Demetrius Lacon


Demetrius Lacon or Demetrius of Laconia (Greek: Δημήτριος; fl. late 2nd century BC) was an Epicurean philosopher, and a disciple of Protarchus.[1] He was an older contemporary of Zeno of Sidon and a teacher of Philodemus. Sextus Empiricus quotes part of a commentary by Demetrius on Epicurus, where Demetrius interprets Epicurus' statement that "time is an accident of accidents."[2]

Papyrus scrolls containing portions of the works of Demetrius were discovered at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. The major works partially preserved are:[3]

  • Quaestiones convivales (PHerc. 1006)
  • On the Puzzles of Polyaenus (PHerc. 1083, 1258, 1429, 1642, 1647, 1822)
  • On Geometry (PHerc. 1061)
  • On Poems (PHerc. 188, 1014)[4]
  • two untitled works (PHerc. 1786, 124)

In addition, he is the probable author of the following works:

  • On the Size of the Sun (PHerc. 1013)
  • On Fickleness (PHerc. 831)
  • an untitled work on textual criticism of Epicurus' writings (PHerc. 1012)[5]
  • an untitled theological work (PHerc. 1055)[6]
  • an untitled rhetorical work (PHerc. 128)


  1. ^ Diogenes Laertius, x. 26; Strabo, xiv. 2. 20
  2. ^ Sextus Empiricus, Against the professors, 10.219-27
  3. ^ John T. Fitzgerald, Dirk Obbink, Glenn Stanfield Holland, (2004), Philodemus and the New Testament World, page 10. BRILL.
  4. ^ Demetrius Lacon, La poesia: (PHerc. 188 e 1014), ed. Costantina Romeo. Naples 1988.
  5. ^ Demetrius Lacon, Aporie testuali ed esegetiche in Epicuro (PHerc. 1012), ed. Enzo Puglia. Naples 1988.
  6. ^ Demetrius, Lacon, La forma del Dio: PHerc. 1055, ed. Mariacarolina Santoro. Naples 2000.