Epictetus was born in 55 A.D. in Hierapolis as a slave in a wealthy household. Later, Epictetus obtained his freedom shortly after emperor Nero’s death and started teaching philosophy in Rome for nearly 25 years. This lasted until emperor Domitian famously banished all philosophers in Rome. Epictetus fled to Nicopolis in Greece where he founded a philosophy school and taught there until his death. Emperor Hadrian is believed to visit Epictetus’ school. His thoughts also influenced emperor Marcus Aurelius, who quoted Epictetus in his works.
Here are my favorite Epictetus sayings:
- Nature has given men one tongue but two ears, so that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.
- Small-minded people blame others. average people blame themselves. the wise see all blame as foolishness
- We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free.
- No one is ever unhappy because of someone else.