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Epicurus argued that time cannot be understood as a "thing in itself", but as a property of other things (Ref: Letter to Herodotus). It is signified by analogy with other events that take place, e.g. the alternation of day and night, the changing seasons, etc.

Thus understood, time is neither a tangible nor intangible substance (as Epicurus and his followers attributed the atoms and void respectively), yet is retained cogently as a property of matter. This conception contrasts starkly to the post-Einsteinian treatment of time as an ulterior space-like dimension.

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