So the sources say that ancient Epicureans had votive busts and specifically mentions that they also wore RINGS with the likeness of Epicurus. Here is a sample I got of what an Epicurus ring would look like, as a possible product for my business thetwentiers.com. It's a small ring, but it expands, and the face of Epicurus does not fit entirely into it but it still looks like Epicurus. Do others think there is a market for this?
Expands? Is it oval or like a glass on top. Side view maybe?
I would buy one
I’ll have to take another pic when I get home from work
I love it!
Here is how they look from the side and from the bottom where they can be adjusted for the size of the fingers.
I read a post on New Epicurean about Epicurean rings and what you'd get inscribed on Epicurean momentos. As well as this thread, so I've recently got this pendent made. I wanted this in Latin:
Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum
I had it made in the shape of a scroll and like the fact that it's a cool Epicurean reminder for me.
Excellent Samj and great choice of lines!
I see this translation: Therefore death to us is nothing, nor concerns us in the least,
But given my small amount of Latin that's one that is easy to follow as is without rewording:
Nil igitur mors est ad nos neque pertinet hilum
Nothing therefore death is to us; neither does it concern in the least.
I had to look up "hilum" but the rest is really basic!
Samj could you share a link to the source that you used to make that for you and any helpful commentary that would let others do that?
Also I wonder if we could do designs that could be translated to 3d files where such things could be printed at home on 3d printers(?) I don't have one but I gather they are becoming very common and inexpensive.
What Would You Like Inscribed On Your Ring?
The topic of memorable rings has come to my attention today, and that reminds me to discuss another aspect of Epicureanism: the use of images of Epicurus and Epicurean inscriptions on rings, cups, and other mementos.
Bernard Frischer’s book “The Sculpted Word” provides an excellent background into the use of images by the ancient Epicureans as both a self-help device and a device for recruitment of new converts to the philosophy (the very idea of recruitment being contrary to the view of Epicureanism as hermitic). The Sculpted Word focuses largely on the monumental seated sculptures of Epicurus himself, a number of which survive at least in pieces from antiquity. In addition, Cicero records the use of rings and cups apparently used in a similar way.
The question I would like to pose today is the title of the post “What Would You Like Inscribed On Your Epicurean Ring?” An image of Epicurus is the first obvious choice. Munro records in the overleaf to his translation of De Rerum Natura the existence of an oval ring bearing an image that appears to be marked as that of Lucretius.
We also have busts of Metrodorus and Hermarchus that survive from Herculaneum, so images of those important Epicureans are also available.
But what if you wanted a more simple ring inscribed with only a particularly meaningful phrase? What would that phrase be? Any number of the Authorized Doctrines or the Vatican Sayings lend themselves to this, but selecting one short enough to use is a little trickier. Here are a couple that come to mind:
- Nothing can be created from nothing. (Nil posse creari de nilo.) (Latin from Lucretius Book I)
- Death is nothing to us.
- Guide of Life, Divine Pleasure (dux vitae dia voluptas) (Latin from Lucretius Book II)
- Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.
At present I think my favorite would be one of the first two, as I think of those as starting points on which the rest of Epicureanism is erected. Nothing can be created from nothing because a ring is something physical that can be touched, something which has a clear and certain reality, a tangible example that nothing is created from nothing, which leads to all the other physical observations about the universe. Death is nothing to us, as a constant reminder that all the pleasure we seek must be experienced while we live, and that it is worse that folly to worry about a past or future existence of the soul.
I would be interested to know your thoughts and suggestions!
We definitely need to add here images of the rings from the British Museum:
This reminds me that I have been playing with designs for a coin / memento. The different graphic elements which make sense to include are pretty obvious: fig leaves, leaping pig, atom, skull, then with an inscription / quote on back. This is very raw and just proof-of-concept stage:
Yes, that's right. I believe it comes from Lucretius, The Nature of things, Book III, 830-869.
I used the website, Etsy, which is a collobartive platform that brings independent creators together so you can literally find anything. And you can message the sellers to get things designed how you like.
The creator/ shop I used was called SuedeSentiment.
I saw she had customisable scrolls. So I messaged her about what I was hoping to do , as I wanted that quote. And after some conversations she gave me a custom (Reserved listing) and this was all done within a couple of days. ( from start of convo, to around my neck).
The pendent itself isn't expensive, but it's unique, hand crafted, and ideal for myself. Approx $40AUD in total.
Coming into Aussie summer it'll be in the Bondi Sea and Sand and such.
I liked SuedeSentiment as (first time I have purchased from her) but she was helpful, local to Australia and the pendent measure approx 1.375 Inch so not too long.
If your browse Etsy I'm sure you'll find a creator that can do a design you'd like.
I like the fact it's a one of a kind, inexpensive momento that carries a cool Epicurean message.
If you wanted the same, I'm sure she could craft one again.
Thanks Samj - good info!
I continue to be fascinated by this subject. If I had time I'd like to play around with 3d modeling software and have a design that's printable.
Yes Joshua I think that is a great goal. We ought to be able to design nice-looking items for which the 3d design files can be downloaded by anyone and printed at home. We worked on that in the past with the model of the Epicurus bust, and those are out there "somewhere" but they were not as quality ("sharpness") as could be done today. We really need to restart that project from scratch (re-scan the Epicurus busts) and then come up with a range of things that can be printed.
It looks like Amazon now has a range of 3d printers that cost under $200.00, so this is light years ahead of where we were when I scanned my Epicurus bust 5+ years ago (I know I am mixing the technologies - printing is not the same as scanning) but I am not up on the latest developments on how to scan.
Edit: Looks like prices have plummeted there too.
A couple of months ago i went to the Maritime Museum in Australia and one of their displays was on William Bligh (1754-1817) he was an English naval Captain and a colonial governor of New South Wales, Australia. He was well known for his involvement in the mutiny on H.M.S Bounty.
As I strolled through, I came across the following ring and as I took a closer look realised what it was. Thought it might be of interest..
Very interesting thank you! I wonder if others here think that is Epicurus. The neck seems a little thick, but it does give a pretty general sense of the other rings we have seen. Thank you!!!
Thanks, SamJ ! Thatt is interesting. I also found the museum's webpage for the artifact. Oddly, it doesn't mention the Epicurus connection there. I was hoping for a definite "here's why we think that."