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The Greatest Epictetus Quotes From The Stoic Philosopher

Damien Thomas



Greatest Epictetus Quotes

Here is a wonderful collection of quotes by the philosopher Epictetus. Born in Pamukkale in Turkey in 55 AD. Epictetus philosophy was that individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.

The main points of his philosophy were documented by his pupil and historian Arrian, who’s work led to the publishing of The Discourses of Epictetus – A major source of the present-day understanding of Stoic philosophy. Here are some of the Greatest Epictetus Quotes which perfectly sum up for me his philosophy of life.


Greatest Epictetus Quotes


1. No man is free who is not master of himself. – Epictetus


2. Only the educated are free. – Epictetus


3. The essence of philosophy is that a man should live so that his happiness depends as little as possible from external causes. – Epictetus


4. First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. – Epictetus


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


greatest epictetus quotes


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


7. Events do not just happen, but arrive by appointment. – Epictetus


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


9. Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words. – Epictetus


10 of 40 Epictetus Quotes

Do not tie a ship to a single anchor, nor life to a single hope. – Epictetus


11. In prosperity it is very easy to find a friend; but in adversity it is the most difficult of all things. Epictetus


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


13. A man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. – Epictetus


14. If you would be a reader, read; if a writer, write. – Epictetus


15. It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. – Epictetus


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


17. Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. – Epictetus


greatest epictetus quotes


18. Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it. – Epictetus


19. God gave man two ears, but only one mouth, that he might hear twice as much as he speaks. – Epictetus


20 of 40 Greatest Epictetus Quotes

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


21. You are not your body and hair-style, but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be. ― Epictetus


22. A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope. ― Epictetus


23. Although we can’t control which roles are assigned to us, it must be our business to act our given role as best we possibly can and to refrain from complaining about it.  ― Epictetus


24. Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you. ― Epictetus


25. Seek not the good in external things; seek it in yourselves. ― Epictetus


26. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. ― Epictetus


27. If you are in pain, you will find fortitude. If you hear unpleasant language, you will find patience. ― Epictetus


28. Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control. ― Epictetus


29. Small-minded people blame others. Average people blame themselves. The wise see all blame as foolishness. ― Epictetus


30 of 40 Famous Epictetus Quotes

No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage. ― Epictetus


31. Be careful whom you associate with. It is human to imitate the habits of those with whom we interact. We inadvertently adopt their interests, their opinions, their values, and their habit of interpreting events. ― Epictetus


32. 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


33. 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


34. Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems. ― Epictetus


35. Be careful whom you associate with. It is human to imitate the habits of those with whom we interact. We inadvertently adopt their interests, their opinions, their values, and their habit of interpreting events. ― Epictetus


36. Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it. ― Epictetus


37. When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. ― Epictetus


38. He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at. ― Epictetus


39. It is not death or pain that is to be feared, but the fear of pain or death. ― Epictetus


40. Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself. ― Epictetus


The above collection of Epictetus Quotes on stoicism and the power of our thoughts highlights the importance of how our perspective and attitude have in shaping our experiences and life.

These Epictetus quotes remind us to focus on what is within our control and to strive to live a virtuous and fulfilling life.

Whether you are facing challenges in life or you are simply seeking inspiration, the quotes by Epictetus offer timeless guidance and wisdom.


If you enjoyed this great collection of Epictetus Quotes, you should read:

25 Best Marcus Aurelius Quotes

30 Thought Provoking Philosophical Quotes

30 Aristotle Quotes On Love, Life and Education