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The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus

An English Translation, Revised Edition


William O. Stephens

This text remains the only English translation of Bonhöffer’s classic, definitive examination of Epictetus’s ethics. Thorough, knowledgeable, perceptive, and accessible, the unity of this book and its thematic presentation make it an invaluable resource for both scholars and general readers eager to apply Stoic thinking in their daily lives. The translation is crisp, clear, consistent, and very readable. Careful attention to the details and nuances of the German as well as the Greek of Epictetus make this an excellent achievement. This new edition includes a useful biography of Bonhöffer, a new overview of the last twenty years of scholarship on Epictetus, and an extensive bibliography. It is essential reading for students taking courses on ancient Hellenistic or Roman philosophy, their instructors, and any non-academics who want to learn Stoicism.

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About the authors

About the editors


Bonhöffer’s Die Ethik des stoikers Epictet, published in 1894, is still absolutely essential reading. There is no corner of Epictetus’s thought that he leaves unexplored. William O. Stephens’s translation of the book could not be bettered: with a fluent pen, he preserves the clarity and readability of the original. Everyone interested in Epictetus, from professional scholars to Modern Stoics, is in his debt for having made the book more widely available.”

—Robin Waterfield, translator of Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus

William O. Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at Creighton University. His books include Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed (2012), Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom (2007), and The Person: Readings in Human Nature (2006).

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