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Epictetus quotes Showing 211-240 of 710

“That Socrates should ever have been so treated by the Athenians!"

Slave! why say "Socrates"? Speak of the thing as it is: That ever then the poor body of Socrates should have been dragged away and haled by main force to prision! That ever hemlock should have been given to the body of Socrates; that that should have breathed its life away!—Do you marvel at this? Do you hold this unjust? Is it for this that you accuse God? Had Socrates no compensation for this? Where then for him was the ideal Good? Whom shall we hearken to, you or him? And what says he?

"Anytus and Melitus may put me to death: to injure me is beyond their power."

And again:—

"If such be the will of God, so let it be.”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
“Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words.”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
“Who, then, is the invincible human being? One who can be disconcerted by nothing that lies outside the sphere of choice.”
Epictetus, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook
“What you shun enduring yourself, attempt not to impose on others. You shun slavery- beware enslaving others! If you can endure to do that, one would think you had been once upon a time a slave yourself. For vice has nothing in common with virtue, nor Freedom with slavery. ”
Epictetus
“Let your will to avoid have no concern with what is not in man's power; direct it only to things in man's power that are contrary to nature.”
Epictetus
“Friend, lay hold with a desperate grasp, ere it is too late, on Freedom, on Tranquility, on Greatness of soul!”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
“Don’t seek that all that comes about should come about as you wish, but wish that everything that comes about should come about just as it does, and then you’ll have a calm and happy life.”
Epictetus, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook
“If a man has reported to you, that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make any defense to what has been told you: but reply, The man did not know the rest of my faults, for he would not have mentioned these only.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion...
“Finally, when he crowns it off by becoming a senator, then he becomes a slave in fine company, then he experiences the poshest and most prestigious form of enslavement.”
Epictetus, Of Human Freedom
“Control thy passions lest they take vengeance on thee.”
Epictetus
“I must die; so must I die groaning too?”
Epictetus, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook
“In literature, too, it is not great achievement to memorize what you have read while not formulating an opinion of your own.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“The gods do not exists, and even if they exist they do not trouble themselves about people, and we have nothing in common with them. The piety and devotion to the gods that the majority of people invoke is a lie devised by swindlers and con men and, if you can believe it, by legislators, to keep criminals in line by putting the fear of God into them.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“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, Enchiridion
“Adopt new habits yourself: consolidate your principles by putting them into practice.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“For where you find unrest, grief, fear, frustrated desire, failed aversion, jealousy and envy, happiness has no room for admittance. And where values are false, these passions inevitably follow.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“Those proficient praise no one, blame no one, and accuse no one. They say nothing concerning their self as being anybody or knowing anything.”
Epictetus, The Enchiridion: A Modern Translation
“We should realize that an opinion is not easily formed unless a person says and hears the same things every day and practises them in real life.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“Restrict yourself to choice and refusal; and exercise them carefully, with discipline and detachment.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“You will never have to experience defeat if you avoid contests whose outcome is outside your control.”
Epictetus, Discourses and Selected Writings
“Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.”
Epictetus, The Enchiridion
“To admonish is better than to reproach for admonition is mild and friendly, but reproach is harsh and insulting; and admonition corrects those who are doing wrong, but reproach only convicts them.”
Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses
“What is death? A "tragic mask." Turn it and examine it. See, it does not bite. The poor body must be separated from the spirit either now or later, as it was separated from it before. Why, then, are you troubled, if it be separated now? for if it is not separated now, it will be separated afterward. Why? That the period of the universe may be completed, for it has need of the present, and of the future, and of the past. What is pain? A mask. Turn it and examine it. The poor flesh is moved roughly, then, on the contrary, smoothly. If this does not satisfy you, the door is open: if it does, bear. For the door ought to be open for all occasions; and so we have no trouble.”
Epictetus, The Discourses
“Death is not dreadful or else it would have appeared dreadful to Socrates.”
Epictetus
“For if we had any sense, what else should we do, both in public and in private, than sing hymns and praise the deity, and recount all the favours that he has conferred!”
Epictetus, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook
“Is then the fruit of a fig-tree not perfect suddenly and in one hour, and would you possess the fruit of a man's mind in so short a time and so easily?”
Epictetus, The Discourses
“If you have assumed a character beyond your strength, you have both played a poor figure in that, and neglected one that is within your powers.”
Epictetus, The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
“But to be hanged—is that not unendurable?" Even so, when a man feels that it is reasonable, he goes off and hangs himself.”
Epictetus
“Never say about anything, I have lost it, but only I have given it back.”
Epictetus
“Epictetus has had a long-standing resonance in the United States; his uncompromising moral rigour chimed in well with Protestant Christian beliefs and the ethical individualism that has been a persistent vein in American culture. His admirers ranged from John Harvard and Thomas Jefferson in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth. More recently, Vice-Admiral James Stockdale wrote movingly of how his study of Epictetus at Stanford University enabled him to survive the psychological pressure of prolonged torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. Stockdale’s story formed the basis for a light-hearted treatment of the moral power of Stoicism in Tom Wolfe’s novel A Man in Full (1998).52”
Epictetus, Discourses, Fragments, Handbook


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