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Epictetus Quotes


Greek Stoic philosopher.
(c. 55 - c. 135 AD)

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A child understands fear and the hurt and hate it brings.
 

A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs...
 

A man that seeks truth and loves it must be reckoned precious to any human society.
 

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

A strict belief, fate is the worst kind of slavery; on the other hand there is comfort in the thought that God will be moved by our prayers.
 

All philosophy lies in two words: Sustain and Abstain
[Appetite]
 

All religions must be tolerated... for... every man must get to heaven in his own way.
 

Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.
 

As the touchstone which tries gold, but is not itself tried by gold, such is he who has the true standard of judgment.
[Judgment]
 

Ask not that events should happen as you will, but let your will be that events should happen as they do, and you shall have peace.
[Acceptance]
 

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.
 

Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power and should not be at all your concern.
[Duty]
 

Be not swept off your feet by the vividness of the impression, but say, 'Impression, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are and what you represent. Let me try you.'
 

Bear and forbear.
[Forgiveness]
 

Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.
 

Chastise your passions, that they may not chastise you. No one who is a lover of money, of pleasure, or of glory, is likewise a lover of mankind. Riches are not among the number of things that are good. It is not poverty that causes sorrow, but covetous desires. Deliver yourself from appetite, and you will be free. He who is discontented with things present and allotted, is unskilled in life.
[Passion]
 

Choose the life that is noblest, for custom can make it sweet to thee.
 

Common and vulgar people ascribe all ills that they feel to others; people of little wisdom ascribe to themselves; people of much wisdom, to no one.
 

Comport thyself in life as at a banquet. If a plate is offered thee, extend thy hand and take it moderately; if it is to be withdrawn, do not detain it. If it come not to thy side, make not thy desire loudly known, but wait patiently till it be offered thee.
[Manners]
 

Confident because of our caution
 


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