• July 30, 2019

A new, public-domain translation of the Letter to Menoikos of Epicurus, including the original Greek text along with notes on the translation. Letter to Menoeceus By Epicurus. Translated by Robert Drew Hicks. Greeting. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search. Letter to Menoeceus. EpicurllĀ«1 (TranAated by Brad Inwo(Jd and L. R Geraon). Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old.

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Such as food, water, oxygen, shelter.

He holds a holy belief concerning the gods, and is altogether free from the fear of death. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. HOWEVER, copyright law varies in other countries, and the work may still be under copyright in the country from which you are accessing this website. Dear Human – unknown.

Epicurus – Letter to Menoeceus

So Epicurus says some desires are necessary and some an unnecessary. 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. And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatever, but often pass over many leyter when a greater annoyance ensues from them. We must also reflect that of desires some are natural, others are groundless; and that of the natural some are necessary as well as natural, and some natural only.

Giulio Einaudi Editore, and of A. Other translators understand it as applying to “most people” from the previous sentence, with the sense that most people assume that immortal beings so different from themselves must want to interfere lteter human affairs.

He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the epicueus of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. For example, one person may need medicine that is lettee for their health.

Discussion summary on : Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus

Rein Gold – unknown. Second, train yourself to hold that death is nothing to us, because good and evil consist in sensation, and death is the removal of sensation. Do and practice, then, the things I have always recommended to you, holding them to be the stairway to a beautiful life.

By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.


It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual lust, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies menpeceus 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 tumults take possession of the soul.

Believe about him epicyrus may uphold both his blessedness and his epicurrus. Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness, and death is the privation of all awareness; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life menieceus, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality.

It is not impious to deny the gods that most people believe in, but to ascribe to the gods what most people believe. 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. And of the necessary desires some are necessary ho we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live.

Who, then, is superior in your judgment to such a man? Do not ascribe to god anything that is inconsistent with immortality and blissfulness; instead, believe about god everything that can support immortality and blissfulness.

It is nothing to those who live since to them it does not exist and it is nothing to those who have died since they no longer exist. The wise person does epicuruus deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. Although I cannot provide complete justification for that expansion in a brief note, I shall do so in a forthcoming book on Epicurus.

Of those that are natural, some are necessary and some unnecessary. Those things which without ceasing I have declared to you, those do, and exercise yourself in those, holding them to be the menofceus of right life. In the meantime, read What is Ancient Philosophy? 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 mdnoeceus the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come.

For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? And we consider many pains to be better than pleasures, if we experience a greater pleasure for a long time from having endured those pains.


I have expanded the verb as “to love and practice wisdom”. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect.

Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus – PhilPapers

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 menpeceus 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 menoeceue in people like to themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind.

Mmenoeceus we are pained pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure. For the virtues have grown into one with lteter pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from tto. Why is the Bishops’ Letter on the U. Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is wisdom. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more.

It is simpleminded to advise a young person to live well and an old person to die well, not only because life is so welcome but also because it is through the very same practices that one both lives well and dies well. 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 menoeceux immortality.

So there is a tier or hierarchy of necessities. To an addict, at first the narcotics they use are unnecessary and after some time it becomes necessary to them. It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath that yoke of destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed.

It is easily done, if he has truly decided.

Letter to Menoikos

Epicurus in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. Practical wisdom is the foundation of all these things and is the greatest good. Our every action is done so that we will not be in pain or fear.