Chapter 16

16.1 ὅταν κλαίοντα ἴδῃς ἐν πένθει ἢ ἀποδημοῦντος τέκνου ἢ ἀπολωλεκότα τὰ ἑαυτοῦ, πρόσεχε μή σε ἡ φαντασία συναρπάσῃ ὡς ἐν κακοῖς ὄντος αὐτοῦ τοῖς ἐκτός, ἀλλ᾽ εὐθὺς ἔστω πρόχειρον ὅτι «τοῦτον θλίβει οὐ τὸ συμβεβηκός (ἄλλον γὰρ οὐ θλίβει), ἀλλὰ τὸ δόγμα τὸ περὶ τούτου.» μέχρι μέντοι λόγου μὴ ὄκνει συμπεριφέρεσθαι αὐτῷ, κἂν οὕτω τύχῃ, καὶ συνεπιστενάξαι· πρόσεχε μέντοι μὴ καὶ ἔσωθεν στενάξῃς.

    Do Not Weep Inwardly 

    Epictetus advises his students not to let their impressions carry them away in sympathizing with another’s apparent misfortunes. For a discussion of this passage, see Introduction, Philosophy of Epictetus.

    ὅταν κλαίοντα ἴδῃς: supply τινα.

    ἀποδημοῦντος τέκνου: gen. absolute (G. 589-90; S. 2070) with causal force: “because his child is away from home.”

    ἀπολωλεκότα: > ἀπόλλυμι, perf. act. part. acc. masc. sg.; after the genitive absolute in which the child was the subject, Epictetus shifts to the participle construction in the accusative agreeing with the implied τινα.

    τὰ ἑαυτοῦ: “his own things (property)”

    συναρπάσῃ: > συναρπάζω, 3 sg. aor. act. subj. in clause after a verb of caution (G. 610 and 611b; S. 22202221)

    ὄντος αὐτοῦ: gen. absolute to be taken together with ὠς; the phrase is in apposition to φαντασία: “the impression that.”

    ἔστω: > εἰμί, 3 sg. pres. act. imper. For the phrase ἔστω πρόχειρον, cf. Ch. 1.5.

    τὸ συμβεβηκός: > συμβαίνω, perf. act. part. nom. neut. sg., “what has happened”

    μέχρι μέντοι λόγου: “still ... a far as words (go).”

    ὄκνει: > ὀκνέω, “to shrink from or be reluctant to” + infin., 2 sg. pres. act. imper.

    κἂν οὕτω τύχῃ: “and, if it should transpire in this way,” i.e., “and perhaps.”

    στενάξῃς: > στενάζω, 2 sg. aor. act. subj. in a clause after a verb of caution.

    κλαίω, κλαύσομαι, ἔκλαυσα, to cry, weep 

    πένθος, -εος, τό, grief, sorrow

    ἀποδημέω, ἀποδημήσω, ἀπεδήμησα, to be away from home

    ἀπόλλυμι, ἀπόλεσω or ἀπολῶ, ἀπώλεσα, to lose

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

    φαντασία,-ας, ἡ, impression, appearance, perception

    συναρπάζω, -άσω, -συνήρπασα, to seize, carry away

    ἐκτός, (adv.) outside

    πρόχειρος, -ον, at hand, readily accessible

    θλίβω, θλίψω, ἔθλιψα, to afflict, oppress, distress

    συμβαίνω, συμβήσομαι, συνέβην, to happen, to occur, turn out

    δόγμα, -ατος, τό, opinion, belief, judgment, decision; philosophical principle

    ὀκνέω, ὀκνήσω, ὤκνησα, to shrink from, hesitate

    συμπεριφέρω, συμπεριοίσω, συμπερήνεγκα, to accommodate, go along with

    συνεπιστενάξω, συνεπιστενάσω, συνεπιεστέναξα, to groan, weep along with

    ἔσωθεν, (adv.) from within, inwardly

    στενάξω, στενάσω, ἐστέναξα, to groan, weep

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    Suggested Citation

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