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The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Epictetus

Book Overview: 

Aphorisms and words of wisdom from the Stoic Greek.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .No evil has happened unto me."





XXVI

True instruction is this:—to learn to wish that each thing should come to pass as it does. And how does it come to pass? As the Disposer has disposed it. Now He has disposed that there should be summer and winter, and plenty and dearth, and vice and virtue, and all such opposites, for the harmony of the whole.





XXVII

Have this thought ever present with thee, when thou losest any outward thing, what thou gainest in its stead; and if this be the more precious, say not, I have suffered loss.





XXVIII

Concerning the Gods, there are who deny the very existence of the Godhead; others say that it exists, but neither bestirs nor concerns itself nor has forethought for anything. A third party attribute to it existence and forethought, but only for great and heavenly matters, not for anything that is on earth. A fo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of the first self-help books. A few of my favorite quotes...

"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. "

"There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease w...more

Very insightful. I liked this one a lot.
4/5

Stoic philosophical musing that has a lot in common with Judaeo-Christian thought and can hold its own with any contemporary self-help manual.

Nothing against the book, I just don't like Epictetus. I thought it would be best to read something right to the point but no he's still boring.

Gold does not always glitter, and not all of these “Golden Sayings” of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus may appeal equally to the reader of today. Yet as the Golden Sayings unfold, they provide a compelling and persuasive opportunity for thoughtful readers to question the way in which they are liv...more

I liked Epictetus better than Marcus Aurelius, perhaps because Epictetus was actually lecturing and teaching people, while Aurelius was writing purely for himself. Still not a Stoic though.

The first and most important thing to remember, when reading Epictetus, is that his philosophy is not the rarefied abstractions that one might think, but rather more like concrete advice. Think less a professor and more one's grandfather, or mentor, or such a person. To Epictetus, philosophy that...more

Epictetus really gets under your skin.
These golden ideas comes from his lessons on Stoicism that
was recorded by one of his students. The philosophy is deceptively
simple, but effective. These simple tactics are helpful in facing the daily
stresses of life.

Memorable quotes:

"If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother. "

"If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: "He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many...more

Coming from strictly reading analytical philosophy for quite a few years, it was definitely time for some "continental" reading; and really, to what philosophy in general has been forced to relegate to, only the most passionate of hobbyists and academic pursuers would be interested in what the fo...more

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