Tuesday, 31. July 2007
The Golden Sayings Of Epictetus
Epictetus (pronounced Epic-TEE-tus) was an exponent of Stoicism who flourished in the early second century C.E. about four hundred years after the Stoic school of Zeno of Citium was established in Athens. He lived and worked, first as a student in Rome, and then as a teacher with his own school in Nicopolis in Greece. Our knowledge of his philosophy and his method as a teacher comes to us via two works composed by his student Arrian, the Discourses and the Handbook.
Find out more about Epictetus (c.55 - c.135 C.E.)
by The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Of the things which are in our Power, and not in our Power
Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.
Aiming therefore at such great things, remember that you must not allow yourself to be carried, even with a slight tendency, towards the attainment of lesser things. Instead, you must entirely quit some things and for the present postpone the rest. But if you would both have these great things, along with power and riches, then you will not gain even the latter, because you aim at the former too: but you will absolutely fail of the former, by which alone happiness and freedom are achieved.
Work, therefore to be able to say to every harsh appearance, "You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be." And then examine it by those rules which you have, and first, and chiefly, by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our own control, or those which are not; and, if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you.
|Life - a Drama! |
Remember that you are an actor in a drama of such sort as the author chooses, – if short, then in a short one; if long, then in a long one. If it be his pleasure that you should enact a poor man, see that you act it well; or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen. For this is your business, to act well the given part; but to choose it, belongs to another.
There are several translations of the Handbook available online:
The Enchiridion by Epictetus
, translated by Elizabeth Carter.
Epictetus Enchiridion or Handbook
. Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
First published 1865.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
, by Epictetus.
Translated and Arranged by Hastings Crossley.
by Epictetus, 101 AD.
Translated by George Long. (Long translation)
Epictetus’ Discourses, Handbook and Fragments
(Long translation, including original notes)
Was in unserer Macht steht und was nicht
Einige Dinge stehen in unserer Macht, andere hingegen nicht. In unserer Macht sind Urteil, Bestrebung, Begier und Abneigung, mit einem Wort alles das, was Produkt unseres Willens ist. Nicht in unserer Macht sind unser Leib, Besitz, Ehre, Amt, und alles was nicht unser Werk ist. Was in unserer Macht ist, ist seiner Natur gemäß frei, kann nicht verboten oder verhindert werden; was aber nicht in unserer Macht steht, ist knechtisch, kann verwehrt werden, gehört einem anderen zu.
Bemühe dich daher, jedem unangenehmen Gedanken damit zu begegnen, daß du sagst: "Du bist nicht das, was du zu sein scheinst (etwas Reelles), sondern bloß ein Gedankending (eine Einbildung)."
|Das Leben - ein Schauspiel!|
Bedenke das, du bist in einem Drama der Inhaber einer bestimmten Rolle, welcher der Dichter durch dich ausführen will. Ist sie kurz, so spielst du eine kurze, ist sie lang, eine lange Rolle. Will er, daß du einen Armen vorstellest, so spiele ihn gut; ebenso einen Lahmen, oder eine obrigkeitliche Person, oder einen gewöhnlichen Bürger. Denn das ist deine Sache, die Rolle, die dir übertragen ist, gut zu spielen; sie zu wählen, ist die Sache eines andern.
Projekt Gutenberg: Handbüchlein der Moral
Übersetzt von C. Hilty, 1833-1909.
Epiktet: Handbuch der Moral
. Übersetzt von Rainer Nickel.
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