The Vatican Sayings

In 1888 a scholar entered the Vatican Apostolic Library — one of the world’s oldest libraries — and opened an ancient 14th century manuscript. (I imagine this like the beginning of some Hollywood mystery movie.) Therein he found copies of old philosophical texts including the Echiridion of Epictetus, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius — and a previously unknown text entitled “The Sayings of Epicurus.” The list of sayings was collected or copied by an unknown author but is generally attributed to Epicurus of Samos, the founder of ancient Epicureanism.

The collection is roughly eighty aphorisms, often referenced as “VS63” (Vatican Saying 63), which is an important part of our understanding:

“Frugality too has a limit, and the man who disregards it is in like case with him who errs through excess. “


You can read of the other Vatican Sayings here (with their original Greek).