Δοῦλος Ἐπίκτητος γενόμην καὶ σῶμ' ἀνάπηρος καὶ πενίην Ἶρος καὶ φίλος ἀθανάτοις.
Slave, poor as Irus, halting as I trod, I, Epictetus, was the friend of God.
An anonymous epigram translated by H Macnaghten.
I was perusing Louis Sorenson’s “Let’s Read Greek” website and came across the above epigram. First, I had to look up the definition of epigram and found that it is a short, often satirical poem dealing concisely with a single subject and usually ending with a witty or ingenious turn of thought.
I was surprised to see φίλος ἀθανάτοις translated as "...was the friend of God." But from that, I’ve learned that the omission of εἴναι can be in the imperfect, future, imperative, subjunctive, optative, infinitive and even the participle! Pretty cool! (Robertson 395) But, if that is in fact an epigram wouldn’t it be better translated as I, Epictetus, am the friend of God? It'd be funnier or at least more satirical.