Elli Moderator
  • from Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Member since Nov 24th 2017
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Posts by Elli

    Hello to all epicurean friends, :)

    I was late to answer at this thread and on the issue, as has been studied and written by our friend Don , and discussed with the rest of us, because I had a private communication with a greek person named Orestis Pylarinos who keeps everyday and with responsibility the ancient Athenian Calendar with the customs and celebrations of ancient greeks.

    Orestis Pylarinos is a mathematician, he speaks both the greek and english language, as he has studied in the US at UCLA Mathematics. In our communication, Orestis Pylarinos said to me, that he would have no problem joining this discussion as it evolves, concerning which is the right date to celebrate the birthday of Epicurus. :thumbup:

    Cassius , my friend, please inform me if it would be ok with you to announce him this website forum and his participation to it. And IF yes, please give me some instructions and info.:/


    P.S. 1. Orestis Pylarinos profile at FB in which he announces in public, the ancient Athenian Calendar is at this link. We read at this link that he refers to Epicurus birthday.


    2. And the website with the ancient Athenian Calendar is at this link:


    "τῇ προτέρᾳ δεκάτῃ τοῦ Γαμηλιῶνος" as it is mentioned by Epicurus in his Will, maybe it does not mean in the 20th day of Gamelion.

    Moreover, I read in a book that there are some academic scholars that do not take Meritts' speculations to be entirely correct concerning the ancient Greek chronology/calendar.

    The book is here: https://books.google.gr/books?id=pmxPEAAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=δεκάτη+προτέρα&source=bl&ots=um1N9lGmQ1&sig=ACfU3U2KAlKuUifHl0d3p5rtAj6DZLlxVQ&hl=el&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwik4N3lw_P7AhUn_7sIHVYjDaQQ6AF6BAgdEAM#v=onepage&q=δεκάτη προτέρα&f=false

    But anyway I think that in Epicurus phrase "τῇ προτέρᾳ δεκάτῃ τοῦ Γαμηλιῶνος" in greek adjective "τῇ προτέρᾳ" the subjective noun that is meant is the word (day/ημέρα) and if we want to be precise in the translation from ancient to new greek we place always the subjective noun in parentheses. So, this phrase by Epicurus goes like this "τῇ προτέρᾳ (ἡμέρᾳ) δεκάτῃ τοῦ Γαμηλιῶνος" and in english is: [The (day) before of 10th of Gamelion].

    E.g. from the historian Thucydides we read [ τῇ δὲ προτέρᾳ ἡμέρᾳ ξυνέβη τῆς μάχης ταύτης...]

    in english: [The day before this battle it happened...]

    Thucydides mentions the word [day/ἡμέρᾳ ] next to the word [before/προτέρᾳ].

    Αnd "προτέρᾳ" means "The day before" of 10th of Gamelion" so, IMO Epicurus points out one day before of 10th of Gamelion which is the seventh month as it is said correctly OR Epicurus points out that "προτέρᾳ" maybe means "early in this day".

    Since it would be wrong - when Epicurus used with so much clarity the greek words and the experiences/facts - to use two different dates with the same meaning.

    "ταῖς εἰκάσι" that means the 20th of every month.

    Conclusion: IMO Epicurus in his Will uses two different dates and not one and the same as the 20th. Another day (another fact of experience) was the celebration of his birthday; and another day (another fact of experience) was the celebration of memory (that usually is connected with a death, i.e here of Metrodorus) and that was of every 20th "eikas".

    So, IMO in his Will Epicurus points out clearly that when I will die too, you will have the same comemmorate date of remembrance that we were celebrating the death of Metrodorus and this is the 20th of every month.

    Concerning "eikas" this also means and something else that is very important, and as Epicurus points out too: So true/real friends we were me (Epicurus) and Mitrodorus to each other and you epicureans will celebrate our commemorate date/remembrance the same date. :)

    IMO for the word "σύνοδος" the appropriate word in english is "session" i.e. a period devoted to a particular activity.

    Also, "σύνοδος" in new greek means: a period devoted to a collective institution. For the english word "institution" in greek is "θεσμός" that means: "a habit with great importance for an individual or small or large group".

    So, IMO the appropriate translation in english could be: For the session of all my School held every month on the twentieth day to commemorate Metrodorus and myself according to the rules now in force.

    I take as correct, the last desire of the Last Will of Epicurus in which he says that his birthday was on the 10th Gamelion. Why the 10th of Gamelion? Maybe, in Epicurus era, there was a big celebration to honor all hellenic gods. And 10th of Gamelion was a favourable date of the year for a boy to be born.

    In the profile below, there is a post from the last year, in this post we read:

    "Today (12 January), Hemera Hermou [Day of Hermes - Wednesday], beginning at sundown, will be the tenth day of the lunar month of Gamelion.

    “The tenth is favourable for a male to be born; but, for a girl, the four of the mid-month.” – excerpt from Hesiod, Works and Days

    The number ten is associated by the Pythagoreans to the Kosmos, as such today is a good day to honour All the Gods, especially the Gods of the celestial beings and Zeus, King of All".

    Below is the profile at FB as they're counting the days of the months according to Ancient Hellenic Counting.

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    μένος (menos) and μήνις (mēnis)

    Yes, Don both words had to do with "anger" and both have a duration in time. The first word "menos" had to do with the anger of humans that remains for searching a revenge, and the latter word "mēnis" had to do with the anger of gods. For the word "mēnis", we use this word, in newgreek until now, when we want to describe catastrophic natural phenomena as we say, the word "theomenia". (theos=god) + mēnis. :)

    In greek texts the word "μένος" [menos] usually means rage, fury, anger.

    μένος - Ελληνοαγγλικό Λεξικό WordReference.com

    "μένος" [menos] as "strength" its meaning has to do with things. If we accept that “menos” means “strength” then we could say that the name Menoikeus means "the strength of the house". But this meaning is so vague, since Menoikeus is a person who has passions/emotions. Usually when the ancient greeks gave a name to a person, this name was based on feelings and whatever the parents wished for their children to have as characteristics and to become/behave as a person in general.

    The name Mενοικεύς (Menoikeus) consists of two words, the verb “μένω”+ “οίκος” (meno+oikos) and I have the impression that this name means: "the one who stays at his home permanently".

    Τhe antonym is "the one who is wandering around" i.e. the wanderer or in slang "the vagrant", and the antonym is "the settled", or "the resident".

    In new Greek, if we want to know by someone where is his/her home, we use the same verb "μένω" [meno], as we ask : "πού μένεις;" (pron. pou meneis?) means literally "where do you stay?" (where do you live?), where is your home/residence, where is your city and your address?

    I think for teaching the epicurean ethics to someone with the name “Menoikeus” it’s an appropriate name for him to accept more easily ethical exhortations, such as : :)

    «For it is not continuous drinkings and revelings, nor the satisfaction of lusts, nor the enjoyment of fish and other luxuries of the wealthy table, which produce a pleasant life, but sober reasoning, searching out the motives for all choice and avoidance, and banishing mere opinions, to which are due the greatest disturbance of the spirit».

    Cassius, it depends on what kind of philosophy prevails in a society! If the epicurean would prevail is inclined to the constitution of direct democracy, since on the wise man we read also: "The wise will not become a tyrant". Monarchy and Kingship are despotic regimes and usually lead to tyrany. I have the impression that Epicurus did not like Macedonians at all. Macedonians had Kings e.g. Alexander the great who had Aristotle for his teacher. Epicurus was not a teacher of kings, as we know already, but he was a teacher of common people like us. :)

    On ethics the epicurean terminology is mentioned on medicine i.e. the therapy of a disease that is spread like a plague (see Diogenis of Oinoanda inscription), and that is idealism.

    We epicureans are healers as we give the right medicine (philosophy) to patients/idealists. However, patients must ask for their therapy. If not asked bid all of them farewell, leaving them to live inside their platonic illusions and fairytales. IMO monarchy, despotism, kingship, tyranny etc are constitutions of a primitive tradition that platonism and stoicism prevail. :)

    If we examine both exhortations by Epicurus on the wise man, we see that:

    a) The wise man will give lectures in public only if asked.

    b) The wise man will serve a monarch when occasion requires.

    IMO for an epicurean to ivolve with any public political affairs, it is an issue ONLY IF is asked!

    The greek word "θεραπεύω" has several meanings e.g. a) I am in the service of someone b) I heal someone c) I appease someone for setting him in the right position.

    The word "θεραπεύω" does not mean "pay court to" since this phrase includes "flattery" and I am not quite sure that Epicurus would use this phrase with such meaning. Since, epicureans are not flatterers like Plato that was the flatterer of the King Dionysus in Syracouse. HA :P

    If you connect that the wise man will give lectures in public only IF asked, then the wise man will serve or appease or heal (through philosophical exhortations) a king only if asked. Because an epicurean feels pleasure if he corrects/heals someone OR if he is being corrected/healed by someone else. So simple, I suppose!

    Here is an historical fact of the epicurean Cineas that was a consultant/advisor to the King Pyrrhus.

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    An excerpt of a work of mine entitled "Some thoughts for the epicurean Gnoseology (The CANON)".

    <<The wise Heraclitus said these two words: “μεταβάλλον αναπαύεται» (metavalon anapavetai) i.e. “in rest is changing”, and that means we may perceive the environment and the Universe as to be static, but in the same time it is changing/moving.

    However, and as the epicurean Diogenis of Oinoanda remarks, although the reality is flowing/changing/moving, but we can perceive and pre-receive a situation of it, with our senses and feelings in the basis of the experiences along with their consequences, as we are also able to think and to describe with words what is happening in us, and around us. So with epicurean philosophy the endless doubtful that nothing can be known as Socrates said, it is wrong as well as, with the manifold way /multivalued of the epicurean Canon and in the basis of hedonic calculus it depends on whatever we are choosing it takes different values, for this the pleasures are varied, but the result and the goal is always the pleasure that its limit is : to not feel pain in the body and agitation in the soul and both at once.

    So, Epicurus unites the knowledges, as one thing, the sensed or perceptible or observable (αισθητά) along with the conceivable (νοητά) and connects both of these two, as mechanism of the materialistic brain/body in the materialistic reality, and gives the word “prolepses” that always must be testified through the senses/feelings and are transmuted to the others (i.e. are making sense) through the speech. The fact is that Epicurus insists that the meaning of the words must be grasped immediately.

    He said that you do not need so much effort to understand each other of what the words denote. You do not need endless definitions of the words, because you would end up your researches and the conversation in confusion and doubt. As he also said, you do not need to be focused to just one theory as the absolute truth, since the truth is relevant according to the experiences and circumstances of the materialistic reality and as the phenomena are proceeding and evolving. The reality is not linear of one cause and one effect, it is not predetermined. The reality and Nature is dynamic and works in the basis of many causes and many effects. So, with this, Epicurus breaks the inexorable of the Necessity and Fate and introduces the Swerve, and our autonomous responsibility to choose the best among many options for living pleasantly>>.

    Our whole organism or aggregate (as Don remarks) is a dynamic system and it is in accordance with Nature/enviroment that may seem to be in rest/static but it is changing/moving in accordance what we choose and what we avoid.

    Example: let's think that I give a great importance to the friendship and comradery without giving a great importance to the right study of Nature, to the self-sufficiency (that means freedom, bravery and generosity) and the first principle of friendship that is based on common benefit (which is enricheed with deeds and what we call trust). What kind of friendship is that and where can be found ? In Plato's imaginative ideas! :P

    Thanks :)

    Hello my epicurean friend Cassius, :love:

    I've missed all of you and our pleasant discussions. As you know I'm waiting impatiently to become a grand-mother, and I have a lot of works to do for this issue that is the most important and happiest issue in my life. :)

    My best greetings to all the epicurean friends.

    The word "weakness" , in greek is given with the word "ασθενές" [asthenes] is connected with another significant greek word that is: "μέριμνα" [merimna], in english this word is given with the words "care or providence". It is a sign of weakness to have "merimna" i.e. care or providence. So, then with this word "merimna" we go straight to the "God's providence".... and God provides... and then from this word "merimna" derives and the word "eimarmeni" and "moira" in english is "fate" and "necessity". But the epicurean ethics has nothing to do with "God's providence", "Eimarmeni", "Fate" and Necessity". These are timeless issues that come by the slavish [andrapoda] i.e. the astrologers et. al . who their only filthy job is to reinforce people fears, superstitions and conspiracy theories for the aim to control the mob.

    Epicurus insists, a blessed and indestructible being is not connected with "merimna" i.e. does not care, does not provide anything, has no needs and troubles.

    For this reason Epicurus in his letters to Herodotus and Pythocles gives us the General Picture how the whole Universe works and the causes of the phenomena that are explained always in the basis of his probabilistic-manifold way of the Canon. On the investigation of the phenomena of Nature his methodology is always scientific as he excludes any Myth e.g. that the Gods are weakness beings that care-provide and create the whole Universe and involve in our Cosmos and our matters. Since the epicurean first principles are always "the atoms and the void" that create everything that exist.

    In Epicuru's LTH we read:

    Furthermore, the motions of the heavenly bodies and their turnings and eclipses and risings and settings, and kindred phenomena to these, must not be thought to be due to any being who controls and ordains or has ordained them and at the same time enjoys perfect bliss together with immortality (for trouble and care and anger and kindness are not consistent with a life of blessedness, but these things come to pass where there is weakness and fear and dependence on neighbors).

    And in his LTP we also read:

    The signs of the weather which are given by certain animals result from mere coincidence of occasion. For the animals do not exert any compulsion for winter to come to an end, nor is there some divine nature which sits and watches the outgoings of these animals and then fulfills the signs they give. For not even the lowest animal, although ‘a small thing gives the greater pleasure,’ would be seized by such foolishness, much less one who was possessed of perfect happiness.

    From LTH : <<and in particular with the immediate or present apprehensions (παρούσας επιβολάς [parousas epibolas]) whether of the mind or of any one of the instruments of judgment, and likewise in accord with the feelings existing in us, in order that we may have indications whereby we may judge both the problem of sense perception and the unseen>>.

    As for the representational OR better as "the imaginational apprehensions of the mind"... Thanks mrs. Voula Tsouna! My representantional or imaginational apprehension of the mind - for to judge the unseen - is my insistent that Epicurus is painted in the fresco entitled : "School of Athens" by Raphael! Since, my desire that is connected with the feeling IS that I do not want my teacher to be insult anymore. And anyway, I'm waiting in a situation of ataraxia the confirmation on this issue! :)

    From David Sedley we read:

    As Cicero’s Epicurean spokesman Velleius explains, Epicurus’ godlike superiority lay above all in his powers of intellectual vision:For the same man who taught us everything else taught us also that the world was made by nature without the need for craftsmanship, and that this thing which you call impossible without divine creativity is in fact so easy that nature will make, is making and has made infinitely many worlds. Just because you [the Stoic Balbus] do not see how nature can do this without a mind, unable to develop your plot’s dénouementyou copy the tragic poets and resort to a god. You would not be demanding this god’s handiwork if you saw the measureless magnitude of space, endless in all directions, into which the mind, projecting and concentrating itself (in quam se iniciens animus et intendens), travels far and wide, seeing as a result no boundary of its extremities at which it could call a halt. In this measureless stretch of widths, lengths and heights there flies an infinite mass of countless atoms, which despite the presence of void between them stick together and by taking hold of each other form a continuous whole. And from these are made those shapes and formations of things which you think are impossible without bellows and anvil. With this thought you have placed as a yoke upon our necks a permanent overlord, for us to fear day and night [...] Freed from these terrors by Epicurus, and delivered into freedom, we do not fear those whom we understand neither to bring trouble upon themselves nor to try and make trouble for others, and with holy reverence we worship their supremely fine nature (ND, I, 53-54, 56).

    Velleius thus brings out what Epicureans can achieve for themselves if they follow Epicurus on his odyssey of the mind, and thus come to appreciate the inevitability that mere atomic accident, operating as it must do on an infinite scale, will produce worlds like our own, without the need for divine craftsmanship. That in its turn requires them to see, by mental projection, what the universe’s infinity really means.A decade or so before Cicero wrote this, Lucretius had eulogised Epicurus in similar terms (I, 62-79) as the pioneering Greek thinker who burst through the visual barrier presented by the outermost heaven –the ‘flaming walls of the world’ –to travel in thought through boundless space and discover the scope and limits of physical possibility.

    Lucretius goes on (III, 14-30) to describe how he has himself been enabled by Epicurus’ lesson to make the same mental breakthrough, and to enjoy the intense pleasure of seeing the world as entirely unthreatening. The Epicurean thought experiments, arguments and mental exercises by which this vision can be achieved are set out at length by Lucretius towards the end of his first book (I, 951-1051). For example, we are invited to imagine going to some hypothetical boundary of the universe and throwing a spear past it (I, 968-983).13Velleius, in speaking of the mind ‘projecting itself’, se iniciens, into infinite space, is capturing in Latin Epicurus’ technical term, epibole tes dianoias. A possible subtext underlying Velleius’ words is that the method of discovery which Epicurus pioneered was one which he thereby earned the privilege of naming. At any rate, elsewhere Velleius makes a similar claim about the term prolepsis(ND,I, 43-44): Epicurus was uniquely able to explain the universal human ‘preconception’ of god, having himself discovered and named this basic criterion of truth.