Epictetus was an eminent Stoic philosopher, born as a slave at Hieropolis in Phyrgia in 55 CE. The names of his parents are unknown; neither do we know how he was brought to Rome. But in Rome he was for some time a slave to Epaphroditus, a freedman of Nero, who had been one of his body-guards. Origen relates an anecdote about Epictetus which, if true, illustrates the fortitude of Epictetus, and also that Epaphroditus was a most cruel master. Epictetus, when his master was twisting his leg one day, smiled and quietly said, "You will break it"; and when he did break it, only observed, "Did I not tell you that you would do so?" It is not known how or when Epictetus managed to gain his freedom, but he could not have been still a slave when he left Rome because of an edict against philosophers at that time. This event, the only one in his life the date of which can be assigned, is said to have taken place in 89 CE., in the eighth year of Domitian's reign. Epictetus then retired to Nicopolis in Epirus, and it is a question whether he ever returned to Rome. The chief ground for believing that he did is a statement of Spartianus (Hadr.16), that Epictetus lived on terms of intimacy with the emperor Hadrian. It is true that his discourses contain frequent references to Nicopolis, and no internal evidence that they were delivered in Rome. However, this is not sufficient to overthrow the testimony of Spartianus. It is not known when he died. Suidas says that he lived till the reign of Marcus Aurelius, yet the authority or Aulus Gellius is strong on the other side. He, writing during the reign of the first Antonine, speaks of Epictetus, in two places, as being dead (Noct. Att. ii. 8; xvii. 19).