Epicurus and the Pleasure of the Stomach

  • Here is an interesting read I just stumbled upon -- chapter four in a book called "Meals Matter: A Radical Economics Through Gastronomy" by Michael Symons. With this link it appears one can also scroll back to the start of the chapter. The author has an interesting way of interweaving the philosophy. (I haven't yet read all of the chapter, but wanted to share it right away).

    Meals Matter

  • The first two-thirds of this chapter (link in the above post) is very good, and highly recommend it -- it brings forward the idea that food, the table, and social eating was of primary importance in Epicureanism. Some excerpts:

  • The Epicurus quote is from Seneca's letter 19:

    Moral letters to Lucilius/Letter 19 - Wikisource, the free online library

    Ut se res habet, ab Epicuro versura facienda est. 'Ante' inquit 'circumspiciendum est cum quibus edas et bibas quam quid edas et bibas; nam sine amico visceratio leonis ac lupi vita est.'

    Google translate: As things stand, the verses must be made by Epicurus. 'Before,' he says, 'it is necessary to consider with whom you eat and drink, rather than what you eat and drink; for without a friend the entrails of a lion and a wolf are life.'

    I assume he's talking about lions and wolves eating other animals entrails (visceratio)?

    Well, that certainly gives another spin on it! I really need to learn Latin. Who has a better grounding in Latin to provide an alternative translation?

    "Thou art (saith (Epicurus)) to take care with whom thou eatest and drinkest before thy meate, then what thou eatest and drinkest: for a plentifull and fleshie feast without a friend, is the life of a Lion or a Wolfe. "

    The workes of Lucius Annæus Seneca, both morrall and naturall Containing, 1. His bookes of benefites. 2. His epistles. 3. His booke of prouidence. 4. Three bookes of anger. 5. Two bookes of clemencie. 6. His booke of a blessed life. 7. His booke of the…

  • Kalosyni please consider posting more if you read further in the book! I read a short article some time ago by (I think) the same author. I enjoyed the article and was curious how the author was going to develop his ideas. I also think we have a thread on that: I'll see if I can find it.

  • Here it is: