New Audio Version of Torquatus' Presentation of Epicurean Ethics - Read By Joshua

  • We've now prepared an advanced draft of a new recording of the major presentation on Epicurean Ethics by "Torquatus" in Book One of CIcero's "On Ends" - with Joshua reading it for us.

    It's taken a lot of work for us to get this far, and we want to be sure that there are no significant mistakes in it before we promote it to the world at large outside of EpicureanFriends.

    If you get a chance, please listen and let us know if you catch anything that needs improvement. There are no doubt some editing glitches that aren't Joshua's fault, but they should be minor.

    Let us know any issues that you run into and we'll see about fixing this before final release.

    This Torquatus material is perhaps the most clear and extensive explanation of Epicurean ethics anywhere. It's even more extensive and specific that Epicurus' own "Letter to Menoeceus," so this audio version should prove to be very helpful in acquainting more people with the details of the philosophy.

    After we get this in final form we can post to Youtube and other places, but let's check it out first. Let us know your comments. I think you will be very pleased with Joshua's version!

    Torquatus' Presentation of Epicurean Ethics - Read By Joshua : : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    An Audio Reading of Torquatus' presentation of Epicurean Ethics from Cicero's On Ends (Book One).

  • The only minor issue I hear so far as that at 35:36 it sounds like the word is being read as "undefined" instead of "undefiled."

    An easy fix, but let's see if others report other questions before we do a new cut on that section.

    I have listened to this several times now and I have to say I think Joshua's version is outstanding!


    At 4:30 we need to smooth the transition so that it is clear that "And there is a difference..." Is a related but separate and new thought.

    At 41:57 there is a slight pacing / emphasis issue. The "THEN ONLY" should be set off for emphasis so that it is clear that THEN ONLY (if we trust the senses) will conception and perception be possible.....

  • Kalosyni and profkesarsarwara (and this is addressed to all participants here, but particularly to newer ones like Kalosyni and Kesar):

    It seems to me that the presentation of Epicurean philosophy in this excerpt from "Torquatus" is probably one of the best ways to get a quick handle on the major aspects of Epicurean ethics, so I would very much appreciate it if the two of you can find the time to listen and comment here in this thread.

    I would like to start featuring this recording on the home page and in "advertising" as quite possibly the best introduction to Epicurean philosophy out there in audiovisual form, so if you guys have comments or questions about any aspect of it those would be particularly valuable as we refine it.


  • I hope you will forgive me, but I do have a preference for the printed word. I process things much more easily visually rather than auditorialy.

    If you could please post a link to the text document I would greatly appreciate it :)

  • We are very pleased to be able to present to you, here at the end of 2021, one of the best and most helpful audio presentations of an ancient Epicurean text available anywhere.

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    The "Torquatus" narrative of Epicurean Philosophy found in Book One of Cicero's "On Ends" is probably the most detailed and important summaries of Epicurean Ethics that survives from the ancient world. In important respects it is more detailed and clear than even Epicurus' own "Letter to Menoeceus." Perhaps that ought not be surprising, given that Epicurus' letter was apparently written to a younger member of his own school, who presumably already understood the basics of Epicurus' views. The Torquatus narrative, on the other hand, represents itself to be an argument sufficient to refute the opposition of one of the most educated Roman "Academic / Stoics of his time, - the highly educated Marcus Tullius Cicero, Senator and former Consul of Rome. Cicero prepared this material for us as part of his campaign against Epicurus, but in doing so he preserved for us some of the most important evidence we have of Epicurus' true viewpoints.

    This audio version of Torquatus was recorded by Joshua, who is a regular panelist of the "Lucretius Today" podcast. Joshua's excerpt needs little introduction, as the subject will be immediately familiar to all students of Epicurus. Torquatus takes us deep into the rationale of Epicurus' designation of Pleasure as the goal of life, and sets forth in detail the Stoic/Platonic error of placing the highest good in "Virtue." The student of Epicurus looking for a clear and concise presentation of Epicurus' ethical doctrines can hardly find a better place to start, or to coordinate his or her more detailed studies, than this material direct from the ancient world.

    Many thanks to Joshua for the effort he put into producing this for the free benefit of all students of Epicurus. You can hear more from Joshua in his regular appearances on the "Lucretius Today" podcast, and learn much more about Epicurean philosophy, at, where links are always available to find the podcast for free on all major podcast platforms.

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  • Kind praise, Cassius, but I must turn some of it your way: thank YOU for your work in doing the final editing and publication; and, of course, for the numberless hours you have given in the maintenance of this platform, and in support of that school "which," in the hopeful words of Diogenes Laertius, "while nearly all the others have died out, continues for ever without interruption".

  • You are welcome! I think over time this is going to be downloaded MANY times and will be extremely helpful in many ways.

    I wouldn't be here but for Charlton Griffin's reading of Lucretius, and there will end up being lots of people (I bet) who finally have the light switched on in their minds about Epicurus' views on many subjects (not the least of which is the relationship of virtue and pleasure) by listening to you read Torquatus!