The Pot of Gold

by Plautus

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How did Euclio react when a kite stole his food?

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Euclio was incredibly upset when his food was stolen by a kite. So much so that he ran off crying to the magistrate, weeping and lamenting. Absurdly, he demanded that the bird be made to appear in court for stealing his food.

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As we learn throughout Plautus's The Pot of Gold, Euclio is a total miser, a somewhat foolish old man who's so obsessed with protecting the treasure bequeathed to him by his grandfather that he actually ends up making it easier for people to steal it.

If Euclio wasn't so paranoid about someone stealing the pot of gold, he wouldn't bring attention to himself and thus give others the opportunity to divest him of his valuables.

Euclio's miserliness and foolishness are on display in a bizarre anecdote related by Strobilus to Anthrax and Lyconides. Apparently, the other day, Euclio had a morsel of food stolen from him by a kite, a bird renowned for such behavior.

Now most people in Euclio's position would be rather miffed at having their food stolen by a bird. But what they wouldn't do is react the same way that Euclio did. Euclio, being the foolish old miser that he is, ran off to the magistrate, weeping and lamenting and demanding that the bird be made to appear in court for his "crime." Clearly, Euclio is as keen to hang on to every last crumb of food with the same tenacity as he holds on to his pot of gold.

Strobilus has hundreds of other stories he could tell about Euclio, but this one will suffice to remind us of just how much of a foolish and tight-fisted old man he really is.

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