Chapter 41

41.1 Ἀφυίας σημεῖον τὸ ἐνδιατρίβειν τοῖς περὶ τὸ σῶμα, οἷον ἐπὶ πολὺ γυμνάζεσθαι, ἐπὶ πολὺ ἐσθίειν, ἐπὶ πολὺ πίνειν, ἐπὶ πολὺ ἀποπατεῖν, ὀχεύειν· ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἐν παρέργῳ ποιητέον, περὶ δὲ τὴν γνώμην ἡ πᾶσα ἔστω ἐπιστροφή.

Concentrate on Matters of the Mind, Not the Body

ἐπὶ πολὺ: “too much”

ὀχεύειν: “mount, cover,” a rather clinical term for sexual intercourse, normally used only of animals. In Diss. 1.6.14 Epictetus assigns the bodily traits listed here (e.g. eating, drinking, etc.) to animals; humans in addition possess understanding.

ἐν παρέργῳ: “on the side,” “in passing”

ἔστω: 3 sg. pres. act. imper.


ἀφυΐα, -ας, ἡ, lack of natural power or talent

ἐνδιατρίβω, ἐνδιατρίψω, ἐνεδιάτριψα, to spend time + dat.

ἐπὶ πολύ, too much

γυμνάζω, γυμνάσω, ἐγύμνασα, to train naked, exercise

ἐσθίω, ἔδομαι, ἔφαγον, to eat

ἀποπατέω, ἀποπήσομαι, ἀπεπησάμην, to go to the bathroom

ὀχεύω, ὀχεύσω, ὤχευσα, to have sex

πάρεργον, -ου, τό, subordinate business

ποιητέος, -α, -ον, (verb. adj.) to be made or done, that must be done

ἐπιστροφή, -ῆς, ἡ, a turning about, attention

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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-41