Well then did the Romans, who are in every respect the most admirable of men, banish Alcius and Philiscus the Epicureans out of their city, when Lucius Postumius was consul, on account of the pleasures which they sought to introduce into the city. And in the same manner the Messenians by a public decree banished the Epicureans. But Antiochus the king banished all the philosophers out of his kingdom, writing thus—"King Antiochus to Phanias: We have written to you before, that no philosopher is to remain in the city, nor in the country. But we hear tat there is no small number of them, and that they do great injury to the young men, because you have done none of the things about which we wrote to you. As soon, therefore, as you receive this letter, order a proclamation to be made, that all the philosophers do at once depart from those place, and that as many young men as are detected in going to them, shall [p. 876] be fastened to a pillar and flogged, and their fathers shall be held in great blame. And let not this order be transgressed. But before Epicurus, Sophocles the poet was a great instigator to pleasure, speaking as follows in his Antigone1—
For when men utterly forsake all pleasure,
I reckon such a man no longer living,
But look upon him as a breathing corpse.
He may have, if you like, great wealth at home,
And go in monarch's guise; but if his wealth
And power bring no pleasure to his mind,
I would not for a moment deem it all
Worthy a moment's thought compared with pleasure.