Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

(3,483 words)

Ἀπάθεια/apatheia, sometimes translated “impassivity” or “impassibility,” means the absence of passions or bad emotions, πάθη/pathē, as opposed to good emotions or εὐπάθειαι/eupatheiai. 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 and Neoplatonism. Porphyry of Tyre, for example, stated that the soul is joined to the body when it…

Cite this page
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 21 April 2019 <>
First published online: 2018
First print edition: 20180827

▲   Back to top   ▲