16. Epicurus, the Garden, and the Golden Age

  1. Dan O'Brien PhD Research Fellow Associate Lecturer
  1. Gordon Campbell DPhil lecturer

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch16

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

How to Cite

Campbell, G. (2010) Epicurus, the Garden, and the Golden Age, in Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone (ed D. O'Brien), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch16

Editor Information

  1. Oxford Brookes University, UK

Author Information

  1. National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 24 SEP 2010

Book Series:

  1. Philosophy for Everyone

Book Series Editors:

  1. Fritz Allhoff

Series Editor Information

  1. Western Michigan University, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330212

Online ISBN: 9781444324563



  • Epicurus, the garden, and the Golden Age;
  • Epicurus, citizen of Athens - but he was always something of an outsider;
  • rivals of the Epicureans, the Stoics (“Men of the Stoa”), from their practice of teaching in Stoa Poikile (“Painted Colonnade”);
  • Epicurus' system of philosophy - only true philosophy, and community of friends;
  • Epicurean school was a community based on friendship – friendship, considered most important;
  • Epicurus, philosophy was not worthy of the name - if it had no therapeutic value;
  • Epicurus' garden, important ethical function - source of pleasure that heals both body and soul;
  • Epicurus, had a hedonistic theory of ethics - arguing that pleasure was the goal of human action;
  • Lucretius, the Roman Epicurean poet of first century BCE - “hence fear of punishments taint the prizes of life”;
  • simple déjeuner sur l'herbe - more pleasurable than banquets in gilded halls


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The School in the Garden

  • Prehistory and the Rise of Cities

  • The Locus Amoenus and the Origins of Agriculture

  • Diogenes of Oinoanda and the Future Epicurean Golden Age

  • Notes