Epicurus Quotes

Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher born in 341 BCE on the island of Samos. He founded the school of philosophy called Epicureanism, which emphasized the pursuit of happiness through the avoidance of pain and the cultivation of simple pleasures.

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Epicurus believed that the gods did not interfere in human affairs, and that death should not be feared because it is simply the end of consciousness. He advocated for a self-sufficient life of moderation, free from excess and unnecessary desires.

Epicurus’ philosophy was influential in ancient Greece and Rome, and his ideas continue to be studied and debated by philosophers today.

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These Epicurus quotes expand more on his ideas about friendship, death, philosophy, and material possessions.

Famous Epicurus Quotes

1. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

2. “Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth .”

3. “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?”

4. “Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?”

5. “Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”

Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. -Epicurus

6. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

7. “The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.”

8. “Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”

9. “Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

10. “He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.”

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11. “Happiness is man’s greatest aim in life. Tranquility and rationality are the cornerstones of happiness.”

12. “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.”

13. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.”

14. “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.”

15. “The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool.”

16. “Being happy is knowing how to be content with little.”

17. “The knowledge of sin is the beginning of salvation.”

18. “Freedom is the greatest fruit of self sufficiency.”

19. “If you would enjoy real freedom, you must be the slave of Philosophy.”

20. “Don’t fear god, Don’t worry about death; What is good is easy to get, and What is terrible is easy to endure.”

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21. “Neither one should hesitate about dedicating oneself to philosophy when young, nor should get tired of doing it when one’s old, because no one is ever too young or too old to reach one’s soul’s healthy.”

22. “But the universe is infinite.”

23. “Where I am death is not, where death is I am not.”

24. “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.”

It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. - Epicurus

25. “The things you really need are few and easy to come by; but the things you can imagine you need are infinite, and you will never be satisfied.”

26. “The fool, with all his other faults, has this also, he is always getting ready to live.”

27. “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”

28. “Only the just man enjoys peace of mind.”

29. “God is all-powerful. God is perfectly good. Evil exists. If God exists, there would be no evil. Therefore God does not exist.”

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

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31. “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.”

32. “I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know.”

33. “It is vain to ask of the gods what man is capable of supplying for himself.”

34. “Virtue consisteth of three parts, – temperance, fortitude, and justice.”

35. “In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he learns most.”

36. “There is nothing terrible in life for the man who realizes there is nothing terrible in death.”

37. “The time when most of you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.”

38. “Many friends are the key to happiness.”

39. “I spit upon luxurious pleasures, not for their own sake, but because of the inconveniences that follow them.”

40. “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.”

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41. “The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future.”

42. “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”

If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires. - Epicurus

43. “Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.”

44. “Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.”

45. “Remember that the future is neither ours nor wholly not ours, so that we may neither count on it as sure to come nor abandon hope of it as certain not to be.”

46. “Do everything like someone is gazing at you.”

47. “I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not mind.”

48. “We have been born once and there can be no second birth. Fir all eternity we shall no longer be. But you, although you are not master of tomorrow, are postponing your happiness…”

49. “Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.”

50. “Live your life without attracting attention.”

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51. “Let no young man delay the study of philosophy, and let no old man become weary of it; for it is never too early nor too late to care for the well-being of the soul.”

52. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.”

53. “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.”

54. “He who needs riches least, enjoys riches most.”

55. “A strong belief in fate is the worst kind of slavery; on the other hand, there is a comfort in the thought that God will be moved by our prayers.”

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

57. “No pleasure is evil in itself; but the means by which certain pleasures are gained bring pains many times greater than the pleasures.”

58. “The summit of pleasure is the elimination of all that gives pain.”

59. “Any man who does not think that what he has is more than ample, is an unhappy man, even if he is the master of the whole world.”

60. “Why are you afraid of death? Where you are, death is not. Where death is, you are not. What is it that you fear.”

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61. “I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome.”

62. “All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help.”

All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help. - Epicurus

63. “I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding.”

64. “A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth, and spreading fertility; it is, therefore, more delightful to give than to receive.”

65. “Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession as they torment us with their loss.”

66. “We cannot live pleasantly without living wisely and nobly and righteously.”

67. “Gratitude is a virtue that has commonly profit annexed to it.”

68. “Most men are in a coma when they are at rest and mad when they act.”

69. “Against other things it is possible to obtain security, but when it comes to death we human beings all live in an unwalled city.”

70. “Thanks be to blessed Nature that she has made what is necessary easy to obtain, and what is not easy unnecessary.”

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71. “He who understands the limits of life knows that it is easy to obtain that which removes the pain of want and makes the whole of life complete and perfect. Thus he has no longer any need of things which involve struggle.”

72. “A man who causes fear cannot be free from fear.”

73. “Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily. Epicurus taught: Pleasure, defined as freedom from pain, is the highest good.”

74. “He who doesn’t find a little enough will find nothing enough.”

75. “He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing .”

76. “The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.”

77. “My garden does not whet the appetite; it satisfies it. It does not provoke thirst through heedless indulgence, but slakes it by proffering its natural remedy. Amid such pleasures as these have I grown old.”

78. “Most beautiful is the sight of those near and dear to us when our original kinship makes us of one mind.”

79. “Man was not intended by nature to live in communities and be civilized.”

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80. “A strict belief in fate is the worst of slavery, imposing upon our necks an everlasting lord and tyrant, whom we are to stand in awe of night and day.”

81. “Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life.”

82. “Never say that I have taken it, only that I have given it back.”

Never say that I have taken it, only that I have given it back. - Epicurus

83. “When someone admits one and rejects another which is equally in accordance with the appearances, it is clear that he has quitted all physical explanation and descended into myth.”

84. “Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily.”

85. “What men fear is not that death is annihilation but that it is not.”

86. “All other love is extinguished by self-love; beneficence, humanity, justice, philosophy, sink under it.”

87. “Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

88. “Death is nothing to us: for that which is dissolved is without sensation; and that which lacks sensation is nothing to us.”

89. “It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.”

90. “The words of that philosopher who offers no therapy for human suffering are empty and vain.”

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91. “Men are so thoughtless, nay, so mad, that some, through fear of death, force themselves to die.”

92. “There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men.”

93. “The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When such pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.”

94. “Justice is a contract of expediency, entered upon to prevent men harming or being harmed.”

95. “If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.”

96. “The mind that is much elevated and insolent with prosperity, and cast down with adversity, is generally abject and base.”

97. “The guilty man may escape, but he cannot be sure of doing so.”

98. “Those desires that do not bring pain if they are not satisfied are not necessary; and they are easily thrust aside whenever to satisfy them appears difficult or likely to cause injury.”

99. “The noble soul occupies itself with wisdom and friendship.”

100. “The man least dependent upon the morrow goes to meet the morrow most cheerfully.”

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