Death by Sword or Pen

Palladas of Alexandria, Greek Anthology 9.169

“The wrath of Achilles has become for me, as a grammarian, the cause of my destructive poverty. I wish that that wrath would have killed me along with the Danaans, before the bitter poverty of scholarship put me to death. But instead, so that Agamemnon could take Briseis and Paris make off with Helen, I have become a beggar.”

Μῆνις ᾿Αχιλλῆος καὶ ἐμοὶ πρόφασις γεγένηται

οὐλομένης πενίης γραμματικευσαμένῳ.

εἴθε δὲ σὺν Δαναοῖς με κατέκτανε μῆνις ἐκείνη,

πρὶν χαλεπὸς λιμὸς γραμματικῆς ὀλέσει.

ἀλλ’ ἵν’ ἀφαρπάξῃ Βρισηίδα πρὶν ᾿Αγαμέμνων,

τὴν ῾Ελένην δ’ ὁ Πάρις, πτωχὸς ἐγὼ γενόμην.

2 thoughts on “Death by Sword or Pen

    1. They’re all tucked away deep in the middle of the Greek Anthology! I only found them by opening up my copy randomly in search of treasure.

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