Chapter 11

11.1 μηδέποτε ἐπὶ μηδενὸς εἴπῃς ὅτι «ἀπώλεσα αὐτό», ἀλλ' ὅτι «ἀπέδωκα.» τὸ παιδίον ἀπέθανεν; ἀπεδόθη. ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν; ἀπεδόθη. τὸ χωρίον ἀφῃρέθη. οὐκοῦν καὶ τοῦτο ἀπεδόθη. «ἀλλὰ κακὸς ὁ ἀφελόμενος.» τί δὲ σοὶ μέλει, διὰ τίνος σε ὁ δοὺς ἀπῄτησε; μέχρι δ' ἂν διδῶται, ὡς ἀλλοτρίων αὐτῶν ἐπιμελοῦ, ὡς τοῦ πανδοκείου οἱ παριόντες.

    I Have Given It Back

    As your volition is the only thing that truly belongs to you, all else outside your control is not part of your possessions. The Stoics believed that the Stoic god has distributed these externals to you for temporary safekeeping, as when travelers are loaned the contents of their room at an inn. For the image of the inn, see Diss. 1.24.14 and 2.23.36 ff. When you think that you have lost something, the Stoics regarded this as the Stoic god asking back what he has given. In Diss. 4.10.16, Epictetus says that you should thank the Stoic god for the time that has been given to you for safekeeping. You must take care and cherish whom or what has been entrusted to you.

    εἴπῃς: > λέγω, 2 sg. aor. act. subj. in a prohibition (G. 473; S. 1840). This is the reason for the use of forms of μή in the clause: μηδέποτε ἐπὶ μηδενὸς.

    ἀπώλεσα: > ἀπόλλυμι, 1 sg. aor. act. ind. “I lost.”

    ἀπεδόθη: > ἀποδίδωμι, 3 sg. aor. pass. ind.

    ἀφῃρέθη: > ἀφαιρέω, 3 sg. aor. pass. ind.

    οὐκοῦν καί: καί = “also,” “as well.”

    ὁ ἀφελόμενος: > ἀφαιρέω, aor. mid. part. nom. masc. sg. The article makes the participle into a substantive: “the one taking (it) away” = “the thief,” “the robber.” Cf. ὁ δούς and οἱ παρίοντες below.           

    τί ... μέλει: “what concern is it to you?” “what do you care?”

    ὁ δούς: > δίδωμι, aor. act. part. nom. masc. sg.; this refers to the Stoic god.

    διδῶται: 3 sg. pres. pass. subj. in a μέχρι clause + subj + ἄν; μέχρι = “as long as” (G. 631).

    ἐπιμελοῦ: > ἐπιμελέομαι, 2 sg. pres. mid. imper., “take care of it”

    ο παρίοντες: > παρεῖμι, “those passing by,” “travelers”

    μηδέποτε, never

    παιδίον, -ου, τό, a young child

    χωρίον, -ου, τό, landed property, estate

    μέλω, μελήσω, ἐμέλησα, to be an object of care

    ἀπαιτέω, -ήσω, ἀπήτησα, to demand back something (acc.) from someone (acc.)

    ἀλλότριος, -α, -ον, not one's own, under the control of others

    ἐπιμέλομαι, ἐπιμελήσομαι, το take care of, have charge of (+ gen.)

    πανδοκεῖον, -ου, τό, inn, hotel

    article Nav

    Suggested Citation

    Albert Watanabe, Epictetus: Encheiridion. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2020. ISBN: 978-1-947822-13-9.