The Meaning and Evolution of the Word Parrhesia”: Discourse & Truth, Problematization of Parrhesia - Six lec­tures given by Michel Foucault at the University of California at Berkeley, Oct-Nov. 1983

— Foucault, Michel. The Meaning and Evolution of the Word Parrhesia in Discourse & Truth: the Problematization of Parrhesia, 1999.

The word parrhesia” ap­pears for the first time in Greek lit­er­a­ture in Euripides [c.484-407 BC], and oc­curs through­out the an­cient Greek world of let­ters from the end of the Fifth Century BC. But it can also still be found in the pa­tris­tic texts writ­ten at the end of the Fourth and dur­ing the Fifth Century AD, dozens of times, for in­stance, in Jean Chrisostome [AD 345-407].

There are three forms of the word: the nom­i­nal form parrhesia”; the verb form parrhesia-zomai”; and there is also the word parrhresiastes” — which is not very fre­quent and can­not be found in the Classical texts. Rather, you find it only in the Greco-Roman pe­riod — in Plutarch and Lucian, for ex­am­ple. In a di­a­logue of Lucian, The Dead Come to Life, or The Fisherman”, one of the char­ac­ters also has the name Parrhesiades”.

Parrhesia” is or­di­nar­ily trans­lated into English by free speech” (in French by franc-parler”, and in German by Freimüthigkeit”). Parrhesiazomai” is to use par­rhe­sia, and the par­rhe­si­astes is the one who uses par­rhe­sia, i.e., is the one who speaks the truth.

In the first part of to­day’s sem­i­nar, I would like to give a gen­eral aperçu about the mean­ing of the word parrhesia”, and the evo­lu­tion of this mean­ing through Greek and Roman cul­ture.

Parrhesia and Frankness

To be­gin with, what is the gen­eral mean­ing of the word parrhesia”? 

Etymologically, parrhesiazesthai” means to say every­thing — from pan” (everything) and rhema” (that which is said). The one who uses par­rhe­sia, the par­rhe­si­astes, is some­one who says every­thing he has in mind: he does not hide any­thing, but opens his heart and mind com­pletely to other peo­ple through his dis­course. In par­rhe­sia, the speaker is sup­posed to give a com­plete and ex­act ac­count of what he has in mind so that the au­di­ence is able to com­pre­hend ex­actly what the speaker thinks. The word parrhesia” then, refers to a type of re­la­tion­ship be­tween the speaker and what he says. For in par­rhe­sia, the speaker makes it man­i­festly clear and ob­vi­ous that what he says is his own opin­ion. And he does this by avoid­ing any kind of rhetor­i­cal form which would veil what he thinks. Instead, the par­rhe­si­astes uses the most di­rect words and forms of ex­pres­sion he can find. Whereas rhetoric pro­vides the speaker with tech­ni­cal de­vices to help him pre­vail upon the minds of his au­di­ence (regardless of the rhetori­cian’s own opin­ion con­cern­ing what he says), in par­rhe­sia, the par­rhe­si­astes acts on other peo­ple’s mind by show­ing them as di­rectly as pos­si­ble what he ac­tu­ally be­lieves.

If we dis­tin­guish be­tween the speak­ing sub­ject (the sub­ject of the enun­ci­a­tion) and the gram­mat­i­cal sub­ject of the enounced, we could say that there is also the sub­ject of the enun­cian­dum — which refers to the held be­lief or opin­ion of the speaker. In par­rhe­sia the speaker em­pha­sizes the fact that he is both the sub­ject of the enun­ci­a­tion and the sub­ject of the enun­cian­dum — that he him­self is the sub­ject of the opin­ion to which he refers. The spe­cific speech ac­tiv­ity” of the par­rhe­si­as­tic enun­ci­a­tion thus takes the form: I am the one who thinks this and that”

I use the phrase speech ac­tiv­ity” rather than John Searle’s speech act”(or Austin’s performative ut­ter­ance”) in or­der to dis­tin­guish the par­rhe­si­as­tic ut­ter­ance and its com­mit­ments from the usual sorts of com­mit­ment which ob­tain be­tween some­one and what he or she says. For, as we shall see, the com­mit­ment in­volved in par­rhe­sia is linked to a cer­tain so­cial sit­u­a­tion, to a dif­fer­ence of sta­tus be­tween the speaker and his au­di­ence, to the fact that the par­rhe­si­astes says some­thing which is dan­ger­ous to him­self and thus in­volves a risk, and so on.

Parrhesia and Truth

There are two types of par­rhe­sia which we must dis­tin­guish. First,there is a pe­jo­ra­tive sense of the word not very far from chattering” and which con­sists in say­ing any or every­thing one has in mind with­out qual­i­fi­ca­tion. This pe­jo­ra­tive sense oc­curs in Plato, for ex­am­ple, as a char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the bad de­mo­c­ra­tic con­sti­tu­tion where every­one has the right to ad­dress him­self to his fel­low cit­i­zens and to tell them any­thing — even the most stu­pid or dan­ger­ous things for the city. This pe­jo­ra­tive mean­ing is also found more fre­quently in Christian lit­er­a­ture where such bad” par­rhe­sia is op­posed to si­lence as a dis­ci­pline or as the req­ui­site con­di­tion for the con­tem­pla­tion of God. As a ver­bal ac­tiv­ity which re­flects every move­ment of the heart and mind, par­rhe­sia in this neg­a­tive sense is ob­vi­ously an ob­sta­cle to the con­tem­pla­tion of God.

Most of the time, how­ever, par­rhe­sia does not have this pe­jo­ra­tive mean­ing in the clas­si­cal texts, but rather a pos­i­tive one. parrhesiazesthai” means to tell the truth.” But does the par­rhe­si­astes say what he thinks is true, or does he say what is re­ally true? To my mind, the par­rhe­si­astes says what is true be­cause he knows that it is true; and he knows that it is true be­cause it is re­ally true. The par­rhe­si­astes is not only sin­cere and says what is his opin­ion, but his opin­ion is also the truth. He says what he knows to be true. The sec­ond char­ac­ter­is­tic of par­rhe­sia, then, is that there is al­ways an ex­act co­in­ci­dence be­tween be­lief and truth.

It would be in­ter­est­ing to com­pare Greek par­rhe­sia with the mod­ern (Cartesian) con­cep­tion of ev­i­dence. For since Descartes, the co­in­ci­dence be­tween be­lief and truth is ob­tained in a cer­tain (mental) ev­i­den­tial ex­pe­ri­ence. For the Greeks, how­ever, the co­in­ci­dence be­tween be­lief and truth does not take place in a (mental) ex­pe­ri­ence, but in a ver­bal ac­tiv­ity, namely, par­rhe­sia. It ap­pears that par­rhe­sia, in his Greek sense, can no longer oc­cur in our mod­ern epis­te­mo­log­i­cal frame­work.

I should note that I never found any texts in an­cient Greek cul­ture where the par­rhe­si­astes seems to have any doubts about his own pos­ses­sion of the truth. And in­deed, that is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the Cartesian prob­lem and the Parrhesiastic at­ti­tude. For be­fore Descartes ob­tains in­du­bitable clear and dis­tinct ev­i­dence, he is not cer­tain that what he be­lieves is, in fact, true. In the Greek con­cep­tion of par­rhe­sia, how­ever, there does not seem to be a prob­lem about the ac­qui­si­tion of the truth since such truth-hav­ing is guar­an­teed by the pos­ses­sion of cer­tain moral qual­i­ties:when some­one has cer­tain moral qual­i­ties, then that is the proof that he has ac­cess to truth—and vice-versa. The parrhesiastic game” pre­sup­poses that the par­rhe­si­astes is some­one who has the moral qual­i­ties which are re­quired, first, to know the truth, and sec­ondly, to con­vey such truth to oth­ers.

If there is a kind of proof” of the sin­cer­ity of the par­rhe­si­astes, it is his courage. The fact that a speaker says some­thing dan­ger­ous — dif­fer­ent from what the ma­jor­ity be­lieves— is a strong in­di­ca­tion that he is a par­rhe­si­astes. If we raise the ques­tion of how we can know whether some­one is a truth-teller, we raise two ques­tions. First, how is it that we can know whether some par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­ual is a truth-teller; and sec­ondly, how is it that the al­leged par­rhe­si­astes can be cer­tain that what he be­lieves is, in fact, truth. The first ques­tion — rec­og­niz­ing some­one as a par­rhe­si­astes — was a very im­por­tant one in Greco-Roman so­ci­ety, and, as we shall see, was ex­plic­itly raised and dis­cussed by Plutarch, Galen, and oth­ers. The sec­ond skep­ti­cal ques­tion, how­ever, is a par­tic­u­larly mod­ern one which, I be­lieve, is for­eign to the Greeks.

Parrhesia and Danger

Someone is said to use par­rhe­sia and mer­its con­sid­er­a­tion as a par­rhe­si­astes only if there is a risk or dan­ger for him or her in telling the truth. For in­stance, from the an­cient Greek per­spec­tive, a gram­mar teacher may tell the truth to the chil­dren that he teaches, and in­deed may have no doubt that what he teaches is true. But in spite of this co­in­ci­dence be­tween be­lief and truth, he is not a par­rhe­si­astes. However, when a philoso­pher ad­dresses him­self to a sov­er­eign, to a tyrant, and tells him that his tyranny is dis­turb­ing and un­pleas­ant be­cause tyranny is in­com­pat­i­ble with jus­tice, then the philoso­pher speaks the truth, be­lieves he is speak­ing the truth, and, more than that, also takes a risk (since the tyrant may be­come an­gry, may pun­ish him, may ex­ile him, may kill him). And that was ex­actly Plato’s sit­u­a­tion with Dionysius in Syracuse — con­cern­ing which there are very in­ter­est­ing ref­er­ences in Plato’s Seventh Letter, and also in The Life of Dion by Plutarch. I hope we shall study these texts later.

So you see, the par­rhe­si­astes is some­one who takes a risk. Of course, this risk is not al­ways a risk of life. When, for ex­am­ple, you see a friend do­ing some­thing wrong and you risk in­cur­ring his anger by telling him he is wrong, you are act­ing as a par­rhe­si­astes. In such a case, you do not risk your life, but you may hurt him by your re­marks, and your friend­ship may con­se­quently suf­fer for it. If, in a po­lit­i­cal de­bate, an or­a­tor risks los­ing his pop­u­lar­ity be­cause his opin­ions are con­trary to the ma­jor­i­ty’s opin­ion, or his opin­ions may usher in a po­lit­i­cal scan­dal, he uses par­rhe­sia. Parrhesia, then, is linked to courage in the face of dan­ger: it de­mands the courage to speak the truth in spite of some dan­ger. And in its ex­treme form, telling the truth takes place in the game” of life or death.

It is be­cause the par­rhe­si­astes must take a risk in speak­ing the truth that the king or tyrant gen­er­ally can­not use par­rhe­sia; for he risks noth­ing.

When you ac­cept the par­rhe­si­as­tic game in which your own life is ex­posed, you are tak­ing up a spe­cific re­la­tion­ship to your­self: you risk death to tell the truth in­stead of repos­ing in the se­cu­rity of a life where the truth goes un­spo­ken. Of course, the threat of death comes from the Other, and thereby re­quires a re­la­tion­ship to him­self: he prefers him­self as a truth-teller rather than as a liv­ing be­ing who is false to him­self.

Parrhesia and Criticism

If, dur­ing a trial, you say some­thing which can be used against you, you may not be us­ing par­rhe­sia in spite of the fact that you are sin­cere, that you be­lieve what you say is true, and you are en­dan­ger­ing your­self in so speak­ing. For in par­rhe­sia the dan­ger al­ways comes from the fact that the said truth is ca­pa­ble of hurt­ing or an­ger­ing the in­ter­locu­tor. Parrhesia is thus al­ways a game” be­tween the one who speaks the truth and the in­ter­locu­tor. The par­rhe­sia in­volved, for ex­am­ple, may be the ad­vice that the in­ter­locu­tor should be­have in a cer­tain way, or that he is wrong in what he thinks, or in the way he acts, and so on. Or the par­rhe­sia may be a con­fes­sion to some­one who ex­er­cises power over him, and is able to cen­sure or pun­ish him for what he has done. 

So you see, the func­tion of par­rhe­sia is not to demon­strate the truth to some­one else, but has the func­tion of crit­i­cism: crit­i­cism of the in­ter­locu­tor or of the speaker him­self. This is what you do and this is what you think; but this is what you should not do and should not think.” This is the way you be­have, but that is the way you ought to be­have.” This is what I have done, and was wrong in so do­ing.” Parrhesia is a form of crit­i­cism, ei­ther to­wards an­other or to­wards one­self, but al­ways in a sit­u­a­tion where the speaker or con­fes­sor is in a po­si­tion of in­fe­ri­or­ity with re­spect to the in­ter­locu­tor. The par­rhe­si­astes is al­ways less pow­er­ful than the one with whom he or she speaks. The par­rhe­sia comes from below”, as it were, and is di­rected to­wards above”. This is why an an­cient Greek would not say that a teacher or fa­ther who crit­i­cizes a child uses par­rhe­sia. But when a philoso­pher crit­i­cizes a tyrant, when a cit­i­zen crit­i­cizes the ma­jor­ity, when a pupil crit­i­cizes his or her teacher, then such speak­ers may be us­ing par­rhe­sia.

This is not to im­ply, how­ever, that any­one can use par­rhe­sia. For al­though there is a text in Euripides where a ser­vant uses par­rhe­sia, most of the time the use of par­rhe­sia re­quires that the par­rhe­si­astes know his own ge­neal­ogy, his own sta­tus; i.e., usu­ally one must first be a male cit­i­zen to speak the truth as a par­rhe­si­astes. Indeed, some­one who is de­prived of par­rhe­sia is in the same sit­u­a­tion as a slave to the ex­tent that he or she can­not take part in the po­lit­i­cal life of the city, nor play the parrhesiastic game”. In democratic par­rhe­sia” — where one speaks to the as­sem­bly, the ekkle­sia — one must be a cit­i­zen; in fact, one must be one of the best among the cit­i­zens, pos­sess­ing those spe­cific per­sonal, moral, and so­cial qual­i­ties which grant one the priv­i­lege to speak.

However, the par­rhe­si­astes risks his priv­i­lege to speak freely when he dis­closes a truth which threat­ens the ma­jor­ity. For it was a well-known ju­ridi­cal sit­u­a­tion when Athenian lead­ers were ex­iled only be­cause they pro­posed some­thing which was op­posed by the ma­jor­ity, or even be­cause the as­sem­bly thought that the strong in­flu­ence of cer­tain lead­ers lim­ited its own free­dom. And so the as­sem­bly was, in this man­ner, protected” against the truth. That, then, is the in­sti­tu­tional back­ground of democratic par­rhe­sia” which must be dis­tin­guished from that monarchic par­rhe­sia” where an ad­vi­sor gives the sov­er­eign hon­est and help­ful ad­vice.

Parrhesia and Duty

The last char­ac­ter­is­tic of par­rhe­sia is this: in par­rhe­sia, telling the truth is re­garded as a duty. The or­a­tor who speaks the truth to those who can­not ac­cept his truth, for in­stance, and who may be ex­iled, or pun­ished in some way, is free to keep silent. No one forces him to speak; but he feels that it is his duty to do so. When, on the other hand, some­one is com­pelled to tell the truth (as, for ex­am­ple, un­der duress of tor­ture), then his dis­course is not a par­rhe­si­as­tic ut­ter­ance. A crim­i­nal who is forced by his judges to con­fess his crime does not use par­rhe­sia. But if he vol­un­tar­ily con­fesses his crime to some­one else out of a sense of moral oblig­a­tion, then he per­forms a par­rhe­si­as­tic act to crit­i­cize a friend who does not rec­og­nize his wrong­do­ing, or in­so­far as it is a duty to­wards the city to help the king to bet­ter him­self as a sov­er­eign. Parrhesia is thus re­lated to free­dom and to duty.

To sum­ma­rize the fore­go­ing, par­rhe­sia is a kind of ver­bal ac­tiv­ity where the speaker has a spe­cific re­la­tion to truth through frank­ness, a cer­tain re­la­tion­ship to his own life through dan­ger, a cer­tain type of re­la­tion to him­self or other peo­ple through crit­i­cism (self-criticism or crit­i­cism of other peo­ple), and a spe­cific re­la­tion to moral law through free­dom and duty. More pre­cisely, par­rhe­sia is a ver­bal ac­tiv­ity in which a speaker ex­presses his per­sonal re­la­tion­ship to truth, and risks his life be­cause he rec­og­nizes truth-telling as a duty to im­prove or help other peo­ple (as well as him­self). In par­rhe­sia, the speaker uses his free­dom and chooses frank­ness in­stead of per­sua­sion, truth in­stead of false­hood or si­lence, the risk of death in­stead of life and se­cu­rity, crit­i­cism in­stead of flat­tery, and moral duty in­stead of self-in­ter­est and moral ap­a­thy.

That, then, quite gen­er­ally; is the pos­i­tive mean­ing of the word parrhesia” in most of the Greek texts where it oc­curs from the Fifth Century BC to the Fifth Century AD.

The Evolution of the Word parrhesia”

Now what I would like to do in this sem­i­nar is not to study and an­a­lyze all the di­men­sions and fea­tures of par­rhe­sia, but rather to show and to em­pha­size some as­pects of the evo­lu­tion of the par­rhe­si­as­tic game in an­cient cul­ture (from the Fifth Century BC) to the be­gin­nings of Christianity. And I think that we can an­a­lyze this evo­lu­tion from three points of view.

Parrhesia and Rhetoric

The first con­cerns the re­la­tion­ship of par­rhe­sia to rhetoric — a re­la­tion­ship which is prob­lem­atic even in Euripides. In the Socratic-Platonic tra­di­tion, par­rhe­sia and rhetoric stand in a strong op­po­si­tion; and this op­po­si­tion ap­pears very clearly in the Gorgias, for ex­am­ple, where the word parrhesia” oc­curs. The con­tin­u­ous long speech is a rhetor­i­cal or so­phis­ti­cal de­vice, whereas the di­a­logue through ques­tions and an­swers is typ­i­cal for par­rhe­sia; i.e., di­a­logue is a ma­jor tech­nique for play­ing the par­rhe­si­as­tic game.

The op­po­si­tion of par­rhe­sia and rhetoric also runs through the Phaedrus — where, as you know, the main prob­lem is not about the na­ture of the op­po­si­tion be­tween speech and writ­ing, but con­cerns the dif­fer­ence be­tween the lo­gos which speaks the truth and the lo­gos which is not ca­pa­ble of such truth-telling. This op­po­si­tion be­tween par­rhe­sia and rhetoric, which is so clear-cut in the Fourth Century BC through­out Plato’s writ­ings, will last for cen­turies in the philo­soph­i­cal tra­di­tion. In Seneca, for ex­am­ple, one finds the idea that per­sonal con­ver­sa­tions are the best ve­hi­cle for frank speak­ing and truth-telling in­so­far as one can dis­pense, in such con­ver­sa­tions, with the need for rhetor­i­cal de­vices and or­na­men­ta­tion. And even dur­ing the Second Century AD the cul­tural op­po­si­tion be­tween rhetoric and phi­los­o­phy is still very clear and im­por­tant.

However, one can also find some signs of the in­cor­po­ra­tion of par­rhe­sia within the field of rhetoric in the work of rhetori­cians at the be­gin­ning of the Empire. In Quintillian’s Institutio Oratoria, for ex­am­ple (Book IX, Chapter II), Quintillian ex­plains that some rhetor­i­cal fig­ures are specif­i­cally adapted for in­ten­si­fy­ing the emo­tions of the au­di­ence; and such tech­ni­cal fig­ures he calls by the name exclamatio”. Related to these ex­cla­ma­tions is a kind of nat­ural ex­cla­ma­tion which, Quintillian notes, is not simulated or art­fully de­signed.” This type of nat­ural ex­cla­ma­tion he calls free speech” [libera ora­tione] which, he tells us, was called license” [licentia] by Cornificius, and parrhesia” by the Greeks. Parrhesia is thus a sort of figure” among rhetor­i­cal fig­ures, but with this char­ac­ter­is­tic: that it is with­out any fig­ure since it is com­pletely nat­ural. Parrhesia is the zero de­gree of those rhetor­i­cal fig­ures which in­ten­sify the emo­tions of the au­di­ence.

Parrhesia and Politics

The sec­ond im­por­tant as­pect of the evo­lu­tion of par­rhe­sia is re­lated to the po­lit­i­cal field. As it ap­pears in Euripides plays and also in the texts of the Fourth Century BC, par­rhe­sia is an es­sen­tial char­ac­ter­is­tic of Athenian democ­racy. Of course, we still have to in­ves­ti­gate the role of par­rhe­sia in the Athenian con­sti­tu­tion. But we can say quite gen­er­ally that par­rhe­sia was a guide­line for democ­racy as well as an eth­i­cal and per­sonal at­ti­tude char­ac­ter­is­tic of the good cit­i­zen. Athenian democ­racy was de­fined very ex­plic­itly as a con­sti­tu­tion (politeia) in which peo­ple en­joyed demokra­tia, isego­ria (the equal right of speech), isono­mia (the equal par­tic­i­pa­tion of all cit­i­zens in the ex­er­cise of power), and par­rhe­sia. Parrhesia, which is a req­ui­site for pub­lic speech, takes place be­tween cit­i­zens as in­di­vid­u­als, and also be­tween cit­i­zens con­strued as an as­sem­bly. Moreover, the agora is the place where par­rhe­sia ap­pears.

During the Hellenistic pe­riod this po­lit­i­cal mean­ing changes with the rise of the Hellenic monar­chies. Parrhesia now be­comes cen­tered in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the sov­er­eign and his ad­vi­sors or court men. In the monar­chic con­sti­tu­tion of the state, it is the ad­vi­sor’s duty to use par­rhe­sia to help the king with his de­ci­sions, and to pre­vent him from abus­ing his power. Parrhesia is nec­es­sary and use­ful both for the king and for the peo­ple un­der his rule. The sov­er­eign him­self is not a par­rhe­si­astes, but a touch­stone of the good ruler is his abil­ity to play the par­rhe­si­as­tic game. Thus, a good king ac­cepts every­thing that a gen­uine par­rhe­si­astes tells him, even if it turns out to be un­pleas­ant for him to hear crit­i­cism of his de­ci­sions. A sov­er­eign shows him­self to be a tyrant if he dis­re­gards his hon­est ad­vi­sors, or pun­ishes them for what they have said. The por­trayal of a sov­er­eign by most Greek his­to­ri­ans takes into ac­count the way he be­haves to­wards his ad­vi­sors — as if such be­hav­ior were an in­dex of his abil­ity to hear the par­rhe­si­astes.

There is also a third cat­e­gory of play­ers in the monar­chic par­rhe­si­as­tic game, viz., the silent ma­jor­ity: the peo­ple in gen­eral who are not pre­sent at the ex­changes be­tween the king and his ad­vi­sors, but to whom, and on be­half of whom, the ad­vi­sors re­fer when of­fer­ing ad­vice to the king.

The place where par­rhe­sia ap­pears in the con­text of monar­chic rule is the king’s court, and no longer the agora.

Parrhesia and Philosophy

Finally, par­rhe­si­a’s evo­lu­tion can be traced through its re­la­tion to the field of phi­los­o­phy — re­garded as an art of life (techne tou biou).

In the writ­ings of Plato, Socrates ap­pears in the role of the par­rhe­si­astes. Although the word parrhesia” ap­pears sev­eral times in Plato, he never uses the word parrhesiastes” — a word which only ap­pears later as part of the Greek vo­cab­u­lary. And yet the role of Socrates is typ­i­cally a par­rhe­si­as­tic one, for he con­stantly con­fronts Athenians in the street and, as noted in the Apology, points out the truth to them, bid­ding them to care for wis­dom, truth, and the per­fec­tion of their souls. And in the Alcibiades Majoras well, Socrates as­sumes a par­rhe­si­as­tic role in the di­a­logue. For whereas Alcibiades friends and lovers all flat­ter him in their at­tempt to ob­tain his fa­vors, Socrates risks pro­vok­ing Alcibiades anger when he leads him to this idea: that be­fore Alcibiades will be able to ac­com­plish what he is so set on achiev­ing, viz., to be­come the first among the Athenians to rule Athens and be­come more pow­er­ful than the King of Persia, be­fore he will be able to take care of Athens, he must first learn to take care of him­self. Philosophical par­rhe­sia is thus as­so­ci­ated with the theme of the care of one­self (epimeleia heautou).

By the time of the Epicureans, par­rhe­si­a’s affin­ity with the care of one­self de­vel­oped to the point where par­rhe­sia it­self was pri­mar­ily re­garded as a techne of spir­i­tual guid­ance for the education of the soul”. Philodemus [110-140 BC], for ex­am­ple (who, with Lucretius [99-55 BC], was one of the most sig­nif­i­cant Epicurian writ­ers dur­ing the First Century BC), wrote a book about par­rhe­sia which con­cern tech­ni­cal prac­tices use­ful for teach­ing and help­ing one an­other in the Epicurean com­mu­nity. We shall ex­am­ine some of these par­rhe­si­as­tic tech­nique as they de­vel­oped in, for ex­am­ple, the Stoic philoso­phies of Epictetus, Seneca, and oth­ers.