Page:Discourses of Epictetus volume 1 Oldfather 1925.djvu/26

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grateful, humble, and there is a little trace in him of that exaltation of self which in some of the Stoics tended to accord to the ideal man a moral elevation that made him sometimes the equal if not in certain aspects almost the superior of God.[1]

His doctrines were the conventional ones of Stoicism, representing rather the teaching of the early Stoics than that of the middle and later schools, as Bonhöffer has elaborately proven. There is, accordingly, no occasion to dwell at length upon them, but for the sake of those who may wish to fit a particular teaching into his general scheme, a very brief outline may here be attempted.[2]

Every man bears the exclusive responsibility himself for his own good or evil, since it is impossible to imagine a moral order in which one person does the wrong and another, the innocent, suffers. Therefore, good and evil can be only those things which depend entirely upon our moral purpose, what we generally call, but from the Stoic's point of view a little inaccurately, our free

    Discourses is a very much more attractive figure than the imaginary reconstruction of the man from the abstracted principles of the Manual; there he is a man, here a statue (Martha, 162 f.). It would go hard with many to have their personal traits deduced from the evidence supplied by the grammars, indices, or even confessions of faith that they have written; especially hard if the compendium were drawn up somewhat mechanically by another's hand.

  1. As expressed, e.g., in Seneca, De Prov. VI. 6: Hoc est quo deum antecedatis: ille extra patientiam malorum est, vos supra patientiam. Cf. also Zeller, 257.
  2. I am following here in the main, but not uniformly, Von Arnim's admirable snmmary.