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unhappy ones, who, though ever craving for good, have neither eyes nor ears for the universal law of God, by wise obedience to which they might attain a noble life. But now they think not of right; but hasten each after their own way, some painfully striving for honour, others bent on shameful gains, others on luxury and the pleasures of the body. But do Thou, all-bounteous Zeus, who sittest in the clouds and rulest the thunder, save men, from their grievous ignorance : scatter it from their souls, and grant them to obtain wisdom, whereon relying Thou dost govern all things in righteousness; that so, being honoured, we may requite Thee with honour, as it is fitting for man to do, since there is no nobler office for mortals or for gods, than duly to praise for evermore the universal law.'
t The broad distinction which we noticed at the beginning of our history between the Italic or Doric and the Ionic Schools, reappears in the marked contrast between the two materialistic schools of later times. As the Stoics are preeminently Doric and Roman in character, so the Epicureans are Ionic and Greek. The one might be said to represent the Law, the other the Gospel of Paganism. The former not unfrequently made themselves odious and ridiculous among the more educated class by their obstinacy, pride and intolerance, their exaggeration, pedantry and narrow-mindedness; while the latter won general favour in society by their freedom from prejudice, their good sense and amiability. But, in spite of this, it was the Porch which was the nurse and school of all that was noblest in the Graeco-Roman world; from it came the patriot, the martyr, the missionary, the hero:
it set the example of that renunciation which was followed by the ascetic orders of Christendom; it supplied to the technicalities of Roman law that ideal element which fitted it to become so important a factor in our modern civilization. On the other hand, if we ask what results proceeded from the Garden of Epicurus, we may point to such a life as that of Atticus, who passed unscathed through the Civil Wars of Roine, retaining the esteem of all parties, and using his influence to alleviate the sufferings of all; we may see in Epicureanism a needful protest in behalf of the rights of human nature and the freedom of individual thought and feeling, against the oppression of a superstitious religion and an over-strained morality. But it is only as protest and correction that it is of value; its own view of human nature is poorer and narrower than that put forward by any of the systems which it sought to supersede; it cares not for science in itself, it has no serious regard for truth as such, it offers no spirit-stirring ideal for action; there is nothing great, generous or self-sacrificing in the temper of mind which it tends to foster and encourage. And popular opinion, which only recognizes broad contrasts, fastened upon the essential differences in the two schools; it regarded with admiration the lofty character of a Zeno or a Cato, and looked with suspicion upon their Epicurean rivals, as undermining the foundations of religion and morality, and advocating a life of selfish enjoyment.
We have comparatively few remains of Epicurean writers, none in fact but the poem of Lucretius, together with some letters of Epicurus and the scarcely legible fragments of Philodemus and others discovered at Herculaneum ; while we have several complete treatises on
the other side, such as those of Seneca, Epictetus, M. Aurelius, and Cicero's philosophical dialogues. The Christian Fathers also sided strongly with the Stoics against the Epicureans, even going so far as to count Seneca one of themselves, so that the traditional literary view had till lately followed the old popular view. But of late years the pendulum has swung in the other direction, partly owing to more accurate research, which has brought to light the exaggerations of the old view, partly to the present rage for rehabilitating whatever has been condemned by former ages, but more particularly because Epicureanism was identified with the cause of freedom, intellectual, social, moral and religious; because . it was regarded as the forerunner of positive science and of utilitarian morality; and in a lesser degree because, the great poem of Lucretius having been better edited and more widely studied, admiration for the poet has led to an increased sympathy with the philosophy which he advocates? To what extent these advantages may fairly be claimed on behalf of Epicureanism will perhaps be? made clear as we proceed. For my own part I am inclined to think Cicero was not very wide of the mark when he spoke of it as a 'bourgeois philosophy?! Whether we have regard to his expressed opinions on science and literature and ethics; or to the naiveté of his assumptions, the narrow scope of his imagination, the arbitrariness and one-sidedness shown in his appeals to experience, and the want of subtlety and thoroughness in his reasonings,
1 An example of this change of view, in quarters where it would hardly have been expected, is to be found in Dean Alford's Note on Acts XVII. 18.
2 Plebeii philosophi, Tusc. I. 55.
Epicurus seems to me to stand out among philosophers as the representative of good-natured, self-satisfied, unimpassioned, strong-willed and clear-headed Philistinism. No doubt it was doing a service to mankind to give anything like philosophical expression to such a very important body of sentiment as that with which we are familiar under this name; but I think Epicurus himself would be not a little surprised, if he could return to life and see the kind of supporters, aesthetic and other, who have lately flocked to his standard.
Historically speaking, Epicureanism may be roughly described as a combination of the physics of Democritus with the ethics of Aristippus, Epicurus (341—270 B.C.) was an Athenian, born in Samos, where he is said to have received instruction in the doctrines of Plato and Democritus, though, like Hobbes and Bentham and Comte in later times, he himself always denied his indebtedness to previous thinkers, and stoutly maintained his entire independence and originality of thought. He founded his school at Athens about 306 B.C., teaching in his own ‘Garden,' which became not less famous than the Stoic 'Porch.' Here he gathered around him a sort of Pytham gorean brotherhood, consisting both of men and women, united in a common veneration for their master, and in a mutual friendship which became proverbial in after
See the excellent, though somewhat apologetic, account of Epicureanism by W. Wallace, in the S. P. C. K. series.
2 For the extravagant terms in which the Epicureans were accustomed to speak of their founder, see Lucretius v. 8, deus ille fuit, deus, inclute Memmi, qui princeps vitae rationem invenit eam quae nunc appellatur sapientia, and other passages quoted in my note on Cic. N. D. 1. 43. His disciples kept sacred to his memory not only his birthday, but the 20th day of every month, in ac
years. All Epicureans were expected to learn by heart short abstracts of their master's teaching, especially the Articles of Belief, kúprau dóta.", still preserved to us by Diogenes Laertius; and it is said that the last words addressed by Epicurus to his disciples, were to bid them ‘remember the doctrines,' peuvño bai Tô doyuátwv. The scandalous tongue of antiquity was never more virulent than it was in the case of Epicurus, but, as far as we can judge, the life of the Garden joined to urbanity and refinement, a simplicity which would have done no discredit to a Stoic; indeed the Stoic Seneca continually refers to Epicurus not less as a model for conduct, than as a master of sententious wisdom. It is recorded that, though partly supported by the contributions of his disciples, Epicurus condemned the literal application of the Pythagorean maxim κοινά τα φίλων, much as Aristotle had done before, because it implied a want of trust in the generosity of friendship. Among the most distinguished members of the school were Metrodorus, (paene alter Epicurus, as Cicero calls him) Hermarchus the successor of Epicurus, Colotes, Leonteus and his wife Themista, to whom Cicero jestingly alludes in his speech against Piso, as a sort of female Solon, and Leontium the hetaera, who ventured to attack Theophrastus in an essay characterised, as we are told, by much elegance of style. Cicero mentions among his own contemporaries Phaedrus, Zeno of Sidon, called the Coryphaeus Epicureorum
cordance with the instructions in his will. Hence they were called in derision elkadotal, see Diog. L. X. 15, Cic. Fin. II. 101.
1 Cf. Diog. X. 12, 16, and Cic. Fin. II. 20, quis enim vestrum non edidicit Epicuri κυρίας δόξας?
2 Cic. N. D. 1. $ 93.