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Various Retailers have Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (eBook) on sale for $1.99.

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  • Nearly 2,300 years after a ruined merchant named Zeno first established a school on the Stoa Poikile of Athens, Stoicism has found a new audience among those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. It's no wonder; the philosophy and its embrace of self-mastery, virtue, and indifference to that which we cannot control is as urgent today as it was in the chaos of the Roman Empire.
  • In Lives of the Stoics, Holiday and Hanselman present the fascinating lives of the men and women who strove to live by the timeless Stoic virtues of Courage. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Organized in digestible, mini-biographies of all the well-known--and not so well-known--Stoics, this book vividly brings home what Stoicism was like for the people who loved it and lived it, dusting off powerful lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes.

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Instant New York Times Advice & Business Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, and Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller!

A New York Times Noteworthy Pick and a "stellar work" by Publishers Weekly

From the bestselling authors of The Daily Stoic comes an inspiring guide to the lives of the Stoics, and what the ancients can teach us about happiness, success, resilience and virtue.

Nearly 2,300 years after a ruined merchant named Zeno first established a school on the Stoa Poikile of Athens, Stoicism has found a new audience among those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. It's no wonder; the philosophy and its embrace of self-mastery, virtue, and indifference to that which we cannot control is as urgent today as it was in the chaos of the Roman Empire.

In Lives of the Stoics, Holiday and Hanselman present the fascinating lives of the men and women who strove to live by the timeless Stoic virtues of Courage. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Organized in digestible, mini-biographies of all the well-known--and not so well-known--Stoics, this book vividly brings home what Stoicism was like for the people who loved it and lived it, dusting off powerful lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes.

More than a mere history book, every example in these pages, from Epictetus to Marcus Aurelius--slaves to emperors--is designed to help the reader apply philosophy in their own lives. Holiday and Hanselman unveil the core values and ideas that unite figures from Seneca to Cato to Cicero across the centuries. Among them are the idea that self-rule is the greatest empire, that character is fate; how Stoics benefit from preparing not only for success, but failure; and learn to love, not merely accept, the hand they are dealt in life. A treasure of valuable insights and stories, this book can be visited again and again by any reader in search of inspiration from the past.

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Here is a list of resources I put together to help someone get started with Stoicism.

What is Stoicism? Stoicism is an applied philosophy for life; a practical framework for living a virtuous life in a way that you can look back on without regrets.

The classical texts are amazing, but they can be a challenging introduction if you don't have any experience with Stoicism or a background in philosophy. I know I struggled with them a good bit. Based on my own experiences, here's a list of resources that might be useful for others digging into Stoicism. Starting with a few modern introductions before diving into the classics can make it a lot easier to handle.

~5 Minute TED-Ed Video: "The philosophy of Stoicism"
https://youtu.be/R9OCA6UFE-0

~18 Minute TEDx Talk: "Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life"
https://youtu.be/Yhn1Fe8cT0Q

Modern Books to Start with:

William B. Irvine, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" (https://amzn.to/2C9RqLt)
This incredibly readable introduction to Stoicism is what got me hooked. I read a review of it, found myself intrigued, and picked it up. It isn't a perfect book on Stoicism, but it's probably the gentlest introduction for those of us without a philosophy background. I still recommend it regularly. An excellent starting point, but definitely don't stop here.

Massimo Pigliucci, "How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life" (https://amzn.to/2N2GWSv)
This is a wonderful book on modern Stoicism. It offers a great "middle ground" between Irvine's gentle introduction, and Robertson's more rigorous study (see next entry).

Donald Robertson, "Stoicism and the Art of Happiness" (https://amzn.to/2QKuokv)
This book is something of a more serious study of modern Stoicism. Robertson comes from a psychological background and explores the Stoicism and how it can help us navigate the modern world. He even touches on how the highly regarded Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has its roots in Stoicism. This is a book worth spending time with.

Ryan Holiday, "The Daily Stoic" (https://amzn.to/2wAUCtG)
This is a great book to help start your day with a little of Stoicism. Structured as a set of short, daily passages, it gives you a brief lesson or thought exercise from Stoicism every day for a year.

Ryan Holiday, "The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" (http://amzn.to/2EUhaIv)
A more business-focused introduction to Stoic concepts. If you want a book on Stoicism that doesn't feel like a book on philosophy, this is a great one. It's written in the style of modern business management books, and will be particularly approachable for people living in the corporate world.

Modern twists on the Classics:

Sharon Lebell, "Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness" (https://amzn.to/2LRxG0w)
Lebell's book is basically her take on Epictetus's Handbook (The Enchiridion). She thoroughly updates it and providers her take on it, in an amazingly well written and easy reading rendition (it's more than a translation).

Ward Farnsworth, "The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User's Manual" (https://amzn.to/2yzoICQ)
This brilliant book is hard to classify. It's an amazing collection of quotes and excerpts from the classical Stoic authors, but intertwined with explanation, observations, and commentary in such a masterful way that it is immediately understandable and relatable to modern readers. You'll want to bring your highlighter for this one.

Frank Miles, "Get a Grip: A Humorous Look at Serious Wisdom Based on the Stoic Handbook by Epictetus" (https://amzn.to/2VrEINy)
Frank does his own riff on the Stoic Handbook in a very original style. This is a surprisingly entertaining mashup of Stoicism and well-written comedy. Miles offers up the wisdom of Epictetus in a hip, modern vernacular complete with contemporary examples and jokes. It's very virtuous fun!

Classic Texts:

"Meditations", by Marcus Aurelius (the Hays translation)
https://amzn.to/2LPyu4a

"The Enchiridion" (or "Handbook"), by Epictetus
https://amzn.to/2Sl9HcW
http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4...5109-h.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/dep/dep102.htm
https://librivox.org/the-enchirid...th-carter/ (audiobook)

Collected Writings on Stoicism from Seneca
http://www.openculture.com/2017/1...rriss.html

Seneca's "Moral Letters to Lucilius"
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Mo...o_Lucilius

Modern Books to Continue Learning:

Brad Inwood, "Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction" (https://amzn.to/2TCxZ4l)
This a small book, only 136 pages, but it is very well written to provide a concise overview of the development of Stoicism. It is clear, quick, and a little gem of a book.

Donald Robertson, "How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius" (https://amzn.to/2LUoBF1)
Acknowledgement: I haven't actually read this one, yet. It's in my queue and I'll be starting it shortly. However, the reviews are glowing and it looks like a home run from someone who has already proven his chops in writing about Stoicism.

John Sellars, "Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)" (https://amzn.to/3cZj7ET)
Most of the modern books on this list are written for a lay audience. This one is written with a stronger academic approach. It is basically an introductory textbook on the history and evolution of Stoicism. If you want to really understand the context of Stoicism, this book is an excellent aid.

Derren Brown, "Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Fine" (https://amzn.to/2APAkCf)

William B. Irvine, "The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient" (https://amzn.to/2Tx5uon)

Other Books:

Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning" (https://amzn.to/2UqJaPa)
This is a book that sticks with you. Frankl spent years in Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz This is his account of that experience, and what he learned from it. You'll want to read it again after you've had time to digest it.

Tom Wolfe, "A Man in Full" (https://amzn.to/2TAUIxE)
A unique entry on this list, "A Man in Full" is not a book about philosophy; it is a work of fiction. This book follows a man who finds Stoicism, and how it changes and shapes his life. For those looking for a book on Stoicism to "read" as opposed to a book to "study", this ought to fit the bill for you.

Video Resources:

Academy of Ideas Article and Video: "Introduction to Stoicism"
https://academyofideas.com/2014/0...-stoicism/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MzQZ_eFEY

Video: "Tim Ferriss on how to apply stoic philosophy to your life"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0XxceO4qX0

Articles on Stoicism:

"What's the difference between stoicism and Stoicism?"
https://donaldrobertson.name/2018...-stoicism/

"Stoicism as a Philosophy of Life: My jargon-free guide to putting Stoicism into practice"
https://medium.com/stoicism-philo...f0a1d18d41

"What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started"
https://dailystoic.com/what-is-st...u-started/

"Stoicism 101"
https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.c...icism-101/

"Why You Need to Read Modern Books on Stoicism"
https://medium.com/stoicism-philo...c8c498b098
Modern stoic books are great for their relatability and digestibility, but you can go straight to the source texts, which are only a few that these books draw from. These are:

- "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
- "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
- "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus

Go for all three if you can afford the time, but if you have to choose one, here are the pros: Seneca's letters are for depth, and touched on many topics, and they tend to be personal because they are letters to a friend. Discourses by Epictetus are very accessible, designed as lectures for other students. Meditations is in the middle, and my personal favorite if I have to choose.
Stoicism is amazing, and I'm amazed we don't teach it earlier. They were practicing thousands of years ago things that you now hear from therapists and mental health professionals, as if they invented it in the 20th century.

Everyone should learn the basics of this philosophy, especially if you have your own struggles. The key basic premise is that you get to choose how you react to events, and how you think of them. Once you get past that, a world of power opens up to you.

This book is just a bunch of mini-biographies, but hopefully it motivates you to explore more.

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Thanks, I love the Stoics.
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#4
Stoicism is amazing, and I'm amazed we don't teach it earlier. They were practicing thousands of years ago things that you now hear from therapists and mental health professionals, as if they invented it in the 20th century.

Everyone should learn the basics of this philosophy, especially if you have your own struggles. The key basic premise is that you get to choose how you react to events, and how you think of them. Once you get past that, a world of power opens up to you.

This book is just a bunch of mini-biographies, but hopefully it motivates you to explore more.
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#5
Quote from alchemista :
Stoicism is amazing, and I'm amazed we don't teach it earlier. They were practicing thousands of years ago things that you now hear from therapists and mental health professionals, as if they invented it in the 20th century.

Everyone should learn the basics of this philosophy, especially if you have your own struggles. The key basic premise is that you get to choose how you react to events, and how you think of them. Once you get past that, a world of power opens up to you.

This book is just a bunch of mini-biographies, but hopefully it motivates you to explore more.
Any other books you'd recommend on the subject? TIA!
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#6
Quote from mvdafvka :
Any other books you'd recommend on the subject? TIA!
I really enjoyed The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holliday.
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#7
Quote from mvdafvka :
Any other books you'd recommend on the subject? TIA!
Modern stoic books are great for their relatability and digestibility, but you can go straight to the source texts, which are only a few that these books draw from. These are:

- "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
- "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
- "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus

Go for all three if you can afford the time, but if you have to choose one, here are the pros: Seneca's letters are for depth, and touched on many topics, and they tend to be personal because they are letters to a friend. Discourses by Epictetus are very accessible, designed as lectures for other students. Meditations is in the middle, and my personal favorite if I have to choose.
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Last edited by geforce1 April 4, 2021 at 07:44 PM.
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At the risk of sounding cliche, Stoicism is literally life changing. Reading the classics( meditations, letters from a stoics, Enchiridion) has morphed me completely. It seems a watershed moment. It's changed everything for me, and it's noticeable in almost everything I do.

The biggest regret I have in my life is NOT discovering the philosophy sooner. And sometimes I wonder what if I had never discovered this, and the thought is so frightening it does not bear thinking.

If there is one thing that should be mandated it is this philosophy. Seriously, how to live and what makes a good life and how to handle adversity. There is no better source.
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#9
Quote from geforce1 :
Modern stoic books are great for their relatability and digestibility, but you can go straight to the source texts, which are only a few that these books draw from. These are:

- "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
- "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
- "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus

Go for all three if you can afford the time, but if you have to choose one, here are the pros: Seneca's letters are for depth, and touched on many topics, and they tend to be personal because they are letters to a friend. Discourses by Epictetus are very accessible, designed as lectures for other students. Meditations is in the middle, and my personal favorite if I have to choose.
Excellent post. To add to this: Epictetus is the most preachy. Discourses and Enchiridion are literally manuals. And it's the best to learn everything from the ground up. My personal favorite.

Seneca is the most eloquent and readable. Common sense advice in the format of the letters.

Marcus Aurelius is the most awe inspiring. How can someone so powerful be so virtuous. The only true philosopher king. The most quotable book of all time, the Meditations. It sits well besides the Bible, Tao Te Ching etc. Marcus wil make you want to be a better man every day.
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If you liked the book Mindset, I would recommend reading about stoicism. If you struggle with negativity and kindness toward yourself, this may help you think differently.
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Quote from geforce1 :
Modern stoic books are great for their relatability and digestibility, but you can go straight to the source texts, which are only a few that these books draw from. These are:

- "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
- "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
- "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus

Go for all three if you can afford the time, but if you have to choose one, here are the pros: Seneca's letters are for depth, and touched on many topics, and they tend to be personal because they are letters to a friend. Discourses by Epictetus are very accessible, designed as lectures for other students. Meditations is in the middle, and my personal favorite if I have to choose.
Have you found anything else modern or newer developments or arguments since the classics? I really appreciate Ryan Holiday marketing Stoicism. He also sends out daily emails and thoughts on current events.
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#12
Quote from mvdafvka :
Any other books you'd recommend on the subject? TIA!
Here is a list of resources I put together to help someone get started with Stoicism.

What is Stoicism? Stoicism is an applied philosophy for life; a practical framework for living a virtuous life in a way that you can look back on without regrets.

The classical texts are amazing, but they can be a challenging introduction if you don't have any experience with Stoicism or a background in philosophy. I know I struggled with them a good bit. Based on my own experiences, here's a list of resources that might be useful for others digging into Stoicism. Starting with a few modern introductions before diving into the classics can make it a lot easier to handle.

~5 Minute TED-Ed Video: "The philosophy of Stoicism"
https://youtu.be/R9OCA6UFE-0

~18 Minute TEDx Talk: "Stoicism as a philosophy for an ordinary life"
https://youtu.be/Yhn1Fe8cT0Q

Modern Books to Start with:

William B. Irvine, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" (https://amzn.to/2C9RqLt)
This incredibly readable introduction to Stoicism is what got me hooked. I read a review of it, found myself intrigued, and picked it up. It isn't a perfect book on Stoicism, but it's probably the gentlest introduction for those of us without a philosophy background. I still recommend it regularly. An excellent starting point, but definitely don't stop here.

Massimo Pigliucci, "How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life" (https://amzn.to/2N2GWSv)
This is a wonderful book on modern Stoicism. It offers a great "middle ground" between Irvine's gentle introduction, and Robertson's more rigorous study (see next entry).

Donald Robertson, "Stoicism and the Art of Happiness" (https://amzn.to/2QKuokv)
This book is something of a more serious study of modern Stoicism. Robertson comes from a psychological background and explores the Stoicism and how it can help us navigate the modern world. He even touches on how the highly regarded Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has its roots in Stoicism. This is a book worth spending time with.

Ryan Holiday, "The Daily Stoic" (https://amzn.to/2wAUCtG)
This is a great book to help start your day with a little of Stoicism. Structured as a set of short, daily passages, it gives you a brief lesson or thought exercise from Stoicism every day for a year.

Ryan Holiday, "The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph" (http://amzn.to/2EUhaIv)
A more business-focused introduction to Stoic concepts. If you want a book on Stoicism that doesn't feel like a book on philosophy, this is a great one. It's written in the style of modern business management books, and will be particularly approachable for people living in the corporate world.

Modern twists on the Classics:

Sharon Lebell, "Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness" (https://amzn.to/2LRxG0w)
Lebell's book is basically her take on Epictetus's Handbook (The Enchiridion). She thoroughly updates it and providers her take on it, in an amazingly well written and easy reading rendition (it's more than a translation).

Ward Farnsworth, "The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User's Manual" (https://amzn.to/2yzoICQ)
This brilliant book is hard to classify. It's an amazing collection of quotes and excerpts from the classical Stoic authors, but intertwined with explanation, observations, and commentary in such a masterful way that it is immediately understandable and relatable to modern readers. You'll want to bring your highlighter for this one.

Frank Miles, "Get a Grip: A Humorous Look at Serious Wisdom Based on the Stoic Handbook by Epictetus" (https://amzn.to/2VrEINy)
Frank does his own riff on the Stoic Handbook in a very original style. This is a surprisingly entertaining mashup of Stoicism and well-written comedy. Miles offers up the wisdom of Epictetus in a hip, modern vernacular complete with contemporary examples and jokes. It's very virtuous fun!

Classic Texts:

"Meditations", by Marcus Aurelius (the Hays translation)
https://amzn.to/2LPyu4a

"The Enchiridion" (or "Handbook"), by Epictetus
https://amzn.to/2Sl9HcW
http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4...5109-h.htm
http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/dep/dep102.htm
https://librivox.org/the-enchirid...th-carter/ (audiobook)

Collected Writings on Stoicism from Seneca
http://www.openculture.com/2017/1...rriss.html

Seneca's "Moral Letters to Lucilius"
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Mo...o_Lucilius

Modern Books to Continue Learning:

Brad Inwood, "Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction" (https://amzn.to/2TCxZ4l)
This a small book, only 136 pages, but it is very well written to provide a concise overview of the development of Stoicism. It is clear, quick, and a little gem of a book.

Donald Robertson, "How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius" (https://amzn.to/2LUoBF1)
Acknowledgement: I haven't actually read this one, yet. It's in my queue and I'll be starting it shortly. However, the reviews are glowing and it looks like a home run from someone who has already proven his chops in writing about Stoicism.

John Sellars, "Stoicism (Ancient Philosophies)" (https://amzn.to/3cZj7ET)
Most of the modern books on this list are written for a lay audience. This one is written with a stronger academic approach. It is basically an introductory textbook on the history and evolution of Stoicism. If you want to really understand the context of Stoicism, this book is an excellent aid.

Derren Brown, "Happy: Why More or Less Everything Is Fine" (https://amzn.to/2APAkCf)

William B. Irvine, "The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient" (https://amzn.to/2Tx5uon)

Other Books:

Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning" (https://amzn.to/2UqJaPa)
This is a book that sticks with you. Frankl spent years in Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz This is his account of that experience, and what he learned from it. You'll want to read it again after you've had time to digest it.

Tom Wolfe, "A Man in Full" (https://amzn.to/2TAUIxE)
A unique entry on this list, "A Man in Full" is not a book about philosophy; it is a work of fiction. This book follows a man who finds Stoicism, and how it changes and shapes his life. For those looking for a book on Stoicism to "read" as opposed to a book to "study", this ought to fit the bill for you.

Video Resources:

Academy of Ideas Article and Video: "Introduction to Stoicism"
https://academyofideas.com/2014/0...-stoicism/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MzQZ_eFEY

Video: "Tim Ferriss on how to apply stoic philosophy to your life"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0XxceO4qX0

Articles on Stoicism:

"What's the difference between stoicism and Stoicism?"
https://donaldrobertson.name/2018...-stoicism/

"Stoicism as a Philosophy of Life: My jargon-free guide to putting Stoicism into practice"
https://medium.com/stoicism-philo...f0a1d18d41

"What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started"
https://dailystoic.com/what-is-st...u-started/

"Stoicism 101"
https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.c...icism-101/

"Why You Need to Read Modern Books on Stoicism"
https://medium.com/stoicism-philo...c8c498b098

[Note: These books and URLs are recommended based on my own personal (positive) experience. There are numerous other books, articles, and videos that I haven't gotten to, so I haven't listed them. Please take this list with a grain of salt and enjoy your journey with Stoicism!]
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Quote from geforce1 :
Modern stoic books are great for their relatability and digestibility, but you can go straight to the source texts, which are only a few that these books draw from. These are:

- "Letters from a Stoic" by Seneca
- "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius
- "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus

Go for all three if you can afford the time, but if you have to choose one, here are the pros: Seneca's letters are for depth, and touched on many topics, and they tend to be personal because they are letters to a friend. Discourses by Epictetus are very accessible, designed as lectures for other students. Meditations is in the middle, and my personal favorite if I have to choose.
This. Skip the interpretations.
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#14
Thanks for posting. I didn't love the audio version of this book, but it's a great history lesson on the Stoics. I do prefer something like The Daily Stoic or The Obstacle Is The Way for the actionable tips and advice I can implement right away, but like I said, this is still a good way to get a bit of an origin story and lesson on Stoicism. I mean, at $2... c'mon, that's a steal.
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#15
Quote from mvdafvka :
Any other books you'd recommend on the subject? TIA!
the obstacle is the way by the same author and meditations by Marcus U
relius
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