ATARAXIA. Plato clearly alluded to ataraxia in speaking of the confusion produced in the soul by the body Fed. 66a and 66d, where the two terms tara,ttein and tarach, appear and of the consequent necessity for the philosopher who wants to contemplate truth to distance himself from the body Fed. 66a. With avpa,qeia, with which it has much in common, ataraxia was the supreme ethical ideal of ancient Stoicism see, e.g., SVF III 449. Aristotle similarly combined ataraxia with control of the passions Eth. Nic. IV, 1125b 33-34: bou,letai ga.r o` praoj avta,racoj ei=nai kai. mh. a;gesqai u`po. tou pa,qouj “for the gentle person desires to be avta,racoj at peace and not to be led by his passions”. Epicurus also thought highly of ataraxia: see, e.g., Usener fr. 191 cited by Marcus Aurelius, In semetipsum IX 41,1 and Usener fr. 519 cited by Clem. Alex., Strom. VI, 24,10. The term, with the corresponding adjective avta,racoj, was revived by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. In book II, discourse 2 titled peri. avtaraxi,aj Schenkl 107-110 Epictetus identifies ataraxia with the interior freedom of the philosopher, which no external event can destroy Socrates is the living example of this; and the same concept is found in Marcus Aurelius, In semetipsum IX, 31 Schenkl 116,25-26. The two terms avpa,qeia and avtaraxi,a are mentioned together in Epictetus, Diss. III 15,12 250, 13-14, see Ench. 29,7 Schenkl 444,33 and Diss. III 26, 13 Schenkl 309,10; the two adjectives avpaqh,j and avta,racoj appear together in Diss. II 8,23 126,25 and II 17,31 163,8-9. Marcus Aurelius says that one who has no need of the external world is also avta,raktoj or avta,racoj In semetipsum IV, 24 38,23, IV, 37 42, 10-11, VII, 16 80,11- 14. Clement of Alexandria also considers ataraxia as the end to which human ethics tends: in Paed. II 58,3 Stählin I 192, 15-16 he relates it to the words eivrh,nh soi of 3 Jn 15; in Strom. VI, 24,10 II 441, 22 he cites with approval Epicurus’s phrase dikaiosu,nhj karpo.j me,gistoj avtaraxi,a “the fruit of righteousness is great avtaraxi,a inner peace” Usener fr. 519; and in Strom. IV, 55,4 II 273,31–274, 1, like Epictetus, he mentions together avpa,qeia and avtaraxi,a. Origen celebrates ataraxia as one of the requirements of the martyr Exhort. ad martyr. IV Koetschau 5,25–6,1. Plotinus shows that he knows the Stoic doctrine that makes right living consist in ataraxia Enn. I, 4, 1 I 80,28. M. Pohlenz, Die Stoa, Göttingen 1959, I, 331; II, 163 It. tr. Florence 1967; Enciclopedia Filosofica I, Florence 1967, 557; M. Giusta, I logografi di etica, Turin 1967; Stoici antichi. Tutti i frammenti, ed. R. Radice, Milan 1998 see index.
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