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Epictetus°

EPICTETUS°

EPICTETUS ° (c. 100 c.e.), Greek Stoic philosopher, who made several noncommittal observations on the Jews. Epictetus wrote no books; the sole source of his teachings is the Discourses of Arrian. Here (1:11, 12–13) it is related that Epictetus indicated the differences between the dietary concepts of the Jews, Syrians, Egyptians, and Romans, noting their incompatibility; and later (1:22, 4) he is reported as classifying these four peoples as in agreement on the substance of the principle of sanctification, though differing on details, such as the eating of pork. A third passage (2:9, 19–22) shows that Epictetus knew of the importance of ritual immersion for proselytism. The Galileans mentioned by him (4:7, 6) cannot be identified with the Zealots; here, the more usual explanation – that Epictetus was referring to Christians – is preferable.

bibliography:

Reinach, Textes, 154–5.

[Menahem Stern]

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