Participation Levels

Other Participation Options

Advanced Readings

Audio files


Translation Due Date

To translate or not to translate

Why should I translate?

Why shouldn't I send in translations

Translation Techniques

The point of translations

Format for sending in Translations

Identifying Sentences for translations

Grammar Questions

Grammar and Topic Question Due Dates

Should I do the grammar questions?

Can anyone help- a chat line, blog list, etc .Posting a question

Sending in Answers to the Questions

Format for sending in answers to the grammar questions

Topic questions



If you have made it to this page, you are thinking about reading the Enchiridion by Epictetus. This page is intended to answer the questions about participating in the group. If what you need to know is not here, send an email to epictetus<at>lestreadgreek<dot>com and I'll add the question and answer to this page.

Levels of Group Participation

There are three levels of participation. Basic, Optional and Advanced.

Basic Group: This group is reading a short selection from each reading. It is on average about 50-70 words. The sections were chosen for their simplicity (relative to the whole reading), their interest factor and length. There are also grammar questions for this group. Translations are welcome.

Optional Group: This group is reading the remainder of each week's reading in addition to the Basic reading. If one participates in this group, they will have read through the entire chapters 1-26 of the Enchiridion in twelve weeks. There are also grammar questions. There are also grammar questions for this group. Translations are welcome.

Advanced Group: This group, in addition to reading the entire Enchiridion selection, will read through additional content of either Epictetus Discourses, the Christian adaptations of the Enchiridion or Simplicius' Commentary on the Enchiridion. Grammar questions and Topic questions will be posted (Depending on participation). Translations are not a part of this group.

When are the Translations due?

The translations for all groups are due on the same day. All translations are due on Sunday at midnight CST (06:00 Monday GMT). If you send one in a little after the due date, it might make it in the collation, or it may miss it. The translation collations will be sent out in the Tuesday morning email. There are no translations that will be posted for the advanced group.

When are the Grammar and Topic Questions due?

All answers to the grammar question and topic questions are due on Tuesday midnight CST (06:00 GMT). If you send one in a little after the due date, it might make it in the collation, or it may miss it. The question collations will be sent out in the Thursday morning email. I'm hoping to turn the grammar questions into an online fill in the form and post, but it's not there yet.

I have questions on a word or phrase, can anyone help me?

A discussion list for members to post Q and A on the reading would be superb, where everyone on the interest list would be able to post and answer questions. Another option is to post an email to the Enchiridion group, where the email could be forwarded to all automatically. For now, I suggest the question be posted on the Greekstudy email list.

Format for Sending in Translations

It is very important to send in translations in the following format and order, as the translation collations are automated by software. The following format will be used:

To review, every sentence you send in a translation for should have the following three components:

  1. TR for Translation
  2. Chapter/Section/Sentence identifier: e.g. 0101a
  3. Your initials: a three letter identifier representing you. Use an X for the middle initial if you do not have/use one.

Here is an example of the email submission by Thomas Wentworth Higginson of the first two sentences of Reading 01.


email title: Enchiridion Reading 1 Translation


TR 0101a TWH There are things which are within our power, and there are things which are beyond our power.

TR 0101b TWH Within our power are opinion, aim, desire, aversion, and, in one word, whatever affairs are our own. Beyond our power are body, property, reputation, office, and, in one word, whatever are not properly our own affairs.



Identifying Sentences for the Translations

The Greek text of Schenkl has both chapter divisions and section divisions both labeled by numbers. I have also broken the sections into sentences and have identified each sentence by a letter (a-z). There is no special identifier for the Basic or Optional group. The weekly Greekstudy reading email for the new reading will have the sentence ID and Greek text. The reading page will have a separate area called "Sentences Numbered for Sending in the Translations" which can be accessed by clicking on the link in the "Table of Readings" at the top of every reading page. Each sentence will have a unique identifier in the following format:

Chapter: a two digit character: e.g. 01,02,03,04....11,12,13,...20,21,22, etc (chapters 1-9 will all have a zero in front of them).
Sections: a two digit character: e.g. 01,02,03... (even if there is only one section, it will be numbered 01).
Sentence: a single letter from a to z.

0101a (Chapter 1, Section 1, Greek Sentence 1)
0101b (Chapter 1, Section 1, Greek Sentence 2)

Format for Sending in Answers to the Questions

A full explanation can be found on the LetsReadGreek website Assignment Format page at http://www.letsreadgreek.com/epictetus/assignmentformat.htm. DO NOT INCLUDE COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR TRANSLATIONS in the answers email.

  1. Title your email: Enchiridion Reading X Answers (where X is the reading number)
  2. Start every line with AN.
  3. Include the Question number including the Q (do not include the line number), e.g. Q1
  4. Include the three letter id you use for your translations (most people use their initials). Use X for a middle initial if you do not have one.
  5. Give the answer. (Do NOT include the question. Do NOT 'hit the enter key', i.e. new line, until the end of the answer for any given Greek line.)
  6. End your email with the word: END#

Here is an example:
email title: Enchiridion Reading 1 Answers

AN Q1 TWH The phrase Τῶν ὄντων is the substantival use of the participle of the the verb εἰμί. I translate the phrase as 'Some things are in our purview'. The closest section in my grammar is Smyth §1153b Substantive-Making power of the Article. Mastronarde p. 200-201. Chapter 27.3 has a good section on 'Attributive Participle as a Substantive'.

AN Q2 TWH The preposition ἐπί is best translated as 'up to'. The closest reference is LSJ B I. 1. g 'in dependence upon, in the power of'. It was tough to find any reference used like the Enchiridion uses.



To Translate or not to Translate?

Sending in translations is an optional part of this group. A person's time would be better spent looking up words in a lexicon, looking at parallel passages and looking up similar grammar constructions in the various grammars available.

Translating is a skill in itself. To give you an idea of why it can be so hard, read the following excerpt from the translators of Simplicius On Epictetus' Handbook:

Our aim has been to produce a work that reads like contemporary philosophical English and reproduces the philosophical content of the Commentary with as little distraction as possible. Since few things are as distracting as the constant awareness that one is reading a translation, we saw it as our job, as translators hoping to bring Simplicius to a wider audience, not to represent his Greek, but rather to represent his sense, and deliver it to the reader in an easy, smooth and uninterrupted flow. (An extremely faithful representation of Simplicius' Greek may be found in Hadot 1996.) Accordingly, we have not hesitated to divide up strangling sentences, to reorder their parts if doing so produced in English the logical sequence and rhetorical emphasis that we found in the Greek, or to put a passive construction into the active and supply a person for an impersonal Greek verb if it read more smoothly. Some ambiguities in the Greek are not preserved in our text; some passages which we first translated with trepidation now present an innocent appearance to the unwary; and anyone who delves into the original text will find that we made questionable or controversial interpretive choices. But we hope that the result is throughout a translation rather than a paraphrase; wherever we have diverged from the literal, our principle has been to make the philosophical content as transparent as possible. (Brittain & Brennan pp. 25-26)


Reasons for Sending in Translations

Translations are not required. Why send them in?

Reasons not to send in translations

Other Participation Options

If you want to participate, either regularly or on occasion, and do not want to send in translations or answer the questions, there are several alternative options that are available.

  1. Translate only as many sentences as you have time for. If you only get one done, send it in. That's ok. Most of us on the GreekStudy list have families, jobs, and other responsibilities. Some of us are burdened by interests in multiple topics and other groups. Any participation is better than none.
  2. Answer only one or as many of the questions which you have time for or have interest in.
  3. Those who want to read through either the Basic and/or Optional and/or Advanced readings, but do not want to answer questions or send in translations, can just send in an email to epictetus@lestreadgreek.com with a short note including the following: Your initials, your name (optional) and what parts you read (i.e. Chapter 1.1-3. Your name will be included at the top of each week's translation/participation email.
  4. If you would like to record a reading from the Enchiridion, you may do that. I would be happy to post the audio file on the LetsReadGreek web site.
  5. Send in questions you have that you would like to be answered by the group anytime during the week.
  6. Choose a key-word (special vocabulary term) to hunt down and find all the synonyms, antonyms, related words, etc. and send in the data. I'll update the vocabulary and add your name to the 'contributed by' list at the bottom of each word.
  7. Help index Morwood, Mastronarde, Smyth, Mounce, Blass-de-Bruner, Wallace or any other Greek grammar to the content in the Enchiridion. It may only be one or two sentences for each reading. By doing so, people in the Group will know you are participating and you will be helping out future students who may have the book you are using.
  8. Add a question you have to the question list - or post it on the Greekstudy list. I'll add it to the questions on the Reading's Q&A page.
  9. Send in an audio file of your reading. I'll post it as an available version: wanted, female voices, male voices, modern Greek pronunciation, etc.
  10. Send in your preferred 'translation' for a specific word and I will add it to the table of words at the bottom of each reading.  The table of words under each reading is now "word specific"- the translation will be linked to that specific word.  Each word on the table has a unique number.  Send in that ID number, along with the Greek word and gloss you suggest.

Topic Questions

Audio Files

The audio files will be created as the weeks progress. Two Greek pronunciation formats will be available. Erasmian and Living Koine. I've had my own Erasmian pronunciation I have used, fairly similar to what on Mastronarde's web site. I'm also trying to create 'Living Koine' recordings. 'Living Koine' is the dialect that is closest to pronunciation in the first century A.D., according to its creator Randall Buth. Information on the various pronunciation, including links to the Living Koine explanation can be found on the biblicalgreek.org Greek pronunciation page.

Advanced Readings

Some other readings from the Discourses by Epictetus, Simplicius' Commentary on the Enchiridion and the Christian adaptations of the Enchiridion are included with each reading. At this point, there will be no grammar questions associated with these readings, because of time constraints on creating the content for the Basic and Optional groups. In time, this content may be included. Those with a special interest in Epictetus will be sure to take a peek at these sections. English translations for these readings will be provided when possible.

Why have Grammar and Topic Questions?

The reason for having grammar questions are numerous.

First, they are designed to test the basic knowledge of forms and constructions that 'pass by' the student in their first year(s) of Greek. I focus on the harder to grasp and complicated forms and constructions, and also on forms that may have more than one lemma and/or one parsing. If a question is too simple for you, ignore it - it was meant for someone else. Many of the basic questions have answers in the Notes included for each reading under the sections "grammar tips" and "morphology tips."

Second, the questions are designed to get your nose into a grammar. The more one learns Greek, the more one learns you don't know as much as you think. There are over 1000 years of Greek dialect, vocabulary and syntax change from the time of Homer to the end of Koine Greek. The only way to be aware of early, Attic, Koine, Semitic, etc. constructions is to use a grammar. Smyth's Grammar is the best out there for the intermediate student (he gives English glosses for the Greek). You really need to own it. Blass de Brunner is the best available grammar for Koine.

Third, the questions are designed to point out ambiguous constructions and references, special vocabulary and other parts of the text that may be hard to understand. Part of the benefits of the GreekStudy group is that there are other people out there who may have the answer you or I don't have. If you have a question, send it in and I will be glad to add it to the list.

Fourth, the questions are designed to help you review the grammar book you studied in your first year. I'm trying to index the Enchiridion to the best and most complete beginning grammars: Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek, among others. If you have another beginning grammar, e.g. Croy's,etc., feel free to send in answers to the questions or just the page and section number in your grammar which corresponds to the grammar question. These submissions will become a permanent part of the question so that others who utilize this web site can use their grammar to read the Enchiridion.