Greek stoic philosopher. Born in Phrygia, lived in the centuries I - II, unless it can specify the date of his birth and his death. Disciple Musonio Rufo, was forced to leave Rome, to the year 1992, when Domitian decreed the expulsion of the philosophers. He/She then took refuge in Nicopolis (Epiro), where he/she had a school until his death. His teachings have been passed us by his disciple Flavio Arriano, who collected them in lectures or diatribes (eight books, four of which have come down to us), and selection thoughts, known as the Manual of Epictetus.
The doctrine of Epictetus joins the rigour of the cynical moral stoic theory of the divine "logos" that rules the world according to a rational plan. The central theme of Epictetus lies in the distinction that makes between what depends only on us, and that is our I, and what is outside us, which has the world. On one hand, the reason; of other things. This is the theme of the book of the dissertations. The Manual develops the concept of freedom which man acquires when by reason it manages to move beyond any deception, any complacency, any pain, any feeling and of life itself. Thus the value of the famous stoic formula "sustine et abstine" is understood ("supports with pain and refrain from apparent goods").
Elevated its moral tone he/she brought the legend of his secret conversion to Christianity. In fact, the Manual enjoyed great esteem among Christian mystics and ascetics.