Featured KURIAI DOXAI, a Compilation of Translations by Nathan H. Bartman (2021) 9.0.1

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This compilation contains 150 years worth of English translations of the "Key Doctrines" of Epicurus.

A compilation of translations of the Kuriai Doxai, the "Principal", "Key", or "Authorized Docrtines" by Epicurus, containing the contributions of Charles Duke Yonge (1853), William Wallace (1880), Robert Drew Hicks (1910), Cyril Bailey (1926), Norman W. De Witt (1954), R. M. Geer (1964), A. A. Long &, D. N. Sedley (1987), Eugene O'Connor (1993) Brad Inwood & Lloyd P. Gerson (1994), Erik Anderson (2004), Odysseus Makridis (2005), Peter Saint-Andre (2008), George K. Strodach (2012), Pamela Mensch (2018), and Stephen White (2021).

Please post comments, suggestions, proposed corrections, etc. to THIS thread (which is more easily searchable from the main Home page: Kuriai Doxai - A Compilation of Translations by Nathan Bartman


  • Version 9.0.1

    William Wallace's dozen-or-so translations of the KD, as presented in Epicureanism (1880) have been included.

  • NOTE: Please post comments and other issues for discussion in THIS thread: Kuriai Doxai - A Compilation of Translations by Nathan Bartman

  • Nate thanks again for all this work! So:

    KHARISI - ΧAΡΙΣΙ - χάρισι - /'kʰa.riːsiː/ - a loan word from Biblical Hebrew, traceable to proto-Hellenic kʰ əřřō (“to rejoice”) meaning “favor”, “goodwill”, “gratitude”, thanks”. Χάρισι is used in the Septuagint (the frst Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanakh written around the mid-200s BCE) to mean “YHWH's good grace” or “YHWH's will”. The chose to employ this word demonstrates that not only was Epicurus familiar with the theology of the “Chosen People”, but additionally, he dedicated his frst Doxa to directly refuting the proposition that God would chose one people over another.

    That's a lot of interesting information. Do you have sources you can point to that would help people who would like to research that aspect further?

    • I've found conflicting sources. There is an ancient Greek root documented since Hesiod which suggests that the concept was available to Greeks regardless of any Hebrew influences. That said, I have another source claiming that the grammatical inflection is a reflection of the Hebrew root and not the proto-Hellenic one, so I'm working that out for future updates.

    • Thanks Nate! If you are able to come up with any kind of chain of commentators eventually that would be great to add. I'm sure I am not the only one who is fascinated if we can find direct back-and-forth between the Epicureans and the Judeo-Christian line. I know our friend Don's interest doesn't rise quite to the level of DeWitt's interest in the topic, but I suspect even Don would be interested! ;)

    • I must have mis-read something and put the wrong dots together. The Septuagint is the very beginning of a cultural interaction between Hebrews and Greeks according to widely available sources ... this surprises me, but it must have been my imagination. Wiktionary was very specific about its status as a pure loan word, but ... records from Hesiod firmly refute that.

      At this point, I'm more interested in answering the question, "Were Jews and Zoroastrians functionally unknown to Athenians before the expansion of the Macedonian Empire? I (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the Middle Eastern monotheists would have had much more influence on world culture by 300 BCE than I'm able to justify giving them credit for now.

      Like 1
    • Probably not necessary for me to say so but I second and agree that these connections are of great interest and worth pursuing. I think that's why DeWitt emphasized the Christian parallels - it helps build interest in a lot of people to see how their own "current" religious traditions intersect with the Epicurean. I definitely think DeWitt's references to Epicurus being considered one of the prototypes of the "antichrist"

      Thanks 1
  • Yes, yes, yes!! Thank you for all this work!

    Like 2