The first part of this book gives a full account of the textual tradition of Epictetus' Encheiridion and of its three Christian adaptations. The second part consists of critical editions of the four texts.
Among modern scholars of ancient Greek it is almost universally accepted that the historical present is only used for events and not for states and activities. A survey of the extant complete tragedies shows that this view is untenable: there are passages where static verbs like κεῖμαι ‘lie’ and εὕδω ‘sleep’ are used in the historical present and where the historical present describes a state or activity which is extended in time. On the one hand this shows that punctuality or (...) decisiveness cannot be regarded as the basic function of the historical present; on the other it leads to new interpretations of a number of passages in Greek tragedy. (shrink)
The long sentence at Plato Pbaedo 62a has been the subject of much discussion from Antiquity on. None of the proposed interpretations gives satisfactory sense. The basic error is that everyone has failed to perceive the ultimate unity of the sentence, which leads to the wrong view that the force of the negation ουδέποτε extends to the first part of the sentence only. The reading proposed here takes account of the fundamentally oral character of Plato's language; it is shown that, (...) when the sentence is half-way, the initial construction is resumed and simplified. The force of the negation ουδέποτε extends to the sentence as a whole. This results in an interpretation which is in full accordance with the context: Cebes is supposed to be astonished at the fact that suicide is prohibited, even for those people for whom death is preferable to life. (shrink)
In Epictetus 3. 23. 33 the original reading of the codex unicus Bodleianus Auct. T. 4. 13, ἐκλεκτικός, is certainly corrupt. All the editions accept the reading ἐλεγκτικός, which is a correction by a later corrector of Bodleianus Auct. T. 4. 13. It is shown that this reading is to be rejected because ἐλεγκτικός is equivalent to the immediately preceding προτρεπτικός and because it leads to unsurmountable discrepancies with the closely related passage 3. 21. 19. As an alternative for ἐλεγκτικός, (...) the emendation ἐπιπληκτικός is proposed: with this reading all problems disappear. The new reading has important consequences for the evaluation of Epictetus’ educational system. (shrink)