Dozens of references to Epicurus and Epicureanism can be found in the writings of Nietzsche. Very little scholarly attention, however, has been paid to Nietzsche's particular interest in Epicureanism's relationship to Christianity. One motif within Nietzsche's ruminations on this larger theme is the persuasive opposing view Epicureanism is said to have offered to notions of personal immortality circulating among antiquity's “mystery religions” and nascent Christianity. This article examines Daybreak 72's highly original portrayal of Epicureanism's struggle with these rival “redemption doctrines.” While perhaps not as exciting as teachings of personal immortality and posthumous recompense, Nietzsche concludes that Epicurus's calm, straightforward denial of such ideas was, in fact, “real redemption.”

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