Reassessing Epictetus’ Opinion of Divination

Erlend D. MacGillivray (Corresponding Author)

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Abstract

In recent years substantial effort has been expended by scholars to better understand the nature of the ancient interest in divination. This study will argue that the Stoic philosopher Epictetus’ views of divination have been largely overlooked and mistakenly defined by his modern interpreters. While often portrayed as being opposed to the art, it is proposed that he envisages divination can be beneficially employed: namely in highlighting certain moral actions, and in motivating individuals to commence philosophical study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalApeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Volume53
Issue number2
Early online date31 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Epictetus
  • divination
  • oracular
  • stoicism

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