Chapter 40

40.1 Αἱ γυναῖκες εὐθὺς ἀπὸ τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἐτῶν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνδρῶν κυρίαι καλοῦνται. τοιγαροῦν ὁρῶσαι ὅτι ἄλλο μὲν οὐδὲν αὐταῖς πρόσεστι, μόνον δὲ συγκοιμῶνται τοῖς ἀνδράσι, ἄρχονται καλλωπίζεσθαι καὶ ἐν τούτῳ πάσας ἔχειν τὰς ἐλπίδας. προσέχειν οὖν ἄξιον ἵνα αἴσθωνται ὅτι ἐπ' οὐδενὶ ἄλλῳ τιμῶνται ἢ τῷ κόσμιαι φαίνεσθαι καὶ αἰδήμονες.

On Women

Women should focus on their ethical behavior, rather than their external appearance and pleasing men.

ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνδρῶν: gen. of agent (S. 1491 and 1698.1.b)

ἄλλο ... πρόσεστι: “nothing else belongs to them,” “nothing else is available to them”

προσέχειν οὖν ἄξιον ἵνα αἴσθωνται: supply ἐστίν: “therefore it is important to make sure that they (women) understand.” ἵνα αἴσθωνται: > αἰσθάνομαι, 3 pl. aor. pass. subj. in a clause after a verb of caution or fearing introduced by ἵνα. See The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, s.v. ἵνα II.1.β.

ὅτι ἐπ' οὐδενὶ ἄλλῳ τιμῶνται ἢ τῷ κόσμιαι φαίνεσθαι καὶ αἰδήμονες: “that they are honored only for their good behavior and decency” (Smith 2014), and not for physical beauty. Compare the discussion in ch. 24, where the values of πιστὸς καὶ αἰδήμων are emphasized for men. There, αἰδήμων has the sense of “self-respect”; here the term also includes the idea of “modesty.” Stoics argued that virtue is the same for men and women and urged the full philosophical education of women, though they stopped short of calling for female civic participation (Engel 2003).

τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα, fourteen (indeclinable)

κυρία, -ας, ἡ, lady, mistress

τοιγαροῦν, therefore

πρόσειμι, to be at hand, to belong

συγκοιμάομαι, συγκοιμήσομαι, συγκοιμησάμην, to sleep with, lie with another

καλλωπίζω, καλλωπίσω, ἐκαλλώπισα, to make the face beautiful, to beautify

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

κόσμιος, -α, -ον, well-ordered, moderate, well-behaved

αἰδήμων, -ον (gen. –ονος), modest, self-respecting

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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-40