previous next


What do I care, he (Epictetus) says, whether all things are composed of atoms (ἀτόμων), or of similar parts (ὁμοιομερῶν) or of fire and earth? for is it not enough to know the nature of the good and the evil, and the measures (μέτρα) of the desires and the aversions (ἐκκλίσεων), and also the movements towards things and from them; and using these as rules to administer the affairs of life, but not to trouble ourselves about the things above us? For these things are perhaps incomprehensible to the human mind: and if any man should even suppose them to be in the highest degree comprehensible, what then is the profit of them, if they are comprehended? And must we not say that those men have needless trouble who assign these things as necessary to the philosopher's discourse? Is then also the precept written at Delphi superfluous, which is Know thyself? It is not so, he says. What then is the meaning of it? If a man gave to a choreutes (member of chorus) the precept to know himself, would he not have observed in the precept that he must direct his attention to himself?1


1 See Schweig.'s note, and his remark on the last line of the text.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: