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The Discourses and Manual, Together with Fragments

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  5 reviews
'About things that are within our power and those that are not.' Epictetus' Discourses have been the most widely read and influential of all writings of Stoic philosophy, from antiquity onwards. They set out the core ethical principles of Stoicism in a form designed to help people put them into practice and to use them as a basis for leading a good human life. Epictetus wa ...more
Paperback, 536 pages
Published September 3rd 2010 by Nabu Press (first published January 1st 1758)
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The main point of the Discourses can be summed up in a couple sentences: If it is under your control, change it. If it's not under your control, don't worry about it.

There's more--a lot more--of course, but nearly everything comes back to that. Epictetus keeps referring to the Reason, which is the essential central aspect of humanity, the one thing that makes you you. Therefore, that is what is under an individual's control and what they should work on, and everything else should be endured. De
Bob Nichols
Epictetus constructs an ideal human and then tells us that reason should mold us to fit that ideal. As to what constitutes the ideal, he advises that we must concern ourselves with only that which is in our power, not what is outside our power to control. This advice is anchored in a view of the cosmos that has a mind of its own. Given this fated universe, our task is to go with the flow, not fight it, and to focus only on what we have control over. Importantly, this means our desires and concer ...more
Michael Baranowski
My favorite Stoic, and in my favorite everyday translation. The Loeb hardback versions look prettier, but they cost more and - even more importantly - there's no Kindle version.
Les Johnson
Recently, I had cause to do a rendition of Epictetus' Handbook and more recently still I posted it here: http://lesjohnsonsopenpages.blogspot.... Perhaps that will do the job. It still needs a few edits.
Read the Enchiridion only. Carter translation freely available at the MIT Classics website:
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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 his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. ...more
More about Epictetus...
The Discourses The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness Discourses and Selected Writings The Golden Sayings of Epictetus Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

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“So you wish to conquer in the Olympic Games, my friend? And I, too... But first mark the conditions and the consequences. You will have to put yourself under discipline; to eat by rule, to avoid cakes and sweetmeats; to take exercise at the appointed hour whether you like it or not, in cold and heat; to abstain from cold drinks and wine at your will. Then, in the conflict itself you are likely enough to dislocate your wrist or twist your ankle, to swallow a great deal of dust, to be severely thrashed, and after all of these things, to be defeated.” 21 likes
“Don’t seek that all that comes about should come about as you wish, but wish that everything that comes about should come about just as it does, and then you’ll have a calm and happy life.” 3 likes
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