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Philodemus of Gadara (Strabo's registry qualification plus Meleagros' spelling correction; today Umm Queis) [Φιλόδημος] c. 110 BCE - c. 40/35 BCE) was an Epicurean philosopher and poet. He studied under Zeno of Sidon and Demetrius the Laconian, heads of the school in the Garden of Epicurus, outside Athens, before settling in Rome about 80 BCE.

As his parentage was probably Greek, (“Gadara, an Attic fatherland among Syrians” [Meleagros, Anth. Pal.]), he received a thoroughly Greek education, or he may have emigrated as a boy with his parents for religious or financial reasons. The Judaean Yannai had forced Judaism on the Gadarians, and the city endured under varying regimes which taxed and tolled differently. After possible stay at Alexandria in Egypt (Phld. PHerc 1021, col. 34; “capital philosophical centre”; names of Alexandrian fellow disciples in his Compendium of Philosophers) he went in Athenian Garden around 90 B.C.: «O Leucothea, celebrated lady of the sea [...] be favorable to my flight on vast billows, and lead me to the beloved shore of Piraeus» [Philodemus, Oxyr. Pap. 3724].
In a society without freedom of speech (especially after the end of self-governing democracy), philosophical schools protected themselves whether through 'statutory' abstention from politics and art of public speaking (forensic, panegyrics), or by obsequiousness (Plato with Dionysius, Aristotle with Alexander).
But, during the Mithridatic war (c. 88 – 63) [Plut. in Sylla, pp. 458-461. Appian. in Mithrid. pp. 118-197], the Epicurean Aristion, organizing, together with two thousand followers, the insurgence against the occupying Sylla, with the help of Mithridates VI, violated political abstention, calling himself gnêsios, orthodox, as he kept up Greek language, essential to philosophy after the Master.
In the meantime, Zeno was sent into exile by Aristion as a collaborationist of occupying Sylla (but at that point it didn't make any difference, but a tyrants/invaders change, as the '30' after 404, and Macedons after 252 B.C.), leaving the Garden (Phld. PHerc. 1005, col. X ) until definitive Roman capture of Athens in c. 86 B.C and Aristion's execution. [Zeno's fr. 3 A-C [2]; Str. 9,1,20; Plut. Sylla 11-14; App. Mith. 109-114, 149-I51]. Epicureans were split for two years between gnêsioi (genuine, autochtons) and sophistai (orators, friends of Roman orator/politicians, dissident/xenophilous); according to Diog. L. (X, 26) it concerned: Zeno, Dem. the Lac., Diog. of Tarsus, Orion); Philodemus was not for sure a follower of Aristion, and attempted to earn his living as a teacher in Greek Sicily - as we know from Aelian [fr. 40, Hercher; quoted by Suidas (s.v.)]that he was expelled from Himera because his religious views were thought to have caused an epidemic of plague; then he got back his workplace as “not disloyal admirer until he was living” of his master [Zeno's fr. in CErc. 9, 1979, p. 47-133] (or did he leave Athens at the end of the 80s?)”, whose lessons he continued writing out [Zeno's fr. in CErc. 9, 1979, p. 47-133]. He had brought with him some or most of the splendid antiquarian collection of philosophical Greek books, before Sylla, Memmius, and others seized them from Athens (see our article: Cassius Longinus): but Zeno's works have not been found in Herculaneum. Possibly some of the most antiquarian ones were moved during the eruption as, after the ones in shelves and in boxes of a small room some twelve feet square, some others were found on the floor, as if they were skipped.
Wealthy and upper-class exile, Phaedros and Patron, stayed in Rome and obtained support of Roman sponsors or perhaps dual nationality, required to scholarchs after the new regime. Political abstention had to replace his masters.
Philodemus may have met young Roman auditors of Zeno, like Cicero (in 79/78) and Atticus, in the Garden [Ad Luc 106, Fin. II. 119, Fam. VI. 11. 2] or the very Piso (born c. 101, so adulescens: 15-25) in age of educational staying in Athens until 75 B.C., Zeno's death and Philodemus' likely leaving; but he gave up all hopes or advisability of succession to Zeno in Athens and chose the middle course: he settled down at Naples [“Docta Neapolis”, in Mart. 5.78.14], a Greek language Roman region, by having got a Roman patron,likely as warily even in Athens, or when Piso came into an inheritance, or became senator (70, which is also the first actual chronological reference as a dedication to C. Vibius Pansa Caetronianus of the Rhetoric). It's very likely he had also a pied-à-terre in Rome (the “simple house” of Epigram 27; but certainly at least a lecture room c/o Piso's house; a client had to escort his patron at ceremonies)) and a regular partner (Sider's conjecture on Xanthippe character in the Epigrams), he often mentions; even though, in his poetry, he shows to appreciate traditional feasibilities not to be married together with women, and elsewhere argues for no-nonsense celibacy (see Talk:Marriage and Hor. Serm.. 1.2.105-122).
But since Pompey liberated Gadara from Judaean Hasmoneans (64/63 B. C. E), who tyrannized Greek speaking majority inhabitants, Philodemus was possibly tempted by meeting again relatives and friends: ”in a foreign country, [the suffering] is natural even for intellectuals, and especially if they leave parents or other relatives in their fatherland” [Phld. On Death 25.34]. Later in 57-55 B.C.E., for sure, he accompanied Piso, serving as proconsul of Macedonia.
After the death of prestigious Zeno, the actual new center of Epicureanism, the ideal extension of the 'Garden' (whose was perhaps imitated the building structure; the scholarch was not the owner, as for Hermarchus and others; the very Epicurus had all the same patrons) will be in Naples, and the losers were called in turn sophistai, as they did use political rhetoric, taking part in person to politics (Aristion, Apollophanes of Pergamos, Cineas);the weapon of philology was beginning.

Para-religious sectarianism, with heartfelt cult of ancestry and megalopsychos heroes, had originally put up a good show of native religiousness in the Garden: all sects and philosophical phratries had religious cover for obtaining legal status and clouding suspected subversive activities against the tyrants; so Epicurus figured as devotee of Dionysus - or less likely adherent of a mistery deity, possibly Asclepiades, as a faith healer (thiasotai, with obligation of secrecy, that demanded an oath; “the sage will be present at Dionysia” theamasi Dionysiakois: Epicurus, Problems : U20); then localistic politics and piety were replaced by individualism/delocalization and 'custom-made' friendship (see the team Atticus Vestorius Cicero), plus major democratic freedom of speech for Epicurean Roman senatorial class; whereas equites class, who dealt traditionally with business, not with politics, prized Epicurean lobbying; hence many travelling xenophilous Greek teachers: koine common spoken Greek language survived and captured the very ruled class of his conquerors (Marcus Aurelius emperor wrote Greek, for himself ...). “He who becomes scholar uses as a rule Greek language, as, even though there are many colloquial dialects, such a language is widely used all over the earth, not only in Greek towns” [Phld. De Dis III, col 13 Diels].One had to dispute influence in Rome of the Stoic Diogenes of Babylon and Panaetius of Rhodes, patronized by Scipio and Cato's clans, and of the Aristotelian corpus Sylla brought to Rome.

There are records (epigrams, dedications of PHerc. 1507, Cicero' s In Pisonem) he was a friend/client of philhellene Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi (an epigram fragment [POxy 3724] of Ph. bears the name also of Caesar, son in law of of his patron, and possibly the true dedicatee of PHerc. 1507 On the Good King according to Homer; Piso was implicated in a profligacy by Cicero (In Pisonem, 29) most of all for his support for Caesar hegemony; in Fam 15. 16 Caesar camp was told by his prosecutor "a hotbed of Epicuranism")); but Ph. had other Caesarian Epicurean friends/dedicatees/patrons too (e.g. Pansa [dedicatee of Rhet., Pherc 1007 col. 42a4], Plotius (Tucca), Varius (Rufus), Vergilius (Maro), Quintilius (Varus), [P.Herc. Paris. 2 P.Herc. 1082 and 253 ]), and his own sources of revenue from tuitions on poetics, rhetoric and conversation, and counseling (subject of almost all his writings); PHerc. 312 mentions Siron but no work of him is mentioned, and confirms Phld. spent time at Herculaneum and in Siro's house of Pausylipon (Naples): “He [Virgil] decided to return with us [it's Phld. who writes] to Naples and to dearest Siro and his way of life there and to engage in active philosophical discourse and to live with others in Herculaneum." [col. 14 ed. Gigante]; as both were classical authors on theoretic rhetoric, Cicero praises Philodemus warmly for his philosophic views and for the elegans lascivia of his poems (cf. Pis.. 68-72; Luc. 106, Fam. VI 11 2) and as homo humanus pitying person (Pis 68; we have a reference to slaves in On Anger 23-24, for instance). He also compliments Philodemus (perhaps an up-to-date source of his philosophical writings), along with Siron, as one of the "excellent and learned friends" quum optimos viros, tum doctissimos homines (De Finibus 2.119) of Torquatus , and likely of his friend and brother in law Atticus, an Epicurean (just “familiares nostros”, and …, why not, of himself).

Archaeological excavations revealed an extensive library at Piso's Villa at Herculaneum, a significant part of which was formed by a library of Epicurean texts, some of which were present in more than one copy, suggesting the possibility that this section of Piso's library was Philodemus' own.

Of the recovered scrolls, thirty-six treatises are attributed to Philodemus. These works deal with music, rhetoric, ethics, signs, virtues and vices, the good king, and defend the Epicurean standpoint against the Stoics and the Peripatetics. The first fragments of Philodemus from Herculaneum were published in 1824 CE. He was considered at first a flat follower about his notes of class where he mention Zeno (he's not reticent about his debts), and a Roman dissident or an eclectic about his esoteric writings (stylistic, rhetoric) - which are not present in the certainly exoteric Epicurus (no original advanced learners ethical document) handed down five centuries later by Diogenes Laertius [X, 118-120] - viz abstention from political and forensic (mere empeiriai) not from epideictic [stylistic, 'sophistic'] rhetoric. “ Epicurus and his followers reveal that s o p h i s t i c is an art of writing speeches and composing display pieces, and is not an art of pleading cases and addressing the people [panegyric, meeting] ” [Phld. Rhetoric I- II col. XXIV (Longo, 95), Chandler, and his On Epicurus - Pherc 1232 - is a plain eulogization of the founding father, or takes as his topic the masters themselves]. 'Square' Romans eluded those refinements in executive style however [ 'latinus attikismos' , Cic. Att. XIII 50.2.]. Epicurus too held anti-Platonic position (not totalitarian, like nowadays) being fine arts not committed nor moralizing (non necessary pleasures, nor useful arts). Philodemus too held them, he not alone did, did he? Scientific philology should refrain from, given no possibility of collation against critical editions. Actually, rhetoric, prohibited in public, got reappropriated in private for treating, in some respects, under name of parrhêsia ('plain speech'), as not logically/experimentally consequent speech, but as motivational psychagogic speaking technique; he just says that politicians make use of plain speech too, for winning popularity without benevolent view [On Frank Speech, XVIII]: “ the effectiveness of rhetoric doesn't derive from natural science” [Rhet. V, fr. 3 Sudhaus; but by persuasive speech]; “Therefore were expounded both states derived from these causes (aitiôn) and from motivations (kinêseon)” [ Epicurus, On Nature XXV, ARR. 34. 33, see also Diog. L. X, 34: “two kinds of philosophical inquiry: one concerns facts, the other mere words”, that is assessments - quality and affectionate words, extraneous to early atomism and mostly to exact sciences]. Part of Epicurus Works are literary Memoirs on friends and relatives, and the third scholarch Polystratus (twenty years after his master death ...) wrote epigrams and said “it isn't useful for all to do the same action” [Contempt, 7, col. 27: Diog. L.'s Epicurus on the contrary excludes and maximizes...]: a playing, but life has no goal (telos) but pleasure: “ I do not know how I can conceive the good, if I withdraw the pleasures of taste, withdraw the pleasures of love, withdraw the pleasures of hearing, and withdraw the pleasurable emotions caused by the sight of a beautiful form”. Epic. Perì telos]. Philodemus was so much sure of being 'orthodox' that he declared: “For if Epicurus and Metrodorus and moreover Hermarchus declare such a practice to be an art, as we shall record in what comes next, then those who write against them are not very far from being condemned as parricides” patraloiai [Rhetoric I, II col. II Chandler, (Longo 11)]. His very master Zeno, who dealt widely with rhetoric and stylistic (On Style; Usefulness of Poetry), is termed 'diligent' (sedulus) to Epicurus by Cicero in De Fin. I, 16, 3.
Works like histories of the Academy and the Stoa and most of Epigrams (no prudery) are not lined up and that was taken as giving in syncretism (and compromise with conquerors' preferences ...); but it is essential requirement to distinguish – as says Vatican Saying 76 - between publishable works (exoteric, reticent, dogmatic) and sectarian works (esoteric, complex, criticising, open-minded, by practice copyright protected, failing laws, sure cryptography, see rediscovered unbelieving unearthed Aristotle, Herculaneum, Oxyrhynchus, Dead Sea Scrolls). D. Laertius himself testifies Epicurean secret doctrines presence [X. 04], that for sure he didn't know. Let's consider their conduct, more revealing than school presentations.
Epicurus was flexible in private, but well aware of dangers of ostentatious non conventional behavior of Post-Socratics (Plato included, with his collective ownership theory) and of equivalent excessive response of contempt by the men in the street. He urged to avoid contempt by means of camouflage, exoteric respectability (“the difference between studying philosophy for yourself and for our compatriots” V.S. 76), presence to civil cults, even to mystery religion (apparently he was an affiliate of Aesculapius mystery cult, as a psychagogue, and son of a sorceress he come with as a young man: “['in Epicurus' writings'] this is shown by his eagerness for sharing in the mysteries at Athens”, "he shared in all the festivals [...] and the urban mysteries [Phld. On Piety 20,28, Obbink]; and to avoid allegations of subversion through friends in high places who supplied him patronage (the treasurer of an autocrat Mithres, and Idomeneus, who, as an adult, had become tyrant of Lampsachus: both hardly full-time philosophers [according to Jacoby t. III b, Komm., p. 84 n. 4 ; A. Vogliano RFIC 1926. p. 319; C. Jensen, AGWG 5. 1933, p. 37 foll.]), but well-off persons. The very Phld.'s On Household Management follows Metrodorus' esoteric teachings and the 'budgeting' (oikeiômasi) of Epicurus' V. S. 41, less ascetic than P.D. XV. 'Parrhesiastic' speech toward adults, differently from the Cynic one, was to led and find one's own way, without praise and censure. The third Scholarch Polystratus wrote even a book On Irrational Contempt of Common Opinions of the People (P.Herc 336 / 1150). Hermarcus avoided long hairs philosophical look. All their statues maintain a proper etiquette and sober clothes. Philodemus declares: “we must adopt those too, being more ashamed to omit something useful than to borrow from others” [On Household Management XXVII. 12-20]; and about death: “fully ridding oneself of an unconscious, hidden, source of anxiety is difficult and it is not possible to throw off such weighty foolishness” [On Gods I. XXIV Diels]. This Epicurism - for a talented minority of men - is experienced and less 'bluenose' than the Laertius' one, in the 'centuries of anxiety'. Cicero too, through Torquatus figure said that Siro and Philodemus were his time's authoritative masters [De Fin.] possibly among experts, but never quoted in real terms as an Epicurean philosopher (except by Diog. L. as an historiographer of philosophy), nor debated by rivals, because he don't published (no copyright guarantee), but he teached an Epicureanism for trustworthy adepts, for a fee.

Philodemus was an innovative thinker in the area of aesthetics and the sole extant extended example of literary Greek prose of the first century B.C., therefore misjudged at first by disappointed scholars. He taught Virgil and was an influence on Horace's Ars Poetica (addressed to their patron Piso, or to his family), Epist. to Florus and Epist to Augustus (against almost 'musical' poetry and aesthetics of imitation of the ancients). His theory of poetry, more relating to content, occurrred at the achievement of those intelligent poets and of Lucretius and Catullus. Hor. cites also an epigram or an essay (perhaps On Erotic Love, belonging to On Passions collection ) of Philodemus on sexual exigency, no longer extant (Serm. I. 2. 121). Phld. influenced Roman literature and philosophy from 70 to 40 through twenty books or so on aesthetics, namely his trilogy On Music, On Poems , and On Rhetoric (the latter dedicated to C. Vibius Pansa Caetronianus), On Diction and On Beauty (lost), and a work On Sensation. The [[Greek anthology]] contains thirty-four of his epigrams; POxy 3724 bears 175 epigrams incipits, most of which are Philodemus'.

Ph. wrote and composed on ethics (our major first hand, promising source, although mainly fragmentary, of esoteric stances of Epicurus' works now lost, as he uses the same titles as Epicurus and Metrodorus, and all statements can be referred to Epicurean authorities): On Choices and Avoidances (Pherc.1251; see here the discussion) ;On Marriage (lost); On Praise (lost); On Characters and Ways of Life (at least 8 books); On the Good King according to Homer (PHerc. 1507); On Conversation Pherc 873; On Thankfulness PHerc1414; On Death (at least 4 books; see here the discussion) PHerc 1050, 189, 1807; On Vices and Opposite Virtues (at least 10 books): (Flattery Pherc 222 1457,1675, 223, 1082, 1089, 1643 (see here the discussion) , Economy Pherc 1424 (see here the discussion), Arrogance, Pherc 1008, Money Greed Pherc 115, 465, 896, 1613, 253, 1090, 1077) , Slander; On Passions (10 books): (Lunacy Pherc 57, On Anger PHerc 1821 (see here the discussion), Excess PHerc 1017, Envy PHerc 1678); On Frank Criticism (PHerc. 1471; see here the discussion).
On Philosophy: On Gods (at least 3 books) PHerc 126; On Gods activity PHerc 89, 152/157, 1049, 1100, 1577/1579, 1638 ; On Providence PHerc 1670; On Piety P. Herc. 1428; Compendium of Philosophers (10 books; the only work certainly edited, based on tradition of Apollod. of A.'s Chronology); On Epicurus Pherc 1232, 1289; On Signs and Methods of Inference (at least 3 books) PHerc. 1065; Against Demonstrations; On Rhetoric (10 books; the largest fragments as a whole). No book on Physics.

English or else up-to date Greek text and translations: On Methods of Inference (1978); L'ira (Perì Orgês: 1988: Greek text, Italian transl.); On Choices and Avoidances (1995); On Piety, Part 1. (1996) The Epigrams (1997); On Frank Criticism (1998); On Poems: Book 1 (2001); Books 3-4 (2010); Libro 5 (2006: Greek text, Italian transl.); On Rhetoric Books 1 and 2 (2005); Sur la Musique Livre 4 (2007: Greek text, French transl.) On Death. (2009, but 1925 Amsterdam, 1970 Rome, only It. tr.).

Under way editions:
On Conversation (PHerc. 873).
  On Rhetoric: Book I (PHerc. 1427) ; Book II (PHerc. 1674, 1672);  Book III (PHerc. 1506, 1426); Book IV (PHerc. 1423, 1007/1673); Book VIII (PHerc. 832/1015); uncertain Book (PHerc. 1669); uncertain Book (PHerc. 1004).
On Vices and opposing Virtues:  Book I (PHerc. 222, 1092);  Book II (PHerc. 1457); uncertain Book (PHerc. 1675); uncertain Book (PHerc. 223, 237, 1082, 1089, 1643); uncertain Book (PHerc. Paris. 2); Book IX On Economy (PHerc. 1424) A. Tepedino Guerra, V. Tsouna McKirahan; Book X On Arrogance (PHerc. 1008) G.Indelli; Uncertain Book (PHerc. 253, 415, 465, 896 1090, 1613, 1077, frr. 8-10, 12) X. Riu, M. Jufresa ; On Life's Ways; Uncertain Book On Freedom of Speech (PHerc. 1471) B. Henry ; On Gratefulness (PHerc. 1414) G. Del Mastro; On Passions; Uncertain Book (PHerc. 57) G. Del Mastro ; On Wealth Book I (PHerc. 163) D. Armstrong, J. Ponczhoc ; Uncertain Book (PHerc. 1570)  D. Armstrong, J T. Ponczhoc ; On Provvidence (PHerc. 1670) M. Ferrario, G. Karamanolis ; On Gods Book I (PHerc. 26) D. Obbink, F. Longo Auricchio & Book III (PHerc. 152/157) H. Essler ; On Piety, Part II D. Obbink ; On Inferential Ways (PHerc. 1065) R. Vittwer, G. Manetti, D. Fausti; On Life of Philonides ( PHerc. 1044) M.G. Assante.

Quotations in: Cicero De Finibus 2.119 || Cicero In Pisonem 68-72,74 (Nisbet ed.) || Asconius' about Cic. In Pis. 68 || Horace Serm. 1.2.119 ff. || Philip's Garland ' at Ant. Pal. IV. 2.8 f. || Strabo Geogr. XVI.2.29 || Diogenes Laertius 10.3 || Souda || Ambrose, Epist. 14 (63), 13. Zelzer (CSEL 82/83,241 f. = Epic. fr.385a Us. || Pseudo-Acron (commentary on Horace: "Philodemus, very distinguished Epicurean") || Egyptian papyrus' fragments, one century after his death too: e.g. P Oxy. 3724 cols. 4,25 and 5,29 with 145 first lines of his epigrams.

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