For life has no terror; for those who thoroughly apprehend that there are no terrors for them in ceasing to live. We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come. How to Cite a Book (Title, not chapter) in APA Format. For if he truly believes this, why does he not depart from life? The wise person does not deprecate life nor does he fear the cessation of life. And to say that the season for studying philosophy has not yet come, or that it is past and gone, is like saying that the season for happiness is not yet or that it is now no more. Therefore, both old and young ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. And often we consider pains superior to pleasures when submission to the pains for a long time brings us as a consequence a greater pleasure. Exercise yourself in these and related precepts day and night, both by yourself and with one who is like-minded; then never, either in waking or in dream, will you be disturbed, but will live as a god among men. Much worse is he who says that it were good not to be born, but when once one is born to pass quickly through the gates of Hades. The… It is the starting-point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we come back, inasmuch as we make feeling the rule by which to judge of every good thing. First believe that God is a living being immortal and happy, according to the notion of a god indicated by the common sense of humankind; and so of him anything that is at agrees not with about him whatever may uphold both his happiness and his immortality. This item appears on. For people lose all appearance of mortality by living in the midst of immortal blessings. Before quoting his words, however, let us review the opinions of Epicurus and his school concerning the wise man, {a.k.a., the Sage}. Nor does he hold chance to be a god, as the world in general does, for in the acts of a god there is no disorder; nor to be a cause, though an uncertain one, for he believes that no good or evil is dispensed by chance to people so as to make life happy, though it supplies the starting-point of great good and great evil. Letter to Menoeceus. It were easy for him to do so, if once he were firmly convinced. But in the world, at one time people shun death as the greatest of all evils, and at another time choose it as a respite from the evils in life. This item appears on. Wherefore we call pleasure the alpha and omega of a blessed life. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. Open eBook in new window. For the virtues have grown into one with a pleasant life, and a pleasant life is inseparable from them. Scroll back up to the generator at the top of the page and select the type of source you’re citing. Access the eBook. Believe about him whatever may uphold both his blessedness and his immortality. When we are pained because of the absence of pleasure, then, and then only, do we feel the need of pleasure. Citation for this page in APA citation style. Request removal from index. Menoeceus, father of Creon, Jocasta and Hipponome and both grandfather and father-in-law of Oedipus. Add to My Bookmarks Export citation. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that men do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them. Preview. The one holds out some faint hope that we may escape if we honor the gods, while the necessity of the naturalists is deaf to all entreaties. In the Letter to Menoeceus, he stated, “For this reason, we do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes pass over many pleasures, when greater discomfort accrues to us as the result of them.” Again, we regard independence of outward things as a great good, not so as in all cases to use little, but so as to be contented with little if we have not much, being honestly persuaded that they have the sweetest enjoyment of luxury who stand least in need of it, and that whatever is natural is easily procured and only the vain and worthless hard to win. Observation: Both the letter to Pythocles and the letter to Herodotus start out with a specific detailed greeting explaining the purpose of the letter and saying that these people are being provided a summary of a part of Epicurus' philosophy. See more. Principal Doctrines and Letter to Menoeceus Epicurus Translated by Robert Drew Hicks Epicurus (341-270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher as well as the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism. Letter to Menoeceus. And he who admonishes the young to live well and the old to make a good end speaks foolishly, not merely because of the desirability of life, but because the same exercise at once teaches to live well and to die well. And since pleasure is our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatever, but often pass over many pleasures when a greater annoyance ensues from them. Previous: The Ethics of Killing. Historical Context for Letter to Menoeceus by Epicurus. For truly there are gods, and knowledge of them is evident; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that people do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them. [1] Let no one when young delay to study philosophy, nor when he is old grow weary of his study. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul. In Epicurus’ Letter to Menoeceus he states: (page 2). Epicurus Author(s) Diogenes Laertius Publisher Harvard University Press eBook. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. He has diligently considered the end fixed by nature, and understands how easily the limit of good things can be reached and attained, and how either the duration or the intensity of evils is but slight. It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of revelry, not sexual lust, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest tumults take possession of the soul. From personal communication by B. Obama, January 20, 2013. But in the world, at one time men shun death as the greatest of all evils, and at another time choose it as a respite from the evils in life. Read "Letter to Menoeceus" Add to My Bookmarks Export citation. End the citation with the phrase “Reprinted with permission.” Example: Note [italicized]. Therefore, both old and young alike … Those things which without ceasing I have declared unto you, do them, and exercise yourself in them, holding them to be the elements of right life. In his letter to Menoeceus, he qualifies the following apparently pleasurable experiences as not true pleasure: frivolous merriment, bodily titillation or reveling in good food. by Epicurus, translated by Robert Drew Hicks. The Chicago Manual of Include the recipient’s name in the description. In-text citation doesn’t vary depending on source type, unless the author is unknown. How do I set a reading intention. Quick guides for each of MLA and Chicago 2 are readily available as PDF downloads. Menoeceus definition, a descendant of the Sparti and the father of Jocasta and Creon, who sacrificed himself to end a plague in Thebes. and to it are naturally attached praise and blame (Epicurus 1926, Letter to Menoeceus 133). Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. We must remember that the future is neither wholly ours nor wholly not ours, so that neither must we count upon it as quite certain to come nor despair of it as quite certain not to come. Add to My Bookmarks Export citation Access the eBook. If he speaks only in jest, his words are foolishness as those who hear him do not believe. For he sees that necessity destroys responsibility and that chance or fortune is inconstant; whereas our own actions are free, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach. Epicurus gives the example of barley bread and water. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Follow the MLA format template. Reference list citations are highly variable depending on the source. Type Chapter Author(s) Epicurus Is part of Book Title Lives of Eminent Philosophers 10. It would be easy for him to do so once he were firmly convinced. And the man who says that the age for philosophy has either INTRODUCTION Epicurus to Menoeceus, greeting. {The points which follow have been reordered in places to preserve continuity of themes}. And of the necessary desires some are necessary if we are to be happy, some if the body is to be rid of uneasiness, some if we are even to live. And even as men choose of food not merely and simply the larger portion, but the more pleasant, so the wise seek to enjoy the time which is most pleasant and not merely that which is longest. Therefore, both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom, the former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come. Greeting. Letter to Menoeceus. 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