Chapter 38

38.1 ἐν τῷ περιπατεῖν καθάπερ προσέχεις μὴ ἐπιβῇς ἥλῳ ἢ στρέψῃς τὸν πόδα, οὕτω πρόσεχε μὴ καὶ τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν βλάψῃς τὸ σεαυτοῦ. καὶ τοῦτο ἂν ἐφ' ἑκάστου ἔργου παραφυλάσσωμεν, ἀσφαλέστερον ἁψόμεθα ἑκάστου.

Preserve Your Ruling Principle in Every Action

Just as you watch your step while walking, preserve your ruling principle (reason) in every action.

προσέχεις: supply νοῦν: “pay attention,” “take care”

ἐπιβῇς ... στρέψῃς ... βλάψῃς: 2 sg. aor. act. subj. after a verb of caution (G. 610 and 611b; S. 2220)

τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν: the dominant part, the authoritative faculty of the soul, reason.

ἀσφαλέστερον: comparative adv. (G. 234; S. 345)

περιπατέω, to walk about

καθάπερ, (adv.) just as, as if

προσέχω, προσέξω, προσχήσω, to hold to, turn to; pay attention to, be intent on + dat.; beware + μή + subj.  

ἐπιβαίνω, ἐπιβήσομαι, ἐπέβην, to walk upon, step on + dat.

ἧλος, -ου, ὁ, nail

στρέφω, στρέψω, ἔστρεψα, to turn (toward), twist, strain

ἡγεμονικός, -ή, -όν, qualified to lead, capable of command; τὸ ἡγεμονικόν (philoph.) authoritative faculty, reason

βλάπτω, βλάψω, ἔβλαψα, to harm, disable

παραφυλάσσω, to guard carefully, safeguard

ἀσφαλής, -ές, steadfast, securely

ἅπτω, ἅψω, ἥψα, to grasp, obtain, engage in, undertake (+ gen)

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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-38