A Commentary on Plutarch's De Latenter Vivendo by Geert Roskam

By Geert Roskam

Plutarch's De latenter vivendo is the one extant paintings from antiquity within which Epicurus' well-known perfect of an "unnoticed lifestyles" (lathe biosas) is characterised. additionally, the quick rhetorical paintings presents a lot attention-grabbing information regarding Plutarch's polemical options and approximately his personal philosophical convictions within the domain names of ethics, politics, metaphysics, and eschatology.In this publication, Plutarch's anti-Epicurean polemic is known opposed to the heritage of the former philosophical culture. An exam of Epicurus' personal place is via a dialogue of Plutarch's polemical predecessors (Timocrates, Cicero, the early Stoics, and Seneca) and contemporaries (Epictetus), and via a systematical and distinct research of Plutarch's personal arguments. The remark bargains additional info and parallel passages (both from Plutarch's personal works and from different authors) that remove darkness from the textual content.

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20 In one of his letters, he himself admits that he is even too fond of glory (fam. 9,14,2 = Att. 14,17a,2), a telling example of an understatement of course. 21 W. Süss (1966), 9 even regards Epicurus’ apolitical doctrine as the most important reason for Cicero’s rejection of Epicureanism. But in his philosophical works, the em­ phasis is rather on the rejection of voluptas as the final end; cf. ” (p. 81). 22 Cf. L. Moles (1988), 151, on the ‘two lives’ theme in Plutarch’s Life of Cicero. 23 Cf.

On the other hand, it is an intelligent, if malicious, appeal to common sense reflexes: “What indeed happens behind the walls of that Garden, among philosophers who claim that pleasure should be regarded as the final end of life? ” (cf. Plutarch, De cur. 516E and 518C; De lat. viv. 1). Such common sense reflexes are further stimulated by suggestive defamation concerning Epicurus’ supposed preoccupation with gastronomic (Diog. Laert. 10,6 and 7) and sexual (10,7) pleasures. In Timocrates’ presentation, then, the Epicurean sequestered life appears not as a means to counter unlimited desires but as its exact opposite.

Philodemus, Πραγματεῖαι, col. xxv, 1 – col. ). cause of his decision: willingness to help an influential politician who entertained friendly relations with the Garden 3. Patro, the successor of Phaedrus as scholarch at Athens, repeatedly asked Cicero to interfere with Memmius. The latter intended to pull down the ruins of Epicurus’ house in order to build a villa for himself there (Cicero, fam. 13,1,2-4; Att. 5,11,6). Patro’s request was supported by Atticus (fam. 13,1,5). cause of his decision: the traditional view of the Garden in danger and Memmius’ building plans risk to cut the Epicureans off from an important way to remain in touch with their own revered past.

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