Chapter 25

25.1 εἰ προετιμήθη σού τις ἐν ἑστιάσει ἢ ἐν προσαγορεύσει ἢ ἐν τῷ παραληφθῆναι εἰς συμβουλίαν, εἰ μὲν ἀγαθὰ ταῦτά ἐστι, χαίρειν σε δεῖ ὅτι ἔτυχεν αὐτῶν ἐκεῖνος· εἰ δὲ κακά, μὴ ἄχθου ὅτι σὺ οὐκ ἔτυχες. μέμνησο δέ ὅτι οὐ δύνασαι μὴ ταὐτὰ ποιῶν πρὸς τὸ τυγχάνειν τῶν οὐκ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν τῶν ἴσων ἀξιοῦσθαι. 25.2 πῶς γὰρ ἴσον ἔχειν δύναται ὁ μὴ φοιτῶν ἐπὶ θύρας τινὸς τῷ φοιτῶντι, ὁ μὴ παραπέμπων τῷ παραπέμποντι, ὁ μὴ ἐπαινῶν τῷ ἐπαινοῦντι; ἄδικος οὖν ἔσῃ καὶ ἄπληστος, εἰ μὴ προϊέμενος ταῦτα ἀνθ᾽ ὧν ἐκεῖνα πιπράσκεται προῖκα αὐτὰ βουλήσῃ λαμβάνειν. 25.3 ἀλλὰ πόσου πιπράσκονται θρίδακες; ὀβολοῦ, ἂν οὕτω τύχῃ. ἂν οὖν τις προέμενος τὸν ὀβολὸν λάβῃ θρίδακας, σὺ δὲ μὴ προέμενος μὴ λάβῃς, μὴ οἴου ἔλαττον ἔχειν τοῦ λαβόντος. ὡς γὰρ ἐκεῖνος ἔχει θρίδακας, οὕτω σὺ τὸν ὀβολόν ὃν οὐκ ἔδωκας. 25.4 τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ ἐνταῦθα. οὐ παρεκλήθης ἐφ᾽ ἑστίασίν τινος; οὐ γὰρ ἔδωκας τῷ καλοῦντι ὅσου πωλεῖ τὸ δεῖπνον. ἐπαίνου δὲ αὐτὸ πωλεῖ, θεραπείας πωλεῖ. δὸς τὸ διάφορον, εἰ σοι λυσιτελεῖ, ὅσου πωλεῖται. εἰ δὲ κἀκεῖνα θέλεις μὴ προΐεσθαι καὶ ταῦτα λαμβάνειν, ἄπληστος εἶ καὶ ἀβέλτερος. οὐδὲν οὖν ἔχεις ἀντὶ τοῦ δείπνου; ἔχεις μὲν οὖν τὸ μὴ ἐπαινέσαι τοῦτον ὃν οὐκ ἤθελες, τὸ μὴ ἀνασχέσθαι αὐτοῦ τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς εἰσόδου.

At What Price Honor?

Epictetus examines how you feel when someone is honored instead of you, and raises the question of whether you are willing to pay the price for such honor.  

ε προετιμήθη: this initial condition is further subdivided into two possible scenarios: εἰ μὲν ἀγαθὰ ταῦτά ἐστι . . . εἰ δὲ κακά. Note the use of μὲν and δὲ to mark out these opposed possibilities.

προετιμήθη: > προτιμάω, 3 sg. aor. pass. ind.

σού: The gen. object results from the προ- prefix of προετιμήθη (S. 1384).

τῷ παραληφθῆναι: > παραλαμβάνω, art. infin. aor. pass., “in being invited to give advice”

ἔτυχεν: > τυγχάνω, aor. 3 sg. act. indic. Throughout the passage the verb means “to obtain” + gen.

ἄχθου: > ἄχθομαι, 2 sg. pres. mid. imper.

οὐ δύνασαι ... τῶν ἴσων ἀξιοῦσθαι: “you are not able to think yourself worthy of the same things,” i.e., “you cannot claim the same things (as those who are honored).”

μὴ ταὐτ ποιῶν: the participial phrase has conditional force: “if you do not do the same things.” Note the negative is μή, as would be expected in the protasis of a condition (G. 583; S. 2067 and S. 2728).

πρὸς τὸ τυγχάνειν τῶν οὐκ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν: “for the purpose of obtaining things not up to us,” i.e., externals like wealth and public office. For πρός indicating purpose, see LSJ πρός C.III.3.

25.2

φοιτῶν ἐπὶ θύρας: “going to the door,” a reference to one of the characteristic behaviors of Roman clients, arriving early at a patron’s house to pay respects. The participle uses μή here because it refers to a generic class of people (S. 2734).

τῷ φοιτῶντι: dative after ἴσον

παραπέμπων: “escorting,” a reference to another of the characteristic behaviors of Roman clients, accompanying the patron from his house to the forum to start the business day, and back again in the evening

ἔσῃ: > εἰμί, 2 sg. fut. mid. ind., in the apodosis in a so-called “emotional future condition”: the protasis (βουλήσῃ) uses εἰ + fut. indic. (instead of ἐάν + subj.) and expresses something undesired, or feared; the apodosis conveys a threat, a warning, or an earnest appeal to the feelings (S. 2328). Epcitetus is being vehement.

εἰ μὴ ... λαμβάνειν: re-order as follows: εἰ βουλήσῃ λαμβάνειν προῖκα αὐτὰ, μὴ προϊέμενος ἐκεῖνα ἀνθ᾽ ὧν ταῦτα πιπράσκεται. The participle προϊέμενος is concessive: “if you want to get for free those things (preferential treatment), despite not providing those things (attendance, services) in exchange for which these things (preferential treatment) are bought.” προϊέμενος: > προίημι, “to give in homage.” ἀνθ᾽ ὧν: genitive of price (G. 513; S. 133637)

25.3

πόσου ... ὀβολοῦ: gen. of price

ἂν οὕτω τύχῃ: “if it so happens,” “perhaps.” τύχῃ: > τυγχάνω, 3rd sg. aor. act. subj.

προέμενος: > προίημι, “paying,” aor. mid. ptc. (LSJ προίημι B.II.C)

οἴου: > οἴομαι, 2 sg. pres. dep. imper. (supply σέ)

τοῦ λαβόντος: gen. of comparison. The participle functions as a substantive.

σὺ τὸν ὀβολόν: supple ἔχεις

25.4

τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον: “in the same way,” adv. acc. (G. 540; S. 1608)

καί: “also”

ἐνταῦθα: “in the following circumstance”

παρεκλήθης: > παρακαλέω, 2 sg. aor. pass. ind.

ὅσου πωλεῖ τὸ δεῖπνον: “as much he sells the dinner for,” i.e., the price of the dinner. ὅσου is gen. of price

ἐπαίνου ... θεραπείας: gen. of price

δὸς: > δίδωμι, 2 sg. aor. act. imper.

κἀκεῖνα ... καὶ ταῦτα: “both those things (praising and attendance) ... and these things (the dinner).” κἀκεῖνα: = καί + ἐκεῖνα (S. 62).

25.5

τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς εἰσόδου: “those at the entrance,” “the doorkeepers.” The arrogance of rich men’s doorkeepers towards humble clients was proverbial.

προτιμάω, προτιμήσω, προετίμησα, to prefer in honor, honor one above another + gen.

ἑστιάσις, -εως, ἡ, feast, banquet

προσαγορεύσις, -εως, ἡ, greeting, address

παραλαμβάνω, παραλήψομαι, παρέλαβον, to receive, to invite

συμβουλία, -ας, ἡ, advice, counsel

ἀχθέω, ἀχθήσω, ἤχθεσα, to load; ἄχθομαι (mid.), to be upset

25.2

θύρα, -ας, ἡ, door

φοιτάω, φοιτάσω, ἐφοίτασα, to go to and fro, to visit, hang out

παραπέμπω, παραπέμψω, παρέπεμψα, to accompany

ἐπαινέω, ἐπαινέσω, ἐπῄνεσα, to praise

ἄπληστος, -ον, greedy, insatiable

προίημι, προήσω, προῆκα, to send forth, to give up; to give in homage

πιπράσκω, πράσω, ἔπρασα to sell, (pass.) to be sold

προῖκα, (adv.) for free, without price

25.3

πόσος, -η, -ον, how much

θρίδαξ, -ακος, ἡ, lettuce

ὀβολός, -οῦ, ὁ, an obol, a type of coin, 1/6 of a drachma

ἐλάττων, gen. -ονος, less, smaller

25.4

παρακαλέω, παρακαλέσω, παρεκάλεσα, to call in, summon, invite

πωλέω, πωλήσω, ἐπώλησα, to sell 

δεῖπνον, -οῦ, τό, meal, dinner

θεραπεία, -ας, ἡ, service, attendance

διάφορον, -ου, τό, difference, balance, price

λυσιτελέω, λυσιτελήσω, to profit, benefit

ἀβέλτερος, -ον, silly, stupid

25.5

ἀνέχω, ἀνέξω, ἀνέσχον, to endure, put up with + gen.

εἰσόδος, -οῦ, ἡ, entrance

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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-25