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The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus

An English Translation- William O. Stephens, Translator

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William O. Stephens

Born a slave, but later earning his freedom and founding a school for teaching Stoicism to the sons of Roman noblemen, Epictetus (c. 50-120 A.D.) has been a popular source of Stoic philosophy for centuries. Originally published in 1894 by the German scholar Adolf Bonhöffer and here translated into English for the first time, this work remains the most systematic and detailed study of Epictetus' ethics. The basis, content, and acquisition of virtue are methodically described, while important related points in Stoic ethics are discussed in an extensive appendix. Epictetus is compared throughout with the other late Stoics (Seneca, Marcus Aurelius), Cicero, the early Stoics (Zeno, Cleanthes, Chrysippus), and Christian moral thought. This approach shows that Stoic ethics continues to have great practical and pedagogical value.