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Headword: Ἐπίκουρος
Adler number: epsilon,2406
Translated headword: Epicurus, Epikouros
Vetting Status: high
A proper name.
The book, then, contained the doctrines of Epicurus that those people call "principal,"[1] making known the bad [ideas] of Epicurus. In these [doctrines], then, the following was said: that even this universe is put in motion by a certain chance, not indeed by the will or decision of god. And these doctrines indeed repeat over and over that atoms strike each other and that, when they are separated, air, earth, and the sea are produced from them, and then minglings and conjunctions are dissolved and disappear completely into atoms.[2] [These doctrines also maintain that] all things are moved at random, that is, as a result of chance, not because of the wisdom of a creator. Then all things are mingled up together by providence, not because of having a pilot or a guide or a shepherd.[3] Then [...],[4] he who came with the escort of the god, did not tolerate him talking nonsense, but silenced the mad rage of his words [...].[5] Then he jumped up, telling Epicurus and his doctrines to go to hell.[6]
Greek Original:
Ἐπίκουρος: ὄνομα κύριον. εἶχε δὲ ἄρα τὸ βιβλίον τὰς Ἐπικούρου δόξας, ἃς ἐκεῖνοι κυρίας οὕτω καλοῦσιν, Ἐπικούρου κακὰ γνωρίσματα: ἐν αἷς ἄρα καὶ τόδε ἦν, ὅτι καὶ τόδε τὸ πᾶν φέρεται τύχῃ τινί, οὐ μὴν βουλήσει καὶ κρίσει θεοῦ. ταύτας δὴ τὰς θρυλουμένας ἀτόμους πληττομένας ὑπ' ἀλλήλων, εἶτα ἀφισταμένας, ἐκ τούτων γίνεσθαι ἀέρα, γῆν καὶ θάλατταν, εἶτα διαλύεσθαι τὰς ἀνακράσεις καὶ συνόδους καὶ παντελῶς ἀφανίζεσθαι εἰς ἀτόμους. φέρεσθαι δὲ εἰκῆ τὰ πάντα, καὶ ὡς ἔτυχεν, οὐ μὴν ἐκ τῆς τοῦ ποιητοῦ σοφίας. εἶτα ὅτι ἐκ προνοίας φύρεται πάντα, οὔτε κυβερνήτην οὔτε ἰθυντὴν οὔτε ποιμένα ἔχοντα. εἶτα ὁ πομπῇ τοῦ θεοῦ ἥκων οὐκ ἠνέσχετο παραληρεῖν αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ τὴν τῶν λόγων παραπλῆγα λύτταν κατεσίγασεν, εἶτα ἀνέθορεν, Ἐπικούρῳ καὶ ταῖς ἐκείνου δόξαις κλάειν λέγων.
See also epsilon 2404, epsilon 2405. The present entry, after the initial categorizing gloss, is Aelian fr. 64a Domingo-Forasté (61 Hercher).
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Epicurus at web address 1.
[1] That is to say, Epicurus' Principal Doctrines, a set of moral maxims preserved by Diogenes Laertius. See web address 2.
[2] See Epicurus, Letter to Herodotus, passim; Lucretius 2.63-597. See also alpha 4373.
[3] This is not Epicurus' position on the role of providence (pronoia) in the universe. Rather, he argues against the thesis (defended by the Stoics) that there is a providence (and the teleology it implies) operating in the universe (see Epicurus, Letter to Herodotus 73-74; Lucretius 5.156-234). Adler's apparatus lists several simple suggestions for emending the text here, each of them introducing the sense not by providence.
[4] Lacuna marked by Hercher.
[5] Lacuna marked by Hercher.
[6] The last sentence is quoted again at kappa 1701 (Aelian fr. 64d D-F); see also pi 414.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; ethics; imagery; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 12 July 2002@13:11:22.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; internal rearrangement; added notes and keyword; other cosmetics) on 14 July 2002@06:08:49.
Catharine Roth (added links; cosmetics) on 14 July 2002@11:58:35.
David Whitehead (restorative cosmetics) on 21 April 2004@10:20:14.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 1 December 2005@08:26:00.
David Whitehead (augmented n.3) on 6 November 2007@07:19:24.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 23 November 2008@00:57:49.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, updated reference, added keyword) on 14 February 2012@02:10:51.
David Whitehead on 15 October 2012@05:12:25.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 27 January 2014@07:27:43.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 9 September 2017@18:54:25.


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