Plutarch, Perikles 1.4 5-6
“Often and quite contrarily, we look down on a laborer while delighting in his work”
πολλάκις δὲ καὶ τοὐναντίον χαίροντες τῷ ἔργῳ τοῦ δημιουργοῦ καταφρονοῦμεν
Hesiod Works and Days, 289-90
“The gods made sweat the price for virtue.”
τῆς δ’ ἀρετῆς ἱδρῶτα θεοὶ προπάροιθεν ἔθηκαν
Pindar, Isthmian 1. 47
“Men find different payment sweet for different work.”
μισθὸς γὰρ ἄλλοις ἄλλος ἐπ’ ἔργμασιν ἀνθρώποις
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)?
Archilochus fr. 307
The trap does the sleeping fisherman’s work
εὕδοντι δ᾿ αἱρεῖ κύρτος
Euripides, Hippolytus 189-190
“The life of men is wholly grievous, nor is there any release from toil.”
πᾶς δ’ ὀδυνηρὸς βίος ἀνθρώπων
κοὐκ ἔστι πόνων ἀνάπαυσις.
One thought on ““Sweat is The Price of Virtue”: Some Greek Quotes for Labor Day”
Excellent post! Plutarch is my favorite source of ancient biographies. You might enjoy this video about the Spartan King Lycurgus’ life as told by Plutarch.