'The Discourses of Epictetus, The Handbook, Fragments'
By Epictetus (Author), Christopher Gill (Editor), Richard Stoneman (Editor), Robin Hard (Translator)
For centuries, Stoicism was virtually the unofficial religion of the Roman world
Yet the stress on endurance, self—restraint and power of the will to withstand calamity can often seem coldhearted. It is Epictetus, a lame former slave exiled by the Emperor Domitian, who offers by far the most positive and humane version of stoic ideals. The Discourses, assembled by his pupil Arrian, catch him in action, publicly setting out his views on ethical dilemmas.
committed to communicating with the widest possible audience, Epictetus uses humor, imagery conversations and homely comparisons to put his message across. The result is a perfect universal justice, calm indifference in the face of pain – which have proved so influential throughout Western history.
The most comprehensive edition available with introduction, notes , selected criticism, glossary and chronology of Epictetus' life and times.
Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was probably born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived most of his life and died. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in hisDiscourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty of care to all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness.