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  • Why do we have three different birthdates for Epicurus? The 7th “Epicurus was born (as Laertius relates out of the Chronology of Apollodorus) in the 3rd year of the 109th Olympiad, the 7th day of the month Gamelion” (Gassendi, Epicurus, His Life and Doctrine 106, 1660) “[F]or he was born on the 7th and dy’d on the 10th of the Month Gamelion” (Stanley, The History of Philosophy: Volume 3, 122, 1660) “[A]fter the death of Epicurus they were to be perpetuated in memory of himself […] the anniversar…
  • "Sloppy commentary" is exactly right. I think this is what happens when secondary sources cite each other over source material. It seems to me that Epicurus' birthday may have been posthumously celebrated (after centuries) on the 20th as an extension of the monthly Eikas celebration. That, however, does not mean that he was born on the 20th of Gamelion, only that his birthday was celebrated in accordance with the monthly Eikas festival. I am comfortable ruling out the 20th as a reflection of his…
  • I note that Diogenes documents both dates (the 7th and the 10th) within one page of each other, the first one being a citation to Apollodorus, and the second being a citation of Epicurus' Last Will: “He was born, according to Apollodorus in his Chronicles, in the third year of the 109th Olympiad, during the archonship of Sosigenes, on the seventh day of the month of Gamelion, seven years after the death of Plato" (498). And then, one page later, "[T]he customary celebration of my birthday each y…