Established by Epicurus in 306 BCE, just outside the walls of Athens. Epicureanism consisted of a way of life directed at worldly happiness and an atomistic account of the exclusively material nature of reality. Atomism, it was argued, was true. Hence the way pointed out by Epicurus could be presented as not merely psychologically satisfying, but in accord with the true nature of things. By the turn of millennium Epicureanism, true to its precept 'live unnoticed' was yielding place to Stoicism as the philosophy favored by influential Romans. Beyond the late second century we hear little from the Epicureans on their own behalf and in CE 361 Julianus Caesar wrote 'indeed the gods have already in their wisdom destroyed their works so that most of their books have ceased to be'. Diogenes Laertius cited Epicurus' works as 'the beginning of happiness'.

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Lucretius and Epicureanism
Original and translated texts of Lucretius and Epicurus. General background information and commentary on Epicureanism.

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