E-Text Library

Here is an assortment of selections for your reading pleasure.  The webmaster also welcomes you to contact him with your link suggestions or to report broken links.


Introductory Articles:

Introduction to The Epicurus Reader 
An introduction of Epicureanism by D.S. Hutchinson

Introduction to Lucretius
An introduction to Lucretius in four parts b
y M.F. Smith

  1. Lucretius

  2. On the Nature of Things

  3. Epicurus and Epicureanism

  4. The Structure of Lucretius’ Poem

Collections of Epicurean Sayings:

Principal Doctrines
The fundamental tenets of the Epicureanism presented in 40 aphorisms

The Vatican Sayings
A collection of sayings from a 14th century Vatican manuscript

A short anthology of fragments preserved in classical works compiled by Cyril Bailey

Contemporary Renderings
Maxims of Epicurus, Democritus, and Diogenes of Oinoanda, paraphrased by Ken Mylott

Essential Selections from Classical Sources:

Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
The biography of Epicurus by Diogenes Laertius, containing therein:

De Rerum Natura
An abridged presentation of the famous poem on nature by Lucretius

Epicurea (warning: 815KB file)
Enumerated f
ragments from Hermann Usener’s monumental compilation of sources

De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum
A conversation on Epicurean ethics by Cicero

De Natura Deorum
A conversation on Epicurean theology by Cicero

The Epicurean Inscription
A selection of fragments from the wall of Oinoanda

Themes of Epicureanism
Contains links to sources arranged thematically by topic

Other Historical Writings:

From the Classical Period...

"Atticus," from Cornelius Nepos’ Epitome of Roman History
Biography of Roman Epicurean
Titus Pomponius Atticus, by historian Cornelius Nepos

Alexander the Oracle-Monger
A historical account of a quack prophet at odds with the legacy of Epicurus, by Lucian

Zeus Rants
A satirical play by Lucian featuring an Epicurean protagonist

Post-Renaissance, through the Period of Enlightenment...

Concerning Happiness
A treatment of Epicurean ethics from the collected works of Pierre Gassendi

To the Modern Leontium
Letter from Charles de Saint-Evremond to Ninon de l’Enclos

Upon the Gardens of Epicurus
An essay by British statesman Sir William Temple (1685)

Letter to William Short, October 31, 1819
Thomas Jefferson considers Epicurus the most rational philosopher of the Classical world

From the 19th Century...

The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature
The doctoral thesis by Karl Marx (March 1841)

Modern Writings from
Printed Publications:

A complete book by 19th century Scottish philosopher William Wallace

Introduction to Cicero’s De Finibus
A brief summary of Epicurean teachings in a historical context, by Harris Rackham

Epicurus, My Master
A fictional treatment of the musings of the late Atticus, by Max Radin

St. Paul and Epicurus
A thesis identifying Epicurean influences on early Christianity, by N.W. DeWitt

Web Writings:

Epicurean History
An encyclopedic article on the ideological legacy of Epicureanism by Vincent Cook

What Lucretius Wrought
Humanistic commentary on Lucretius by Pat Duffy Hutcheon

The Epicurean roots of some classical liberal and Misesian concepts
A speech delivered at the Austrian Scholars Conference by Martin Masse