Chapter 26

26.1 τὸ βούλημα τῆς φύσεως καταμαθεῖν ἔστιν ἐξ ὧν οὐ διαφερόμεθα πρὸς ἀλλήλους. οἷον ὅταν ἄλλου παιδάριον κατάξῃ ποτήριον, πρόχειρον εὐθὺς ὅτι «τῶν γινομένων ἐστίν.» ἴσθι οὖν ὅτι, ὅταν καὶ τὸ σὸν καταγῇ, τοιοῦτον εἶναί σε δεῖ, ὁποῖον ὅτε καὶ τὸ ἄλλου κατεάγη. οὕτω μετατίθει καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ μείζονα. τέκνον ἄλλου τέθνηκεν ἢ γυνή; οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς οὐκ ἂν εἴποι ὅτι «ἀνθρώπινον.» ἀλλ' ὅταν τὸ αὐτοῦ τινος ἀποθάνῃ, εὐθὺς «οἴμοι» καὶ «τάλας ἐγώ.» ἐχρῆν δὲ μεμνῆσθαι τί πάσχομεν περὶ ἄλλων αὐτὸ ἀκούσαντες.

    The Will of Nature

    We should realize, as we tell others, that the supposed misfortunes are part of the course of nature.

    ἔστιν: “it is possible“

    οἷον: “for example”

    κατάξῃ: > κατάγνυμι, 3 sg. aor. act. subj.

    πρόχειρον εὐθὺς: understand λέγειν: “it is immediately available (to say),” “we all immediately say”

    τῶν γινομένων ἐστίν: “it is (one) of the things which happen,” “such things happen”

    ἴσθι: > οἶδα, 2 sg. perf. act. imper.

    τὸ σὸν: supply ποτήριον.

    καταγῇ: > κατάγνυμι, 3 sg. aor. pass. subj.

    κατεάγη: > κατάγνυμι, 3 sg. aor. pass. ind.

    μετατίθει: > μετατίθημι, 3 sg. pres. act. imper. The καί following μετατίθει = “also.”

    μείζονα: comparative adj. > μέγας, acc. neut. pl., used substantively

    τέθνηκεν: > θνῄσκω, 3 sg. perf. act. ind.

    εἴποι: > λέγω, 3 sg. aor. act. potential opt. (G. 480; S. 1824)

    ἀνθρώπινον: supply ἐστί.

    τὸ: the article is neut. because it refers back to τέκνον

    ἀποθάνῃ: > ἀποθνῄσκω, 3 sg. aor. act. subj. in a temporal clause, equivalent to a pres. general condition.

    ἐχρῆν: > χρή, 3sg. impf. act. ind. The imperfect of verbs of obligation may refer to present time and imply that the obligation or duty is not fulfilled (G. 460; S. 1905).

    ἀκούσαντες: the participle is temporal, “when we hear.”

    βούλημα, -ατος, τό, will, purpose

    καταμανθάνω, -μαθήσομαι, -έμαθον, to learn

    παιδάριον, -ου, τό, child

    ποτήριον, -ου, τό, drinking cup

    κατάγνυμι, κατάξω, κατέαξα, to break

    πρόχειρος, -ον, at hand, readily accessible

    ὁποῖος, -α, -ον, of such a kind

    μετατίθημι, μεταθήσω, μετέθηκα, to transfer

    ἀνθρώπινος, -η, -ον, human, suited for a human.

    οἴμοι, woe is me!

    τάλας, τάλαινα, τάλαν, sorry, wretched

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    Suggested Citation

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