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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.
2 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 from Nicopolis to Rome to inquire about the state of affairs there under the cruel tyrant Domitian. (Schweighaeuser.)
3 Diogenes was brought to king Philip after the battle of Chaeronea as a spy (iii. 22, 24). Plutarch in the treatise, Quomodo assentator ab amico dignoscatur, c. 30, states that when Philip asked Diogenes if he was a spy, he replied, Certainly I am a spy, Philip, of your want of judgment and of your folly, which lead you without any necessity to put to the hazard your kingdom and your life in one single hour.
4 The garment with the broad border, the laticlave, was the dress of a senator; the garment with the narrow border, the angusticlave, was the dress of a man of the equestrian order.
6 This means “you can die when you please.” Comp. i. c. 9. The power of dying when you please is named by Plinius (N. H. ii. c. 7) the best thing that God has given to man amidst all the sufferings of life.
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