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Stoics and Skeptics


is
rather as an impressionist sketch than as a photograph.
How far the picture is a true one can be judged only
by the impression which other people get, looking at
the documents as a whole. One hopes, of course, that
to some people who come to the fragmentary records
of these two schools for the first time, such a sketch
may be useful, as giving them a point of view and some
general notion of what to look for. Would it be too
ambitious to hope that some people familiar already
with the ancient philosophies might go back to the
documents and find some things stand out in a fresh
light ?
For those unfamiliar with the field, who may wish to
pursue the subject further than four brief lectures can
take them, some indication of the books I have found
useful may be welcome. The fundamental Zeller goes
without saying. The best books or what appear such
to me upon Stoicism are German: A. Bonhoffer's
Epictet und die Stoa and Die Ethik des Stoikers
Epictet.
These two are practically two volumes of one work, with
an index in common. Bonhoffer has supplemented
them by a third smaller book, Epictet und das Neue
PREFACE
t^ which may be recommended to any one inter-
ested in the question, What did primitive Christianity
owe to its Hellenistic environment ? a vexed question
nowadays. The worst book upon Stoicism which
I know is also German, L. Stein's Die Psychologie der
Stoa. Its badness is in part the consequence of the
very uncertain hold its author has upon the Greek
language. Curiously enough, this book seems to be
one to which English writers on Stoicism refer parti-
cularly often as an authority, under the impression
perhaps that anything written in German has standard
worth. Those beginning the study of the subject
should be warned. The exposition of Stoicism in these
lectures owes a good deal to Heinrich Gomperz's book
Die Lebensauffassung der griechischen Philosophen. This
is.
a vigorous and interesting defence of a certain
attitude
to the world. When Gomperz represents that attitude
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