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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the philosopher. For the bishop, see Archdiocese of Zaragoza. For the vase painter, see Epiktetos.
An artistic impression of Epictetus, including his crutch
Full name Epictetus
Born c. 55 AD
Died AD 135 (aged 79–80)
Era Ancient philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
Main interests Ethics
Epictetus (Greek: Ἐπίκτητος; AD 55 – AD 135) was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until banishment when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece where he lived the rest of his life. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty to care for all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness and peace of mind.
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Epictetus was born c. 55 AD, presumably at Hierapolis, Phrygia. The name given by his parents, if one was given, is not known—the word epiktetos (επικτητος) in Greek simply means "acquired." He spent his youth as a slave in Rome to Epaphroditos, a very wealthy freedman and secretary to Nero. Early on in life, Epictetus found a passion for philosophy, and with permission of his wealthy owner, Epictetus studied Stoic philosophy under Musonius Rufus, as a slave, which allowed him to rise in respectability as he grew more educated. It is known that he became crippled, and Origen recounts a story that his leg was deliberately broken by his master.
From stone tablets to html code, it's not lost on me.