Stoicism, Epictetus Style

[Part of an occasional series of free books based on previously published essays by yours truly. You can find all other free downloads here.]

Epictetus was a first century slave, born in Hierapolis, modern day Pamukkale (Turkey). He eventually became one of the most successful teachers of the Roman Empire, as well as a Stoic philosopher we still read and learn from today, almost two millennia later. This is a collection of essays on various aspects of Epictetus’s philosophy that I think are both of general theoretical interest and have very practical implications. We’ll discuss how to be a Stoic, Epictetus-style; the famous “dichotomy of control,” which Epictetus labeled “the fundamental rule of life”; the three disciplines in which we need to train ourselves to become better human beings; the notion of “role ethics;” Epictetus’s conception of freedom; his attitude toward suicide; and his criticism of other schools, such as the Epicureans and the Academics. (download E-pub here)

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Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at and He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.

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