Classics Epictetus
by
John Sellars
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 August 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0216

Introduction

The philosopher Epictetus (b. c. 55–d. c. 135 CE) came originally from Hierapolis in Asia Minor and became a slave in Rome under Epaphroditus, one of Nero’s ministers. He attended the lectures of the Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus in Rome, at some point gained his freedom, and initially lectured in Rome but fled in the wake of Domitian’s ban against philosophers (c. 92–93 CE). He went on to found his own philosophical school in Nicopolis, Greece, which attracted many famous visitors, not least the emperor Hadrian. Epictetus is regularly referred to as the author of two works, the Dissertationes (Diatribai, Discourses) and the Enchiridion (Encheiridion; Handbook, Manual) although, in fact, both are the work of his pupil Arrian, the noted historian. The Dissertationes contains lively records of discussions with students and visitors that supposedly took place in Epictetus’s classroom, sometime around 108 CE. The Enchiridion is a short summary distilling the central ideas found in the Dissertationes. Four books of the Dissertationes survive out of an original eight or perhaps even twelve (cf. Photius, Bibliotheca cod. 58, who refers to eight books of discourses [Diatribai] and twelve books of conversations [Homiliai]; these could be different titles for the same work), and a number of fragments from the lost books are preserved by other authors. Epictetus was especially famous in his day, a fact reported by a number of sources, including Origen and Lucian. He was an important influence on Marcus Aurelius and later his Enchiridion received a substantial commentary from the Neoplatonist Simplicius. The Enchiridion was adapted for use in a Christian context in the early Middle Ages more than once and translated into Latin during the Renaissance by Perotti and then again by Poliziano. His works were especially popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, a fact attested by the large number of editions and translations of his works produced then. For many years scholarship on Epictetus was dominated by the work of Adolf Bonhöffer, who argued for Epictetus’s complete orthodoxy as a Stoic. For a period there was a trend away from this, pointing to distinctive and innovative aspects of Epictetus’s philosophy. More recent work has acknowledged the distinctive features of Epictetus while at the same time agreeing with Bonhöffer that on most points of doctrine Epictetus remains essentially an orthodox Stoic.

General Overviews

The best introduction to the thought of Epictetus is Long 2002. The essays gathered together in Scaltsas and Mason 2007 are all by leading scholars and examine selected topics in more detail. Graver 2013 offers a much shorter but well-informed overview. Stephens 2007 offers a lively account of the central topics and is accessible to students. Bénatouïl 2009 discusses Epictetus alongside Musonius Rufus and Marcus Aurelius, drawing out their shared theoretical interest in the nature of practical philosophy, and it is highly recommended. Gordon and Suits 2014 is a collection of conference papers touching on a wide range of topics.

  • Bénatouïl, Thomas. 2009. Les stoïciens III: Musonius – Épictète – Marc Aurèle. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A thematically structured introduction to the philosophy of these three Roman Stoics, arguing that they are not merely practical philosophers but also display a serious theoretical concern with the nature of practical philosophy. Requires French.

    Find this resource:

    • Gordon, Dane R., and David B. Suits, eds. 2014. Epictetus: His continuing influence and contemporary relevance. Rochester, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      An eclectic mixture of essays on Epictetus, some interpretive, some highlighting his relevance to contemporary philosophy, and several concerned with his later influence.

      Find this resource:

      • Graver, Margaret. 2013. Epictetus. In The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        A brief but informative overview of the central themes in Epictetus. First published in 2008, revised in 2013.

        Find this resource:

        • Long, Anthony A. 2002. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic guide to life. Oxford: Clarendon.

          DOI: 10.1093/0199245568.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          An accessible introduction by a leading scholar on Stoicism, wide ranging but especially interested in the Socratic educational project at work in the Dissertationes. The best sole-authored volume on Epictetus available in English. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

          Find this resource:

          • Scaltsas, Theodore, and Andrew S. Mason, eds. 2007. The philosophy of Epictetus. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Ten essays by leading ancient philosophy scholars on a range of topics in Epictetus, all highly recommended. Essential reading for anyone contemplating serious work on Epictetus. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

            Find this resource:

            • Stephens, W. O. 2007. Stoic ethics: Epictetus and happiness as freedom. London: Continuum.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              A clear and engaging overview of Epictetus’s philosophy, ideally suited as a general introduction for those new to the subject despite having the appearance of a monograph. Originally written in 1990.

              Find this resource:

              Bibliographies

              Oldfather 1927 (with updates in Oldfather 1952) offers a comprehensive bibliography of early printed editions of Epictetus, along with references to the early critical literature. Two very useful narrative surveys of 20th-century scholarly literature on Epictetus are Hershbell 1989 and Fuentes González 2000. The latter is especially rich in references to the literature. Boter 2011 offers a similar survey, focused on Renaissance and early modern translations and commentaries, and contains a wealth of information about the history and transmission of his works. The older survey of Epictetus in Spanneut 1962 also contains a substantial bibliography of work up to that date.

              • Boter, Gerard J. 2011. Epictetus. In Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum: Medieval and Renaissance Latin translations and commentaries IX. Edited by V. Brown, 1–54. Washington, DC: Catholic Univ. of America Press.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                A bibliographical study focused on translations of and commentaries on Epictetus in Latin. Along the way it offers a helpful overview of the reception of Epictetus and bibliographical information for both early editions and modern scholarship.

                Find this resource:

                • Fuentes González, Pedro Pablo. 2000. Épictète. In Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques III: D’Eccélos à Juvénal. Edited by Richard Goulet, 106–151. Paris: CNRS Éditions.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  A substantial bibliographical essay on Epictetus offering a comprehensive survey of literature on Epictetus in multiple languages, listing almost 400 items. In French but even readers without French can benefit from consulting its references.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Hershbell, Jackson. 1989. The Stoicism of Epictetus. In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 36.3. Edited by Wolfgang Haase, 2148–2163. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    An essay discussing 20th-century scholarship on Epictetus in both the English-speaking world and continental Europe, arranged by topic. Although it is now a bit dated since the flurry of new work over the last two decades, it remains a valuable survey of work before the 1990s.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Oldfather, William A. 1927. Contributions toward a bibliography of Epictetus. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Primarily a bibliography of early editions and translations of Epictetus, with a list of early critical literature on pp. 148–193. Supplemented and corrected by Oldfather 1952.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Oldfather, William A. 1952. Contributions toward a bibliography of Epictetus: A supplement. Edited by Marian Harman. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        Very much a supplement to Oldfather 1927 (rather than a continuation), not only correcting and expanding the original entries, but also adding a few more.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Spanneut, Michel. 1962. Epiktet. In Reallexicon für Antike und Christentum: Band 5. Edited by T. Klauser, 599–681. Stuttgart: Hiersemann.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          A substantial article on Epictetus, well worth consulting in its own right, but cited here for its survey of previous literature on Epictetus on pp. 678–681.

                          Find this resource:

                          Editions

                          The standard edition of all of Epictetus’s works (Dissertationes, Fragmenta, Enchiridion) is Schenkl 1916. Schenkl’s text is reprinted with a facing English translation in Oldfather 1925–1928. The Dissertationes were subsequently reedited in Souillhé 1943–1965. The complex textual tradition of the Enchiridion is thoroughly examined in Boter 1999, which provides a new critical edition with facing translation, as well as editions of the later Christian adaptations. His text is reprinted in Boter 2007, a more convenient editio minor. Among older editions, Schweighäuser 1799–1800 (cited under Textual Commentaries) is especially noteworthy, containing all the works and a number of related texts, all with extensive annotation.

                          • Boter, Gerard J. 1999. The Encheiridion of Epictetus and its three Christian adaptations: Transmission and critical editions. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            A substantial editio maior containing more than 200 pages of material discussing the textual tradition, a critical edition of the Enchiridion with a facing English translation, and critical editions (without translations) of the three different Christian adaptations of the text.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Boter, Gerard J. 2007. Epicteti Encheiridion. Berlin: Teubner.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              Boter’s editio minor of the Enchiridion, based on his editio maior in Boter 1999. Includes a useful bibliography of studies (pp. xxvii–xxxii) and a complete index verborum.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Oldfather, William A. 1925–1928. Epictetus, the Discourses as reported by Arrian, the Manual, and Fragments. 2 vols. London: William Heinemann.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                The text from Schenkl 1916 (with some further emendations of its own) printed with a facing English translation. Volume 1 and Volume 2 available online.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Schenkl, Henricus. 1916. Epicteti: Dissertationes ab Arriano digestae. Leipzig: Teubner.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Still the standard edition of the complete works, replacing Schenkl’s earlier editio maior of 1894. Includes a complete index verborum.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Souillhé, J. 1943–1965. Epictète, entretiens. 4 vols. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    The most recent and, for some, best critical edition of the Dissertationes, with a facing French translation. The four volumes were first published in 1943, 1949, 1963, and 1965, with second editions in 1975, 1969, 1995, and 1991, respectively.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    Translations

                                    Epictetus has been translated numerous times into many vernaculars: Oldfather 1927 (cited under Bibliographies) gives a complete guide up to that date. Among recent translations into English the most noteworthy are Hard 2014 (replacing Hard 1995) and Dobbin 2008, although the latter omits some passages of the Dissertationes considered to be mere repetition. For a translation of just the Enchiridion, White 1983 is lively, inexpensive, and has a useful introduction. Other translations into English worth noting include Oldfather 1925–1928 and Boter 1999 (both cited under Editions) and Dobbin 1998 and Seddon 2005 (both cited under Textual Commentaries).

                                    • Dobbin, Robert. 2008. Epictetus: Discourses and selected writings. London: Penguin.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      English translation aimed at a wide audience, based on Souillhé’s text. Some parts of Books 3 and 4 of the Dissertationes are omitted where Dobbin judges them to be “little more than restatements of ideas developed to better effect elsewhere” (p. xxiii). The fragments and Enchiridion are also included.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Hard, Robin. 1995. The Discourses of Epictetus. Edited by Christopher Gill. London: J. M. Dent.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        A revision of Elizabeth Carter’s 18th-century translation, with introduction, notes, and an appendix (pp. 338–349) containing a selection of extracts from the secondary literature. Now effectively replaced by Hard 2014, it nevertheless remains a useful volume.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Hard, Robin. 2014. Epictetus: Discourses, fragments, handbook. With an introduction and notes by Christopher Gill. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          The most recent complete translation of Epictetus, with an introduction, bibliography, and notes all taking into account recent scholarship. Highly recommended.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • White, Nicholas P. 1983. The Handbook (The Encheiridion). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Translation of the Enchiridion with a helpful introduction and some occasional explanatory notes. The references to further reading inevitably look somewhat dated now.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            Textual Commentaries

                                            The only complete textual commentary on the Dissertationes is in Schweighäuser 1799–1800. There is a helpful commentary in English on just Book 1 in Dobbin 1998. Billerbeck 1978 gives a commentary in German on Dissertationes 3.22. Willms 2011 and Vollenweider, et al. 2013 both offer commentaries in German on Dissertationes 4.1; the former is more detailed while the latter includes interpretive essays by various hands. The Enchiridion is examined closely in Gourinat 1998, Hadot 2000, and Seddon 2005.

                                            • Billerbeck, Margarethe. 1978. Epiktet: Von Kynismus. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              A critical edition of Dissertationes 3.22 with a facing German translation and an extensive commentary, also in German.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Dobbin, Robert. 1998. Discourses Book 1. Translated with an introduction and commentary. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Contains a translation of Book 1 of the Dissertationes with a commentary focused on philosophical issues.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Gourinat, Jean-Baptiste. 1998. Premières leçons sur le Manuel d’Épictète. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  A slim volume aimed at students containing a translation of the Enchiridion into French preceded by a very rich introduction discussing its composition and central themes. Requires French but highly recommended as an introduction to the text.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Hadot, Pierre. 2000. Arrien, Manuel d’Épictète. Introduction, translation, and notes. Paris: Le Livre de Poche.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    A detailed philosophical commentary on the Enchiridion, along with a translation of the text, informed by Hadot’s important work on spiritual exercises. Requires French.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Schweighäuser, Johannes. 1799–1800. Epicteteae Philosophiae Monumenta. 5 vols. Leipzig: Weidmann.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Volume 2 of this major work of early scholarship contains a textual commentary on the entire Dissertationes filling almost 1000 pages. Requires knowledge of Greek and Latin.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Seddon, Keith. 2005. Epictetus’ Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes. London: Routledge.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Contains a translation of the Enchiridion with commentary. Includes useful vocabulary lists of key terms. Accessible and well suited for students.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Vollenweider, Samuel, Manuel Baumbach, Eva Ebel, Maximilian Forschner, and Thomas Schmeller. 2013. Epiktet, was ist wahre Freiheit? Diatribe IV 1. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          A volume devoted to Dissertationes 4.1 containing Greek text (noting amendments to the text in Schenkl 1916, cited under Editions) with a facing German translation, detailed notes on the text, and a series of interpretative essays.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Willms, Lothar. 2011. Epiktets Diatribe uber die Freiheit (4.1): Einleitung, Übersetzung, Kommentar. 2 vols. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitatsverlag Winter.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            A substantial pair of volumes, in German, containing a detailed commentary on the Greek text of Diss. 4.1., although it does not include the Greek text of Diss. 4.1 itself.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            Early Scholarship

                                                            At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries Epictetus was the subject of a number of scholarly studies that are by no means completely superseded today. Most important among these are a pair of volumes in German by Adolf Bonhöffer (Bonhöffer 1890, Bonhöffer 1894), the second of which has been translated into English (Bonhöffer 1996). In French scholarship Théodore Colardeau’s study of 1903 (Colardeau 1903) has been influential on later scholars and was reissued in 2004 (Colardeau 2004). Further early works are listed in Oldfather 1927 (cited under Bibliographies).

                                                            Historical Context

                                                            Epictetus was active at the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century CE, under the emperors Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian. This imperial political context is examined in Starr 1949. Millar 1965 considers what Epictetus’s Dissertationes can tell us about this period, approaching the text as a historical source. Brunt 1977 looks at the social backgrounds of those who attended Epictetus’s lectures, especially his pupils. This is expanded upon in Hock 1991, which focuses on Epictetus’s intellectual network. Stadter 1980 examines Arrian’s ambition to become a new Xenophon for Epictetus, who is cast as a new Socrates.

                                                            • Brunt, P. A. 1977. From Epictetus to Arrian. Athenaeum 55:19–48.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Discusses the social backgrounds of Epictetus, visitors to his school, and his pupils, concluding that most of his pupils were likely to have been upper-class Greeks hoping for an imperial career. Brunt also questions the extent of Epictetus’s influence on Arrian, given the attitudes that Arrian displays in his other works. Reprinted in Miriam Griffin and Alison Samuels, Studies in Stoicism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 331–359.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Hock, Ronald F. 1991. “By the Gods, it’s my one desire to see an actual Stoic”: Epictetus’ relation with students and visitors in his personal network. Semeia 56:121–142.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                A study of the relations that Epictetus had with the wide variety of visitors to his school, as recorded in the Dissertationes. Hock uses this evidence to construct what he calls Epictetus’s “intellectual network.” Hock argues that this network was much smaller than is often supposed.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Millar, F. 1965. Epictetus and the imperial court. Journal of Roman Studies 55.1–2: 141–148.

                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/297436Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Discusses Epictetus’s value as a historical source for the period, paying particular attention to the various visitors to his school who are described in the Dissertationes. Contains much biographical information about Epictetus along the way. Presupposes knowledge of Greek. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Stadter, Philip A. 1980. Arrian of Nicomedia. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Chapter 2 of this study of Arrian, “The Encounter with Epictetus” (pp. 19–310), considers the Dissertationes and Enchiridion from the perspective of their author.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Starr, Chester G. 1949. Epictetus and the tyrant. Classical Philology 44:20–29.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1086/363150Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Discusses the political context in which Epictetus lived, especially the reign of Domitian, and examines Epictetus’s various reflections on good and bad political rulers. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      Influences

                                                                      Epictetus draws on a wide range of earlier philosophical influences, with the Socratic tradition dominating. The influence of Socrates on Epictetus has been written on widely: the early work of Döring 1974 has more recently been followed by Long 2000, Gourinat 2001, and Long 2004. Epictetus’s use of Plato’s dialogues is examined in Jagu 1946, where again the focus is on Socratic material from the earlier dialogues. His relationship with Cynicism has also been discussed widely, most notably in Decleva Caizzi 1977, Billerbeck 1996 (see also Billerbeck 1978, cited under Textual Commentaries), and, more recently, Schofield 2007. His commitment to the early Stoicism of Zeno and Chrysippus is defended in many of the publications listed in this article, most notably in Bonhöffer 1890 and Bonhöffer 1894 (both cited under Early Scholarship). Epictetus was also influenced by his immediate teacher Musonius Rufus, whose impact is briefly assessed in Hershbell 1989 (cited under Bibliographies, pp. 2157–2159).

                                                                      • Billerbeck, Margarethe. 1996. The ideal Cynic from Epictetus to Julian. In The Cynics: The Cynic movement in antiquity and its legacy. Edited by Robert B. Branham and Marie-Odile Goulet-Cazé, 205–221. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Discusses Epictetus’s idealized portrayal of Cynicism as a philosophical way of life within the context of the wider reception of Cynicism in the Imperial period. First published in French as “Le cynisme idéalisé, d’Épictète à Julien,” in Le cynisme ancien et ses prolongements, edited by M.-O. Goulet-Cazé and R. Goulet (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1993), pp. 319–338.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Decleva Caizzi, Fernanda. 1977. La tradizione antistenico-cinica in Epitteto. In Scuole socratiche minori e filosofia ellenistica. Edited by Gabriele Giannantoni, 93–113. Bologna, Italy: Il Mulino.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          A close study of Cynic material in Epictetus, responding to Bonhöffer’s claim (Bonhöffer 1894, p. iv, cited under Early Scholarship) that Cynicism in Epictetus is merely an accessory to his orthodox Stoicism. In Italian and presupposes knowledge of Greek.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Döring, K. 1974. Sokrates bei Epiktet. In Studia Platonica: Festschrift für Hermann Gundert. Edited by Klaus Döring and Wolfgang Kullmann, 195–226. Amsterdam: B. R. Grüner.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Discusses the influence of Socrates on a range of themes from Epictetus’s philosophy. In German and presupposes knowledge of Greek.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Gourinat, Jean-Baptiste. 2001. Le Socrate d’Ėpictète. Philosophie antique 1:137–165.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Examines Epictetus’s sources for his knowledge of Socrates and argues that Epictetus focuses on those aspects of Socrates’s persona that accord with his own brand of Stoicism. Appears in a themed issue of the journal entitled “Figures de Socrate.”

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Jagu, Amand. 1946. Épictète et Platon: Essai sur les relations du Stoïcisme et du Platonisme à propos de la morale des Entretiens. Paris: Vrin.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                An older but still useful study of Platonic material in Epictetus, which, in practice, means primarily Socratic themes from the early Platonic dialogues.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Long, Anthony A. 2000. Epictetus as Socratic mentor. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 46:79–98.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0068673500002455Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Examines the Socratic character of Epictetus’s method of teaching and conception of philosophy. Available online by subscription.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Long, Anthony A. 2004. The Socratic imprint on Epictetus’ philosophy. In Stoicism: Traditions and transformations. Edited by Steven K. Strange and Jack Zupko, 10–31. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511498374.003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Examines Socratic themes in Epictetus and his use of early Platonic dialogues (especially the Gorgias), largely based on chapter 3 of Long 2002 (cited under General Overviews).

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Schofield, Malcolm. 2007. Epictetus on cynicism. In The philosophy of Epictetus. Edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason, 71–86. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233076.003.0006Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      A discussion of Epictetus’s use of Diogenes the Cynic, focusing on the lessons that can be taken from Diogenes’s philosophical way of life. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      Philosophy

                                                                                      There is a substantial literature on Epictetus’s approach to philosophy as a practical art of living. This is stressed in two older studies, Hijmans 1959 (more specialist) and Xenakis 1969 (more accessible). Epictetus has also benefited from the renewed interest in the idea of philosophy as a way of life generated by the work of Pierre Hadot, who discusses Epictetus in Hadot 1998 (and note Hadot 2000, cited under Textual Commentaries). In particular, Hadot has drawn attention to the role of the three areas (topoi) or disciplines of desire, impulse, and assent, on which see Hadot 1978. Epictetus’s Enchiridion is considered within the wider context of Stoic thinking about philosophy as an art of living in Sellars 2009.

                                                                                      • Hadot, Pierre. 1978. Une clé des Pensées de Marc Aurèle: Les trois topoi philosophiques selon Épictète. Les Études philosophiques 65–83.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Examines Epictetus’s account of the three philosophical topoi (outlined in Dissertationes 3.2.1–2) to show how they shed light on the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Reprinted in Hadot’s Exercices spirituels et philosophie antique (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1981).

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Hadot, Pierre. 1998. The inner citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Chapter 5 of this monograph on Marcus Aurelius is devoted to “The Stoicism of Epictetus”). First published in French as La citadelle intérieure: Introduction aux pensées de Marc Aurèle (Paris: Fayard, 1992).

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Hijmans, Benjamin L. 1959. ASKESIS: Notes on Epictetus’ educational system. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            An older study examining philosophical training in Epictetus. Presupposes knowledge of Greek.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Sellars, John. 2009. The art of living: The Stoics on the nature and function of philosophy. 2d ed. London: Duckworth.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Chapter 6 discusses the Enchiridion and suggests that it is an example of a text devoted to philosophical exercises, structured according to Epictetus’s three topoi outlined in Dissertationes 3.2.1–2. First published by Ashgate in 2003.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Xenakis, Iason. 1969. Epictetus: Philosopher therapist. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-9060-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                An older but still valuable study, offering an overview of Epictetus’s philosophy with a focus on practical training for a philosophical life.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                Logic

                                                                                                Epictetus often refers to logic in the Dissertationes, despite his central concern with the practical task of living a philosophical life. Indeed, Epictetus insists that the study of logic is essential to that task. Those references include passing remarks about argument forms and paradoxes that scholars have examined to reconstruct Epictetus’s own attitude toward logic and its place within his teaching. An early attempt at this can be found in Xenakis 1968, now largely superseded by the more recent and substantial account in Barnes 1997. Taking “logic” in its broader ancient sense, De Lacy 1943 highlights the way in which Epictetus’s ethics is grounded on logical, epistemological, and value judgments. Logic is also closely related to the topoi of assent; the connection between the two is discussed in Crivelli 2007.

                                                                                                • Barnes, J. 1997. Logic and the imperial Stoa. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  The bulk of this volume is devoted to studying logical material in Epictetus, showing that the study of logic was an important practice in Epictetus’s classroom. Highly recommended and accessible to those with no background in logic.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Crivelli, Paolo. 2007. Epictetus and logic. In The philosophy of Epictetus. Edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason, 20–31. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233076.003.0003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Discusses Epictetus’s use of logic in relation to assent, justifying proofs, and dialectical debate. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • De Lacy, Philip. 1943. The logical structure of the ethics of Epictetus. Classical Philology 38.2: 112–125.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Examines the role of logical judgments (understood broadly) in the ethics of Epictetus to show that Epictetus follows the orthodox Stoic view that the study of logic ought to precede the study of ethics. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Xenakis, J. 1968. Logical topics in Epictetus. Southern Journal of Philosophy 6:94–102.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.1968.tb02032.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Examines Epictetus’s remarks on logic as a subject of study, arguments, and paradoxes. Much of the material overlaps with chapter 3 of Xenakis 1969 (cited under Philosophy).

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        Physics

                                                                                                        Epictetus does not have much to say about the technical details of Stoic physical theory. Even so, themes from Stoic physics abound in the Dissertationes, especially the topics of God, providence, determinism, and the soul. Algra 2007 examines theology and pantheism, arguing that Epictetus remains an orthodox Stoic on these issues. The complex topics of determinism and freedom are examined in Bobzien 1998 and Braicovich 2010, which should be read alongside Dobbin 1991, Asmis 2001, and Salles 2014 (all cited under Ethics) to get a full sense of the recent scholarly debate. On human nature as an expression of nature as a whole, see Hijmans 1967.

                                                                                                        • Algra, Keimpe. 2007. Epictetus and Stoic theology. In The philosophy of Epictetus. Edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason, 32–55. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233076.003.0004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Algra argues that Epictetus’s use of personalist language about God does not constitute a departure from Stoic orthodoxy but simply reflects, in part, the function of the Dissertationes. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Bobzien, Susanne. 1998. Determinism and freedom in Stoic philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Chapter 7 discusses Epictetus’s remarks on freedom (eleutheria) and what is “up to us” (eph’ hêmin), arguing that although there is a shift in emphasis between Epictetus and the early Stoa there is no substantive difference. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Braicovich, Rodrigo Sebastián. 2010. Freedom and determinism in Epictetus’ Discourses. Classical Quarterly 60.1: 202–220.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0009838809990541Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Argues that Epictetus offers a completely deterministic account of freedom, making no movement toward the (later) notion of free will. Available online by subscription.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Hijmans, Benjamin L. 1967. A note on φύσις in Epictetus. Mnemosyne 20:279–284.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1163/156852567X00041Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                A short piece examining Epictetus’s use of the word phusis, primarily focused on claims about individual human nature. Presupposes knowledge of Greek. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                Ethics

                                                                                                                Epictetus addresses a wide range of issues in ethics and moral psychology, many of which are discussed in Long 2002 and Stephens 2007 (both cited under General Overviews). To these one can now add Johnson 2014, focused on the place of personal and social roles in Epictetus’s ethics. Among specific topics, the notion of choice or will (proairesis) in Epictetus has attracted considerable attention. Dobbin 1991 argues that Epictetus was influenced by Aristotle, although that claim has been challenged in Bobzien 1998 (cited under Physics) and Sorabji 2007. Asmis 2001 argues that with this doctrine Epictetus departs from the early Stoa and “offers a new concept of human freedom.” This is also closely related to ethical autonomy, discussed in Kamtekar 1998, which connects it to the virtue of self-respect. Salles 2014 argues that Epictetus’s focus on what is “up to us” (eph’ hêmin) relies upon a causal notion of moral responsibility, in line with early Stoicism. Epictetus’s focus on choice is also central to his approach to the emotions, for which see Long 2006. The emotional life of the ideal sage is considered in Stephens 1996.

                                                                                                                • Asmis, Elizabeth. 2001. Choice in Epictetus’ philosophy. In Antiquity and humanity: Essays on ancient religion and philosophy. Edited by Adela Yarbro Collins and Margaret M. Mitchell, 385–412. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Asmis argues that Epictetus’s account of proairesis, which ought to be understood as “choice” rather than “character,” takes him beyond early Stoic philosophy and makes a new contribution to the history of free will. Presupposes knowledge of Greek in places.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Dobbin, Robert. 1991. Προαίρεσις in Epictetus. Ancient Philosophy 11:111–135.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.5840/ancientphil199111138Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Dobbin argues that Epictetus’s notion of proairesis was influenced by Aristotle’s earlier use of the term and that, consequently, Epictetus broke from early Stoic determinism.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Johnson, Brian Earl. 2014. The role ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in ordinary life. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      An extended study of Epictetus’s reflections on the different roles that people occupy in life, placed within the wider context of Epictetus’s ethics. Johnson argues that Epictetus’s view can be distinguished from Cicero’s well-known account of personae.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Kamtekar, Rachana. 1998. ΑΙΔΩS in Epictetus. Classical Philology 93.2: 136–160.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1086/449384Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        The author examines the role of “self-respect” in Epictetus’s ethics, arguing that according to Epictetus self-judgment based on conscience ought to replace concern for one’s reputation based on the judgment of others. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Long, A. A. 2006. Epictetus on understanding and managing emotions. In From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman philosophy. By Anthony A. Long, 377–394. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          An essay on moral psychology and emotions in Epictetus, placing Epictetus’s reflections on emotions against the background of the early Stoic theory and arguing for their continuing relevance. Originally written as a public lecture (and first published in Quaestiones Infinitae 48 (2003): 1–38), making it highly accessible.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Salles, Ricardo. 2014. Epictetus and the causal conception of moral responsibility and what is eph’ hêmin. In What is up to us? Studies on agency and responsibility in ancient philosophy. Edited by Pierre Destrée, Ricardo Salles, and Marco Zingano, 169–182. Sankt Augustin, Germany: Academia Verlag.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Salles argues that Epictetus held a causal model of moral responsibility, in harmony with Chrysippus, against the interpretations of Bobzien 1998 and Braicovich 2010 (cited under Physics).

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Sorabji, Richard. 2007. Epictetus on proairesis and self. In The philosophy of Epictetus. Edited by Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason, 87–98. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233076.003.0007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              The author examines Epictetus’s use of proairesis and his claim that we are our proairesis. Sorabji stresses the differences between Epictetus and Aristotle, contra Dobbin 1991. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Stephens, William O. 1996. Epictetus on how the Stoic sage loves. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 14:193–210.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Stephens argues that Epictetus embraces some forms of love, such as family affection and friendship, while rejecting erotic love. On this last point Epictetus agrees with other Roman Stoics but differs from the early Stoa.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                Politics

                                                                                                                                Epictetus follows his Stoic predecessors in endorsing a form of cosmopolitanism based on the divine rationality shared by all humankind that also forms the “law” of the cosmos conceived as a city. For the early Stoic version of this doctrine, see Vogt 2008. For Epictetus’s account, see Bodson 1967 and Stanton 1968, which both discuss him alongside other Roman Stoics. Epictetus’s social ethics is grounded on the Stoic theory of oikeiôsis, on which see Inwood 1996 (and note also Stephens 1996, cited under Ethics). On Epictetus’s attitude to the political context in which he lived and how best to live under tyranny, see Starr 1949 (cited under Historical Context).

                                                                                                                                • Bodson, Arthur. 1967. La morale sociale des derniers stoïciens, Sénèque, Épictète et Marc Aurèle. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Bodson examines the social and political thought of the Roman Stoics. Written in French and in places presupposes knowledge of Greek.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Inwood, B. 1996. L’oikeiôsis sociale chez Épictète. In Polyhistor: Studies in the history and historiography of ancient philosophy. Edited by Keimpe A. Algra, Pieter W. van der Horst, and David T. Runia, 243–264. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A study of Epictetus’s social ethics emphasizing its foundation in the Stoic theory of natural affiliation (oikeiôsis).

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Stanton, G. R. 1968. The cosmopolitan ideas of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Phronesis 13.2: 183–195.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1163/156852868X00146Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      A close study of the notions of conceiving the “cosmos as a city” and being a “citizen of the cosmos” in Epictetus and Marcus. Presupposes knowledge of Greek. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Vogt, Katja Maria. 2008. Law, reason, and the cosmic city: Political philosophy in the early Stoa. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320091.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        A relatively recent study of early Stoic cosmopolitanism. Useful background for approaching Epictetus. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        Relationship with Early Christianity

                                                                                                                                        Christian readers of Epictetus have often perceived an affinity between his philosophy and the teachings of the New Testament. Many early Christian authors referred favorably to Stoicism, leading to the possibility that they drew on Stoic ideas from later Stoics such as Epictetus. In the late 19th century this view was challenged and then reversed, with some claiming that any similarity was due to Epictetus borrowing from the New Testament. That claim was attacked by Adolf Bonhöffer, who insisted in Bonhöffer 1911 (as in his other works) on Epictetus’s orthodox Stoicism. In a similar vein, Sharp 1914 downplays textual similarities and, despite noting some parallels, points to some fundamental points of difference. Even so, the perceived affinity has never gone away. Jagu 1989 suggests that Epictetus’s theism is more personalistic than the impersonal pantheism of the early Stoa, bringing him closer to Christianity in this respect (see also Algra 2007, cited under Physics), and the essay by Vollenweider in Vollenweider, et al. 2013 (cited under Textual Commentaries, pp. 119–162), on Epictetus’s theology and the New Testament. However Sevenster 1966 highlights some important differences between the two, especially Epictetus’s focus on rational autonomy. More recently, a renewed interest in the relationship between Christianity and Roman Stoicism has emerged; Thorsteinsson 2010 is a representative example and includes bibliographical references to further recent literature.

                                                                                                                                        • Bonhöffer, Adolf. 1911. Epiktet und das Neue Testament. Giessen, Germany: Alfred Töpelmann.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          An important study in German, arguing against claims by Theodor Zahn and others that Epictetus read and drew on the New Testament.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Jagu, A. 1989. La morale d’Epictète et le christianisme. In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 36.3. Edited by Wolfgang Haase, 2164–2199. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Jagu examines a range of themes in Epictetus that bear comparison with Christian teaching, suggesting that Epictetus’s personalistic theism is different from the impersonal theism of early Stoicism. Also considers points of difference, concluding that while doctrinally Stoicism and Christianity are incompatible, ethically there is some common ground.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Sevenster, J. N. 1966. Education or conversion: Epictetus and the Gospels. Novum Testamentum 8:247–262.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Sevenster contrasts Epictetus’s focus on rational autonomy and moral progress through education with Christianity’s emphasis on dependence on God—a point previously made, as Sevenster acknowledges, by Pascal. Available online by purchase or subscription.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Sharp, Douglas S. 1914. Epictetus and the New Testament. London: Charles H. Kelly.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This older study offers a close examination of linguistic parallels between Epictetus and the New Testament and also considers “remarkable parallels” between the thought of the two. However, it concludes that this is in large part simply due to the koinê Greek used by both, and Epictetus was unlikely to have known the New Testament.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Thorsteinsson, Runar M. 2010. Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism: A comparative study of ancient morality. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578641.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  This comparative study of Stoicism and Christianity in the 1st century CE examines many similarities but also notes an important difference on the topic of universal humanity (endorsed by Stoics, not by early Christians). Chapter 4 is devoted to Epictetus. Available online via Oxford Scholarship Online, by subscription.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  Ancient and Medieval Commentaries

                                                                                                                                                  Epictetus’s Enchiridion is noteworthy for being the only Stoic text to receive a commentary in Late Antiquity, by the Neoplatonist Simplicius. While his commentary is concerned more with making use of Epictetus’s text within the context of the Neoplatonic educational curriculum than explicating it on its own terms, it still contains much that is useful for the student of Epictetus, as well as being an important text in its own right. A critical edition is available in Simplicius 1996 and the text is translated into English in Simplicius 2002. It is discussed in Hadot and Hadot 2004 and Vogel 2013. Less well known is the commentary from the 9th or the 10th century on one of the Christian adaptations of the Enchiridion, which is edited and translated in French in Spanneut 2007.

                                                                                                                                                  • Hadot, Ilsetraut, and Pierre Hadot. 2004. Apprendre à philosopher dans l’antiquité: L’enseignement du “Manuel d’Épictète” et son commentaire néoplatonicien. Paris: Le Livre de Poche.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    This study in French examines both the Enchiridion and Simplicius’s commentary, with close studies of Enchiridion 1 and 31–2 and the use that Simplicius makes of them within a Neoplatonic context.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Simplicius. 1996. Commentaire sur le Manuel d’Épictète. Translated by Ilsetraut Hadot. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      A critical edition of Simplicius’s commentary with a substantial introduction in French discussing both the content and the history of the text. Note also Hadot’s editio minor of the first half of the commentary with a facing French translation, published in the Budé series in 2001.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Simplicius. 2002. On Epictetus’ “Handbook.” 2 vols. Translated by Charles Brittain and Tad Brennan. London: Duckworth.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Simplicius’s commentary translated into English with notes and a very helpful introduction, in the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle series.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Spanneut, Michel. 2007. Commentaire sur la Paraphrase chrétienne du Manuel d’Épictète. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          A critical edition with facing French translation of commentary from the 9th or the 10th century on one of the Christian adaptations of the Enchiridion, with a substantial introduction discussing the textual history and its sources.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Vogel, Christian. 2013. Stoische Ethik und platonische Bildung: Simplikios’ Kommentar zu Epiktets Handbüchlein der Moral. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitätsverlag Winter.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            A substantial monograph in German discussing moral development in Epictetus and ethics in Simplicius, and offering an extended analysis of Simplicius’s commentary.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            Modern Reception

                                                                                                                                                            The recovery of Epictetus in the Renaissance began with Perotti’s translation of the Enchiridion into Latin (c. 1450), although his version remained unpublished until the 20th century (edited and discussed in Oliver 1954). Poliziano also translated the Enchiridion, co-opting Epictetus to Platonism along the way; his translation is printed in Schweighäuser 1799–1800 (cited under Textual Commentaries) and his letter defending Epictetus is translated into English in Kraye 1997. In the 16th century Epictetus inspired the Neostoic Guillaume Du Vair, who translated the Enchiridion into French and wrote his own work Moral Philosophy of the Stoics, which he admitted was little more than a re-presentation of Epictetus’s philosophy (Kirk 1951). By contrast, in the next century Pascal was highly critical of Epictetus’s philosophy and its compatibility with Christian teaching, especially in his L’entretien de Pascal et Sacy, which is examined in Courcelle 1960. (Pascal’s criticisms of Epictetus have been very influential and are often alluded to in discussions of the relationship between Epictetus and Christianity.) Shaftesbury was an avid reader of Epictetus and his notebook reflections are in Ashley Cooper 2011. Brobjer 2003 argues that Epictetus constituted an important influence on Nietzsche in his middle period. Epictetus is also a pervasive influence throughout Foucault’s reflections on care of the self (Foucault 2005). Gordon and Suits 2014 (cited under General Overviews) includes essays on Epictetus’s influence on Kant and Foucault. Many of these moments in the reception of Epictetus are discussed within the wider context of the reception of Stoicism in Sellars 2016.

                                                                                                                                                            • Ashley Cooper, Anthony, Third Earl of Shaftesbury. 2011. Standard Edition II, Works: Moral and Political Philosophy, 6: Askêmata. Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Critical edition of Shaftesbury’s Askêmata notebooks in which the author draws on Epictetus extensively. The editorial introduction discusses Shaftesbury’s interest in Roman Stoicism.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Brobjer, Thomas H. 2003. Nietzsche’s reading of Epictetus. Nietzsche-Studien 32:429–452.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Examines Nietzsche’s changing attitude toward Epictetus (positive in his middle period, more critical later) and argues that Epictetus was probably an important influence on the development of Nietzsche’s doctrine of amor fati.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Courcelle, Pierre. 1960. L’entretien de Pascal et Sacy: Ses sources et ses énigmes. Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  An annotated edition of Pascal’s “Discussion with Monsieur De Sacy,” with further essays examining Pascal’s engagement with Epictetus and the relationship between this work and the Pensées. Requires French.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Foucault, Michel. 2005. The hermeneutics of the subject. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Picador.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-137-09483-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    First published in French in 2001 as L’herméneutique du sujet, these lectures delivered at the Collège de France in 1981–1982 discuss Epictetus at a number of points within the context of a wider exploration of Greco-Roman accounts of subjectivity.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Kirk, Rudolf. 1951. The moral philosophie of the Stoicks. Translated by Thomas James. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      An English translation of Du Vair’s Philosophie morale des Stoïques, first published in 1598 and here edited with a helpful introduction by Kirk. Du Vair’s French text is available in De la sainte philosophie: Philosophie morale des Stoïques, edited by G. Michaut (Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1945).

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Kraye, Jill, ed. 1997. Cambridge translations of Renaissance philosophical texts. Vol. 1, Moral philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        Contains a translation of Angelo Poliziano’s “Letter to Bartolomeo Scala in Defence of the Stoic Philosopher Epictetus,” pp. 192–199.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Oliver, Revile P. 1954. Niccolò Perotti’s version of the Enchiridion of Epictetus. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          A critical edition of Perotti’s previously unpublished translation of the Enchiridion into Latin, with an introduction placing the work within the wider context of Perotti’s career.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Sellars, John, ed. 2016. The Routledge handbook of the Stoic tradition. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            A collection of twenty-six essays discussing the reception of Stoicism from Antiquity to the present. The reception of Epictetus is discussed in a number of chapters, especially chapter 9 (Jill Kraye, “Poliziano,” pp. 135–140) and chapter 14 (Michael Moriarty, “Du Vair,” pp. 205–206).

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            back to top

                                                                                                                                                                            Article

                                                                                                                                                                            Up

                                                                                                                                                                            Down