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Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 1 (search)
How we should struggle with circumstances. IT is circumstances (difficulties) which show what men are.So Ovid says, Trist. iv. 3, 79:— Quae latet inque bonis cessat non cognita rebus, Apparet virtus argniturque malis. Therefore when a difficulty falls upon you, re- member that God, like a trainer of wrestlers, has matched you with a rough young man. For what purpose? you may say. Why that you may become an Olympic con- queror; but it is not accomplished without sweat. In my opinion no man has had a more profitable difficulty than you have had, if you choose to make use of it as an athlete would deal with a young antagonist. We are now sending a scout to Rome;In the time of Domitian philosophers were banished from Rome and Italy by a Senatusconsultum (Sueton. Domitian, c. 10; Dion, 67, c. 13), and at that time Epictetus, as Gellius says (xv. 11), went from Rome to Nicopolis in Epirus, where he opened a school. We may suppose that Epictetus is here speaking of some person who had gone