By Arrian (Lucius Flavius Arrianus)
The Discourses of Epictetus as recorded by Arrian are the only texts, together with the Handbook and several fragments, of what we know of the teachings of Epictetus. He didn’t write anything himself, as far as we know, but his pupil, Arrian, took notes as that’s what we can read today. These discourses show us one part of how Epictetus would instruct his students. These are more informal gatherings where he would discuss specific topics and answer questions. Another part would have been more aimed at the three parts of, Ethics, Physics, and Logic.
“We might be fluent in the classroom but drag us out into practice and we’re miserably shipwrecked.”Epictetus, The Discourses, Book 2, Chapter 16.20 (Paraphrased)
This page lists my interpretation of the discourses one by one. The links to my articles can be found below. Going through them one by one has several benefits. First, I get to study these texts better and have some of my notes available online. Second, I get to share them with you and hopefully, they will be to your benefit as well. It is my goal to address them all and give a reflection on how these teachings can be applied to our present day. I would invite you to share your take in the comments. You can find a list of all the quotes of Epictetus used; here.
The translation I’m using is the Everyman edition, The Discourses, The Handbook, Fragments. Edited by Christopher Gill, translation revised by Robin Hard, based on the translation of Elizabeth Carter.
The Discourses of Epictetus
Chapter 1: On What Is In Our Power, And What Is Not
Chapter 2: How Is One to Preserve One’s True Character in Everything?
Chapter 3: What Should We Conclude From The Principle That God Is The Father of Mankind?
Post: What is the Stoic God
Chapter 4: On Progress
Chapter 5: Against the Academics
Post: How to Save the Soul
Chapter 6: On Providence
Chapter 7: On The Use Of Arguments Resting On Equivocations, And Hypothetical Arguments, And The Like
Post: How to Find the truth
Chapter 8: That For The Uneducated Our Reasoning Capacities Are Not Free Of Danger
Chapter 9: What We Should Conclude From the Doctrine of Our Kinship To God
Post: What We Belong To
Chapter 10: To Those Who Have Devoted Their Efforts To Advancement At Rome
Chapter 11: On Family Affection
Post: On Our Judgment
Chapter 12: On Contentment
Post: How To Be Content
Chapter 13: How Can We Act In Everything In A Manner Acceptable To The Gods
Post: How To Treat Others
Chapter 14: That The Deity Watches Over Us All
Post: How It Is All Connected
Chapter 15: What Does Philosophy Promise?
Chapter 16: On Providence
Post: What We Are Born For