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their use only engenders strifes of words. Epicurus himself does not seem to have carried his logical investigations further than this; but among the Herculanean papyri we have an interesting treatise by Philodemus in which he deals with Analogical and Inductive Arguments?
It has been already stated that the only reason allowed by the Epicureans for studying Physics was to free the soul from superstitious fears, and with this view to prove that the constitution of the universe might be explained from mechanical causes There is something very remarkable, and not altogether easy to account for, in the extreme earnestness with which the Epicureans deprecated the oppressive influence of superstition, at a time when other philosophers, and writers in general, treated it as too unimportant to deserve the slightest attention. Thus Cicero asks where is the old woman so far gone in dotage as to believe in a three-headed Cerberus and those other bugbears which your sect tells us you have only ceased to fear because of your knowledge of physical science®,' and in arguing against the fear of death, he assumes as an undoubted point that death is either annihilation or the admission to a higher state of happiness'. Friedländer however in his Sittengeschichte Roms* has shown that this only expresses the opinion of a small educated class, and that the mass still clung to the old beliefs about Charon and Cocytus. Even Cicero himself elsewhere speaks of the spread of superstition in terms not unlike those employed by Lucretius'. The fact seems to be that while, on the one side, the spread of enlightenment made it more and more impossible for any
1 See Bahnsch on the περί σημείων και σημειώσεων of Philodemus, 1879.
2 See Tusc. I 10 and 48, and compare N. D. I 86, quibus mediocres homines non ita valde moventur, his ille clamat omnium mortalium mentes esse perterritas.
3 Tusc. I 25.
* Bk. XI on the Immortality of the Soul.
educated man to accept the absurdities and immoralities of paganism; and while the prevalence of this educated scepticism cannot but have shaken the popular hold on the old superstitions, so far as this partook in any degree of the nature of belief rather than of unreasoning custom; on the other hand that deepening of the individual consciousness which accompanied the extinction of the public life of Greece, and which was fostered by the growing influence of philosophy and its more subjective tone, must have intensified the sense of moral and religious responsibility, and given rise to an increased anxiety as to a possible retribution to follow this life. This appears partly in the rapid growth of the Orphic and other mysteries, partly in philosophic or poetic imaginations of the unseen world, such as we read in the Republic and the Aeneid. And thus the general convic: tion of a judgment to come, where the deeds done in this life would receive their reward and punishment, seems to have been widely felt, and to have been, for priests and prophets, a fruitful soil. Indulgences for sin, propitiation of impiety, sacramental atonement, not to
? De Divin. II 148, Nam, ut vere loquamur, superstitio fusa per gentes oppressit omnium fere animos atque hominun imbecillitatem occupavit; compare Lucretius 1 62, Humana ante oculos foede cum vita jaceret in terris oppressa gravi sub religione, quae caput a caeli regionibus ostendebat horribili super aspectu mortalibus instans, &c.
mention magic and baser forms of superstition, flourished alongside of Epicureanism all through its career, and probably reached their maximum in the first and second centuries of the Christian era'' The fault of Epicurus
! was that he only saw the bad side of this state of things. He saw, as Plato had done, that 'a corrupt religion gives birth to impious and unholy deeds;' he saw the paralyzing influence of a real belief in the never-ending punishment of sink. Plato's remedy was to train the young in the belief of the perfect goodness and justice of God, that so they might learn to trust in His Providence, and receive with meekness His chastisements, knowing that He harms none and punishes only to reform. Epicurus thought there could be ho security from superstitious terror unless men could be persuaded that death ended all, and that the Gods took no heed of our actions. Plutarch has well pointed out how little this accords 'with the experience of life., 'It is far better,' says he, 'that there should be a blended fear and reverence in our feelings towards the Deity, than that, to avoid this, we should leave ourselves neither hope nor gratitude in the enjoyment of our good things, nor any recourse to the Divine aid in our adversity. Epicurus takes credit to himself for delivering us from the misery of fear, but in the case of the bad this fear is the one thing which enables them to resist temptation to vice, and in all other cases the thought of God and of a future life is a source of joy and consolation, in proportion as a man has come to know God as the Friend of man and the Father of all beautiful things.'
1 Wallace Epicureanism, p. 123, Theophrastus Characters XVI. Plutarch De Superstitione.
2 See Lucr. I 101, tantum religio potuit suadere malorum, and 107, nam si certam finem esse viderent aerumnarum homines, aliqua ratione valerent religionibus atque minis obsistere vatum: nunc ratio nulla est restandi, nulla facultas, aeternas quoniam poenas in morte timendumst.
3 The quotation which follows is a paraphrase from the treatise Non posse suaviter vivi secundum Epicurum, p. 1101 foll.
We will now see what was the talisman by which Epicurus endeavoured to arm the soul against the religion which he so much dreaded. The two main principles on which he built his physical system were that nothing could be produced out of nothing, and that what exists cannot become non-existent. From these principles he deduced the truth of the atomic doctrine, differing however from Democritus in one im
A portant point, viz. in his explanation of the manner in which the atoms were brought together. Democritus had asserted that the heavier atoms overtook the lighter in their downward course, and thus initiated the collision which finally resulted in a general vortical movement. Epicurus retaining the same crude view of 'up'and 'down' held that each atom moved with equal speed, and that they could only meet by an inherent power of self-movement which enabled them to swerve to the slightest possible extent from the rigid vertical fine; and he found a confirmation of this indeterminate movement of the atoms in the free will of man'. In other respects there is little difference between the physical views of Democritus and Epicurus. Both held that there were innumerable worlds' continually coming into being and
1 On the deviation of atoms (trapéykilous, clinamen), see Cic. N. D. 1 69 with my note.
2 Epicurus defined a world as 'a section of the infinite, embracing in itself an earth and stars and all the phenomena of the heavens,'
passing out of being in the infinitude of space. Our own world is already showing signs of decay, and is no longer prolific of fresh life as in its beginning. As to subordinate arrangements Epicurus thought it unnecessary and indeed impossible to assign any one theory as certain. It was enough if we could imagine theories which were not palpably inadmissible, and which enabled us to dispense with any supernatural cause.
The existence of the present race of animals was explained, as it had been by Empedocles, on a rude Darwinian hypothesis'. Out of the innumerable combinations of atoms which had been tried throughout the infinite ages of the past, those only survived which were found to be suited to their environment. The eye was not made to see with, but being made by the fortuitous concourse of atoms it was found on trial to have the property of seeing”.
On the nature of the soul and the manner in which it receives its impressions by images from without, Epicurus, in the main, follows Democritus, adding a few unimportant modifications suggested by the subsequent course of speculation. Thus the soul is still made to consist of smooth round atoms, but it is no longer a simple substance: it is partly the irrational principle of life (anima) dispersed throughout the body, partly the rational principle (mens, animus,) concentered in the heart : and the atoms of which both of these are made up, though we must suppose not in the same proportions, have
(περιοχή τις ουρανού άστρα τε και γήν και πάντα τα φαινόμενα περιcxovra); such worlds are of every variety of form, Diog. L. X 88. (Hübner and other editors omit yîv without reason.)
1 Lucr. v 783 foll. 9 Lucr. IV. 823 foll.