Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who advocated a materialist lifestyle, removing all social divisions and enjoying life to the fullest. He had his Indian predecessors in the form of the Charvaka school, who also advocated a materialist viewpoint.

However, this should not be mistaken for hedonism as his viewpoint was not to satiate all desires in an unending cycle.

Instead, in his so called Garden, he hosted all sorts of people from all strata of ancient Greek society, including freemen, slaves, women and prostitutes. They enjoyed an egalitarian atmosphere, consuming simple foods and wine.

It is ironic that today, epicurean has come to describe rich and fancy foods when Epicurus himself would probably be content in enjoying his simple bowl of boiled grains.

As a side note, undoubtedly, from an economic viewpoint, he had to have some monetary support from his wealthier followers so that his Garden could be sustained.

The main point of epicurean philosophy seems to be to maximize happiness by minimizing fear and pain and living a tranquil life surrounded by friends. Such an aim seems both noble and one which can provide some welcome respite in today’s “hyper-productive” society.

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