A Roman Stoic Philosopher Epictetus, born in Hierapolis, Phrygia, in the 1st century of our era, died in the first half of the 2d century. In his youth ho was a slave of Epaphroditus, one of the guards of Nero. Epaphroditus having struck him heavily on the leg, he said to him, "You will break my leg." The prediction was speedily fulfilled, when the philosophic slave said again calmly, "Did not I tell you you would break it?" This extreme insensibility to pain was a fundamental principle in the philosophy of Epictetus. He became a freedman, though neither the cause nor the time of his emancipation is known. He was involved in the proscription by which Domitian banished all philosophers from Rome, and retired to Nicopolis in Epirus, where he opened a school of Stoic philosophy, and held those conversations which have been preserved in the "Manual" and "Philosophical Lectures" compiled from his discourses by his pupil Arrian. Like the other Stoic philosophers, he taught by his example. He esteemed philosophy to be neither profound speculation nor eloquent discourse, but the love and practice of virtue.
His teachings are summed up in the formula, "Bear and forbear." Recognizing only will and reason, his highest conception of life was to be passionless under whatever circumstances. " Man," he said, " is but a pilot; observe the star, hold the rudder, and be not distracted on thy way." Epictetus himself is supposed to have committed nothing to writing. The best edition of all the remaining works of Arrian is that of Schweighauser, in the collection entitled Epicteteoe Philosophioe Monumenta (5 vols. 8vo, Leipsic, 1799-1800). They were translated into English by Elizabeth Carter (London, 1758). A new translation by T. W. Higginson, with a sketch of Epictetus, appeared in Boston in 18C5.