Who is Philodemus (Philodemus of Gadara)?

Who is Philodemus (Philodemus of Gadara)?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Greek philosopher Philodemus (110 – 30 BC), born in Gadara, was an Epicurean philosopher and poet.

After completing his studies at the Epicurean school in Athens led by Sidon Zeno, he moved to Rome. B.C. In 75 BC he became an adviser to the Roman aristocrat Lucius Calpurnius Piso, who invited him to live in his villa in Herculaneum, near Naples. Fragments of Philodemus’ writings were later found in the ruins of this villa.

He is known for his theory of art, which contradicts classical aesthetic doctrines. His fame, however, rests largely on the epigrams of love in the Colonel Palatine Anthology, later found in the works of the Roman poets Virgil, Ovid, and Horace. Some of the poems of Philodemus, praised by Cicero, have been preserved in the Palatine Anthology, all of which were discovered as papyrus manuscripts in a cave in the ruins of a magnificent castle.

Philodemus’ remarkable claim is based on the originality of his philosophical doctrines. The extent of this originality highlights traditionally neglected elements, particularly in his approach to the liberal arts. In his work, he also tries to preserve the views of Epicurean Orthodoxy. As a philosophical community, he discussed the characteristics that must be acquired in order to live with an Epicurean perspective.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook