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The Epicureans Of The First Generation: Epicurus' Συμφιλοσοφοθντεσ

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Chapter Summary

The theoretical convictions and the practical way of life of the first generation of Epicureans is interesting, since they show how the maxim was understood and applied by Epicurus’ own students. In concrete practice, most Epicureans of the first generation probably tried to apply the advice of their ˆκαv ηγεμwν. Before examining the scanty fragments that have come down to us, one should briefly turn to a passage in the Suda (III, 450.9–10 Adler), where the maxim is not attributed to Epicurus himself but to his brother Neocles. Some fragments of Hermarchus, Colotes and Metrodorus provide information which may indirectly illustrate their attitude towards the maxim λάϑε βιώσας. The implications which Hermarchus’ focus on primitive society proved to have for the pursuit of a sequestered life show that the maxim λάϑε βιώσας is closely connected to a specific historical context.

Keywords: λάϑε βιώϭας; Colotes; Epicurus; Hermarchus; Metrodorus; Neocles



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