Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene by Simeon Solomon (1864)

Original Image: Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene by Simeon Solomon (1864)


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“…institutionalized deviance in the form of a group secession into an alternative community (Epicureanism)….” (The Sculpted World, Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, 11)


“In place of the social rootlessness and marginality of the other philosophical schools, which were no more than subcultures, Epicureanism offered the deracinated and alienated intellectual a home in a consciously constructed community that embodied a genuinely positive and legitimate alternative to the dominant culture of Greece.” (The Sculpted World, Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, 52)


“Just as new, and in keeping with this spirit [of a light, warm, and humane emphasis on pleasure and toleration of the active pleasures of sex, food, and physical beauty] is Epicurus’ attempt to create an alternative community for philosophers in which normal life could be pursued along with philosophy. Philosophy no longer criticizes or serves the dominant culture; it turns its back on it, secedes from it, and, most importantly, puts something positive in its place. […] the Epicurean alternative was attractive, indeed.” (The Sculpted World, Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, 61)


“…tired of accepting the low status assigned to them by the dominant culture and of the stresses of social alienation and intellectual skepticism, for it was this group that was doubtless most aware of the existence and nature of Epicureanism, if only through their teachers’ polemical attacks on it. Nevertheless, Epicureanism undoubtedly also appealed to other groups in Greek society, and especially to groups such as free women, hetairai, and slaves, who were not traditionally admitted into philosophical schools.” (The Sculpted World, Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, 65)


“…he [Epicurus] was so attractive to social and legal outcasts like prostitutes and to the demoralized youth of early Hellenistic society. It is precisely such unfortunates who would most need and find comfort in his philosophical family.” (The Sculpted World, Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, 206)