E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Poorer than Irus (Iro pauperior).
Irus was the beggar employed by the suitors of Penelop to carry to her their tokens of love. When Ulysses returned home, Irus attempted to prevent his entering the gates, but Ulysses felled him to the ground, and threw the dead body into the road.