The great Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, was born in 55 AD in modem day Turkey. In Greek, the word Epictetus means “Acquired” or “Gained.” In fact, he came to Rome as a slave of the rich and powerful freedman Epaphroditus who himself once had been a slave of Emperor Nero. Celsus, who was a younger contemporary of Epictetus, narrated an account that once Epaphroditus tortured Epictetus and twisted his leg. He endured the pain with his characteristic patience and tolerance while warning his master that his leg would break. And when it broke, Epictetus said,
“Did I not tell you that it would break?”

From here onwards, Epictetus was lame. I am so much inspired by his patience and composure that I would call Epictetus, the Prophet of Endurance. Here, I would emphasize that it was not an episode of passive endurance. We shall go deeper into this phenomenon later in the animated video by undertaking the case study of James Stockdale’s historic cavalry and endurance. I shall make use of the limited resources available in the form of references in ancient texts along with the information available in Epictetus’ book Discourses to make a sketch of his life.

His master gave Epictetus permission to study philosophy from the Stoic Musonius Rufus who became his teacher and mentor. Epictetus gained freedom shortly after the death of Emperor Nero. That’s how Epictetus started teaching Stoicism in Rome. He taught philosophy there for about 25 years. Epictetus fled to Nicopolis in Greece where he opened his own school. Flavius Arrian was Epictetus’ student who later composed the Discourses and the Handbook (Enchiridion). Watch the animated video to know more.

💡 “Courage Under Fire” by James Stockdale:


4:47 #1 Be Proactive
6:52 #2 Respect the Process and Timing
8:22 #3 Focus on what is in your control
10:20 #4 The Three Topoi
13:00 #5 Choose your friends very carefully
13:31 Admiral James Stockdale’ heroic cavalry (A Case Study)
1) “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius:
2) “Discourses and Selected Writings” by Epictetus:
3) “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca:
4) “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca:
5) “What is Ancient Philosophy?” by Pierre Hadot:
6) “The Inner Citadel” by Pierre Hadot:
7) “Philosophy as a Way of Life” by Pierre Hadot:
8) “Ego is The Enemy” by Ryan Holiday:
9) “The Obstacle is The Way:” by Ryan Holiday:
10) “Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday:
11) “How to Be Stoic” by Massimo Pigliucci:
12) “Courage Under Fire” by James Stockdale:
13) “Stoicism and the Art of Happiness” by Donald Robertson:
14) “How to Think like a Roman Emperor” by Donald Robertson:
15) “The Enchiridion” by Epictetus:

Stoic Indifference:
Stoic Morning Routine:
3 Stoic Rules:
9 Stoic Rules of Life:
Book Review of Meditation:
9 Stoic lessons of Marcus Aurelius:
Epictetus & Discourses:
Enchiridion of Epictetus:
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