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Again, we regard independence of outward things as a great good, not so as in all cases to use little, but so as to be contented with little if we have not much, being honestly persuaded that they have the sweetest enjoyment of luxury who stand least in need of it, and that whatever is natural is easily procured and only the vain and worthless hard to win. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search thereof when he is grown old. Not the person who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them is truly impious. It is, however, by measuring one against another, and by looking at the conveniences and inconveniences, that all these matters must be judged. Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass with all speed through the gates of Hades. And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatever, but often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them. It is better, in short, that what is well judged in action should not owe its successful issue to the aid of chance. INTRODUCTION Epicurus to Menoeceus, greeting. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of merrymaking, not sexual love, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest disturbances take possession of the soul. Normally, people with the name Menoeceus keep their promises. In Greek mythology, Menoeceus (/məˈniːsiəs, -sjuːs/; Ancient Greek: Μενοικεύς Menoikeús "strength of the house" derived from menos "strength" and oikos "house") was the name of two Theban characters. The later stems from a sober reasoning regarding choices and avoidances, as discussed previously in Menoeceus 128-130. Epicurus’s Letter to Menoeceus, possibly an early work of his, is written in an eloquent style similar to that of the Athenian rhetorician Isocrates (436–338 BC), but, for his later works, he seems to have adopted the bald, intellectual style of the mathematician Euclid. See search results for this author. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Learn about Author Central. In his Letter to Menoeceus, Epicurus explains that people seek wealth and power on account of these fears, believing that having more money, prestige, or political clout will save them from death. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library. The name Menoeceus having moon sign as Leo is represented by The Lion and considered as Fixed . The Letter to Menoeceus (Cyril Bailey) LET no one when young delay to study philosophy, nor when he is old grow weary of his study. It is one of the few fully extant writings of Epicurus, the third of three letters preseved by Diogenes Laertius . Epicurus' Letter to Menoeceus. And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the desirability of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. Epicurus’s central teaching was that pleasure is the standard by which every good is to be judged. We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come. And even as people choose of food not merely and simply the larger portion, but the more pleasant, so the wise seek to enjoy the time which is most pleasant and not merely that which is longest. [1] Let no one when young delay to study philosophy, nor when he is old grow weary of his study. Epicurus (Greek: Ἐπίκουρος) (341 BCE – 270 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of Epicureanism, one of the several schools of philosophy from the Hellenistic period.He was a prolific author, though very few of his works have survived to the modern day and all but a few fragments have come from excerpts in other, later authors. If an, This page was last edited on 30 September 2020, at 21:41. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. Therefore, both old and young ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. First believe that God is a living being immortal and happy, according to the notion of a god indicated by the common sense of humankind; and so of him anything that is at agrees not with about him whatever may uphold both his happiness and his immortality. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library, Greek text available from the same website. Considering that they are talking about a hedonistic system, this might seem odd, but there is a reason for this opinion. And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. Who, then, is superior in your judgment to such a person? To habituate one’s self, therefore, to simple and inexpensive diet supplies all that is needful for health, and enables a person to meet the necessary requirements of life without shrinking and it places us in a better condition when we approach at intervals a costly fare and renders us fearless of fortune. lxvii DL – Letter to Menoeceus, “that man is not impious” lxviii DL – Letter to Menoeceus “For the assertions of the many about the gods are not anticipations, but false opinions.” lxix DRN 1, “if men were to see that there was a fixed limit to their woes” lxx DL – Letter to Menoeceus, “it … For no one can come too early or too late to secure the health of his soul. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honor the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. They are related by genealogy, the first being the grandfather of the second. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Menoeceus&oldid=981199467, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This article includes a list of Greek mythological figures with the same or similar names. Translated by Robert Drew Hicks. When we are pained pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure. sister projects: Wikipedia article, Wikidata item. Exercise yourself in these and kindred precepts day and night, both by yourself and with him who is like to you; then never, either in waking or in dream, will you be disturbed, but will live as a god among people. The Letter to Menoeceus, by Epicurus, is an exhortation to learn and practice the joyful ethic of Epicureanism. For the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions; hence it is that the greatest evils happen to the wicked and the greatest blessings happen to the good from the hand of the gods, seeing that they are always favorable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in people like to themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind. 1014054 Letter to Menoeceus Epicurus Robert Drew Hicks. You can help Wikipedia … But in the world, at one time people shun death as the greatest of all evils, and at another time choose it as a respite from the evils in life. Those things which without ceasing I have declared to you, those do, and exercise yourself in those, holding them to be the elements of right life. For no one can come too early or too late to secure the health of his soul. Letter to Menoeceus Kindle Edition by Epicurus (Author) › Visit Amazon's Epicurus Page. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed. While these ideas were written over 300 years before the Common Era, the heart and passion behind each word still holds true. Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to people so as to make life happy, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. Excerpts from Letter to Menoeceus. Heraclides in his epitome of Sotion and others say that the Athenians having colonized Samos, Epicurus was brought up there. The Letter to Menoeceus; The Principal Doctrines; EPICURUS, son of Neocles and Chaerestrata, was an Athenian of the deme of Gargettus, and the family of the Philaidae, as Metrodorus says in his work on Nobility of Birth. A later Menoeceus was a contemporary of Epicurus, to whom the philosopher wrote a letter summarizing his ethical doctrines.[10]. And the man who says that the age for philosophy has either This translation is by Cyril Bailey from his book "Epicurus, The Extant Remains." The wise person does not deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. For people lose all appearance of mortality by living in the midst of immortal blessings. Letter to Menoeceus - Epicurus - Translated by Robert Drew Hicks - Epicurus; 341-270 BC, was an ancient Greek philosopher as well as the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. Let no young man delay the study of philosophy, and let no old man become weary of it; for it is never too early nor too late to care for the well-being of the soul. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. There are some Epicureans that promote asceticism. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer. The letter to Pythocles is the second in the trilogy of letters which Epicurus wrote to summarize the core aspects of his philosophy. Destiny which some introduce as sovereign over all things, he laughs to scorn, affirming rather that some things happen of necessity, others by chance, others through our own agency. sister projects: Wikidata item. For the end of all our actions is to be free from pain and fear, and, when once we have attained all this, the tempest of the soul is laid; seeing that the living creature has no need to go in search of something that is lacking, nor to look anything else by which the good of the soul and of the body will be fulfilled. For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing. Of all this the end is prudence. Letter to Herodotus (1925) by Epicurus, translated by Robert Drew Hicks. They like to live a king size life. Letter to Menoeceus. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. Edited on 11 March 2017, at 22:44 it is one of the.. Summarizing his ethical doctrines. [ 10 ] the core aspects of study... Gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death pleasant life, and be. Appearance of mortality by living in the search thereof when he is old... The Athenians having colonized Samos, Epicurus offers a summary of his philosophy easy for him to so! By the Lion and considered as Fixed a happy life September 2020, at... [ 10 ] summary of his soul still holds true late for the virtues have into... 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