Epicureanism is another school of philosophy in Ancient Greece. This school started around the same time as another school of philosophy called Stoicism.
Epicureanism was founded around 306 B.C. The school’s teacher and founder was Epicurus, who was one of the many Ancient Greek philosophers.
The Ancient Greeks who started to follow the beliefs of Epicureanism were called Epicureans. As a child, Epicurus studied philosophy for four years under the Platonist teacher Pamphilus.
Once he was 18 years old, Epicurus moved to Athens, Greece, where he joined the military. He was in the military for two years.
The Epicurus Garden
When Epicurus started teaching his school of philosophy, he decided the best place would be in his own garden. Over time, the students of Epicureanism started to call the location, The Garden.
Through his teachings, Epicurus helped develop the studies of the scientific method and science.
Epicurus taught that the only reason Ancient Greeks should believe anything was because they were able to prove it through observations and logic.
Epicureans believed that the only reason they should study philosophy was to make themselves happy. They also believed that the only way to achieve this happiness was to not become sad.
They also believed that the only reason you become sad is when you do not get what you want. Epicureans believed that in order to not be sad you had to not want things.
Epicurus also taught that if you did not want things, then you would enjoy the things you had and this would make you happy.
Epicurus never married and he never had children. Some people believe he chose never to marry or have a family because he believes this would make people sad.
Epicureans believed that if you did not find love or make friends then when they died you would become sad. Therefore, having friends and loved ones would create sadness.
Epicureans did not believe in life after death. They believed that once the body dies, the soul dies with the body.
The believed that when a person died, his or her body would become atoms. These atoms would then make other things.
Epicurus said that because of this, no one should be afraid of death or worry about what would happen to them after they died.
Today, a few of Epicurus works still exist. There are three letters from Epicurus which can be found in a book.
This book is called the Lives of Eminent Philosophers. This book is written by Diogenes Laertius.
There were many people who Epicurus works influenced through history.
Some of these people are the third President of the United States and founding father, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Facts about Epicureans:
- The Garden was located in the city of Athens, Greece.
- Epicurus was greatly influenced by Aristotle’s teachings.
- Epicurus was also influenced by Democritus and Pyrrho, who were both Ancient Greek philosophers.
- Epicurus called his teachings dialogismoi or “conversations.”
- Epicurus wanted his dialogismoi or conversations to be memorized by his students.
- Epicurus said that the Ancient Greek gods had no interest in people.
- Epicurus was born on a Greek island called Samos around 341 B.C.
- Epicurus died in the city of Athens, Greece, in 270 B.C.
Questions and Answers for Epicureans:
2.) Who was the founder of the school of Epicureanism?
2.) The school of philosophy known as Epicureanism was located in what Greece city?
3.) What did Epicurus call his teachings?
4.) Who was Epicurus heavily influenced by?
5.) Epicureans believed the only way to achieve happiness was not to what?
a.) become mad
b.) become greedy
c.) become sad
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