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The Discourses of Epictetus
Of the varied appearances of things to the mind, and what means are at hand by which to regulate them.
That some persons, failing to fulfil what the character of a man implies, assume that of a philosopher.
1 The word (φαντασία) here translated " the appearances of things," will sometime- be found rendered, in other passages, "the phenomena of existence," and sometimes " things as they appear." It was a favorite word with the Stoics, and can be adequately translated by no single English word, or even phrase, - implying as it does not merely the uncertainty of all impressions, but the unimportance of the emotions they involved. Fortunately for translators, Epictetus cared very little for metaphysical subtilties, and very much for his few and simple ethical principles; so that it is rarely difficult to make his meaning clear. - H.
2 Plautius Lateranus, a consul elect, was put to death by the command of Nero, for being privy to the conspiracy of Piso. His execution was so sudden that he was not permitted to take leave of his wife and children, but was hurried into a place appropriated to the punishment of slaves, and there killed by the hand of the tribune Statius. He suffered in obstinate silence, and without making any reproach to Statius, who was concerned in the same plot for which he himself was punished. Tacitus, Ann. 15.60.- C.
3 Epaphroditus was the master of requests and freedman of Nero, and the master of Epictetus. He assisted Nero in killing himself, for which he was condemned to death by Domitian Suetonius in Vita Neronis, 49; Domit. c. 14.-C.
4 Thraseas Pastus, a Stoic philosopher put to death by Nero. Hie was husband of Arria, so well known by that beautiful epigram in Martial. The expression of Tacitus concerning him is remarkable: “After the murder of so many excellent persons, Nero at last formed a desire of cutting off virtue itself, by the execution of Thraseas Paetus and Bareas Soranus.” Ann. 16.21.- C.
6 “Agrippinus was banished by Nero, for no other crime than the unfortunate death of his father, who had been causelessly killed by the command of Tiberius; and this had furnished a pretence for accusing him of hereditary disloyalty.” Tacitus, Ann. 10.1 c. 28, 29. - C.
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