Everything began in 435 BC when Aristippe was born in Cyrene (in a place now called Libya). He founded the cyrenaïc school also called the hedonistic school (from the greek word "hédon" which means pleasure). This philosophy believe that happiness comes only from pleasure, because pleasure and pain are the only things that you can be sure of.
Nearly a century later, in 341 BC, Epicurus was born on the island of Samos.
His father was a school teacher and his mother a magician.
He eventually bought an orchard in Athens where he founded his school
and where he taught til his death.
Epicure tells us that the search for happiness is the goal of life, but true happiness is balanced and ascetic: drink when one is thirsty, eat when one is hungry.
Almost at the same time in 336 BC, Zenon of Citium was born at Chypre.
He founded the stoïc school called "Portique" in Athens.
For stoïcs, happiness is a choice. If you master your opinions and your judgments, you master the universe.
You don't see the connection? Just reread the preceding page!