A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus with the Encheiridion eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus with the Encheiridion.


When you have decided that a thing ought to be done, and are doing it, never avoid being seen doing it, though the many shall form an unfavorable opinion about it.  For if it is not right to do it, avoid doing the thing; but if it is right, why are you afraid of those who shall find fault wrongly?


As the proposition, it is either day, or it is night, is of great importance for the disjunctive argument, but for the conjunctive, is of no value, so in a symposium (entertainment) to select the larger share is of great value for the body, but for the maintenance of the social feeling is worth nothing.  When, then, you are eating with another, remember, to look not only to the value for the body of the things set before you, but also to the value of the behavior towards the host which ought to be observed.


If you have assumed a character above your strength, you have both acted in this manner in an unbecoming way, and you have neglected that which you might have fulfilled.


In walking about, as you take care not to step on a nail, or to sprain your foot, so take care not to damage your own ruling faculty; and if we observe this rule in every act, we shall undertake this act with more security.


The measure of possession (property) is to every man the body, as the foot is of the shoe.  If then you stand on this rule (the demands of the body), you will maintain the measure; but if you pass beyond it, you must then of necessity be hurried as it were down a precipice.  As also in the matter of the shoe, if you go beyond the (necessities of the) foot, the shoe is gilded, then of a purple color, then embroidered; for there is no limit to that which has once passed the true measure.


Women forthwith from the age of fourteen are called by the men mistresses ([Greek:  churiai], dominae).  Therefore, since they see that there is nothing else that they can obtain, but only the power of lying with men, they begin to decorate themselves, and to place all their hopes in this.  It is worth our while then to take care that they may know that they are valued (by men) for nothing else than appearing (being) decent and modest and discreet.


It is a mark of a mean capacity to spend much time on the things which concern the body, such as much exercise, much eating, much drinking, much easing of the body, much copulation.  But these things should be done as subordinate things; and let all your care be directed to the mind.


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A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus with the Encheiridion from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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