Tetrapharmakos  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Tetrapharmakos (τετραφάρμακος), or, "The four-part cure," is the Greek philosopher Epicurus' (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) recipe for leading the happiest possible life. The "tetrapharmakos" was originally a compound of four drugs (wax, tallow, pitch and resin); the word has been used metaphorically by Epicurus and his disciples to refer to the four remedies for healing the soul.

The four-part cure

Don't fear god,
Don't worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure
(Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14).

In the original Greek:

Ἄφοβον ὁ θεός,
ἀνύποπτον ὁ θάνατος
καὶ τἀγαθὸν μὲν εὔκτητον,
τὸ δὲ δεινὸν εὐεκκαρτέρητον
(Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9–14)

"The fundamental obstacle to happiness, says Epicurus, is anxiety," writes D. S. Hutchinson.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Tetrapharmakos" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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