4. A distinguished Greek philosopher, a native, according to some accounts (Strab. xiii. p.589
; Cic. Tusc. Disp.
5.37.109), of Lampsacus; according to others (D. L. 10.22
, though the text in that passage seems to be corrupt), of Athens.
This is to some extent confirmed by the fact that his brother, Timocrates, was an Athenian citizen of the deme Potamus, in the tribe Leontis [TIMOCRATES]; but the former account seems to be supported by the best authority. Metrodorus was the most distinguished of the disciples of Epicurus, with whom he lived on terms of the closest friendship, never having left him since he became acquainted with him, except for six months on one occasion, when he paid a visit to his home.
He died in B. C. 277, in the 53d year of his age, seven years before Epicurus, who would have appointed him his successor had he survived him.
He left behind him a son named Epicurus, and a daughter, whom Epicurus, in his will, entrusted to the guardianship of Amynomachus and Timocrates, to be brought up under the joint care of themselves and Hermachus, and provided for out of the property which he left behind him.
In a letter also which he wrote upon his death-bed, Epicurus commended the children to. the care of Idomeneus, who had married Batis, the sister of Metrodorus. The 20th of each month was kept by the disciples of Epicurus as a festive day in honour of their master and Metrodorus. Leontium is spoken of as the wife or mistress of Metrodorus.
The philosophy of Metrodorus appears to have been of a more grossly sensual kind than that of Epicurus. (Cic. de Nat. Deor.
i 40, Tusc. Disp.
5.9, de Fin.
2.28.92, 30.99, 31.101.) Perfect happiness, according to Cicero's account, he made to consist in having a well-constituted body, and knowing that it would always remain so.
He found fault with his brother for not admitting that the belly was the test and measure of every thing that pertained to a happy life. Of the writings of Metrodorus Diogenes Laertius mentions the following: 1. Πρὸς τοὺς ἰατροὺς
, in three books; 2. Περὶ αἰσθήσεων
, addressed to Timocrates (Cic. de Nat. Deor.
1.40); 3. Περὶ μεγαλοψυχίας
; 4. Περὶ τῆς Ἐπικούρου ἀρρωστίας
; 5. Προὶς τοὺς διαλεκτικούς
; 6. Περὶ τοὺς σοφιστας
, in nine books; 7. Περὶ τῆς ἐπὶ σοφίαν πορείας
; 8. Περὶ τῆς μεταβολῆς
; 9. Περὶ πλούτου
; 10. Πρὸς Δμόκριτον
; 11. Περὶ Εὐγενείας
But besides these, Metrodorus wrote: 12. Περὶ Ποιητῶν
, in which he attacked Homer. (Plut. Moral.
p. 1087a. 1094, d.) 13. Πρὸς Τίμαρχον
(Plut. ad v. Colot.
p. 1117b); and 14. Περὶ συνηθείας
d.) Athenaeus (xii. p. 546f.) also mentions his letters, and quotes a passage from one addressed to Timocrates.
These letters may possibly consist of or include some of the treatises above enumerated.
The passage which Athenaeus quotes is similar in import to what Cicero refers to (d Nat. Deor.
The treatise Περὶ φιλοσοφίας
, mentioned by Plutarch (ad v. Colot.
extr.), is perhaps the same as the seventh in the preceding list. (D. L. 10.22
, &c., with the notes of Menagius; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. iii. p. 606 ; Bode, Gesch. der Hellen. Dichtkunst,
vol. i. p. 11. )