Hesiod Works and Days, 303

 

“Gods and men alike dislike a lazy man.”

 

τῷ δὲ θεοὶ νεμεσῶσι καὶ ἀνέρες ὅς κεν ἀεργὸς.

 

 

Is this an attempt to counter the type of complaint Achilles’  makes in the Iliad (9.320)?

 

 

“The lazy man and the one who works a lot die the same.”

κάτθαν᾿ ὁμῶς ὃ τ᾿ ἀεργὸς ἀνὴρ ὃ τε πολλὰ ἐοργῶς

 

In Hesiod’s worldview, it seems, the man who doesn’t work doesn’t just die the same, he’s a burden to the community (and a reproach to Hesiodic values!):

Go here for the full text:

Λιμὸς γάρ τοι πάμπαν ἀεργῷ σύμφορος ἀνδρί·

τῷ δὲ θεοὶ νεμεσῶσι καὶ ἀνέρες ὅς κεν ἀεργὸς

ζώῃ, κηφήνεσσι κοθούροις εἴκελος ὀργήν,

οἵ τε μελισσάων κάματον τρύχουσιν ἀεργοὶ

ἔσθοντες· σοὶ δ’ ἔργα φίλ’ ἔστω μέτρια κοσμεῖν,

ὥς κέ τοι ὡραίου βιότου πλήθωσι καλιαί.

 

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