Epicurus’ Simple Boundary or Greed’s Endless Road?

Athenaeus’ “Epigram for Epicurus”, from Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, 10.12

“People, you toil for lesser things, and start conflicts
And wars again and again for personal gain.
But nature’s abundance meets some modest limit,
While empty values wander over an endless road.
Neokles’ wise child heard this, either from the Muses
Or from the Pythians sacred altars.”

ἄνθρωποι, μοχθεῖτε τὰ χείρονα, καὶ διὰ κέρδος
ἄπληστοι νεικέων ἄρχετε καὶ πολέμων·
τᾶς φύσιος δ’ ὁ πλοῦτος ὅρον τινὰ βαιὸν ἐπίσχει,
αἱ δὲ κεναὶ κρίσιες τὰν ἀπέραντον ὁδόν,
τοῦτο Νεοκλῆος πινυτὸν τέκος ἢ παρὰ Μουσέων
ἔκλυεν ἢ Πυθοῦς ἐξ ἱερῶν τριπόδων.

 

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