Epicurus  

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Don't fear god,
Don't worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure
(Tetrapharmakos).

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Epicurus (341 BC, Samos270 BC, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the founder of Epicureanism (adj.: Epicurean), one of the most popular schools of thought in Greek philosophy. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of existence and not to be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.

Works

The only surviving complete works by Epicurus are three letters, which are to be found in book X of Diogenes Laërtius' Lives of Eminent Philosophers, and two groups of quotes: the Principal Doctrines (Κύριαι Δόξαι), reported as well in Diogenes' book X, and the Vatican Sayings, preserved in a manuscript from the Vatican Library.

Numerous fragments of his thirty-seven volume treatise On Nature have been found among the charred papyrus fragments at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. In addition, other Epicurean writings found at Herculaneum contain important quotations from his other works. Moreover, numerous fragments and testimonies are found throughout ancient Greek and Roman literature, a collection of which can be found in Usener's Epicurea.

In literature

In Canto X Circle 6 ("Where the heretics lie") of Dante's Inferno, Epicurus and his followers are criticized for supporting a materialistic ideal.

Epicurus the Sage was a comic book by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth, portraying Epicurus as "the only sane philosopher."

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Epicurus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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