Epictetus in Roman Biography
Ep-ic-te'tus, [Gf.'EOT/cT^ros-; Fr. Epictete, i'pekW; Ger.
Epiktet, a-pik-tat' ; It. Epitetto, 4-pe-tet'to,] a
celebrated Stoic philosopher, was born at Hierapolis, in
Phrygia, about 60 a.d. He was a freedman of Epaphroditus,
a favourite servant of Nero. He retired from Rome
to Nicopolis, in Epii us, in consequence of an edict by
which Doniitian banished the philosophers, in 89 A.D.
Few other events of his life are known. He acquired a
great reputation as a teacher of philosophy, which he made
subservient to practical morality. His fife was an example
of temperance, moderation, and other virtues. His
temper and principles were less austere, and more allied
to the spirit of the gospel, than those of the early Stoics.
He left no written works ; but his doctrines were recorded
by his disciple Arrian in eight books, four of which have
come down to us. No heathen philosopher taught a
higher or purer system of morality. "The maxim suffer and
abstain (from evil)," says Professor liiandis, "which
he followed throughout his life, was based with him on the
firm belief in a wise and benevolent government of
and in this respect he approaches the Christian
doctrine more than any of the earlier Stoics, though
there is not a trace in the Epietetea to show that he was
acquainted with Christianity." (Smith's "Dictionary of
Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.") His
"Enchiridion," or "Manual," has been translated into
English by Mrs. E. Carter.
See Ritter, "History of Philosophy;" Fabricius,
J. V. Bkver, " Ueber Epiktet imd sein Handbuch
der Stoischen Moral," 1705; (;. BoiUtAU, "Vie d'Epictete et
Philosophic 1655, and English version of the same, by I
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