Enchiridion Of Epictetus
The Enchiridion, or Handbook of Epictetus, (Greek: Ἐγχειρίδιον Επικτήτου), often shortened to simply "The Handbook", is a short manual of Stoic ethical advice compiled by Arrian, who had been a pupil of Epictetus at the beginning of the 2nd century.
Although the content is derived from the Discourses of Epictetus, it is not a summary of the Discourses, but rather it is a compilation of practical precepts. The Handbook is a guide to daily life. Unlike some of his forefathers in Greek philosophy (i.e. Plato and the other metaphysicians), Epictetus focuses his attention on how to practically apply oneself on a philosophical level. The primary theme in this short work is that one should expect what will happen and wish it to happen so. The other motif that appears is Epictetus' opinion on the judgment of events:What upsets people is not things themselves but their judgments about the things. For example, "death is nothing dreadful (or else it would have appeared dreadful to Socrates)..."
Underlying all of this, however, is the idea that "Some things are up to us and some are not up to us" and we must react and interact with those things accordingly.
For many centuries the Enchiridion was regarded as a suitable manual of practical philosophy, maintaining its authority both with Christians and Pagans. In the 6th century, Simplicius wrote a commentary upon it, and two Christian writers, Nilus and an anonymous author wrote paraphrases of it, adapted for Christians, in the first half of the 5th century. The Enchiridion was first published in a Latin translation by Poliziano, Rome, 1493, and in 1496, by Beroaldus, at Bologna. The Greek original, with the commentary of Simplicius, appeared first at Venice, 1528.
An English translation was published as early as 1567 (see below). The book was a common school text in Scotland during the Scottish Enlightenment. Adam Smith had a copy of a 1670 edition in his library, acquired as a schoolboy.
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