Hierocles the Stoic

Elements of Ethics, Fragments, and Excerpts


Hierocles, the Stoic philosopher of the early imperial age, is a crucial witness to Middle and Neo-Stoicism, especially with regard to their ethical philosophy. In this volume, all of Hierocles’ surviving works are translated into English for the first time, with the original Greek and a facing English translation: the Elements of Ethics, preserved on papyrus, along with all fragments and excerpts from the treatise On Duties, collected by Stobaeus in the fifth century C.E. and dealing mainly with social relationships, marriage, household, and family. In addition, Ramelli’s introductory essay demonstrates how Hierocles was indebted to the Old Stoa and how he modified its doctrines in accord with Middle Stoicism and further developments in philosophy as well as his personal views. Finally, Ramelli’s extensive commentary on Hierocles’ works clarifies philosophical questions raised by the text and provides rich and updated references to existing scholarship.

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Ilaria Ramelli is Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. She has numerous publications in the areas of ancient philosophy and early Christian thought, with particular interest in the relationship between classical culture and Christianity and particular focus on the imperial period, including the recent volume co-authored with David Konstan, Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts (Gorgias). Other books include Gregorio di Nissa Sull’Anima e la Resurrezione (Milan: Bompiani-Catholic University) and Stoici Romani Minori (Milan: RCS Bompiani). David Konstan is the John Rowe Workman Distinguished Professor of Classics and the Humanistic Tradition, and Professor of Comparative Literature, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. His many books include Friendship in the Classical World (Cambridge University Press), The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks (University of Toronto Press), and Heraclitus: Homeric Problems (co-author; Society of Biblical Literature).