Spending Cuts Lead a Professor to Sell Books

Palladas of Alexandria, 9.175

“I am selling Kallimakhos and Pindar and all these
Cases of grammar, since I have a case of poverty.
Dôrotheus has cut my living wage,
Signing off an unholy message against me.
But you, dear Theô, guard me, don’t allow me
To waste my life conjugating with poverty.”

Καλλίμαχον πωλῶ καὶ Πίνδαρον ἠδὲ καὶ αὐτὰς
πτώσεις γραμματικῆς πτῶσιν ἔχων πενίης.
Δωρόθεος γὰρ ἐμὴν τροφίμην σύνταξιν ἔλυσε
πρεσβείην κατ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν ἀσεβῆ τελέσας.
ἀλλὰ σύ μου πρόστηθι, Θέων φίλε, μηδέ μ’ ἐάσῃς
συνδέσμῳ πενίης τὸν βίον ἐξανύσαι.


This story may sound depressingly familiar to modern contingent faculty. It resonates with classicists and humanists in particular…


A Grammarian With an Angry Wife

Palladas of Alexandria, Greek Anthology 9.168

“Unfortunately, I married a wife who is ‘destructive wrath,’ and my profession, too, obliges me to start from ‘wrath.’ Oh! I am a man subject to much wrath, having to deal with it in two ways: my grammatical art*, and my angry wife!”

„Μῆνιν οὐλομένην” γαμετὴν ὁ τάλας γεγάμηκα

καὶ παρὰ τῆς τέχνης μήνιδος ἀρξάμενος.

ὤμοι ἐγὼ πολύμηνις, ἔχων διχόλωτον ἀνάγκην,

τέχνης γραμματικῆς καὶ γαμετῆς μαχίμης.

*That is, as a grammarian, whose profession would naturally involve commenting upon Homer, whose Iliad begins with ‘wrath.’