Supplement to Diogenes of Oinoanda The Epicurean Inscription
The massive Greek inscription (the largest known) set up by the Epicurean philosopher Diogenes at Oinoanda, in the mountains of Lycia (SW Turkey), in the second century AD is an extraordinary document. Diogenes, having reached “the sunset of life”, used the wall of a stoa (of all places!) to advertise the benefits of Epicurean philosophy with the intention of bringing moral salvation not only to his contemporaries, but also to generations to come (“for they belong to us, although they are not yet born”), and not only to Oinoanda’s citizens, but also to foreigners __ or rather to “those who are called foreigners, although they are not really so, for the whole compass of this world gives all people one country … and one home”. In fulfilment of his philanthropic and cosmopolitan mission, he expounded Epicurean physics, epistemology, and ethics in writings that may have occupied 260 square metres of wall-space and contained 25,000 words. The inscription is a valuable source of information about Epicureanism and eloquent testimony to its flourishing state in the time of Diogenes.
British investigations at Oinoanda in 1968-1983 more than doubled the number of known fragments of the inscription, and in his highly-acclaimed edition, Diogenes of Oinoanda, the Epicurean Inscription, published by Bibliopolis in 1993 (660 pages; 18 plates; hardback; ISBN 88-7088-270-5), Martin Ferguson Smith presented all that had been discovered down to that date. However, since then more of Diogenes’ work, including the largest piece yet found, has been brought to light. Smith’s Supplement to Diogenes of Oinoanda, the Epicurean Inscription contains not only the latest texts, but also many new readings and suggestions relating to the texts in the 1993 edition.
For those who have Smith’s 1993 edition, acquisition of the Supplement is a must.