The Greek inscription set up by the Epicurean philosopher Diogenes of Oinoanda, probably in the first half of the second century AD, is a document of extraordinary interest and importance. It is the longest inscription known from the ancient world, perhaps running to about 25,000 words, and the only one to give a detailed exposition of a philosophical system.
Convinced that Epicureanism is the only efficacious “medicine” with which to treat those people (the great majority) who are “diseased” with false opinions, especially unnecessary fears of the gods and of death and unnecessary desires, Diogenes through his inscription proclaims a message of moral healing and salvation urbi et orbi – to the citizens of Oinoanda and to foreigners, or rather to “so-called foreigners”, because in reality the whole world is a single country and home for humanity; and he addresses not just his contemporaries, but future generations as well.
Since 1884 a total of 299 pieces of the inscription have been found scattered about the ruins of Oinoanda in the mountains of southwest Turkey – substantial finds, but still not even a third of the complete work. Of these fragments 76 were found in the ten years 2003-2012, all but one of them during a new epigraphical and architectural survey of Oinoanda directed by Martin Bachmann in 2007-2012. Jürgen Hammerstaedt and Martin Ferguson Smith recorded and edited the new finds. The present volume brings together all the articles in which they presented the new texts and revisions of “old” ones and described the survey. It contains also three new sections, including indices of Greek names and words.
The book will be of great value to all who are interested in Epicureanism, Hellenistic philosophy, Greek culture and thought in the Roman Empire, and inscriptions. All the new Diogenes texts are accompanied with an English translation.