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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.

«William O. Stephens has done a great service by making Bonhöffer's work available once again in this very readable and lucid translation.» (Robert J. Rabel, Ancient Philosophy)
«This text is the single best written exposition of Epictetus' ethical philosophy. It is thorough, knowledgeable, and perceptive. The unity of the text and its thematic presentation provides a very helpful, resourceful reconstruction and analysis of the material. It is adequately detailed but also accessible to the general reader...The translation of this text is crisp, clear, consistent, and very readable. It is done with careful attention to the details and nuances of the German as well as the Greek of Epictetus. I think that the translator has done an excellent job.» (Donald Blakeley, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno)

«William O. Stephens has done a great service by making Bonhöffer's work available once again in this very readable and lucid translation.» (Robert J. Rabel, Ancient Philosophy)
«This text is the single best written exposition of Epictetus' ethical philosophy. It is thorough, knowledgeable, and perceptive. The unity of the text and its thematic presentation provides a very helpful, resourceful reconstruction and analysis of the material. It is adequately detailed but also accessible to the general reader...The translation of this text is crisp, clear, consistent, and very readable. It is done with careful attention to the details and nuances of the German as well as the Greek of Epictetus. I think that the translator has done an excellent job.» (Donald Blakeley, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fresno)