THEOGNISMegara, 6th century B.C.
Elegiac writer of maxims. He had a varied life, because, being eupatrides, he lived through the great upheavals and civil wars, not only of Megara, but also of many Greek cities. The fights, especially in Megara, had taken a wild form. Everywhere the demagogues stirred up the people and stirred them up against the tyrants. Thus, in Megara, after the overthrow of the tyranny of Theagenos and the assumption of power by the aristocrats, the people rebelled against them too, established a democracy, in order to expropriate the estates of the rich, who were expelled from the city, and to distribute to the poor. Among those expelled was the poet Theognis, who, exiled, fled to Sicily, Boeotia, Evia, Sparta, to find hospitality. But, tormentingly homesick for his homeland, there was no pleasure anywhere. After these wanderings, he returned to his homeland, recognized the new regime, but never forgot the goods he lost, nor did he change his aristocratic opinions at all.
Theognis wrote many thousands of verses, with moral exhortations and admonitions, but few have survived. His elegies were sung at banquets, and later they were also introduced to schools, due to the poet's opinion about everyday life.