Epictetus, "The Handbook" (Enchiridion)

Course Information
TitleΕπίκτητος, "Εγχειρίδιον" / Epictetus, "The Handbook" (Enchiridion)
SchoolPhilosophy and Education
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate, 2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorGeorgios Zografidis
Course ID600014245

Programme of Study: UPS School of Philosophy and Education (2011-today)

Registered students: 221
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreMandatory Elective CoursesWinter/Spring-6

Class Information
Academic Year2021 – 2022
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Examination)
General Prerequisites
Knowledge of Ancient Greek (middle level) is prerequisite for this course.
Learning Outcomes
Students will have a first hand knowledge of ancient philosophical discourse through the close reading of Epictetus' "Handbook" and will become familiar with latter Stoicism and especially with Epictetus' thought. They will also be able to understand (Greek) philosophy as a way of life that seeks to give logical and natural grounds to ethics as a normative discipline and as an approach of particular moral problems.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The purpose of the course is to offer a close reading and an interpretation of Epictetus’ Handbook (Enchiridion), as an emblematic text of Stoic moral philosophy, which is considered as an attempt to answer the question on the possibility and conditions for achieving happiness –a central question of the Greek-Roman era. In this perspective ancient philosophy can be understood as a deliberate way of life that seeks to offer to moral thought a solid theoretical background (in terms of physics and logic) in order to construct its reasoning and address adequately to particular moral problems. “Handbook”, as well as a small selection of relevant texts from Epictetus’ "Discourses” (Diatribai), will be read from the Greek original and will be commented. The main purpose is (a) to analyze and evaluate basic Stoic moral tenets and their supportive arguments, and (b) to integrate Stoic views in their philosophical and historical contexts and to understand them through their dialogue with other Greek philosophical schools. After an introductory presentation of the main characteristics and the problems of studying Hellenistic philosophy, the Hellenistic and Stoic perceptions of the role of philosophy and the philosophical ground of Stoic ethics (logical and physical) will be examined. The themes of Epictetus that will be analyzed through the texts are: Good, Evil and Indifferent. Duties and Appropriate acts. Virtues and vices, the relation of virtue and pleasure. Desires and passions. Necessity and freedom of will and action: moral responsibility. The rational life of the wise man. Friendship and love. Social life, individual and society. Gods, Fate, Providence, Fortune. Death and suicide.
Greek Philosophy, Stoicism, Epictetus, Moral Philosophy
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment602.4
Student Assessment
Final exam will evaluate the ability for an interpretative approach to Epictetus' text.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Problem Solving (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1. Α.Α. Long, Η ελληνιστική φιλοσοφία. Αθήνα: Μορφωτικό Ίδρυμα Εθνικής Τραπέζης, 2012 (Εύδοξος: 33153094). 2. M. Nussbaum, Η Θεραπεία της επιθυμίας. Θεσσαλονίκη: Θύραθεν, 2015 (Εύδοξος: 59366228).
Additional bibliography for study
ΒΑΣΙΚΗ ΒΙΒΛΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ ΚΕΙΜΕΝΑ ΕΠΙΚΤΗΤΟΥ Ἐγχειρίδιον, μτφ. Ν.Μ. Σκουτερόπουλος. Αθήνα: Στιγμή, 2004 (1η έκδ. 1993). Διατριβές, μτφ. Ι.Σ. Χριστοδούλου κ.ά. Θεσσαλονίκη: Ζήτρος, 2019. Discourses, 2 τόμοι, αγγλ. μτφ. W.A. Oldfather (Loeb Classical Library). Λονδίνο: Heinemann, 1964 (1925-28). Epicteti Dissertationes, επιμ. H. Schenkl (Teubneriana). Στουτγάρδη: Teubner, 1965 (11916). ΜΕΛΕΤΕΣ Γενικές Long, A.A., Η Ελληνιστική φιλοσοφία: Στωικοί, επικούρειοι, σκεπτικ­οί, μτφ. Σ. Δημόπουλος & Μ. Δραγώνα-Μονάχου. Αθήνα: ΜΙΕΤ, 2012 (1987). Sharples, R.W., Στωικοί, Επικούρειοι και Σκεπτικοί, μτφ. Μ. Λυπουρλή & Γ. Αβραμίδης. Θεσσαλονίκη: Θύραθεν, 2002. Nussbaum, M.C., Η θεραπεία της επιθυμίας. Θεσσαλονίκη: Θύραθεν, 2015. Στωικισμός Brun, J., Ο στωικισμός. Αθήνα: Δαίδαλος/Ζαχαρόπουλος, 2007 (1965). Edelstein, L., Ο στωικός σοφός ή το νόημα του στωικισμού, μτφ. Ρ. Μπέκνερ. Θεσσαλονίκη: Θύραθεν, 2002. Gourinat J.-B., Οι Στωικοί για την ψυχή, μτφ. Κ. Ν. Πετρόπουλος. Αθήνα: Καρδαμίτσα, 1999. Inwood, B. (επιμ.), The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics. Cambridge: CUP, 2003. Irvine, W.B., A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Οξφόρδη: OUP, 2009. Sellars, J., Τhe Art of Living. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004. Sorabji, R., Emotion and Peace of Mind, From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation. Οξφόρδη: OUP, 2000. Ιεροδιακόνου, Κ. (επιμ.), Θέματα στωικής φιλοσοφίας. Περιοδ. Δευκαλίων 15/1 (1997). Κούρφαλη, Χ., Η στωική τέχνη του βίου. Θεσσαλονίκη: Θύραθεν, 2013. Επίκτητος Duhot, J.-J., Ο Επίκτητος και η στωική σοφία. Αθήνα: Ενάλιος, 2009. Long, A.A., Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic guide to life. Οξφόρδη: Clarendon, 2002. Scaltsas, Th. & Α. Mason (επιμ.), The philosophy of Epictetus. Οξφόρδη: OUP, 2007. Seddon, K., Epictetus’ Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes. Λονδίνο: Routledge, 2005. Stephens, W.O., Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom. Λονδίνο: Continuum, 2007. Δραγώνα-Μονάχου, Μ., «Η προαίρεσις στον Αριστοτέλη και στον Επίκτητο», Φι­λοσοφία 8-9 (1978-79) 265-310. Ξενάκης, Τζ., Επίκτητος, ζωή και στωικισμός, μτφ. Δ. Τσίκη. Αθήνα: Νεφέλη, 1983.
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