Thursday, October 23, 2014


Epitaph of an Epicurean

Carmina Latina Epigraphica 961 = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 10.2971 = Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 7781 (Naples, 1st century B.C.), tr. E. Courtney, Musa Lapidaria (Atlanta: Scholar's Press, 1995), p. 49:
Gaius Stallius Hauranus is in possession of this abode, a member of the revelling Epicurean band.
The Latin, from Courtney, p. 48:
Stallius Gaius has sedes Hauranus tuetur,
   ex Epicureio gaudiuigente choro.
Lewis and Short define the compound gaudivigens (apparently a hapax legomenon) as "alive with joy, full of joy." I don't see the word in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, although the inscription dates from the first century B.C., well before the OLD's cutoff of ca. 200 A.D. Otto Gradenwitz, Laterculi vocum Latinarum: voces Latinas et a fronte et a tergo ordinandas (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1904), p. 486, lists gaudivigens but no other compounds ending in -vigens.

Courtney (commentary on p. 241) says:
Stallius however seems not to have been a serious Epicurean, but one who took the creed as an excuse for a voluptuous life; the tone is very much that of Epicuri de grege porcum, sharpened in Cicero's attack on Piso.
But cf. Dirk Obbink, "Vergil, Philodemus, and the Lament of Iuturna," in Vertis in Usum: Studies in Honor of Edward Courtney (Mùˆnchen: Saur, 2002), pp. 90-113 (at 110, n. 56):
Actually Epicureius (here transferred poetically to chorus) indicates that that Stallius was no mere Epicurean, but rather an Epicurean philosophus, i.e. teacher. Cf. the other instances of Epicureus, Stoicus, and philosophus cited in CIL ad loc.; for philosophical designations in inscriptions and papyri see J. and L. Robert, REG 71 (1958) 197-200.
See also Kent J. Rigsby, "Hauranus the Epicurean," Classical Journal 104.1 (2008) 19-22.

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