Back of Book - Epicurus as a Modern Best-Selling Author

"What blessings that book creates for its readers and what peace, tranquillity, and freedom it engenders in them, liberating them as it does from terrors and apparitions and portents, from vain hopes and extravagant cravings, developing in them intelligence and truth, and truly purifying their understanding, not with torches and squills and that sort of foolery, but with straight thinking, truthfulness and frankness." (Lucian, Passing of Peregrinus)

When human life, all too conspicuous,

Lay foully groveling on earth, weighed down

By grim Religion looming from the skies,

Horribly threatening mortal men, a man,

A Greek, first raised his mortal eyes

Bravely against this menace. No report

Of gods, no lightning-flash, no thunder-peal

Made this man cower, but drove him all the more

With passionate manliness of mind and will

To be the first to spring the tight-barred gates

Of Nature's hold asunder. So his force,

His vital force of mind, a conqueror

Beyond the flaming ramparts of the world

Explored the vast immensities of space

With wit and wisdom, and came back to us

Triumphant, bringing news of what can be

And what cannot, limits and boundaries,

The borderline, the benchmark, set forever.

Religion, so, is trampled underfoot,

And by his victory we reach the stars. (Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Book I)

"The <<after-death>> doesn’t matter to us at all! […] Again prevails Epicurus!" [Nietzsche, Dawn, 72-34]

"Yea! I’m proud to enjoy what […] I hear and read in Epicurus, the Mediterranean joy of antiquity. […] The wisdom had taken some steps forward with Epicurus, but then it went many thousand steps backward." (Nietzsche, The Joyous Science, 45)

"As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. Epictetus indeed, has given us what was good of the stoics; all beyond, of their dogmas, being hypocrisy and grimace." (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Short, October 31, 1819)

Comments 1

  • As per a great suggestion from Facebook, "I would love to have one of these for Lucretius!"

    Thanks 1