Epicure et les épicuriens au Moyen Âge

Micrologus:3-46 (2013)


Contrary to what is generally said about the reception of Epicurus in the Middle Ages, many medieval authors agreed on his great wisdom, even if he made some philosophical and theological errors. From the 12th century to the 14th century on can find several "Lives of Epicurus" in which the best sayings of Epicurus are gathered from ancient sources (Seneca, Cicero, Lactantius, etc.). In this paper, we follow these quite unknown sources about Epicureanism in the Middle Ages. We try to show that if Epicurus was considered as a wise man in the MIddle Ages, Epicureans are condemned because after the Revelation of God's word, Christians can only accept Epicurus's ascetic ethics, not his errors about the eternity of the world, the mortality of the soul et the subordination of happiness to pleasure.

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