Sunday, August 28, 2016


What Money Can't Buy

Menander, fragment 218 Kassel-Austin (Poetae Comici Graeci VI.2, p. 152; tr. Maurice Balme):
Young man, you think that money can supply
The price not just of daily wants—like bread
And barley, vinegar and olive oil,
But something else more vital. But it can't
Supply the price of immortality,
Not if you should amass that fabled hoard
Of Tantalus. You'll die and leave all this
To someone else.

τἀργύριον εἶναι, μειράκιόν, σοι φαίνεται
οὐ τῶν ἀναγκαίων καθ' ἡμέραν μόνον
τιμὴν παρασχεῖν δυνατόν, ἄρτων, ἀλφίτων,
ὄξους, ἐλαίου, μείζονος δ' ἄλλου τινός.
ἀθανασίας δ' οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐδ' ἂν συναγάγῃς        5
τὰ Ταντάλου τάλαντ᾽ ἐκεῖνα λεγόμενα·
ἀλλ' ἀποθανῇ καὶ ταῦτα καταλείψεις τινί.

7 ταῦτα codd.: πάντα Meineke

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