The Discourse of Epictetus

“Since then we are bound to many things, we are depressed by them and dragged down.”

“For this reason, when the wind is not fit for sailing, we sit down and torment ourselves . . . what then? We must make the best use that we can of the things which are in our power, and use the rest according to their nature.”

“‘But I will put you in chains.’ Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg, but my will not even Zeus himself can overpower.”

“Why then do you tell me to make myself like the many? And if I do, how shall I still be purple?”

“Now, a bull is not made suddenly nor a brave man, but we must discipline ourselves in the winter for the summer campaign and not rashly run upon that which does not concern us.”

“Epictetus is not superior to Socrates, but if he is not inferior, this is enough for me.”

“But if with fear and trembling, you seek not to fall into that which you avoid, tell me how you are improving.”

“Never then, look for the matter itself in one place and progress towards it in another.”


Read The Discourse of Epictetus as recorded by Arrian.