A 6th cenutry BC Greek poet, it has been estimated that Theognis was born around 540 BC and the last date mentioned in his work is 480 BC.
Theognis was an aristocrat who settled in Megara. A didactic poet, he wrote many of his poems for a young man named Cyrnus. Many of his works begin with the Greek for "O Boy" and are passionate in their descriptions of both hate and love.
Another theme of his work was his lament that those he considered 'unrighteous' were gaining power above those aristocrats, such as himself, who he considered deserved it more.
Amongst the ancient Greek poets, Theognis is rare in that much of his work has remained intact. However, of the 1,400 surviving lines attributed to him, it is now believed that some were the work of other writers.
My heart, display toward all your friends a changeful character,
Adding into it the disposition that each one has.
Adopt the disposition of the octopus, crafty in its convolutions, which takes on
The appearance of whatever rock it has dealings with.
Of all things it is poverty that most subdues a noble man,
More even than hoary old age, Kyrnos, or fever;
Indeed, to avoid it one should even throw oneself into the sea's
Deep gulfs, Kyrnos, or off sheer cliffs.