epicureanism ĕp˝ĭkyo͝orē´ənĭz˝əm [key], philosophy that follows the teachings of Epicurus, who held that pleasure is the end of all morality and that real pleasure is attained through a life of prudence, honor, and justice. The philosophy was popular throughout the ancient world; it was spread by the successors of Epicurus, who included Polystratus, Zeno of Sidon, and Philodemus of Gadara. Only in later times did epicureanism come to mean devotion to extravagant pleasure.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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