ROMAN PHILOSOPHY

 

 

*Epicureanism:  Guiding principle of hedonism (carefully maximizing pleasures as the purpose of life).  Materialistic, naturalistic, skeptical of all religion and gods.

 

Epicurus (341-270 b.c.):  Emphasized pursuing repose and peaceful, basic, simple pleasures, not violent ecstasy.

 

*Lucretius (ca. 96-55 b.c.):  On the Nature of Things.  Atomistic philosophy, denied immortality and all non-material beings.

 

*Stoicism:  Emphasized the austere performance of duty, appealed to Roman values more than other philosophies.  Determinism (fate, no free will ultimately) advocated by it.  Emphasizes altruism, doing one's duty.  Free self from desires, change one's own attitude since world not under one's control.

 

Zeno the Stoic (c. 335?-263? b.c.).  

 

Epictetus (c. A.D. 60-110):  Slave turned philosopher.

 

*Emperor Marcus Aurelius (r. A.D. 161-180).  Meditations.

Beginning of equality under law concept, all men equal in god's/government's site, influenced Roman law.

 

 

 

*Neoplatonism:  More of a religion than a philosophy, a further development of Plato's thought.  Plotinus (c. A.D. 204-270) very mystical, felt ultimate reality unknowable except perhaps by mystical insight.  Seek union with God/god by mystical experience.  Doctrine of reincarnation/transmigration of souls, try to purify soul to escape painful cycle.