Epicurean Philosophy

Was Epicurus Really a Stoic-Lite Philosopher? Were all Epicureans hedonists?

Epicurus would have been horrified by the sex, drugs, and rock and roll culture of the sixties. Baird and Kaufmann describe his beliefs thus: “Epicurus declares that pleasure is the highest good, though some pleasures are unnatural and unnecessary. In contrast to modern understanding of the word epicurean, Epicurus opposed exotic meals and profuse consumption. Such indulgences never bring permanent pleasure and frequently lead to its opposite: pain. Instead Epicurus advocates enjoying only the ‘natural’ pleasures – those most likely to lead to contentment and repose.” […]

Iliad and Odyssey

The Iliad Blog 5, the Tide of Battle Turns Against the Greeks

Hector is pissed. The duel between Romeo and Agamemnon was supposed to settle and finish this endless war that is just dragging on grinding thousands of soldiers in its maw. He asks himself, Where art thou, Romeo? Paris has disappeared from the battlefield. Aphrodite has magically carried his opponent Paris from the battlefield to the bed of Helen just as he was about to lose the duel and end this dreadful war. […]

Epictetus and Rufus

Musonius Rufus, Stoic Philosopher, Forgiveness and Obedience

When someone wrongs us, should we file suit, or should we forgive and forbear? Rufus explores this topic in his lecture on whether a philosopher should file a suit when assaulted. He tells us that “those who do not know what is really good and what is really shameful, and who are overly concerned with their own fame, these people think that they are being injured if someone glares at them, laughs at them, hits them, or mocks them. But a man who is thoughtful and sensible, as a philosopher should be, is disturbed by none of these things.” […]

Early Church Writing

St Ignatius Epistles to the Ephesians, Magnesians, and Smyrnaeans

The early writings of St Ignatius of Antioch gave the early church a shining example of martyrdom. He was arrested by the authorities for his faith, like St Paul, and was being escorted to Rome to be fed to the wild animals in the arena. During the stops in his journey he received delegations from the various churches who received epistles from him to be read to their flocks. In his epistles to the churches St Ignatius insists that there be unity in the churches, that the members respect the bishops. He also tells them that a liturgy or sacrament that is not blessed by the bishop is not valid, that the faithful should be loyal and obedient to their bishop. These epistles were revered by the early church and were quoted often by the church fathers. […]