A Stoic Who Loves Epicurus

Seneca, Moral Epistles 8.7-8

“I need to stop and select something to quote in this letter, as is my habit. It won’t come from my own stock, because I am still cribbing from Epicurus.

Today I read this line: “You must be a servant of philosophy to touch true freedom.” There’s no delay for someone who surrenders and serves thus, they are immediately freed. Serving philosophy itself is freedom.

You’re probably going to ask me why I select so many quotations from Epicurus instead of words from our own school. But is there any good reason why you should consider them Epicurus’ own words and not a shared good? How many poets have said things said or more properly said by philosophers?!”

Sed iam finis faciendus est et aliquid, ut institui, pro hac epistula dependendum. Id non de meo fiet; adhuc Epicurum complicamus, cuius hanc vocem hodierno die legi: “Philosophiae servias oportet, ut tibi contingat vera libertas.” Non differtur in diem, qui se illi subiecit et tradidit; statim circumagitur. Hoc enim ipsum philosophiae servire libertas est.
Potest fieri, ut me interroges, quare ab Epicuro tam multa bene dicta referam potius quam nostrorum. Quid est tamen, quare tu istas Epicuri voces putes esse, non publicas? Quam multi poetae dicunt, quae philosophis aut dicta sunt aut dicenda!

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