Epitomizing Philosophy and the Critique of Epicurean Popularizers

Erlend D. MacGillivray (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explores the concern in Epicureanism to create brief renderings of its philosophical tenets. It is argued that although the Epicureans were characteristically apprehensive about simplifying their philosophy so that it would appeal to a broad audience, they utilized literary formats such as epitomes to allow new students and well-disposed outsiders to gain an overview of the philosophy. From around 150–50 BCE evidence though emerges that some Epicureans produced heavily abridged and simplistic texts in order to promote the philosophy widely and to ease the induction of new recruits into the school. This study allows the character and intentions of this largely forgotten movement to emerge, and the potential this has for aiding our understanding of the dissemination of philosophy and intellectual ideas in antiquity to be highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-54
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Ancient History
Volume3
Issue number1
Early online date29 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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Philosophy
Dissemination
Tenets
Outsider
Epicureanism
Rendering
Induction
Intentions
Epitome
Antiquity

Keywords

  • Epitomes
  • Epicureanism
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Philodemus
  • Cicero

Cite this

Epitomizing Philosophy and the Critique of Epicurean Popularizers. / MacGillivray, Erlend D. (Corresponding Author).

In: Journal of Ancient History, Vol. 3, No. 1, 01.06.2015, p. 22-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

MacGillivray, Erlend D. / Epitomizing Philosophy and the Critique of Epicurean Popularizers. In: Journal of Ancient History. 2015 ; Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 22-54.
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