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If a man would pursue Philosophy , his first task is to throw away conceit .
Epictetus ( Ancient Greek : Ἐπίκτητος ; AD 55–135) was a Greek sage and Stoic philosopher . He was born a slave at Hierapolis , Phrygia (present day Pamukkale , Turkey ), and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses . Philosophy, Epictetus taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate , and are thus beyond our control; we should accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.