Chapter 18

18.1 κόραξ ὅταν μὴ αἴσιον κεκράγῃ, μὴ συναρπαζέτω σε ἡ φαντασία, ἀλλ᾽ εὐθὺς διαίρει παρὰ σεαυτῷ καὶ λέγε «τούτων οὐδὲν ἐμοὶ σημαίνεται, ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τῷ σωματίῳ μου ἢ τῷ κτησειδίῳ μου ἢ τῷ δοξαρίῳ μου ἢ τοῖς τέκνοις ἢ τῇ γυναικί. ἐμοὶ δὲ πάντα αἴσια σημαίνεται, ἐὰν ἐγὼ θέλω· ὅτι γὰρ ἂν τούτων ἀποβαίνῃ, ἐπ᾽ ἐμοί ἐστιν ὠφεληθῆναι ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ.»

    All Portents Are Favorable

    Some believed that evil portents, such as a crow croaking, were signs of future misfortune to themselves (an example of the widespread ancient religious practive of augury). Epictetus maintains that these portents are relevant only to things which are outside our control.

    κεκράγῃ: > κράζω, 3 sg. perf. act. subj.

    συναρπαζέτω: > συναρπάζω, 3 sg. pres. act. imper.

    διαίρει: > διαιρέω, 2 sg pres. act. imper. (contracted)

    ἐμοὶ δὲ πάντα αἴσια σημαίνεται: “for me all signs are auspicious (favorable).”

    θέλω: > ἐθέλω, 1 sg pres. act. subj. in present general condition (G. 650; S. 2295.1)

    ἀποβαίνῃ: > ἀποβαίνω, 3 sg. aor. act. subj. in an indefinite relative clause referring to the future (G. 616; S. 2545c): “whichever of these things happens”

    ἐπ᾽ ἐμοί: “in my control”

    ὠφεληθῆναι: > ὠφελέω, aor. pass. infin. serving as subject of ἐστι.

    κόραξ, -ακος, ὁ, raven 

    αἴσιος,-α, -ον, auspicious 

    κράζω, κεκράξομαι, ἔκραξα, to croak 

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

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

    διαιρέω, διαρήσω, διεῖλον, to divide, distinguish, make a distinction

    σημαίνω, σημανῶ, ἐσήμηνα, to show by a sign, indicate, mean

    σωματίον,-ου, τό, little body 

    κτησείδιoν, -ου, τό, little possession

    δοξάριον, -ου, τό, (diminutive) opinion, reputation

    ἀποβαίνω, ἀποβήσομαι, ἀπέβην, to turn out

    ὠφελέω, ὠφελήσω, ὠφέλησα, to help, benefit

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    Suggested Citation

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