New schools: Zeno, Epicurus, Pyrrho

  • František Novotný


Aristotle’s death in the year 322/1 B. C. can be regarded as the end of the classical era of Greek philosophical thought. But Athens did not cease to be the city of philosophers in the hellenistic era culminating in the rule of Alexander the Great (336–323), although it was no longer a city of politicians, artists and poets. Plato’s and Aristotle’s schools became for the hellenistic era the centres of attraction and their influence brought to Athens philosophers from various parts of the Greek world, some even to stay there permanently. Thus new centres of philosophic investigation sprang up in Athens besides the Academy and the Lyceum. Zeno of Citium in Cyprus founded his school in a painted porch, stoa poikile, which hence bore the name of the school of the Stoics, and in Athens also Epicurus of Samos settled permanently, whose disciples used to assemble in his famous garden.


Philosophical System Greek World Stoic Philosophy Stoic Theory Athens Philosopher 
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  1. 1.
    On these connections a detailed account is given by Amand Jagu with special reference to the late Stoic Epictetus in the monograph Epictète et Platon, Essai sur les relations du Stoicism et du Platonism à propos de la Morale des Entretiens (Paris 1946). Franz Dirlmeier, Die Oikeiosis-Lehre Theophrasts (Philologus, Supplbd. 30, Heft 1, Leipzig 1937) proves that Theophrastus was a mediator between Plato’s and the Stoic ethics.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    An allusion to Plato’s name; Platistakos was the name of a certain kind of big fish.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    According to the translation by R. D. Hicks, Diogenes Laert. (London 1925). A parody of the verses of Homer’s Ilias, 3, 150 seq., portraying the old men of Troy sitting around king Priamus.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zeno’s opinion that also god is “body” (σϖμα) is contrary to Plato (Galen), Historia philos. 16 (Zeno, frag. 153 Arnim.).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. D. Hicks in his edition of Diogenes Laert. II, 120 seq. quotes Tarn’s assumption that in Diogenes Laertius’ narrative there is a fusion of two decrees, one voting a golden wreath to Zeno in his lifetime, and the second on his public funeral after his death.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Translator’s note: according to R. D. Hick’s translation of Diogenes Laertius, 1925.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paul Shorey’s article Plato, Lucretius and Epicurus (Harvard studies 12, 1901, 201 to 210) was not available.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Diogenes Laert. mentions Pamphilus under 10,14; cf. Cicero De natura Deorum 1,73: “sed hunc Platonicum (Pamphilum) mirifice contemnit Epicurus”.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    This is the opinion of R. D. Hicks in his translation of Diogenes Laertius.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    This is the interpretation of M. Bonnet, De Claud. Galeni subfiguratione empirica (1872); R. Fenk makes a note of it in the dissertation Adversarii Platonu quomodo de indole ac moribus eius iudicaverint (Ienae 1913), p. 85.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    H. Usener, Epicurea, p. 175,12 seq.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    The fragments of Epicurus’ treatise On Nature were found among the fragments of the Herculanean rolls; they were used by Wolfgang Schmid in the monograph Epikurs Kritik der platonischen Elementenlehre (Leipzig 1936).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Herculanensium vol. coll. altera VI 96,112; W. Crönert in his book Kolotes und Menedemos (Leipzig 1906) interpretes the fragments of Herculaneum as far as they concern Cololes.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Plutarch, Against Colotes 17.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. Geffcken, Antiplatonika (Hermes 64 1929), p. 102.Google Scholar

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© František Novotný — Ludvík Svoboda 1977

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  • František Novotný

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