Chapter 36

36.1 ὡς τὸ «ἡμέρα ἐστί» καὶ «νύξ ἐστι» πρὸς μὲν τὸ διεζευγμένον μεγάλην ἔχει ἀξίαν, πρὸς δὲ τὸ συμπεπλεγμένον ἀπαξίαν, οὕτω καὶ τὸ τὴν μείζω μερίδα ἐκλέξασθαι πρὸς μὲν τὸ σῶμα ἐχέτω ἀξίαν, πρὸς δὲ τὸ τὸ κοινωνικὸν ἐν ἑστιάσει οἷον δεῖ φυλάξαι ἀπαξίαν ἔχει. ὅταν οὖν συνεσθίῃς ἑτέρῳ, μέμνησο μὴ μόνον τὴν πρὸς τὸ σῶμα ἀξίαν τῶν παρακειμένων ὁρᾶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸν ἑστιάτορα οἵαν δεῖ φυλαχθῆναι.

    On Behavior at a Dinner Party

    Epictetus makes a comparison between logical propositions and good and bad behavior at a dinner party. For more parallels between logic and ethics, see also chs. 42, 44 and 52.

    τὸ: “the phrase”

    πρὸς μὲν τὸ διεζευγμένον μεγάλην ἔχει ἀξίαν: supply ἀξίωμα with διεζευγμένον, “have great value for the disjunctive proposition.” The disjunctive proposition “it is day or it is night” is logically valid.

    πρὸς δὲ τὸ συμπεπλεγμένον ἀπαξίαν: “for the conjunctive proposition (these phrases) have a lack of value.” That is, the conjunctive proposition, “it is day and it is night,” is logically invalid.

    διεζευγμένον ... συμπεπλεγμένον: perf. mid. part. acc. neut. sg.; supply ἀξίωμα (“proposition”). For these terms see Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers 7.71–73.

    μείζω: comparative > μέγας, acc. sg.

    ἐχέτω: 3 sg. pres. act. imper. with concessive force (S.1839, see second example); choosing the greater share “may have,” “granted, it has ...”

    τὸ κοινωνικὸν: “sociability,” “a healthy social atmosphere”

    παρακειμένων: “of those (things) which are at hand,” i.e., food

    τὴν πρὸς τὸν ἑστιάτορα οἵαν δεῖ φυλαχθῆναι: “the sort of value that must be preserved toward the host.”

    διαζεύγνυμι,-ζεύξω,-έζευξα, to separate; in the participle, it refers to the disjunctive proposition

    συμπλέκω,-πλέξω,-έπλεξα to join, combine; in the participle, it refers to the conjunctive proposition

    ἀπαξία, -ας, ἡ, lack of value, invalidity

    μέρις, μέριδος, ἡ, share, portion

    ἐκλέγω,-λέξω,-έλεξα, to pick out, choose

    κοινωνικός,-ή,-όν, held in common, social, communal

    ἐστίασις, -εως, ἡ, feast, banquet

    συνεσθίω, to eat with (+ dat)

    παράκειμαι, to be at hand, present.

    ἑστιάτωρ, -ορος, ὁ, host

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    Suggested Citation

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