Thursday, November 07, 2019


Like a Stone

Arrian, Discourses of Epictetus 1.25.29 (tr. W.A. Oldfather):
Why, what is this matter of being reviled? Take your stand by a stone and revile it; and what effect will you produce? If, then, a man listens like a stone, what profit is there to the reviler? But if the reviler has the weakness of the reviled as a point of vantage, then he does accomplish something.

ἐπεὶ τί ἐστιν αὐτὸ τὸ λοιδορεῖσθαι; παραστὰς λίθον λοιδόρει: καὶ τί ποιήσεις; ἂν οὖν τις ὡς λίθος ἀκούῃ, τί ὄφελος τῷ λοιδοροῦντι; ἂν δ᾽ ἔχῃ τὴν ἀσθένειαν τοῦ λοιδορουμένου ὁ λοιδορῶν ἐπιβάθραν, τότε ἀνύει τι.
I wonder if, in the last sentence, we're meant to imagine a city under siege, since ἐπιβάθρα can also mean a ladder. Robin Hard translates it as handhold.

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