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.