The Will of Epicurus - Translation By Cyril Bailey

  • The Will of Epicurus - Translation By Cyril Bailey

    I hereby leave all my possessions to Amynomachus, son of Philocrates, of the deme of Bate, and Timocrates, son of Demetrius, of the deme of Potamos, according to the form of gift to each registered in the Metroum, on condition that they make over the garden and all that goes with it to Hermarchus, son of Ageniortus, of Mitylene, and to those who study philosophy with him and to those whom Hermarchus may leave as his successors in the school, for them to live there in the pursuit of philosophy. And to those who hereafter follow my philosophy I assign the right to live in the garden, that they may assist Amynomachus and Timocrates to maintain it to the best of their power, and to their heirs, in whatever way may give the securest possession, that they too may preserve the garden, and after them those to whom the disciples of my school may hand it on.

    The house in Melite, Amynomachus and Timocrates shall assign for a dwelling to Hermarchus and to those who study philosophy with him, as long as Hermarchus shall live.

    The income of the property left by me to Amynomachus and Timocrates shall be divided by them as far as possible, with the advice of Hermarchus, for the offerings in honor of my father and mother and brothers, and for the customary celebration of my birthday every year on the tenth of Gamelion, and likewise for the assembly of my disciples which takes place on the twentieth of each month, having been established in recollection of myself and Metrodorus. Let them also keep the day of my brothers in Poseideon and the day of Polyaenus in Metageitmon, as I have done myself.

    Amynomachus and Timocrates shall take care of Epicurus, the son of Metrodorus, and of the son of Polyaenus, provided they devote themselves to philosophy and live with Hermarchus. Likewise they shall take care of Metrodorus’ daughter, and when she comes of age shall give her in marriage to one of his disciples whom Hermarchus shall choose, provided she is well-behaved and obedient to Hermarchus. Amynomachus and Timocrates shall set aside for the maintenance of these children such sum out of the revenues of my estate as shall seem good to them each year in consultation with Hermarchus.

    They shall give Hermarchus authority with themselves over the income, in order that everything may be done in consultation with the man who has grown old with me in the study of philosophy and has been left by me head of the school. The dowry for the girl, when she comes of age, shall be apportioned by Amynomachus and Timocrates, who shall take a suitable sum from the capital with the approval of Hermarchus. They shall also take care of Nicanor, as I have done, to show that those who have studied with me and have met my needs from their own resources and shown me every mark of friendship and elected to grow old with me in the study of philosophy, may not lack for anything that is necessary, as far as lies in my power.

    They are to give all the books that belong to me to Hermarchus. And if any mortal chance befall Hermarchus before Metrodorus’ children come of age, Amynomachus and Timocrates shall as far as possible provide all that is necessary from the income of my estate, if the children are well-behaved. They shall carefully carry out all my other arrangements, so that each may be fulfilled as far as possible. Of my slaves I set free Mys, Nicias and Lycon, and I also set Phaedrium free.