Lucian, Dialogues of the Dead 1.3.6

“Fools, why do you watch over your gold? Why do you wear yourselves out calculating interest and adding talents to talents when you must soon go to death with only a single coin?”


τί, ὦ μάταιοι, τὸν χρυσὸν φυλάττετε; τί δὲ τιμωρεῖσθε ἑαυτοὺς λογιζόμενοι τοὺς τόκους καὶ τάλαντα ἐπὶ ταλάντοις συντιθέντες, οὓς χρὴ ἕνα ὀβολὸν ἔχοντας ἥκειν μετ’ ὀλίγον;


Some liberties with this passage: I put “go to death” for ἥκειν because it makes more sense out of context (which is Diogenes in the underworld telling Pollux to send a message to rich men).  I also translated ἕνα ὀβολὸν as “with only a single coin” because it too would make more sense to an average reader than “having only one obol” (the point being that the only money you get to take is for the boatman Charon…)