THE ROLE OF WEALTH AND THE VALUE OF POVERTY IN SOCRATIC LITERATURE: A READING OF AESCHINES’ CALLIAS AND TELAUGES
The paper focuses on Socrates’ views on wealth and poverty in Aeschines’
Callias and Telauges. Given the fragmentary status of both works, I will examine the scanty
surviving testimonies in relation to some parallel passages by other Socratics, in order to enrich
the understanding of Aeschines’ lost dialogues.
The first part of the paper addresses the theme of wealth from a ‘biographical’ perspective,
by dealing with a set of sources attesting to Aeschines’ life of poverty. In the second part of the
paper the analysis focuses on the philosophical discussion regarding the problem of wealth, by
tackling the peculiar view of the relationship between πενία and πλοῦτος and the related nonmaterial conception of wealth expounded in the Callias and the Telauges. In the concluding
section I will briefly examine the parallel accounts in Xenophon’s Oeconomicus and
Memorabilia, so as to reconstruct the wider debate about the problem of wealth raised within
the logoi Sokratikoi.