Solon was born into a well-to-do family of Athens. He worked as a merchant in the export-import trade, and he considered himself relatively poor. He did not worship money, as is evident from some poems of his.
Poetry was for Solon a way to entertain himself, and he also used poetry to give his ideas easy access to the minds of the Athenians.
The seven wise men of Greece were well-known, both to each other and to the general public. 1 Anacharsis, who was one of these wise men, came to visit Solon in Athens. When Anacharsis saw Athenian democracy at work, he remarked that it was strange that in Athens wise men spoke and fools decided. Solon admired this ... more »
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The Man Whose Riches Satisfy His Greed
The man whose riches satisfy his greed
Is not more rich for all those heaps and hoards
Than some poor man who has enough to feed
And clothe his corpse with such as God affords.
I have no use for men who steal and cheat;
The fruit of evil poisons those who eat.
Some wicked men are rich, some good men poor,
But I would rather trust in what's secure;
Our virtue sticks with us and makes us strong,
But money changes owners all day long.