Early Epicurean Community - Listing of Known Epicureans Thoughout History


    [T]here are plenty of witnesses of the unsurpassable kindness of [Epicurus] to everybody; both his own country which honored him with brazen statues, and his friends who were so numerous that they could not be contained in whole cities; and all his acquaintances who were bound to him by nothing but the charms of his doctrine […] Also, the 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. (Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book X)

    387 BCE: Plato founds his Academy.

    384 BCE: Aristotle is born in the Central Macedonian city of Stagira.

    348 BCE: Plato dies at the age of 80 due to natural causes.

    341 BCE: Epicurus is born on the Island of Samos.

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

    334 BCE: Aristotle founds his Lyceum at the age of 50.

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

    326 BCE: Alexander III of Macedon invades India; 34-year old Pyrrho follows. As a result …

    325 BCE: Pyrrho adopts the 200-year-old agnostic Indian school of Ajñāna and develops Skepticism

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

    322 BCE: Aristotle dies at the age of 62 due to natural causes.

    321 BCE: A 20-year-old Epicurus moves with family to Colophon and studies under the Peripatetic Praxiphanes; he later studies under Nausiphanes of Teos, 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 Mytilene 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

    HEGEMON HΓEMΩN – /hɛːɡe.'mɔːn/ – Leader” of the Epicurean Community

    Hegemon: EPICURUS* of SAMOS (c. 24 January 341 – 270/69 BCE) founder of Epicureanism

    KATHEGEMONES KAΘHΓEMΩNHΣ – /ka.tʰɛːɡe.'mɔːniːz/ – “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)

    *The founder and his closest three allies are called HOI ANDRES OI ANΔPEΣ – "The Men"

    DIADOCHOI ΔIAΔOXOI – /diː'a.dɔːkʰoi̯/ – “Succession” of Epicurean Scholarchs

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

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

    NOTE: Scholarchs after Polystratus 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) from 175 to 150 BCE

    Scholarch (6th): APOLLODORUS of ATHENS (c. 200 – 125 BCE) 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 to 51 BCE

    In A.D. 121 the then incumbent, Popillius Theotimus, appealed to Plotina, widow of the emperor Trajan and a devoted adherent, to intercede with Hadrian for relief from a requirement that the head should be a Roman citizen, which had resulted in unfortunate choices. The petition was granted and acknowledged with all the gratitude that was proper to the sect. (De Witt, Epicurus and His Philosophy 332)

    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" (De Witt, Epicurus and His Philosophy 332)

    KATHEGETES KAΘHΓHTEΣ – /ka.tʰɛːgɛː'tʰiːz/ – "Down from the Guides" or Teachers

    Kathegete: ARISTOBULUS of SAMOS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) brother of Epicurus

    Kathegete: CHAERDEMUS of SAMOS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) brother of Epicurus

    Kathegete: NEOCLES of SAMOS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) another brother of Epicurus

    GNORIMOI ΓNΩPIMOI /gnɔːriː'moi̯/ "Known Familiars" or Disciples

    APELLES (4th – 3rd-century BCE) the recipient of one of Epicurus' many epistles

    APOLLODORUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE ) the brother of Leonteus

    BATIS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) Idomeneus' wife and Metrodorus' sister

    BOIDION (4th – 3rd-century BCE) "calf-eyes" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    CALLISTRATUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    CARNEISCUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) dedicated a book on the death to Philainis

    COLOTES of LAMPSACUS (c. 320 – 268 BCE) a popular Greek writer known for satire

    CRONIUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) a former student of the Pythagorean Eudoxus

    CTESSIPUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) attested in a letter fragment written by Epicurus

    DEMELATA (4th – 3rd-century BCE) attested by Philodemus

    DEMETRIA (4th – 3rd-century BCE) a companion to Hermarchus

    EROTION (4th – 3rd-century BCE) "lovely" hetaera who studied at the Garden

    EUDEMUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) mentioned in a letter written by Epicurus

    HEDEIA (3rd-century BCE) "delectable" companion to Polyaenus

    HIPPOCLIDES of LAMPSACUS (c. 300 – 219/8 BCE) born on the same day as Polystratus

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

    LEONTEUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) the husband of Themista

    LEONTION (4th – 3rd-century BCE) "lioness", a respected writer and companion to Metrodorus

    LYCOPHRON (4th – 3rd-century BCE) a correspondent of Leonteus of Lampsacus

    MAMMARION (3rd-century BCE) "tits", a possible lover to Leonteus

    MENESTRATUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) pupil of Metrodorus

    MENOECEUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) recipient of Epicurus' Letter to Menoeceus

    MENTORIDES of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) the eldest brother of Metrodorus

    MYS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) "mouse" a male slave granted his freedom who managed publishing

    NICANOR (4th – 3rd-century BCE) student of Epicurus attested by Diogenes Laërtius

    NIKIDION (4th – 3rd-century BCE "victress" possible lover to Idomeneus

    PHILAINIS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) attested by Philodemus

    PHILISTAS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) inspired Carneiscus to write

    PYTHOCLES of LAMPSACUS (c. 324 — 3rd-century BCE) recipient of Epicurus' Letter to Pythocles

    THEMISTA of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) wife of Leonteus

    THEOPHILIA (4th – 3rd-century BCE) attested by 1st-century Roman poet Martial

    HELLENIC PHILOIΦIΛΩI – /'pʰi.loi̯/ "Friends" or Associates

    ANAXARCHUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    ARCHEPHON (4th – 3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    CHARMIDES (4th – 3rd-century BCE) a friend of Arcesilaus the Academic Skeptic

    DOSITHEUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) the father of Hegesianax

    ERASISTRATUS of CHIOS (c. 304 – 250 BCE) of the Alexandrian school of medicine

    ZOPYRUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    ALEXANDRIA the ATOMIST (3rd-century BCE) associated with Alexandria

    ANTIDORUS THE EPICUREAN (3rd-century BCE) who wrote a work against Heraclides

    APOLLONIDES (3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    APOLLODORUS the EPICUREAN (3rd-century BCE) a pupil of Polystratus

    ARTEMON of LAODICEA (3rd-century BCE) one of several teachers of Philonides

    AUTODORUS the EPICUREAN (3rd-century BCE) criticizes Heraclides in his treatise On Justice

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

    DIODORUS (3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    DIOTIMUS OF SEMACHIDES (3rd-century BCE) a pupil of Polystratus

    EUGATHES (3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

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

    HEGESIANAX (3rd-century BCE) son of Dositheus

    HERMOCRATES (3rd-century BCE) who proposed natural explanation for prayer

    PYRSON (3rd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    THEOPHEIDES (3rd-century BCE) a friend of Hermarchus from whom he received a letter

    ANTIPHANES (3rd – 2nd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANES (c. 3rd-century – 164 BCE) king and student to Philonides

    ARISTONYMUS (3rd – 2nd-century BCE) a friend of Dionysius

    DIOGENES of SELEUCIA (c. 3rd-century – 146 BCE) was put to death by Antiochus VI Dionysus

    HELIODORUS OF ANTIOCH (3rd – 2nd-century BCE) a senior official in the court of Seleucus IV

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

    CEPHISOPHON (2nd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    DAMOPHANES (2nd-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    DEMETRIUS I SOTER (c. 185 – 150 BCE) a rule of the Seleucid Empire and student to Philonides

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

    HERACLITUS of RHODIAPOLIS (2nd-century BCE) Physician connected with the Athenian school

    IOLAUS OF BITHYNIA (2nd-century BCE) a physician associated with Epicureanism

    NICASICRATES of RHODES (2nd-century BCE) was called as a "dissident" by Philodemus

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

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

    THESPIS the EPICUREAN (2nd-century BCE) student of Scholarch Basilides; taught Philodemus

    TIMASAGORAS of RHODES (2nd-century BCE) was called as a "dissident" by Philodemus

    ATHENAEUS (2nd – 1st-century BCE) a pupil of Polyaenus of Lampsacus

    ATHENAGORAS (2nd – 1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

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

    IRENAEUS OF MILETUS (2nd – 1st-century BCE) a pupil of Demetrius Lacon

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

    ANTIGENES (1st-century BCE) friend of Philodemus

    ANTIPATER (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

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

    BACCHUS (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    BROMIUS (1st-century BCE) peer to Philodemus; Zeno of Sidon's pupil

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

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

    EGNATIUS (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    LYSIAS of TARSUS (1st-century BCE) Tyrant of Tarsus who butchered the wealthy

    ORION the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) Epicurean "notable" per Laërtius

    PLATO OF SARDIS (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

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

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

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

    TIMAGORAS (1st-century BCE) attested by Cicero

    ARTEMIDORUS OF PARIUM (1st-century BCE/CE) fragmentary attestation

    ATHENODORUS (1st-century CE) fragmentary attestation

    ATHENODORUS OF ATHENS (1st-century CE) fragmentary attestation

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

    BOETHUS OF SIDON (1st-century CE) an acquaintance of Plutarch

    DIONYSIUS OF RHODES (1st-century CE) a friend of Diogenes of Oenoanda

    MENNEAS (1st-century CE) fragmentary attestation

    POLLIUS FELIX (1st-century CE) a patron of the poet Statius

    THEODORIDAS OF LINDUS (1st-century CE) an acquaintance of Diogenes of Oenoanda

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

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

    EPICURIUS (1st – 2nd-century CE) a philosopher attested by the Middle Platonist Plutarch

    CELSUS [1] the EPICUREAN (2nd-century CE) a friend of Lucian of Samosata

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

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

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

    DIOGENIANUS (2nd-century CE) who wrote a polemic against Chrysippus

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

    LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA (c. 125 – 180 CE) a Syrian satirist who ridiculed the supernatural

    NICERATUS of RHODES (2nd-century CE) a close friend of Diogenes of Oenoanda

    PHILIDAS HERACLEONOS of DIDYMA (2nd-century CE) known from a stone inscription

    ZENOCRATES THE EPICUREAN (2nd – 3rd-century CE) a hedonist from Alciphron's letters

    EXUPERANTIA (3rd – 4th-century CE) the wife of Heraclamon Leonides

    HERACLAMON LEONIDES (3rd – 4th-century CE) the husband of Exuperantia

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

    ANTONIUS (2nd-century BCE) Exchanged views with Galen on medical matters.

    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

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

    AULUS TORQUATUS (2nd – 1st-century BCE) a relative of L. Manlius and possible Epicurean

    CATIUS INSUBER (c. 2nd-century – 45 BCE) popular Celtic author from Northern Italy

    LUCIUS CORNELIUS SISENNA (2nd – 1st-century BCE) a historian and “inconsistent” Epicurean

    LUCIUS MANLIUS TORQUATUS (2nd-century – 46 BCE) a friend of Cicero; AGAINST Julius Caesar

    NERO THE EPICUREAN (2nd – 1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

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

    ANTHIS (1st-century BCE) a freedwoman of Calpurnia Caesaris who named her son “Mr. 20th”

    AURELIUS OPILIUS (1st-century BCE) Freedman who retired to Mytilene

    DION (1st-century BCE) A philosopher for whom Cicero had no regard and little respect

    LUCIUS AUFIDIUS BASSUS (1st-century BCE) Used philosophy to deal with a chronic illness

    LUCIUS CORNELIUS BALBUS (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero

    LUCIUS LUCCESIUS (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero

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

    LUCIUS SAUFEIUS (1st-century BCE) Friend of Cicero and Atticus; seemingly apolitical

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

    MARCUS FADIUS GALLUS (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero who wrote against Julius Caesar

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

    MARCUS VALERIUS MESSALLA CORVINUS (1st-century BCE) a friend of Horace

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

    MATIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero known for defying anti-Caesarists

    PLAUTIUS TUCCA (1st-century BCE) Roman poet and associate of Virgil

    PUBLIUS CORNELIUS DOLABELLA (1st-century BCE) Senate declared him an “enemy of the State”

    PUBLIUS VOLUMNIUS ETRAPELUS (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    SIRO (1st-century BCE) Pupil of Zeno of Sidon; taught Virgil; founded the school in Naples

    STATILIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero who argued against Civil War

    TREBIANUS (1st-century BCE) fragmentary attestation

    VELLEIUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century BCE) a friend of Cicero who supported Epicurean theology

    LUCIUS CALPURNIUS PISO CAESONINUS (c. 100 – 43 BCE) friend of Cicero; Caesar's father-in-law

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

    GAIUS VIBIUS PANSA CAETRONIANUS (c. 90s – 43 BCE) Friend of Cicero; Friend of Julius Caesar

    AULUS HIRTIUS (c. 90 – 43 BCE) a friend of Cicero and former lobbyist against Caesar

    GAIUS CASSIUS LONGINUS (86 – 42 BCE) a friend of Cicero and conspirator against Caesar

    CAIUS TREBATIUS TESTA (84 BCE – 4 CE) a friend of Cicero who supported Julius Caesar

    CALPURNIA CAESARIS (c. 75 BCE – 00s BCE) Daughter of Piso

    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) Coined carpe diem or "seize the day!"

    CAIUS STALLIUS HAURANUS (1st-century BCE – 1st-century CE) a student in Naples

    LUCIUS CALPURNIUS PISO PONTIFEX (48 BCE – 32 CE) the son of Piso Caesoninus

    PUBLIUS QUINTILIUS VARUS (46 BCE – 9 CE) a general and fellow-student of Virgil

    ALEXANDER the EPICUREAN (1st-century CE) who was "fond of learning"

    DIODORUS the EPICUREAN (1st-century CE) who allegedly committed suicide

    GAIUS PETRONIUS ARBITER (c. 27 – 66 CE) who allegedly committed suicide

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

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

    PUBLIUS MANLIUS VOPISCUS (1st-century CE) a patron of the poet Statius

    CAIUS ARTORIUS CELER (1st – 2nd-century CE) a philosopher from North Africa


    MAXIMUS THE EPICUREAN (1st – 2nd-century CE) fragmentary attestation

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

    DAMIS THE EPICUREAN (2nd-century CE) whose historical personage is poorly attested

    PUDENTIANUS (2nd-century CE) Galen wrote a lost work to him

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

    EMPEROR LUCIUS SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS (145 – 211) Emperor from 193 to 211

    ZENOBIUS (2nd – 3rd-century CE) the target of a book by Alexander of Aphrodisias

    PALLADAS of ALEXANDRIA (4th-century CE) known as the “last known ancient Epicurean”

    We have seen that at the beginning of the third century AD, some five centuries after the death of its founder, Epicureanism was still alive both in major centres and in remoter parts of the Graeco-Roman world. It is generally held, however, that its demise lay not far off, that by the middle of the fourth century it would have become a virtually forgotten creed, overwhelmed, along with Stoicism, by the spread of Christianity, fully justifying St. Augustine's boast that 'its ashes are so cold that not a single spark can be struck from them'. (Jones, Epicurean Tradition 94)


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

    FARINATA DEGLI UBERTI (1212 – 1264) a Florentine atheist who burns in Dante's Inferno

    CAVALCANTE DE' CAVALCANTI (c. 1230 – 1280) a philosopher who burns in Dante's Inferno

    MANFRED, KING OF SICILY (1232 – 1266) the son of Frederick II and fellow Epicurean

    GUIDO CAVALCANTI (c. 1250 – 1300) best friend of Dante and son of Cavalcante


    LORENZO VALLA (1406 – 1457) who wrote On Pleasure and sympathized with Epicurus

    ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM (1466 – 1536) a Dutch philosopher and Humanist

    LUDOVICO ARIOSTO (1474 – 1533) a poet who employed Epicurean themes

    GIOVANNI DI LORENZO DE' MEDICI, POPE LEO X (1475 – 1521) a luxury-loving Humanist

    FRANCESCO GUICCIARDINI (1483 – 1540) of the Italian Renaissance

    MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE (1533 – 1592) of the French Renaissance

    ELIO DIODATAI (1576 – 1661) a Genevan jurist and supporter of Galileo

    FRANÇOIS DE LA MOTHE LE VAYER (1588 – 1672) a writer and friend of Moliére

    THÉOPHILE DE VIAU (1590 – 1626) who was banished from France on charges of immorality

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

    JACQUES VALLÉE, SIEUR DES BARREAUX (1599 – 1673) a French poet and lover of de Viau

    FRANÇOIS LUILLIER (1600 – 1651) was known by reputation as a practicing Epicurean

    GABRIEL NAUDÉ (1600 – 1653) a French librarian, prolific writer, and friend of Gassendi

    GUILLES DE LAUNAY (c. 1600– 1675) wrote that Epicurus was the ideal natural philosopher

    GUI PATIN (1601 – 1672) a French doctor and great friend of Gabriel Naudé

    EMMANUEL MAIGNAN (1601 – 1676) a French physicist and Christian Epicurean theologian

    JEAN FRANÇOIS SARASIN (1611 – 1654) a French writer and Epicurean devotee

    MARION DE LORME (1613 – 1650) a famous French courtesan from a known Epicurean circle

    CHARLES DE SAINT-ÉVREMOND (1613 – 1703) a follower of Gassendi

    FRANÇOIS VI, DUC DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD (1613 – 1680) a French author

    ANTOINE MENJOT (c. 1615 – 1696) a French doctor and follower of Gassendi

    WALTER CHARLETON (1619 – 1707) a main transmitter of Epicureanism to England

    SAVINIEN DE CYRANO DE BERGERAC (1619 – 1655) a French novelist and playwright

    FRANÇOIS BERNIER (1620 – 1688) a French physician and follower of Gassendi

    NINON DE L'ENCLOS (1620 – 1705) an author who left her inheritance for 9-year-old Voltaire

    JEAN DE LA FONTAINE (1621 – 1695) a widely-read French poet and fabulist

    MARGARET CAVENDISH, DUCHESS (1623 – 1673) an atomist but not a classical Epicurean


    SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE, 1st BARONET (1628 – 1699) an essayist and friend of Wilmot

    ANTOINETTE DESHOULIÈRES (1634 – 1655) a French, epicurean poet

    GUILLAUME AMFRYE DE CHAULIEU (1639 – 1720) a convinced Epicurean poet

    APHRA BEHN (1640 – 1689) an English playwright, poet, writer, and libertine translator

    GUILLAUME LAMY (1644 – 1683) a French physician who taught La Mettrie

    CHARLES AUGUSTE DE LA FARE (1644 – 1712) a French poet and friend of Chaulieu

    JACQUES PARRAIN DES COUTURES (1645 – 1702) who wrote La Morale d'Epicure

    JOHN WILMOT, 2nd EARL of ROCHESTER (1647 – 1680) a satirist; friend of Temple

    JEAN DE LA CHAPELLE (1651 – 1723) the “father of French epicurean poetry.”

    FRANÇOIS COURTIN (1659 – 1739) abbot of Mont-Saint-Quentin by age nineteen

    WILLIAM CONGREVE (1670 – 1729) an English playwright of the Restoration Period

    BERNARD MANDEVILLE (1670 – 1733) an Anglo-Dutch philosopher, economist, and satirist

    CELESTINO GALIANI (1681 – 1753) an Archbishop who adhered to “Christian Epicureanism”

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

    FREDERICK II of PRUSSIA (1712 – 1786) also known as “Frederick The Great”

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

    CLAUDE ADRIEN HELVÉTIUS (1715 – 1771) a French utilitarian philosopher

    PAUL-HENRI THIRY, BARON D'HOLBACH (1723 – 1789) an atheist during the Enlightenment

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

    JEREMY BENTHAM (1748 – 1832) an English philosopher and founder of modern Utilitarianism

    RICHARD PAYNE KNIGHT (1751 – 1824) an English classical scholar and collector

    WILLIAM SHORT (1759 – 1849) an ambassador and friend of Thomas Jefferson

    WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR (1775 – 1864) an English writer, poet, and activist

    CHARLES GREVILLE (1794 – 1865) an English diarist and amateur cricket player

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

    WALT WHITMAN (1819 – 1892) and American poet whose Father heard Wright lecture

    WILLIAM WALLACE (1844 – 1897) a Scottish philosopher inspired by Epicurus

    ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1850 – 1894) an American writer and author of Treasure Island

    JEAN-MARIE GUYAU (1854 – 1888) a French author and anarchist who died at the age of 33

    HENRY DWIGHT SEDGWICK (1861 – 1957) titled his auto-biography Memoirs of an Epicurean

    CHARLES LEOPOLD MAYER (1881 – 1971) a French biochemist and Liberal who opposed Marx

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

    H. P. LOVECRAFT (1890 – 1927) whose philosophy of Cosmicism was inspired by Epicureanism
    JOSÉ MUJICA (1935 – PRESENT) a farmer and 40th President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015.

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

    CASSIUS AMICUS (1958 PRESENT) a writer and proprietor of NewEpicurean.com

    MICHEL ONFRAY (1959PRESENT) a scholar of hedonism and fierce religious critic

    HIRAM CRESPO (1975 – PRESENT) a writer and founder of SocietyOfEpicurus.com

    NATHAN H. BARTMAN (1988 – PRESENT) a musician and author of this historical investigation.


    TIMOCRATES of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) brother of Metrodorus of Lampsacus

    HERODOTUS of LAMPSACUS (4th – 3rd-century BCE) Friend of Timocrates

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

    CICERO (106 BCE – 43 BCE) Student of Phaedrus who pioneered Eclecticism

    SAUL of TARSUS (c. 5 – 65 CE) Better known as St. Paul the Apostle of the Christian tradition


    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. (The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism 48)

    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

  • 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 them as being distinct by listing "Themist[a]" immediately before "Theophilia". While the proposition that many of the Epicurean courtesans were inventions by detractors holds merit, their attestation in literature by contemporaries is enough to accept their historical existence unless otherwise contradicted. Herein, both "Theophilia" and "Demetria" have been added to the original post.

    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. What levels of marginalization and persecution did Epicureans face between the 5th and 13th centuries CE? In weeks of research, I have not identified a single Epicurean philosopher, follower, or patron between the years 400 and 1200. Were there Epicureans in the Persian and Arabian worlds during the European Dark Ages? Do we have Islamic sources of Epicureanism? Was a globally-popular, living moral system truly "lost" for 800 years? If so, how?

    answer: Epicureanism was neither "lost", nor was Epicurus "forgotten." Epicurus' history and his teachings were obscured by ideological opponents and neglected by the masses. (Existing sources of Epicurean philosophy are not preserved in Arabic through Islamic sources; our sources come from European scholars who preserved these texts.) Instead being "forgotten", Epicureanism was re-branded and its founder's reputation was distorted. Academic and Peripatetic philosophies were useful to the dominant political authority; Epicurean philosophy was antithetical. Thus, Epicurus was re-written as an unworthy buffoon and his philosophy was re-branded as being evil. For the same reason that the Christian tradition enjoyed near-universal popularity, Epicureanism suffered ubiquitous scorn.

  • Greetings, friends!

    I hope everyone is well.

    I've expanded this research drastically, and realize that the research I've put together will not fit in a single post (70,000-character maximum), so I'm going to be uploading my PDF once it is complete.


  • This is impressive, Nate !

    I'll admit I was initially skeptical of the medieval and modern Epicureans, but, upon further consideration, they/we are part of the continuum.

    I find it disappointing that we can't have an "apostolic" succession stretching back to antiquity. However, although the flame of the Epicurean tradition was *almost* snuffed out by the Triumph of Christianity, an ember smoldered long enough for a fire to be rekindled.

    Thank you for this outstanding compilation of the history of the philosophy! Nice work!

  • Nate I haven't had time to go through the document in detail but I did notice the list of Epicurean communities. That topic gets raised frequently in terms of whether they constituted "communes" or how in fact they were organized (if at all, other than at least generally in regard to PD39 and PD40).

    My question was that I didn't pay close enough attention to see if you were able to find documentation for the locations on the list. Is there any kind of cross-referencing of those locations to text references so that people using the document can track where the list came from?

    I know how hard it is to do all the documentation that is desirable to do so if it's not there we can just add that to the future to-do list.

  • [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.” (De Witt, Epicurus and His Philosophy 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 fo 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 fo 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." (King, Epicureanism and the Gospel of John: A Study of Their Compatibility 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. (The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism 48)

  • OK thank you that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! There will always be a chain of authorities for whom we have to trace back and scrutinize each link.