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Craft, Cult, And Canon In The Books From Herculaneum

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Chapter Summary

Some have argued that the Epicureans might have constituted something like a Hellenistic cult or religion. Although the Epicureans would cite authoritative teachers, most notably Epicurus himself, and showed concern for establishing a canon of Epicurean authorities, Philodemus in his treatises does not appeal to those authorities in the deferential way that a member of a cult or religion would appeal to the cult’s deity or leader. Moreover, the selection of works in the Herculaneum library gives no indication of any attempt to gather a collection of authoritative canonical texts, but rather an interest in the pressing issues of a particular period in the history of Hellenistic philosophy.



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