Greek Philosopher: Zeno of Sidon
Zeno of Sidon was a Greek philosopher. Born in Sidon, Phoenicia (now Lebanon) in around 150 B.C.
He directed the Epicurean school at Athens after 100 B.C. and is known chiefly from the philosophical dialogues of Marcus Tullius Cicero, who attended his lectures there in 79-78 B.C.
In book 1 of De natura deorum, Cicero declares that Zeno's clear, cogent, and elegant style was misapplied to so trivial and stupid a set of tenets as those of Epicureanism. Zeno himself was noted for his scornful abuse of other philosophers; Cicero quotes him as calling Socrates an Attic buffoon, despite Socrates' position as the first Greek to apply critical and philosophical thought to moral problems.
Zeno held 1) that happiness lies in the enjoyment of present pleasure and the assurance that such enjoyment will last throughout life or most of life without the intervention of pain; 2) that if pain intervenes it will be brief, if extreme, or will have more pleasure than ill in it, if prolonged; and 3) that reflection on these principles will make men happy, particularly if they have been content with previously enjoyed good things and dread neither death nor gods (Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes, book 3). Of Zeno's voluminous writings, only a few fragments like these remain. Posidonius, the scientific historian, Zeno's younger contemporary, composed a treatise against him, which has since perished.
Zeno of Sidon probably died in Athens, Greece, around 73 B.C.
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