Peter Jones

Eat, drink and be merry — but be virtuous too if you want to be happy

A classicist draws on ancient wisdom to illuminate contemporary follies

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Since Christmas is the season of good cheer but seems to leave millions squabbling, resentful and as miserable as sin, it is an appropriate time to consider what the key to happiness is. The ancients provided two distinct but highly practical theories, easily condensable into the average cracker.

The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341–270 bc) is popularly associated with the philosophy of hedonism (Greek h