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1. The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
2. A Selection From the Discourses
3. The Enchiridion
4. Handbook of Epictetus
5. Discourses and Selected Writings
6. Art of Living: The Classical Mannual
7. Discourses of Epictetus
8. A Manual for Living (A Little
9. Discourses, Books 1-2 (Loeb Classical
10. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic
11. The Epictetus Club: Lessons from
12. Epictetus Handbookand the Tablet
13. Enchiridion and Selections from
14. Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's
15. The Philosophy of Epictetus
16. The Discourses of Epictetus -
17. The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus:
18. Of Human Freedom (Penguin Great
19. Moral discourses ; Enchiridion
20. Simplicius: On Epictetus' Handbook

1. The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
by Epictetus
Paperback: 72 Pages (2009-08-06)
list price: US$11.90 -- used & new: US$10.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140685204X
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Collected sayings of the Greek stoic philosopher, translated by Hastings Crossley. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars They missed the point
While I can't argue with the price, I do take issue with the content. Epictetus was a great philosopher, but you wouldn't know it from the selections of "golden sayings". The editor gives these quotes with no context, making for a very disjointed read. Also, the editor was also apparently more interested in Epictetus' theological musings. Now there's nothing wrong with theology but it would have been nice if it were titled as such. It would have been even better if stoic philosophy found its way in at some point. ... Read more

2. A Selection From the Discourses of Epictetus With the Encheiridion
by Circa Ad Epictetus
Paperback: 96 Pages (2010-03-07)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1153588307
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Philosophy / General; Philosophy / History ... Read more

3. The Enchiridion
by Epictetus
Paperback: 26 Pages (2009-09-25)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1449524230
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Enchiridion written by legendary Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus is a manual of Stoic ethical advice. Compiled by Arrian, who was a student of Epictetus this great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, Enchiridion is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Epictetus is highly recommended. Published by Classic Books America and beautifully produced, Enchiridion would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book; Typos: not so much
There are enough reviews on how this is a good book, and a pretty darn good overview of stoic philosophy. I just wanted to throw in my two cents over the fact that the kindle edition has numerous typos in it. It's not a huge deal, but for being a copyright-free book that I still had to pay for to get in an ebook version, it'd be nice if had been proofread...

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound Wisdom
I picked this up for a quick read yesterday. Having read The Meditations as a teenager, I already knew the basic tenents of stocism. However I wasn't prepared for this little nugget of information:

#35: "When you do anything from a clear judgment that it ought to be
done, never shun at being seen doing it, even if the world
makes a wrong supposition about it. For, if you don't act right, then shun
the action itself; but, if you do act right, why are you afraid of those who
censure you wrongly?"

Obviously I'm paraphrasing the original text. But still, Epictetus might as well have been in front of me advising me on a very profound personal matter, and a source of deep conflict within me.

Never before have I recieved a chill down my spine from reading classical literature. Never before has it hit so close to home.

4-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Guide to Conduct
This 2,000-year- old self-help book is as relevant today as when Epictetus (slave turned philosopher) wrote it. The Enchiridion is a simple and pragmatic guide to Stoic conduct.

When someone speaks ill of you, rather than defend yourself (thereby giving legitimacy to the insult), reply, "...The man did not know the rest of my faults, for he would not have mentioned these only."

This is a book about conduct, dignity, and moderation. "Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by the opinions about the things..."

When dealing with people who need to inflate themselves at the expense of others: "I am richer than you, therefore I am better than you; I am more eloquent than you, therefore I am better than you...But you are neither possessions nor speech."

This is a very short read, but worth rereading from time-to-time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wisdom for two Bucks
This edition costs only two dollars but contains wisdon that is priceless. If you are at all interested in the Stoics or in gaining insights into how to deal with adversity this is a great book to start with.

I do not read Greek so I can not comment upon the translation.It reads well and does not seem cluttered by an attempt to update book into some type of twelve step program.

I would not have gotten this book without a suggestion from Amazon when I was looking for another book.Thank you Amazon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short and excellent intro to Stoic Philosophy
This book is a short, very short, introduction to stoic philosophy as Echiridion knew it.This isn't really a book that reads like a philosophy book, it is a series of thoughts about life and how to live it as set down by the ancient thinker Enchiridion.

Enchiridion was an obvious genious and some of his thoughts may be a bit hard to follow, but his insights are timeless and the presentation of the stoic way of thinking is well done.Of course, Enchiridion does not say "Here is stoic philosophy in a nutshell..." but by carefully following his thought processes through the clips of thought presented in this short work one can grasp how a stoic must approach life.

A good read.

AD2 ... Read more

4. Handbook of Epictetus
by Epictetus
Paperback: 26 Pages (2009-09-25)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1449524516
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Handbook of Epictetus also known as Enchiridion written by legendary Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus is a manual of Stoic ethical advice. Compiled by Arrian, who was a student of Epictetus, this great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, the Handbook of Epictetus is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Epictetus is highly recommended. Published by Classic Books America and beautifully produced, the Handbook of Epictetus would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal library. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for Epictetus, 2 stars for this book
First off, I think the world of Epictetus. The Enchiridion is an amazing work, laying out the groundwork for Stoic Philosophy. However, when compared to the Enchiridion (Dover Thrift Editions), this book isn't worth the extra money when compared to the Dover Thrift Edition. In fact, it's a lesser version. There are no extra background notes, no explanations or miniature biographies, and no footnotes.

Save a few dollars and buy the Enchiridion (Dover Thrift Editions) instead. It's a far superior book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still must read original text
This translation is very helpful, however one must also read the original text for full understanding of Epictetus.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent translation
Funny Amazon should offer us to buy this book together with Enchiridion by Epictetus (Long Translation) when these two are in fact one and the same book, different translators and different supplemental background info/comments. Of course I only realized that when both books arrived and I compared them :(. One star to Amazon for that :((( As for the book, the reason I put it on my wish list last year was the fact that in the course of last 3 years I had to release and let go of many things (and people), and I had struggled with the conflict between fighting for what I want and never giving up (cause nothing is completely lost until we give up on it) and knowing when to let go. I reverted to stoic thought for strength to live without regret and feeling of loss. And while it helped me resolve some of my inner conflicts, I must warn you that this book is not writing of a self-help guru, its an actual philosohical work. Which is OK for me, but might not serve the same purpose for everyone that it did for me. As for translation, I prefer this one to Long's because it is more in the spirit of English language, at the same time remaining non-colloquial. I also find additional information included by translator to be very enlightening and good guide into phylosophy of the age and further reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting introduction, but lacking in depth
I have read about philophers and history and our founding fathers wonderfully created documents and the great historical and philosophic works behind their conclusions all my life.In all that time I have found almost all of them to be profound and inspiring.Yet unlike others who have reviewed this work I have found it wanting in it's basic interprative conclusions.

By that I mean in one paragraph there will be great insight and in the next the interpretation seems to loose coherency all together or has absolutely no rational application what-so-ever for living well.

Oh there are many profound ideals represented in this booklet and I agree that for his time and place in history Epictetus must have been one great piece of work to come to many of the conclusions put forth in these pages.Such as those on page 22 and 23 where:

1. He criticises the use of fortune tellers and warnes that one should see them for what they really are (just fault ridden human beings)and indicates that one does not need a fortune teller or soothsayer to know it is right to share the burden of a friend and to defend ones nation or,

2. that one should not allow the influence of others, when mingling, to cause one to slide into their bad habits, practices/lifestyles or unethical behavior and;

3. Sexual abstinence if you can achieve it is a good thing. Boy I bet the ACLU and the liberals elites in America must hate Eptictetus.

But I constantly got the feeling that the author was stuggling to give us these insights or tried just too hard to be clinical in his analysis and that he was being too Stoic (ha...ha...isn't that an interesting thought) in telling us what Epictetus really thought or was trying to impart.

I almost got the impression in considering what Epictetus had said (if one can trust, not the writings of the man himself, but what someone else thought he said or meant) and not what White's conept or interpretation of his meaning was or is...that although this Stoics philosopher was tyring to be like some Vulcan Mystic from Star Trek that he was really more like Spoc, who had underlying conflicting more human feelings.

I believe all good philosohers do struggle with this issue and ask themselves "Is what I believe, true" from time to time.

The great ones do not just dismiss this question as political party die hards and hacks do today...but actually grapple with this question and adjust when their phiolsophies trun out to be wanting, wrong, unethical, immoral and just down right false.

Yes one can glean the beginnings of great thought here when considering the time and place of his teachings, but I would not at all consider Epictetus the greatest of all philsophers whether Stoic or other wise.

He is just one of many hundreds that should be considered for that title during ones lifelong study of our rise from barbaric nomads to civilized mankind.Of course one can, if one studies modern man's fall from grace in the 20th and 21 centuries, from a neutral point of view, actually consider that we are less civlized now than we were in Epictetus' time.

Of course that is a discussion for another time.A good booklet, if read critically, as all should be, to add to any self-made philosophers collection and also for the aspiring student.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Stoic Philosophy
Possibly the most famous Stoic Philosopher is Marcus Aurelius, whose "Meditations" was written, not to be read as a philosophic treatise, but rather as a personal journal, complete with seemingly random entries and no apparent structure. Moreover, it is clear from his "Meditations" that Marcus Aurelius was greatly influenced by the teachings of Epictetus. In fact, according to Aulus Gellius, Herodes Atticus (who was Marcus Aurelius' teacher at the time) told Marcus Aurelius that Epictetus was the greatest of all the Stoic philosophers, which is quite convenient for us since most of the writings of earilier Stoics (such as Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes and Chrysippus) have been lost, probably in the burning of the Library of Alexandria.

Epictetus, like Socrates, apparently never wrote anything himself; however, his students took very good notes. One student by the name of Flavius Arrian may be responsible for the composition of eight volumes, titled "The Discourses of Epictetus," of which four volumes still survive. Arrian served under Emperor Hadrian who initially choose Atticus to be Marcus Aurelius' teacher. Arrian also wrote another text, titled "The Encheiridion of Epictetus" (or "Handbook" or "Manual"), which also survives and appears to be an abstract of his "Discourses". Throughout the second century, Epictetus was regarded as the greatest of the Stoic philosophers, and became even more popular than Plato. Stoicism nevertheless lost favor in the middle ages and was not revived until 1584 when Justus Lipsius published his "De Constantia".

I would highly recommend the writings of Epictetus to anyone interested in Stoic Philosophy, or anyone at all for that matter.Epictetus should make for an excellent introduction to Stoic Philosophy, and the "Encheiridion" is an excellent introduction to Epictetus. I prefer this particular translation of "The Encheiridion of Epictetus", by Nicholas P. White, over the other translations that I have read. Oldfather's translation (Loeb Classical Library) is also very good. ... Read more

5. Discourses and Selected Writings (Penguin Classics)
by Epictetus
Paperback: 304 Pages (2008-11-25)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140449469
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A new translation of the influential teachings of the great Stoic philosopher

DESPITE BEING BORN into slavery, Greco-Roman philosopher Epictetus became one of the most influential thinkers of his time. Discourses and Selected Writings is a transcribed collection of informal lectures given by the philosopher around AD 108. A gateway into the life and mind of a great intellectual, it is also an important example of the usage of Koine or “common” Greek, an ancestor to Standard Modern Greek. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Original Self Help Book
Philosophy has intrigued me since I was eighteen years old (never mind how long ago that was!)While I am hardly an expert in philosophy, it has made for some fascinating reading, and the writings of the Stoics have particularly grabbed me, especially Epictetus.He was the first Stoic writer I read.I later went on to read Marcus Aurelius and parts of Seneca, but I must confess that Epictetus is my favorite.

I was pleasantly surprised the first time I began the DISCOURSES.I had confused STOICISM with SPARTAN and was expecting to read admonitions to sleep on nails, sleep outside in the freezing cold wearing only one thin garment and to self-flagellate regularly.Well, I found none of the above.Basically, Epictetus teaches that happiness consists of learning what is in our control and what isn't, and to live in harmony with God and nature.Also central to Stoic thought is the importance of correct reasoning.

I was also pleasantly surprised that Stoicism does not advocate an uncaring view of the world.The DISCOURSES are full of examples of family, politics, friendship issues as well as dealing with hardships. I had a good chuckle over the the title:"To those who tackle philosophy just to be able to talk about it." (Book 2, chapter 19) On page 126, he says "Just pay attention to the way you behave and you will discover the philosophy you really belong to."

The introduction and "Further Reading" sections give examples of prominent people whose lives were (and some still are) profoundly influenced by Epictetus.

This volume contains all four "Books" of Epictetus' DISCOURSES as well as the ENCHIRIDION, a condensation of his teachings into smaller paragraphs and sayings.I was also pleased to find fragments of other writings from Epictetus as well which I didn't know still were around.

They are well worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in philosophy, it's not bad
Otherwise you are better off with Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. Epictetus is one of the founding fathers of the stoic philosopy and his discourses are interesting and can teach a lot, but it does not flow as well as it should and I did not find it a fascinating read. However, if you are interested in philosophy it would not do you harm to read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice translation but the text is ABRIDGED
This is a nice, flowing, intelligent translation of the Discourses of Epictetus by an important and respected scholar in the field.The edition also includes the Enchiridion (Handbook) and fragments.The notes and recommended readings are current and helpful.

There is one caveat though: The text is ABRIDGED.The product description does not make this clear.Dobbin justifies omitting selected discourses from books 3-4 due to repetition of themes.For example in book 3, sections 1-2, 6-7, 9-15, 17-19, 21, 24-26 are missing.In book 4, discourses 5-12 have been omitted.This unfortunately limits the usefulness of the text.If you want the complete text, I recommend the Everyman edition (edited by Christopher Gill, with a revised translation by Robin Hard).Better yet if you can afford it, get the two volume Loeb Classical Library edition with the facing Greek text.

In short, this is a nice abridged edition of Epictetus, useful for those who want a streamlined introduction to the philosopher, but limited due to the abridgment.
... Read more

6. Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness (Plus)
by Epictetus, Sharon Lebell
Paperback: 144 Pages (2007-07-01)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$6.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061286052
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 ce in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Once freed, he established an influential school of Stoic philosophy, stressing that human beings cannot control life, only their responses to it. By putting into practice the ninety-three witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions that make up The Art of Living, readers learn to meet the challenges of everyday life successfully and to face life's inevitable losses and disappointments with grace.

Amazon.com Review
"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of oneprinciple: Some things are within our control, and some things arenot. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule andlearned to distinguish between what you can and can't control thatinner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible." The Stoicphilosopher Epictetus was born on the eastern edges of the RomanEmpire in A.D. 55, but The Art of Living is still perfectlysuited for any contemporary self-help or recovery program. To provethe point, this modern interpretation by Sharon Lebell casts theteachings in up-to-date language, with phrases like "power broker" and"casual sex" popping up intermittently. But the core is still thesame: Epictetus keeps the focus on progress over perfection, onaccomplishing what can be accomplished and abandoning unproductiveworry over what cannot. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars pleased with purchase
Having already owning a copy of this book I recently purchased another one because the original was lost.I enjoy reading the philosophy of Epictetis.

5-0 out of 5 stars For me, this translation works, in spades!
Without doubt, this book speaks to me like no other translation available. I can almost state like no other book. Ms Lebell nails it and brings Epictetus's philosophy to life, here and now, today, in this life, this setting, this moment. Most other translations, with their dated wording require me to take another step cognitively before I can glean the meaning of what's written. That's not a bad thing, but it's not always what I want. Often I have to process the archaic prose and wonder what the original intent was. Sharon Lebell has done this step making Epictetus approachable for people living in today's world. No sanctimony, no pretension.

There are many other translations available of this work for those who prefer prose that is not contemporary. Many of those translations are in the public domain and can be found free of charge on the web and even here on Amazon digitally. I own or have downloaded many of those versions that many of the negative reviewers here refer to as the best translations available. I have read them, studied them and appreciate their existence. Having a modern translation does not detract from those other versions.

I have bought a few of "The Art of Living". I give them to friends. I mailed one to a friend of mine 900 miles away. He does the same. He recently told me he bought eight copies to give away. People in 12-step programs might especially appreciate this book. I myself use a page a day as a "daily meditation" book. Easily this book could be made into a calendar dated reflection book. I have downloaded (from Audible) the abridged audio version of this book. I listen to it at least monthly as I drive.

I can't say enough about this book. It has touched me like no other book has in a long time. It goes hand in hand with my meditation practice, and appears remarkably Buddhist in it's nature. I often am amazed how Stoicism and Buddhism, both 2000 and more years ago, in different parts of the world, had similar precepts.

Thank you Ms Lebell for bringing Epictetus to my attention!

4-0 out of 5 stars Critics of this little book are too harsh
It is interesting and disappointing that some of the one star and two star critics are so harsh and almost mean spirited in their reviews of Lebell's little book on Epictetus.It may be that those critics need to be reminded that Epictetus himself focused not on the academic, obscure, inaccessible approach to Stoicism.His primary focus was on teaching in the most direct and most elucidating manner.While Lebell's book is certainly no scholarly analysis of the great Stoic philosopher, I never assumed that was her intention.She seems to simply have attempted to write an everyman's introduction to stoicism in general and Epictetus in particular.I remember well Alan Watts being criticized by some academic scholars for being a mere "popularizer of Zin" which, of course, he was and many of us benefited greatly from his efforts.If Lebell succeeds in turning readers on to Epictetus and stoicism she should be applauded not belittled for her efforts.For those of you who did enjoy Lebell's book and are now interested in learning more, I highly recommend A.A. Long's "Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life."It is a very well written book with some very enlightening and, I assume, original insights.I have now read Long's book twice and will likely read it yet again. Each time I do I learn more.Lebell's book is very different from Long's book, but I believe they both have their place and both are worth reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars Condition Great - Delivery Slow
The condition of both books were great. Delivery of the books from two different sources was longer then expected. Just glad to get 'em.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderfull
this book is wonderfull, it helps give focus on things. i am now reading it again for the third time!!! ... Read more

7. Discourses of Epictetus
by Epictetus
Paperback: 312 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$12.44 -- used & new: US$12.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0217708919
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This is an OCR edition without illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from GeneralBooksClub.com. You can also preview excerpts from the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Original Published by: D. Appleton in 1904 in 549 pages; Subjects: Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical; Philosophy / General; Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical; Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy; Philosophy / Religious; Religion / Philosophy; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Everyman Edition
My sense is that the many negative reviews pertaining to this title pertain to a different "public domain" edition.The current Everyman edition of Epictetus is based on Elizabeth Carter's 18th century translation, and contains a relatively up-to-date introduction and end-notes.Oldfather's dual-language Loeb edition costs at least four times as much and has been consulted in the revision of the present edition.For those who are curious about ethical Stoicism, the philosophy of Epictetus, as presented here, is a great introduction.

There's bad editing and then there's simply no editing. Whomever put this together obviously cut and pasted the text from some online translation and didn't even bother to correct the typos which begin with the 5th page!!!!

Utterly outrageous... I originally purchased this for a friend for Christmas, but now will need to return it and be without a gift!!
The publishers have obviously no interest whatsoever in providing quality content.

This is the worst piece of trash that I have ever seen in my life.

Amazon should really take care to avoid such publishers as these - since one is purchasing the book online, one doesn't have the ability to survey the entire book before buying.

I'm RETURNING THIS IMMEDIATELY - and I recommend all others to stay away and let these publishers go OUT OF BUSINESS for such work.

Just because this is Epictetus doesn't permit such obvious DISRESPECT to customers!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Epictetus's eternal insight
Epictetus offer's insightful observations about the power of the will, and the affects of external events on our emotions. It strikes me as so fascinating that this man, who lived so long in the past, still rings true today when he speaks of how the path of virtue and happiness rest within ourselves, and no one or nothing can, or should change that.
The only critique I have with the book, or should I say Epictetus proper, is that his dissertations are in the translation of the time, and they don't quite make sense from the modern viewpoint. In addition, some of his dissertations ramble on a bit, and you read them knowing you will find bits and pieces of insight within them.

2-0 out of 5 stars A tragically poor edition.
Having finished off Seneca, I was excited to jump into Epictetus, but I have to say that this is a miserable, miserable work.First off, the book is riddled with typos, misspellings, and miserable punctuation.I don't know who did the copy on this book, but I'm skeptical that the text ever made it to an editor.Although this sounds like a small detail, nearly every page seems to have some kind of error, and it becomes painfully distracting.

Equally distracting was the almost incomprehensible translation.I get the impression that this material was translated verbatim, as not infrequently, sentences are joined together in an endless mush (frustrated again by the aforementioned shoddy editing).These do not read like the words of a wise man; more like the loosely assembled scribblings of a half-conscious scribe.

Note that I am not making any criticism of Epictetus himself.ExcerptsI had read elsewhere were compelling enough to make me seek out this book, and will make me seek out a better version as well.

In that regard, I look forward to reading a better product in the future; as soon as I can sell this piece of junk for a little cash so it's not a total wash.

4-0 out of 5 stars quite satisfactory
There were a few typos, but the concise format of all 4 discourses in one volume without the original Greek was just what I was hoping for.Since I don't know Greek I can't make any judgments on the quality of the translation, but there were a few passages that felt choppy or contrived.All in all, I'm quite happy with this book! ... Read more

8. A Manual for Living (A Little Book of Wisdom)
by Epictetus
Paperback: 96 Pages (1994-06-23)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062511114
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The essence of perennial Stoic wisdom in aphorisms of stunning insight and simplicity. The West's first and best little instruction book offers thoroughly contemporary and pragmatic reflections on how best to live with serenity and joy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

2-0 out of 5 stars Just purchase the Penguin Classics "Discourses and Selected Writings" of Epictetus instead
I recommend, instead of purchasing this version of Epictetus' writings instead purchasing the Penguin Classics "Discourses and Selected Writings" of Epictetus instead, especially considering it is only a dollar or two more expensive than this book. This I recommend for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it has much more of Epictetus writings.The Penguin Edition has Epictetus' Discourses as well as his Enchiridion and fragments of this other works. This version only has his Discourses.

Secondly, the introduction to the Penguin Classics is sizeable and written by a true scholar of antiquity (Professor Robert Dobbin), unlike the introduction by the author of this version of the book, written by Sharon Lebbel. Lebbel's introduction is only about 10 paragraphs long and her background is definitely not on a par with Dobbin's. Thirdly, Lebbel's translation (if it is even a translation as opposed to only a "reinterpretation") is very contemporary. The Penguin Classics edition, on the other hand, is much more in line with what Epictetus probably had in mind. Although not as "hip" as Lebbel's translation or interpretation (the book never makes clear whether or not Lebbel even translated it or just "reinterpreted" it from the translations of others) it is probably much more akin to what Epictetus had actually written.

For the above reasons the Penguin Classics editions is a far superior alternative to this rather flimsy 80 page book (each "page" consists of about 1 paragraph compared to the over 200 page version of Dobbin's).

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Product!Great Service!
I was REALLY surprised when I received this little book and it turned out to be hard-cover in perfect condition (new, really), as I had ordered another edition a few weeks prior which was much smaller AND soft coverAND NOT in perfect condition, for which I paid almost as much.So THANK YOU to the seller.

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes a great gift
This book is great, easy to read & handy on those days when you need a "reminder" so to speak.It would make an excellent stocking stuffer or gift for friends/family.I highly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophical Guidance
I can't seem to find the edition of "The Art of Living by Epictetus" that I have but this cover looks just like it, so here's the review.As far as philosophy goes, I know of nothing better.I have found Epictetus' simple and direct examples of the "virtuous" ways of handling certain scenarios to be invaluable in my life.What's yours is yours, what's mine is mine, don't cross over + Charity = My understanding of the Stoic Philosophy.Also, there is a clear difference between what is within your power to change, and what is not within your power to change.Worry about what you can change.Epictetus' directions on how to handle different types of situations and people will help you get through everything, be it prison, homelessness, academia, your career, or the people on your yacht.I can't think of anyone who wont benefit from reading The Art of Living.5 Stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Such an interesting book!
This has been a great read.It's a little book but packed with tremendous depth and unique perspectives about how to live an authentic life.I highly recommend this book and it would be a great gift, too.So wise and the beauty of it is that it's not hundreds of pages but you get so much wisdom out of it. ... Read more

9. Discourses, Books 1-2 (Loeb Classical Library)
by Epictetus
Hardcover: 480 Pages (1925-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$18.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674991451
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Like the early Stoics, Epictetus taught the importance of control over one's own mind and will; since happiness must not depend on things one cannot control, the virtuous person should aspire to become independent of external circumstances. The brotherhood of man is also central to his teaching, reflecting the Stoic belief that there is a spark of divinity in everyone. Unlike his predecessors, Epictetus, who grew up as a slave, taught not for the select few but for the many and the humble. This two-volume edition contains the extant record of his lectures--in lively and informal style--as well as the Manual or Encheiridion, a summary of Epictetus's thought by the historian Arrian, a student of his. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most authoritative and USEFUL edition!
This is the first of the two volume Loeb Classical Library edition of Epictetus' Discourses, with Greek and W. A. Oldfather's English translation on facing pages. For those who have no intgerest in the Greek, purchasing this volume may seem like a bit of overkill when compared with inexpensive reprints such as the one from NuVision Publications (September 19, 2006). As someone who bought the reprint first, I must tell you I tried to use it once and was immediately disappointed. Just as with my copies of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and practically every other classic author, I rarely read them or parts of them from start to finish. Rather, I look up sections when I find references to them in commentaries on, for example, parts of the Old or New Testaments. In order to find the appropriate passage, one must use the established section and paragraph numbering. Unfortunately, this numbering is entirely missing from the reprint, which I have donated to my nearest library after receiving my Loeb copies. These little gems cost about four times the reprint, but for that, you get a book you will be proud to own, and even show off a bit on your bookshelf, plus a great little commentary on the Discourses, as well as the 'Fragments' and 'The Encheiridion', a summary of Epictetus thoughts by his secretary, Arrian. The reprint has none of this and, for the third time, I suggest it is less than useless, as it gives the illusion of value, and you will be disappointed when you find it missing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grassroots Philosophy
Epictetus' "Discourses Books 1 and 2" are a solid exposition of his Stoic philosophy. The ideas are grassroots and grounded in the real world, though attempting to achieve some awareness of individual transcendance. Written by Arrian, one of Epistetus' students, it is an excellent resource.

Arrian's Epictetus basically starts by ripping common conceptions apart and undermining those things that we all take for granted or think little about. The fear of death, misfortune, opinions of others and much more come under fire from Epictetus. He also spends some time establishing the nature of philosophy and what it is all about. It is after this that Arrianus gets into the more developed teachings of Epictetus. It is in this section that he deals extensively with moral purpose, external impressions and other more detailed Stoic ideas.

Oldfather's translation can seem a bit strange at first, as he seems to have followed the original Greek forms as closely as possible. This makes for a style of English that can be a little perplexing at first, though you will soon get used to it.

While the footnotes are sparse, the book does not need any more. They are very useful for explaining the references to other ancient works, or explaining some points that one might find difficult.

The philosophy in this book presents itself as dealing with the real world, and is quite useful to anyone interested in ethics. It is also an easily understood work, thus it is well suited to people who are not experienced with broader philosophy and are looking for somewhere to start.

Bottom line, this is a great book and one that you will be able to read repeatedly and still gain something from each reading. I had a great time reading it, and was thoroughly challenged by it.

5-0 out of 5 stars As others have noted.....
reading and understanding the Discourses is not difficult. The points are driven home time after time, with one excellent example after another. There is so much common sense wisdom in these pages that you will find yourself constantly stopping to examine a passage and easily applying it to a situation in your own life.
But as has been said many times, living the Discourses is really tough. As you apply the lessons, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself saying, "Well, there's another way I screw up in life."
But what the hell? You know yourself better as a person and you will also constantly find yourself saying, "That is something that is not in my control, now lets see if I can control the way I respond to what has happened."
I started reading Epictitus shortly after reading "A Man in Full" by Tom Wolfe. I love the notion that we find ourselves in these little prisons, (usually of our own making,) but the door is always open. If we choose to leave, nothing can stop us. But if we choose to stay, well then stop bitching and just get on with it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just the Discourses
This is volume one of a two volume set. The second volume is "Epictetus : Discourses, Books 3 and 4 (Loeb Classical Library, No 218)". The contents for both volumes are as follows:


Introduction (editors)



Discourses, Book I

Discourses, Book II



Discourses, Book III

Discourses, Book IV



The first thing worth noting is that although the titles of the volume refer to just the Discourses, the set is really a complete set of extant works, including fragments from other sources as well as a complete copy of the Encheiridion.

As is typical for the Loeb classical library books, the volumes are physically small, and the original text (Greek, for Epictetus) is given on the left hand page, with the English translation on the right.

The Introduction gives a brief biography of Epictetus and background information concerning Stoic philosophy. The Bibliography (which contains an update note from the original 1925 edition) gives the state of Epictetus scholarship. In the actual texts, footnotes are abundant and explain unfamiliar names, places, difficulties with translation, uncertainties about the source text, and Epictetus' quotes from earlier writers are more fully referenced. In summation, the background material supplied with these books is excellent.

As for the texts themselves, they were not actually written by Epictetus, but were notes taken by Arrian, one of his students (not unlike the Nicomachean Ethics, which were notes taken by a student of Aristotle). The Discourses are quite lively in style; Epictetus' personality and teaching style comes through vividly. This is not true of the Encheiridion, which Arrian abstracted from the Discourses and which had the life wrung out of it in the process.

The Discourses are not a well-organized body of work, as their origin might suggest. They are repetitive, and points that should have been grouped together logically are dispersed throughout.

The content is almost entirely ethical. Epictetus emphasizes the spark of divinity within man - that a man should always behave honourably. External things, such as wealth and power, are not things to be valued - they can be lost at any time, and are not worth a man's honour. Because his teachings are ethical, Epictetus is not concerned with what a man knows, but how he lives. The point isn't to understand his philosophy (which isn't hard), but to live it (which is).

5-0 out of 5 stars Taking control of your life
This volume and its companion, listed as Discourses Books 3 and 4, are actually what survives of one work written almost 1900 years ago: the historian Arrian's recording of what he learned from his study with the premier Stoic philosopher of antiquity, Epictetus.The Discourses are, quite simply, a collection of some of the most down-to-earth, practical, beneficial teachings ever spoken: understanding what Epictetus said is easy; he is a lucid and forthright instructor:putting his teachings into practice is the difficulty.But the struggle is worthwhile:practicing Stoicism is not "a denial of the self", but rather a freeing of the self from the dictatorship of things beyond our control.Epictetus teaches us how to see the world as it really is; how to see ourselves as we really are; and to understand how we can live at peace within chaos.[More information under my review of the Everyman's Library edition. ... Read more

10. Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life
by A. A. Long
Paperback: 328 Pages (2004-03-11)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$27.50
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Asin: 0199268851
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The philosophy of Epictetus, a freed slave in the Roman Empire, has been profoundly influential on Western thought: it offers not only stimulating ideas but practical guidance in living one's life. A. A. Long, a leading scholar of later ancient philosophy, gives the definitive presentation of the thought of Epictetus for a broad readership. Long's fresh and vivid translations of a selection of the best of Epictetus' discourses show that his ideas are as valuable and striking today as they were amost two thousand years ago. This is a book for anyone interested in what we can learn from ancient philosophy about how to live our lives. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars I guess I'm not a Stoic...
I definitely have to join the other reviewers in praising the quality of this book.In fact, it was so good that it caused me to lose interest in Epictetus, unfortunately.

Epictetus was one of the leading Stoic philosophers, and, like some other Stoics, he was God-besotted.It's hard to say just what God, but I did not have a problem with this, since I am a Theist myself.

Where I found my biggest problem was in the nature of Epictetus' God, who seemed much too close to the Islamic Allah: a Supreme Being whose prime characteristic was Will, the result of which on Earth was a rather simple-minded fatalism and determinism.Since I consider free will to be among the most obvious things about human life --- and the fact that God would hardly create a world of robots lacking free will --- Epictetus completely lost me at this point.

Alas, neither Stoicism nor Epicureanism is going to work for me.They may work for you.

Fare forward!:-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Introduction to Epictetus
I don't have much to add to the glowing reviews of this book.It's gracefully written, philosophically sensitive, and of manageable length.If I had any complaint, it's that the author, Berkeley prof A.A. Long, doesn't devote enough attention to the Stoic thinkers who preceded Epictetus.Instead, he explores Epictetus's affinities to Socrates.This makes his book less-than-ideal as an introduction to Stoicism -- but anyone who already has that background and wants to deepen his understanding of Epictetus's Discourses should start here.Highly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for.
In the introduction, A.A. Long wrote,

"...Epictetus often uses the vocative 'anthrope', literally '(O) human being' or (O) man'; but neither of these translations works in modern English.So I have preferred to write 'friend' or 'my friend'..."

This told me what I needed to know about A.A. Long's translation:it is not what I am looking for.Here, Long actually confesses to changing the substantive meaning of a phrase for the purpose of making it "work in modern English."It certainly is a substantive change, since one may logically conclude that all people who are "friend"/"my friend" are "human being/man", but not all who are "human being"/"man" are necessarily "friend"/"my friend".It is painfully obvious that "human being"/"man" is not a synonym for "friend"/my friend".When Epictetus chose to use the vocative "anthrope", he was purposefully addressing a broader group than "friend"/"my friend":he was addressing both "friend AND "non-friend".There is a profound, substantive difference between addressing an audience as "(O) man!/(O) human being" and addressing an audience as "Friend"/"My friend"That difference gives insight to the ideas of the speaker.

If A.A. Long has changed this, then what else has he changed?Maybe a lot, maybe nothing.But, I don't want to risk wasting my time -- there's too much to read without having to worry about whether a modern translator has been unfaithful to the substantive meaning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very insightful and worth the time and money
The book reads well and is full of information. It's like taking an entire course about Epictetus at a major university--becuase it is.I am a student at Tulane University and I just used this book for an Independent Study course on Epictetus.I designed the course myself.This book was the only one I needed to buy in order to get an A from my advisor whose discipline is in Ancient Philosophy.This is worth every penny if you are interesting in rediscovering the powerful message of the Stoic approach to life and happiness.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best contemporary books on Stoicism and ancient philosophy in general
[Note added later: I had originally given this book a 4 star review. Almost two years later I came back and bumped it up to 5. This is a book to cherish and to come back to over and over again. Stoicism is a way of life, and it requires a lifetime to study it. Long's book is an invaluable companion on the journey. The rest of this review is the same as originally written.]

The great strength of A. A. Long's book on Epictetus is that Long views Epictetus, and Stoicism in general, as being firmly rooted in the broader tradition of ancient philosophy. This is reflected in his reference to Socrates in the book's title.

Throughout the book Long engagingly draws the reader into the world of philosophy as it was lived. Especially in the first half of the book Long emphasizes Epictetus' humanity - as well as that of his students. The result is that anyone who reads this book will, if they haven't already, be compelled to read Epictetus.

The two things that I wasn't crazy about are (1) Long's dismissal of the Epictetus' "Handbook" as unimportant (Long prefers to only look at the "Discourses"), and (2) the second half of the book is more technical and less fun to read than the first half. Long is, after all, a contemporary philsopher, and the second half of the book seems to be more aimed at his colleagues and students of academic philosophy rather than the general public. ... Read more

11. The Epictetus Club: Lessons from the Walls
by Jeff Traylor
Paperback: 156 Pages (2004-08-01)
-- used & new: US$39.95
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Asin: 0941467090
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Take a fascinating look inside the old Ohio Penitentiary as you follow a group of inmates who meet weekly under the tutelage of a lifer named Zeno in a group called the Epictetus Club. The inmates study the teachings of this Greek philosopher, and with the help of his ancient wisdom they meet the daily challenges of their lives. Learning to think outside the limits of their own literal walls as they struggle to redeem themselves, the club members show us how to think beyond our own self-imposed limitations and comfort zones. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Light introduction to Stoicism

Set in Ohio State Penitentiary, The Epictetus Club is about a group of inmates that study and implement principles of Stoic philosophy to their lives, and use the lessons that they learn together to get through prison physically and emotionally unscathed. Led by a man known as Zeno (named after the great Stoic sage), the group learns to use psychological techniques such as "The ABCs of inner boxing" in order to master their thoughts, emotions, and desires, and in turn, themselves. The story is told through the eyes of author Jeff Traylor, a counselor at the prison who takes a fly-on-the-wall approach and watches, listens, and records the Epictetus Club group discussions.

Well told and effectively written, the book is an easy and interesting read that goes into surprising detail about the tenets of Stoic philosophy. For the uninitiated, it serves as a good introduction and example of how to apply the ideas presented to the reader's own life.

The Epictetus Club leader and role-model, Zeno, is a man originally imprisoned for murder, but who then learned the ways of the Stoics and changed his life by changing his perceptions of people and events. Shortly after coming to prison, Zeno came upon a copy of The Enchiridion, by the ancient Stoic sage, Epictetus, and immediately saw the wisdom in its pages. Instead of using his boxing skills to attain respect, and therefore safety, in the harsh prison environment, he gained respect and admiration for the skills he learned from the practice of Stoicism. The tranquility that he achieved caught the attention of other inmates who wished to gain tranquility themselves, and he agreed to teach them. Thus, the Epictetus Club was born. Since he was a boxer before coming to prison, Zeno teaches the philosophy of Stoicism through the use of boxing analogies. When the attacking punch (self-defeating thought) presents itself, the Stoic responds with a block (an assessment of the true nature of the situation), then reacts with a counter-punch (replacement of the attacking thought with a productive thought).

Although the story is interesting and the characters well-developed, perhaps the most interesting part of The Epictetus Club is Stoicism itself. Mentioning and citing the works of major Stoic sages like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, the book details Stoic ideals like living for a purpose, social responsibility, accepting life come what may, and consciously choosing to find the learning opportunity in any given situation.

Stoicism is not a religion, but a collection of ideas that attempt to construct a comprehensive philosophy of life. It argues that although it is easy to get distracted with unnecessary and illogical pursuits, life is about living in accordance with nature. Many people strive to become rich and accumulate an ever-growing stockpile of material possessions, but never reach true happiness. Stoics make the claim that the key to happiness is not things or status, but tranquility, which can be reached by controlling one's thoughts and desires. Instead of concerning ourselves with things and events that we have no control over, we should concern ourselves with understanding the true nature of things and adapting ourselves accordingly.

The only negative thing that I have to say about the book is the author's apparent obsession with Zeus, and Zeus' involvement in Stoic philosophy. Many Stoic sages lived in ancient Rome, and accordingly believed in and worshipped Zeus and other Roman gods of the time, but Stoicism is not a religion at all. In his writings, Epictetus mentions Zeus (sometimes metaphorically), and on the last page of the Enchiridion there is even a copy of his prayer to Zeus, but in no way is a Stoic, living in ancient times or now, obligated or even encouraged by Stoicism to worship any god or gods at all. Traylor seemed to miss this idea while writing The Epictetus Club, by mentioning Zeus repeatedly throughout the book, even occasionally praising him as though he had a hand in causing particular outcomes of situations. As I said, the book is an impressive piece, but the Zeus stuff is disappointing and unnecessary, in that it could work to offend some readers, perhaps even turning them off to Stoicism.

All in all, The Epictetus Club is worth every minute spent reading it. In the short period of time since I bought it, I have already borrowed it out once and had numerous discussions about the book and Stoicism itself. I would recommend both the book and Stoic philosophy to anyone who experiences disappointment, anger, frustration, or unhappiness.

This book and Stoicism encourage the ideals of life-long learning and development. In the spirit of those ideals, here are some important points of the book that I plan to consider for my own personal growth and development:

*"You can make your life a palace or a prison just by how you think." (p. 23)

*"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got."(p. 26)

*"One's purpose does not have to be big and showy - the simplest things can have the greatest effects." (p. 56)

*"One of the signs of the dawning of self-mastery is the gradual elimination of blame." (p. 70)

*"There is no such thing as being the victim of another. You can only be a victim of yourself." (p. 75)

*"Assume all events happen to you for your good. All events contain an advantage for you if you look for it." (p. 79)

*"If you desire something that is beyond your control, disappointment will surely follow. Likewise, if you resist things that are beyond your control such as illness, death, or misfortune, you will also be disappointed." (p. 95)

*"We are in charge of ourselves, and no one can upset us without our cooperation." (p. 112)

*"Only the weak feel compelled to defend themselves or explain themselves to others. Let your good actions speak on your behalf. We can't control the impressions others form about us, and trying to do so only demeans us." (p. 115)

*"Other people have the freedom of speech - they can say whatever they want. In fact, I give them my permission!" (p. 122)

5-0 out of 5 stars AT LAST!...A STOIC GUIDE!!!
This book is a simple read; but its message is sooo powerful. I didn't think you could pack so much information in such a small book. The writer basically gives you EVERYTHING you ever wanted in a "Stoic Training" book. This book is a must have for you Stoics out there that want to apply, and live a Stoic life.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you need a jump start, here it is!
This book is no less than a wake call to anyone who needs to relook into their personal life.The ideas shared in the book may be geared towards inmates but any man/woman can read this book and find multiple ideas to add to there personal growing closet.Its a very easy read, and definitely will be read in a couple of days if not in one day.The main charecters are brought to life and the all out external descrioption of the prison is great.Buy it, rent it, steal it.....just read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Critical Life's lessons
Both my teenage son and I read this book and came out better prepared for life's challenges.I actually read it twice to assist my changing my perspective in life all for the better.It should be required reading for teens not only for the historical/philosophical aspect but rather for the well presented lesson. ... Read more

12. Epictetus Handbookand the Tablet of Cebes: Guides to Stoic Living
by Keith Seddon
Hardcover: 282 Pages (2006-01-13)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$96.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415324513
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This new translation of two works, one by Epictetus and the other by Cebes, two ancient Greek philosophers of the Imperial period, are presented in new translations of clear, straightforward English.

In this book, readers will learn how to sustain emotional harmony and a ‘good flow of life’ whatever fortune may hold in store for them.

This modern English translation of the complete Handbook is supported by and includes:

* the first thorough commentary since that of Simplicius, 1500 years ago
* a detailed introduction
* extensive glossary
* index of key terms
* chapter-by-chapter discussion of themes
* helpful tables that clarify Stoic ethical doctrines as a glance.

Accompanying the Handbook is the Tablet of Cebes, a curious and engaging text. In complete contrast, yet complementing the Handbook’s more conventional philosophical presentation, the Tablet shows progress to philosophical wisdom as a journey through a landscape inhabited by personifications of happiness, fortune, the virtues and vices.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars very good book!
Among the many books available covering different aspects of stoic philosophy, I found this one to be among those that are very useful. The time taken to articulate the messages of Epictetus passages and other stoics are very well conveyed and open a clearer view of the overall process of developing ones own stoic outlook and how to achieve it in many small but orderly steps.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I have many books about the stoic philosophy and this one is the best.

If you want to buy it cheaper ($115 is too much!) go the amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0415324521/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

5-0 out of 5 stars Live according to nature!
Get this book if your are a stoic or for that matter a thoughtful person. Read it. Think about it. Live it. The world, specially today, is in need of these mind/ soul satifying teachings. Buy and read it today!!! Heack, buy a bunch give them to your friends, neighbors, and enemies and have them read it today! They will thank you!
Hey! When you are at it! Why not become a stoic philsopher and thrill and confuse your enemies?! Look at Dr. Kieth Seddon's course on Stoic serenity buy and work through that book and THEN... buy this book! Great STUFF!!! ... Read more

13. Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses of Epictetus
by Epictetus
Paperback: 100 Pages (2005-01-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$4.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1420925792
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Epictetus was an ancient Greek philosopher who lived between 55 and 135 AD and taught the philosophy of stoicism. Stoicism is the school of philosophy that teaches one to detach oneself from ones emotions so that truth may be derived from ones reason. To the stoic this detachment allows the natural law of the universe to reveal itself and harmony with the world can be achieved. This philosophy is exemplified in the "Enchiridion", which serves as a manual for the everyday practice of this philosophy. A more detailed examination of the philosophy of stoicism can be found within the discourses of Epictetus, of which a representative selection is presented here in this volume translated by George Long. ... Read more

14. Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior (Hoover Essays)
by James B. Stockdale
Paperback: 21 Pages (1993-11)
list price: US$5.00 -- used & new: US$2.22
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Asin: 0817936920
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"On September 9, 1965, I flew at 500 knots right into a flak trap, at tree-top level, in a little A-4 airplanet—the cockpit walls not even three feet apart—which I couldn't steer after it was on fire, its control system shot out.After ejection I had about thirty seconds to make my last statement in freedom before I landed in the main street of a little village right ahead.And so help me, I whispered to myself:'five years down there, at least.I'm leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus'"What Epictetus [told] his students was that there can be no such thing as being the 'victim' of another.You can only be a 'victim' of yourself.It's all how you discipline your mind."

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Retrospection on Stoic Philosophy by an American Hero
In 1965, James Bond Stockdale was shot out of the air over North Vietnam, and spent the next 7 years imprisoned. As the most senior officer, he was the focus for brutal interrogations. Through sheer resolve, he managed to not only survive the most horrific conditions imaginable, but walked out better for the experience.

The rather short but informative essay is about how Stockdale, as a Naval Officer at the age of 38, decided to ltake a chance on learning philosophy while in graduate school at Stanford and discovered the Stoic school of philosophy and most namely, Epictetus.

Epictetus believed that external events were beyond our control and thus there was no reason to worry about the things we couldn't control. He believed that people were responsible for their own reactions, and that you could control them through self-discipline. It's a simple enough philosophy, but Stockdale used this to his advantage. After he was shot out of the air, he couldn't control the beatings, but he could control his mental state and serve as an example to fellow POWs.

Philosophy sometimes struggles for practical applications, but reading this essay will make you believe that words written nearly 2000 years ago still hold relevance, and saved lives. The essay also gives you an understanding of Stockdale the man, who was an amazing officer even before the events that led to becoming a POW. Stockdale's list of awards, including the Medal of Honor, show that he is one of our greatest military heroes. This is a well written essay, and is worth reading if you're in the military or a philosopher. I feel richer for having read this, because I got to learn more about someone I wish I could have met.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
This pamphlet, published by the "Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace" at Stanford is a reprint of a speech Adm. Stockdale delivered at the Great Hall, King's College, London on Monday November 5, 1993.The pamphlet is 21 pages long.

The booklet begins with Stockade at Stanford as a middle-aged, gray-haired grad student.He bumps into professor Rhinelander, who persuades him to try studying philosophy.Stockdale gets hooked on the Stoic philosophy of Epictetus. Pages 2 - 7 are a synopsis of Epictetus' philosophy.On page 6 Stockdale says that after we returned to duty he always carried with him the Enchiridion and Discourses of Epictetus, the Memorabilia by Xenophon, the Iliad, and the Odyssey.

On page 7 he is shot down and begins discussing the interaction between Stoic teachings and life as a prisoner. I had my 12 year old boy read this pamphlet up to page 13, when it starts to get rough. On page 14 he quotes Epictetus and then relates those lessons to his practice of chanting to himself, "control fear, control guilt, control fear, control guilt," on his way to interrogation.Stockdale explains the psychological aspects of torture and describes some details of how they were tortured.

This is a moving story of how he struggled to be a leader to the rest of the prisoners, how he struggled against the torture, and how he used Stoicism to aid him in his struggles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding perspective on the Vietnam War
I am not sure how I stumbled on the writings of former POW Admiral Stockdale but am so glad I did. Having served a couple tours in Nam myself I have been a forever student of the war and this book, while out of print, should be a best seller.

Stockdale came home and served as President of a couple universities and the book is a compilation of his articles, speeches and writings on the topic of the war. I did not know he was the Commander of the planes who responded to the now infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident. He outlines his personal observations of the event and his utter shock at being sent out to bomb Vihn the next night in retaliation.

If your a student of the war this is a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This essay is a short, clear introduction to the philosophy of stoicism. It is proof that the ideals of the philosophy can be of real use outside the classroom. It is also an awe inspiring example leadership, patriotism, loyalty, and honour.

5-0 out of 5 stars a tribute to a great American hero
it gives an approach to the war that is not normally available in the words of a ranking officer that lived through the most terrible of experiences. ... Read more

15. The Philosophy of Epictetus
by Theodore Scaltsas, Andrew S. Mason
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-05-26)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199585512
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The Stoic philosopher Epictetus has been one of the most influential of ancient thinkers, both in antiquity itself and in modern times. Theodore Scaltsas and Andrew S. Mason present ten specially written papers which discuss Epictetus' thought on a wide range of subjects, including ethics, logic, theology, and psychology; explore his relations to his predecessors (including his two philosophical heroes, Socrates and Diogenes the Cynic, as well as the earlier Stoic tradition); and examine his influence on later thinkers.Written by some of the leading experts in the field, the essays in this volume will be a fascinating resource for students and scholars of ancient philosophy, and anyone with in an interest in the Stoic attitude to life. ... Read more

16. The Discourses of Epictetus - Special Edition
by Arrian
Paperback: 290 Pages (2010-03-09)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$18.24
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Asin: 1934255319
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This special edition of the Discourses of Epictetus contains all four extant books of the Discourses, the Enchiridion or Manual and the few remaining fragments of the lost works of this famous Stoic.As a student of Zeno, the originator of the Stoic system, Epictetus was instrumental in putting a human face on what was otherwise considered a dispassionate philosophy. Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius are the three famous names of the later school of stoicism, and they are all teachers of the conduct of life, in love with inner perfection, and comparatively heedless of mere speculation. The Discourses of Epictetus were not written by Epictetus but by his student, Arrian, who is best remembered for his biography of Alexander the Great.Arrian modestly makes no claim to the wisdom or true authorship of the Discourses, but he was clearly more than a scribe.Without Arrian, the writtten Discourses would never have existed and the philosophy of Epictetus would be all but lost in the fog of ancient history. ... Read more

17. The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus: An English Translation (Revisioning Philosophy, Vol 2)
by Adolf Friedrich Bonhoffer
 Paperback: 335 Pages (2000-06)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$37.95
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Asin: 0820451398
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Stoicism: What does it have to offer?
I used this book for a paper I wrote on Stoicism.

Stoicism is a complex philosophical school.However, its ideas have come to be validated by modern psychology.

Everyone in America has to buck up, and not dwell on their problems.They need to realize that they do not need love, sex, money or friendship.The only thing you need is virtue.We need to stop whining about fairness; and try our best to be good people.These are some things Stoicism has to offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars What is stoicism
It is form of christianity ... Read more

18. Of Human Freedom (Penguin Great Ideas)
by Epictetus
Paperback: 112 Pages (2010-08-26)
-- used & new: US$6.67
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Asin: 0141192356
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this personal and practical guide to moral self-improvement and living a good life, the second-century philosopher Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, stubbornness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world. "Great Ideas": throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. ... Read more

19. Moral discourses ; Enchiridion and fragments
by Epictetus Epictetus, Elizabeth Carter
Paperback: 406 Pages (2010-08-21)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$23.26
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Asin: 1177600617
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20. Simplicius: On Epictetus' Handbook 27-53 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)
by Simplicius
 Hardcover: 240 Pages (2002-11-26)
list price: US$87.95 -- used & new: US$18.73
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Asin: 0801439051
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