Live unnoticed

On the Vicissitudes of an Epicurean doctrine


Against the background of age-old Greek wisdom, Epicurus' advice to 'live unnoticed' (lathe biosas) was particularly provocative and scandalous. Why, after all, would an unknown Greek soldier in Agamemnon's army have been happier than famous Achilles? Or why should an ordinary Athenian be regarded as more blessed and enviable than Pericles? Yet Epicurus' ideal was far from unattractive, guaranteeing as it did a quiet and untroubled existence far from the dangerous turmoil of public life.

This book casts new light on Epicurus' socio-political philosophy through a careful analysis of his arguments. It also shows how the ideal of an 'unnoticed life' was received during the later history of Epicureanism and how it occasionally occurs in ancient Latin poetry.
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Biographical Note

Geert Roskam, Ph.D. (2001) in Classics, Catholic University of Leuven, is Postdoctoral Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders. He has published extensively on Hellenistic and Middle-Platonist philosophy, including On the Path to Virtue. The Stoic Doctrine of Moral Progress and its Reception in (Middle-)Platonism (Leuven, 2005).


All those interested in Hellenistic philosophy, in the history of Epicureanism, in Latin poetry, and in Motivgeschichte, as well as classical philologists and philosophers.


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