This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Arrian's Discourses of Epictetus
That when we cannot fulfil that which the character of a man promises, we assume the character of a philosopher.
What is the matter on which a good man should be employed, and in what we ought chiefly to practise ourselves.
1 The Spartan boys used to be whipped at the altar of Artemis Orthia till blood flowed abundantly, and sometimes till death; but they never uttered even a groan (Cicero, Tuscul. ii. 14; v. 27).
2 The preconception πρόληψις is thus defined by the Stoics: ἐστι δὴ ἡ πρόληψις ἔννοια φυσικὴ τῶν καθ᾽ ὅλου (Diogenes Laert. vii.). “We name Anticipation all knowledge, by which I can à priori know and determine that which belongs to empirical knowledge, and without doubt this is the sense in which Epicurus used his expression πρόληψις”(Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, p. 152, 7th ed.). He adds: “But since there is something in appearances which never can be known à priori, and which consequently constitutes the difference between empirical knowledge and knowledge à priori, that is, sensation (as the material of observation), it follows that this sensation is specially that which cannot be anticipated (it cannot be a πρόληψις). On the other hand, we could name the pure determinations in space and time, both in respect to form and magnitude, anticipations of the appearances, because these determinations represent à priori whatever may be presented to us à posteriori in experience.” see also p. 8, &c.
3 Nero was passionately fond of scenic representations, and used to induce the descendants of noble families, whose poverty made them consent, to appear on the stage (Tacitus, Annals, xiv. 14; Suetonius, Nero, c. 21).
5 Helvidius Priscus, a Roman senator and a philosopher, is commended by Tacitus (Hist. iv. 4, 5) as an honest man: “He followed the philosophers who considered those things only to be good which are virtuous, those only to be bad which are foul; and he reckoned power, rank, and all other things which are external to the mind as neither good nor bad.” Vespasian, probably in a fit of passion, being provoked by Helvidius, ordered him to be put to death, and then revoked the order when it was too late (Suetonius Vespasianus, c. 15).
6 Baton was elected for two years gymnasiarch or superintendent of a gymnasium in or about the time of M. Aurelius Antoninus. See Schweighaeuser's note.
7 This is supposed, as Casaubon says, to refer to Domitian's order to the philosophers to go into exile; and some of them, in order to conceal their profession of philosophy, shaved their beards. Epictetus would not take off his beard.
8 The text is: εἰ δὲ μὴ οὐ χείρων. The sense seems to be: Epictetus is not superior to Socrates, but if he is not worse, that is enough for me. On the different readings of the passage and on the sense, see the notes in Schweig.'s edition. The difficulty, if there is any, is in the negative μή.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.