Riches and poverty, money-making and money-spending, are matters of everyday life and therefore topics of comedy rather than of mythological tragedy. In tragedy, gold is often associated with the Orient, and Troy is the notorious city of luxury and splendour. The contrast between oriental luxuriance and Greek frugality in myth is aptly illustrated by the encounter of Paris and Helen, and it is still stressed in Aeschylus’ Persae , where Queen Atossa leaves her golden palace to learn from the chorus that the power of the Athenians depends upon a single silver mine ( Pers. 237-8). Accordingly, in Herodotus (7.102.1) Xerxes receives a warning from the Spartan king Demaratus: ‘Greece is always familiar with poverty.’