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Headword: υνκνοων̄Χρήματα χρήματ' ἀνήρ, πενιχρὸς δ' οὐδέποτ' ἐσθλός
Adler number: chi,477
Translated headword: money money (is the) man but a pauper (is) never noble
Vetting Status: high
[sc. A proverbial saying] in reference to those who are successful due to wealth.[1] Aristodemos says [this]. And Alcaeus mentions Aristodemus: "for as Aristodamos once in Sparta", he says, "spoke a speech that was not helpless: 'money, money;' and so forth."[2]
And elsewhere Aristophanes [writes]: "I don't know what the affair [χρῆμα ] is doing to me. -- So consider: while it is possible for you and all these men to be rich, [you are somehow hemmed in] by those who are always catering to the masses."[3]
Sophocles [writes]: "'what matter [χρῆμα ] do you attend to, Ajax? Why do you set out on this attempt neither summoned by messengers nor hearing any trumpet? In fact, the whole army is sleeping now.' But he said curtly to me, 'Woman, silence is an ornament for women.' And I understood and stopped; but he rushed out alone."[4]
Greek Original:
Χρήματα χρήματ' ἀνήρ, πενιχρὸς δ' οὐδέποτ' ἐσθλός: ἐπὶ τῶν διὰ πλοῦτον εὐημερούντων. Ἀριστόδημός φησι. μέμνη- ται τοῦ Ἀριστοδήμου καὶ Ἀλκαῖος: ὡς γὰρ δή ποτ' Ἀριστόδαμον φασὶν ἐν Σπάρτᾳ οὐκ ἀπάλαμνον λόγον εἰπεῖν, χρήματα, χρήματα: καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς. καὶ αὖθις Ἀριστοφάνης: οὐκ οἶδ' ὅ τι χρῆμά με ποιεῖς. σκέψαι τοίνυν, ὡς ἐξόν σοι πλουτεῖν καὶ τοῖσιν ἅπασιν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀεὶ δημιζόντων. Σοφοκλῆς: τί χρῆμα δρᾷς, Αἶαν; τί τῷδ' ἄκλητος οὐδ' ὑπ' ἀγγέλων κληθεὶς ἀφορμᾷς πεῖραν, οὔτε του κλύων σάλπιγγος; ἀλλὰ νῦν γε πᾶς εὕδει στρατός. ὁ δ' εἶπε πρός με βαιά, ἀεὶ δ' ὑμνούμενα, γύναι, γυναιξὶ κόσμον ἡ σιγὴ φέρει. κἀγὼ μαθοῦσ' ἔληξα: ὁ δ' ἐσσύθη μόνος.
The first part of the headword phrase -- again at chi 478 -- appears in Pindar, Isthmians 2.17 (web address 1), but the whole phrase is a version of Alcaeus fr. 360 Lobel-Page, of which a summary version is given below.
[1] cf. Apostolius 18.32 and other paroemiographers, and see generally Tosi [cited under alpha 378] no.1783.
[2] A summary of Alcaeus fr. 360 Lobel-Page. The material from the beginning of the entry to this point is taken from the scholia to Pindar, Isthmians 2.17 (cf. above).
[3] Aristophanes, Wasps 697-9 (web address 2); see also pi 1450. This quotation and the one from Sophocles which follow seem to be tenuously connected with the rest of the entry. The only association is that they contain instances of the word χρῆμα (see chi 473, chi 474, and chi 475) of which χρήματα ("money") is the plural.
[4] Sophocles, Ajax 288-294 (web address 3); see also beta 210, omicron 970, and pi 1450.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; military affairs; poetry; politics; proverbs; tragedy; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 5 April 2008@00:18:29.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, set status) on 5 April 2008@22:56:01.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 6 April 2008@05:21:00.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; tweaking) on 17 August 2012@05:38:56.
David Whitehead on 13 November 2013@05:12:56.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 5 August 2014@00:38:26.
David Whitehead (codings) on 1 June 2016@06:05:23.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link) on 6 November 2016@12:28:24.


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