Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ob’olus.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Give an ob’olus to old Belisa’rius. Tzetzes, a writer of the twelfth century, says that Belisarius, stripped of all his wealth and honours, was reduced to beggary in his grey old age; that he lived in a mud hut, from the window of which he hung an alms-bag, and that he used to cry to the passers-by, “Give an ob’olus to poor old Belisa’rius, who rose by his merits and was cast down by envy.”   1



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