Epicureanism Summary: (from Wikipedia)
A system of philosophy founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism. Later its main opponent became Stoicism. The epic poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) by Lucretius presented in one unified work the core arguments and theories of Epicureanism. The greatest good was (is) to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of a state of ataraxia (tranquility and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the workings of the world, and limiting desires.
The absence of pain and fear constitutes the greatest pleasure, and its advocacy of a simple life, make it very different from "hedonism" as colloquially understood. Epicureanism flourished in the Late Hellenistic era and during the Roman era, and many Epicurean communities resembling communes were established with perhaps 400,000 members, In Athens, Epicurus bought a property for his school called "Garden", later the name of Epicurus' school. Epicurus emphasized friendship as an important ingredient of happiness, and the school seems to have been a moderately ascetic community which rejected the political limelight of Athenian philosophy. They were fairly cosmopolitan by Athenian standards, including women and slaves.