100 Epicurus Quotes

Here are the Top 100 Epicurus quotes that will lead you to the path of happiness. As the founder of one of ancient philosophy’s greatest schools of thought, Epicurus focused on the philosophy of life—the art of living—in order to achieve happiness that man deserves.

In this collection, we feature the best quotes that will serve as everyday reminders for you to live your life the best way you can.

Let’s get started.

Best Epicurus Quotes

1. “The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.”

2. “He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.”

3. “If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another.”

4. “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confident knowledge that they will help us.”

5. “I was not, I was, I am not, I care not.”

6. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

7. “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.”

8. “The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.”

9. “Never say that I have taken it, only that I have given it back.”

10. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

11. “He who is not satisfied with a little is satisfied with nothing.”

12. “Accustom yourself to the belief that death is of no concern to us, since all good and evil lie in sensation and sensation ends with death.”

13. “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

14. “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”

15. “Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance.”

16. “Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

17. “I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know.”

18. “I am writing this not to many, but to you; certainly we are a great enough audience for each other.”

19. “The true belief that death is nothing to us makes a mortal life happy, not by adding to it an infinite time, but by taking away the desire for immortality.”

20. “There is no reason why the man who is thoroughly assured that there is nothing to fear in death should find anything to fear in life.”

Epicurus Quotes on Finding Happiness and Friendship

21. “We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.”

22. “He who says either that the time for philosophy has not yet come or that it has passed, is like someone who says that the time for happiness has not yet come or that it has passed.”

23. “We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything; and if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it.”

24. “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”

25. “If a person fights the clear evidence of his senses, he will never be able to share in genuine tranquillity.”

26. “With the Epicureans, it was never science for the sake of science, but always science for the sake of human happiness.”

27. “It is not possible for a man to banish all fear of the essential questions of life unless he understands the nature of the universe and unless he banishes all consideration that the fables told about the universe could be true. Therefore a man cannot enjoy full happiness, untroubled by turmoil, unless he acts to gain knowledge of the nature of things.”

28. “How unhappy are the lives of men! How purblind their hearts!”

29. “The cry of the flesh bids us escape from hunger, thirst, and cold; for he who is free of these and expects to remain so might live in happiness even with Zeus.”

30. “Unlike at the Academy or the Lyceum, women, some of them concubines and mistresses, as well as a few slaves, joined the conversation. Further, many of the students here had arrived without academic credentials in mathematics or music. Everyone in the Garden radiated earnestness and good cheer. The subject under discussion was happiness.”

31. “The noble man is chiefly concerned with wisdom and friendship; of these, the former is a mortal good, the latter an immortal one.”

32. “To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf.”

33. “All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help”

34. “I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding.”

35. “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”

36. “Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, for the greatest is the possession of friendship.”

37. “The blessed and indestructible being of the divine has no concerns of its own, nor does it make trouble for others. It is not affected by feelings of anger or benevolence, because these are found where there is lack of strength.”

38. “The opinions held by most people about the gods are not true conceptions of them, but fallacious notions, according to which awful penalties are meted out to the evil and the greatest of blessings to the good.”

39. “Pleasure and pain moreover supply the motives of desire and of avoidance, and the springs of conduct generally.”

40. “We must free ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs and politics.”

41. “Men inflict injuries from hatred, jealousy or contempt, but the wise man masters all these passions by means of reason.”

42. “By pleasure, we mean the absence of pain in the body and of trouble in the soul.”

43. “The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.”

Epicurus Quotes on Accepting Both Life and Death

44. “A right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality.”

45. “Therefore, foolish is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will cause pain when it arrives but because anticipation of it is painful.”

46. “This science explains to us the meaning of terms, the nature of predication, and the law of consistency and contradiction; secondly, a thorough knowledge of the facts of nature relieves us of the burden of superstition, frees us from fear of death, and shields us against the disturbing effects of ignorance, which is often in itself a cause of terrifying apprehensions.”

47. “If death is, we are not. If we are, death is not.”

48. “Against other things it is possible to obtain security, but when it comes to death, we human beings all live in an unwalled city.”

49. “When you die, your mind will be gone even faster than your body.”

50. “We have all seen fires die down from lack of fuel, and lights obscured or blacked out by objects coming in front of them.”

51. “Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.”

52. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.”

53. “Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life.”

54. “Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old.”

55. “There is nothing terrible in life for the man who has truly comprehended that there is nothing terrible in not living.”

56. “It is not the pretended but the real pursuit of philosophy that is needed for we do not need the appearance of good health but to enjoy it in truth.”

57. “Fools are tormented by the memory of former evils; wise men have the delight of renewing in grateful remembrance the blessings of the past.”

58. “We have the power both to obliterate our misfortunes in an almost perpetual forgetfulness and to summon up pleasant and agreeable memories of our successes.”

59. “The risings and settings of the sun, the moon, and the other heavenly bodies may come about from the lighting up and quenching of their fires; for nothing in our sensory experience runs counter to this hypothesis.”

60. “Meditate then, on all these things, and on those things which are related to them, both day and night, and both alone and with like-minded companions. “

61. “For if you will do this, you will never be disturbed while asleep or awake by imagined fears, but you will live like a god among men. For a man who lives among immortal blessings is in no respect like a mortal being.”

62. “A person who doubts his senses will either lose contact with the reality of the surrounding world, like the skeptics, and become psychologically isolated and insecure; or he will fall prey, as do the religionists, to theological explanations which do not allay anxiety but foment it.”

63. “If you summarily rule out any single sensation and do not make a distinction between the element of belief that is superimposed on a percept that awaits verification and what is actually present in sensation or in the feelings or some percept of the mind itself, you will cast doubt on all other sensations by your unfounded interpretation and consequently abandon all the criteria of truth.”

64. “In cases of interpreted data, if you accept as true those that need verification as well as those that do not, you will still be in error, since the whole question at issue in every judgment of what is true or not true will be left intact.”

65. “Moral freedom and determinism are by no means incompatible.”

66. “Man is himself a causal agent in nature and is morally responsible when he acts freely from his own settled character and in his own capacity as an individual, provided he is exempt from external force or pressure.”

67. “It is not an unbroken succession of drinking-bouts and of merrymaking, not sexual love, not the enjoyment of the fish and other delicacies of a luxurious table, which produce a pleasant life; it is sober reasoning, searching out the grounds of every choice and avoidance, and banishing those beliefs through which the greatest disturbances take possession of the soul.”

68. “Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.”

69. “There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men.”

70. “Justice is a kind of compact not to harm or be harmed.”

71. “Both old and young alike ought to seek wisdom. The former in order that, as age comes over him, he may be young in good things because of the grace of what has been, and the latter in order that, while he is young, he may at the same time be old, because he has no fear of the things which are to come.”

72. “We became men once and one cannot become twice.”

73. “For the gods exist, since the knowledge about them is obvious.”

Epicurus Quote on Being Content in Life

74. “Contented poverty is an honorable estate.”

75. “The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future.”

76. “Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little.”

77. “It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble.”

78. “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.”

79. “The time when you should most of all withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.”

80. “He who least needs tomorrow, will most gladly greet tomorrow.”

81. “When, therefore, we maintain that pleasure is the end, we do not mean the pleasures of profligates and those that consist in sensuality, as is supposed by some who are either ignorant or disagree with us or do not understand, but freedom from pain in the body and from trouble in the mind.”

82. “If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not add to his store of money, but subtract from his desires.”

83. “Vain is the word of that philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man.”

84. “The wise man who has become accustomed to necessities knows better how to share with others than how to take from them, so great a treasure of self-sufficiency has he found.”

85. “The most important consequence of self-sufficiency is freedom.”

86. “We need to set our affections on one good man and keep him constantly before our eyes, so that we may live as if he were watching us and do everything as if he saw what we were doing.”

87. “If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich.”

88. “The conquest of fear, especially fear of unaccountable divine beings who meddle in nature at will, means a reduction in the sum total of human pain and suffering and opens the door to the calm acceptance of a new picture of the world—a world in which nature is autonomous and where there are ideal beings who never meddle.”

89. “The man who says that all events are necessitated has no ground for criticizing the man who says that not all events are necessitated. For according to him, this is itself a necessitated event.”

90. “Live in obscurity.”

91. “I am grateful to blessed nature, because she made what is necessary easy to acquire and what is hard to acquire unnecessary.”

92. “We must laugh and philosophize and manage our households and look after our other affairs all at the same time, and never stop proclaiming the words of the true philosophy.”

93. “Some men spend their whole life furnishing for themselves the things proper to life without realizing that at our birth each of us was poured a mortal brew to drink.”

94. “All things are in flux.”

95. “Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.”

96. “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely, and well, and justly; and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living pleasantly.”

97. “One who understands the limits of the good life knows that what eliminates the pains brought on by need and what makes the whole of life perfect is easily obtained, so that there is no need for enterprises that entail the struggle for success.”

98. “A free man cannot acquire many possessions, because this is no easy feat without becoming a hireling of mobs or dynasts. And yet he has a constant abundance of everything, and if he should chance to gain many possessions, he could easily portion them out so as to win his neighbors’ good will.”

99. “Necessity is a bad thing, but there is no necessity to live with necessity.”

100. “A large fortune is accumulated by extremely hard work, but thus, life becomes miserable.”

Which of these Epicurus Quotes Inspired You to Live a Fulfilled Life?

Through his establishment of The Garden, Epicurus taught the world that the ultimate goal of life is to attain happiness. In order to do so, one must let go of things he fears and live his life in moderation. It is through caring for one’s soul, self-control, and virtue that we can guarantee having a happy and fulfilled life.

Did these quotes have an impact on how you want to live your life? Which quotes from Epicurus were your favorites? Let us know through the comments section below.

Amy Finn

Hi. I'm Amy, the founder of this blog. I love quotes and enjoy sharing the best ones with you.

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