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Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
d. So we must know that in the case of men too it is a curse not to die, just the same as not to be ripened and not to be reaped. But since we must be reaped, and we also know that we are reaped, we are vexed at it; for we neither know what we are nor have we studied what belongs to man, as those who have studied horses know what belongs to horses. But Cbry- santasThe story is in Xenophon's Cyropaedia (IV. near the beginning) where Cyrus says that he called Chrysantas by name. Epictetus, as Upton remarks, quotes from memory. when he was going to strike the enemy checked himself when he heard the trumpet sounding a retreat: so it seemed better to him to obey the general's command than to follow his own inclination. But not one of us chooses, even when necessity summons, readily to obey it, but weeping and groaning we suffer what we do suffer, and we call them 'circumstances.' What kind of circumstances, man? If you give the name of circumstances to the things which are around you, all
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
isunderstood, or if they are not seen right, men may be governed by an abject superstition. So the external forms of any religion may become the means of corruption and of human debasement, and the true indications of God's will may be neglected. Upton compares Lucan (ix. 572), who sometimes said a few good things. For what more can the diviner see than death or danger or disease, or generally things of that kind? If then I must expose myself to danger for a friend, and if it is my duty even toeads to\n o)rniqa/rion. See his note. by the hand, and while we invoke God we intreat the augur, and say Master have mercy on me;'*ku/rie e)le/hson, Domine miserere. Notissima formula in Christiana ecclesia jam usque a primis temporibus usurpata' Upton. suffer me to come safe out of this difficulty. Wretch, would you have then any thing other than what is best? Is there then any thing better than what pleases God? Why do you, as far as is in your power, corrupt your judge and lead astray your a
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
. Paul says (Romans, ii. 28), 'For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly—but he is a Jew which is one inwardly,' etc. His remarks (ii. 17–29) on the man 'who is called a Jew, and rests in the law and makes his boast of God' may be compared with what Epictetus says of a man who is called a philosopher, and does not practise that which he professes. Thus we too being falsely imbued (baptized), are in name Jews, but in fact we are something else. Our affects (feelings) are inconsistent with our words; we are far from practising what we say, and that of which we are proud, as if we knew it. Thus being unable to fulfil even what the character of a man promises, we even add to it the profession of a philosopher, which is as heavy a burden, as if a man who is unable to bear ten pounds should attempt to raise the stone which AjaxSee ii. 24, 26; Iliad, vii. 264, etc.; Juvenal, xv. 65, Nec hunc lapidem, quales et Turnus et Ajax Vel quo Tydides percussit pondere coxam Aeneae. —Upton. li
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
desire and aversion are disordered, he is not in the right way, he is in a fever. For nothing else changes the colour, or causes trembling or chattering of the teeth, or causes a man to Sink in his knees and shift from foot to foot.—Iliad, xiii. 281. For this reason when Zeno was going to meet Antigonus,In Diogenes Laertius (Zeno, vii.) there is a letter from Antigonus to Zeno and Zeno's answer. Simplicius (note on the Encheiridion. c. 51) supposes this Antigonus to be the King of Syria; but Upton remarks that it is Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedonia. he was not anxious, for Antigonus had no power over any of the things which Zeno admired; and Zeno did not care for those things over which Antigonus had power. But Antigonus was anxious when he was going to meet Zeno, for he wished to please Zeno; but this was a thing external (out of his power). But Zeno did not want to please Antigonus; for no man who is skilled in any art wishes to please one who has no such skill. Should I try to
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
ssible to conceal from him our acts, or even our intentions and thoughts.See i. 14. 13, ii. 8. 14. Socrates (Xen. Mem. i. 1. 19) said the same. That man should make himself like the Gods is said also by Antoninus, x. 8.—See Plato, De Legg. i. 4. (Upton.) When God is said to provide for all things, this is what the Greeks called pro/noia, providence. (Epictetus, i. 16, iii. 17.) In the second of these passages there is a short answer to some objections made to Providence. Epictetus could only kn, your pursuits (movements) are not conformable to nature, your opinions are rash and false, the man immediately goes away and says, He has insulted me. Our way of dealing is like that of a crowded assembly.See the fragments of Menander quoted by Upton. Beasts are brought to be sold and oxen; and the greater part of the men come to buy and sell, and there are some few who come to look at the market and to inquire how it is carried on, and why, and who fixes the meeting and for what purpose. So
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
not? If he lies, he speaks truth: if he speaks truth, he lies. The philosophers composed many books on this difficulty. Chrysippus wrote six. Philetas wasted himself in studying to answer it. Mrs. Carter. (the Liar).—Will you not hang yourself, wretch, with such your intention? And what good will it do you? You will read the whole with sorrow, and you will speak to others trembling. Thus you also do. Do you wish me,Epictetus is ridiculing the men who compliment one another on their writings. Upton compares Horace, Epp. ii. 2. 87. ut alter Alterius sermone meros audiret honores— Discedo Alcaeus puncto lllius? ille meo quis? Quis nisi Callimachus? brother, to read to you, and you to me?—You write excellently, my man; and you also excellently in the style of Xenophon, and you in the style of Plato, and you in the style of Antisthenes Then having told your dreams to one another you return to the same things: your desires are the same, your aversions the same, your pursuits are the same,<
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
Against those who embrace philosophical opinions only in words.Compare Gellius xvii. c. 19. THE argument called the ruling argument (o( kurieu/wn lo/gos)See the long note communicated to Upton by James Harris; and Schweighaeuser's note. appears to have been proposed from such principles as these: there is in fact a common contradiction between one another in these three propositions, each two being in contradiction to the third. The propositions are, that every thing past must of necessity be true; that an impossibility does not follow a possibility; and that a thing is possible which neither is nor will be true. DiodorusDiodorus, surnamed Cronus, lived at Alexandria in the time of Ptolemaeus Soter. He was of the school named the Megaric, and dis- tinguished in dialectic. observing this contradiction employed the probative force of the first two for the demonstration of this proposition, That nothing is possible which is not tine and never will be. Now another will hold these two: T
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 2 (search)
o strong and invincible is man's nature, For how can a vine be moved not in the manner of a vine, but in the manner of an olive tree? or on the other hand how can an olive tree be moved not in the manner of an olive tree, but in the manner of a vine? It is impossible: it cannot be conceived. Neither then is it possible for a man completely to lose the movements (affects) of a man; and even those who are deprived of their genital members are not able to deprive themselves of man's desires.See Upton's note. Thus Epicurus also mutilated all the offices of a man, and of a father of a family, and of a citizen and of a friend, but he did not mutilate human desires, for he could not; not more than the lazy Academics can cast away or blind their own senses, though they have tried with all their might to do it. What a shame is this? when a man has received from nature measures and rules for the knowing of truth, and does not strive to add to these measures and rules and to improveI have follo
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 3 (search)
nciples, then he shows him as a man. Let us look at your principles also. For is it not plain that you value not at all your own will (proai/resis), but you look externally to things which are independent of your will? For instance, what will a certain person say? and what will people think of you? will you be considered a man of learning; have you read Chrysippus or Antipater? for if you have read ArchedemusAs to Archedemus, see ii. 4, 11. '*ape/xeis a(/panta: this expression is compared by Upton with Matthew vi. 2, a)pe/xousi misqo\n. also, you have every thing [that you can desire]. Why are you still uneasy lest you should not show us who you are? Would you let me tell you what manner of man you have shown us that you are? You have exhibited yourself to us as a mean fellow, querulous, passionate, cowardly, finding fault with every thing, blaming every body, never quiet, vain: this is what you have exhibited to us. Go away now and read Archedemus; then if a mouse should leap down an
Epictetus, Discourses (ed. George Long), book 3 (search)
on one man must practise himself more against one thing and another against another thing. What then is it to the purpose to set up a palm tree, or to carry about a tent of skins, or a mortar and pestle?This was done for the sake of exercise says Upton; but I don't understand the passage. Practise, man, if you are irritable, to endure if you are abused, not to be vexed if you are treated with dishonour. Then you will make so much progress that, even if a man strikes you you will say to yourselfh is stronger than yourself: the contest is unequal between a charming young girl and a beginner in philosophy. The earthen pitcher, as the saying is, and the rock do not agree.There is a like fable in Aesop of the earthen pitcher and the brazen. Upton. After the desire and the aversion comes the second topic (matter) of the movements towards action and the withdrawals from it; that you may be obedient to reason, that you do nothing out of season or place, or contrary to any propriety of the ki
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