The Discourses of Epictetus: Epictetus

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8.5 X 0.33 X 11.02 inches | 0.81 pounds
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About the Author
Arrian of Nicomedia c. 86/89 - c. after 146/160 AD was a Greek historian, public servant, military commander, and philosopher of the Roman period. Born in the provincial capital of Bithynia, Nicomedia (today's İzmit), around the late 1st century AD, Arrian hailed from the Greek provincial aristocracy. His full name, L. Flavius Arrianus, signifies his Roman citizenship, a status that likely traces back to his ancestors around the time of the Roman conquest of the region, approximately 170 years prior to his birth. Arrian's life and career flourished under the patronage of the Roman Empire, with his contributions spanning various fields, including history, philosophy, and military leadership. Arrian's intellectual journey took a significant turn during his time in Epirus, likely at Nicopolis, where he became a pupil of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. This mentorship profoundly influenced Arrian, leading him to document Epictetus' teachings in the "Encheiridion" (Handbook), thus preserving the essence of Epictetus' philosophy for future generations. Arrian's admiration and scholarly pursuit earned him the nickname "young Xenophon," drawing a parallel to Xenophon's relationship with Socrates. His career in public service saw a notable ascent when Emperor Hadrian, a friend and patron, appointed him to the Roman Senate. Arrian's political and military acumen was further recognized when he was appointed consul suffectus around 130 AD, followed by his role as the prefect or legate of Cappadocia in 132 AD. During his governorship, Arrian demonstrated formidable military leadership by halting the advance of the Alani into Cappadocia, showcasing his strategic prowess and dedication to the stability and security of the Roman provinces.
Epictetus was born into slavery in ancient Greece in 50 AD. He founded his own school of philosophy and became one of the foundational thinkers of Stoic philosophy. His discourses were transcribed and shared by his student Arrian and his work has influenced countless readers over the centuries, from Marcus Aurelius to Tom Wolfe.
GEORGE LONG was an English classical scholar. He was born in 1800 and died in 1879.