Xenophon, Memorabilia 4.2.37: A Conversation on the Rich and Poor

Socrates: “What are poor people and rich people like?”

Euthydemos: “I think that the former, poor men, don’t have enough to spend on what they need while the latter, rich people, have more than enough.”

Socrates: “And you’ve learned then that there are some who have very little but find it not only sufficient but make more out of it, while there are some for whom even very much is never enough?”

Euthydemos: “Yes, by Zeus, you have reminded me correctly: I know some tyrants too who are compelled by want to commit injustice just as if they had nothing.”

Ποίους δὲ πένητας καὶ ποίους πλουσίους καλεῖς; Τοὺς μέν, οἶμαι, μὴ ἱκανὰ ἔχοντας εἰς ἃ δεῖ τελεῖν πένητας, τοὺς δὲ πλείω τῶν ἱκανῶν πλουσίους. Καταμεμάθηκας οὖν ὅτι ἐνίοις μὲν πάνυ ὀλίγα ἔχουσιν οὐ μόνον ἀρκεῖ ταῦτα, ἀλλὰ καὶ περιποιοῦνται ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, ἐνίοις δὲ πάνυ πολλὰ οὐχ ἱκανά ἐστι;

Καὶ νὴ Δί’, ἔφη ὁ Εὐθύδημος, ὀρθῶς γάρ με ἀναμιμνῄσκεις, οἶδα [γὰρ] καὶ τυράννους τινάς, οἳ δι’ ἔνδειαν ὥσπερ οἱ ἀπορώτατοι ἀναγκάζονται ἀδικεῖν.

Almost Eloquent with Xenophon: Three Lines from the Memorabilia

Memorabilia 3.3.9


“You probably know that in every matter people want to obey those most they believe to be best.”


᾿Εκεῖνο μὲν δήπου οἶσθα, ὅτι ἐν παντὶ πράγματι οἱ ἄνθρωποι τούτοις μάλιστα ἐθέλουσι πείθεσθαι οὓς ἂν ἡγῶνται βελτίστους εἶναι.


Memorabilia 3.10.13


“Things that fit well are smaller burdens than the misfit even if they weigh the same”

῟Ηττον, ἔφη, τῷ βάρει πιέζουσιν οἱ ἁρμόττοντες τῶν ἀναρμόστων τὸν αὐτὸν σταθμὸν ἔχοντες.


Memorabilia 3.13.4


“Have you ever wondered whether the master or the slave needs a beating more?”

῎Ηδη ποτὲ οὖν ἐπεσκέψω, πότερος πλειόνων πληγῶν δεῖται, σὺ ἢ ὁ θεράπων;