Born in 341 B.C., probably in Samos, Epikouros studied and taught philosophy across the Greek world before establishing his school in Athens. For 36 years, he lived, studied and wrote there, isolated from the outside world except for his students and his scholarship. Both his work and his appearance were recognized throughout Roman times. As Cicero notes, his friend Titus Pomponius Atticus "could not forget Epikouros even if he wanted; the members of our body not only have pictures of him, but even have his likeness on their drinking cups and rings," (De finibus bonorum et malorum, V,i,3).
Portraits of Epikouros share the elongated head, the bulbous nose, the weathered face and the full beard. For similar portraits in the Capitoline Museum and the National Museum, Naples, see nos. 77-78 in Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks.