I came quickly to appoint honors for those who cared for me, which they certainly desired me to do. I didn’t ignore their hope for such help from me, because they were also young.
I had a clear understanding of life according to Nature and of what it entails: in as much as depends upon the gods and the communications from them, their assistance and inspiration; and there was nothing to hinder me from a life which accords with Nature; so that failure was my own fault — and also from not paying careful attention to the reminders (almost the instructions) of the gods .
Greek Text and Notes:
τὸ φθάσαι τοὺς τροφέας ἐν ἀξιώματι καταστῆσαι, οὗ δὴ ἐδόκουν μοι ἐπιθυμεῖν, καὶ μὴ ἀναβαλέσθαι ἐλπίδι τοῦ με, ἐπεὶ νέοι ἔτι ἦσαν, ὕστερον αὐτὸ πράξειν.
τὸ γνῶναι Ἀπολλώνιον, Ῥούστικον, Μάξιμον. τὸ φαντασθῆναι περὶ τοῦ κατὰ φύσιν βίου ἐναργῶς καὶ πολλάκις οἷός τίς ἐστιν, ὥστε, ὅσον ἐπὶ τοῖς θεοῖς καὶ ταῖς ἐκεῖθεν διαδόσεσι καὶ συλλήψεσι καὶ ἐπιπνοίαις, μηδὲν κωλύειν ἤδη κατὰ φύσιν ζῆν με, ἀπολείπεσθαι δὲ ἔτι τούτου παρὰ τὴν ἐμὴν αἰτίαν καὶ παρὰ τὸ μὴ διατηρεῖν τὰς ἐκ τῶν θεῶν ὑπομνήσεις καὶ μονονουχὶ διδασκαλίας:
τὸ φθάσαι τοὺς τροφέας
to come before thous who reared/brought [me] up
phthanein: come or do first or before others:
ἐν ἀξιώματι καταστῆσαι,
in honor to appoint
The dative here indicates the appointment: they are appointed in a place of honor
The idea of this clause that Marcus quickly, before others, promoted those who reared him (Hicks has “tutors”) to a place of honor.
οὗ δὴ ἐδόκουν μοι ἐπιθυμεῖν,
since they cleared expected to desire by me
Dative, by my agency?
the δὴ: certainly, clearly
καὶ μὴ ἀναβαλέσθαι ἐλπίδι τοῦ με,
and not to put off/delay that hope from me (of me)
anaballo: more freq. in Med., strike up, begin to play or sing (cf. “ἀναβολή” 11), “ἀναβάλλετο καλὸν ἀείδειν” Od.1.155, 8.266, Theoc.6.20: abs., “ἀναβάλεο” Pi.N.7.77; “ἀναβαλοῦ” Ar.Pax1269: c. acc., “εὐχὴν ἀ. τῷ Ἔρωτι” Philostr.Im.1.29.
II. [select] put off, delay a thing in which oneself is concerned (v. supr.11), “μηδ᾽ ἔτι δηρὸν ἀμβαλλώμεθα ἔργον” Il.2.436, cf. Hes. Op.410, Pi.O.1.80, N.9.29, Hdt.3.85; “τὸ μέν τι νυνὶ μὴ λάβῃς, τὸ δ᾽ ἀναβαλοῦ” Ar.Nu.1139; “εἰσαῦθις ἀναβεβλήμεθα” Ec.983; εἰς τὴν ὑστεραίαν ἀναβαλέσθαι [τὴν δίαιταν] to adjourn till the morrow, D.21.84, cf. Pl.Mx.234b; “ἀ. τινας” Act.Ap.24.22: abs., defer payment, Isoc.3.33: c. fut. inf., “ἀ. κυρώσειν ἐς τέταρτον μῆνα” Hdt.6.86.“β́; ἀ. ἐς τρίτην ἡμέρην ἀποκρινέεσθαι” 5.49; “ἀ. ποιήσειν τὰ δέοντα” D.3.9: c. aor. inf., “ἀ. ὑποκρίνασθαι” Hdt.9.8; “οὐκέτι ἀνεβάλλοντο μὴ τὸ πᾶν οὐ μηχανήσασθαι” 6.88. — LSJ
ἐπεὶ νέοι ἔτι ἦσαν,
since young they still were
ὕστερον αὐτὸ πράξειν.
later the self-same to do/practice
τὸ γνῶναι Ἀπολλώνιον, Ῥούστικον, Μάξιμον.
To know Apollonius, Rusticus and Maximus.
to have been made present to my conception/to my eyes
περὶ τοῦ κατὰ φύσιν βίου ἐναργῶς
concerning of the according to nature life plainly
The article matches “biou”. The intervening words are adjectival.
Often the substantive that follows κατά specifies the criterion, standard, or norm in the light of which a statement is made, an action is performed, or a judgment is passed. In these cases the preposition will mean “according to, in conformity /keeping with, corresponding to, in a manner consistent with, on a scale that matches.”
Murray J. Harris, Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 152.
I had a clear understanding of a manner of life which accords with nature
καὶ πολλάκις οἷός τίς ἐστιν,
and various of such a certain is
ὥστε, ὅσον ἐπὶ τοῖς θεοῖς
in order that, so that
as great/as much
on the basis of the gods/upon the gods
so that, as much was upon (depended upon) the gods
καὶ ταῖς ἐκεῖθεν διαδόσεσι
upon those from them distributions/communications
διά-δοσις , εως, ἡ,
A. [select] distribution, D.44.37; “χώρας” Plb.2.23.1; “ἀννώνης” POxy.1115.9 (iii A.D.): pl., IGRom.3.739.
II. Medic., δ. οὔρων an evacuation, Hp.Epid.3.4; ἡ τῆς τροφῆς δ. its distribution through the body, Arist.IA705a32.
III. exchange, “μειδιαμάτων” Plu.Sull.35 (pl.).
*IV. communication, “κινήσεως” Epicur.Ep.2p.48U.; “δ. ἐκ θεῶν εἰς ἀνθρώπους” Arr.Epict.1.12.6; ταῖς ἀρίσταις διαδόσεσι κινεῖσθαι (of just men) Phld.Piet.68, cf. M.Ant.1.17.6(pl.); “ἐκ -δόσεως τῆς ἁφῆς γινώσκειν τι” Heliod. ap. Orib.44.23.59: Astrol., of celestial influence, Ptol.Tetr.5 (pl.), 105. LSJ
This is a less common translation, but it fits best here. Typically the word means “taken together”.
neither to hinder/prevent
ἤδη κατὰ φύσιν ζῆν με,
neither according to the Life-Nature me
ἀπολείπεσθαι δὲ ἔτι τούτου παρὰ τὴν ἐμὴν αἰτίαν
to leave/depart so since of this from the cause is mine
to depart from such a life is my own fault
καὶ παρὰ τὸ μὴ διατηρεῖν
and by to not pay close attention
τὰς ἐκ τῶν θεῶν ὑπομνήσεις
to those from the gods reminders
καὶ μονονουχὶ διδασκαλίας:
even all but instructions
μονονουχὶ = monos, all but, well nigh
LSJ Monos, II. B.