A fragment of a poem attributed to the early sixth century poet Alcaeus goes like this:
This I know for certain, that if a man moves gravel . . . he will probably get a sore head.
A fragment by his slightly more famous contemporary is even more direct, if not pithy (see title). And you thought Sappho only wrote about sexy stuff! JM and I were laughing at these lines earlier today while we shoveled and wheelbarrowed three tons of gravel. That is not an exaggeration, but it is the amount a dumptruck dumped in our driveway for our patio project. Above is the area we shoveled from, after we shoveled from it.
And while it's known that the ancient greeks had wheelbarrows (though maybe not in the 6th c), perhaps they had different ways of moving gravel, because I didn't so much get a sore head. But sore hands, a sore foot, and sore shoulders, oh yeah.