Chapter 34

34.1 ὅταν ἡδονῆς τινος φαντασίαν λάβῃς, καθάπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων, φύλασσε σεαυτόν μὴ συναρπασθῇς ὑπ' αὐτῆς, ἀλλ' ἐκδεξάσθω σε τὸ πρᾶγμα καὶ ἀναβολήν τινα παρὰ σεαυτοῦ λάβε. ἔπειτα μνήσθητι ἀμφοτέρων τῶν χρόνων, καθ' ὅν τε ἀπολαύσεις τῆς ἡδονῆς, καὶ καθ' ὃν ἀπολαύσας ὕστερον μετανοήσεις καὶ αὐτὸς σεαυτῷ λοιδορήσῃ· καὶ τούτοις ἀντίθες ὅπως ἀποσχόμενος χαιρήσεις καὶ ἐπαινέσεις αὐτὸς σεαυτόν. ἂν δέ εὔκαιρον φανῇ ἅψασθαι τοῦ ἔργου, πρόσεχε μὴ ἡττήσῃ σε τὸ προσηνὲς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀγωγόν, ἀλλ' ἀντιτίθει πόσῳ ἄμεινον τὸ συνειδέναι σεαυτῷ ταύτην τὴν νίκην νενικηκότι.

    Let the Impression Wait

    Once again Epictetus argues that you should be on your guard against pleasurable impressions. He asks you to consider both the time when you enjoy the pleasure and the time when you regret your action after you have enjoyed the pleasure. The latter viewpoint will cause you to evaluate the pleasurable impression correctly.

    συναρπασθῇς: 2 sg. aor. pass. subj. after a verb of caution + μή (G. 610 and 611b; S. 2220.b)

    ἐκδεξάσθω: 3 sg. aor. mid. imper.; “let the matter wait for you.” Cf. Diss. 2.18.24–25, where Epictetus asks the impression to wait until he can figure out what the nature of the impression is. On testing impressions, see the end of ch. 1.

    μνήσθητι: > μιμνήσκω + gen., 2 sg. aor. pass. imper.

    λοιδορήσῃ: 2 sg. fut. mid. ind.

    ἀντίθες: ἀντιτίθημι, 2 sg. aor. act. imper.  

    ἡττήσῃ: 3rd sg. aor. act. subj. after a verb of caution + μή (G. 610 and 611b; S. 2220.b)

    ἀντιτίθει: 2nd sg. pres. act. imper.

    νενικηκότι: > νικάω, perf. act. part. dat. masc. sg. in agreement with σεαυτῷ, which in turn is dependent on the art. infin. τὸ συνειδέναι: “being conscious to yourself having won,” “the consciousness of having won”

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

    καθάπερ, adv., just as, as if

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

    ἐκδέχομαι, to wait for

    ἀναβολή, -ῆς, ἡ, delay, pause

    ἀπολαύω, -λαύσω, -έλαυσα, to enjoy, have the benefit of + gen.

    μετανοέω, μετανοήσω, μετενόησα, to regret

    λοιδορέω, λοιδορήσω, ἐλοιδόρησα, to insult, verbally abuse; reproach, rebuke

    ἀντιτίθημι, to compare, contrast

    ἀπέχω, ἀποσχήσω, ἀπέσχον, to keep away, abstain

    ἐπαινέω, ἐπαινέσω, ἐπῄνεσα, to praise

    εὔκαιρος,-ον, opportune, appropriate, timely, convenient

    ἅπτω, ἅψω, ἥψα, to grasp, obtain, engage in, undertake (+ gen)

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

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

    προσηνής, -ές, gentle, charming

    ἀγωγός, -όν, attractive

    πόσος, -η, -ον, how much

    σύνοιδα, to be conscious of (doing something) + dat.

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    Suggested Citation

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