Epictetus (c. 50-135 AD) was a Greek philosopher who was born a slave in Hierapolis, Phrygia, which is now part of modern-day Turkey. He was owned by a prominent Roman citizen named Epaphroditus, who allowed him to study philosophy.
Epictetus eventually gained his freedom and established a school of philosophy in Rome. He taught his students the principles of Stoicism and emphasized the importance of self-control and inner freedom.
Epictetus did not write any books himself, but his teachings were recorded by his student, Arrian, in a series of eight books known as the "Discourses of Epictetus." These works are considered some of the most influential and inspiring works of Stoic philosophy.
In his writings, Epictetus stressed the importance of living in accordance with nature and accepting what is beyond our control. He taught that individuals should focus on developing their inner character and cultivating virtues such as wisdom, courage, and self-control. He also emphasized the importance of accepting hardship and adversity as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.
Epictetus believed that external events and circumstances are beyond our control, but we can control our own thoughts and reactions to these events. He taught that by cultivating a calm and rational mind, we can find peace and happiness even in the midst of difficult situations.
Epictetus' teachings have had a profound impact on Western philosophy and continue to inspire individuals seeking personal growth and self-improvement. His emphasis on the importance of inner freedom and self-control has resonated with people throughout the ages, and his writings remain as relevant and inspiring today as they were in ancient times.
"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not."
"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
"No man is free who is not a master of himself."
"Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control."
"It's not what happens to you in life that matters; it's how you handle what happens."
"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself."
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid."
"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."
"Difficulties are things that show a person what they are."