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Epicurus (341–271 BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A050-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

Epicurus of Samos founded the Epicurean school of philosophy. Initially a Democritean, he overhauled Democritus’ atomism so radically that his system was soon considered an independent one. He formed three Epicurean communities, the final one at Athens where his school, the Garden, became synonymous with Epicureanism. He and his three leading colleagues wrote voluminously, and their collective works became the school’s canonical texts in later generations. Those of Epicurus alone amounted to 300 books (scrolls), including his seminal treatise On Nature. Most were long and technical, but he also composed short digests as an aide memoire.

Citing this article:
Sedley, David. Epicurus (341–271 BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A050-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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