Chapter 38

38.1 ἐν τῷ περιπατεῖν καθάπερ προσέχεις μὴ ἐπιβῇς ἥλῳ ἢ στρέψῃς τὸν πόδα, οὕτω πρόσεχε μὴ καὶ τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν βλάψῃς τὸ σεαυτοῦ. καὶ τοῦτο ἂν ἐφ' ἑκάστου ἔργου παραφυλάσσωμεν, ἀσφαλέστερον ἁψόμεθα ἑκάστου.

    Preserve Your Ruling Principle in Every Action

    Just as you watch your step while walking, preserve your ruling principle (reason) in every action.

    προσέχεις: supply νοῦν: “pay attention,” “take care”

    ἐπιβῇς ... στρέψῃς ... βλάψῃς: 2 sg. aor. act. subj. after a verb of caution (G. 610 and 611b; S. 2220)

    τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν: the dominant part, the authoritative faculty of the soul, reason.

    ἀσφαλέστερον: comparative adv. (G. 234; S. 345)

    περιπατέω, to walk about

    καθάπερ, (adv.) just as, as if

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

    ἐπιβαίνω, ἐπιβήσομαι, ἐπέβην, to walk upon, step on + dat.

    ἧλος, -ου, ὁ, nail

    στρέφω, στρέψω, ἔστρεψα, to turn (toward), twist, strain

    ἡγεμονικός, -ή, -όν, qualified to lead, capable of command; τὸ ἡγεμονικόν (philoph.) authoritative faculty, reason

    βλάπτω, βλάψω, ἔβλαψα, to harm, disable

    παραφυλάσσω, to guard carefully, safeguard

    ἀσφαλής, -ές, steadfast, securely

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

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    Suggested Citation

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