1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Philodemus
PHILODEMUS, Epicurean philosopher and poet, was born at Gadara in Coele-Syria early in the 1st century B.C., and settled in Rome in the time of Cicero. He was a friend of Calpurnius Piso, and was implicated in his profligacy by Cicero (in Pisonem, 29), who, however, praises him warmly for his philosophic views and for the elegans lascivia of his poems (cf. Horace, Satires, 1.2. 120). The Greek anthology contains thirty-four of his epigrams. From the excavations of the villa at Herculaneum (q.v.) there have been recovered thirty-six treatises attributed to Philodemus, and it has been suggested that the villa was actually owned by him; but this is generally denied. These works deal with music, rhetoric, ethics, signs, virtues and vices, and defend the Epicurean standpoint against the Stoics and the Peripatetics.