A Twentieth message For April from Diogenes of Oinoanda
Once again I am late with my “happy twentieth” message. I had the best of intentions to start a series of these based on the Epicurean Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda, but here’s the first, a day late: Peace and Safety to the Epicureans among us, no matter where you might be!
“… [T]he majority of people suffer from a common disease, as in a plague, with their false notions about things, and their number is increasing, for in mutual emulation they catch the disease from one another, like sheep. Moreover, it is right to help also generations to come, for they too belong to us, though they are still unborn, and besides, love of humanity prompts us to aid also the foreigners who come here. Now, since the remedies of the inscription reach a larger number of people, I wished to use this stoa to advertise publicly the medicines that bring salvation. These medicines we have put fully to the test; for we have dispelled the fears that grip us without justification, and, as for pains, those that are groundless we have completely excised, while those that are natural we have reduced to an absolute minimum, making their magnitude minute.”
The Epicurean Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda, fragment 3, translation by M.F. Smith (from Epicurus.info)
As Seneca recorded: Sic fac omnia tamquam spectet Epicurus! So do all things as though watching were Epicurus!
And as Philodemus wrote: “I will be faithful to Epicurus, according to whom it has been my choice to live.“