Meet the Stoics



55–135 CE, born in Hierapolis, Turkey, died in Nicopolis, Greece. Stoic philosopher Epictetus was a slave owned by one of Nero’s secretaries and obtained his freedom after Nero’s death. According to Epictetus’s student, Arrian, Epictetus was a powerful orator. Arrian recorded (on paper), transcribed, and compiled his discourses; no writings by Epictetus himself have ever been discovered. Epictetus distinguished between things in our power (prohairetic) and things not in our power (aprohairetic).

That alone is in our power, which is our own work; and in this class are our opinions, impulses, desires, and aversions. What, on the contrary, is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions, glory, and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors, misfortunes, and troubles, and to the slavery of the soul.



4 BCE – 65 CE, born in Córdoba, Spain, died in Rome. Stoic philosopher, Roman statesman and dramatist. Expressed his disdain for comb-overs, the first century CE’s version of air-guitar, pointless enthusiasm for useless knowledge, and people who maintain giant collections of books to make themselves look smart. He hated pretensions. He believed that solitude and being part of a group of people should be mingled and varied; solitude being the cure for our dislike of a crowd and being with a crowd a cure for boredom. Perhaps the World's Most Interesting (Stoic) Man.

All the greatest blessings create anxiety.


marcus aurelius

121—180 CE, born in Rome, died in either Vindobona or Sirmium, two Roman provinces. The last of the so-called Five Good Emperors of Rome. Marc-A was a Stoic practitioner heavily influenced by Epictetus, and even though he borrowed extensively from his Stoic predecessor, his work known as Meditations is considered a significant source of our modern understanding of Stoic philosophy.

Today I escaped anxiety, Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside.