Chapter 35

35.1 ὅταν τι διαγνοὺς ὅτι ποιητέον ἐστὶ ποιῇς, μηδέποτε φύγῃς ὀφθῆναι πράσσων αὐτό, κἂν ἀλλοῖόν τι οἱ πολλοὶ μέλλωσι περὶ αὐτοῦ ὑπολαμβάνειν. εἰ μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ὀρθῶς ποιεῖς, αὐτὸ τὸ ἔργον φεῦγε· εἰ δὲ ὀρθῶς, τί φοβῇ τοὺς ἐπιπλήξοντας οὐκ ὀρθῶς;

Openly Do What You Must Do

If there is something that you must do, do not fear being seen doing it, regardless of how others might view that action. Doing things in the open is characteristic of the Cynic ideal, on which see the Introduction. Cf. also ch. 47.

διαγνούς: > διαγιγνώσκω, aor. act. part. nom. masc. sg.

φύγῃς: > φεύγω, 2 sg. aor. act. subj., prohibitive subjunctive (G. 473; S. 1840b)

ὀφθῆναι: > ὁράω, aor. pass. infin.

ἀλλοῖον τι: “something different,” i.e., something bad (for this idiom, see Herodotus, Histories 5.40.1, Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 7.30.20)

μέλλωσι ... ὑπολαμβάνειν: “are bound to think” (LSJ ὑπολαμβάνω III.1)

οὐκ ὀρθῶς: μή is the usual negative used in the protasis of conditional clauses. Here we have an “adherescent οὐ” which goes so closely with the following word that the two express a single negative idea; compare οὔ φημι = “I deny,” or οὐ καλῶς = “badly” (S. 2691, 2694, and 2696).

εἰ δὲ ὀρθῶς: supply ποιεῖς.

φοβῇ: > φοβέομαι, 2 sg. pres. mid. ind.

τοὺς ἐπιπλήξοντας: fut. act. part. acc. masc. pl. used as a substantive: “those going to rebuke (you),” “those who will rebuke you”

διαγιγνώσκω, -γνώσομαι, -έγνων, to determine, recognize

ποιητέον, to be done, that must be done

μηδέποτε, never

ἀλλοῖος, -α, -ον, of another/different sort or kind, otherwise (than intended)

ὀρθῶς, (adv.) correctly, rightly

ἐπιπλήσσω, ἐπιπλήξω, ἐπέπληξα, to punish, rebuke, strike, condemn

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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-35