Monday, February 19, 2018


A Useless Burden on the Earth

Homer, Odyssey 20.377-379 (tr. Richmond Lattimore):
Here, for one, somebody brought you in this vagabond
who wants his food and his wine, who does not know how to do any
work, who has no strength, but is just a weight on the good land.

οἷον μέν τινα τοῦτον ἔχεις ἐπίμαστον ἀλήτην,
σίτου καὶ οἴνου κεχρημένον, οὐδέ τι ἔργων
ἔμπαιον οὐδὲ βίης, ἀλλ᾽ αὔτως ἄχθος ἀρούρης.
Cf. ἐτώσιον ἄχθος ἀρούρης = a useless burden on the earth (Iliad 18.104), a favorite phrase of mine to describe certain people.

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