Our Hegemon



Honoring a sage is itself a great good to the one who honors. – Vatican Sayings

Epicurus of Samos, our cheerful Hegemon (Leader) whose name means Ally or Friend, was born in the Greek city of Samos and lived between the years 341 and 270 Before Common Era.  During his life, he founded a noble philosophical tradition that bears his name, the details of which you will find in these pages.

Epicurus is truly a spiritual Ally to all humanists who seek to apply philosophy and science to the pursuit of wisdom and happiness.  2,300 years ago, he was among the first to propose the idea of the atom, he recommended wholesome association, favored science over superstition, taught a temperate form of hedonism where desires were to be kept under control, and brought the treasure of his science of happiness to thousands of followers who honored him as their founding hero who liberated them from false idols and from ignorance.

His schools, known as Gardens, were oases of cultivation, learning and serenity that flourished for over 700 years.  After the calamities of the Dark Ages, the philosophy flourished again during the Renaissance and influenced enlightenment thinkers.  Centuries later, Thomas Jefferson declared himself an Epicurean, left the fingerprints of the philosophy in the Declaration of Independence, and even cultivated his own Garden.

Recent translations of papyri near Pompeii written by ancient Roman teachers, as well as the current trend away from organized religion, have renewed interest in the philosophy.  Contemporary Epicureans exist in many countries.  The Society of Friends of Epicurus continues the teaching mission of the Gardens and seeks to experiment with replicating the ancient practice of Epicureanism and to update it in light of centuries of philosophical discourse and scientific insight.

In a world filled with anxiety and frivolous instant gratification, the simple life of an Epicurean is not for everyone.  If you feel inspired to benefit from these teachings, welcome home!  Count yourself among the Friends!