Chapter 43

43.1 Πᾶν πρᾶγμα δύο ἔχει λαβάς, τὴν μὲν φορητήν, τὴν δὲ ἀφόρητον. ὁ ἀδελφὸς ἐὰν ἀδικῇ, ἐντεῦθεν αὐτὸ μὴ λάμβανε ὅτι ἀδικεῖ (αὕτη γὰρ ἡ λαβή ἐστιν αὐτοῦ οὐ φορητή), ἀλλὰ ἐκεῖθεν μᾶλλον ὅτι ἀδελφός, ὅτι σύντροφος, καὶ λήψῃ αὐτὸ καθ' ὃ φορητόν ἑστιν.

The Two Handles

Problems or unpleasant events can be thought of objects that have two “handles.”

φορητήν: “bearable, endurable,” but also “by which (an object) can carried.” Epictetus plays on two meanings of “handle,” the literal (“grasp, pick up”) and the mental (“endure”), an ambiguity present in both Greek and English.

λάμβανε: “take,” playing on both the physical sense (“grasp”) and the mental “regard (as),” “think (that)” (LSJ λαμβάνω A.I.9.c). The use of λαμβάνω elaborates the metaphor in λαβή.

λήψῃ: > λαμβάνω, 2 sg. fut. mid. ind.

λαβή, - ῆς, ἡ, a handle

φορητός, -ή, -όν, able to be carried, graspable

ἀφόρητος, -ον, unable to be carried, non-graspable

ἐντεῦθεν, from here, from there

ἐκεῖθεν, from there, thence

σύντροφος, -ον, raised with

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Suggested Citation

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