Epictetus, 55 - 135

portrait of Epictetus
Frontispiece for Edward Ivie's translation of (1715)
2017

His original name is unknown, as a youth he was a slave of Epaphroditus, a wealthy freedman under Nero, and his name simpley means "acquired". While still a slave he studied Stoic philosophy under Musonius Rufus. He was emancipated and taught philosophy at Rome until the emperor Domitian banished all philosophers from Rome in 93, then extended the ban to all of Italy. Epictetus went to Nicopolis in Greece and founded a school. No writing of his own survives, but his student Arrian recorded The Discourses, asserting that this work was based on notes from the lectures of Epictetus. He was a powerful speaker and his conversation was widely sought, the emperor Hadrian was a friend.

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