The fiction of Belisarius wandering as a blind beggar through the streets of Constantinople, which has been adopted by Marmontel in his Belisaire, and by various painters and poets, is first heard of in the 10th century.
The term came in time to mean " a beggar " and with that meaning has passed through Aramaic and Hebrew into many modern languages; but though the Code does not regard him as necessarily poor, he may have been landless.
He was described to Pepys on his acquiring office as "one of a broken sort of people that have not much to lose and therefore will venture all," and as "a beggar having £1Too or £1200 a year, but owes above £10,000."
Leaving his mule to the abbey, and giving away his worldly clothes to a beggar, he kept his watch in the church during the night of the 24th-25th of March, and placed on the Lady altar his sword and dagger.
Lucian and Apuleius give descriptions of the beggar-priests who went round the great cities with an image of the goddess on an ass and collected money.
Diogo Lopes escaped through the gratitude of a beggar to whom he had formerly done a kindness; but Coelho and Gonzales were executed, with horrible tortures, in the very presence of the king.
While stationed at Amiens he divided his cloak with a beggar, and on the following night had the vision of Christ making known to his angels this act of charity to Himself on the part of "Martinus, still a catechumen."
There is little doubt that the name is introduced simply as part of the parable, and not with any idea of identifying the beggar with Lazarus of Bethany.
Their living by weaving and the like, and appear to have been in intimate connexion with the craft-gilds; but under the influence of the mendicant movement of the 13th century these tended to break up, and, though certain of the male beguinages survived or were incorporated as tertiaries in the orders of friars, the name of Beghard became associated with groups of wandering mendicants who made religion a cloak for living on charity; beguigner becoming in the French language of the time synonymous with "to beg," and beghard with "beggar," a word which, according to the latest authorities, was probably imported into England in the 13th century from this source (see Beggar).
A beggar among the Parsees is unknown, and would be a scandal to the society.
Once ordained bishop of Edessa, with the connivance of Theodora, James, disguised as a ragged beggar (whence his name Baradaeus, Syriac Burdeana, Arabic alBar adia), traversed these regions preaching, teaching and ordaining new clergy to the number, it is said, of 80,000.
Sometimes Athena disguises him as a decrepit beggar, sometimes she bestows on him supernatural beauty and vigour.
But long before the advent of Buddhism, the hermit, or wandering beggar, was a familiar figure in India.
The society also maintained Beggar Colonies for the compulsory detention of persons committing the offence of begging.
A short fragment has been discovered (in the Rainer papyri) from the `OSuvQei s abr6 oXos, which told how Odysseus got inside Troy in the disguise of a beggar and obtained valuable information.
On the shore of the Irish Sea is Leasowe Castle, once known as Mock-Beggar Hall, and supposed to have been erected by the earls of Derby in the reign of Elizabeth, in order to witness the horse-races held here.
"I too, 0 brahmin," said the beggar, "plough and sow; and having ploughed and sown I eat."
"For my cultivation," said the beggar, "faith is the seed, self-combat is the fertilizing rain, the weeds I destroy are the cleaving to existence, wisdom is my plough, and its guidingshaft is modesty; perseverance draws my plough, and I guide it with the rein of my mind; the field I work is in the law, and the harvest that I reap is the never-dying nectar of Nirvana.
In that year he made his way back, a beggar without means or clothing, to Prussia.