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105 Best Epictetus Quotes From The Greek Stoic Philosopher

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Epictetus quotes are relevant still today.

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Epictetus was a famous Greek philosopher who is known for his influence on the doctrines of stoicism.

Being born as a slave nearly 2000 years ago in Hieropolis which was situated in present-day Turkey, this great philosopher studied stoicism under the tutelage of Musonius Rufus. Hence, it wasn't long before he started teaching philosophy himself.

However, many people struggle to pronounce his name properly. The name Epictetus is simply pronounced as [Ep+ik+tee+tuhs]. So, now that we have cleared up the tricky name for you, let us take a look at this selection of the best Epictetus quotes.

For more quotes, take a look at Greek quotes and [Epicurus quotes].

Famous Philosopher Quotes By Epictetus

Epictetus quotes are diverse and cover a lot of subjects.

Here are some of the best philosopher Epictetus quotes for you.

1. "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."

- Epictetus.

2. "There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will."

- Epictetus.

3. "The anger of an ape - the threat of a flattered - these deserve equal regard."

- Epictetus.

4. "Friend, bethink you first what it is that you would do, and then what your own nature is able to bear."

- Epictetus.

5. "He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."

- Epictetus.

6. "To you, all you have seems small: to me, all I have seems great. Your desire is insatiable, mine is satisfied."

- Epictetus.

7. "From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob."

- Epictetus.

8. "In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it."

- Epictetus.

9. "If you seek Truth, you will not seek to gain a victory by every possible means; and when you have found Truth, you need not fear being defeated."

- Epictetus.

10. "When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger."

- Epictetus.

11. "True instruction is this: —to learn to wish that each thing should come to pass as it does."

- Epictetus.

12. "Have this thought ever present with thee, when thou losest any outward thing, what thou gainest in its stead; and if this be the more precious, say not, I have suffered loss."

- Epictetus.

13. "Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do - now."

- Epictetus.

14. "Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power."

- Epictetus

15. "However he may treat me, I must deal rightly by him. This is what lies with me, what none can hinder."

- Epictetus.

16. "No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage."

- Epictetus.

17. "When you want to hear a philosopher, do not say, 'You say nothing to me'; only show yourself worthy or fit to hear, and then you will see how you will move the speaker."

- Epictetus.

18. "Nothing is in reality either pleasant or unpleasant by nature but all things become so through habit."

- Epictetus.

19. "The appearance of things to the mind is the standard of every action to man."

- Epictetus.

20. "Any person capable of angering you becomes your master."

- Epictetus.

21. "Give me, by all means, the shorter and nobler life, instead of one that is longer but of less account!"

- Epictetus.

22. "Attach yourself to what is spiritually superior, regardless of what other people think or do. Hold to your true aspirations no matter what is going on around you."

- Epictetus.

23. "Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control."

- Epictetus.

24. "Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak."

- Epictetus.

25. "The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things."

- Epictetus.

Enchiridion Of Epictetus Quotes

The 'Enchiridion of Epictetus' is a small handbook of the stoic teachings of Epictetus. It contains Epictetus quotes on perception and quotations on judgement.

26. "To accuse others for one's own misfortune is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete."

- Epictetus.

27. "People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them."

- Epictetus.

28. "Everything has two handles, the one by which it may be carried, the other by which it cannot."

- Epictetus.

29. "A city is not adorned by external things, but by the virtue of those who dwell in it."

- Epictetus.

30. "If you ever happen to turn your attention to externals, for the pleasure of anyone, be assured that you have ruined your scheme of life."

- Epictetus.

31. "He who exercises wisdom, exercises the knowledge which is about God."

- Epictetus.

32. "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."

- Epictetus.

33. "Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions."

- Epictetus.

34. "If you are in pain, you will find fortitude. If you hear unpleasant language, you will find patience."

- Epictetus.

35. "Disease is an impediment to the body, but not to the will, unless the will itself chooses."

- Epictetus.

36. "Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law."

- Epictetus.

37. "Those proficient praise no one, blame no one, and accuse no one."

- Epictetus.

38. "Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get."

- Epictetus.

39. "Take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. If you were to guard against this in every action, you should enter upon those actions more safely."

- Epictetus.

40. "Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them."

- Epictetus.

41. "Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions."

- Epictetus.

42. "When, therefore, any one provokes you, be assured that it is your own opinion which provokes you."

- Epictetus.

43. "Lameness is an impediment to the leg, but not to the will."

- Epictetus.

44. "For states are well governed by the wisdom of men, but not by stone and wood."

- Epictetus.

45. "You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be."

- Epictetus.

46. "Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet."

- Epictetus.

47. "Be free from grief not through insensibility like the irrational animals, nor through want of thought like the foolish, but like a man of virtue by having reason as the consolation of grief."

- Epictetus.

48. "Some things are in our control and others not."

- Epictetus.

49. "Fortify yourself with contentment for this is an impregnable fortress."

- Epictetus.

50. "With every accident, ask yourself what abilities you have for making a proper use of it."

- Epictetus.

51. "It is better to do wrong seldom and to own it, and to act right for the most part than seldom to admit that you have done wrong and to do wrong often."

- Epictetus.

52. "Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours."

- Epictetus.

53. "Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people's weaknesses."

- Epictetus.

54. "Death is nothing terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death, that it is terrible."

- Epictetus.

55. "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

- Epictetus.

Epictetus Quotes From 'Discourses'

'Discourses' is a comprehensive volume of work by Epictetus compiled by his student Arrian. Here are some of the best quotes from the book.

56. "No man is free who is not master of himself."

- Epictetus.

57. "What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows."

- Epictetus.

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

- Epictetus.

59. "Since it is reason which shapes and regulates all other things, it ought not itself to be left in disorder."

- Epictetus.

60. "We should not have either a blunt knife or a freedom of speech which is ill-managed."

- Epictetus.

61. "Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well."

- Epictetus.

62. "You can be invincible, if you enter into no contest in which it is not in your power to conquer."

- Epictetus.

63. "Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle."

- Epictetus.

64. "Who are those people by whom you wish to be admired? Are they not these whom you are in the habit of saying that they are mad? What then? Do you wish to be admired by the mad?"

- Epictetus.

65. "But if you chance to be placed in some superior station, will you presently set yourself up for a tyrant?"

- Epictetus.

66. "No thing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig."

- Epictetus.

67. "The origin of sorrow is this: to wish for something that does not come to pass."

- Epictetus.

68. "In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles."

- Epictetus.

69. "If it is good to use attention tomorrow, how much better is it to do so today?"

- Epictetus.

70. "Every art and every faculty contemplates certain things as its principal objects."

- Epictetus.

71. "It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?"

- Epictetus.

72. "Any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a Providence to an humble and grateful mind."

- Epictetus.

73. "Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg but my will, not even Zeus himself can overpower."

- Epictetus.

74. "Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire."

- Epictetus.

75. "In theory there is nothing to hinder our following what we are taught; but in life there are many things to draw us aside."

- Epictetus.

76. "The poor body must be separated from the spirit either now or later, as it was separated from it before."

- Epictetus.

77. "It is difficulties that show what men are."

- Epictetus.

78. "The philosopher's school, ye men, is a surgery: you ought not to go out of it with pleasure, but with pain. For you are not in sound health when you enter."

- Epictetus.

79. "Practice yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater."

- Epictetus.

80. "And be silent for the most part, or else make only the most necessary remarks, and express these in few words."

- Epictetus.

81. "It is my business, to manage carefully and dexterously whatever happens."

- Epictetus.

82. "God save me from fools with a little philosophy—no one is more difficult to reach."

- Epictetus.

83. "To be getting an education means this: to be learning what is your own, and what is not your own."

- Epictetus.

84. "Freedom and slavery, the one is the name of virtue, and the other of vice, and both are acts of the will."

- Epictetus.

85. "No man is able to make progress when he is wavering between opposite things."

- Epictetus.

86. "If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen."

- Epictetus.

87. "...you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within."

- Epictetus.

88. "To the rational being only the irrational is unendurable, but the rational is endurable."

- Epictetus.

89. "Is freedom anything else than the power of living as we choose?"

- Epictetus.

90. "For on these matters we should not trust the multitude who say that none ought to be educated but the free, but rather to philosophers, who say that the educated are free."

- Epictetus.

More Epictetus Quotes & Epictetus Sayings

Epictetus quotes are very popular.

Scroll down to take a look at some of the short and handy Epictetus quotes.

91. "Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it."

- Epictetus

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

- Epictetus.

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

- Epictetus.

94. "Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves."

- Epictetus.

95. "A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope."

- Epictetus.

96. "You are a little soul, carrying a corpse."

- Epictetus.

97. "Let no man think that he is loved by any who loveth none."

- Epictetus.

98. "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

- Epictetus.

99. "Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself."

- Epictetus.

100. "There are some things which men confess with ease, and others with difficulty."

- Epictetus.

101. "If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write."

- Epictetus.

102. "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

- Epictetus.

103. "Of pleasures, those which occur most rarely give the most delight."

- Epictetus.

104. "It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

- Epictetus.

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

- Epictetus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Epictetus quotes then why not take a look at ancient quotes or 'Iliad' quotes.

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