Epictetus Quotes

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Epictetus was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher of 1st and early 2nd centuries C.E. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia, and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. Wikipedia

He was an exponent of Stoic ethics notable for the consistency and power of his ethical thought and for effective methods of teaching. Epictetus’ chief concerns are with integrity, self-management, and personal freedom, which he advocates by demanding of his students a thorough examination of two central ideas, the capacity he terms ‘volition’ (prohairesis) and the correct use of impressions (chr?sis t?n phantasi?n). Heartfelt and satirical by turns, Epictetus has had significant influence on the popular moralistic tradition, but he is more than a moralizer; his lucid resystematization and challenging application of Stoic ethics qualify him as an important philosopher in his own right.

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.

— Epictetus

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

— Epictetus

If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase.

— Epictetus

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

— Epictetus

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

— Epictetus

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.

— Epictetus

Only the educated are free.

— Epictetus

People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take on them.

— Epictetus

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.

— Epictetus

The good or ill of a man lies within his own will.

— Epictetus