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Later Generations Of The School

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Chapter Summary

One of the most important sources, not merely for Epicureanism in Rome, but even for Epicurean philosophy as a whole, is of course Lucretius’ De rerum natura. The first contacts of the Romans with Epicureanism date back as far as the end of the third century BC, when C. Fabricius was sent as an envoy to Pyrrhus. More than a century later, Rome was directly confronted with the concrete praxis of Epicurus’ political philosophy. Lucretius’ didactic poem De rerum natura is the first extant Epicurean work in Latin literature. Lucretius wants to prove the thesis that avarities and honorum caeca cupido are to a great extent fed by the fear of death. Diogenes of Oenoanda wanted to show with his inscription that the Epicurean ideal of άταϱαξία is identical for one and all. Especially important in the context is of course his explicit claim to keep out of politics.

Keywords: De rerum natura ; Diogenes of Oenoanda; Epicurean philosophy; Lucretius; Rome

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