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Epicurus: Fragments


    ( 3 :   fragments from uncertain sources, U.396 - 607 )

Selections from the classic compilation of Hermann Usener (1834-1905)

Originally compiled and published in 1887. This arrangement produced by Erik Anderson, 2005, 2006, in consultation with translations from a wide variety of sources.


← Fragments 219 - 395


IV. Ethics

[ U396 ]

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, VI.9:

For when he saw that whatever men’s needs demanded,
so far as may be, to keep their lives in safety,
was there at hand already for their use,
that men had all they could want in the way of wealth
and honor and praise, and pride in successful children;
Yet, at home each was perpetually disquieted
and the mind was enslaved by all its bitter complaints;
He understood that the trouble was in the container
and because of some flaw in it, everything would go bad
no matter how many excellent things were put into it:
Partly because there were holes and things flowed through them
and there was no possibility of filling it up,
And partly because what did get in was spoiled,
so to speak, by the nauseous taste there was inside.
 
The truth was what he used to purify hearts with
and he set a limit to fear as to desire;
He explained what it is that all of us really want
and showed us the way along a little path
which makes it possible for us to go straight there.

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.2.54:

Jars left contaminated will carry their taint to any contents whatsoever.
Spurn all delights; any joy that is purchased with pain will be harmful.
Greed is forever unsatisfied – vow to keep definite limits.

[ U397 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, I.9.29 - 19.62, (Torquatus to Cicero): (Translated elsewhere)

On the Chief Good and Evil

Saint Augustine, Against the Academicians, III.7.16, t. I, p. 281B [p. 53F Venice edition, 1719]: {Attributed to Cicero} "If Zeno or Chrysippus were asked who the wise man is, he’ll reply that the wise man is the one whom he himself has described.  In return, Epicurus or another adversary will deny this and maintain instead that the wise man is the one most skilled at catching pleasures.  And so the fight is on!  The whole Porch is in an uproar!  Zeno is shouting that man is naturally apt for nothing but virtue, which attracts mind to itself by its own grandeur without offering any extrinsic advantage and rewarded as a kind of enticement; Epicurus’ ‘pleasure’ is common only among brute animals, and to push man – and the wise man! – into an association with them is abominable.  Epicurus, like Bacchus, has called together a drunken mob from his Gardens to aid him against this onslaught!  The mob is searching for someone to tear to pieces with their long fingernails and savage fangs in their Bacchic fury.  Elevating the name of pleasure as agreeableness and calm, with popular support, Epicurus passionately insists that without pleasure nobody could seem happy."

[Cf. Saint Augustine, Sermon, 150.5-, t. V p. 713-]

[ U398 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.10.31: For the origin of the Chief Good, he {Epicurus} goes back, I understand, to the birth of living things.  As soon as an animal is born, it delights in pleasure and seeks it as a good, but shuns pain as an evil.  Creatures as yet uncorrupted are according to him the best judges of Good and Evil... 33: For proof of this, however, Epicurus cannot have gone to children nor yet to animals, which according to him hold a mirror up to nature; he could hardly say that natural instinct guides the young to desire the pleasure of freedom from pain.  This cannot excite sexual desire; the ‘static’ condition of feeling no pain exerts no driving-power, supplies no impulse to the will (so that Hieronymus also is wrong here); it is the positive sensation of pleasure and delight that furnishes a motive. Accordingly Epicurus’ standing argument to prove that pleasure is naturally desired is that infants and animals are attracted by the ‘kinetic’ sort of pleasure, not the ‘static’ kind which consists merely in freedom from pain.

Cf. Ibid., 13.109: Let us leave pleasures to the lower animals, to whose evidence on this question of the Chief Good your school is fond of appealing.

Cicero, Academica, I.2.6: Even this department of ethics, and the subject of moral choice and avoidance, that school handles quite simply, for it frankly identifies the good of man with the good of beasts, but what a vast amount of what minute precision the teachers of our school display is not unknown to you.

Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism , III.194: Hence, the Epicureans suppose themselves to have proved that pleasure is naturally choice-worthy; for animals, they say, as soon as they are born, when still unperverted, seek after pleasure and avoid pains.

Sextus Empiricus, Against the Ethicists, (Against the Dogmatists, XI) 96: Some of those who belong to the school of Epicurus, in answer to these objections {that folly is not evil by nature, and so forth}, are wont to argue that the animal avoids pain and pursues pleasure naturally and without teaching.  Thus when it is born, and is not as yet a slave to opinions, it cries and screams as soon as it is smitten by first puff of chilly air.  But if it naturally has an inclination for pleasure and a disinclination for toil, it naturally avoids pain and chooses pleasure.

Cf., Maximus of Tyre, Dissertations, III.2- [p. 30- Reiske]

Varro, On Philosophy, by way of Saint Augustine, City of God, XIX.1: "There are four things that men naturally seek, without a master and without the support of any instruction, without effort and without any art of living ... naturally, they seek pleasure, which is an agreeable activity of physical perception, or repose, the state in which the individual suffers no bodily discomfort, or both of these (which Epicurus calls by the single name of pleasure), or taking everything together, the primary wants of nature..."

Cf. Galen, On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato, V.5, t. V [p. 460 K.; 438.16 Muell.; V.5.8 De Lacy] : Epicurus saw only the kinship {oikeíosis} felt by the worst part of the soul.

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, II.20, p. 177.23: For the feeling of pleasure is not at all a necessity, but the accompaniment of certain natural needs – hunger, thirst, cold, sexual union.  Cf. Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, III.15.17; II.11.33 {Cf. U200}

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, V.25.74: Even the devotees to pleasure take refuge in evasions: the name of virtue is on their lips all the time, and they declare that pleasure is only at first the object of desire, and that later habit produces a sort of second nature, which supplies a motive for many actions not aiming at pleasure at all.

Alexander of Aphrodisia, On the Soul, II.19 f. 154r: The Epicureans held that what is first congenial to us, without qualification, is pleasure.  But they say that as we get older, this pleasure articulates itself in many ways.

[ U399 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, III.1.3: Epicurus himself declares that there is no occasion to argue about pleasure at all: its criterion resides in the senses, so that proof is entirely superfluous.

Ibid., II.12.36: {Epicurus} ... says that the verdict of the senses themselves decides pleasure to be good and pain evil.

[ U400 ]

Cicero Academica II.46.140 (Lucullus): Hear on the opposite side those who say that they do not even understand what the word "virtue" means, unless indeed we choose to give the name "moral" to what looks well with the mob: that the source of all things good is in the body – this is nature’s canon and rule and injunction, to stray away from which will result in a man’s never having an object to follow in life.

Cicero, Against Lucius Calpurnius Piso, 28.68: You have of course heard it said that Epicurean philosophers assess the desirability of anything by its capacity to give pleasure.

[ U401 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.6.15: Aristippus the Socratic had no hesitation in pronouncing pain to be the chief evil; next Epicurus lent himself quite obediently to the support of this spineless, unmanly view.

Ibid., V.9.26: ...after saying that pain is not only the chief evil, but the only evil as well... [Cf. Ibid., II.12.28; 19.44-45; V.10.31]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.33: Why, rather, do you not consider that pain might not be an evil?  Because [Epicurus] says it is the greatest of all evils.

Ibid., III.17.5: {Epicurus says} to the impatient and delicate that pain is the greatest of all evils; to the strong, that the Sage is blessed even in torments.

Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, III.195: … and pain, according to them, is a natural evil.

[ U402 ]

Lucian, The Double Indictment, 21 (Epicurus portrayed as speaking): "{Suppose that Dionysius, the Apostate} ran away to Pleasure of his own free will, cutting the meshes of [Stoic] logic as if they were bonds, because he had the spirit of a human being, not of a dolt, and thought pain painful, as indeed it is, and pleasure pleasant..."

Stoa: Do you consider pain bad?
Epicurus: Yes.
Stoa: And pleasure good?
Epicurus: Certainly so!

[ U403 ]

Plotinus, Dissertations, 30 (Aeneids, II.9), 15: For there are two schools of thought about attaining the [ethical] end.  One which puts forward the pleasure of the body as the end, and another which chooses nobility and virtue …  Epicurus, who abolishes providence, exhorts to pursue all that remains: pleasure and its enjoyment.

Cf. Scholion on Lucian, The Double Indictment, 20 [t. IV p. 209 Iac.]: The Epicureans, being atheists, used to only honor pleasure.

[ U404 ]

Alexander of Aphrodisia, Commentary on Aristotle’s "Topics," p. 9:

Galen, On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato, IV.4, t. V [p. 388 K.; p. 359.14 Muell.; De Lacy IV.4.29]: ...thus the belief that pleasure is a good, as Epicurus would have it, is a mistaken and false teaching.

[ U405 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 2, p. 1087B: So I think you are not "removing the springtime from their year," as the saying goes, but depriving these men of life, if you are not going to leave them the possibility of living pleasurably.

[ U406 ]

Antiochus of Ascalon, by way of Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies II.21 p. 178.46: Epicurus also says that the removal of pain is pleasure; and says that that is to be preferred, which first attracts from itself to itself, being, that is, wholly in motion.

[ U407 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: Two kinds of happiness are conceivable: one being the highest possible, such as the gods enjoy, which cannot be increased; the other subject to increases or decreases of pleasures.

St. Augustine, Confessions, VI.16: I argued in those days with my friends Alypius and Nebridius concerning the limits of good and evil.  Determining, in my judgment, that Epicurus should have won the garland, had I not verily believed that there remained a life for the soul after the body was dead, and the fruits of our deservings, which Epicurus would not believe.  And so I put the question: suppose we were to be immortal, and were to live in perpetual enjoyment of bodily pleasures, and that without fear of losing – why should we not then be fully happy, and wherefore should we seek for any other thing?

On Kinetic Pleasure

[ U408 ]

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, I.20.17: If Epicurus should come and say that the good ought to be in the flesh, again the explanation becomes lengthy, and you must be told what is the principal faculty within us, and what our substantial versus what our essential nature is.  Since it is not probable that the good of a snail lies in its shell, is it then probable that the good of man lies in his flesh?  But take your own case, Epicurus; what more masterful faculty do you yourself possess?  What is that thing within you which takes counsel, which examines into all things individually, and which, after examining the flesh itself, decides that it is the principal matter?

Cf. Ibid., II.23.20: Therefore, since the faculty of choice is so great, and has been set over everything else, let it come before us and say that the flesh is of all things the most excellent.

[ U409 ]

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, XII p. 546F: And Epicurus says, "The principle and the root of all good is the pleasure of the stomach; even wisdom and culture must be referred to this."

Ibid., VII p. 280A: The master of these men, indeed, was Epicurus, who loudly proclaimed… ["The principle," etc., cited above].

Metrodorus, Letter to his Brother Timocrates, fr. 13 [p. 51 Duen.], by way of Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 16, p. 1098D: {We are not called to save the nation or get crowned by it for wisdom; what is called for, my dear Timocrates, is to eat and to drink wine, gratifying the belly without harming it.}  ...  It made me both happy and confident to have learned from Epicurus how to gratify the belly properly.  ...  {The belly, Timocrates, my man of wisdom, is the region that contains the highest end.}

Cf. Plutarch, Against Colotes, 30, p. 1125A: For it is the men who look with contempt on all these things as old wives’ tales, and think that our good is to be found in the belly and the other passages by which pleasure makes her entry...

Ibid., 2, p. 1108C: ...by those who keep shouting that the good is to be found in the belly...

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 17, p. 1098D: Indeed these people, you might say, describing a circle with the belly as center and radius, circumscribe within it the whole area of pleasure...

Cicero, Against Lucius Calpurnius Piso, 27.66: It is his habit in all his discussions to attach higher value to the pleasures of the belly than to the delights of the eye and the ear.

Cf. Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 2, p. 1087B: "Oho!"  I said laughing.  "It looks as if you are going to hop on their belly and make them run for their flesh when you take pleasure away..."

Cf. Hegesippus, by way of Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, VII p. 279D (Com. IV p. 481)

[ U410 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 9, p. 1092D: As for the melting away of the mind that occurs in the expectation or on the occasion of pleasure of the flesh, this when moderate has nothing about it that is great or appreciable, and when extreme is not only unfounded and unstable but strikes us course and immodest.

Galen, On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato, IV.2, t. V [p. 367 K.; p. 337.6 Muell.]: {De Lacy ca. pg. 250}

[ U411 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 27, p. 1122E: No teacher is needed.  By themselves, these glorious smooth and agreeable movements of the flesh (as they themselves assert) call to action even one who stoutly denies and refuses to acknowledge that he unbends and turns soft in response to them.

Cf. Plutarch, Old Men in Public Affairs, 5 p. 786C: In view of these examples, do we not perceive how great are the pleasures the virtues provide, for those who practice them ... and that also without tickling or enervating them as do the smooth and gentle motions made on the body?  Those have a frantic, unsteady titillation mixed with convulsive throbbing...

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 22, p. 1087E: ... you will find that area which experiences a ‘smooth and gentle motion’ ...

[ U412 ]

Plutarch, Is "Live Unknown" a Wise Precept? 4, p. 1129B: If I intend to … "spit on noble action" and place the good in the "flesh" and in "titillations" – these rites require darkness, these require night, and for these let us have concealment and oblivion.

Cf. Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 92.6: The second kind of pleasure is simply animalistic.  We are but adding the irrational to the rational, the dishonorable to the honorable.  A pleasant physical sensation affects this life of ours; why therefore, do you hesitate to say that all is well with a man just because all is well with his appetite?  And do you rate, I will not say among heroes, but among men, the person whose Supreme Good is a matter of flavors and colors and sounds? {cf. U67}

[ U413 ]

Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, XII p. 546E: {Aristippus and his followers were not alone} in welcoming kinetic pleasure ... Epicurus and his followers did the same.  And not to enter on account of his "tempests" and his "transportations," all of which Epicurus cites many times, also the "titillations" and "stimulations" ...

Cf. Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 5, p. 1090B: {the future, like the weather, is always uncertain} so the mind that has stowed the ultimate good in a body that is in a stable condition and in expectations for the body cannot continue to the end without fear and the prospect of tempestuous weather.

Philo of Alexandria, Allegory of the Law, III.48, t. I [p. 115 Mang.]:Indeed, he who finds himself on the way of the moral progress is not in a position to reject every pleasure, but it will still be a wonderful thing that he succeeds rejecting the pleasures of the belly, that is those [???] which the lovers of the pleasure say that the means of increasing the chief pleasure is owed to the skill of cooks and [???].

[ U414 ]

Cleomedes, Lectures on Astronomy, II.1 [p. 112 Bak.] {p. 492 Bowen and Todd}: On top of everything else his mode of expression is also elaborately corrupt.  … [he] speaks of  "sacred ululations" and "titillations of the body" and "debaucheries" and other such dreadful horrors.  {c.f. above}

Ibid., [p. 113 Bak.] {p. 516 Bowen and Todd}: So will you not be off, "most brazen and shameless soul," routed from Philosophy, to Leontium, Philainis, and the other whores, and to your "sacred ululations" with Mindyrides, Sardanapalus and all your boon companions?

[ U415 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.21.68 (Cicero to Torquatus): When one argues with your friends, one has to listen to a great deal about even the grosser forms of pleasure!  Epicurus is always harping upon them!

On Katastematic Pleasure

[ U416 ]

Olympiodorus the Younger, Commentary on Plato’s "Philebus," [p. 274 Stallb.]: Epicurus, referring to natural pleasure, says that it is katastematic.

Philo of Alexandria, Allegory of the Law, III.54, t. I [p. 118 Mang.]: ... to those who say that pleasure is katastematic.

[ U417 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 3, p. 1088C: Epicurus has imposed a limit on pleasures that applies to all of them alike: the removal of all pain.  For he believes that our nature adds to pleasure only up to the point where pain is abolished and does not allow it any further increase in magnitude (although the pleasure, when the state of painlessness is reached, admits of certain unessential variations).   But to proceed to this point, accompanied by desire, is our stint of pleasure, and the journey is indeed short and quick.  Hence it is that becoming aware of the poverty here they transfer their final good from the body, as from an unproductive piece of land, to the soul, persuaded that there they will find pastures and meadows lush with pleasures.

Ibid., 4 (1088D) (Zeuxippus speaking): Why, do you not hold that that gentlemen do well to begin with the body, where pleasure first appears, and then pass to the soul as having more stability and bringing everything to perfection within itself?

[ U418 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 31, p. 1107B: It is a space like this, with pleasures so ample, pleasures of such magnitude that the surgery of Epicurus cuts out of our lives.  Not content with removing all hope of help from Heaven and all bestowal of grace, as we said, he kills the love of learning in our soul and the love of honor in our heart, and thus constructs our nature and casts it down into a narrow space indeed and not a clean one either, where the mind delights in nothing but the flesh, as if human nature had no higher good than escape from evil.

[ U419 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.20.47: Epicurus also says that pleasure does not increase when pain has been removed, and that the highest pleasure is the absence of pain.

Ibid., (47): He says that the highest pleasure is freedom from pain.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.9.28: He asserts that nothing can enhance the pleasure of freedom from pain.

Cf. Ibid., II.13.41 (Cicero to Torquatus): Hieronymus’ Chief Good is the same as that occasionally, or rather only too frequently, upheld by yourselves: freedom from pain.

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 7, p. 1091B: Oh the great pleasure and blessed state this company {the Epicureans} enjoy, as they revel in suffering no hardship or anxiety or pain! Is this not a thing to make them proud and use the language they do, when they style themselves "imperishable" and "equal to the gods" and from excess and preeminence of blessings explode in their pleasure into wild cries of rapture and ecstasy because they alone, scorning all other blessings, have discovered one as great as it is godlike, to wit, not to suffer an ill?

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.8.10: To think that the highest good is the absence of pain is surely not characteristic of the Peripatetics or Stoics but of the bedridden philosophers.  For who would not understand that this is the point discussed by the sick and those placed in some state of pain?  What is so ridiculous as to consider that which a physician can give, as the highest good?

[ U420 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 33, p. 1123A: Do you {Epicureans} not, in defiance of the experience of all mankind, affirm the absence of any mean between pain and pleasure when you say that it is a pleasure to feel no pain, in other words: that not to be acted upon is to be acted upon?

[ U421 ]

Olympiodorus the Younger, Commentary on Plato’s "Philebus," [p. 275 Stallb.]: … since Epicurus does not believe that pain is mixed with pleasure, nor indeed the bad with the good.

[ U422 ]

Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XVII 35 (after fragment 181): "We need pleasure when we are in pain because of its absence; but when we are not in this condition, and are in a stable state of sense-perception, then there is no need for pleasure.  For it is not the needs of nature which produce injustice from without, but the desire based on groundless opinions."

[ U423 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 7, p. 1091A: Not only is the basis that they assume for the pleasurable life untrustworthy and insecure, it is quite trivial and paltry as well, inasmuch as their "thing delighted" – their good – is an escape from ills, and they say that they can conceive of no other, and indeed that our nature has no place at all in which to put its good except the place left when its evil is expelled. … Epicurus too makes a similar statement to the effect that the good is a thing that arises out of your very escape from evil and from your memory and reflection and gratitude that this has happened to you. His words are these: "That which produces a jubilation unsurpassed is the nature of good, if you apply your mind rightly and then stand firm and do not stroll about {a jibe at the Peripatetics}, prating meaninglessly about the good."

Ibid., 8, p. 1091E: Thus Epicurus, and Metrodorus too, suppose {that the middle is the summit and the end} when they take the position that escape from ill is the reality and upper limit of the good.

[ U424 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 5, p. 1090A: My judgment is that ... they ought to refrain from taking the position that the "stable condition of the flesh" is the source of all delight, ...

[ U425 ]

Epictetus, fragment 52, by way of Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, IV.50:

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.6.16: Thus, just as the sea is understood to be calm when not even the lightest breath of air ruffles its waves, so too a peaceful condition of the soul is discernible when there is no disturbance of strength enough to be able to ruffle it.

[ U426 ]

Plutarch, Stoic Self-Contradictions, 2, p. 1033C:  ...that tranquility (ήσυχία) which is commended by Epicurus and Hieronymus.

Cf. Plutarch, Table Talk, III.6.4, p. 655C: {All men, my friend, do not possess} ... Epicurus’ leisure and equanimity ... {which has been provided in everlasting abundance by reason and philosophy} ... [Cf. Plutarch, Philosophers and Men in Power, 3, p. 778D]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 68.10: "Is it retirement, oh Seneca, that you are recommending to me?  You will soon be falling back upon the maxims of Epicurus!"

Tertullian, On Shows, 28: Some philosophers have given the name of pleasure to quietude and tranquility; in it they rejoice, take their ease in it – yes, glory in it.

Horace, Odes, II.16, 1-:

Peace – can purple buy it, Grosphus? Nay,
Nor gold, nor jewel.

No pomp, no lictor clears the way
Amid rabble-routs of troublous feelings,
Nor quells the cares that sport and play
Round gilded ceilings.

[ U427 ]

Baton the Comic, (t. IV p. 502 Meineke), by way of Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, III p. 103C; VII p. 279A: "Epicurus, anyhow, says that pleasure is the highest Good; everybody knows that.  You cannot have it any other way.  By living well, of course, everyone lives happily."

[ U428 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: {Among Epicurean Sages, they hold that} health is in some cases regarded as a good – for others: something indifferent.

Saint Augustine, City of God, V.20: {The Epicureans say that Pleasure demands Temperance}... lest some harmful consequence of overindulgence should interfere with health  –  which Epicureans place largely in the health of the body – and seriously hinder Pleasure.

On Peace of Mind

[ U429 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 4, p. 1088E: But when you hear their loud protest that the soul is so constituted as to find joy and tranquility in nothing in the world but pleasures of the body either present or anticipated, and that this is its good, do they not appear to you to be using the soul as a decanter of the body, and to imagine that by decanting pleasure, like wine, from a worthless and leaky vessel and leaving it to age in its new container, they are turning it into something more respectable and precious?

Ibid., 14 p. 1096C: They place the contemplative part of the soul right inside body and use the appetites of the flesh as leaden weights to hold it down.  In this they are no better than stable hands or shepherds who serve their charges with hay or straw or grass of one kind or the other as the proper food for them to crop and chew.  Do they not in similar fashion play swineherd to the soul, feeding it only on this swill of the bodily pleasures, permitting it to delight only in the hope or experience or recollection of some carnal thing, and forbidding it to take or seek from itself any pleasure or gratification of its own?

[ U430 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.30.98: You {Epicurus}, have always maintained that no one feels either pleasure or pain except on account of the body.  ... your doctrine is that there is no delight of the mind not ultimately referable to the body..

Cf. Ibid., II.33.107: The dictum of your school: all mental pleasures and pains alike are based on pleasures and pains of the body.

Cf. Ibid., II.32.106: {Cicero disputes that} mental pleasures all arise from the connection of the mind with the body.

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, III.7.7-: For what, then, are we going to feel this pleasure of the soul?  If it is for the good of the soul itself, then the essence of the good has already been discovered.  For it is impossible, if one thing be good, to justify taking delight in something else;  …  But you Epicureans ought to deny this, if you are in your right mind – otherwise you will be saying something inconsistent with both Epicurus and the rest of your doctrines.  The only thing left for you to say is that pleasure of soul is pleasure in the things of the body, and then they become matters of prime importance, and the true nature of the good.

[ U431 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 5, p. 1089D: Now first observe their conduct here, how they keep decanting this "pleasure" or "painlessness" or "stable condition" of theirs back and forth, from body to mind and then once more from mind to body, compelled, since pleasure is not retained in the mind but leaks and slips away, to attach it to its source, shoring up "the pleasure of the body with the delight of the soul," as Epicurus puts it, but in the end passing once more by anticipation from the delight to the pleasure.

[ U432 ]

Alciphron, Letters, III.55.8 (Autocletus to Hetoemaristus {"Gatecrasher" to "Prompt-to-breakfast"}): Zenocrates the Epicurean took the harp-girls in his arms, gazing upon them from half-closed eyes with a languishing and melting look, and saying that this was "tranquility of the flesh" and "the full intensity of pleasure."

(Cf. Epicurus, Principal Doctrine 9)

[ U433 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 2, p. 1087B: those people who shout, "We ever hold the table dear instead" {Homer, Odyssey, VIII 246, 248} and "every agreeable stirring of the flesh that is transmitted upward to give some pleasure and delight to the mind."

[ U434 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 66.45: We find mentioned in the works of Epicurus two goods, of which his Supreme Good, or blessedness, is composed, namely, a body free from pain and a soul free from disturbance.  These goods, if they are complete, do not increase; for how can that which is complete increase?  The body is, let us suppose, free from pain; what increase can there be to this absence of pain?  The soul is composed and calm; what increase can there be to this tranquility?  Just as fair weather, purified into the purest brilliancy, does not admit of a still greater degree of clearness, so too, when a man takes care of his body and of his soul, weaving the texture of his good from both, his condition is perfect, and he has found the consummation of his prayers, if there is no commotion in his soul or pain in his body.  Whatever delights fall to his lot over and above these two things do not increase his Supreme Good; they merely season it, so to speak, and add spice to it.  For the absolute good of man’s nature is satisfied with peace in the body and peace in the soul.

Cf. Uncertain Epicurean Author, Vol. Herc. 2, X.75 c. VIII: He who keeps goods and evils within natural limits, has already made his escape from every trouble of the soul.

[ U435 ]

Seneca, On Benefits, III.4.1: Here I must do Epicurus the justice to say that he constantly complains of our ingratitude for past benefits, because we cannot bring back again, or count among our present pleasures, those good things which we have received long ago, although no pleasures can be more undeniable than those which cannot be taken from us.
 

[ U436 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 18, p. 1099D: {Now suppose that, as they say} the recollection of past blessings is the greatest factor in a pleasant life.

Cf. Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.32.106 (at the beginning)

[Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 4, p. 1089C: It is also quite unlikely that persons of moderation and temperance should dwell on such thoughts {the memory of pleasures} and on the sort of thing with which Carneades taunted Epicurus – as if from an official journal of statistics how about "how often I had a meeting with Hedeia or Leontium," or "Where I drank Thasian wine" or "what twentieth of the month I had the most sumptuous dinner." ]

[ U437 ]

St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, 11, 38, t. IV [p. 473E Vall.]: For this reason, Epicurus’ opinion is foolish: he asserts that the ills of the present are mitigated by the memory of blessings of the past.

Ibid., 18, 65, p. 788C: ... for those who find themselves in a state of anxiety cannot in any way rejoice in their souls from past pleasures regardless of Epicurus’ erroneous theory.

Saint Augustine, Sermon, 348.3 t. V [p. 1344A Venice Edition 1719]:

[ U438 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.32.104: And again, what is the sense of the maxim that the Sage will not let past blessings fade from memory, and that it is a duty to forget past misfortunes?

[ U439 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.34.95: The whole teaching of [Epicurus] about pleasure is that pleasure is, he thinks, always to be wished and sought for in and for itself because it is pleasure, and that on the same principle pain is always to be avoided for the simple reason that it is pain, and so the wise man will employ a system of counter-balancing which enables him both to avoid pleasure, should it be likely to ensure greater pain, and submit to pain where it ensures greater pleasure; and all pleasurable things, although judged of by the bodily senses, are notwithstanding transmitted on again to the soul; and for this reason while the body feels delight for the time that it has the sensation of present pleasure, it is the soul which has both the realization of present pleasure conjointly with the body and anticipates coming pleasure, and does not suffer past pleasure to slip away: thus the wise man will always have a perpetual continuation of pleasures, as the expectation of pleasures hoped for is combined with the recollection of pleasures already realized.

On Proper Measurement of Pleasure and Pain

[ U440 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.20.46: Someone will say: "So?  Do you think that Epicurus meant that sort of thing – that his views were licentious?"  I certainly do not.  For I see that many of his utterances breathe an austere and many a noble spirit.  Consequently, as I have often said, the question at issue is his intelligence, not his morality.  However much he may scorn the pleasures he has just approved, yet I shall remember what it was that he thinks the highest good.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.10.30: The ‘kinetic’ sort of pleasure… at one moment he so disparages it that you would think you were listing to Manius Curius!

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.33.94: On this point, the disciples of Epicurus enter upon a long argument.  Those pleasures belonging to the kinds that they despise, they thoroughly belittle.  Yet all the same, they look out for a plentiful supply of them.  For obscene pleasures (about which they linger at length) are, as they say, easy to satisfy, common, and within reach of all.  Should nature call for them, the standard of value (which they think should not be birth, position or rank, but beauty, age, physical constitution) is by no means difficult to abstain from, even when health or duty or reputation are not at stake.  In general this kind of pleasure is desirable – but is never of benefit.

Cicero, On The Nature of The Gods, I.40.113 (Cotta speaking): Perhaps you will say that all these pleasures are merely trifling "titillations of the senses," in Epicurus’ words.  If so, you must be joking, Our friend Philo would never concede that the Epicureans despised the pleasures of luxury and sensuality.  He used to quote from memory many sayings of Epicurus, in the exact words of the written texts.

[ U441 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, IV.12.29: Regarding pleasure, Epicurus himself says that the smallest pleasures are often eclipsed and forgotten.

[Galen wrote two books "On the obscure pleasure of Epicurus" (c. 17 t. XIX) [p. 48 K.]]

[ U442 ]

Aristocles, by way of Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation for the Gospel, XIV 21.3 p. 769A: It is better to endure these particular pains, so that we might experience greater pleasures; and it is advantageous to refrain from these particular pleasures so that we might not suffer from more burdensome pains.

Seneca, On Leisure (to Serenus), 7.3: Thus, even this pleasure-loving sect is itself committed to action – and why not?  Since Epicurus himself declares that he will at times withdraw from pleasure, will even seek pain if he foresees that he will either regret that pleasure, or will be able to substitute a lesser pain for one that is greater.

[ U443 ]

Maximus of Tyre, Dissertations, III.3 [p. 32 Reiske; 32.3 Trapp]: "Is Pleasure really worthless?  In that case, it would not come naturally, nor be the most venerable of all the forces that promote our survival.  As for the well-worn reproaches that sophists bring against it – Sarandapallus’ luxury, and the extravagance of the Medes, and Ionian decadence, and Sicilian gourmandizing, and Subaritic dances and Corinthian courtesans – all this, and anything yet more elaborate, is not the work of Pleasure, but of artifice and calculation, as men have used their recently acquired abundance of technical resources to break Pleasure’s laws.  Just as nobody abuses Reason and says that it does not possess natural beauty, even if someone diverts its application to an end that is not naturally noble, so you should not abuse Pleasure either, rather than those who put it to bad uses.  Of these two elements in the human soul, Pleasure and Reason, Pleasure when mixed with Reason removes none of Reason’s power to compel, but adds pleasures, increases their tendency to moderation by making them easier to come by, while removing the element of compulsiveness from what is naturally pleasant.

[ U444 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.13.28: Epicurus holds that the distress which the idea of evil produces is a natural effect, in the sense that anyone who contemplates some considerable evil at once feels distress, should he imagine that it has befallen him.

Ibid., III.15.32: Epicurus supposes that all men must necessarily feel distress if they think themselves encompassed by evils, whether previously foreseen and anticipated, or long established. For according to him, evils are not lessened by duration nor lightened by previous consideration, and besides, he thinks it folly to dwell upon an evil which has still to come or maybe will not come at all; all evil, he says, is hateful enough when it has come, but the man who is always thinking a mishap may come is making that evil perpetual. But if it is not destined to come at all, he is needlessly the victim of a wretchedness he has brought upon himself; thus he is always tortured either by undergoing or by reflecting on the evil. 33: Alleviation of distress, however, Epicurus finds in two directions, namely in calling the soul away from reflecting upon vexation and in a "recall" to the consideration of pleasures. For he thinks the soul able to obey reason and follow its guidance. Reason therefore (in his view) forbids attention to vexations, withdraws the soul from morose reflections, blunts its keenness in dwelling upon wretchedness and, sounding a retreat from such thoughts, eagerly urges it on again to discover a variety of pleasures and engage in them with all the powers of the mind; and according to this philosopher the wise man’s life is packed with the recollection of past and the prospect of future pleasures. This view we have stated in our usual style, the Epicureans state it in theirs. But let us look at their meaning – let us ignore their style.

[ U445 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 29, [p. 208.25 Nauck]: "Let us neither censure the flesh as a cause of great evils nor attribute our distress to external circumstances."  Rather, let us seek their causes in the soul, and by breaking away from every vain yearning and hope for fleeting fancies, let us become totally in control of ourselves.

[ U446 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.19.44: Epicurus steps forward – in no sense an ill-meaning person, but rather a gentleman of the best intentions.  He gives advice to the extent of his ability.  "Ignore pain," he admonishes.  Who says this?  The same thinker who pronounces pain the highest evil.  This is not quite consistent.  Let us listen.  "If pain is at its highest," says he, "it must be short."  … "By at the highest I mean that which has nothing higher; by short I mean that which has nothing shorter.  I scorn a degree of pain from which a brief space of time will deliver me almost before it has come."

Cicero, On Duties, III.33.117: However many passages there are in which Epicurus speaks with proper courage in regards to pain, we must nevertheless consider not what he says, but what is consistent for a man to say who has defined the good in terms of pleasure and evil in terms of pain.

Tertullian, Apologetics, 45: So indeed Epicurus renders every pain and torment a little less frightening, declaring that a moderate pain is trifling, while a severe one is not long-lasting.

Cf. Zeno the Epicurean (Zeno of Sidon), by way of Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.17.38: "Blessed is he who has the enjoyment of present pleasure and the assurance that he would have enjoyment either throughout life or for a great part of life without the intervention of pain, or should pain come, that it would be short-lived if extreme, but if prolonged it would still allow more that was pleasant than evil."

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 78.7: Illness involves considerable physical torments.  These are made bearable by their intermittency.  For when pain is at its most sever the very intensity finds means of ending it.  Nobody can be in acute pain and feel it for long.  Nature in her unlimited kindness to us has so arranged things as to make pain either bearable or brief.

[ U447 ]

Plutarch, On How to Study Poetry, c. 14, p. 36B: Upon the words of Aeschylus, "Fear not!  Great stress of pain is not for long," we ought to remark that this is the oft-repeated and much admired statement originating with Epicurus, namely, "great pains shortly expend their force, and long-continued pains have no magnitude."

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VII.33: Of pain: "When unbearable, it destroys us, when lasting, it is bearable"

Ibid., 64: With most pains, however, call to your rescue even Epicurus, when he says that a pain is "never unbearable or interminable," so that that you remember its limitations and add nothing to it by imagination.

[ U448 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 23, p. 1103D: This is in fact the Epicurean argument for perilous disease and excruciating pain: you hope for some kind of treatment from the gods for all your piety?  You are deluded – "what is blessed and imperishable is neither vulnerable to feelings of anger nor indebtedness." {Principal Doctrine 1}  You conceive of something after this life better than what you found in it?  You are deceived – "for what is dissipated has no sensation, and what has no sensation is nothing to us."  {Principal Doctrine 2}  So why, poor fellow, do you tell me to eat and rejoice? Why else but because for you, who are laboring in the storm, shipwreck imminent: "excessive pain leads straight to death."

[ U449 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 66.47: I can show you at this moment in the writings of Epicurus a graded list of goods just like that of our own school.  For there are some things, he declares, which he prefers should fall to his lot, such as bodily rest free from all inconvenience, and relaxation of the soul as it takes delight in the contemplation of its own goods.  And there are other things which, though he would prefer that they did not happen, he nevertheless praises and approves – for example, the kind of resignation, in times of ill-health and serious suffering, to which I alluded a moment ago, and which Epicurus displayed on his famous "last and most blessed day" of his life. {cf. U138} … We therefore find mentioned, even by Epicurus, those goods which one would prefer not to experience; which, however, because circumstances have decided thus, must be welcomed and approved and placed on a level with the highest goods.

Against the School of Aristippus

Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation for the Gospel, XIV 18.31 p. 763D: Now Aristippus was a companion of Socrates, and was the founder of the so-called Cyrenaic sect, from which Epicurus has taken occasion for his exposition of man’s proper {ethical} end.

Cf. ibid., 20.13, p. 768C; Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 4, p. 1089A: The Cyrenaics … who have drunk from the same jug as Epicurus…

[ U450 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.136 (see U2); Ibid., II.87 (Aristippus): {The Cyrenaics say} that bodily pleasure is the End-Goal, according to Panaetius in his work On the Philosophical Schools, and not the static pleasure following the removal of pains, or the sort of ‘freedom from discomfort’ which Epicurus accepts and maintains to be the end.

Ibid., II.89 (Aristippus): The removal of pain, however, which is put forward in Epicurus, seems to them {the Cyrenaics} not to be pleasure at all, any more than the absence of pleasure is pain.  For both pleasure and pain they hold to consist in motion, whereas absence of pleasure like absence of pain is not motion, since painlessness is the condition of one is, as it were, asleep.

Antiochus of Ascalon, by way of Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies II.21 p. 178.43: For of those that are ruled by pleasure are the Cyrenaics and Epicurus; for these expressly said that to live pleasantly was the chief end, and that pleasure was the only perfect good. Epicurus also says that the removal of pain is pleasure.

[ U451 ]

Antiochus of Ascalon, by way of Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies II.21 p. 179.36: These Cyrenaics reject Epicurus’ definition of pleasure, i.e., the removal of pain, calling that the condition of a corpse; because we rejoice not only on account of pleasures, but companionships and distinctions; while Epicurus thinks that all joy of the soul arises from previous sensations of the flesh.

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, II.89 (Aristippus): {The Cyrenaics assert that} not all mental pleasures and pains, however, are derived from bodily counterparts.  For instance, we take disinterested delight in the prosperity of our country which is as real as our delight in our own prosperity.

[ U452 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.137: {Epicurus} further disagrees with the Cyrenaics in that they hold that pains of body are worse than mental pains; at all events evil-doers are made to suffer bodily punishment; whereas Epicurus holds the pains of the mind to be the worse; at any rate the flesh endures the storms of the present alone, the mind those of the past and future as well as the present.  In this way also he holds mental pleasures to be greater than those of the body.

Ibid., II.90 (Aristippus): {The Cyrenaics} insist that bodily pleasures are afar better than mental pleasures, and bodily pains far worse than mental pains, and that this is the reason why offenders are punished with the former.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.7.7: Epicurus thinks that the highest good is in the pleasure of the mind.  Aristippus holds that it is in the pleasure of the body.

Ibid., 8.5: That man was not wise, then, who believed that pleasure of the mind was the highest good, since whether that is security or joy, it is common to all.

[ U453 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, II.89 (Aristippus): {The Cyrenaics} do not admit that pleasure can be derived from the memory or expectation of good, which was a doctrine of Epicurus.  And because of this they assert that movements affecting the mind are exhausted in the course of time.

On the Limits of Desires

[ U454 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.9.27: For my own part, I cannot cordially approve – I merely tolerate – a philosopher who talks of setting bounds to the desires. Is it possible for desire to be kept with bounds? 28: This classification of the desires is then a subject on which Epicurus is found of enlarging. Not that I find fault with him for that – we expect so great and famous a philosopher to maintain his dogmas boldly.

[ U455 ]

Seneca, Moral Dialogs, VII, To Gallio, or On the Blessed Life, 13.4: He who follows pleasure is seen to be weakly, broken, losing his manliness, and on the sure path to baseness unless someone shall establish for him some distinction between pleasures, so that he may know which of them lie within the bounds of natural desire, and which of them sweep headlong onward and are unbounded, being all the more insatiable the more they are satisfied. 

[ U456 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.33.93: You are, I take it, aware that Epicurus has distinguished different kinds of desire, not perhaps with too much exactness, but nevertheless in a way that is of service.  In part, they are, he says natural and necessary, in part natural and not necessary, in part neither one nor the other; scarcely anything is required to satisfy the necessary pleasures, for the stores of nature are available; and the second kind of desires is, he thinks, neither hard to satisfy nor indeed hard to go without; the third kind he thought should be utterly rejected, because they were completely meaningless and so far from counting as necessary, had no relation to nature either.

Scholion on Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, III.13, p. 1118b 8 [fr. 48v Ald.]:

Plutarch, Beasts are Rational, c. 6 p. 989B: Temperance, then, is a curtailment and an ordering of the desires that eliminate those that are extraneous or superfluous and discipline in modest and timely fashion those that are necessary.  You can, of course, observe countless differences in the desires ... and the desire to eat and drink is at once natural and necessary, while the pleasures of love, which, though they find their origin in nature, yet may be forgone and discarded without much inconvenience, have been called natural but unnecessary.  But there are desires of another kind, neither necessary nor natural, that are imported in a deluge from without as a result of your inane illusions and because you lack true culture.  So great is their multitude that the natural desires are, every one of them, all but overwhelmed, as though an alien rabble were overpowering the native citizenry.  But beasts have souls completely inaccessible and closed to these adventitious passions and live their lives as free from empty illusions as though they dwelt far form the sea.  They fall short in the matter of delicate and luxurious living, but solidly protect their sobriety and the better regulation of their desires since those that dwell within them are neither numerous nor alien.

Cf. Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.49: But otherwise, insofar as one has fallen into extravagance, they say that one has a desire that is not necessary and does not arise by necessity from something that causes pain, but from something which causes distress or discomfort only by being absent, or else from delight, or wholly from empty and misleading beliefs; and such a desire does not refer back to any natural lack or to something which by its absence ruins our constitution.  Ordinary foods suffice to provide what nature necessarily requires, and because they are simple and small in quantity, they are easy to get.  Hence, {Porphyry’s own inference:} a meat-eater needs inanimate foods as well, but someone satisfied with inanimate food needs half as much, and that easy to get and needing small expense to prepare.

[ U457 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 31, [p. 209, 21 Nauck]: The love of true philosophy dissolves every anxious and painful longing.

[ U458 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.54: From causes like these, and from analogous causes, there arises an insatiable desire for longevity, wealth, money and fame, because people think that with these they will, given a longer time, increase their sum of good, and because they fear the terror of death as something without limit.  The pleasure experienced from luxury comes nowhere near the pleasure experienced from self-sufficiency; it is very pleasant to think just how little one needs.  Take away luxury, take away sexual excitement and the desire for external recognition, and what further need is there for inert wealth, which is useful to us for nothing but only weighs us down?  This is the way to be filled full, and the pleasure from this kind of satiety is unmixed.  We must also make the body unaccustomed, so far as is possible, to the pleasures of excess, but accustomed to the fulfillment which comes from satisfying hunger; we must eat in order to get through everything, and must take as our limit not the unlimited, but the necessary.  Thus it too, by self-sufficiency and assimilation to the divine, can obtain the good that is possible for it.  Thus it will be genuinely rich, measuring its wealth by the natural limit, not by empty beliefs.  Thus it will not be suspended on hopes of the greatest pleasure, without being sure of getting it; for that pleasure causes maximum disruption.  But it will be self-sufficient in what is present and in what has already happened, and will not be tormented by the thought of not remaining for longer.

[ U459 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.34.97: Similar reasoning [cf. U439] is applied to food, ad the costly splendor of banquets is belittled, because they say nature is contented with little effort.  For who does not see that need is the seasoning for all such things? [cf. Horace, Satires, II.2.70-88] 99: And yet, if nature should feel the need of something yet more savory, what a quantity of things are provided by earth and trees in ready abundance and of excellent savor!  Add dryness which follows upon restraint in diet, add unimpaired health; contrast with this, sweating, belching men stuffed with food like fattened oxen – then you will understand that those who are in hottest pursuit of pleasure are furthest from catching it, and that the pleasantness of food lies in appetite, not in repletion. [Cf. Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus, 132; Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.8.22]  35.102: Time would fail me should I wish to maintain the cause of poverty; for the matter is evident and nature herself teaches us daily how few, how small her needs, are, how cheaply satisfied.

Ibid., V.9.26: He praises pain living – that is indeed worthy of a philosopher, but only in the mouth of Socrates or Antisthenes, not of the man who can say that pleasure is the supreme good.  III.20.49: He prefers plain to a rich diet.

Cf. Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XVII.43:

[ U460 ]

Seneca, Moral Dialogs, VII, To Gallio, or On the Blessed Life, 13.1: Personally I hold the opinion – I shall express it though the members of our school may protest – that the teachings of Epicurus are upright and holy and, if you consider them closely, austere; for his famous doctrine of pleasure is reduced to small and narrow proportions, and the rule that we Stoics lay down for virtue, this same rule he lays down for pleasure – he bids that it obey Nature.  But it takes a very little luxury to satisfy Nature!  What then is the case?  … And so I shall not say, as do most of our school, that the school of Epicurus is an academy of vice, but this is what I say – it has a bad name, is of ill-repute, and yet undeservedly.

Ibid., 12.4: Those who have plunged into pleasures … they hide their debauchery in the lap of philosophy and flock to the place where they may hear the praise of pleasure and they do not consider how sober and abstemious the "pleasure" of Epicurus really is – so by Hercules, I think it is – but they fly to a mere name seeking some justification and screen for their lusts.

[ U461 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.50-: So when using philosophy one must consider food too, insofar as that school’s attentive concern allows; and when something is removed by that school because it will not authorize complete assurance, it should not be added to the provision of wealth and foods.  Philosophy, then, should be used to handle such matters, and it will immediately turn out that pursuing a minimal, simple and light diet is far better; for least disturbance comes from least.  Preparing food brings many impediments in its wake, from the weighing down of the body, from the trouble of preparation, from disrupting the sustained activity of reason about the most important principles, or from some other cause.  So preparation immediately becomes unprofitable, and cannot compensate for the disturbances it entails.

[ U462 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.51: Pain caused by hunger is much milder than pain caused by eating to excess, unless someone deludes himself with empty beliefs.

[ U463 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.51: Diversity in one’s diet not only fails to relieve the troubles of the soul, it will not even increase pleasure in the flesh.  For pleasure has limits, which is the point at which removal of pain is achieved.

[ U464 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.51-: Meat-eating does not remove any trouble from our nature, or any want which, if not satisfied, leads to pain.  The gratification it provides is violent, and is quickly mixed with the opposite.  For it contributes not to the maintenance of life but to the variation of pleasures: it resembles sex or drinking imported wines, and our nature can survive without these.  The things without which nature could not survive are small in very way and can be got easily, with justice and liberal-mindedness, tranquility and the utmost ease.  Moreover, meat does not contribute to health either, but rather impedes it.  Health is maintained by the same things through which it is acquired; and it is acquired by a very light and fleshless diet, so that must be how it is sustained.

[ U465 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.53: Epicurus rightly surmised that we should beware of food which we want to enjoy and which we pursue, but find disagreeable once we get it.  All rich, heavy food is like this, and when people are carried away by wanting it, they land in expense, illness, glut, or worry.  For this reason we should guard against excess even of simple things, and in all cases we must examine what happens as a result of enjoyment or possession, how big a thing it is, and whether it relieves any trouble of body or soul.  Otherwise, in every case, tension, such as life engenders, will arise from gratification.  We must not go beyond the bounds, but keep within the boundary and measure that applies to such things.

[ U466 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.48-: For most of the Epicureans, starting with their leader, appear to be satisfied with barley-bread and fruit, and they have filled treatises with arguments that nature needs little and that its requirements are adequately met by simple, available food.  Riches in accordance with nature, they say, are limited and easy to get; riches in accordance with empty beliefs are unlimited and hard to get {= Principle Doctrine 15}.  Disturbance caused to the body by want is well and sufficiently removed by things which are easy to get, which have the simple nature of fluid and dry.

St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, II.11 t. II [p. 340C Vall.]: Epicurus, the defender of pleasure, in all his books speaks of nothing but vegetables and fruits; and he says that we ought to live on cheap food because the preparation of sumptuous banquets of flesh involves great care and suffering, and greater pains attend the search for such delicacies than pleasures the consumption of them. Our bodies need only something to eat and drink. Where there is bread and water, and the like, nature is satisfied. Whatever more there may be does not go to meet the wants of life, but are ministers to vicious pleasure. Eating and drinking does not quench the longing for luxuries, but appeases hunger and thirst. Persons who feed on flesh want also gratifications not found in flesh. But they who adopt a simple diet do not look for flesh. Further, we cannot devote ourselves to wisdom if our thoughts are running on a well-laden table, the supply of which requires an excess of work and anxiety. The wants of nature are soon satisfied: cold and hunger can be banished with simple food and clothing.

[ U467 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.5: One who is too stingy learns [from Epicurus] that life can be endured on water and barley.

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 16, p. 1097D: Now the point that even for the pleasures of the body our nature requires costly provision, and that the most pleasant enjoyment is not to be found in barley-cake and lentil soup, but that the appetite of the sensualist demands succulent viands and Thasian wine and perfumes ... and not only this, but young and attractive women  ... this point let us waive.

[ U468 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.28.90: "Come," you will say, "these are trivial objections.  The Sage is endowed with Nature’s own riches, and these as Epicurus has shown, are easy to obtain"   {cf. Principal Doctrine 16}

Ibid., II.28.91: He said that natural wealth is easily won, because nature is satisfied with little.

[ U469 ]

Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XVII.23: "Thanks be to blessed Nature because she has made what is necessary easy to supply, and what is not easy unnecessary."

[ U470 ]

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.51: The hope of lacking nothing must be with the philosopher throughout his life.  Things which are easy to get safeguard this hope sufficiently; expensive things make it a vain hope.  That is why most people, even though they have many possessions, make endless efforts because they think they will lack enough.  We are satisfied with available, simple things if we keep in mind that all the wealth in the world is not strong enough to give the soul a worthy release from disturbance, but the trouble of the flesh is removed by very moderate, ordinary things which are very easy to get. And if even things on this level fall short, that does not disturb the person who rehearses death. {c.f. U205}

[ U471 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 27, [p. 208, 2 Nauck]: It is rare to find a man who is <poor> with regard to the goal set by nature and rich with regard to groundless opinions.  For no imprudent man is satisfied by what he has, but rather is distressed by what he does not have.  So just as people with a fever are always thirsty and desire the most unsuitable things because of the malignancy of their <diseases>, so too those whose souls are in a bad condition always feel that they are totally impoverished and enmeshed in all sorts of desire as a result of their gluttony.

Athenaeus, by way of Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.12:

Oh men, you labor for pernicious ends;
And out of eager avarice, begin
Quarrels and wars. And yet the wealth of nature
Fixes a narrow limit for desires,
Though empty judgment is insatiable.

This lesson the wise child of Neocles
Had learnt by ear, instructed by the Muses,
Or at the sacred shrine of Delphi’s God.

Plutarch, On the Desire for Wealth, 4 p. 524F: ... since for men of sense natural wealth does have a limit and boundary, which is drawn around it by utility as by a compass.

Bynzantine Gnomologion [Wachsmuth, Studien zu den griechischen Florilgien, p. 197 n 189]: Wealth in accordance with nature reaches fulfillment with bread, water and ordinary shelter for the body; excess wealth, in accordance with the cravings of the soul, brings this also: afflictions of desire without end.

Juvenal, Satires, 14.316: Yet if any should ask of me what measure of fortune is enough, I will tell him: as much as thirst, cold and hunger demand; as much as sufficed you, Epicurus, in your little garden; as much as in earlier days was to be found in the house of Socrates.

Horace, Epistles, I.12.3:

Cease your complaints: no one ever is poor if his needs are supplied, and
Once all is well with your stomach, your chest, and your feet, there is nothing
More that the treasure of kings could possibly add to your riches.
 

[ U472 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.32.89: Nay, with how little is Epicurus himself contented!  No one has said more about plain living.  For take the things which make men desire money to provide the means for love, for ambition, for their daily expenditure – as he is far removed from all such things, why should he feel much need of money or rather why should he trouble about it at all?

Ibid., V.31.89: Do you think that Epicurus and the rest of the philosophers are not adequately prepared to meet all others things that are considered evil?  What man is not sorely afraid of poverty?  And yet not a single philosopher is so.

Horace, Epistles, I.10.32:

Flee grand things. A life can be lived in a poor man’s
Cottage surpassing the lives of a king or a king’s friends
 

[ U473 ]

Aelian, Various Histories, IV.13 (Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XVII.30): Epicurus, of the burgh of Gargettus, had shouted, saying: "Nothing satisfies the man who is not satisfied with a little."

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.2.46: He who happens to have enough does not desire anything else.

[ U474 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 9.20: Epicurus himself, the reviler of Stilpo, used similar language.  Put it down to my credit, though I have already wiped out my debt for the present day.  He says "Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, even if he was master of the entire world."  Or, if the following seems better-worded to you (for we must try to render meaning and not the mere words): "A man may rule the world and still be unhappy, if he does not feel that he is supremely happy."

[ U475 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 2.5: My thought for today is something which I found in Epicurus (yes, I actually make a practice of going over to the enemy’s camp – by way of reconnaissance, not as a deserter!).  "A cheerful poverty," he says, "is an honorable state."  But if it is cheerful it is not poverty at all.  It is not the man who has too little who is poor, but the one who hankers after more.

Cf. Horace, Odes, II.16.13 (below)

[ U476 ]

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, VI.2, p. 266.38: Further, as Euripides wrote: "For the temperate, enough is sufficient" {Fenicie, 554}, Epicurus expressly says, "Sufficiency is the greatest riches of all." {cf. U202}

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 28, [p. 208, 19 Nauck]: Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.

Saint Augustine, On the Utility of Faith, 4, 10, t. VIII [p. 52A Venice edition, 1719]:

[ U477 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 4.10: But I must end my letter.  Let me share with you the saying which pleased me today.  It too is culled from another man’s Garden: "Poverty, brought into conformity with the law of nature, is great wealth."  Do you know what limits that law of nature ordains for us?  Merely to avert hunger, thirst, and cold.  …  Nature’s needs are easily provided and ready at hand.  It is the superfluous things for which men sweat…

Ibid., 27.9: But let me pay off my debt and say farewell: "Real wealth is poverty adjusted to the law of Nature."  Epicurus has this saying in various ways and contexts; but it can never be repeated too often, since it can never be learned too well.

Cf. Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, V.1117:

But if anyone were to conduct his life by reason,
he would find great riches in living a peaceful life
and being contented, one is never short of a little.

Horace, Odes, II.16.13: "On little one lives well."

Horace, Epistles, I.10.39:

Fearful of poverty rather than fearful of riches, he must forfeit
Liberty, and in his greed must forever be serving a master.

Horace, Satires, II.2.1: "Values of simple and frugal existence, good friends, is my subject."

[ U478 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 28, [p. 208, 15 Nauck]: Most men fear frugality in their lifestyle and through their fear are led to actions most likely to produce fear.

[ U479 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 28, [p. 208, 17 Nauck]: Many men when they have acquired riches have not found the escape from their problems but have only exchanged them for greater problems.

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 17.11: I cannot say farewell without paying a price.  But what of it?  I shall borrow from Epicurus: "The acquisition of riches has been for many, not an end, but a change, of troubles."

[ U480 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 29, [p. 209, 5 Nauck]: By means of occupations worthy of a beast, abundance of riches is heaped up, but a miserable life results.

[ U481 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 28, [p. 208, 23 Nauck]: "Therefore they {the philosophers} exhort us to practice not how we must provide for some necessity, but how we will remain secure when it is not provided."

Porphyry, On Abstinence, I.50: What one must do, the Epicureans say, is not to gather together the necessities of life and add philosophy as an accessory, but to provide for genuine assurance of soul and then deal with daily needs.  We entrust our concerns to a bad manager if we assess and provide what nature needs without the help of philosophy.

[ U482 ]

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, III.7.15: {deriding Epicureanism}  Now wealth is a good, and when it comes to pleasures is, so to speak, the thing must productive of them.  Why should you not acquire it?

[ U483 ]

Hermias, Commentary on Plato’s "Phaedrus," p. 76: Some, in fact, consider love to be absolutely bad, defining it as an intense craving for carnal pleasure, united with frenzy and disquietude.

Alexander of Aphrodisia, Commentary on Aristotle’s "Topics," p. 75 (= Suda under "eros," {?-?}, [p. 535, 14 Bernh.]):

Cf. Scholiast on Dionysius Thrax {"Dionysius the Thracian"}, The Art of Grammar, [p. 667, 13 Bekk.]: The Epicureans define love as an intense craving for carnal pleasures.

[ U484 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 18.14: It’s time I started wrapping up this letter. "Not till you’ve settled your account," you say. Well, I’ll refer you to Epicurus for payment: "Anger carried to excess begets madness." How true this is you’re bound to know, since you have had not only slaves, but also enemies.

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.2.62:

Rage is but madness in shorter duration; your temper must either
Bend to your will or bend you, so control it with chain or with bridle.
 

Apollonius, by way of Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XX.49: The flower of hot-temperedness is folly.

On Rational Living

[ U485 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 29, [p. 208.30 Nauck]: Unhappiness comes either through fear or through vain and unbridled desire: but if a man curbs these, he can win for himself the blessedness of wisdom.

[ U486 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 31, [p. 209.19 Nauck]: "Pain does not consist in lacking the goods of the masses, but rather in enduring the unprofitable suffering that comes from empty false opinions."

[ U487 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 12.10: What could be more splendid than the following saying which I’m entrusting to this letter of mine for delivery to you: "To live under constraint is a misfortune, but there is no constraint to live under constraint."  Of course not, when on every side there are plenty of short and easy roads to freedom there for the taking…  You protest: "It was Epicurus who said that!  What business have you got with someone else’s property?" Whatever is true is my property.  And I shall persist in inflicting Epicurus on you, in order to bring it home to people who take an oath of allegiance to someone and never afterward consider what is being said but only who said it, that the things of greatest merit are common property.

Cf. Maximus of Tyre, Dissertations, III.10 [p. 45 Reiske]: What, then, is more painful than necessity?

[ U488 ]

Gnomolgion from the Parisinus codex, 1168, f. 115 (Maxims of Epicurus): The crude soul is puffed up by prosperity and cast down by misfortune.

[ U489 ]

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 30, [p. 209.12 Nauck]: "Nature also teaches us to regard the outcomes of fortune of little account and to know how to face misfortune when we are favored by fortune, but not to consider the favors of fortune important when we experience misfortune.  And Nature teaches us to accept, unperturbed, the good outcomes of fortune, while standing prepared in the face of the seeming evils which come from fate.  For all that the masses regard as good is a fleeting fancy, but wisdom and knowledge have nothing in common with fortune."

Cf. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.3.8 [U604]: Shall we allow this man ... to be forgetful of himself and be disdainful of fortune at the moment when all that he holds good and evil is at fortune's disposal?

[ U490 ]

Plutarch, On Peace of Mind, 16 p. 474C: "He who has least need of tomorrow," as Epicurus says, "most gladly rises to greet tomorrow."

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.4.13:

Believe that each day which breaks is your last,
Then you will find your delight in another ones rising unhoped for.

[ U491 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 15.10: … a striking maxim that comes from Greece – here it is: "The life of folly is empty of gratitude and full of anxiety – it is focused wholly on the future."  "Who said that?" you ask.  The same man as before. {Epicurus}

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.18.110: "I do not dangle in air like a leaf with my hopes all uncertain."

Horace, Odes, II.16.25:

If the present moment contents you, never
Mind the future, temper unpleasant things with
Quiet smiles...

Ibid., I.11.8:

Even as we now talk.
Harvest this day, {"Carpe Diem"}
discount tomorrow’s gains.

Horace, Odes, II.16.17:

Why, in life’s brief span,
Do we bravely fight for man things?

Ibid., I.4.15:

Briefness of lifespan forbids us
To open a long-range hope’s investment.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.38: [Epicurus says, in effect:] "Let us serve pleasure, then, in whatever way we can, for in a short time we will be nothing whatsoever.  Let us suffer no day, therefore, no point of time to flow by for us without pleasure, lest, since we ourselves are at sometime to perish, the very fact that we live may perish."  Although he does not say this in so many words, however, he teaches this is fact.

[ U492 ]

Uncertain Author, Vol. Herc. 2, X.74 col. VI: Among mortal men, there is no one who can escape death.  And indeed, seeing that everyone, as Epicurus says, from the very moment of birth remain for a certain time …

[ U493 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 23.9: Now is the time for me to pay my debt.  I can give you a saying of your friend Epicurus and thus clear this letter of its obligation: "It is bothersome always to be beginning life."  Or another, which will perhaps express the meaning better: "They live unwell – those who are always beginning to live."  You are right in asking why – the saying certainly stands in need of commentary.  It is because the life of such persons is always incomplete.

[ U494 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 13.16: But now, to close my letter, Have only to stamp the usual seal upon it, in other words, to commit thereto some noble message to be delivered to you: "The fool, with all his other faults, has this also: he is always getting ready to live."  Consider what this maxim means … and you will understand how revolting is the fickleness of men who lay down every day new foundations of life, and begin to build up fresh hopes even at the brink of the grave.  … I should not name the author of this motto, except that it is somewhat unknown and is not one of those popular sayings of Epicurus which I have myself to praise and to appropriate.

[ U495 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 22.13: … and lo, here is [a maxim] that occurs to my mind; I do not know whether its truth or its nobility of utterance is the greater.  "Spoken by whom?" you ask.  By Epicurus; for I am still appropriating other men’s belongings.  The words are: "Everyone goes out of life just as if he had but lately entered it."  Take anyone off his guard, young, old , or middle-aged; you will find that all are equally afraid of death, and equally ignorant of life.  No one has anything finished, because we have kept putting off into the future all our undertakings.  No thought in the quotation given above pleases me more than that it taunts old men with being infants. "No one," he says, "leaves this world in a different manner from one who has just been born."  That is not true; for we are worse when we die than when we were born; but this our fault, and not that of Nature.

Cf. Pseudo-Plato, Axiochus, p. 365D: Indeed Axiochus, you confound lack of sensation with sensations in an irrational way.  You invent and say incoherent things, without thinking that, in the meanwhile, you cause yourself suffering by the lack of sensibility, and you cause yourself sorrow by the despoilment and privation of pleasures, as if you were dying to live another life, and would not change your condition of total insensibility – the same as it was before your birth.  How, then, since the time of the rule of Dracon and Cleisthenes have you not suffered a single evil?

Plutarch, A Letter to Apollonius, 15 p. 109E: Those who have died return to the same state in which they were before birth; therefore, as nothing was either good or evil for us before birth, even so will it be with us after death.  And just as all events before our lifetime were nothing to us, even so will all events subsequent to our lifetime be nothing to us.  …  For the condition after the end of life is the same as that before birth.

[ U496 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 24.22: Epicurus criticizes those who crave, as much as those who shrink from death: "It is absurd," he says, "to run towards death because you are tired of life, when it is your manner of life that has made you run towards death."

[ U497 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 24.23: To these thoughts {= U496 & U498} you may add a third, of the same stamp: "Men are so thoughtless, nay, so mad, that some, through fear of death, force themselves to die."

Cf. Plutarch, A Letter to Apollonius, 15 p. 110A: As a matter of fact, many people, because of their utter fatuity and their false opinion regarding death, die in their effort to keep from dying.

[ U498 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 24.23: Epicurus says ... in another passage: "What is so absurd as to seek death, when it is through fear of death that you have robbed your life of peace?"

[ U499 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.40.117: Let everything be piled up on one single man so that he loses together sight and hearing, suffers too the most acute bodily pains – these, in the first place, commonly finish off a man just by themselves.  But if, maybe, they are indefinitely prolonged and torture him nevertheless, more violently than he sees reason for enduring, what reason have we, gracious heaven, for continuing to suffer?  For there is haven close at hand, since death is at the same time an eternal refuge where nothing is felt. … 41.118: For my part, I think that in life we should observe the rule which is followed at Greek banquets – "Let him either drink," it says, "or go!"  And rightly, for either he should enjoy the pleasure of tippling along with the others or get away early, so that a sober man may not be a victim to the violence of those who are heated with wine.  Thus by running away one can escape the assaults of fortune which one cannot face.  This is the same advice as Epicurus gives and Hieronymus repeats it in as many words.

[ U500 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 23, p. 1103E: ... this most sage and divine doctrine: that the end of the soul’s troubles is to be destroyed and perish and be nothing.

Ibid., 23, p. 1103C: Those who do not experience this {good fortune as divine providence} amputate the greatest pleasure of prosperity, while in misfortune they leave themselves no source of help.  They can see but one haven of refuge in adversity: dissolution, and the loss of all sensation.

Ibid., 27, p. 1105A: For the doctrine that goes "what is dissipated has no sensation, and what has no sensation is nothing to us" {Principal Doctrine II} does not remove the terror of death, but rather confirms it by adding what amounts to a proof.  For this is the very thing our nature dreads: "May all of you be turned to earth and water," {Homer, Iliad, IX 408-409} i.e., the dissolution of the soul into what has neither thought nor feeling.  Epicurus, by making the dissolution a scattering into emptiness and atoms, does still more to root out our hope of preservation.

Ibid., 29, p. 1106B: To those, on the other hand, who hold that life comes in the end to insentience and dissolution...

Ibid., 29, p. 1106C: So the doctrine of Epicurus promises the wretch no very happy relief from adversity, only the extinction and dissolution of his soul.  But from the prudent and wise and those who abound in all good things it takes away all cheer by altering their condition from blissful living to not living or being at all.

Saint Augustine, Letter 104 Letter to Nectarius, 3, t. II [p. 290C Venice edition, 1719]: What I have read in your literature is more like this: that the life itself which we enjoy is brief, yet you think and you maintain it as a common saying that there can be eternal loss in this life.  It is true that some of your authors consider death as the end of all misfortune, but not all of them; it is chiefly the opinion of the Epicureans and those who think the soul is mortal.

[ U501 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 30, p. 1106D: Nevertheless, they assert that when the foreboding of incessant evils to which no period is appointed is dispelled, they are left with a benefit that is in the highest degree assured and pleasant – the thought of release – and that is done by Epicurus’ doctrine when it terminates the fear of death with the dissolution of the soul.

[ U502 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 30, p. 1107A: And if, as Epicurus imagines, for most people the process of dying is painful, the fear of death is quite beyond any comfort, since death ushers us through misery to loss of every good.

[ U503 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 30.14: He {Aufidius Bassus, an elderly friend} often said, in accordance with the counsels of Epicurus: "I hope, first of all, that there is no pain at the moment when a man breaths his last; but if there is, one will find an element of comfort in its very shortness.  For no great pain lasts long.  And at all events, a man will find relief at the very time when should and body are being torn asunder, even though the profess be accompanied by excruciating pain, in the thought that after this pain is over he can feel no more pain.  I am sure, however, that an old man’s soul is on his very lips, and that only a little force is necessary to disengage it from the body.  A fire which has seized upon a substance that sustains it needs water to quench it, or sometimes, the destruction of the building itself; but the fire which lacks sustaining fuel dies away of its own accord."   … 16: Bassus kept saying: "It is due to our own fault that we feel this torture, because we shrink from dying only when we believe that our end is near at hand."  But who is not near death?  It is ready for us in all places and at all times.  "Let us consider," he went on to say, "when some agency of death seems imminent, how much nearer are other varieties of dying, which are not feared by us."  A man is threatened with death by an enemy, but this form of death is anticipated by an attack of indigestion.

On the Virtues

[ U504 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.138: {Epicurus maintains that} we choose the virtues too for the sake of pleasure and not for their own sake, as we take medicine for the sake of health. So too in the twentieth book of his Epilecta says Diogenes, who also calls education ‘recreation.’

Seneca, Moral Dialogs, VII, To Gallio, or On the Blessed Life, 9.1: "But even you," <Epicurus> retorted, "cultivate virtue for no other reason than because you hope for some pleasure from it." But, in the first place, even though virtue is sure to bestow pleasure, it is not for this reason that virtue is sought; for it is not this, but something more than this that she bestows, nor does she labor for this, but her labor, while directed toward something else, achieves this also.

Alexander of Aphrodisia, Commentary on Aristotle’s "Topics," p. 12 {Van Ophusijsen 19.8}: There is then, among philosophical opinions, first, those which are shared by all who are wise ... that the virtues are goods; or by the majority of them, such as that virtue is choiceworthy for its own sake – even  if Epicurus disagrees – and  that happiness comes into being by virtue.

[ U505 ]

Maximus of Tyre, Dissertations, III.5 [p. 34 Reiske; 32.5 Trapp]: Since our task is to compare Virtue with Pleasure, I will not abuse Virtue, but I will say this much: if you deprive Virtue of what is pleasant in it, you will also deprive it of its practicability.  No good thing is made the object of choice in the absence of Pleasure; the man who labors virtuously labors willingly because of his affection for Pleasure, present or anticipated.  Just as in financial transactions no one willingly exchanges a talent for a drachma, unless "Zeus has stolen his wits" {Iliad, 6.234}, but such exchanges, however evenly balanced, must benefit the giver in a manner consistent with the interest of the receiver; just so in our dealings with hard work, no one labors for love of labor (what could be less desirable, after all), but instead bargains his present labors against what a more urbane commentator might call "the Good," but a more veracious one would call Pleasure – because even if you say ‘the Good,’ you mean Pleasure; goodness would hardly be goodness were it not also supremely pleasurable.  6:  I believe this whole argument can be turned around: these very considerations suffice to prove that Pleasure is more worthy of choice than all other things, since for its sake men are prepared to accept death and injuries and labors and countless other vexations.

Ibid., III.10 [p. 44 Reiske; 32.10 Trapp]: At the cost of trivial pains, you have paved the way for great pleasures.

[ U506 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.138: Epicurus describes virtue as indispensable for pleasure – the one thing without which pleasure cannot exist. Everything else (food, for instance) are separable – not indispensable to pleasure.

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.20.49: Epicurus says a pleasurable life is impossible unless accompanied by virtue.

Seneca, Moral Dialogs, VII, To Gallio, or On the Blessed Life, 6.3: And so they say that it is not possible to separate pleasure from virtue, and they profess that no one can live virtuously without also living pleasantly, nor pleasantly without also living virtuously.

Ibid., 9.4: Why do you recommend pleasure to me?  It is the good of man that I am searching for, not that of his belly, which is more insatiable than the belly of domestic or wild beasts.  "You are misrepresenting what I say," you retort, "for I admit that no man can live pleasantly without at the same time living virtuously as well, and this is patently impossible for dumb beasts and for those who measure their good by mere food.  Distinctly, I say, and openly I testify that the life that I call pleasant is impossible without the addition of virtue."

Ibid., 12.3: Let them cease, therefore, to join irreconcilable things and to link pleasure with virtue – a vicious procedure which flatters the worst class of men.  The man who has plunged into pleasures, in the midst of his constant belching and drunkenness, because he knows that he is living with pleasure, believes that he is living with virtue as well; for he hears first that pleasure cannot be separated from virtue, then dubs his vices wisdom, and parades what ought to be concealed.

[ U507 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.20.48: Epicurus has disconnected the highest good from virtue.  "Yes, he but often praises virtue."

[ U508 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 85.18: Epicurus also asserts that one who possesses virtue is happy, but that virtue of itself is not sufficient for a happy life, because the pleasure that results from virtue, and not virtue itself, makes one happy.

[ U509 ]

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, II.21, [p. 178.51 Sylb.]: Epicurus indeed, and the Cyrenaics, say that pleasure is the first duty; for it is for the sake of pleasure, they say, that virtue was introduced, and produced pleasure.

[ U510 ]

Cicero, On Divination, I.39.87: ... [Epicurus’] view that there is no such thing as disinterested virtue.

[ U511 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, IV.26.73: Epicurus, who … makes a mockery of our notions of virtuous and depraved and says we are preoccupied with words and uttering sounds empty of meaning…

Ibid., IV.26.73: The [Epicurean] philosophers hold the view that virtue in and by itself is quite ineffective.  Everything that we say is honorable and praiseworthy, they say is mere emptiness – tricked out in a sounding phrase that has no meaning.  Nevertheless they think that the Sage is always happy.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.15.48: [= U69]

Ibid., II.16.51 (Cicero to Torquatus): When you informed us that Epicurus proclaims "It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely and honorably and justly" {= Principal Doctrine 5}, your words derived potency from the grandeur of the things that they denoted.  You drew yourself up to your full height, and kept stopping and fixing us with your gaze, as if solemnly stating that Epicurus does occasionally commend morality and justice.  Were those names never mentioned by philosophers, we should have no use for philosophy; how well they sounded on your lips!

Cicero, Laelius, or An Essay on Friendship, 23.86: Even virtue itself is regarded with contempt by many, and is said to be mere pretense and display.

Porphyrio, Commentary on Horace’s "Epistles," I.17.41: Either virtue is a mere empty name…  Epicurus said that virtue is a vain and empty name, as he linked all actions to how well they consummate pleasure.

Commentary on Lucan, Pharsalia (The Civil War), IX.563: The Epicureans say that virtue is devoid of substance and is an empty name and that because of this, no one can become wise conforming to the precepts of the Stoics, but can only make promises.

Lucian, The Double Indictment, 21 (Epicurus {portrayed as defending the cause of Dionysius the Apostate}): "... hating the tedium of life with her {i.e., Stoicism), and considering as nonsense that happiness which, she says, accompanies pain..."

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, II.20.25: "Learn now how righteousness is nothing, how reverence is folly, how a father is nothing, how a son is nothing."

Himerius, Speeches, by way of Photius I, library codex 243, p. 356A 13: All virtue is lost, by the reasoning and the doctrine of Epicurus; stop the courts, due process, the rewarding of good people and the punishment of the bad.

[ U512 ]

Aetius, Doxography, XII p. 547A: And in his work On the End-Goal, he says again: "{=U70}"  And in other passages, he says "I spit upon the honorable and those who vainly admire it, whenever it produces no pleasure."

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 30, p. 1124E... and when men take for sages those who "spit on excellence, unless pleasure attends it." [c.f. 1124E @ U368]

Plutarch, Is "Live Unknown" a Wise Precept?, 4, p. 1129B: ... to live together with Leontium and "spit on noble action," and place the good in the "flesh" and in "titillations."

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 2, p. 1108C: ... those who keep shouting that the good is to be found in the belly and that they would not give a copper coin with a hole in it for all the virtues in bulk apart from pleasure.

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 13, p. 1095F: Do they not confess that they are waging war without truce or negotiation on all that is beautiful, so long as it is not pleasurable as well?  What holy and pure thing do they welcome and cherish?

[ U513 ]

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, II.22.21: So then, this will be in my interest: to keep my good faith, my self-respect, my forbearance, my abstinence, and my cooperation, and to maintain my relations with other men.  But if I put what is mine in one scale, and what is honorable in the other, then the statement of Epicurus assumes strength, in which he declares that "the honorable is either nothing at all, or at best only what people hold in esteem."

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.15.48 [= U69]; ibid., 49: Here is a famous philosopher, whose influence has spread not only over Greece and Italy but throughout all barbarian lands as well, protesting that he cannot understand what moral worth is, if it does not consist in pleasure – unless indeed it be that which wins the approval and applause of the multitude.

Idem., Cicero Academica II.46.140 (Lucullus): [= U400]

[ U514 ]

Cicero, On Duties, III.33.117: If I should listen to him, I should find that in many passages he has a great deal to say about temperance and self-control; but "the water ill not run," as they say.  For how can he commend self-control and yet posit pleasure as the supreme good?  … And yet when it comes to these three cardinal virtues, these philosophers shift and turn as best they can, and not without cleverness.  They admit wisdom into their system as the knowledge that provides pleasures and banishes pain; they clear the way for fortitude also in some way to fit in with their doctrines, when they teach that it is a rational means for looking with indifference upon death and for enduring pain.  They even bring temperance in – not every easily, to be sure, but still as best they can; for they hold that the height of pleasure is found in the absence of pain.  Justice totters, or rather I should say, lies already prostrate; so also with all those virtues which are discernible in social life and the fellowship of human society.  For neither goodness nor generosity nor courtesy can exist, anymore than friendship can, if they are not sought of and for themselves, but are cultivated only for the sake of sensual pleasure or personal advantage.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.12.37: ... the Virtues, which Reason would have in charge of all things, but you considered as the handmaids and subordinates of the pleasures.

Cf. Seneca, Moral Dialogs, VII, To Gallio, or On the Blessed Life, 13.5: To hand over virtue, the loftiest of mistresses, to be the handmaid of pleasure is the part of a man who has nothing great in his soul.

[ U515 ]

Plutarch, Stoic Self-Contradictions, 26, p. 1046E: Now if [Chrysippus] held prudence to be a good productive of happiness, as Epicurus did...

[ U516 ]

Origen, Against Celsus, V.47, [p. 270 Hoesch.]: And so too the "courage" of Epicurus is one sort of thing, who would undergo some pains in order to escape from a greater number; and a different thing for the philosopher of the Stoa, who would choose all virtue for its own sake.

[ U517 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: {The Epicurean school teaches that} courage is not a natural gift but arises from circumstances.

[ U518 ]

Origen, Against Celsus, V.47, [p. 270 Hoesch.]: ... but righteousness is shown to be one thing according to the view of Epicurus, and another according to the Stoics (who deny the threefold division of the soul), and yet a different thing according to the followers of Plato, who hold that righteousness is the proper business of the parts of the soul.

Saint Augustine, Sermon 348.3, t. V [p. 1343- Venice edition, 1719]:

[ U519 ]

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, VI.2 [p. 441 Stählin]: And again, if Aristophanes writes:

"You will have a secure life, being just
and without anxiety nor fear
you will live well,"
{Aristophanes, uncertain fragment 19, in Mein., Greek Comics, II p. 1181}

... Epicurus says "The greatest fruit of justice is peace of mind."

[ U520 ]

Plutarch, Virtue and Vice, 3, p. 101B: Where, then, is the pleasure in vice, if in no part of it is to be found freedom from care and grief or contentment or tranquility or calm?  For a well-balanced and healthy condition of the body gives room for engendering the pleasures of the flesh; but in the soul lasting joy and gladness cannot possibly be engendered, unless it provided itself first with cheerfulness, fearlessness, and courageousness as a basis to rest upon, or as a clam tranquility that no billows disturb; otherwise, even though some hope or delectation lure us with a smile, anxiety suddenly breaks forth, like a hidden rock appearing in fair weather and the soul is overwhelmed and confounded.

[ U521 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: The school holds that not all sins are equal.

Horace, Satires, I.3.96 (criticizing the Stoics):

People who rate all offences as equally wicked are brought up
Short when they face reality: private and public opinions
Find it abhorrent and hardly useful for the general welfare
Usefulness, one may say, is the mother of justice and fairness.

[ U522 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 28.9: It is time I left off – not before I have paid the usual duty though!  "A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation."  This remark of Epicurus’ is to me a very good one.  For a person who is not aware that he is doing anything wrong has no desire to be put right.  You have to catch yourself doing it before you can reform.

Cf. Horace, Epistles, I.1.41:

Virtue begins with avoidance of vice,
And the first rule of wisdom
Is to abstain from one’s folly.

On Human Society

[ U523 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.42: [Epicurus maintains that] pleasure is the greatest good; there is no human society – each one takes thought for himself. {Cf. U581}

Cf. Cicero, Letters to Atticus, VII.2.4: …Carneades {spoke} with more wisdom than our philosophers Lucius and Patron, who in sticking to selfish hedonism and denying altruism, and saying that man must be virtuous for fear of the consequences of vice and not because virtue is an end in itself, fail to see that they are describing a manner not of goodness but of craftiness.

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, II.20.6: So too Epicurus, when he wishes to abolish the natural fellowship of men with one another, makes use of the very thing he is destroying.  For what does he say?  "Don’t be deceived, men, or misled or mistaken: there is no natural fellowship of rational beings with each other.  Believe me: those who say otherwise are deceiving you and reasoning falsely."

Ibid., II.20.20: So with Epicurus: he cut off everything that characterizes a man, the head of a household, a citizen, and a friend, but he did not succeed in cutting off the desires of human beings; for that he could not do.

[ U524 ]

Horace, Satires, I.3.98:

Usefulness, one may say, is the mother of justice and fairness.

Plutarch, Is "Live Unknown" a Wise Precept? 4, p. 1129B: But consider one who in natural philosophy extols God and justice and providence, in ethics: law and society and participation in public affairs, and in political life the upright and not the utilitarian act, what need has he to live unknown?

[ U525 ]

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, I.23.1: Even Epicurus understands that we are by nature social beings, but having once set our good in the husk which we wear, he cannot go on and say anything inconsistent with this.  For, he next insists emphatically upon the principle that we ought neither to admire nor to accept anything that is detached from the nature of the good; and he is right in so doing.  But how, then can we still be social beings, if affection for our own children is not a natural sentiment?  Why do you dissuade the wise man from bring up children?  Why are you afraid that sorrow will come to him on their account?  … 5: Nay, he knows, that if once a child is born, it is no longer in our power not to love it or to care for it.  For the same reason Epicurus says that a man of sense does not engage in politics either…  7: Yet, despite the fact that he knows this, he still has the audacity to say, "Let us not bring up children."

Ibid., IV.11.1: Some people raise doubts whether the social instinct is a necessary element in the nature of man.

Ibid., III.7.19: In the name God, I ask you, can you imagine an Epicurean State?  One man says, "I do not marry." "Neither do I," says another, "for people ought not to marry."  No, nor have children; no, nor perform the duties of a citizen.  What will happen then?  Where are the citizens to come from?  Who will educate them?  …  Yes, and what will they teach them?

[ U526 ]

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, II.23, p. 181.25: Democritus repudiates marriage and the procreation of children, on account of the many annoyances arising thereby, and the detraction from more necessary things. Epicurus agrees, as do those who place good in pleasure, and in the absence of trouble and pain.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.5: One who hates women has enumerated for him [by Epicurus] the benefits of celibacy, and childlessness is proclaimed to one who has bad children.

[ U527 ]

Plutarch, On Affection for Offspring, 2, p. 495A: Are we, then, to believe that Nature has implanted these emotions in these creatures because she is solicitous for the offspring of hens and dogs and bears, and not, rather, because she is striving to make us ashamed and to wound us, when we reflect that these instances are examples to those of us who would follow the lead of Nature, but to those who are callous, as rebukes for their insensibility, by citing which they disparage human nature as being the only kind that has no disinterested affection and that does not know how to love without prospect of gain?  In our theaters, indeed, people applaud the verse of the poet who sad, "What man will love his follow-man for pay?" {Uncertain comic author, t. V p. 122 Mein.} And yet, according to Epicurus, it is for pay that a father loves his son, a mother her child, and children their parents.

[ U528 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 27, p. 1123A: Do you people not dismiss the instinctive love of parents for their offspring – a fact accepted by all?

Cicero, Letters to Atticus, VII.2.4: I am glad you take delight in your baby daughter, and have satisfied yourself that a desire for children is natural.  For if it is not, there can be no natural tie between people; remove that tie and social life is destroyed. "Heaven bless the consequence," says Carneades, but with more with more wisdom than our philosophers Lucius and Patron…

[ U529 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.5: For one who is irreverent toward his parents there is [from Epicurus] the idea that there is no bond in nature.

[ U530 ]

Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, 43.139: "Laws are made for the sake of the wise, not to prevent them from inflicting wrong but to secure them from suffering it."

Porphyry, Letter to Marcella, 27: "The written laws are laid down for the sake of temperate men, not to keep them from doing wrong but from being wronged."

[ U531 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 97.15: Let us disagree with Epicurus on one point, when he declares that there is no natural justice, and that crime should be avoided because one cannot escape the fear which results therefrom; let us agree with him on the other – that bad deeds are lashed by the whip of conscience, and that conscience is tortured to the greatest degree because unending anxiety drives and whips it on, and it cannot rely upon the guarantors of its own peace of mind.  For this, Epicurus, is the very proof that we are by nature reluctant to commit crime, because even in circumstances of safety there is no one who does not feel fear.

Horace, Satires, I.3.113:

Nature, however, can not differentiate just things from unjust,
As she distinguishes things to be shunned from the things to be sought for.
 

[ U532 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 6, p. 1090C: That their general prospects are poor even for a life without mental anguish you may also judge in the light of the remarks they address to others.  Criminals and transgressors of the laws, says Epicurus, pass their entire lives in misery and apprehension, since even though they may succeed in escaping detection, they can have no assurance of doing so.  Consequently, fear of the next moment weighs heavy on them and precludes any delight or confidence in their present situation.

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 97.13: Hence I hold Epicurus’ saying to be most apt: "That the guilty may happen to remain hidden is possible," or, if you think that the meaning can be made more clear in this way: "The reason that there is no advantage for wrong-doers to remain hidden is that (even though they got lucky) they have not the assurance of remaining so."

Cf. Atticus, by way of Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation for the Gospel, XV 5.5: It is not impossible to feel assurance of being undetected in wrong-doing, if indeed it be necessary to avoid detection by men: it is not necessary, however, on every occasion even to seek to avoid detection, where a man has power to overmaster those who have discovered him. So the disbelief in providence is a ready way to wrong-doing.  For a very worthy person indeed is he, who after holding out pleasure to us as a good, and granting us security from the gods, still thinks to provide a plan to prevent wrong-doing. He acts like a physician who, having neglected to give help while the sick man was yet alive, attempts after death to devise certain contrivances for curing the dead man.

Arrian, Diatribes of Epictetus, III.7.11: A man acts foolishly {according to Epictetus’ derisive portrayal of Epicureanism}, if, when he is a Judge and able to take the property of other men, he keeps his hands off it.  But, if you please, let us consider this point only, that the theft be done secretly, safely, without anybody’s knowledge.  For even Epicurus himself does not declare the act of theft evil – only getting caught.  Only because it is impossible for one to be certain that he will not be detected, does he say, "Do not steal."

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, V.1152:

Hence, the fear of punishment spoils the {ill-gotten} prizes.

Violence and wrong catch people in their own nets

and those who start such things are most often entangled.

It is not easy to pass a peaceful life

if you act in a way that disturbs the general peace.

Although you elude the gods and the human race

you still must wonder whether your secret will be kept forever.

[ U533 ]

Uncertain Epicurean Author, Vol. Herc. 2, VII.21 col. XXVIII: The chief of all goods, even if there weren’t any other, is that by which he who possesses it advances toward virtue.

[ U534 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 25, p. 1104B: Epicurus supposes that fear of punishment is the only motive to which we can properly appeal in deterring from crime.

[ U535 ]

Origen, Against Celsus, VII.63, [p. 385 Hoesch.]: For example, the philosophers who follow Zeno of Citium abstain from committing adultery, the followers of Epicurus do so too, as well as others again who do so on no philosophical principles; but observe what different reasons determine the conduct of these different classes.  The first consider the interests of society, and hold it to be forbidden by nature that a man who is a reasonable being should corrupt a woman whom the laws have already given to another, and should thus break up the household of another man.  The Epicureans do not reason in this way; but if they abstain from adultery, it is because, regarding pleasure as the chief end of man, they perceive that one who gives himself up to adultery, encounters for the sake of this one pleasure a multitude of obstacles to pleasure, such as imprisonment, exile, and death itself.  They often, indeed, run considerable risk at the outset, while watching for the departure from the house of the master and those in his interest.  So that, supposing it possible for a man to commit adultery, and escape the knowledge of the husband, of his servants, and of others whose esteem he would forfeit, then the Epicurean would yield to the commission of the crime for the sake of pleasure.

Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, III.6, p. 120B: And Epicurus himself, too, as well as teaching atheism, teaches along with it incest with mothers and sisters, and this in transgression of the laws which forbid it; Ibid., p 120C: Why, then, do Epicurus and the Stoics teach incest and sodomy, with which doctrines they have filled libraries, so that from boyhood this lawless intercourse is learned?

Cf. St. Justin Martyr, Apology, II.12 p. 50E: And imitating Jupiter and the other gods in sodomy and shameless intercourse with woman, might we not bring as our apology the writings of Epicurus and the poets?

On Security Among Men

[ U536 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.117: There are three motives to injurious acts among men – hatred, envy, and contempt.  These the wise man overcomes by reason.

[ U537 ]

Gnomologion from the Parisinus codex, 1168, f. 115u (Maxims of Epicurus): It is not possible for he who incites fear upon others to lack fear within himself.

[ U538 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.26.84: Hatred and envy will be easy to avoid – Epicurus gives rules for doing so.

[ U539 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, I.20.65 (Torquatus to Cicero): On the subject of friendship... Epicurus’ pronouncement about friendship is that of all the means to happiness that wisdom has devised, none is greater, none more fruitful, none more delightful than this. Nor did he only commend this doctrine by his eloquence, but far more by the example of his life and conduct.

Cf., Ibid., II.25.80 (Cicero to Torquatus): The system you uphold... undermines the very foundations of friendship, however much Epicurus may, as he does, praise friendship up to the heavens.

Ibid., II.25.80 (Cicero to Torquatus): It does you not good to repeat Epicurus’ admirable remarks in praise of friendship – I am not asking what Epicurus actually says, but what he can say consistently while holding the theory he professes.

[ U540 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: {The Epicurean school teaches that} friendship is prompted by our needs. One of the friends, however, must make the first advances (just as one has to cast seed into the earth), but it is maintained by a partnership in the enjoyment of life’s pleasures.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.42: Epicurus says… there is no one who loves another but for his own sake.

[ U541 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.26.82 (Cicero to Torquatus): Let us return to what you said about friendship. In one of your remarks I seemed to recognize a saying of Epicurus himself – that friendship cannot be divorced from pleasure, and that it deserves to be cultivated for the reason that without it we cannot live secure and free from alarm, and therefore cannot live pleasantly.

Cf., Ibid., II.26.84 (Cicero to Torquatus): "Friendship is originally sought after from motives of utility." {The Epicureans says} "Friends are protection."

[ U542 ]

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 19.10: Epicurus says "you should be more concerned about inspecting whom you eat and drink with, than what you eat and drink.  For feeding without a friend is the life of a lion and a wolf."  This privilege will not be yours unless you withdraw from the world. Otherwise, you will have as guests only those whom your slave-secretary sorts out from the throng of callers.  It is, however, a mistake to select your friend in the reception-hall or to test him at the dinner-table.

[ U543 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.11: {Diocles} further says that Epicurus did not think it right that their {the Epicureans’} property should be held in common, as required by the doctrine of Pythagoras regarding the goods of friends; such a practice in his opinion implied mistrust, and without confidence there is no friendship.

Cicero, Letters to Friends, VII.12: {February, 53 B.C.} My dear friend Pansa {Caius Vibius Pansa} has informed me that you {Caius Trebatius Testa} have become an Epicurean ... What will be your legal ruling on Communi Dividundo {dividing what is held in common}, when nothing can be held in common among those whose one standard of conduct is their own pleasure?

[ U544 ]

Plutarch, Philosophers and Men in Power, 3, p. 778E: And yet, Epicurus, who places happiness in the deepest tranquility, as in a sheltered and landlocked harbor, says that it is not only nobler, but also pleasanter, to confer than to receive benefits.

[ U545 ]

Philodemus, On Frank Criticism, Vol. Herc. 1, V.2, fragment. 55: ... and they present for frank criticism what concerns themselves in the presence of the students, to be put before Epicurus and for the sake of correction.  Nevertheless, if it is pleasing to someone, let it be said: "Why is it that the purifier of everyone {i.e., Epicurus} for the sake of correction of the errors arising from foolishness, would not present even one …" {sc., perhaps, "…of his errors as an example"}

[ U546 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 8, p. 1111B: Epicurus chooses friends for the pleasure he gets, but says that he assumes the greatest pains on their behalf.

[ U547 ]

Philodemus, On Frank Criticism, Vol. Herc. 1, V.2, fragment. 45 (part): And the overall and most important thing is, we shall obey Epicurus, according to whom we have chose to live, as even....

On Honor and Glory

[ U548 ]

Plutarch, On How to Study Poetry, 14, p. 37A: "It is not great sums of money nor vast possessions nor exalted  occupations nor offices of authority which produce happiness and blessedness, but rather freedom from pain and calmness and a disposition of the soul that sets its limitations in accordance with nature."

[ U549 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 18, p. 1100A: Epicurus admitted that some pleasures come from fame.

[ U550 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.12.28: Put the same question to Epicurus: he will say that a moderate degree of pain is worse evil than the deepest disgrace, for no evil is involved in disgrace alone, unless it should be attended by painful circumstances.  What pain then does Epicurus feel when he actually affirms that pain is the greatest evil?  And yet I cannot look to find any worse disgrace than such a sentiment in the mouth of a philosopher.

Cicero, Against Lucius Calpurnius Piso, 27.65: Pain is an evil, according to your view.  Reputation, infamy, disgrace, degradation – these are mere words, mere trifles.

[ U551 ]

Plutarch, Is "Live Unknown" a Wise Precept? 3-4, p. 1128F-: "Live unknown."

Flavius Claudius Julianus (Julian the Emperor), Letter to Themistius the Philosopher, [p. 471 Pet.; 330.15 Hertlein]: Do you think that such a man, upon hearing these arguments … would he not ... approve the wisdom of the son of Neocles, who bid us to "live unknown?"  Indeed, you apparently perceived this, and by your abuse of Epicurus you tried to forestall me and to eradicate beforehand any such purpose.  For you go on to say that it was to be expected that so idle a man as he should commend leisure and conversations during walks.  Now for my part I have long been firmly convinced that Epicurus was mistaken in that view of his, {but whether it be proper to urge into public life any and every man, both him who lacks natural abilities and him who is not yet completely equipped, is a point that deserves the most careful consideration.}

Ibid., [p. 478 Pet.; 335.19 Hertlein]: To admire the Epicureans lack of engagement in political life, and their gardens…

Themistius, Discourses, XXVI, [p. 390.21 Dind.; 324.2 Penella]: In theory, we expel Epicurus, son of Neocles, and exclude him from our list [of philosophers] because he approved of the injunction "live unnoticed" and was responsible for the doctrine that human beings are not sociable and civilized by nature; but in reality we approve of his opinion…

Cf. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, VIII.28 p. 368: All through his life, [Apollonius] is said often to have exclaimed: "Live unobserved, and if that cannot be, slip unobserved from life."

Horace, Epistles, I.18.102:

Is serenity found amid honors and neat little profits
Or does it wait on the untraveled road and the hidden byway?

Ibid., I.17.10:

Nor is a life badly spent, which from birth until death goes unnoticed.

Ovid, Tristia, III.4.25: Believe me, he who keeps himself well-hidden has lived well.

Seneca, Thyestes, 393-403:  

            Let me be filled with sweet repose
            In humble station fixed.
            Let me enjoy untroubled ease, and
            To my fellow citizens, unknown.
            Let my life’s stream flow in silence,
            So when my days have passed noiselessly away,
            Lowly may I die and full of years.
            Death lies heavily on he,
            Who is too well known by all,
            And dies to himself unknown.

[ U552 ]

Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus, 20.3: They {Epicurus and his school} would have nothing to do with civil government on the ground that it was injurious and the ruin of happiness.

Saint Augustine, Against the Academicians, III.16.35 t. I [p. 290F Venice Edition, 1719]: {Rhetorically addressing Cicero} If we are to live according to what is plausible to another, then you shouldn't have governed the Roman Republic, since it seemed to Epicurus that one ought not do this.

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 2, p. 1087B: ... the people who shout "No manly boxers are we," or orators, or champions of the commonwealth, or magistrates; "We ever hold the table dear instead." {Homer, Odyssey, VIIII 246-248} and "every agreeable stirring of the flesh that is transmitted upward to give some pleasure and delight to the mind."

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, V.1127:

It is indeed much better to obey in peace
Than to desire to hold the world in fee and to rule kingdoms.

The Comic Sotion of Alexandria, by way of Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, VIII p. 336F: "Ethics, embassies, military tactics – fine pretenses that sound hollow, like dreams."

Cf. Philodemus, Vol. Herc. (2) VII.176:

[ U553 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.3: The teaching of Epicurus … speaks according to the natural bent of each individual.  … He prohibits the cowardly from an advance to public life, the lazy form exercise, the timid from engaging in military service.

[ U554 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 31, p. 1125C: … who write in these very words: "We must proceed to tell how a person will best uphold the purpose of his nature and how of his own free will he is not to present himself for public office at all."

[ U555 ]

Plutarch, On Peace of Mind, 2 p. 465F (Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, 29.79): For this reason not even Epicurus believes that men who are eager for honor and glory should lead an inactive life, but that they should fulfill their natures by engaging in politics and entering public life, on the ground that, because of their natural dispositions, they are more likely to be disturbed and harmed by inactivity if they do not obtain what they desire.

[ U556 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 31, p. 1125C: But who are the men that nullify these things, overthrowing the state and utterly abolishing the laws? Is it not those who withdraw themselves and their disciples from participation in the state? Is it not those who say that the crown of an untroubled spirit is a prize beyond all comparison with success in some great command? Is it not those who say that to be king is a fault and a mistake?

[ U557 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.6: He who is eager for fame and power is instructed [by Epicurus] to cultivate kings and royal acquaintances; he who cannot bear annoyance to shun the palace.

[ U558 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 34, p. 1127D: Epicurus and Metrodorus ... speak spitefully of the earliest and wisest lawgivers.

Ibid., 21, p. 1119C: For this is what Typhon {a mythological monster} signifies, and your master has implanted plenty of him in you with his war against the gods and godlike men.

The Comic Sotion of Alexandria, by way of Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, VIII p. 336F: "You will only have what you eat and drink.  All the rest is dust – Pericles,  Codrus, Cimon"

[ U559 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 15, p. 1097C: But even if one wished, one could not pass over the mans absurd inconsistency: He treads underfoot and belittles the actions of Themistocles and Miltiades, and yet writes this to his friends about himself... "{=U183}"

[ U560 ]

Plutarch, Against Colotes, 33, p. 1127A: They mention statesmen only to deride them and belittle their fame, for instance Epaminondas, who they say had but one good thing about him, and even that ‘mikkon’ {Boeotian dialect for ‘micron’ = ‘small’; i.e., the one good thing about him, his abstention from unnecessary pleasures, was an example of the Boeotian insensibility} for this is their expression, and dubbing the man himself ‘iron guts’ and asking what possessed him to go walking across the Peloponnese and not sit at home with a nice felt cap on his head {his campaign took place in winter}, wholly concerned – we must suppose – with the care and feeding of his belly.

On the Sage

On the Studies of the Sage

[ U561 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: It is not possible for one Sage to be wiser than another.

[ U562 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will formulate beliefs and not be a pure skeptic.

[ U563 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.119: He will leave written words behind him.

[ U564 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will found a school.

[ U565 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: The Sage will not give rhetorical speeches.

[ U566 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.119: He will not compose panegyric {a formal public speech delivered in high praise of someone or something}.

[ U567 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will earn money, if he should be in poverty, but only for his wisdom. 

[ U568 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: {...the Sage will be able to converse correctly about music and poetry} without however actually writing poems himself.

[ U569 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: Only the Sage will be able to converse correctly about music and poetry.

[ U570 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: He will be fond of the country.

[ U571 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.5: For one fleeing the crowd, solitude is praised [by Epicurus].

On Duties

[ U572 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: {The Sage, according to Epicurus,} will mind his property and plan for the future.

[ U573 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: He will pay only as much regard to his reputation as needed to be not looked down upon.

[ U574 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: The Epicureans believe the Sage should not fall in love; ... according to them, love does not come by divine inspiration – so Diogenes says in his twelfth book.

Chrysippus, by way of Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, LXIII.31:

[ U575 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: The Sage will set up votive images.

[ U576 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.119: He is willing to take a suit to court.

[ U577 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will pay court to a king if need be.

[ U578 ]

Uncertain Epicurean Author, Vol. Herc. 2, VII.15 col. XIX

The Attitude of the Sage

[ U579 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 4, p. 1089A: Whether the other set {i.e., the Epicureans, in contrast with the Cyrenaics} who hold that the superiority of the Sage lies above all in this: vividly remembering and keeping intact in himself the sights and feelings and movements associated with pleasure – are thus recommending a practice unworthy of the name of wisdom by allowing the slops of pleasure to remain in the soul of the Sage as in the house of a spendthrift, let us not say.

[ U580 ]

Cicero, In defense of Publius Sestius, 10.23: He {Publius Clodius} praised those most who are said to be above all others the teachers and eulogists of pleasure {the Epicureans}. ... He added that these same men were quite right in saying that the wise do everything for their own interests; that no sane man should engage in public affairs; that nothing was preferable to a life of tranquility crammed full of pleasures.  But those who said that men should aim at an honorable position, should consult the public interest, should think of duty throughout life not of self-interest, should face danger for their country, receive wounds, welcome death these he called visionaries and madmen.

[ U581 ]

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.17.39: For when [Epicurus] holds that a Sage does all things for his own sake, he considers his own advantage in everything he does.  Ibid., 17.4: [Epicurus] counsels the Sage to bestow nothing on any man, for all things that are his own concerns make him wise.

[ U582 ]

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, IV.22, [p. 228.7 Sylb.]: Even Epicurus says that a man who he esteemed wise "would not do wrong to anyone for the sake of gain; for he could not persuade himself that he would escape detection."  So then, if he knew he would not be detected, he would, accordingly, do evil.

[ U583 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: In regards to women, he will obey legal restrictions, as Diogenes says in his epitome of Epicurus’ ethical doctrines.

[ U584 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: He will guard himself against chance. 

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III.20.49: Epicurus says … that fortune has no power over the Sage.

[ U585 ]

Seneca, On the Integrity of the Sage (to Serenus), 16.1: Even if Epicurus, who most of all indulged the flesh, is up in arms against injury, how can such an attitude on our part seem incredible or to be beyond the bounds of human nature?   He says that injuries are tolerable for the Sage; we {Stoics} say that injuries do not exist for him.

[ U586 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.36.103: Will obscurity, insignificance, or unpopularity prevent the Sage from being happy? … 104: It must be understood that popular acclaim is neither to be coveted for its own sake, nor is obscurity to be sorely feared.  "I came to Athens," said Democritus, "and no one knew me."  What dignified resoluteness for a man to glorify having no glory!  As flute-players and harpists follow their own tastes – not the tastes of the multitude – in regulating the rhythm of music, should not the wise man, gifted as he is with a far higher art, seek out what is truest, rather than the pleasure of the populace?  Can anything be more foolish than to suppose that those, whom individually one despises as illiterate mechanics, are worth anything collectively?  The wise man will in fact despise our worthless ambitions and reject the distinctions bestowed by the people even if they come unsought.  … 105: What anguish they escape who have no dealings whatever with the people!  For what is more delightful than leisure devoted to literature?  That literature I mean which gives us the knowledge of the infinite greatness of nature, and I, in this actual world of ours, of the sky, the lands, and the seas.  106: Now when honors are despised, and money also despised, what is there left to be dreaded?  Exile, I suppose, which is reckoned among the greatest evils.  … 108: In facing all mishaps, the easiest is the method of those who refer the aims they follow in life to the standard of pleasure, and this means that they can live happily wherever this is provided; Teucer’s saying can be fitted to every condition: "One’s county is wherever one’s happy."

[ U587 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.117: {susceptibility to emotion} will be no hindrance to exercising his wisdom {the wisdom of the Sage}.

[ U588 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: Whether or not he is well off will be a matter of indifference to him.

[ U589 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: He alone will feel gratitude towards friends, present and absent alike, and show it by word and deed.

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 81.11: "Do you maintain then that only the wise man knows how to return a favor?" … In order not to bring any odium upon myself, let me tell you that Epicurus says the same thing.  At any rate, Metrodorus remarks that only the wise man knows how to return a favor.

[ U590 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: For the sake of a friend, on such occasion, he is prepared to die.

[ U591 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.119: Some he will try to dissuade {from marriage}.

[ U592 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will be grateful to anyone when he is corrected.

[ U593 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.120: He will be more delighted than others at festivals.

[ U594 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: Nor will he punish his servants; rather, he will pity them and make allowance on occasion for those who are of good character.

[ U595 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.121: He will be like himself even while asleep.

[ U596 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.117: He will be more susceptible to emotion than other men.

[ U597 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.119: The Sage will also feel grief, according to Diogenes in the fifth book of his Epilecta.

[ U598 ]

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, X.118: When tortured, he will give vent to cries and groans.

[ U599 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.38.110: Emotions of the soul, anxieties and distresses are alleviated by forgetfulness when the thoughts of the soul are diverted to pleasure.  Not without reason therefore, Epicurus ventured to say that the Sage always has more of good than evil because he always has pleasures; and from this he thinks there follows the conclusion we are in search of: that the Sage is always happy.  111: "Even if he is to go without the sense of sight, or of hearing?"  Even then – for he doesn’t love such things for themselves.  For to begin with, what pleasures, pray tell, does the blindness you dread so much have to go without?  Seeing that some even argue that all the other pleasures reside in the actual sensations, while the perceptions of sight do not go along with any delight felt in the eyes, in the same way as the perceptions of taste, smell, touch, hearing are confided to the actual organ of sensation – nothing of the sort takes place with the eyes.  It is the soul which receives the objects we see.  Now the soul may have delight in may different ways, even without the use of sight; for I am speaking of an educated and instructed man with whom life is thought; and the thought of the wise man scarcely ever calls in the support of the eyes to aid his researches.  For if night does not put a stop to happy life, why should a day that resembles night stop it?  … 39.114: Democritus lost his sight – he could not, to be sure, distinguish blank from white; but all the same he could distinguish good from bad, just from unjust, honorable from disgraceful, expedient from inexpedient, great from small, and it allowed him to live happily without seeing changes of color; it was not possible to do so without true ideas.  And this man believed that the sight of the eyes was an obstacle to the piercing vision of the soul and, while others often failed to see what lay at their feet, he ranged freely into the infinite without finding any boundary that brought him to a halt.  40, 116: Is there any evil really in deafness?  … all of us ... are assuredly deaf in so many foreign languages which we do not understand.  "But the deaf do not hear the voice of a good singer."  No, nor the screech of a saw either, when it is being sharpened, nor the grunting of a pig when its throat is being cut, nor the thunder of the roaring sea when they want to sleep.  And if, perhaps, music has charms for them, they should first reflect that many wise men lived happily before music was invented, secondly, that far greater pleasure can be derived from reading than hearing verse. Next, as a little while ago we diverted the blind to the pleasure of hearing, so we may divert the deaf to the pleasure of sight; for the man who can converse with himself will not need the conversation of another.

[ U600 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 3, p. 1088B: By attaching the pleasurable life to painlessness they preclude us from dwelling longer on the point, since they admit themselves that pleasure of the flesh is a slight or rather an infinitesimal thing – that is, if this in not mere empty and pretentious talk … Epicurus asserts that in illness the Sage often actually laughs at the paroxysms of the disease.

Ibid., 5, p. 1090A: My judgment is that if they would take a tone more in keeping with their own bitter experience {of terrible diseases} and not incur in addition the odium of ranting, by courting applause with a bold display of hollow words, they ought either to refrain from taking the position that the "stable condition of the flesh" {cf. U424 & U68} is the source of all delight, or from asserting that persons in the throes of an excruciating disease feel delight and treat the affliction with insolent contempt.

[ U601 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, II.7.17: As for Epicurus, however, he speaks in a way that makes him seem laughable to my mind.  For in one passage he asserts that if the wise man be burnt, if he be tortured – you are waiting perhaps for him to say, "he will submit, will endure, will not yield."  High praise, by Hercules! – and worthy of the great god Hercules whose name I invoked.  But this is not enough for Epicurus – that hard stern spirit.  If the wise man finds himself inside Phalaris’ bull {description}, he will say "How sweet; how indifferent I am to this!"  … And yet those philosophers {the Stoics} who deny that pain is an evil do not generally go so far as to say that it is sweet to be tortured; they say that it is unpleasant, difficult, horrible, contrary to nature, and yet that it is not an evil.  Epicurus, who says that pain is the only evil and the worst of all evils, thinks that the Sage will call it sweet.  For my part I do not require you to describe pain in the same words as Epicurus, that devotee, as you know, of pleasure.  Let him, if he likes, say the same inside the bull of Phalaris as he would have said, had he been in his own bed; I do not consider wisdom so wonderfully powerful against pain.

Ibid., V.10.31: Epicurus too, note well, insists that the Sage always happy.  He is caught by the grandeur of the thought; but he would never say so if he paid attention to his own words – for what is less consistent than for the man who says that pain is either the highest or the only evil, to suppose also that the Safe, at the moment he is tortured by pain, will say "How sweet this is!"

Ibid., V.26.75: For my part, I should say, let the Peripatetics also and the Old Academy make an end some time or other of their stuttering and have the courage to say openly and loudly that happy life will reach down even into the bull of Phalaris.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.27.88 (Cicero to Torquatus): {Epicurus} thinks nothing of pain; for tells us that if he were being burnt to death, he would claim, "how delightful this is!"

Ibid., V.28.85: {it is doubtful} whether virtue has such efficacy that the virtuous will be happy even in the bull of Phalaris. 

Cicero, Against Lucius Calpurnius Piso, 18.42: Well, these same philosophers who define evil as pain and good as pleasure assert that the wise man, even were he to be shut up in the bull of Phalaris and roasted above a fire, would assert that he was happy and felt perfect calm of mind.  What they meant as that the power of virtue is so great that the good man can never be otherwise than happy.

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 66.18: {I might say} "Epicurus even maintains that the wise man, though he is being burned in the bull of Phalaris, will cry out: ‘This is pleasant, and concerns me not at all.’"  Why need you wonder, if I maintain that he who reclines at a banquet and the victim who stoutly withstands torture possess equal goods, when Epicurus maintains a thing that is harder to believe, namely, that it is pleasant to be roasted in this way?

Ibid., 67.15: "If I am tortured, but bear it bravely, all is well; if I die, but die bravely, it is also well."  Listen to Epicurus – he will tell you that it is actually pleasant.  I myself shall never pronounce an unmanly word to an act so honorable and austere.

Lactantius, Divine Institutes, III.27.5: Epicurus was much more strong in saying "The Sage is always happy, and even enclosed in the bull of Phalaris, he will utter this pronouncement: ‘It is pleasant and I care nothing.’"  Who would not mock him, especially because a voluptuary placed upon himself the character of a strong man, and beyond measure at that!

Ibid., III.17.42: [Epicurus says] death should not be feared by a strong man, nor any pain, because even if he is tortured, if he burns, he may say that he cares not al all about it.

Ibid., III.17.5: [=U401]

[ U602 ]

Aelian, Various Histories, IV.13 (Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, XVII.30): Epicurus said that he was ready to rival Zeus for happiness, as long as he had a barley cake and some water.

Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, II.21 [p. 178.41 Sylb.]: Epicurus, in placing happiness in not being hungry, or thirsty, or cold, uttered that godlike word, saying impiously that he would thereby vie even with Father Jove; teaching, as it were, that the life of pigs devouring rubbish and not of rational philosophers, was supremely happy.

[Cf. Theodoretus, Remedies for the Errors of the Greeks, XI [p. 154.2 Sylb.; p. 420 Gaisf.]]

Flavius Claudius Julianus (Julian the Emperor), Orations, VI, "To the Uneducated Cynics," [p. 366 Pet.]: Then does he {Diogenes of Sinope} not seem to you of no importance, this man who was "cityless, homeless, a man without a country, owning not an obol, not a drachma, not a single slave," nay, not even a loaf of bread – while Epicurus says that if he have bread enough and to spare he is not inferior to the gods on the score of happiness.

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, II.27.88: Isn’t pleasure more desirable the longer it lasts?  On what ground then does Epicurus speak of a deity (for so he always does) as happy and immortal?  Take away his everlasting life, and Jove is no happier than Epicurus.  Each of them enjoys the Chief Good, that is to say, pleasure.  Wherein then is he inferior to a god, except that a god lives forever?

Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, 25.4: Let us return to the law of nature; for then riches are laid up for us.  The things which we actually need are free for all, or else cheap; nature craves only bread and water.  No one is poor according to this standard; when a man has limited his desires within these bounds, he can challenge the happiness of Jove himself, as Epicurus says.

[ U603 ]

Cicero, On End-Goals, Good and Bad, V.31.93: The very people who measure all things by pleasure and pain – do they not cry aloud that the Sage always has more things the he likes than that he dislikes?  Thus when so much importance is assigned to virtue by those who confess that they would not raise a hand for the sake of virtue if it did not produce pleasure, what are we to do?

[ U604 ]

Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, V.26.73: Is Epicurus, who merely puts on the mask of a philosopher and has bestowed the title on himself, to be allowed to say … that there is no circumstance in which the Sage, even if burnt, racked, cut into pieces, cannot cry out: "I count it all as nothing" – particularly as Epicurus restricts evil to pain and good to pleasure, makes a mockery of our notions of virtuous and depraved and says we are preoccupied with words and uttering sounds empty of meaning, and that nothing interests us except the bodily sensation of either rough or smooth.  Shall we allow this man …. to be forgetful of himself and be disdainful of fortune at the moment when all that he holds good and evil is at fortune's disposal?  75: …he maintains that the Sage is always happy.

Ibid., III.20.49: He says that there is not time when the wise man is not happy.

Ibid., V.10.31: [@ U601]

[ U605 ]

Plutarch, That Epicurus actually makes a pleasant life impossible, 16, p. 1098B: But, it is objected, they shout that "they have had a pleasant life," "revel in it" and "hymn the praises" of their own "way of living."  {c.f., U181 & U600}

_______________
 

[ U606 ]

Philodemus, Vol. Herc. 2, I.158

[ U607 ]

Apollonius Dyskolus, The Adverb, [p. 566.3 Bekk.]

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