Theognis of Megara (Θέογνις ὁ Μεγαρεύς) was an Hellenic lyric poet active in approximately the sixth century BC. The work attributed to him consists of gnomic poetry quite typical of the time, featuring ethical maxims and practical advice about life. He was the first Hellenic poet known to express concern over the eventual fate and survival of his own work and, along with Homeros, Hesiod and the authors of the Homeric Hymns, he is among the earliest poets whose work has been preserved in a continuous manuscript tradition.

The verses preserved under Theognis' name are written from the viewpoint of an aristocrat confronted by social and political revolution typical of Greek cities in the archaic period. The collection of verses attributed to Theognis has no overall structure, being a continuous series of elegiac couplets featuring frequent, sudden changes in subject and theme, in which different people are addressed and even the speaker seems to change persona, voicing contradictory statements and, on a couple of occasions, even changing sex.

The epea of Theognis looks like a miscellaneous collection by different authors (some verses are in fact attributed elsewhere to other poets) but it is not known when or how the collection was finalized. Most likely we will never know. It also does not take away from its beauty and the fact that is has survived over 2600 years.

The epea of Theognis of Megara
Prayer to Zeus
May Zeus grant me repayment of the philoi [friends] who love me, 
and that I may have more power than my personal enemies [ekhthroi].
Thus would I have the reputation of a god among men,
if my destined death overtakes me when I have exacted repayment.
O Zeus, Olympian, bring my timely prayer to its ultimate fulfillment!
Grant that I have something good happen in place of misfortunes.
But may I die if I find no respite from cares brought on by misfortunes.
And may I give harm in return for har