New Translation of Epictetus

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While I’ve been putting together those YouTube videos of the Enchiridion with Jean, he pointed me to a new translation of the works of Epictetus that I previously hadn’t been exposed to.dairesis

Franco Scalenghe runs http://www.epitteto.com/ and you can download as PDF or read as hypertext his new translation of the Enchiridion, Discourses, and Fragments.  Franco’s translation attempts to keep the conversational style of the Discourses alive, in a way that some of the translations from the 20th or 19th centuries may lack for modern readers.

I’m working Franco’s translation now, and it’s an exciting new light in which to view Epictetus.  I suspect it will get a permanent place right next to the Higginson translation for me.

Enchiridion 1:5

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Long:
“Straightway then practise saying to every harsh appearance, You are an appearance, and in no manner what you appear to be. Then examine it by the rules which you possess, and by this first and chiefly, whether it relates to the things which are in our power or to things which are not in our power: and if it relates to any thing which is not in our power, be ready to say, that it does not concern you.”

Higginson:
“Seek at once, therefore, to be able to say to every unpleasing semblance, “You are but a semblance and by no means the real thing.” And then examine it by those rules which you have; and first and chiefly, by this: whether it concerns the things which are within our own power, or those which are not; and if it concerns anything beyond our power, be prepared to say that it is nothing to you.”

Koine:
“εὐθὺς οὖν πάσῃ φαντασίᾳ τραχείᾳ μελέτα ἐπιλέγειν ὅτι ‘φαντασία εἶ καὶ οὐ πάντως τὸ φαινόμενον.’ ἔπειτα ἐξέταζε αὐτὴν καὶ δοκίμαζε τοῖς κανόσι τούτοις οἷς ἔχεις, πρώτῳ δὲ τούτῳ καὶ μάλιστα, πότερον περὶ τὰ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ἐστιν ἢ περὶ τὰ οὐκ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν: κἂν περί τι τῶν οὐκ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ᾖ, πρόχειρον ἔστω τὸ διότι ‘οὐδὲν πρὸς ἐμέ’.”

A very high price, indeed.

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“The thief is stronger than the man who is not a thief. That is why I lost my lamp, because in the matter of keeping awake the thief was better than I was. However, he bought a lamp for a very high price; for a lamp he became a thief, for a lamp he became faithless, for a lamp he became beast-like.”

— Epictetus