The Art of Living by Epictetus

The Art of Living

Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 ce in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Once freed, he established an influential school of Stoic philosophy, stressing that human beings cannot control life, only their responses to it. By putting into practice the ninety-three witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions that make up The Art of Living, readers learn to meet the challenges of everyday life successfully and to face life's inevitable...

Details The Art of Living

TitleThe Art of Living
Release DateFeb 5th, 2013
GenrePhilosophy, Nonfiction, Classics, Self Help

Reviews The Art of Living

  • Amir
    Stoic philosophy is concerned with preserving our serenity and happiness regardless of any situation or circumstances. Be it loosing your fame and wealth or you beloved ones ...This book which present the teachings of stoic philosopher "Epictetus", is filled with practical wisdom, many of which constitute the foundation of many books I've read or many sayings you and I have heard. Not only books and sayings, teachings of Epictetus I can't help bu...
  • Jake Adelstein
    No man is free who is not master of himself. -EpictetusIt's something worth remembering on the 4th of July. Independence Day. "Forgive Over and Over and Over.""Never suppress a generous impulse." One of the greatest books of philosophy I've ever read. It is more of a reinterpretation of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus than a straight academic translation but it wonderfully conveys the wisdom of a a great philosopher who was born a slave. If you e...
  • Sean
    Great read. Felt like I highlighted practically the entire book:First, say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours. If you do this, you will be impervious to coercion and no one can ever hold you back. You will be truly free and effective, for your efforts will be put to good use a...
  • Scriptor Ignotus
    When I found this book in the library, I was put off by the fact that it is described on the cover as "a new interpretation by Sharon Lebell". I can only assume that to mean that this is not so much a translation of Epictetus's words as it is Sharon Lebell's interpretation of what Epictetus meant. With all due respect to her, if given the choice i'd much rather read Epictetus's actual work and interpret it for myself, thanks. That said, even thou...
  • Tyler Jones
    This is the first time I have read Epictetus, or any work of stoic philosophy for that matter, so if you are looking for an expert opinion you might want to look elsewhere. If, however, you are interested in reading Epictetus for the first time yourself then my little review might be of some use.I was impressed by the degree to which the thoughts expressed in this book could be applied in modern daily life. Epictetus believed that for philosophy ...
  • Kathryne
    Easy read. Great wisdom. For instance: "Follow through on all your generous impulses. Do not question them, especially if a friend needs you; act on his or her behalf. Do not hesitate! Do not sit around speculating about the possible inconvenience, problems or dangers. As long as you let your reason lead the way, you will be safe. It is our duty to stand by our friends in their hour of need."One other very different but solid word of wisdom from ...
  • Betül
    Having read this thin-volumed book, i am sure that i am not closer to attain the wisdom. But while reading, it comes as so easy to apply these advices : " accept the commanding power of nature, make it your own willpower, do your businnes, do not think about what you can not control..."The book consists of recommendations like these about attaining wisdom. Still, these are so valuable, especially Epictetus thoughts about freedom that it's not abo...
  • Curtiss
    I first heard Epictetus quoted after the incident in which the cruiser U.S.S. Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner in 1990, during a period of tension in the Persian Gulf (what else?).A friend and I were discussing the ramifications and liabilty of the Vincennes's Captain, when a gentleman at the next table said that he knew of an apt quote which he often used in court when a case was going against him and the opposing counsel was roundly deno...
  • Minh Phuoc
    Epictetus là tác giả đáng tìm tới nếu bạn theo đuổi sự bình an cá nhân và hướng đi tinh thần giữa những thử thách trong cuộc sống. Sự hướng đạo dạt dào của ông được tập hợp một cách cô đọng, súc tích và thẳng thắn trong cuốn sách mỏng như vậy khiến tôi có cảm giác không chỉ Epictetus mà cả môn đệ của ông - sử gia Flavius Arrian có một lối...
  • Lilly Minasyan
    "Don't just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents."Wow. What a life changing book this is! This is one of those books that I'll definitely re-read it in near future. Every word, ...
  • Laura Leaney
    I've owned this book for fifteen years, and every once in a while I am compelled to pull it from the shelf on my bookcase devoted to pagan philosophers in order to remind myself to get a grip on my kvetching. This slender book is not a translation of Epictetus, so one must be careful. Instead, the author summarizes the philosopher's key ideas. But his ideas make so much clear sense that no matter your religious affiliation, understanding stoicism...
  • Barry
    Epictetus was the stoic philosopher that influenced Marcus Aurelius, but I found Marcus’ “Meditations” to be generally more pithy and memorable.
  • Luis
    Epictetus was a model human being, who went from slave to enlightened man. Like all great personalities of history, he never wrote anything and what we know of him and his teachings was written by his pupils and followers. This is a short, straight to the point manual on how to live a virtuous life. The beginning of happiness, asserts Epictetus, is in not fretting about the things we cannot control. We have to not so much talk about virtuous acts...
  • Ilke
    "Eğer birisi sizin bedeninizi alıp yoldan geçen birisine köle olarak verirse doğallıkla öfkeye kapılırsınız. O kişi sizi yerden yere vurduğunda üzülürsünüz. O zaman herhangi bir kişi sizi etkilemek istediğinde, çok değerli olan zihninizi verirken neden hiç utanç duymuyorsunuz? Sizinle iğrenç şeyler paylaştıktan sonra sizi kafası karışmış ve dağılmış bir halde bırakacak birisine zihninizi teslim etmeden önce...
  • Gri Limanlar
    Altını çizdiğim bazı cümleler mevcut fakat dönüp de tekrar tekrar okuyacağım bir kitap değil İçsel Huzur İyi Yaşamın Kapısını Açar. Kişisel gelişim kitaplarına uzak duran biriyim genelde. Felsefi olarak da beni çok tatmin etmedi. Bu biraz da zevk meselesi tabi. Klasik bir eser olduğu için yıldız verme bakımından biraz cömert davrandım diyebilirim.
  • Daniel
    This is not my favorite translation/treatment of Epictetus' masterpiece, but the underlying work is so good that it would be difficult to cause it real problems by handling it poorly.Should be required reading for the task of being alive.
  • NYCman
    Just what the title says, from one of the actual "greats" of philosophy. You'd be silly not to read it.
  • Eric
    “True philosophy doesn’t involve exotic rituals, mysterious liturgy, or quaint beliefs. Nor is it just about abstract theorizing and analysis. It is, of course, the love of wisdom. It is the art of living a good life. As such, it must be rescued from religious gurus and from professional philosophers lest it be exploited as an esoteric cult or as a set of detached intellectual techniques or brain teasers to show how clever you are. Philosophy...
  • Lone Wong
    "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" - could easily be a sentence in this book. I personally think Stoicism is always the best and practical philosophy teaching that existed so far for people like me to face all the obstacles and daily challenges in my life. Epictetus's notion of the good life is not a matter of following a laundry list of perce...
  • Steve Dallape
    This book is a wonderful modern interpretation of some of the most relevant writings of any of the ancient Stoics. Even if you don't identify as a Stoic, there is likely something here that will strike a chord with you. And if are trying to follow a Stoic path in your life (as I am), this book has much that will help you on your way.The book is easy to read, but chock full of big ideas, sage truths and thought- provoking insights into why we do t...
  • Erin Henry
    So good! It’s short and easy to understand but not so easy to apply though I want to try. It’s about living a virtuous life in which you maintain an internal equilibrium and contentment. You basically apply the serenity prayer to your life and accept what you cannot change and change the things you can. I see a lot of the Christian message in this book and look forward to applying the principles to be less upset and anxious about life.
  • Michelle Chow
    I think this finds a nice middle ground between direct translations of Stoic works such as Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” and modernized reinterpretations of Stoicism such as William Irvine’s “A Guide to the Good Life.” Relatable to modern life, but still conveys the depth of the ancient philosophy.
  • Cathleen
    This is a retelling of Epictetus’s work by Sharon Lebell. For someone who’s never read Epictetus (me) this was a useful introduction to his thought, and it makes me want to find and read his translated work.
  • Stephen
    This edition of Epictetus' Handbook is a modern translation (or interpretation) and sometimes uses English expressions like "two steps forward, one step back". There are other translation in far more poetic and formal English, but my initial and casual comparison of a few passages satisfied my concern that too much might be lost. Epictetus was a Stoic teacher whose philosophy is classical in that he, like Zeno (the founder of Stoicism) believed i...
  • Elizabeth
    “From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do - now.” Sound advice.
  • Thomas Alley
    Great book, although there were some things I didn't quote agree with. Particularly how he undermines the role of society in shaping how we act. But there were a lot of lessons to be learned while reading this book and certainly is one I am coming back too.
  • Mycala
    I adore Epictetus and there is a lot of wisdom in his teachings. While I enjoyed this interpretation, I did knock off one star because at the end the "interpreter" just had to make it about her. In fact, I almost gave this just three stars for that reason, but I really like Epictetus and he can't help that this woman felt the need to tell us all about her life and how some long-dead guy completely changed it. If she wants to tell that story, it b...
  • Sawyer
    To have the serenity to accept what you cant control, to have the courage to change what you can control and to develop the wisdom to discriminate between the two.
  • Matt McCormick
    So much in this book we all already know, but in fact too seldom take seriously enough to put into action. The Stoic philosophy is chocked-full of valuable wisdom and insight for lining a life well. Author Sharon Lebell is not presenting a translation of Epictetus's version of stoicism but rather "summaries" of the key components, tactics and strategies that are written clearly and succinctly. It's a small easy to digest little book that can be k...