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Επίκουρος, 341-270 BC ,  Ancient Greek philosopher
EpicurusFather of Epicureanism, a philosophy based on the absence of pain (do not confuse Epicureanism with hedonism or eudemonism), Epicurus wrote several short texts in which he advocated a simple lifestyle, avoiding all kinds of excesses.
More than a maximalist philosophy, Epicurus asserts a minimalist philosophy in his Letter to Menoeceus and Maxims where happiness is seen as an absence of suffering.

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It is not the pretended but the real pursuit of philosophy that is needed for we do not need the appearance of good health but to enjoy it in truth.

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.

To make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.

He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.

Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.

Luxurious food and drinks, in no way protect you from harm. Wealth beyond what is natural, is no more use than an overflowing container. Real value is not generated by theaters, and baths, perfumes or ointments, but by philosophy.

A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.

No pleasure is itself a bad thing, but the things that produce some kinds of pleasure, bring along with them unpleasantness that is much greater than the pleasure itself.

Chance seldom interferes with the wise man; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout his whole life.

Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is friendship.

Of our desires some are natural and necessary, others are natural but not necessary; and others are neither natural nor necessary, but are due to groundless opinion.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Pleasure is the first good. It is the beginning of every choice and every aversion. It is the absence of pain in the body and of troubles in the soul.

Happiness is man's greatest aim in life. Tranquility and rationality are the cornerstones of happiness.

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

Freedom is the greatest fruit of self sufficiency.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not.

To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf.

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another.

Ancient Greek

Live in obscurity.

Λάθε βιώσας.

God is not to be feared, death is not to be expected and what is good is easy to get and what is terrible is easy to endure.

Άφοβον ο θεός, ανύποπτον ο θάνατος και το αγαθόν μεν εύκτητον, το δε δεινόν ευκαρτέρητον.

Death is nothing to us. Because something which is decomposed has no senses while something without senses is nothing to us.

Ο θάνατος ουδέν προς ημάς· το γαρ διαλυθέν αναισθητεί· το δ' αναισθητούν ουδέν προς ημάς.

Necessity is a bad thing, but there is no necessity to live with necessity.

Κακόν ανάγκη, αλλ’ ουδεμία ανάγκη ζην μετά ανάγκης.

It is futile to pray to the gods for that which one has the power to obtain by himself.

Μάταιόν εστι παρά θεών αιτείσθαι ά τις εαυτώ χορηγήσαι ικανός εστι.

We must free ourselves from the daily routine and the bonds of politics.

Εκλυτέον εαυτούς εκ του περί τα εγκύκλια και τα πολιτικά δεσμωτηρίου.

A large fortune is accumulated by extremely hard work, but [thus] life becomes miserable.

Εξ εργασίας θηριώδους ουσίας μεν πλήθος συσσωρεύεται, βίος δε ταλαίπωρος συνίσταται.

For the gods exist, since the knowledge about them is obvious.

Θεοί μεν γαρ εισίν. Εναργής γαρ αυτών εστιν η γνώσις.

So we must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed towards attaining it.

Mελετάν ουν χρη τα ποιούντα την ευδαιμονίαν, είπερ παρούσης μεν αυτής πάντα έχομεν, απούσης δε πάντα πράττομεν εις το ταύτην έχειν.

The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.

O δίκαιος αταρακτότατος, ο δ’ άδικος πλείστης ταραχής γέμων.

We became men once and one cannot become twice.

Άπαξ άνθρωποι γεγόναμεν, δις δε ουκ έστι γενέσθαι.

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.

Το φρικωδέστατον ουν των κακών ο θάνατος ουθέν προς ημάς͵ επειδήπερ όταν μεν ημείς ώμεν͵ ο θάνατος ου πάρεστιν͵ όταν δε ο θάνατος παρῇ͵ τόθ΄ ημείς ουκ εσμέν.


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou