Chapter 13

13.1 Εἰ προκόψαι θέλεις, ὑπόμεινον ἕνεκα τῶν ἐκτὸς ἄνους δόξαι καὶ ἠλίθιος. μηδὲν βούλου δοκεῖν ἐπίστασθαι· κἂν δόξῃς τις εἶναί τισιν, ἀπίστει σεαυτῷ. ἴσθι γὰρ ὅτι οὐ ῥᾴδιον καὶ τὴν προαίρεσιν τὴν σεαυτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν ἔχουσαν φυλάξαι καὶ τὰ ἐκτός· ἀλλ’ ἀνάγκη τοῦ ἑτέρου ἐπιμελούμενον τοῦ ἑτέρου ἀμελῆσαι.

Do Not Wish to Be Somebody Important

Epictetus explains that people should not be concerned about their reputation (δόξα). The way people are perceived is not in their control.

ὑπόμεινον ... δόξαι: “be content to seem,” “steel yourself to being seen as” δόξαι > δοκέω, aor. act. infin.

ἕνεκα τῶν ἐκτός: “when it comes to external matters”

βούλου: > βούλομαι, 2 sg. aor. imper.

τις εἶναί τισιν: “to be somebody (important) to some people”

ἀπίστει: > ἀπιστέω, 2 sg. pres. act. imper.

ἴσθι: > οἶδα, 2 sg. perf. act. imper.

καὶ ... καί: “both . . . and”

ἀνάγκη: supply ἐστί σε: “it is necessary (for you),” “you must” + infin.

ἑτέρου ... ἑτέρου: “the one (your volition) . . . the other (external matters)”

προκόπτω, προκόψω, προέκοψα, to advance; in Stoic terminology: to progress morally and philosophically

ὑπομένω, ὑπομενῶ, ὑπέμεινα, to be content to

ἐκτός, (adv.) external

ἄνους, -ον, silly, unintelligent

ἠλίθιος, -α, -ον, foolish

ἐπίσταμαι, ἐπιστήσομαι, ἠπιστήθην, to know

ἀπιστέω, ἀπιστήσω, ἠπίστησα, to disbelieve, distrust + dat.

προαίρεσις, -εως, ἡ, the volition, will

ἐπιμέλομαι, ἐπιμελήσομαι, το take care of, have charge of (+ gen.)

ἀμελέω, ἀμελήσω, ἠμέλησα, to have no care for, be neglectful of

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Suggested Citation

Albert Watanabe, Epictetus: Encheiridion. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-947822-13-9.
http://dcc.dickinson.edu/epictetus-encheiridion/chapter-13