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The Enchiridion & Discourses

By: Epictetus
Narrated by: Haward B. Morse
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Summary

The Enchiridion is the famous manual of ethical advice given in the second century by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus.

Born to a Greek slave, Epictetus grew up in the environment of the Roman Empire and, having been released from bonds of slavery, became a Stoic in the tradition of its originators, Zeno (third Century BCE) and Seneca (first century CE).

Epictetus didn't leave a formal written legacy, but his pupil, Arrian, collected his teachings, and posterity now has The Enchiridion and The Discourses. The first is a short compilation of Stoical precepts - how to live an ethical life. It is essentially about everyday life, and it maintained its popularity throughout the succeeding centuries, on par with the other principal concise Stoic document from the Roman period, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - who had clearly read it.

The Enchiridion is presented here as the translation by Thomas W. Higginson. The Discourses, a much longer text again compiled by Arrian, contains a more comprehensive view of the teachings of Epictetus. The Discourses is translated by George Long.

Public Domain (P)2016 Ukemi Productions Ltd

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Eternal wisdom, exciting performance

Engaging, inspiring, earthly, funny... Epictetus can give you great insights, skills and determination to change your life for the better, even if you don't agree with everything he says. The text might be old, but our life problems are pretty much the same, so the lessons feel as contemporary and relevant as ever! The audiobook performance is just stunning!

10 people found this helpful

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Ancient wisdom for modern living.

Great audiobook chock-full of Stoic wisdom. Very well narrated. Stoic philosophy (unlike much of philosophy) is practical philosophy of life; as useful today as it was when it was first written.

4 people found this helpful

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beautiful Information

very nice Information, so many years ago but nothing has really changed. beautiful widom. enjoyed it

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A cogent statement of stoic principles

Epictetus is rightly named as one of the prominent ancient stoics. One criticism - his writing style is somewhat repetitive.

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  • Jose
  • 30-07-17

Inspiration from thousands of years ago

This is a truly amazing and inspiring book. There is a lesson for all of life hardships and how the stoic can handle it. It also contains an amazing guide to liberty.

I will buy a physical copy and have my children read it. This is true education.

13 people found this helpful

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  • The Masked Reviewer
  • 29-04-18

The BEST Enchiridion on Audible

Very modern and elegant reading of the eternal classic Stoic manual on living. There is no equal. English accent is very pleasing and not grating at all, as one might expect. Small edifying sections deal with one issue each. The overall effect of Stoic philosophy and Epictetus in particular is one of closure. It is for this reason that Stoic authors like Epictetus that focus on individual agency alone are highly edifying and empowering whereas their modern counterparts in existentialist "classics" like "No Exit" don't seem concerned with edifying and empowering so much as nauseating. Epictetus was a slave who became a free man and philosophically educated, having been allowed to be educated by his master and eventually freed. Epictetus thus embodies the Roman egalitarian ideal of the latent possibility of upward mobility and stands somewhat as an odd kind of monument to empire in the process. Empire allows individual agency an almost free reign, though not without restraints and disadvantages. Yet those very disadvantages are what propel the individual agency to overcome, to excel, to go beyond - well beyond. Epictetus embodies Friedrich H. W. Hegel's master and slave narrative, which holds the dialectically historical view that eventually the slave becomes a master through mastery of those tasks and considerations that the slave master does not deign to face up to through sluggish and arguably immoral tendency toward ennui. Epictetus is a successfully sobering splash of cold water in the face as one tries to wake up from sleep. He is the coffee that eventually awakens the mind toward one's own true realization of freedom, even in the midst of one's own apparent outward chains.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ron Peters
  • 07-04-17

Good translations, nicely narrated

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I like Long's translation of the Discourses. In hard copy I read the Robin Hard version, but half the time I prefer the literary quality and pithy 'zing' of Long's text. So far my favourite reader of Stoic works is James Cameron Stewart, but Howard B. Morse does a creditable job. This is, in any case, the only Audible product that includes both the the Discourses and the Handbook (plus it is unabridged), which makes it desirable.

If you could give The Enchiridion & Discourses a new subtitle, what would it be?

It isn't things themselves that disturb people, but the judgments they form about them.

14 people found this helpful

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  • LimitedTime
  • 20-09-17

Classic wisdom from centuries past

I truly enjoyed listening to this book in sections. The narrator was excellent. For me, this book was a meditative experience. Although I believe science has advanced, specific to some stoic perspectives, the dialogues transformed how I look at challenges in my past. This book would be great for someone interested in deep self reflection. I plan to relisten to sections—if not the whole book.

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  • Jon
  • 12-09-19

Superb

Excellent and professional narrator who actually feels what we says. I like the way he changes his voice when imitating a weak interlocker, taking on a pathetic tone when voicing the concerns many of us have, and thus showing how feeble they are. As for the translation, it’s dated but perfectly understandable, and in some ways better than the more recent Robin Hard translation. Highly recommended, one you’ll want to listen to throughout your life. The only thing is that is does require concentration, not really something you can listen to unless you can devote all your attention to it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Napoleon
  • 12-03-19

Pure brilliance.

If you desire to be a free man, and one devout towards service of other without any perturbution, young child choose this piece of work. For it shall set you free, literally.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jose.roberto
  • 29-12-16

An amazing and timeless collection

Is an amazing book. Truly remarkeable objective observation of life. Very Spiritual and yet terrestrial. This Philosophy of life applies completely in todays society. I strongly recommend it be taught in schools.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dudley
  • 25-07-16

Worth the money.

The speaker did a great job. This is a perfect rendering of the Discourses of Epictetus.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Frederic Haddad
  • 14-06-17

Best book ever!

If this book costed a million dollars, I would still consider it a bargain! Life changing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-07-19

More useful stoic wisdom.

Surprisingly useful and easy to integrate. Wise words and examples from a former slave. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful