Welcome Melkor!

  • Hello and welcome to the forum melkor !

    This is the place for students of Epicurus to coordinate their studies and work together to promote the philosophy of Epicurus. Please remember that all posting here is subject to our Community Standards / Rules of the Forum our Not Neo-Epicurean, But Epicurean and our Posting Policy statements and associated posts.

    Please understand that the leaders of this forum are well aware that many fans of Epicurus may have sincerely-held views of what Epicurus taught that are incompatible with the purposes and standards of this forum. This forum is dedicated exclusively to the study and support of people who are committed to classical Epicurean views. As a result, this forum is not for people who seek to mix and match some Epicurean views with positions that are inherently inconsistent with the core teachings of Epicurus.

    All of us who are here have arrived at our respect for Epicurus after long journeys through other philosophies, and we do not demand of others what we were not able to do ourselves. Epicurean philosophy is very different from other viewpoints, and it takes time to understand how deep those differences really are. That's why we have membership levels here at the forum which allow for new participants to discuss and develop their own learning, but it's also why we have standards that will lead in some cases to arguments being limited, and even participants being removed, when the purposes of the community require it. Epicurean philosophy is not inherently democratic, or committed to unlimited free speech, or devoted to any other form of organization other than the pursuit by our community of happy living through the principles of Epicurean philosophy.

    One way you can be most assured of your time here being productive is to tell us a little about yourself and personal your background in reading Epicurean texts. It would also be helpful if you could tell us how you found this forum, and any particular areas of interest that you have which would help us make sure that your questions and thoughts are addressed.

    In that regard we have found over the years that there are a number of key texts and references which most all serious students of Epicurus will want to read and evaluate for themselves. Those include the following.

    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
    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.

    It is by no means essential or required that you have read these texts before participating in the forum, but your understanding of Epicurus will be much enhanced the more of these you have read.

    And time has also indicated to us that if you can find the time to read one book which will best explain classical Epicurean philosophy, as opposed to most modern "eclectic" interpretations of Epicurus, that book is Norman DeWitt's Epicurus And His Philosophy.

    Welcome to the forum!



    elli, Nate and Dernga like this.

  • You remembered perfectly, Eugenious!

    May I add:

    Or ilyë lëor nort' Anar ar Eleni tennoio marir;

    Úvan equë Aure ná carna, var mer' Eleni namárië.

    Above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars forever dwell;

    I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell.”

    (I have the Sindarin translation of this poem tattooed on my chest:)

    Or 'waith bain nôr Anor a Giliath an-ui dorthar;

    Ú-bedithon iGalan garnen, egor aníro iñGîl no-vaer.

  • Hello everyone! I apologize for the delay in response. Yes Joshua and Nate my name is in reference to Melkor from The Silmarillion :) I am a very big fan of Tolkien and his works and have made the effort to learn Quenya.

  • Hello everyone! I apologize for the delay in response. Yes Joshua and Nate my name is in reference to Melkor from The Silmarillion :) I am a very big fan of Tolkien and his works and have made the effort to learn Quenya.

    I promise I will NOT turn this into the Tolkienian Epicurean thread, but have you seen Helge Fauskager's Quenya Course at Ardalambion https://folk.uib.no/hnohf/qcourse.htm It's a great site for Tolkienian linguistics.

    Now I want to translate the Principal Doctrines into Quenya! :)

  • This is the "Welcome" thread for Melkor so feel free to turn it into whatever you like! ;)

    Probably one thing it is definitely turning into is "How to pick your user name so you get the most enthusiastic welcome!"

  • At least we're all Epicurean, Martin :)

    To try and bring the Tolkien thread in line with our forum's purpose, I found these two links that might swerve us back in that direction - pun intended. Tolkien was by no means an Epicurean, he was a devout Catholic according to himself. But he definitely incorporated interesting ideas into his works that I'm not sure always conformed exactly with Catholic doctrine. In any case...

    Beyond the Circles of the World: Death and the West in Tolkien’s Middle-earth Legendarium by Rebekah Hunt gives an interesting take on death as it's portrayed in Middle-earth. It also includes a quote from the Letter to Menoikos. In thinking about it, I find an echo (NOT deliberate!) of the Epicurean gods in Tolkien's elves: immortal, generally not concerned with the wider world outside their realms. The conversation about death and immortality between Finrod (and elf) and Andreth (a human) referred to in the paper is available here: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth.


  • Thank you for the link! I had never before linked the principles of Epicureanism to Tolkien's works before, mainly because I knew he was so devout in Catholicism, not to mention (apparently) explicitly rejecting materialism for idealism and his works reflected that.

  • Tolkien's Catholicism always interested me! He provided an interesting translation of the Lord's Prayer in Quenya:

    Ae Adar nín i vi Menel
    no aer i eneth lín
    tolo i arnad lín
    caro den i innas lin
    Ceven sui vi Menel.
    Anno ammen sír I mbas ilaurui vín
    ar díheno ammen i úgerth vin
    sui mín i gohenam di ai gerir úgerth ammen.

    O [Father my] who in Heaven,
    Be holy [the name thy]
    Come [the kingdom thy]
    Do it [the will thy]
    On Earth
    as in Heaven
    Give to us today [the bread daily our]
    And [forgive]
    us [the [misdeeds], our]
    As we who [forgive] those who make [misdeeds] to us

  • That's definitely Sindarin. I agree, Nate , I haven't dusted off my Quenya or Sindarin in quite a while. Talk about pleasure!

    Use Helge's Lexicon and my rudimentary Quenya grammar skills, here are my best guesses for some Epicurean Quenya:

    • larma = "pleasure, mirth" or alasse = "joy, merriment"
    • nwalma = "pain" So, "Pleasure and Pain" = Alasse ar nwalma
    • cilala = "choosing" and avaquetala "refusing" (i.e., choice and aversion): Cilala ar avaquetala.
    • helme = "friendship" , heldo/helde = "friend"(m/f). (Mellon is the Sindarin for "friend" spoken at the Gates of Moria.)
    • Helme liltea ter i ambar! Alatulya, alasse! "Friendship dances throughout the world. Hail, Pleasure!"

    Okay, I'll stop for now. That was fun.:)