Publication Date: January 2004
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Although he was born into slavery and endured a permanent physical disability, Epictetus (ca. 50-ca. 130 AD) maintained that all people are free to control their lives and to live in harmony with nature. We will always be happy, he argued, if we learn to desire that things should be exactly as they are. After attaining his freedom, Epictetus spent his entire career teaching philosophy and advising a daily regimen of self-examination. His pupil Arrianus later collected and published the master's lecture notes; the "Enchiridion, "or Manual, is a distillation of Epictetus' teachings and an instructional manual for a tranquil life. Full of practical advice, this work offers guidelines for those seeking contentment as well as for those who have already made some progress in that direction. Translated by George Long.
About the AuthorEpictetus (circa 55-135 ce) taught in Rome until the year 94 ce, when Emperor Domitian banished philosophers from the city. In exile, he established a school of philosophy where his distinguished students included Marcus Aurelius, author of "Meditations". Some 1,863 years after Epictetus's death, Tom Wolfe revived his philosophy in the bestselling novel "A Man in Full".
George Long (1800 1879) was a British classical scholar. He held professorships in Greek and Latin at the University of London and the University of Virginia. His translation of Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius was published in 1862 and is considered the gold standard of Aurelius translations.