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What do we have to do with the ancients?

"What do we have to do with the ancients?"

Editorial team
25 Jan, 2024

They constantly ask, "what do we have to do with the ancients?" At least 3.000 years have passed (and 4 if I don't tell you) and the same language is still being spoken without you knowing it. This does not happen in any other language worldwide.


In your everyday life you say:

  1. A swallow (or a cuckoo) does not bring spring.

Mia chelidὼν ἔαρ οὐ ποιεἶ - Said by Aesop and remained as a proverb often used by Aristotle, Stobaeus and Aristophanes. The version with the cuckoo prevailed.


  1. One hand beats the other

ἁ δὲ ἐρ τὰ ἀν χηρα νιζει - verse by the Pythagorean philosopher and poet Epicharmus


  1. What you sow you will reap

Evil sows evil gains in vain - Hesiod


  1. Better to be envied than pitied

Cresson for evil envy - Pindar


  1. The tongue has no bones and it breaks bones

The glottis is bony and breaks - Solon


  1. He suffered and learned

the one who learns - Aeschylus, Agamemnon


  1. My hair stood on end

trichos d᾽ orthias plokamos Ḥistatai – Aeschylus, Seven on Thebes


  1. The man is the pillar of the house

Anir, roof stylon – Aeschylus, Agamemnon


  1. Knock on wood

Burning of wood - Aristophanes


  1. They fell down laughing

so that they may fall under the laughter - Athenaeus


  1. They became a theater

They perform themselves - Polybius


  1. Don't confuse me 

don't confuse me - Homer


  1. We painted it (the boat) 

The naῦs ἔvapsen – Euripides, Orestes f. 705-707

baptize = immerse in water. When we were talking 

ναῦς ἔβαπεν = the ship sank

People change, but language remembers and memory flows in our blood.


  1. Don't kill me

You have darkened me - said Diogenes to M.Alexandros


  1. Life became unliveable

Abioton zômen bion – (Philemon, 4th century BC)


  1. Bird's milk 

Hen's milk - Plutarch


  1. You say hair!

Hair loss and hair growth - Suidas


  1. Hail to the crow (you hear it a lot in Thessaly)

turn into a crow 


  1. I don't care

I don't mind


  1. You talk too much

Many chants (In Cyprus I remember you hear it all the time)


  1. Shut up

Discharge – Aristophanes


  1. Every beginning is difficult

Authority of municipality of all work worse


  1. The truth is bitter

How bitter is the word of truth - Dion


  1. The truth is not hidden

It is impossible to make a true mistake - Menandros


  1. He is also afraid of his own shadow

he showed his shadow - Aristof. Disp. 62


  1. It sucks even if you wash it

Athiopa smichis – Plutarch 

(in essence it means the Ethiopian (however) you whiten


  1. No work is a shame (unemployment is a shame)

Ergon d'un oenidos, (aergie de oenidos) - Hesiod


  1. You build on sand

In psammon builders - Plutarch


  1. Take the egg and shave it

Oon tilles – Plutarch


  1. As I see you and you see me

Osper inosoras me - Sophocles


  1. My knees gave out

He sheds furs - Homer


  1. I'll show you who I am (threat)

I show them I am - Epictetus 3,2,10


  1. Aren't you going to hang yourself?

Uk kidnapping? – Acquired 3,1,32


  1. He acts as if he killed his father (as if he killed his mother, we say today)

If, however, I go astray, I did not lose my father - Epictetus 1,7,31


  1. I put my hand in the fire 

Heira t' en igano valein (igano=in the pan) – Anacreon Fragmenta Fr.91


  1. We tangled our thighs

Plaiting thighs around thighs – Anacreon Fragmenta, Fr.91


 Catch text Anna and Sophia


photo GDJ / https://pixabay.com 


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