Friday, August 05, 2022


Great Wealth

Greek Anthology 11.58 (by Macedonius the Consul; tr. W.R. Paton):
I wish not for gold, nor for the myriad cities of the world, nor for all that Homer [Iliad 9.381] said Thebes contained, but I would have the rounded bowl overflow with wine and my lips be bathed by a perpetual stream. I would have the gossiping company of those I revere drink with me while over-industrious folk labour at the vines. That for me is the great wealth ever dear to me, and when I hold the bowl I care naught for consuls resplendent with gold.

ἤθελον οὐ χρυσόν τε καὶ ἄστεα μυρία γαίης,
   οὐδ᾽ ὅσα τὰς Θήβας εἶπεν Ὅμηρος ἔχειν·
ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα μοι τροχόεσσα κύλιξ βλύσσειε λυαίῳ,
   χείλεος ἀενάῳ νάματι λουομένου,
καὶ γεραρῶν συνέπινε λάλος χορός, οἱ δὲ περισσοὶ        5
   ἀνέρες ἐργατίναι κάμνον ἐφ᾽ ἡμερίσιν.
οὗτος ἐμοὶ πολὺς ὄλβος, ἀεὶ φίλος· οὐδ᾽ ἀλεγίζω
   τῶν χρυσέων ὑπάτων, τὴν φιάλην κατέχων.
Karkinos Painter, volute krater (ca. 500 B.C.), New York, Metropolitan Museum, accession number 21.88.74 (click once or twice to enlarge):

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