Scanned text contains errors.
Prooem.) The manual (Enchiridion) and commentaries of Arrian, together with the explanations of Simplicius to the former, and some later paraphrases, have .been edited by Schweighauser, who has added the notes of Upton, his own, and those of some other commentators. (Epicteteae Philoso-pJiiae Monumenta^ post J. Uptoni cdiorumque curas9 edidit et illustravit J. SchweigJtauser^ Lipsiae, 1799, 1800, 6 vols. 8vo.)
We may apply to Epictetus himself what he says of his Stoic master, viz. that he spoke so impressively, and so plainly described the wickedness of the individual, that every one felt struck, as though he himself had been spoken to personally. (Dissert, iii. 23, 29, comp. c. 15, i. 9.) Being deeply impressed with his vocation as a teacher, he aimed in his discourses at nothing else but winning the minds of his hearers to that which was good, and no one was able to resist the impression which they produced. (Arrian, Ep. ad L. GelL i. p. 4.) Far from any contempt of knowledge, he knows how to value the theory of forming conclusions and the like. (Dissert, i. 7, 1, &c., comp. i. 8, 1, &c., i. 17, ii. 23, 25.) He only desired that logical exercises, the study of books and of eloquence, should not lead persons away from that of which they were merely the means, -and that they should not minister to pride, haughtiness, and avarice, (i. 8. 6, &c., 29. 55, ii. 4. 11, 9. 17, 16. 34, 17. 34, 21. 20, iii. 2. 23, 17. 28, 24. 78.) He never devotes any time to disquisitions which do not, either directly or indirectly, contribute towards awakening, animating, and purifying man's moral conduct, (i. 17. 15, 29. 58, ii. 19. 10; comp. iv. 8.24, 6. 24.)
The true Cynic—and he is the same as the Stoic, the philosopher,—is in the opinion of Epictetus a messenger of Zeus, sent to men to deliver them from their erroneous notions about good and evil, and about happiness and unhappiness (iii. 22. 23), and to lead them back into themselves, (ib. 39.) For this purpose he requires natural gracefulness and acuteness of intellect (ib. 90), for his words are to produce a lively impression.
The beginning of philosophy, according to him, is the perception of one's own weakness and of one's inability to do that which, is needful, (ii. 11. 1; comp. iii. 23. 34, ii. 17. 1.) Along with this perception we become aware of the contest which is going on among men, and we grow anxious to ascertain the cause of it, and consequently to discover a standard by which we may give our decision (ii. 11. 13, &c.): to meditate upon this and to dwell upon it, is called philosophizing, (ib. 24; comp. iii. 10.6.) The things which are to be measured are conceptions, which form the material; the work which is to be constructed out of them, is their just and natural application, and a control over them; (iii. 22. 20, 23. 42.) This just choice of conceptions and our consent to or decision in their favour (irpoafy)6(ns, (rvyKarddea-is^ constitute the nature of good. (ii. 1. 4, 19. 32.) Only that which is subject: to our choice or decision is good or evil; all the rest is neither good nor evil; it concerns us not, it is beyond our reach (i. 13. 9, 25. 1, ii. 5. 4) ; it is something external, merely a subject for our choice (i. 29. 1, ii. 16. 1, 19. 32, iv. 10. 26): in itself it is indifferent, but its application is not indifferent (ii. 5. 1, 6. 1), and its application is either consistent with or contrary to nature, (ii. 5. 24.) The choice, and consequently
our opinion upon it, are in our power (i. 12. 37) • in our choice we are free (i. 12. 9, 17. 28, 19. 9); nothing that is external of us, not even Zeus, can overcome our choice: it alone can control itself, (i. 29. 12, ii. 1. 22, iv. 1, ii. 2. 3, iii. 3. 10, i. 1. 23, iv. 1. 69.) Our choice, however, is determined by our reason, which of all our faculties sees and tests itself and everything else. (i. 1. 4, i. 20.) Reason is our* guide (r& t^tj/jowk^j'), and capable of conquering all powers which are not subject to freedom (ii. 1. 39; comp. iii. 3) ; it is the governing power given to man (rb Kvpieiov, i. 1. 7, 17. 21); hence only that which is irrational cannot be endured by it. (i. 2.) It is by his reason alone that man is distinguished from the brute (ii. 9. 2, iii. 1. 25): he who renounces his reason and allows himself to be guided by external things, is like a man who has forgotten his own face (i. 2. 14); and he who desires or repudiates that which is beyond his power, is not free. (i. 4. 19.)
That which is in accordance with reason coincides with that which is in accordance with nature and pleasing to God. (i. 12. 9, 26. 2, iii. 20. 13,
11. 10. 4, i. 12. 8.) Our resemblance to God (i.
12. 27), or our relationship to the Deity (i. 9. 1, 11), and the coincidence of our own will with the will of God (ii. 17. 22, comp. 19. 26, iii. 24. 95, iv. 1, 89. 103, 4. 39), consist in our acting in accordance with reason and in freedom. Through reason our souls are as closely connected and mixed up with the Deity, as though they were parts of him (i. 14. 6, ii. 8. 11, 13, 17. 33) ; for mind, knowledge, and reason, constitute the essence of God, and are identical with the essence of good. (ii.8. 1, &c.) Let us therefore invoke God's assistance in our strife after the good (ii. 18. 29, comp. i. 6. 21), let us emulate him (ii. 14. 13), let us purify that which is our guide within us (iii. 22. 19), and let us be pure with the pure within us, and with the Deity! (ii. 18. 19.)
The prophet within us, who announces to us the nature of good and evil (ii. 7- 2), is the daemon, the divine part of every one, his never-resting and incorruptible guardian, (i. 14. 12.) He manifests himself in our opinions, which have something common with one another and are agreeing with one another (i. 22.1); for they are the things which are self-evident, and which we feel obliged to carry into action, though we may combat them. (ii. 20. 1.) That which is good we must recognize as such a thing: wherever it appears, it draws us towards itself, and it is impossible to reject the conception of good. (iii. 3. 4, comp. i. 4. 1.) The opi* nions just described are the helps which nature has given to every one for discovering that which is true. (iv. 1. 51,) Wherever they are not recognized, as is the case with the followers of the New Academy, our mind and modesty become petrified, (i. 5. 3.) To investigate this criticism of what is in accordance with nature, and to master it in its application to individual things, is the object of all our scientific endeavours (i. 11. 15), and ths mastery is obtained only by the cultivation of our mind and by education. (TratSeia; i. 2. 6, 22. 9, ii. 17. 7.) The practice in theory is the easier part; the application in life is the more difficult one, and is the object of all theory, (i. 26. 3, 29.35.) We find that as far as practical application is concerned, many men are Epicureans and effeminate Peripatetics, though they profess the doctrines of the Stoics and Cynics, (ii. 19. 20, 12.