Epictetus …

Posted on June 25, 2007. Filed under: The Great Greeks |

Epictetus was a philosopher of the Stoic school. Probably born a slave, he lived in Rome until his exile to Greece, where he lived and died.

God has entrusted me with myself……  No man is free who is not master of himself. The two powers which constitute a wise man, are those of bearing and forbearing.

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.

When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings, then you will forget your anger.  Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.

The time when you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilled pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.


Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.

All religions must be tolerated for every man must get to heaven in his own way.



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