- Series: Loeb Classical Library (Book 131)
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1925)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674991451
- ISBN-13: 978-0674991453
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 6.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Epictetus: Discourses, Books 1-2 (Loeb Classical Library) 0th Edition
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Discourses, Book I
Discourses, Book II
Discourses, Book III
Discourses, Book IV
The first thing worth noting is that although the titles of the volume refer to just the Discourses, the set is really a complete set of extant works, including fragments from other sources as well as a complete copy of the Encheiridion.
As is typical for the Loeb classical library books, the volumes are physically small, and the original text (Greek, for Epictetus) is given on the left hand page, with the English translation on the right.
The Introduction gives a brief biography of Epictetus and background information concerning Stoic philosophy. The Bibliography (which contains an update note from the original 1925 edition) gives the state of Epictetus scholarship. In the actual texts, footnotes are abundant and explain unfamiliar names, places, difficulties with translation, uncertainties about the source text, and Epictetus' quotes from earlier writers are more fully referenced. In summation, the background material supplied with these books is excellent.
As for the texts themselves, they were not actually written by Epictetus, but were notes taken by Arrian, one of his students (not unlike the Nicomachean Ethics, which were notes taken by a student of Aristotle). The Discourses are quite lively in style; Epictetus' personality and teaching style comes through vividly.Read more ›
But as has been said many times, living the Discourses is really tough. As you apply the lessons, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself saying, "Well, there's another way I screw up in life."
But what the hell? You know yourself better as a person and you will also constantly find yourself saying, "That is something that is not in my control, now lets see if I can control the way I respond to what has happened."
I started reading Epictitus shortly after reading "A Man in Full" by Tom Wolfe. I love the notion that we find ourselves in these little prisons, (usually of our own making,) but the door is always open. If we choose to leave, nothing can stop us. But if we choose to stay, well then stop bitching and just get on with it.
The binding of this brand-new version of a Loeb classic is poor though. I bought it NEW from Amazon like you're thinking about doing right after you're done reading reviews in order to justify your next purchase. Just know that you're looking at the latest version from Harvard University Press, specifically the 2000 reprint. See the next paragraph.
I own the 1998 reset/reprinting by Loeb, supposedly the exact same book but one which is FAR superior to this recycled book mock duck. Aside from the slightly jaundiced paper color alone, is 2) ISBN 0674991451's sheer anorexia: whereas the 1998 edition is 1 1/8" thick (better paper), this one is a mere 7/8" overall (basic paper). Maybe the worst part is that what once was a sewn binding is 3) now just a glueback between hardcovers, and looking at this 2000 version even closer, even more worse is 4) how, if you buy it, thinking how you'll feel "played" like me for having paid the exact same price I once paid for a 1998, but instead you paid for awful craftsmanship that's, well, just junk. (And yes, this book is so good you will buy it for friends.)
"Save a buck there, buck here! Who cares?"
Don't answer them. Find a used version of this amazing text and gladly skip class on Loeb's new cost-cutting philosophy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book you will keep returning to it and it will again and again speak to you. Worth of reading every bit of it.Published on October 4, 2013 by Pablo Juan Fajdiga
I think Stoicism in the form of Epictetus' teachings is a simple and effective way to calm the mind and deal with difficult situations. Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by JVS
This is the first of the two volume Loeb Classical Library edition of Epictetus' Discourses, with Greek and W. A. Oldfather's English translation on facing pages. Read morePublished on December 25, 2007 by B. Marold