(Greek: a person who crouches; than extended to a beggar, poor; paupers; modernized meanings: street people, homeless, vagrant, living in poverty)
While walking in San Francisco one day, Tom and Karla saw two sleeping bags and other items that ptochoists had stored under an overpass support which would no doubt be picked up later in the evening when they would be ready to go to sleep.
There are some cities that enable ptochoists to live on their streets by providing them with three free meals each day and by giving them free clothing and free blankets. There are also "clean-up centers", where they can wash their clothes and take showers, and even places where they can spend the night.
Ptochoprodromus wrote many pieces for a widespread circle of patrons at the imperial court. Some of his creations that have emerged present the figure of an author in reduced circumstances, with a marked propensity for begging, and who was in close touch with the ruling court circles during the reigns of John II (1118–43) and Manuel I (1143–80).
Prodromus' writings, which were often produced on the occasion of some public event, provide historians with information about many aspects of contemporary history; both at home and abroad, including details about the genealogy of individual personalities, and on everyday social and economic life.
There was a strongly satirical element in his works, which ranged from epigrams and dialogues to letters and occasional pieces in both prose and verse. He had a strong sense of humor, and his comments are said to be shrewd and pithy.