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Home | Writings | Classics | Epictetus | Index

Below are our featured book excerpts.  Please feel free to browse:

Selections from The Enchiridion:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three


Epictetus, who lived from around 55 A.D. until 135 A.D., was a Roman slave who emerged as a respected member of the spiritually-themed Stoic school of philosophy (see SpiritSite.com's Marcus Aurelius page as well).  

Epictetus wrote extensively on the nature of thought and the process of interpretation.  He was quick to point out that we never respond directly to an event, but only to our opinions about that event.  

"If Socrates didn't fear death," he said by way of example, "then death itself must not be inherently frightening."  Epictetus postulated that it was our interpretations of events, rather than the events themselves, that affected us.

One of the most famous of Epictetus's surviving works is the Enchiridion (review or buy), or handbook.  The ideas in the Enchiridion are written as if to a young student or philosopher-in-training.

After being released from slavery, Epictetus settled in Rome and taught philosophy for several years.

(Please note: the book selection, linked above, is the original text, not the SpiritSite.com adaptation.)