Two Proverbs on Strangers

These probably don’t work together.


Arsenius, 3.59 a

“Send the stranger back to the storm”: [this proverb is applied] to those who arrive at a bad time.

῎Απαγε ξένον ἐν χειμῶνι: ἐπὶ τῶν ἀκαίρως ἐλθόντων.



“Share with strangers and those in need from what you have—for one who does not give to the needy will not himself receive anything when he is in need.” This is a saying of Democritus.

Ξένοις μεταδίδου καὶ τοῖς δεομένοις ἐκ τῶν ἐνόντων· ὁ γὰρ μὴ διδοὺς δεομένῳ οὐδὲ αὐτὸς λήψεται δεόμενος Δημοκρίτου.

Rutland Psalter, British Library

Manic Monday: Euripidean Fragments on Fortune, Suffering and Intelligence

Euripides, fr. 102 (Alcmene)

“We are all wiser at weighing our neighbor’s bad luck than our own.”

σοφώτεροι γὰρ συμφορὰς τὰς τῶν πέλας
πάντες διαθρεῖν ἢ τύχας τὰς οἴκοθεν.

Euripides fragment

Euripides,fr. 205 (Antiope)


“I know that I suffer and this is no small pain:
Not to know, now that brings some pleasure to
The troubled—ignorance is an advantage amid grief.”

φρονῶ δ’ ὃ πάσχω, καὶ τόδ’ οὐ σμικρὸν κακόν·
τὸ μὴ εἰδέναι γὰρ ἡδονὴν ἔχει τινὰ
νοσοῦντα, κέρδος δ’ ἐν κακοῖς ἀγνωσία.


Euripides, fr. 290 (Bellerophon)

“I always fear less a dull man who is naturally strong
Than someone who is weak and clever.”

ἀεὶ γὰρ ἄνδρα σκαιὸν ἰσχυρὸν φύσει
ἧσσον δέδοικα τἀσθενοῦς τε καὶ σοφοῦ.