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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 καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός is the usual Greek expression to signify a perfect man. The Stoics, according to Stobaeus, absurdly called 'virtue,' καλόν (beautiful), because it naturally 'calls' (καλεῖ) to itself those who desire it. The Stoics also said that every thing good was beautiful (καλός), and that the good and the beautiful were equivalent. The Roman expression is Vir bonus et sapiens. (Hor. Epp., i. 7, 22 and 16, 20). Perhaps the phrase καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός arose from the notion of beauty and goodness being the combination of a perfect human being.
3 Antoninus, xi. 37, 'as to sensual desire he should altogether keep away from it; and as to avoidance [aversion] he should not show it with respect to any of the things which are not in our power.'
4 To point out a man with the middle finger was a way of showing the greatest contempt for him.
7 See this chapter above.
8 τοὺς σιφάρους. On this reading the student may consult the note in Schweighaeuser's edition. The word σιφάρους, if it is the right reading, is not clear; nor the meaning of this conclusion. The philosopher is represented as being full of anxiety about things which do not concern him, and which are proper subjects for those only who are free from disturbing passions and are quite happy, which i not the philosopher's condition. He is compared to a sinking ship, and at this very time he is supposed to be employed in the useless labour of hoisting the sails.
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