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The Birth of HedonismThe Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life$
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Kurt Lampe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161136

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161136.001.0001

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Cyrene and the Cyrenaics: A Historical and Biographical Overview

Cyrene and the Cyrenaics: A Historical and Biographical Overview

(p.12) Chapter 2 Cyrene and the Cyrenaics: A Historical and Biographical Overview
The Birth of Hedonism

Kurt Lampe

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the significance of all the named Cyrenaics, as well as the culture of ancient Cyrene, and introduces the members of the Cyrenaic movement. The principal figures are Aristippus, their notional founder, who followed Socrates; the mainstream Cyrenaics, who first codified Aristippus' inspirational example; Hegesias, who accentuated the mainstream Cyrenaics' egoistic individualism and introduced pessimism; Anniceris, who opposed Hegesias by reasserting the importance of personal and civic relationships; and Theodorus, an eclectic and flamboyant thinker, who is most renowned for his supposed “atheism.” The chapter traces their history from around 435 BCE to around 250 BCE. Most of these philosophers were born in or around Cyrene, though some are known to have been active abroad.

Keywords:   Cyrenaics, ancient Cyrene, Cyrenaic movement, Aristippus, Socrates, Hegesias, Anniceris, Theodorus

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