALEXANDRIA (1st-century BCE) a "sophist" per Laërtius

    ORION the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) Also dismissed as a "sophist" by Laërtius

    DIOGENES of TARSUS (1st-century BCE) travels with PLUTIADES; a "sophist"

    PLUTIADES of TARSUS (1st-century BCE) travels with DIOGENES of TARSUS

    LYSIAS of TARSUS (1st-century BCE) Tyrant of Tarsus, according to Athanaeus

    APOLLOPHANES of PERGAMUM (1st-century BCE) sent to Rome to teach

    AMYNIAS of SAMOS (1st-century CE) only known due to a stone inscription

    XENOCRITOS (1st-century CE) only known due to a stone inscription

    DIOGENIANUS (2nd-century CE) writes polemic against Chrysippus

    CELSUS the EPICUREAN (2nd-century CE) Greek opponent to the Christian church

    DIOCLES the EPICUREAN (2nd-century CE) Greek opponent to the Christian church

    NICERATUS of RHODES (2nd-century CE) Friend of DIOGENES of OENOANDA

    DIOGENES of OENOANDA (2nd-century CE) posted teachings on 205-ft wall

    LUCIANUS SAMOSATENSIS (c. 125 – 180 CE) Syrian satirist; ridiculed the supernatural


    ROMAN AMICI AMICI – /a'miːt͡ʃiː / "Friends" or "Associates"

    TITUS ALBUCIUS (late 2nd-century BCE) studied in Athens; passed teachings to Rome

    GAIUS AMAFINIUS (late 2nd-century BCE) among the first Epicureans to write in Latin

    RABIRIUS (late 2nd-century BCE) among the first Epicureans to write in Latin

    AURELIUS OPILIUS (1st-century BCE) Freedman who opened his own school.

    TITUS LUCRETIUS CARUS (99 – 55 BCE) writes De Rerum Natura

    GAIUS VALLERIUS CATULLUS (c. 84 BCE – 54 BCE) Latin poet

    CATIUS INSUBER (100s – 45 BCE) popular Celtic author from Northern Italy

    ASCLEPIADES of BITHYNIA (124 – 40 BCE) Physician with atomic drug theory

    SIRO (1st-century BCE) Scholar who taught VIRGIL and founded the school in Naples

    PUBLIUS VIRGILIUS MARO (70 – 19 BCE) student of SIRO at the Garden of Naples

    PLOTIUS TUCCA (1st-century BCE) Roman poet and associate of VIRGIL

    LUCIUS VARIUS RUFUS (1st-century BCE) Roman poet and associate of VIRGIL

    PUBLIUS VIRGILIUS MARO (70 – 19 BCE) student of SIRO at the Garden of Naples

    GAIUS CILNIUS MAECENAS (70 – 8 BCE) political advisor to Octavian/Augustus

    QUINTUS HORACE HORATIUS FLACCUS (65 8 BCE) Carpe Diem or "Sieze the Day!"

    EMPRESS POMPEIA PLOTINA CLAUDIA PHOEBE PISO (c. 68 – 121/2 CE)

    PETRONIUS (00s – 54-68 CE) sentenced to death during Nero's reign

    MARCUS GAVIUS APICIUS (1st-century CE) Roman gourmet during Tiberius' reign

    NOMENTANUS (1st-century CE) Roman during Tiberius' reign

    DIODORUS THE EPICUREAN (1st-century CE) committed suicide

    XENOCLES OF DELPHI (1st-century CE) Epicurean acquaintance of Plutarch

    ALEXANDER THE EPICUREAN (1st-century CE) Epicurean and mathematician

    BOETHUS (1st-century CE) Epicurean acquaintance of Plutarch

    TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS LEPIDUS (2nd-century CE) Founded school in Amastri

    HERACLEITOS of RHODIAPOLIS (2nd-century CE) from a stone inscription

    PHILIDAS HERACLEONOS of DIDYMA (2nd-century CE) from an inscription

    AURELIUS BELIUS PHILIPPUS (2nd-century CE) Head of school in Apamea

    PALLADAS of ALEXANDRIA (5th-century CE) "The last known ancient Epicurean"


    CICERO'S UNUSUALLY-POLITICAL POSSE:

    LUCIUS MANLIUS TORQUATUS (100s – 46 BCE) Worked AGAINST Julius Caesar

    AULUS HIRTIUS (c. 90 – 43 BCE) former Caesar-supporter; lobbied AGAINST Caesar

    LUCIUS CALPURNIUS PISO CAESONINUS (86 – 43 BCE) Caesar's father-in-law

    GAIUS VIBIUS PANSA CAETRONIANUS (00s – 43 BCE) Friend of Julius Caesar

    GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (86 – 42 BCE) Leading conspirator AGAINST Caesar

    TITUS POMPONIUS ATTICUS (110 – 32 BCE) close friend of Cicero; wisely apolitical

    CAIUS TREBATIUS TESTA (84 BCE – 4 CE) FOR Julius Caesar during the Civil War

    LUCIUS SAUFEIUS (1st-century BCE) good friends of ATTICUS; seemingly apolitical

    LUCIUS PAPIRIUS PAETUS (1st-century BCE) good friends with Cicero

    MARCUS FADIUS GALLUS (1st-century BCE) Wrote AGAINST Julius Caesar

    MARCUS POMPILIUS ANDRONICUS (1st-century BCE) correspondent with Cicero

    STATILIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) argued against Roman Civil War

    MARIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) friend of Cicero; subject of text

    MATIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) friend; defied anti-Caesar crowd

    VALLEIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) argues for Epicurean theology


    MEDIEVAL "EPICUREANS":

    FREDERICK II, HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR (1194 – 1250) Burns in Dante's Inferno

    FARINATA DEGLI UBERTI (1212 – 1264) Florentine Epicurean in Dante's Inferno

    CAVALCANTE DE'CAVALCANT (c. 1230 – 1280) Father of Dante's friend; in Inferno


    MODERN SELF-DESCRIBED EPICUREANS / NEO-EPICUREANS:

    PIERRE GASSENDI (1592 – 1655) Tried to reconcile Epicureanism with Christianity

    NINON DE L'ENCLOS (1620 – 1705) Author; left inheritance for 9-year-old Voltaire

    SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE, 1st BARONET (1628 – 1699) Essayist; friend of WILMOT

    GUILLAUME LAMY (1644 – 1683) French physician who taught LA METTRIE

    JOHN WILMOT, 2nd EARL of ROCHESTER (1647 – 1680) Satirist; friend of TEMPLE

    JULIEN OFFRAY de LA METTRIE (1709 – 1751) grounded mental processes in the body

    FREDERICK II of PRUSSIA (1712 – 1786) "Frederick The Great"

    DENIS DIDEROT (1713 – 1784) French author, social critic, and religious skeptic

    THOMAS JEFFERSON (1743 – 1826) Third President of the United States of America

    FRANCIS WRIGHT (1795 – 1852) Scottish-American writer, feminist, and abolitionist

    JEAN-MARIE GUYAU (1854 – 1888) French author and anarchist; died at age 33

    CHARLES LEOPOLD MAYER (1881 – 1971) French biochemist; opposed Marxism

    JUN TSUJI (1884 – 1944) Japanese dadaist, absurdist, poet, essayist and playwright

    CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS (1949 – 2011) Writer, polemicist and religious critic

    MICHEL ONFRAY (1959 – PRESENT) Scholar of hedonism and fierce religious critic


    FORMER EPICUREANS:

    TIMOCRATES* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) brother of METRODORUS of L.

    HERODOTUS* of LAMPSACUS (3rd-century BCE) Friend of TIMOCRATES

    METRODORUS of STRATONECIUS (2rd-century BCE) converted to Academic Skepticism


    EPICUREAN COMMUNITIES:

    School at LAMPSACUS (modern Northwestern Turkey) Founded by Epicurus

    The GARDEN (HO KEΠOΣ) of ATHENS (Central Greece) Founded by Epicurus

    School in RHODES (Southeastern island of Greece)

    Community in CHALCIS (Euboea island, Greece)

    Community in THEBES (Boeotia, Central Greece)

    Community in CORINTH (Peloponnese peninsula, Greece)

    Community in THESSALONIKI (Macedonia region, Greece)

    School at AMASTRI (Northern Turkey) Lead by Tiberius Claudius Lepidus

    School at MILETUS (Southwestern Turkey) Founded by Demetrius

    Community in TARSUS (South-central Turkey)

    School of APAMEA (Western Syria) Lead by Aurelius Belius Philippus

    Community in ALEXANDRIA (City of Alexander III in Egypt)

    School at HERCULANEUM (The Naples region of Italy) Founded by Siro


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    Diogenes Laërtius provides us with a lot of information on the original Garden.


    First, EPICURUS' family: "His three brothers, Neocles, Chaeredemus, and Aristobulus, joined [Epicurus] in studying philosophy at his suggestion, according to Philodemus [110 BCE – 30 BCE] in the tenth book of his Comparison of Philosophies."


    He then lists Epicurus' disciples, "among the most distinguished was first Metrodorus, son of Athenaeus (or Timocrates) and Sande, of Lampsacus. [...] Such was [Metrodorus'] character: his sister Batis he married to Idomeneus, and had for his own mistress Leontion the Athenian hetaera. [...] There was also Polyaenus, son of Athenodorus, of Lampsacus [...] Also Hermarchus [I], Epicurus’ successor, son of Agemortus, of Mytilene [...] Likewise there was Leontius of Lampsacus and his wife Themista [...] Also Colotes and Idomeneus, both of Lamsacus. They too were distinguished..."


    Earlier in the biography, Diogenes Laërtius makes mention of Metrodorus' brother, a wayward pupil of Epicurus, "Timocrates, who was the brother of Metrodorus and a disciple of Epicurus, after he had abandoned the school." Timocrates is also quoted as writing that there were "other women who lived with [Epicurus] and Metrodorus, named Mammarion and Hedeia and Erotion and Nicidion."


    In History of Women Philosophers, 17th-century French scholar Gilles Ménage identifies Themista, and two other hetairai: "Themist[a], Leontium, and Theophilia."


    Diogenes explicitly names the first FIVE scholarchs: "...Polystratus [II] who succeeded Hermarchus [I]; then followed Dionysius [III] and after him Basilides [IV]. Apollodorus [V] the ‘King of the Garden’ was also famous, and wrote over four hundred volumes."


    He then continues naming Epicureans who were often accused of Sophism (if they were scholarchs is unclear) "There were also two Ptolemies of Alexandria, the Black and the White, Zeno of Sidon, a pupil of Apollodorus, a prolific writer, Demetrius called the Laconian, Diogenes of Tarsus who wrote Selected Lessons, Orion, and others whom the genuine Epicureans call Sophists."


    In Geography, Strabo further describes Diogenes of Tarsus and alludes to another possible Epicurean, writing that "Among the other philosophers from Tarsus [...] are Plutiades and Diogenes, who were among those philosophers that went round from city to city and conducted schools in an able manner." (14.5.15)



    DeWitt reinforces "Of Epicurean scholars in the city [of Alexandria] we have the names of only two, Ptolemaeus the White and Ptolemaeus the Black, which may mean that the former was Greek and the second a native" (Epicurus and His Philosophy).


    Accusations of "Sophism" may have been waged by Philodemus against Rhodian Epicureans, as "members and followers of the Athenian Garden found themselves more than once in conflict with the very independent Epicurean community at Rhodes, each group invoking Epicurean scripture in its own support and each ready to condemn the other as unfaithful to the canonical teachings." [https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/235989494.pdf]



    With regards to Demetrius of Laconia, The Cambridge Companion To Epicureanism adds that one "particularly influential contemporary of Zeno in the Garden, who, however, did not become school head, was Demetrius of Laconia" who also "set up school at or near Miletus" (32-34). As a student to Protarchus and teacher of Philodemus, Demetrius seems to be a "genuine Epicurean", having no textual record of being a "Sophist".


    Later, Diogenes Laërtius mentions a rare pupil, like Timocrates, who forsake his teachings "Metrodorus, son of Stratoniceus, who went over to Carneades [the head of the skeptical Platonist Academy], overweighted perhaps by Epicurus’ excessive goodness."



    DeWitt adds that Timocrates "withdrew in anger and returned home to take service under Lysimachus in Lampsacus [a rule to whom Epicurus owed money]. There he joined up with the other deserter Herodotus, whose feelings may have been similarly hurt, and began a campaign of pamphleteering with a view of stirring up trouble for Epicurus among the Athenians [...] Two desertions are on record from this early group of adherents, an occurrence notoriously rare in the camp of Epicurus. One was that of Timocrates, the unpredictable brother of the capable Metrodorus [...] The other deserter was Herodotus, who made common cause with the spiteful Timocrates and discovered specious grounds for impugning the genuineness of the loyalty of Epicurus to Athens" (Epicurus and His Philosophy, 54, 82-83).


    Athenaeus identifies "at Tarsus an Epicurean philosopher who had become the tyrant of that city, Lysias by name; who having been created by his countrymen Stephanephorus, that is to say, the priest of Heracles, did not lay down his command, but seized on the tyranny. He put on a purple tunic with a white centre, and over that he wore a very superb and costly cloak, and he put on white Lacedaemonian sandals, and assumed also a crown of golden laurel leaves. And he distributed the property of the rich among the poor, and put many to death who did not surrender their property willingly." (Deipnosophists, Book V)



    "The oversight of these [publishing concerns] would undoubtedly have fallen to the talented slave whose name was Mys. [...] He was rewarded by freedom at the master's death, and tradition reports him as a philosopher in his own right" (DeWitt).


    DeWitt mentions two Epicurean philosophers associated with the Antioch school: "The talented physician Erasistratus of Antioch and Alexandria, an atomist, if not certainly an Epicurean, had proposed the theory that the air [atmosphere] breathed into the lungs was transformed by the heart into the vital breath, pneuma, Latin spiritus, and these words became regular designations for the immortal part of man [to Christians]." He later remarks on "the brilliant physician Erasistratus, at least an atomist, if not an Epicurean" (259).


    In the following excerpt, I believe DeWitt to have been referring to Demetrius Lacon (Sparta being a city of the Greek region Laconia) the "ablest Epicurean of the time, Demetrius the Spartan; the latter may have visited Rome". (342)


    DeWitt describes a number of Romans: "Toward the end of the century the fiery Lucilius was satirizing Titus Albucius, whom Cicero dubbed 'a perfect Epicurean' [...] by measures taken in 92 B.C. the school of one Aurelius Opilius, freedman of a noble Epicurean, was forced to close along with the others. [...] Of distinguished family also was Statilius Taurus, mentioned by Plutarch as excluded from the conspiracy against Caesar, which was headed by Cassius, both of them known to have professed the creed [...] Little is known of Velleius, whom Cicero chose to be a spokesman for Epicureanism in his Book On the Nature of the Gods; he may have pursued his studies in Athens. Atticus certainly chose that city as a fit place in which to pracice that Epicurean political neutrality by which he won a singular fame. Among Epicureans who pursued a similar course at home were Cicero's friends Marius and Matius. [...] Matius, a loyal Epicurean friend who defied both the assassins and their sympathizers after the tragic Ides of March" (342-343).


    "In the first century of the Empire the heroism of suicide among the aristocracy in opposition tot he despotism of the Caesars became associated with Stoicism, but the most dramatic of the death scenes described by Tacitus is that of the Epicurean Petronius, who interrupted his enforced departure from life to compose for the benefit of Nero a recital of his imperial crimes. The face of his affiliation with Epicurus remained unmentioned; to have revealed this would have been a violation of the social and literary convention, the anonymity of the creed. Even to Persius, the satirist of that time, Epicurus was nameless; it was enough to designate him as 'the sickly old man'" (DeWitt, 344).


    DeWitt expands, "The evidences from the second century are remarkable. Parallel to the previous refutation of the Epicurean Diocles by the Peripatetic Sotion we find the Christian Origen of Caesarea refuting the Roman Epicurean Celsus [...] Celsus was the attacker."


    "Horace was resorting to this new terminology when he declared that Earth had never produced 'whiter souls' than Virgil, Plotius, and Varius, a trio still Epicurean at that date" (DeWitt)


    "Along with caution and control goes the active hope of good things to come, as exemplified by the words of Cicero to the merry Epicurean Papirius Paetus: 'You, however, as your philosophy teaches, will feel bound to hope for the best, contemplate the worst, and endure whatever shall come" (Epicurus and His Philosophy, 316).


    "If we are to believe Cicero and Seneca, the image projected onto the Epicureans by detractors influenced the self-fashioning of later Epicureans like Apicius, Nomentanus, and Piso, who misunderstood what Epicurus meant by pleasure" (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 11)


    "Timon also mocks Dionysius of Herakleia (c. 328-248 BCE), an originally Stoic philosopher who was called 'Renegade' because he switched his allegiance to the Garden in his old age: [When he should have been heading down, he starts living it up. There is a time to love, a time to marry, and a time to quit.]" (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 19)


    "According to Seneca, an Epicurean philosopher named Diodorus who committed suicide in the mid-first century CE chose as his last words the penultimate declaration of Virgil's Dido: vixi, et quem dederat cursum fortuna peregii ("I have lived, and I have run the course that fortune granted," Aen. 4.653). Diodorus the Epicurean is otherwise unknown, and it is difficult to appraise Seneca's claim that Diodorus quoted Dido before slitting his own throat." (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 68)


    "The fragmentary nature of the text makes it difficult to ascertain whether Euphronius is meant to be an early Epicurean or Aelian's contemporary." (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 156)


    "An Epicurean named Xenocles, for example, weighs in on the salubriousness of fruit, as opposed to elaborate dishes (635b-c). Alexander the Epicurean is 'accomplished and fond of learning' (635e), whereas Plutarch, who is avoiding eggs because of a dream about them, drolly presents himself in that dialogue as superstitious. The mild Boethus, an Epicurean and mathematician who appears in Table Talk as well as in Why the Pythia No Longer Delivers Oracles in Verse, is never pilloried, though it is possible that we should regard him as the recipient of 'incidental polemic'." (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 157)


    "In Alciphron's Letters of Parasites, the philosopher guests at a birthday feast exhibit the typecast appearances appropriate to each school. The Stoic is grubby, with scraggly beard and unkempt hair. But the Epicurean (a man named Zenocrates), who relies on his full beard to affect a solemn air, is 'not neglectful of his lockes.'" (The Invention and Gendering of Epicurus, 159)


    "He [Farinata degli Uberti] was of the opinion of Epicurus, that the soul dies with the body, and maintained that human happiness consisted in temporal pleasures; but he did not follow these in the way that Epicurus did, that is by making long fasts to have afterwards pleasure in eating dry bread; but was fond of good and delicate viands, and ate them without waiting to be hungry; and for this sin he is damned as a Heretic in this place." (Boccaccio, commentary on Danté)

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “Early Epicurean Community” to “Early Epicurean Community - Listing of Known Epicureans Thoughout History”.
  • Nate from what is that a screen clip?

    The most recent one is from a book written by Gilles Ménage identifying ancient female philosophers (I'm using those as placeholders to upload more documents I find as I go back-and-forth, editing). This is a particularly interesting case: the author identifies three female Epicurean philosophers by name: Lention (having authored literature and being widely attested), Themista (attested by many, many others), and Theophilia who is ONLY attested by Ménage (per that screenshot). I've been debating whether or not "Theophilia" is a corruption of "Demetria" or perhaps "Themista" (both names alluding to deities) or whether they are different individuals, altogether. As of now, I have to assume so. I have a number of questions about Theophilia, so that shot is just a reminder to keep investigating those questions. :P

  • Unanswered Questions (an on-going post):


    1. Is "Theophilia" – a purported, Epicurean philsopher from Gilles Ménage's History of Women Philosophers – a distinct, historical personality? Or is "Theophilia" a linguistic corruption of either "Themista" or "Demetria"?


    answer: YES. Gilles Ménage verified that the Epicurean philosopher "Theophilia" is a distinct historical figure from "Demetria" based on a document to which he had access, written by the Roman poet Marcus Valerius Martialis (38/41 – 102/4 CE). Additionally, Ménage identifies "Themist[a]" before listing from "Theophilia".


    2. Is the "Herodotus" mentioned in Norman DeWitt's Epicurus and His Philosophy – the wayward Epicurean who turned away from Epicurus' teachings with Timocrates – the same "Herodotus" to whom Epicurus sent his famous letter on physics?


    3. ...