Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Ἀπάθεια, sometimes translated “impassivity” or “impassibility,” means the absence of passions or bad emotions, πάθη, as opposed to good emotions or εὐπάθειαι. Thus, it is not the absence of emotions tout court (see Graver, 2007; Ramelli, 2008), as it is sometimes misrepresented. Apatheia was a core ethical ideal in Stoicism and in most of Platonism, including Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism. Porphyry of Tyre, for example, stated that the soul is joined to the body when it converts to the passions that originate from the body…

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Ramelli, Ilaria L.E., “Apatheia”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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