Page:Discourses of Epictetus volume 1 Oldfather 1925.djvu/34

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above Plato. His Manual, with a few simple changes, principally in the proper names, was adapted by two different Christian ascetics as a rule and guide of monastic life.[1]

In modern times his vogue started rather slowly with translations by Perotti and Politian, but vernacular versions began to appear in the sixteenth century, and at the end of that century and the first part of the subsequent one, Epictetus was one of the most powerful forces in the movement of Neo-Stoicism, especially under the protagonists Justus Lipsius and Bishop Guillaume Du Vair.[2] His work and the essays of Montaigne were the principal secular readings of Pascal, and it was with Epictetus and his disciple Marcus Aurelius that the Earl of Shaftesbury "was most thoroughly conversant."[3] Men as different as Touissant L'Ouverture and Landor, Frederick the Great and Leopardi, have been among his admirers. The number of editions and new printings of his works, or of portions or translations of the same, averages considerably more than one for each year since the invention of printing. In the twentieth century, through the inclusion of Crossley's Golden Sayings of Epictetus in Charles William Eliot's Harvard Series of Classics, and of the Manual in Carl Hilty's Glück, of which two works upwards of three hundred and

  1. The same was done again in the seventeenth century for the Carthusians by Matthias Mittner (1632), who took the first 35 of his 50 precepts Ad conservandam animi pacem from the Encheiridion. See Acta Erudit. 1726, 264.
  2. See Zanta's elaborate work upon the share taken by these men in the movement.
  3. B. Rand: The Life, etc., of Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury (author of the Characteristics), (1900), p. xi.