Shall the favourite of the gods—shall the guest of Hypatia—earn his breakfast, while I have an obol to share with him?
Thy aim was lettuces; they are worth an obol, they are not worth a talent.
Six years ago to-day it was I came to Rome, with barely an obol of ready money, to make my fortune by my wits.
The obol referred to is the small coin placed between the lips of the dead to pay the toll to the ferryman of Hades.
ancient Greek small coin and weight, 1660s, from Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, identical with obelos "a spit, needle." From the original shape.