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Summary

The Enchiridion or Handbook of Epictetus is a short manual of Stoic ethical advice compiled by Arrian, a 2nd-century disciple of the Greek philosopher Epictetus. Although the content is mostly derived from the Discourses of Epictetus, it is not a summary of the Discourses but rather a compilation of practical precepts. Eschewing metaphysics, Arrian focuses his attention on Epictetus's work applying philosophy to daily life. The book is thus a manual to show the way to achieve mental freedom and happiness in all circumstances. The Enchiridion appears to be a loosely-structured selection of maxims. 

In his 6th-century Commentary, Simplicius divided the text into four distinct sections suggesting a graded approach to philosophy: 

Chapters 1-21. What is up to us and not, and how to deal with external things:

1-2. What is up to us and not, and the consequences of choosing either. 

3-14. How to deal with external things (reining the audience in from them). 

15-21. How to use external things correctly and without disturbance. 

Chapters 22-28. Advice for intermediate students:

22-25. The problems faced by intermediate students. 

26-28. Miscellania: the common conceptions, badness, and shame. 

Chapters 30-47. Technical advice for the discovery of appropriate actions (kath'konta):

30-33. Appropriate actions towards (a) other people, (b) God, (c) divination, (d) one's own self. 

34-47. Miscellaneous precepts on justice (right actions). 

Chapters 48-53. Conclusions on the practice of precepts:

48. Final advice and his division of types of people. 

49-52. The practice of precepts. 

53. Quotations for memorization.

Public Domain (P)2019 Robin Homer

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