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Enchiridion [Paperback]

By Epictetus (Author)
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Item Number 129735  
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Item description for Enchiridion by Epictetus...

The Enchiridion, or "Handbook," is a summary of the teachings of the slave-turned-Stoic philosopher Epictetus (first century A.D.) posthumously compiled and published by one of Epictetus' students. Though brief, this work is universally considered to be the living spirit of Stoicism, wherein the principles of right conduct and true thinking are outlined.
The Enchiridion has played a significant role in the development of modern philosophy and intellectual attitudes, showing secular thinkers how sound reasoning can free them from the shackles of absolutism and emotionalism and, in so doing, live a more tranquil and productive life.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Prometheus Books
Pages   43
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1991
Publisher   Prometheus Books
ISBN  0879757035  
ISBN13  9780879757038  

Availability  4 units.
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More About Epictetus

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Born a slave in Phyrgia (now part of Turkey), Epictetus (A.D. 55-135) was a leading thinker of the Stoic school of philosophy. He lived in Rome and upon obtaining his freedom, moved to Greece, where he taught philosophy and his students recorded his teachings.

Epictetus has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Dover Thrift Editions
  2. Great Books in Philosophy
  3. Little Book of Wisdom (Harper San Francisco)
  4. Penguin Classics
  5. Plus

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Greek & Roman

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Reviews - What do customers think about Enchiridion?

Short and excellent intro to Stoic Philosophy  May 9, 2008
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.

Interesting  Feb 13, 2008
It is amazing how a slave had become so powerful in the Roman empire and the influence he had on the soldiers and leaders.
enchiridion  Feb 8, 2008
I Didn't know what to expect with this volume, but this edition was a little too bare bones. A little more back ground and insight would have been better.
I realize this was a least expensive book and I probably got what I paid
for Thrift Edition more or less says it all.
Learn to trim your sail- not curse the Wind  Sep 28, 2007
It is amazing how much more one gets from the Enchiridion when it is reread in later life. In youth, it is too easy to rush through without digesting the deeper meaning (and thereby escaping much pain and wasted effort.) Here, in this slim volume is the core of Epictetus' immortal teachings, his Discourses may expand upon them, but all the essentials are outlined here.

Some people dismiss these teachings as pessimistic. After all, the central message here is to learn to differentiate between what you can change and what you cannot. Most modernists will instead tell you to dream big and never say die. Then again, such critics existed in Epictetus' own day, for we are told that you can either be a philosopher or a procurator, but you cannot truly be both.

Personally, I see nothing defeatist in the philosophy expressed here. At its deepest level we are being told that the ultimate goal is to make our will and God's will as one. You see, in spite of the admonition in the publisher's note that the God of the Philosopher's and the God of Judeo-Christian theology are two unrelated things, the truth is that they both touch upon the pre-existing ultimate realty of the Divine One in their own ways. The Stoic desire to conform to Nature is the perennial spiritual ideal to unite with the One and the Good. Far from being a defeat, this is the highest possible victory in life for Christian and/or Philosopher.

This excellent, unabridged little Dover volume is probably the one that Epictetus would recommend. In fact, you might also want to purchase the Dover edition of MEDITATIONS by Marcus Aurelius for they are in the same spirit and make a natural set. There could be no more thoughtful a gift to send to an introspective friend.
Not the best of Epictetus  Feb 21, 2007
I really love the philosophy of Epictetus and this book is no exception. However I found this work to be a little difficult to grasp. The ideas expressed were at times rather complex.

I much prefer a different work, A Manual for Living. I have written a review on that book and I found it much easier to understand. The ideas were much clearer. I strongly recommend A Manual for Living as a much better example of the work of Epictetus.

I suggest you read my other review before you buy this book.

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