I'm looking for books by Epicurus, but I haven't been able to find any. Can anyone suggest one, or another reference book that deals with Epicureanism?

I don't have any context by which to judge these materials, but I'm looking for a good introduction to Epicurean thought. I'd be interested in reading any materials written by Epicurus.

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    Perhaps you could mention why you are interested, or the context, as well? Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 5:00
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    In addition to context (what things you're looking for), you should also consider explaining what you mean by "good". Are you looking for a comprehensive introduction? A basic introduction? Critical viewpoints? Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 8:21
  • This is general reference, but FYI there are no surviving entire "books" by Epicurus, only fragments collected here and there -- I might start with en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus#Works and plato.stanford.edu/entries/epicurus/#1 etc
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 4:02
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    @user653622, This would be an answer but the question is closed... As josephweissman said, there are no entire "books" by Epicurus. However there are books which contain primary source writings by Epicurus. The book we used in my Ancient Greek Philosophy class is called Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, by Brad Inwood. I think it will be helpful for you. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 21:37

4 Answers 4


You can find most of what you are looking for here and here.


You won't find any of Epicurus's "books", because no full books have been preserved. The information we have on him is gathered from letters and fragments.

You can get this content from various presocratic anthologies and dedicated collections of Epicurus's work. The Epicurus Reader is a good example of a dedicated collection and contains selected works. The Hellenistic Philosophy book in my comment on your original answer is a great anthology if you are interested in reading work by other Greek philosophers from that general time period.

As you might expect, nobody really owns the copyrights for Epicurus' work and you can find his writings freely available online (at places like the links in Michael Dorfman's answer).


An interesting book about Epicurus is Marx's essay The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature

  • I've restored this answer since Marx's essay has its place in the study of Epicurus - as long as one reads the material listed in other answers as well.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 14:20

I thought I'd add to the other answers that, while there are no extant books by Epicurus himself, De Rerum Natura, by the Epicurean philosopher Lucretius, has been preserved almost in its entirety. This is one of our central sources of information about Epicureanism---and a wonderful read.

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