Chapter 39

39.1 Μέτρον κτήσεως τὸ σῶμα ἑκάστῳ, ὡς ὁ ποὺς ὑποδήματος. ἐὰν μὲν ἐπὶ τούτου στῇς, φυλάξεις τὸ μέτρον· ἐὰν δὲ ὑπερβῇς, ὡς κατὰ κρημνοῦ λοιπὸν ἀνάγκη φέρεσθαι· καθάπερ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὑποδήματος, ἐὰν ὑπὲρ τὸν πόδα ὑπερβῇς, γίνεται κατάχρυσον ὑπόδημα, εἶτα πορφυροῦν, εἶτα κεντητόν· τοῦ γὰρ ἅπαξ ὑπὲρ τὸ μέτρον ὅρος οὐδείς ἐστιν.

Moderation in Material Possessions

If you go beyond the appropriate needs of the body you will not be able to stop accumulating.

μέτρον κτήσεως: “the measure of possessing,” i.e., “the appropriate size of one’s possessions.” Supply ἐστί.

ὡς ὁ ποὺς: supply μέτρον ἐστί.

ἐὰν ... στῇς: “if you stand upon this,” i.e., “if you abide by this principle”

ὡς: “as it were”

λοιπόν: supply χρόνον, “for the remaining time,” i.e., “in the end,” “inevitably”

ἐπὶ τοῦ ὑποδήματος: “when it comes to one’s shoes,” (LSJ ἐπί A.I.2.f, + gen. with verbs of perceiving, observing, judging, etc. = “in the case of”)

τοῦ … τὸ μέτρον: genitive after ὅρος, “of (the thing) once beyond appropriate limit,” i.e., “once you go beyond the appropriate limit.”

μέτρον, -ου, τό, a measure, moderation

κτῆσις, -εως, ἡ, possession, property

ὑπόδημα, -ατος, τό, a sandal, shoe

ὑπερβαίνω, ὑπερβήσομαι, ὑπερέβην, to go beyond, overstep, transgress

κρημνός, -οῦ, ὁ, cliff

καθάπερ, (adv.) just as, as if

κατάχρυσος, -ον, gilded

πορφύρεος, -η, -ον, dark red, purple or crimson

κεντητός, -ή, -όν, embroidered

ἅπαξ, (adv.) once

ὅρος,-ου, ὁ, limit

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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-39