This text is part of:
Search the Perseus Catalog for:
Table of Contents:
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.
1 The materials (ὕλαι) on which man works are neither good nor bad, and so they are, as Epictetus names them, indifferent. But the use of things, or of material, is not indifferent. They may be used well or ill, conformably to nature or not.
2 Terence says (Adelphi, iv. 7)—
Si illud, quod est maxime opus, jactu non cadit,
Illud quod cecidit forte, id arte ut corrigas.
3 The word is ἁρπαστόν, which was also used by the Romans. One threw the ball and the other caught it. Chrysippus used this simile of a ball in speaking of giving and receiving (Seneca, De Beneficiis, ii. 17). Martial has the word (Epig. iv. 19) 'Sive harpasta manu pulverulenta rapis'; and elsewhere.
4 In Plato's Apology c. 15, Socrates addresses Meletus; and he says, it would be equally absurd if a man should believe that there are foals of horses and asses, and should not believe that there are horses and asses. But Socrates says nothing of mules, for the word mules in sore? texts of the Apology is manifestly wrong
5 Compare Antoninus, ii. 16, iii. 11, vi. 44, xii. 36; and Seneca, de Otio Sap. c. 31; and Cicero, De Fin. iii. 19.
6 ἀπόλυτοι. Compare Antoninus, x. 24, viii. 34.
7 He tells some imaginary person, who hears him, that since he is come into the world, he must do his duty in it.
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.