Chapter 22

22.1 εἰ φιλοσοφίας ἐπιθυμεῖς, παρασκευάζου αὐτόθεν ὡς καταγελασθησόμενος, ὡς καταμωκησομένων σου πολλῶν, ὡς ἐρούντων ὅτι «ἄφνω φιλόσοφος ἡμῖν ἐπανελήλυθε» καὶ «πόθεν ἡμῖν αὕτη ἡ ὀφρύς;» σὺ δὲ ὀφρὺν μὲν μὴ ἔχε, τῶν δὲ βελτίστων σοι φαινομένων οὕτως ἔχου, ὡς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ τεταγμένος εἰς ταύτην τὴν χώραν. μέμνησο δὲ ὅτι, ἐὰν μὲν ἐμμείνῃς τοῖς αὐτοῖς, οἱ καταγελῶντές σου τὸ πρότερον οὗτοί σε ὕστερον θαυμάσονται· ἐὰν δὲ ἡττηθῇς αὐτῶν, διπλοῦν προσλήψῃ καταγέλωτα.

The Ridicule of Philosophers

Epictetus prepares his students for the ridicule they will encounter as philosophers from the ordinary man in the street. He advises students to adhere to their philosophical principles, as eventually the ridicule will turn to admiration.

παρασκευάζου: > παρασκευάζω, “be prepared (for the possibility) that,” 2 sg. pres. mid. imper. followed by ὡς and the future participles καταγελασθησόμενος ... καταμωκησομένων ... ἐρούντων (LSJ παρασκευάζω II.2)

καταγελασθησόμενος: > καταγελάω, “(you) will be ridiculed,” fut. pass. part. nom. masc. sg.

ἐρούντων: ἐρῶ commonly serves as the future of λέγω in Attic.

ἐπανελήλυθε: > ἐπανέρχομαι, 3 sg. perf. act. ind.  

πόθεν ἡμῖν αὕτη ἡ ὀφρύς: ὀφρύς literally means “eyebrow,” but is extended to mean “a haughty attitude.” “Where did he get that haughty attitude?” ἡμῖν is dative of person affected (G. 523)

τῶν … φαινομένων: “the things (principles) which seem best to you,” genitive object of ἔχου > ἔχω

ἔχου: > ἔχω, 2nd sg. pres. mid. imper.; in the middle voice, “keep to,” “adhere to” + gen.

ὡς ... τεταγμένος: “as if assigned,” > τάσσω, perf. mid. part. nom. masc. sg. (LSJ ὡς C.I)

τοῖς αὐτοῖς: the pronoun refers back to τῶν βελτίστων σοι φαινομένων.

ἡττηθῇς αὐτῶν: “yield to them”; aor. pass. subj. > ἡττάομαι, which normally take a genitive when it means “give way to”  (LSJ ἡσσάομαι I.A.4).

προσλήψῃ: > προσλαμβάνω, “you will receive,” 2nd sg. fut. mid. ind.

φιλοσοφία, -ας, ἡ, philosophy

ἐπιθυμέω, ἐπιθυμήσω, ἐπεθύμησα (+ gen.), to desire, long for

παρασκευάζω, -άσω, παρησκεύασα, to prepare; (mid. + ὡς + future participle), get ready to

αὐτόθεν, adv. from here, from this point on

καταγελάω, καταγελάσομαι, κατηγέλασα, to laugh, mock, jeer at + gen.

καταμωκάομαι, καταμωκάσομαι, κατημώκασα, to mock at  + gen.

ἄφνω, (adv.) all of a sudden

φιλόσοφος, -ου, ὁ, philosopher

ἐπανέρχομαι, to come back

πόθεν, from where, whence; how, why

ὀφρύς, -ύος, ἡ, brow (a sign of pride); cf. our “high brow.”

βέλτιστος, -η, -ον, best, most excellent

διότι, since, because, that

ἐμμένω, -μενῶ, ἤμμεινα, to abide by

ἡττάομαι, ἡττήσομαι, ἡττήθην, to overcome,  to be defeated by + gen.

διπλόος (διπλοῦς contracted), -η, -ον, double, twofold

προσλαμβάνω, προσλήψομαι, προσέλαβον, to take, receive in addition

κατάγελως, -ωτος, ὁ, ridicule

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Suggested Citation

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