As he has in the past, Alain de Botton has published educational material that links contemporary communes, and monasteries, with the historical prototype of Epicurus’ Garden in Athens.
As a result of this and other controversies, our Epicurean friend from Finland who authors the Menoeceus Blog has published the piece Correcting Some Misunderstandings.
For a counterpoint, De Botton’s views were echoed by the Las Indias cooperative, which also makes similar comparisons in their Book of Community, and goes on to link the Garden with cooperative modes of production and cohabitation.
We know with certainty that the Garden was a School, around which grew a community. We also know that many of the enemies of Epicurus, in order to discredit the Garden and enraged by the liberal acceptance of women as intellectual equals that took place there, made salacious accusation that were not founded, but which still reverberate today because so many of our sources on Epicurean history are hostile. One must always keep this in mind when reading ancient sources, and consider that children were being raised, and families were forged, within the heart of the Garden community: that it was a family environment, as well as a philosophical School.