The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Deipnosophists; or, Banquet of the Learned of Athenæus, Vol. 2 (of 3)

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Title: The Deipnosophists; or, Banquet of the Learned of Athenæus, Vol. 2 (of 3)

Author: of Naucratis Athenaeus

Translator: Charles Duke Yonge

Release date: April 7, 2021 [eBook #65023]

Language: English

Credits: Brian Wilsden, Turgut Dincer and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.



By C. D. YONGE, B.A.






The Phagesia—Fish—Epicures—Cooks—Sharks—Fish—Glaucus —Eels—The Tunny-fish—Fish—Pike—Fish—The Polypus 433-521
Aquatic Animals—Fish—Recommendations to present Enjoyment— Fish—Hyperides—Epicures—Stratonicus—Aristotle—Aristotle's Natural History—Fish—The Swallow—Ephesus—Names of Feasts —Feasts—The Dole-basket 523-576
The words Τακεπὸϛ and Σίναπι—The word πάρψιϛ—Turnips—Cabbage—Leeks—Poultry— Anaxandrides—Pigs—Cooks—Use of particular Words—Learned Cooks—Cooks—Use of particular Words—Made Dishes—Pheasants —The Porphyrion—Partridges—The Bustard—Sparrows—Quails —Pigeons—Ducks—Sucklings—Attic form of Nouns in ωϛ—Loins—Hares—The word Σύαγροϛ—Dinners—Cookery —Chamæleon—Bean Soup—Soap—Towels 576-648
Ulysses—Voracity of certain Persons—Of Mithridates—Of the Bœotians—Of the Thessalians—Menedemus—Praise of Temperance—Stilpo—Mixing Wine—Cupbearers—Drinking—The Proportions of Mixed Wine—Drinking—Wine—Lacedæmonian Fashions—Thirst—Philip of Macedon—Arcadion—Dionysius —Antiochus Epiphanes—Demetrius—Female Drinkers—The Illyrians—Evils of Drunkenness Forms of ΠίνωΤρῖφοι—Riddles—Τρῖφοι—Euripides— Τρῖφοι—Enigmatical Sayings—Capping Verses— Τρῖφοι 648-725
Cups—Drinking Pledges—Athenian Banquets—Drinking-cups —The Pleiades—Meaning of particular Words—Drinking—cups —Plato. 725-815

[Pg 433]



1. AND when the Banquet was now finished, the cynics, thinking that the festival of the Phagesia was being celebrated, were delighted above all things, and Cynulcus said,—While we are supping, O Ulpian, since it is on words that you are feasting us, I propose to you this question,—In what author do you find any mention of the festivals called Phagesia, and Phagesiposia? And he, hesitating, and bidding the slaves desist from carrying the dishes round, though it was now evening, said,—I do not recollect, you very wise man, so that you may tell us yourself, in order that you may sup more abundantly and more pleasantly. And he rejoined,—If you will promise to thank me when I have told you, I will tell you. And as he agreed to thank him, he continued;—Clearchus, the pupil of Aristotle, but a Solensian by birth, in the first book of his treatise on Pictures, (for I recollect his very expressions, because I took a great fancy to them,) speaks as follows:—"Phagesia—but some call the festival Phagesiposia—but this festival has ceased, as also has that of the Rhapsodists, which they celebrated about the time of the Dionysiac festival, in which every one as they passed by sang a hymn to the god by way of doing him honour." This is what Clearchus wrote. And if you doubt it, my friend, I, who have got the book, will not mind lending it to you. And you may learn a good deal from it, and get a great many questions to ask us out of it. For he relates that Callias the Athenian composed a Grammatical Tragedy, from which Euripides in his Medea, and Sophocles in his Œdipus, derived their choruses and the arrangement of their plot.

2. And when all the guests marvelled at the literary accomplishments of Cynulcus, Plutarch said,—In like manner there used to be celebrated in my own Alexandria a Flagon-bearing festival, which is mentioned by Eratosthenes in his treatise entitled Arsinoe. And lie speaks as follows:—"When Ptolemy was instituting a festival and all kinds of [Pg 434] sacrifices, and especially those which relate to Bacchus, Arsinoe asked the man who bore the branches, what day he was celebrating now, and what festival it was. And when he replied, 'It is called the Lagynophoria; and the guests lie down on beds and so eat all that they have brought with them, and every one drinks out of his own flagon which he has brought from home;' and when he had departed, she, looking towards us, said, 'It seems a very dirty kind of party; for it is quite evident that it must be an assembly of a mixed multitude, all putting down stale food and such as is altogether unseasonable and unbecoming.' But if the kind of feast had pleased her, then the queen would not have objected to preparing the very same things herself, as is done at the festival called Choes. For there every one feasts separately, and the inviter only supplies the materials for the feast."

3. But one of the Grammarians who were present, looking on the preparation of the feast, said,—In the next place, how shall we ever be able to eat so large a supper? Perhaps we are to go on "during the night," as that witty writer Aristophanes says in his Æolosicon, where however his expression is "during the whole night." And, indeed, Homer uses the preposition διὰ in the same way, for he says—

He lay within the cave stretch'd o'er the sheep (διὰ μήλων);

where διὰ μήλων means "over all the sheep," indicating the size of the giant. And Daphnus the physician answered him; Meals taken late at night, my friend, are more advantageous for everybody. For the influence of the moon is well adapted to promote the digestion of food, since the moon has putrefying properties; and digestion depends upon putrefaction. Accordingly victims slain at night are more digestible; and wood which is cut down by moonlight decays more rapidly. And also the greater proportion of fruits ripen by moonlight.

[Pg 435]


4. But since there were great many sorts of fish, and those very different both as to size and beauty, which had been served up and which were still being constantly served up for the guests, Myrtilus said,—Although all the different dishes which we eat, besides the regular meal, are properly called by one generic name, ὄψον, still it is very deservedly that on account of its delicious taste fish has prevailed over everything else, and has appropriated the name to itself; because men are so exceedingly enamoured of this kind of food. Accordingly we speak of men as ὀψοφάγοι, not meaning people who eat beef (such as Hercules was, who ate beef and green figs mixed together); nor do we mean by such a term a man who is fond of figs; as was Plato the philosopher, according to the account given of him by Phanocritus in his treatise on the Glorious: and he tells us in the same book that Arcesilas was fond of grapes: but we mean by the term only those people who haunt the fish-market. And Philip of Macedon was fond of apples, and so was his son Alexander, as Dorotheus tells us in the sixth book of his history of the Life and Actions of Alexander. But Chares of Mitylene relates that Alexander, having found the finest apples which he had ever seen in the country around Babylon, filled boats with them, and had a battle of apples from the vessels, so as to present a most beautiful spectacle. And I am not ignorant that, properly speaking, whatever is prepared for being eaten by the agency of fire is called ὄψον. For indeed the word is either identical with ἐψὸν, or else perhaps it is derived from ὀπτάω, to roast.

5. Since then there are a great many different kinds of fish which we eat at different seasons, my most admirable Timocrates, (for, as Sophocles says—

A chorus too of voiceless fish rush'd on,
Making a noise with their quick moving tails.

The tails not fawning on their mistress, but beating against the dish. And as Achæus says in his Fates—

There was a mighty mass of the sea-born herd—
A spectacle which fill'd the wat'ry waste,
Breaking the silence with their rapid tails;)

I will now recapitulate to you what the Deipnosophists said about each: for each of them brought to the discussion of the subject some contribution of quotation from books; though I will not mention the names of all who took part in the conversation, they were so numerous.

Amphis says in his Leucas—

Whoever buys some ὄψον for his supper,
And, when he might get real genuine fish,
Contents himself with radishes, is mad.

And that you may find it easy to remember what was said, I will arrange the names in alphabetical order. For as Sophocles, in his Ajax [Pg 436] Mastigophorus, called fish ἐλλοὶ, saying—

He gave him to the ἐλλοὶ ἰχύες to eat;

one of the company asked whether any one before Sophocles ever used this word; to whom Zoilus replied,—But I, who am not a person ὀψοφαγίστατοϛ [exceedingly fond of fish], (for that is a word which Xenophon has used in his Memorabilia, where he writes, "He is ὀψοφαγίστατοϛ and the greatest fool possible,") am well aware that the man who wrote the poem Titanomachia [or the Battle of the Giants], whether he be Eumelus the Corinthian, or Arctinus, or whatever else his name may chance to have been, in the second book of his poem speaks thus—

In it did swim the gold-faced ἐλλοὶ ἐχθύεϛ,
And sported in the sea's ambrosial depths.

And Sophocles was very fond of the Epic Cycle, so that he composed even entire plays in which he has followed the stories told in their fables.

6. Presently when the tunnies called Amiæ were put on the table, some one said,—Aristotle speaks of this fish, and says that they have gills out of sight, and that they have very sharp teeth, and that they belong to the gregarious and carnivorous class of fishes: and that they have a gall of equal extent with their whole intestines, and a spleen of corresponding proportions. It is said also that when they are hooked, they leap up towards the fisherman, and bite through the line and so escape. And Archippus mentions them in his play entitled the Fishes, where he says—

But when you were eating the fat amiæ.

And Epicharmus in his Sirens says—

A. In the morning early, at the break of day,
We roasted plump anchovies,
Cutlets of well-fed pork, and polypi;
And then we drank sweet wine.
B. Alack! alack! my silly wife detain'd me,
Chattering near the monument.
A. I'm sorry for you. Then, too, there were mullets
And large plump amiæ—
A noble pair i' the middle of the table,
And eke a pair of pigeons,
A scorpion and a lobster.

[Pg 437]


And Aristotle, inquiring into the etymology of the name, says that they were called amiæ, παρὰ τὸ ἅμα ἰέναι ταῖς παραπλησίαις (from their going in shoals with their companions of the same kind). But Icesius, in his treatise on the Materials of Food, says that they are full of a wholesome juice, and tender, but only of moderate excellency as far as their digestible properties go, and not very nutritious.

7. But Archestratus,—that writer so curious in all that relates to cookery,—in his Gastrology (for that is the title of the book as it is given by Lycophron, in his treatise on Comedy, just as the work of Cleostratus of Tenedos is called Astrology), speaks thus of the amia:—

But towards the end of autumn, when the Pleiad
Has hidden its light, then dress the amiæ
Whatever way you please. Why need I teach you?
For then you cannot spoil it, if you wish.
But if you should desire, Moschus my friend,
To know by what recipe you best may dress it;
Take the green leaves of fig-trees, and some marjoram,
But not too much; no cheese or other nonsense,
But merely wrap it up in the fig-leaves,
And tie it round with a small piece of string,
Then bury it beneath the glowing ashes,
Judging by instinct of the time it takes
To be completely done without being burnt.
And if you wish to have the best o' their kind,
Take care to get them from Byzantium;
Or if they come from any sea near that
They'll not be bad: but if you go down lower,
And pass the straits into the Ægæan sea,
They're quite a different thing, in flavour worse
As well as size, and merit far less praise.

8. But this Archestratus was so devoted to luxury, that he travelled over every country and every sea, with great diligence, wishing, as it seems to me, to seek out very carefully whatever related to his stomach; and, as men do who write Itineraries and Books of Voyages, so he wishes to relate everything with the greatest accuracy, and to tell where every kind of eatable is to be got in the greatest perfection; for this is what he professes himself, in the preface to his admirable Book of Precepts, which he addresses to his companions, Moschus and Cleander; enjoining them, as the Pythian priestess says, to seek

A horse from Thessaly, a wife from Sparta,
And men who drink at Arethusa's fount.

And Chrysippus, a man who was a genuine philosopher, and a thorough man at all points, says that he was the teacher of Epicurus, and [Pg 438] of all those who follow his rules, in everything which belongs to pleasure, which is the ruin of everything. For Epicurus says, without any concealment, but speaking with a loud voice, as it were, "For I am not able to distinguish what is good if you once take away the pleasure arising from sweet flavours, and if you also take away amatory pleasures." For this wise man thinks that even the life of the intemperate man is an unimpeachable one, if he enjoys an immunity from fear, and also mirth. On which account also the comic poets, running down the Epicureans, attack them as mere servants and ministers of pleasure and intemperance.

9. Plato, in his Joint Deceiver, representing a father as indignant with his son's tutor, makes him say—

A. You've taken this my son, and ruin'd him,
You scoundrel; you've persuaded him to choose
A mode of life quite foreign to his nature
And disposition; taught by your example,
He drinks i' the morning, which he ne'er was used to do.
B. Do you blame me, master, that your son
Has learnt to live?
A. But do you call that living?
B. Wise men do call it so. And Epicurus
Tells us that pleasure is the only good.
A. Indeed; I never heard that rule before.
Does pleasure come then from no other source?
Is not a virtuous life a pleasure now?
Will you not grant me that?—Tell me, I pray you,
Did you e'er see a grave philosopher
Drunk, or devoted to these joys you speak of?
B. Yes; all of them.—All those who raise their brows,
Who walk about the streets for wise men seeking,
As if they had escaped their eyes and hid:
Still when a turbot once is set before them,
Know how to help themselves the daintiest bits.
They seek the head and most substantial parts,
As if they were an argument dissecting,
So that men marvel at their nicety.

And in his play entitled the Homicide, the same Plato, laughing at one of those gentle philosophers, says—

The man who has a chance to pay his court
To a fair woman, and at eve to drink
Two bottles full of richest Lesbian wine,
Must be a wise man; these are real goods.
These things I speak of are what Epicurus
Tells us are real joys; and if the world
All lived the happy life I live myself,
There would not be one wicked man on earth.

[Pg 439]


And Hegesippus, in his Philetairi, says—

That wisest Epicurus, when a man
Once ask'd him what was the most perfect good
Which men should constantly be seeking for,
Said pleasure is that good. Wisest and best
Of mortal men, full truly didst thou speak:
For there is nothing better than a dinner,
And every good consists in every pleasure.

10. But the Epicureans are not the only men who are addicted to pleasure; but those philosophers are so too who belong to what are called the Cyrenaic and the Mnesistratean sects; for these men delight to live luxuriously, as Posidonius tells us. And Speusippus did not much differ from them, though he was a pupil and a relation of Plato's. At all events, Dionysius the tyrant, in his letters to him, enumerating all the instances of his devotion to pleasure, and also of his covetousness, and reproaching him with having levied contributions on numbers of people, attacks him also on account of his love for Lasthenea, the Arcadian courtesan. And, at the end of all, he says this—"Whom do you charge with covetousness, when you yourself omit no opportunity of amassing base gain? For what is there that you have been ashamed to do? Are you not now attempting to collect contributions, after having paid yourself for Hermeas all that he owed?"

11. And about Epicurus, Timon, in the third book of his Silli, speaks as follows:—

Seeking at all times to indulge his stomach,
Than which there's no more greedy thing on earth.

For, on account of his stomach, and of the rest of his sensual pleasures, the man was always flattering Idomeneus and Metrodorus. And Metrodorus himself, not at all disguising this admirable principle of his, says, somewhere or other, "The fact is, Timocrates, my natural philosopher, that every investigation which is guided by principles of nature, fixes its ultimate aim entirely on gratifying the stomach." For Epicurus was the tutor of all these men; who said, shouting it out, as I may say, "The fountain and root of every good is the pleasure of the stomach: and all wise rules, and all superfluous rules, are measured alike by this standard." And in his treatise on the Chief Good, he speaks nearly as follows: "For I am not able to understand what is good, if I leave out of consideration the pleasures which arise from delicately-flavoured food, and if I also leave out the pleasures which [Pg 440] arise from amatory indulgences; and if I also omit those which arise from music, and those, too, which are derived from the contemplation of beauty and the gratification of the eyesight." And, proceeding a little further, he says, "All that is beautiful is naturally to be honoured; and so is virtue, and everything of that sort, if it assists in producing or causing pleasure. But if it does not contribute to that end, then it may be disregarded.

12. And before Epicurus, Sophocles, the tragic poet, in his Antigone, had uttered these sentiments respecting pleasure—

For when a man contemns and ceases thus
To seek for pleasure, I do not esteem
That such an one doth live; I only deem him
A breathing corpse:—he may, indeed, perhaps
Have store of wealth within his joyless house;
He may keep up a kingly pomp and state;
But if these things be not with joy attended,
They are mere smoke and shadow, and contribute,
No, not one jot, to make life enviable.

And Philetærus says, in his Huntress,—

For what, I pray you, should a mortal do,
But seek for all appliances and means
To make his life from day to day pass happily?
This should be all our object and our aim,
Reflecting on the chance of human life.
And never let us think about to-morrow,
Whether it will arrive at all or not.
It is a foolish trouble to lay up
Money which may become stale and useless.

And the same poet says, in his Œnopion,—

But every man who lives but sparingly,
Having sufficient means, I call and think
Of all men the most truly miserable.
For when you're dead, you cannot then eat eels;
No wedding feasts are cook'd in Pluto's realms.

13. And Apollodorus the Carystian, in his Stirrer-up of Law-suits, says—

O men, whoe'er you are, why do you now
Scorn pleasant living, and turn all your thoughts
To do each other mischief in fierce war?
In God's name, tell me, does some odious fate,
Rude and unlettered, destitute of all
That can be knowledge call'd, or education,
Ignorant of what is bad and what is good,
Guide all your destiny?—a fate which settles

[Pg 441]

All your affairs at random by mere chance?
I think it must be so: for else, what deity
Who bears a Grecian heart, would ever choose
To see Greeks by each other thus despoil'd,
And falling dead in ghastly heaps of corpses,
When she might see them sportive, gay, and jesting,
Drinking full cups, and singing to the flute?
Tell me, my friend, I pray, and put to shame
This most unpolish'd clownish fortune.

And, presently afterwards, he says—

Does not a life like this deserve the name
Of godlike?—Think how far more pleasant all
Affairs would be in all the towns of Greece
Than now they are, if we were but to change
Our fashions, and our habits, and our principles
One little bit. Why should we not proclaim,
"Whoe'er is more than thirty years of age,
Let him come forth and drink. Let all the cavalry
Go to a feast at Corinth, for ten days,
Crown'd with chaplets, and perfumed most sweetly.
Let all who radishes have got to sell
Come in the morning here from Megara.
Bid all th' allies now hasten to the bath,
And mix in cups the rich Eubœan wine?"—
Sure this is real luxury and life,
But we are slaves to a most clownish fortune.

14. The poets say that that ancient hero, Tantalus, was also greatly devoted to pleasure. At all events, the author of the book called The Return of the Atridæ says "that he, when he had arrived among the gods, and had begun to live among them, had leave given him by Jupiter to ask for whatever he wished; and that he, being a man quite insatiable in the gratification of his appetites, asked that it might be granted to him to indulge them to their full extent, and to live in the same manner as the gods. And that Jupiter was indignant at this request, and, according to his promise, fulfilled his prayer; but still, that he might not enjoy what he had before him, but be everlastingly tormented, he hung a stone over his head, on account of which he should be unable to get at any of the things which he had before him." Some of the Stoics also were addicted to this kind of pleasure. At all events, Eratosthenes the Cyrenean, who was a pupil of Ariston the Chian, who was one of the sect of the Stoics, in his treatise which is entitled Ariston, represents his master as subsequently being much addicted to luxury, speaking as follows: [Pg 442] "And before now, I have at times discovered him breaking down, as it were, the partition wall between pleasure and virtue, and appearing on the side of pleasure." And Apollophanes (and he was an acquaintance of Ariston), in his Ariston (for he also wrote a book with that title), shows the way in which his master was addicted to pleasure. And why need we mention Dionysius of Heraclea? who openly discarded his covering of virtue, and put on a robe embroidered with flowers, and assumed the name of The altered Man; and, although he was an old man, he apostatized from the doctrines of the Stoics, and passed over to the school of Epicurus; and, in consequence, Timon said of him, not without some point and felicity—

When it is time to set (δύνειν), he now begins
To sit at table (ἡδύνεσθαι). But there is a time
To love, a time to wed, a time to cease.

15. Apollodorus the Athenian, in the third book of his treatise on a Modest and Prudent Man, which is addressed to those whom he calls Male Buffoons, having first used the expression, "more libidinous than the very Inventors themselves (ἄλφησται)," says, there are some fish called ἄλφησται, being all of a tawny colour, though they have a purple hue in some parts. And they say that they are usually caught in couples, and that one is always found following at the tail of the other; and therefore, from the fact of one following close on the tail of the other, some of the ancients call men who are intemperate and libidinous by the same name. But Aristotle, in his work on Animals, says that this fish, which he calls alphesticus, has but a single spine, and is of a tawny colour. And Numenius of Heraclea mentions it, in his treatise on Fishing, speaking as follows:—

The fish that lives in seaweed, the alphestes,
The scorpion also with its rosy meat.

And Epicharmus, in his Marriage of Hebe, says—

Mussels, alphestæ, and the girl-like fish,
The dainty coracinus.

Mithæcus also mentions it in his Culinary Art.

16. There is another fish called Anthias, or Callicthys; and this also is mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Marriage of Hebe:—

[Pg 443]

The sword-fish and the chromius too,
Who, as Ananius tells us,
Is far the best of all in spring;
But th' anthias in the winter.

And Ananius speaks as follows:—

For spring the chromius is best;
The anthias in winter:
But of all fish the daintiest
Is a young shrimp in fig-leaves.
In autumn there's a dainty dish,
The meat of the she-goat;
And when they pick and press the grapes,
Young pigs are dainty eating.
Then, too, young puppies you may eat,
And hares, and also foxes.
But when the grasshopper does sing,
Just at the height of summer,
Is the best time for mutton fat;
Then, too, the sea-born tunny
Will many a savoury dish afford,
And beats his compeers all
With garlic seasoning richly drest;
Then, too, the fatted ox
Is sweet to eat both late at night,
And at a noon-day feast.

And I have quoted this piece of Ananius at length, thinking that it might give some suggestions to the present race of Epicures.

17. But Aristotle, in his treatise on the Habits of Animals, says—"They say that wherever the anthias is found, there is no beast or fish of prey ever seen; and accordingly the collectors of sponge use him as a guide, and dive boldly wherever he is found, and call him the sacred fish." And Dorion also mentions him in his book on Fishes, saying, "Some call the anthias by the name of callicthys, and also by that of callionymus and ellops." And Icesius, in his treatise on Materials, says that he is called wolf by some authors, and by others callionymus: and that he is a fish of very solid meat, and full of delicious juice, and easy of digestion; but not very good for the stomach. But Aristotle says that the callicthys is a fish with serrated teeth, carnivorous and gregarious. And Epicharmus, in his Muses, enumerates the ellops among the fishes, but passes over the callicthys or callionymus in silence as being identical with it; and of the ellops he speaks thus,—

[Pg 444]

And then the high-priced ellops.

And the same poet says, subsequently—

He was the fish of which great Jupiter
Once bought a pair for money, and enjoin'd
His slaves to give him one, and Juno t'other.

But Dorion, in his treatise on Fish, says that the anthias and the callicthys are different fish; and also that the callionymus is not the same as the ellops.

18. But what is the fish which is called the Sacred fish? The author of the Telchinian History, whether it was Epimenides the Cretan, or Teleclides, or any one else, says,—"What are called the sacred fish, are dolphins and pompili." But the pompilus is a very amorous animal; as being sprung himself, at the same time with Venus, from heavenly blood. And Nicander, in the second book of his Œtaica, says—

The pompilus, who points the safest road
To anxious mariners who burn with love,
And without speaking warns them against danger.

And Alexander the Ætolian, in his Crica, if indeed it is a genuine poem, says—

Still did the pompilus direct the helm,
Swimming behind, and guide it down the gulf,
The minister of the gods, the sacred pompilus.

And Pancrates the Arcadian, in his work entitled "Works of the Sea," having first said—

The pompilus, whom all seafaring men
Do call the sacred fish;

proceeds to say, "that the pompilus is not held in great esteem by Neptune only, but also by those gods who occupy Samothrace. At all events that some old fisherman once threatened to punish this fish, when the golden age still flourished among men; and his name was Epopeus, and he belonged to the island of Icarus. He therefore was one day fishing with his son, and they had no luck in their fishing, and caught nothing but pompili, and so did not abstain from eating them, but he and his son ate every one of them, and not long afterwards they suffered for their impiety; for a whale attacked the ship, and ate up Epopeus in the sight of his son." And Pancrates states, "that the pompilus is an enemy to the dolphin; and even the dolphin does not escape with impunity when he has eaten a pompilus, for he becomes unable to exert himself and tremulous when he has eaten him; and so he gets cast on shore, and is eaten himself by the gulls and cormorants; and he is sometimes, when in this state, caught by men who give themselves up to hunting such large fish. And Timachides the Rhodian mentions the pompili in the ninth book of his Banquet, and says—

[Pg 445]

The tench o' the sea, and then the pompili,
The holiest of fish.

And Erinna, or whoever it was who composed the poem which is attributed to her, says—

O pompilus, thou fish who dost bestow
A prosp'rous voyage on the hardy sailor,
Conduct (πομπεύσαιϛ) my dear companion safely home.

19. And Apollonius the Rhodian or Naucratian, in his History of the foundation of Naucratis, says, "Pompilus was originally a man; and he was changed into a fish, on account of some love affair of Apollo's. For the river Imbrasus flows by the city of the Samians,—

And join'd to him, the fairest of the nymphs,
The young and noble Chesias, bore a daughter,
The lovely maid Ocyrhoe—her whose beauty
Was the kind Hours' heaven-descended gift.

They say then that Apollo fell in love with her and endeavoured to ravish her; and that she having crossed over to Miletus at the time of some festival of Diana, when the endeavour was about to be made to carry her off, being afraid of such an attempt being made, and being on her guard, entreated Pompilus, who was a seafaring man and a friend of her father, to conduct her safe back again to her own country, saying this,—

O Pompilus, to whose wise breast are known
The rapid depths of the hoarse roaring sea,
Show that your mind doth recollect my sire,
Who was your friend, and save his daughter now.

And they say that he led her down to the shore, and conducted her safely across the sea: and that Apollo appeared and carried off the maiden, and sunk the ship with stones, and metamorphosed Pompilus into a fish of the same name, and that he made

The Pompilus an everlasting slave
Of ships that swiftly pass along the sea.

20. But Theocritus the Syracusan, in his poem entitled Berenice, calls [Pg 446] the fish which is called leucus the sacred fish, speaking thus—

And if a mortal seeks the gods with prayer
For a successful hunt, or plenteous gold,
A man who lives by the sea, whose nets he makes
His ploughs to raise his crops; then let him come,
And just at nightfall sacrifice with prayer
To this same goddess the most sacred fish,
Which men call leucus, (loveliest he of fish,)
Then let him bend his nets; and soon he shall
Draw them back from the waters full of prey.

But Dionysius, who was surnamed the Iambic, in his treatise on Dialects, writes thus—"We have heard accordingly an Eretrian fisherman, and many other fishermen, too, of other countries, call the pompilus the sacred fish. Now the pompilus is a sea fish, and is very commonly seen around ships, being something like the tunny called pelamys. However, some one spoken of by the poet catches this fish;—

Sitting upon a high projecting rock
He caught the sacred fish.

Unless, indeed, there be any other kind which is likewise called the sacred fish. But Callimachus in his Galatea calls the chrysophrys the sacred fish, where he says—

Or shall I rather say the gold-brow'd fish,
That sacred fish, or perch, or all the rest
Which swim beneath the vast unfathom'd sea.

But in his Epigrams the same poet says—

The sacred sacred hyca.

But some understand by the term sacred fish, one let go and dedicated to the god, just as people give the same name to a consecrated ox. But others consider that sacred is here only equivalent to great, as Homer speaks of

The sacred might of Alcinous.

And some think that it is only called ἰερὸϛ as ἱέμενοϛ πρὸϛ τὸν ῥοῦν (going down stream)."

21. But Clitarchus, in the seventh book of his treatise on Dialects, says—"The nautical people call the pompilus the sacred fish, because it conducts ships out of the open sea into harbour, on which account it is called πόμπιλοϛ from πέμπω, being the same fish as the chrysophrys." And Eratosthenes in his Mercury says—

[Pg 447]

They left a share of all their booty there;
Still living centipedes, the bearded mullet,
The sea-thrush, with dark spots embroider'd o'er,
Or the swift sacred fish with golden brows.

Now after all this discussion of ours about fish, the excellent Ulpian may ask why Archestratus, speaking in those excellent suggestions of his of the cured fish on the Bosphorus, says—

Those which do come from the Bosphoric seas
Are whitest; only let there be no sample
Of the hard meat o' the fish which grow around
The Lake Mæotis; not in verse can I
That fish correctly name.

What is the fish, which he says it is not proper to mention in poetry?

22. Anchovies must be next considered. And, indeed, Aristonymus uses the word in the singular number, in his Shivering Sun—

So that there really is not one anchovy.

But of the anchovies there are many kinds, and the one which is called aphritis[1] is not produced from roe, as Aristotle says, but from a foam which floats upon the surface of the water, and which collects in quantities when there have been heavy rains. There is also another kind called cobitis, and that is produced from some little worthless gudgeons which are generated in the sand; and from this anchovy itself another kind is produced, which is called the encrasicholus. There is also another anchovy which is the offspring of the sprat; and another which comes from the membras; and another still which comes from the small cestris, which is engendered in the sand and slime. But of all these kinds the aphritis is the best. But Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, speaks of a fish called the cobites, as good boiled, and also of the spawn of the atherina; and atherina is the name of a fish; and some also call the triglitis an anchovy. But Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Marriage, enumerates the anchovies among the shrimps or membrades; making a distinction between this and what is called the seed. And Icesius says, "Of the anchovy, there is one sort which is white and very thin and frothy, which some people also call the cobitis. And there is another which is not so clean as that, and which is larger; [Pg 448] but the clean and thin one is the better of the two." And Archestratus the contriver of delicate dishes, says,—

Use all anchovies for manure, except
The Attic fish; I mean that useful seed
Which the Ionians do call the foam;
And take it fresh; just caught within the bays,
The sacred bays of beautiful Phalerum.
Good is it too, when by the sea-girt isle
Of Rhodes you eat it, if it's not imported.
And if you wish to taste it in perfection,
Boil nettles with it—nettles whose green leaves
On both sides crown the stem; put these in the dish
Around the fish, then fry them in one pan,
And mix in fragrant herbs well steep'd in oil.

23. But Clearchus the Peripatetic, in his treatise on Proverbs, speaks of the anchovy, and says—"Because they want very little fire for the frying-pan, Archestratus recommends people to put them into a pan which is already hot, and to take them off as soon as they hiss. And they are done, and begin to hiss in a moment, like oil; on which account it is said, 'Anchovy, look at the fire.'" And Chrysippus the philosopher, in his treatise on the Things which deserve to be sought for their own Sakes, says, "The anchovy which is found in the sea at Athens, men despise on account of its abundance, and say that it is a poor man's fish; but in other cities they prize it above everything, even where it is far inferior to the Attic anchovy. Moreover some people," says he, "endeavour to rear the Adriatic fowls in this place, which are much less useful than our own kinds, inasmuch as they are smaller. But the people in the Adriatic, on the contrary, send for our breed from hence." Hermippus, too, uses the word ἀφύη in the singular number, in his Demotæ, where he says,—

You seem not now to move even an anchovy.

And Callias, in his Cyclops, says—

In preference to the best anchovy.

And Aristonymus, in his Shivering Sun, says—

So that there is not really one anchovy.

But Aristophanes uses the diminutive form, and calls them ἀφύδια in his Friers, saying—

Nor these little Phaleric ἀφύδια.

[Pg 449]


24. But Lynceus the Samian, in his letter to Diagoras, praising the Rhodian anchovies, and comparing many of the productions of Attica to those of Rhodes, says—"We may compare to the anchovies of Phalerum those which are called the Æniatides, and you may compare the ellops and the orphus with the glauciscus; and with the Eleusinian plaice and turbot, and whatever other fish there may be among them enjoying a reputation higher than that of Cecrops, Rhodes has the fox fish to compare." But the author of the Delight of Life, exhorts the man who is unable to purchase enough to satisfy his appetite, to get fish to eat by robbery, rather than go without it. But Lynceus calls Archestratus an epicure, who in that much celebrated poem of his speaks thus of the shark:—

Are you at Rhodes? e'en if about to die,
Still, if a man would sell you a fox shark,
The fish the Syracusans call the dog,
Seize on it eagerly; at least, if fat:
And then compose yourself to meet your fate
With brow serene and mind well satisfied.

25. The acharnus is mentioned by Callias in his Cyclops—

A harp-fish roast, besides a ray,
The head too of a tunny,
And eel, some crabs, and this acharnus,
The great Ænean dainty.

26. The ray, roach, or sea-frog may also be mentioned. They are mentioned under the two former names by Aristotle in his treatise on Animals, where he classes them under the head of cartilaginous fish. And Eupolis, in his Flatterers, says—

At Callias's house there is much pleasure,
For he has crabs for dinner, rays besides,
And hares, and women with light twinkling feet.

And Epicharmus says, in his Marriage of Hebe—

And there were rays and sea-frogs, sawfish, sharks,
Camitæ, roach, and lobsters with hard shells.

And in his Megarian Woman he writes—

Its sides were like a ray,
Its back was altogether like a roach,
Its head was long, far more like a stag's,
Its flanks were like a scorpion's, son of the sea.

And Sannyrion says, in his Laughter—

O rays, O dainty grayling.

And Aristotle in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of [Pg 450] Animals, says that the following are cartilaginous fish; the ray, the turtle, the sea-cow, the lamprey, the sea-eagle, the sea-frog, and the whole of the shark tribe. But Sophron in his Farces, gives one fish the name of botis, saying, "The cestres eat the botis," though it is possible that he may be speaking of some herb. But with respect to the sea frog, the wise Archestratus gives us the following advice in his Apophthegms—

Whenever you behold a frog, why roast him
*                     *                     *                     *
And . . . . prepare his stomach.

And concerning the ray, he says—

A boiled ray is good about mid-winter.
Eat it with cheese and assafœtida;
But all the sons o' the sea whose flesh is lean
Should, as a rule, be dress'd in such a fashion;
And thus I recommend you now again.

And Ephippus the comic poet, in his play called Philyra, (now Philyra is the name of a courtesan), says—

A. Shall I first cut a ray in slender slices
And boil it? aye? or like the cooks in Sicily
Shall I prefer to roast it?
B. Copy Sicily.

27. There are also fish called boaxes. Aristotle, in his treatise entitled Concerning Animals or Fish, says, "The following animals are marked on the back; the boax and others—the following are marked transversely, the kind of tunny-fish called colias." And Epicharmus in his Marriage of Hebe, speaks thus—

And in addition to all these the boax,
The smarides, anchovies, crabs and lobsters.

And Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, calls them boeces, saying—

The white synodons, the boeces, and trinchi.

But Speusippus and the rest of the Attic writers call them boaces. Aristophanes in his play called The Women who occupy Tents, says—

But having had a bellyful of boaces,
I turn'd my steps towards home.

[Pg 451]


And they derived their name from the noise ( βοὴ) which they make, on which account it used to be said that the fish was sacred to Mercury, as the harp-fish was to Apollo. But Pherecrates in his Ant-Men, saying—"They say that there is no other fish whatever, which has any voice at all;" adds afterwards,—"By Castor and Pollux, there is at least no other fish except the boax." And Aristophanes the Byzantian says—"That we are wrong to call the fish boax, when we ought to call it boops, since, though it is but a little fish, it has very large eyes, so that it might be called boops, having bulls' eyes." But we may reply to him, If we are wrong in naming him as we do, why do we say coracinus, not corocinus? For he derives his name from moving the pupils of his eyes (ἀπὸ τοῦ κόρας κινεῖν). And so too, why do we not call the fish σείουρος instead of σίλουρος? for he has his name from continually shaking his tail (ἀπὸ τοῦ σείειν τὴν οὐράν)?

28. With respect to the small kind of anchovy called membras, Phrynicus, in his Tragedians, says—

O golden-headed membrades, sons of the sea.

But Epicharmus in his Hebe's Wedding, calls them bambradones, and says—

Bambradones and sea-thrushes, and hares,
And furious dragons.

And Sophron in his Manly Qualities, says—"The bambradon, and the needle fish." And Numenius says, in his Treatise on Fishing,

Or a small sprat, or it may be a bembras,
Kept in a well; you recollect these baits.

And Dorion in his book on Fishes, says—"Having taken off the head of a bembras, if it be one of a tolerable size, and having washed it with water, and a small quantity of salt, then boil it in the same manner as you do a mullet; and the bembras is the only kind of anchovy from which is derived the condiment called bembraphya; which is mentioned by Aristonymus in the Sun Shivering—

The carcinobates of Sicily
Resembles the bembraphya.

Still the Attic writers often call them bembrades. Aristomenes says in his Jugglers—

Bringing some bembrades purchased for an obol.

[Pg 452]

And Aristonymus in his Sun Shivering, says—

The large anchovy plainly is not now,
Nor e'en the bembras, quite unfortunate.

And Aristophanes says in his Old Age—

Fed on the hoary bembrades.

And Plato in his Old Men, says—

O Hercules, do just survey these bembrades.

But in the Goats of Eupolis we may find the word written also with a μ (not βεμβρὰς but μεμβρὰς). And Antiphanes says, in his Cnœsthis;—

They do proclaim within the fish-market
The most absurd of proclamations,
For just now one did shout with all his voice
That he had got some bembrades sweet as honey;
But if this be the case, then what should hinder
The honey-sellers crying out and saying,
That they have honey stinking like a bembras?

And Alexis in his Woman leading the Chorus, writes the word with a μ

Who to the young folks making merry, then
Put forth but lately pulse and membrades,
And well-press'd grapes to eat.

And in his Protochorus he says—

No poorer meal, by Bacchus now I swear,
Have I e'er tasted since I first became
A parasite; I'd rather sup on membrades
With any one who could speak Attic Greek;
It would be better for me.

29. There is also a fish called the blennus, and it is mentioned by Sophron, in his play entitled The Fisherman and the Countryman, and he calls it the fat blennus. It is something like the tench in shape. But Epicharmus in his Hebe's Wedding speaks of a fish which he calls baiones, where he says—

Come now and bring me high-backed mullets,
And the ungrateful baiones.

And among the Attic writers there is a proverb, "No baion for me; he is a poor fish."

30. There is also a shell-fish called buglossus. And Archestratus, the Pythagorean, says, because of his temperate habits,

Then we may take a turbot plump, or e'en
A rough buglossus in the summer time,
If one is near the famous Chalcis.

And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

[Pg 453]

There were buglossi and the harp-fish there.

But the fish called cynoglossus differs from the buglossus. And of them too Epicharmus speaks—

There were the variegated plotides,
And cynoglossi, and sciathides.

But the Attic writers call the buglossus the psetta.

31. There are also fish called congers. Icesius says that these are coarser than the common eels; and that their flesh is less firm and less nutritious, and that they are very deficient in palatable juice; but still, that they are good for the stomach. But Nicander, the epic poet, in the third book of his Treatise on Dialects, says that they are also called grylli. But Eudoxus, in the sixth book of his Circuit of the Earth, says that there are numbers of congers caught off Sicyon, each large enough to be a load for a man; and some of them even big enough to be a load for a cart. And Philemon, the comic poet, himself mentioning the extraordinary congers at Sicyon, represents a cook as priding himself on his skill, and saying in the play entitled the Soldier,—

32. How great a wish has now come over me
To tell to heaven and earth the way in which
I did prepare that supper. Aye, by Pallas,
How sweet it is when everything goes right!
How tender was my fish! and how I dress'd it!
Not done with cheese, or powder'd o'er with dyes,
But looking as he did in life, though roasted.
So mild and gentle was the fire which I
Did to the fish apply, you'd scarce believe it.
It was as when a hen does seize some food,
And carries it away to eat at leisure:
She runs all round with care; another sees her,
And straightway follows her to take it from her.
So here, the man who first found out the pleasure
Of dainty eating, sprang up high and ran
All round and round, with his dish in his hand.
The rest pursued him—it was fine to see them:
Some got a little, some got nothing, some
Got all they wanted. Well, as I was saying,
I took some river fish, eaters of mud.
What if I'd had a scare, or blue-back'd fish
From Attic waters, O thou saving Jupiter!
Or boar from Argive woods, or noble conger
From Sicyon's bay, the conger which the god
Of the deep sea doth bear aloft to heaven,
Fit banquet for his brethren. Then no doubt
The guests who ate would all have seem'd like gods;
I should have been immortal, since the dead
By the mere smell of my meat I bring to life again.

[Pg 454]

33. I swear by Minerva that Menecrates the Syracusan himself would not have made such a boast as that, he who was nicknamed Jupiter—a man who gave himself airs as being, by his skill in medicine, the only person who could cause man to live. Accordingly he compelled all who came to be cured by him of what is called the sacred disease, to enter into a written agreement that if they recovered they would be his slaves. And they followed him, one wearing the dress of Hercules, and being called Hercules, (and the man who was so called was Nicostratus, an Argive, who had been cured of the sacred disease, and he is mentioned by Ephippus, in his Peltast, where he says—

Did not Menecrates call himself a god,
And Nicostratus of Argos a second Hercules?)

and another followed him in the dress of Mercury, having on a cloak and bearing a caduceus, and wings besides. As Nicagoras of Zelia did, who also became afterwards the tyrant of his country, as Baton relates in the history of the Tyrants at Ephesus. And Hegesander says that he called Astycreon, who had been cured by him, Apollo. And another of those who had been cured by him, went about with him to his cost, wearing the dress of Æsculapius. But Jupiter Menecrates himself, clad in purple, and having a golden crown upon his head, and holding a sceptre, and being shod with slippers, went about with his chorus of gods. And once, writing to Philip the king, he began his letter thus—

34. "Menecrates Jupiter to Philip greeting.

"You, indeed, are king of Macedonia, but I am king of medicine; and you are able, when you please, to put men to death, who are in health; but I am able to save those who are sick, and to cause those who are in good health, if they only follow my advice, to live to old age without being attacked by disease. Therefore the Macedonians attend you as body-guards; but all who wish to live attend me; for I, Jupiter, give them life."

[Pg 455]


And so Philip wrote back to him as to a man out of his senses,—"Philip wishes Menecrates soundness." And he wrote in similar style to Archidemus, also the king of the Lacedæmonians, and to every one else to whom he wrote at all; never omitting to give himself the name of Jupiter. And once Philip invited him and all his gods to supper, and placed them all on the centre couch, which was adorned in the loftiest and most holy-looking and beautiful manner. And he had a table placed before them on which there was an altar and first-fruits of the different productions of the earth. And whenever eatables were placed before the other guests, the slaves placed incense before Menecrates, and poured libations in his honour. And at last, the new Jupiter, with all his subordinate gods, being laughed at by every one, ran away and fled from the banquet, as Hegesander relates. And Alexis also makes mention of Menecrates in his Minos.

35. And Themiso the Cyprian, the friend of Antiochus the king, as Pythermus the Ephesian relates in the eighth book of his History, not only used to have his name proclaimed in the public assemblies, "Themiso, the Macedonian, the Hercules of Antiochus the king;" but all the people of that country used to sacrifice to him, addressing him as Hercules Themiso; and he himself would come when any of the nobles celebrated a sacrifice, and would sit down, having a couch to himself, and being clad in a lion's skin, and he used also to bear a Scythian bow, and in his hand he carried a club. Menecrates then himself, though he was such as we have said, never made such a preposterous boast as the cook we have been speaking of,—

I am immortal, for I bring the dead,
By the mere smell of my meat, to life again.

36. But the whole tribe of cooks are conceited and arrogant, as Hegesander says in his Brothers. For he introduces a cook, saying—

A. My friend, a great deal has been said already
By many men on the art of cookery,
So either tell me something new yourself,
Unknown to former cooks, or spare my ears.
B. I'll not fatigue you; know that I alone
Of present men have sounded all the depths
Of culinary science and invention;
For I have not been just a short two years
Learning my art with snow-white apron girt,
But all my life I have devoted anxiously
To the investigation of each point
Of moment; I have inquired into all
The different kinds of herbs and vegetables;
I know the habits of the bembrades,
I know the lentils in their various sorts;
In short, this I can say—Whene'er I am
[Pg 456] At a funereal feast as minister,
As soon as men come back from the funeral,
Clad in dark garments, I take off the lids
Of all my saucepans, and the weeping guests
I clothe with smiling faces in a moment;
And such a joy runs through each heart and frame
As if they were a marriage feast attending.
A. What! serving up lentils and bembrades?
B. These are some accidental dishes only;
But when I've got my necessary tools,
And once have properly arranged my kitchen,
That which in old time happen'd with the Sirens
You shall again behold repeated now.
For such shall be the savoury smell, that none
Shall bring themselves to pass this narrow passage;
And every one who passes by the door
Shall stand agape, fix'd to the spot, and mute,
Till some one of his friends, who's got a cold
And lost his smell, drags him away by force.
A. You're a great artist.
B. Do not you then know
To whom you speak? I do declare to you
I have known many of the guests, who have,
For my sake, eaten up their whole estates.

Now, I beg you, tell me, in the name of all the gods at once, in what respect this man appears to you to differ from the Celedones in Pindar, who, in the same manner as the Sirens of old, caused those who listened to them to forget their food through delight, and so to waste away?

37. But Nicomachus, in his Ilithyia, himself also introduces a cook, who in arrogance and conceit goes far beyond the artists on the stage. This cook then speaks to the man who has hired him in this way,—

A. You do display a gentlemanlike taste
And kind; but one thing still you have omitted.
B. How so?
A. You never have inquired it seems
How great a man I am. Or had you heard it
From some one else who was acquainted with me,
And so was that the reason you engaged me?
B. By Jove I never heard or thought about it.
A. Perhaps you do not know how great the difference
Is that exists between one cook and another?
B. Not I, but I shall know now, if you tell me.
A. To take some meat that some one else has bought,
And then to dress it tolerably, is
What any cook can do.
B. O Hercules!

[Pg 457]

A. A perfect cook is quite another thing.
For there are many admirable arts,
All of which he must master thoroughly
Who would excel in this. He first must have
A smattering of painting; and indeed
Many the sciences are which he must learn
Before he's fit to begin learning cookery,—
And you should know them ere you talk to me,—
Astrology, and Medicine, and Geometry.
For by these arts you'll know the qualities
And excellences of the various fish.
You'll learn to guide your dishes by the seasons;
And when this fish is in, and this is out,
For there is great variety in the pleasures
That from the table spring. Sometimes, for instance,
A boax will be better than a tunny.
B. Perhaps; but what on earth has that to do
With your geometry?
A. Why this. We say
The kitchen is a sphere; this we divide,
And take one portion, as may suit our art,
Borrowing the principles of mensuration.
B. I understand; that's quite enough of that.
Where does your medical skill display itself?
A. Know there are meats hard, indigestible,
Pregnant with flatulence, causing only torture
To the unhappy eater, and no nourishment.
Yet those who sup at other folks' expense
Are always greedy and not temperate.
For these and similar viands, remedies
Must come from the resources of our art;
And how to marshal everything in order
With wisdom and propriety, we learn
By borrowing from the science of the General.
To count the guests requires arithmetic.
And no one else has all these parts of knowledge
Except myself.
B. Now in your turn, awhile
Listen to me.
A. Say on.
B. Give no more trouble
To me nor to yourself: but just keep quiet,
And rest yourself all day for all I care.

38. And the cook in the Younger Philemon wishes to be a sort of tutor, and speaks in this fashion—

There, let things be as they are. Only take care
The fire may not too small be or too slow
To roast the joints. (As a fire like that
Makes meat not roast but sodden.) Nor too fierce.
[Pg 458] (For that again does burn whate'er it catches,
And yet is far from cooking the meat through.)
It is not every one who has a spoon
And knife about him that we call a cook,
Nor every one who puts his fish in a pan;
There is more wit and reason in the business.

39. And the cook in Diphilus's Painter tells us also to whom he thinks it worth his while to hire himself, saying—

A. I will not use your meat, nor give my aid
Unless I'm sure that I shall have all means
Which needful are to make a proper show;
Nor do I e'er go anywhere till first
I know who 'tis who makes the sacrifice,
Or what the cause may be which prompts the banquet,
Or who the guests are who have been invited.
For I have got a regular list at home
Of where I choose to go, and where I don't.
As first, to speak of the commercial class;
Some captain of a ship may make a sacrifice
Just to discharge some vow, made when he lost
His mast, or broke the rudder of his vessel,
Or, having sprung a leak, threw overboard
His cargo. I'll have nought to do with him:
For he does nothing willingly, but only
Just so much as he thinks he cannot help.
And every time a cup is fill'd with wine,
He makes a calculation of the sum
Which he can charge his owners or his passengers,
And thinks that what his guests do eat and drink
Is his own flesh and blood. Another came,
But three days since, from the Byzantine port,
Safe and successful; joyful in a profit
Of ten or twelve per cent; talking of nothing
But freight and interest, spending all his love
On worn-out panders. Soon as he did quit
The ship and set his foot upon the land,
I blew my nose, gave him my hand, and utter'd
Audible thanks to saving Jupiter,
And hasten'd forth to wait on him. For this
Is always my way; and I find it answer.
Again, an amorous youth will feast and squander
His sire's estate; to him I go at call.
But those who feast in shares, and throw together
Into one dish their petty contributions,
Though they may tear their clothes, and cry aloud,
"Come, who will cook us our new-purchased supper?"
I let bawl on. For if you go to them,
First there is language hard and blows to bear;
Secondly, one must slave the livelong night;
And when at last you ask them for your pay,
"First bring the pot," say they. "There was no vinegar
In all that salad." Ask again. "Aye, you
Shall be the first to be well beaten here."
I could recount ten thousand facts like this.
B. But where I take now is a rich brothel,
Where a rich courtesan with other friends
Desires to celebrate with great abundance
A joyous feast in honour of Adonis,
And where you may enjoy yourself in style.

[Pg 459]


40. And Archedicus, in his Treasure, another philosophical cookling, speaks in this way—

In the first place the guests invited came
While still the fish lay on the dresser raw.
"Give me some water." "Bring the fish up quick."
Then placing all my pans upon the fire,
I soak'd the ashes well with oil, and raise
A rapid heat. Meantime the fragrant herbs
And pleasant sharpness of the seasonings
Delight my master. Quickly I serve up
Some fish exactly boil'd; retaining all
His juice, and all his unextracted flavour;
A dish which any free-born man must know
How to appreciate rightly. In this manner
At the expense of one small pot of oil
I gain employment at full fifty banquets.

And Philostephanus, in his Delian, gives a catalogue of the names of some celebrated cooks in these lines, and those which follow them—

In my opinion you, O Dædalus,
Surpass all cooks in skill and genius,
Save the Athenian Thimbron, call'd the Top.
So here I've come to beg your services,
Bringing the wages which I know you ask.

41. And Sotades, not the Maronite poet, who composed Ionian songs, but the poet of the middle comedy, in the play entitled The Shut-up Women, (for that was the name which he gave to it,) introduces a cook making the following speech,—

First I did take some squills, and fried them all;
Then a large shark I cut in slices large,
Roasting the middle parts, and the remainder
I boil'd and stuff'd with half-ripe mulberries.
Then I take two large heads of dainty grayling,
And in a large dish place them, adding simply
Herbs, cummin, salt, some water, and some oil.
Then after this I bought a splendid pike,
To boil in pickle with all sorts of herbs.
Avoiding all such roasts as want a spit,
[Pg 460] I bought too some fine mullet, and young thrushes,
And put them on the coals just as they were,
Adding a little brine and marjoram.
To these I added cuttle-fish and squills.
A fine dish is the squill when carefully cook'd.
But the rich cuttle-fish is eaten plain,
Though I did stuff them all with a rich forced meat
Of almost every kind of herb and flower.
Then there were several dishes of boil'd meats,
And sauce-boats full of oil and vinegar.
Besides all this a conger fine and fat
I bought, and buried in a fragrant pickle;
Likewise some tench, and clinging to the rocks
Some limpets. All their heads I tore away,
And cover'd them with flour and bread crumbs over,
And then prepared them as I dress'd the squills.
There was a widow'd amia too, a noble
And dainty fish. That did I wrap in fig-leaves,
And soak'd it through with oil, and over all
With swaddling clothes of marjoram did I fold it,
And hid it like a torch beneath the ashes.
With it I took anchovies from Phalerum,
And pour'd on them one cruet full of water.
Then shredding herbs quite fine, I add more oil,
More than two cotylæ in quantity.
What next? That's all. This sir is what I do,
Not learning from recipes or books of cookery.

42. However, this is enough about cooks. But we must say something about the conger. For Archestratus, in his Gastronomy, tells us how every part of it should be treated, saying—

In Sicyon my friend you best can get
A mighty head of conger, fat, and strong,
And large; and also take his entrails whole,
Then boil him a long time, well-soak'd in brine.

And after this he goes through the whole country of Italy, saying where the congers are best, describing them like a regular writer of an Itinerary, and he says—

There too fine congers may be caught, and they
Are to all other fish as far superior
As a fat tunny is to coracini.

And Alexis, in his Seven against Thebes, says—

And all the parts of a fine conger eel
Well hash'd together, overlaid with fat.

And Archedicus, in his Treasure, introduces a cook speaking of some fish which he has been buying in the following terms—

[Pg 461]

Then for three drachmas I a grayling bought.
Five more I gave for a large conger's head
And shoulders. (Oh, how hard a thing is life!)
Another drachma for the neck. I swear
By Phœbus, if I knew where I could get
Or buy another neck myself, at once
I'd choke the one which now is on my shoulders,
Rather than bring these dishes to this place.
For no one ever had a harder job
To buy so many things at such a price;
And yet if I have bought a thing worth buying
May I be hang'd. They will devour me.
What I now say is what concerns myself.
And then, such wine they spit out on the ground!
Alas! Alas!

43. There is a kind of shark called γαλεὸς, which is eaten. And Icesius, in his treatise on Materials, says that the best and tenderest kind of galei are those called asteriæ. But Aristotle says that there are many kinds of them—the thorny, the smooth, the spotted, the young galeus, the fox shark, and the file shark. But Dorion, in his Book on Fishes, says that the fox shark has only one fin towards his tail, but has none along the ridge of his back. But Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, says that the centrines is also a kind of shark, and also the notidanus. But Epænetus, in his Cookery Book, calls the latter the enotideus, and says "that the centrines is very inferior to him, and that it has a bad smell; and that the one may be distinguished from the other by the fact of the centrines having a sort of spur on his first fin, while the rest of the kinds have not got such a thing." "And he says that these fishes have no fat or suet in them, because they are cartilaginous."

And the acanthias, or thorny shark, has this peculiarity, that his heart is five-cornered. And the galeus has three young at most; and it receives its young into his mouth, and immediately ejects them again; and the variegated galeus is especially fond of doing this, and so is the fox shark. But the other kinds do not do so, because of the roughness of the skins of the young ones.

44. But Archestratus, the man who lived the life of Sardanapalus, speaking of the galeus as he is found at Rhodes, says that it is the same fish as that which, among the Romans, is brought on the table to the music of flutes, and accompanied with crowns, the slaves also who carry it being crowned, and that it is called by the Romans [Pg 462] accipesius. But the accipesius, the same as the acipenser, or sturgeon, is but a small fish in comparison, and has a longer nose, and is more triangular than the galeus in his shape. And the very smallest and cheapest galeus is not sold at a lower price than a thousand Attic drachmæ.[2] But Appian, the grammarian, in his essay on the Luxury of Apicius, says that the accipesius is the fish called the ellops by the Greeks. But Archestratus, speaking of the Rhodian galeus, counselling his companions in a fatherly sort of way, says—

Are you at Rhodes? e'en if about to die,
Still, if a man would sell you a fox shark,
The fish the Syracusans call the dog,
Seize on it eagerly; at least, if fat:
And then compose yourself to meet your fate
With brow serene and mind well satisfied.

Lynceus, the Samian, also quotes these verses in his letter to Diagoras, and says that the poet is quite right in advising the man who cannot afford the price for one, to gratify his appetite by robbery rather than go without it. For he says that Theseus, who I take to have been some very good-looking man, offered to indulge Tlepolemus in anything if he would only give him one of these fish. And Timocles, in his play called The Ring, says—

Galei and rays, and all the fish besides
Which cooks do dress with sauce and vinegar.

45. There is also the sea-grayling. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

There is the variegated scorpion,
The lizard, and the fat sea-grayling too.

And Numenius, in his Treatise on Fishing, says—

The hycca, the callicthys, and the chromis,
The orphus, the sea-grayling too, who haunts
The places where seaweed and moss abound.

And Archestratus, praising the head of the glaucus, says—

If you're at Megara or at Olynthus,
Dress me a grayling's head. For in the shallows
Around those towns he's taken in perfection.

And Antiphanes, in his Shepherd, says—

Bœotian eels, and mussels too from Pontus,
Graylings from Megara, from Carystus shrimps,
Eretrian phagri, and the Scyrian crabs.

[Pg 463]


And the same writer, in his Philotis, speaks thus—

A. What shall be done with the grayling?
B. Why
Now, as at other times, boil him in brine.
A. What with the pike?
B. Why roast him whole, and dish him.
A. What with the galeus?
B. Do him up with stuffing,
And serve him hot.
A. How will you have the eels?
B. Cook them with salt, and marjoram, and water.
A. The conger?
B. Do the same.
A. The ray?
B. Take herbs
And season him with them.
A. There is besides
Half a large tunny.
B. Roast it.
A. Some goat's venison.
B. Roast that.
A. How will you have the rest o' the meat?
B. All boil'd.
A. The spleen?
B. Stuff that.
A. The paunch and trail?

46. And Eubulus says, in his Campylion,—

There was a beautiful dish of the sea-grayling,
And a boil'd pike served up i' savoury pickle.

And Anaxandrides, in his Nereus, says—

The man who first discover'd all the good
Of the most precious head of a large grayling,
And then how dainty was the tunny's meat,
Caught where the waves are by no tempests tost,
How good in short is the whole race of fish,
Nereus his name, dwells in this place for ever.

And Amphis, in his Seven against Thebes, says—

Whole graylings, and large slices of the head.

And in his Philetærus, he says—

Take a small eel, and a fine grayling's head,
And slices of a pike fresh from the sea.

And Antiphanes, in his Cyclops, out-heroding even the epicure Archestratus, says—

Give me an Hymettian mullet,
And a ray just caught, a perch
Split open, and a cuttle-fish,
And a well-roasted synodon;

[Pg 464]

A slice of grayling, and a head
Of mighty conger, luscious food;
A frog's inside, a tunny's flank,
A ray's sharp back, a cestra's loin,
Sea-sparrows, and sea-thrushes too,
Sprats, and anchovies, let me not
Complain of any want.

47. And Nausicrates says, in his Captains of Ships,—

A. They say there are two kinds of fish most tender
And beautiful to see, which oft appear
To sailors wandering o'er the spacious plains
Of ocean. And they say that one foretells
To mortals all the evils which hang o'er them.
B. You mean the grayling.
A. You are right, I do.

And Theolytus, the Methymnæan, in his Bacchic Odes, says that Glaucus the deity of the sea became enamoured of Ariadne, when she was carried off by Bacchus in the island of Dia; and that he, attempting to offer violence to her, was bound by Bacchus in fetters made of vine-twigs; but that when he begged for mercy he was released, saying—

There is a place, Anthedon is its name,
On the sea-side, against th' Eubœan isle,
Near to the stream of the still vext Euripus—
Thence is my race; and Copeus was my sire.

[Pg 465]


And Promathides of Heraclea, in his Half Iambics, traces the pedigree of Glaucus as being the son of Polybus, the son of Mercury, and of Eubœa, the daughter of Larymnus. But Mnaseas, in the third book of his history of the Affairs of Europe, calls him the son of Anthedon and Alcyone; and says that he was a sailor and an excellent diver, and that he was surnamed Pontius; and that having ravished Syme, the daughter of Ialemus and Dotis, he sailed away to Asia, and colonised a desert island near Caria, and called that Syme, from the name of his wife. But Euanthes, the epic poet, in his Hymn to Glaucus, says that he was the son of Neptune and the nymph Nais; and that he was in love with Ariadne, in the island of Dia, and was favoured by her after she had been left there by Theseus. But Aristotle, in his Constitution of the Delians, says that he settled in Delos with the Nereids, and gave oracles to all who wished for them. But Possis, the Magnesian, in the third book of his Amazonis, says that Glaucus was the builder of the Argo, and that he was her pilot when Jason fought the Etrurians, and was the only person unwounded in that naval battle; and that by the will of Jupiter he appeared in the depths of the sea, and so became a sea deity, but was seen by Jason alone. But Nicanor the Cyrenæan, in his Changes of Names, says that Melicerta changed his name and assumed the name of Glaucus.

48. Alexander the Ætolian also mentions him in his poem entitled the Fisherman, saying that he

First tasted grass,

(and then was immersed in the sea and drowned,)

The herb which in the islands of the blest,
When first the spring doth beam upon the earth,
The untill'd land shows to the genial sun.
And the sun gives it to his weary steeds,
A most refreshing food, raised in the shade.
So that they come in vigour back renew'd
Unto their daily task, and no fatigue
Or pain can stop their course.

But Æschrion the Samian, in some one of his Iambic poems, says that Glaucus the sea-deity was in love with Hydna, the daughter of Scyllus, the diver of Scione. And he makes particular mention of this herb, namely, that any one who eats of it becomes immortal, saying—

And you found too th' agrostis of the gods,
The sacred plant which ancient Saturn sow'd.

And Nicander, in the third book of his Europe, says that Glaucus was beloved by Nereus. And the same Nicander, in the first book of his history of the Affairs of Ætolia, says that Apollo learnt the art of divination from Glaucus; and that Glaucus when he was hunting near Orea, (and that is a lofty mountain in Ætolia,) hunted a hare, which was knocked up by the length of the chace, and got under a certain fountain, and when just on the point of dying, rolled itself on the herbage that was growing around; and, as it recovered its strength by means of the herbage, Glaucus too perceived the virtues of this herb, and ate some himself. And becoming a god in consequence, when a storm came, he, in accordance with the will of Jupiter, threw himself into the sea. But Hedylus, whether he was a Samian or an Athenian I know not, says that Glaucus was enamoured of Melicerta, and threw himself into the sea after him. But Hedyle, the mother of this poet, and daughter of Moschine of Attica, a poetess who composed Iambics, in her [Pg 466] poem which is entitled Scylla, relates that Glaucus being in love with Scylla came to her cave—

Bearing a gift of love, a mazy shell,
Fresh from the Erythrean rock, and with it too
The offspring, yet unfledged, of Alcyon,
To win th' obdurate maid. He gave in vain.
Even the lone Siren on the neighbouring isle
Pitied the lover's tears. For as it chanced,
He swam towards the shore which she did haunt,
Nigh to th' unquiet caves of Ætna.

49. There is also a fish called the fuller. Dorion, in his treatise on Fish, says that the juice which proceeds from the boiling of a fuller will take out every kind of stain; and Epænetus also mentions it in his Cookery Book.

50. The eel is well known: and Epicharmus mentions sea-eels in his Muses; but Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, mentioning those which come from the lake Copais, extols the Copaic eels highly; and they grow to a great size. At all events, Agatharchides, in the sixth book of his history of the Affairs of Europe, says that the largest eels from lake Copais are sacrificed to the gods by the Bœotians, who crown them like victims, and offer prayers over them, sprinkling them with meal; and that once, when a foreigner was astonished at the singular kind of victim and sacrifice, and asked a Bœotian whence it originated, the Bœotian answered, That he only knew one thing; that it was right to maintain the customs of one's ancestors, and that it was not right to make any excuses for them to foreigners. But we need not wonder if eels are sacrificed as victims, since Antigonus the Carystian, in his treatise on Language, says that the fishermen celebrate a festival in honour of Neptune when the tunnies come in season, and they are successful in their pursuit of them; and that they sacrifice to the god the first tunny that is caught; and that this sacrificial festival is called the Thunnæum.

[Pg 467]


51. But among the people of Phaselis, even salt-fish are offered in sacrifice. At all events, Heropythus, in his Annals of the Colophonians, speaking of the original settlement of Phaselis, says that "Lacius, having conducted the colony, gave as the price of the ground to Cylabras, a shepherd who fed sheep there, some salt-fish, as that was what he asked for. For when Lacius had proposed to him to take as a price for the soil either barley-cakes, or wheat-cakes, or salt-fish, Cylabras chose the salt-fish. And, on this account, the people of Phaselis every year, even to this day, sacrifice salt-fish to Cylabras." But Philostephanus, in the first book of his treatise on the Cities of Asia, writes thus:—"That Lacius the Argive, being one of the men who had come with Mopsus, whom some say was a Lindian, and the brother of Antiphemus who colonized Gela, was sent to Phaselis by Mopsus with some men, in accordance with some directions given by Manto the mother of Mopsus, when the sterns of their ships came in collision off the Chelidoniæ, and were much broken, as Lacius and the vessels with him ran into them in the night, in consequence of their arriving later. And it is said that he purchased the land where the city now stands, in obedience to the prophetic directions of Manto, from a man of the name of Cylabras, giving him some salt-fish for it; for that was what he had selected from all the ships contained. On which account, the people of Phaselis sacrifice salt-fish to Cylabras every year, honouring him as their hero."

52. But concerning eels, Icesius, in his treatise on Materials, says that eels have a better juice in them than any other fish; and in the quality of being good for the stomach, they are superior to most, for they are very satisfying and very nutritious: though he classes the Macedonian eels among the salt-fish. But Aristotle says that eels are fond of the very purest water; on which account, the people who feed eels pour clean water over them; for they get choked in muddy water. For which reason, those who hunt for them make the water muddy, in order that the eels may be choked; for, having very small gills, their pores are almost immediately stopped up by any mud or disturbance in the water: on which account, also, they are often choked during storms, when the water is disturbed by heavy gales. But they propagate their species being entwined together, and then they discharge a sort of viscous fluid from their bodies, which lies in the mud and generates living creatures. And the people who feed eels say that they feed by night, but that during the day they remain motionless in the mud; and they live about eight years at most. But in other places, Aristotle tells us again, that they are produced without either their progenitors laying eggs or bringing forth living offspring, and also that they [Pg 468] are not generated by any copulation, but that they are propagated by the putrefaction which takes place in the mud and slime—as it is said of those things which are called the entrails of the earth. From which circumstance, he says that Homer distinguishes between their nature and that of other fish; and says—

The eels and fish within the briny deep,
Were startled at the blaze.

53. But a certain Epicurean,[3] who was one of our party, when an eel was served up, said,—Here is the Helen of the feast; I therefore will be the Paris! And, before any one else could stretch out a hand towards it, he seized hold of it and split it up, tearing off one side down to the backbone. And the same man, when presently a hot cheesecake was set before him, and when all refused it, cried out,

I will attack it were it hot as fire;

and then, rushing upon it eagerly, and swallowing it, he was carried out severely scalded. And Cynulcus said,—The cormorant is carried out from his battle of the throat!

Moreover, Archestratus thus speaks of the eel:—

I praise all kinds of eels; but far the best
Is that which fishermen do take in the sea
Opposite to the strait of Rhegium.
Where you, Messenius, who daily put
This food within your mouth, surpass all mortals
In real pleasure. Though none can deny
That great the virtue and the glory is
Of the Strymonian and Copaic eels.
For they are large, and wonderfully fat;
And I do think in short that of all fish
The best in flavour is the noble eel,
Although he cannot propagate his species.

54. But, as Homer has said,

The eels and fish were startled,

Archilochus has also said, in a manner not inconsistent with that—

And you received full many sightless eels.

[Pg 469]


But the Athenians, as Tryphon says, form all the cases in the singular number with the υ, but do not make the cases in the plural in a similar manner. Accordingly, Aristophanes, in his Acharnensians, says—

Behold, O boys, the noble eel (ἔγχελυν);

and, in his Lemnian Women, he says—

Ἔγχελυν Βοιωτίαν:

but he uses the nominative case in his Daitaleis—

And smooth too ὥσπερ ἔγχελυς.

And Cratinus, in his Pluti, says—

The tunny, orphus, grayling, eel, and sea-dog.

But the Attic writers do not form the cases in the plural number as Homer does. Aristophanes says, in his Knights—

For you have fared like men who're hunting eels (ἐγχέλεις);

and, in his second edition of the Clouds, he says—

Imitating my images of the eels (ἐγχελέων);

and in his Wasps we find the dative case—

I don't delight in rays nor in ἐγχέλεσιν

And Strattis, in his Potamii, said—

A cousin of the eels (ἐγχελέων).

Simonides, too, in his Iambics, writes—

Like an eel (ἔγχελυς) complaining of being slippery.

He also uses it in the accusative—

A kite was eating a Mæandrian eel (ἔγχελυν),
But a heron saw him and deprived him of it.

But Aristotle, in his treatise on Animals, writes the word with an ι, ἔγχελις. But when Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

Your fate resembles that of those who hunt
For mud-fed eels. For when the lake is still
Their labour is in vain. But if they stir
The mud all up and down, they catch much fish.
And so you gain by stirring up the city;

he shows plainly enough that the eel is caught in the mud, (ἐκ τῆς ἴλυος,) and it is from this word ἴλυς that the name ἔγχελυς ends in υς. The Poet, therefore, wishing to show that the violent effect of the fire reached even to the bottom of the river, spoke thus—The eels and fish were troubled; speaking of the eels separately and specially, in order to show the very great depth to which the water was influenced by the fire.

55. But Antiphanes, in his Lycon, jesting on the Egyptians after the manner of the comic poets, says—

[Pg 470]

They say in other things the Egyptian race
Is clever also, since they think the eel
On a level with the gods; or I may say
By far more valuable. For, as to the gods,—
Those we gain over by our prayers alone;
But as for eels, without you spend at least
Twelve drachmas you can scarce get leave to smell them.
So it is altogether a holy beast.

And Anaxandrides, in his Cities, directing what he says to the Egyptians, speaks as follows—

I never could myself your comrade be,
For neither do our manners nor our laws
Agree with yours, but they are wholly different.
You do adore an ox; I sacrifice him
To the great Gods of heaven. You do think
An eel the mightiest of deities;
But we do eat him as the best of fish.
You eat no pork; I like it above all things.
You do adore a dog; but I do beat him
If e'er I catch him stealing any meat.
Then our laws enjoin the priests to be
Most perfect men; but yours are mutilated.
If you do see a cat in any grief
You weep; but I first kill him and then skin him.
You have a great opinion of the shrew-mouse;
But I have none at all.

And Timocles, in his Egyptians, says—

How can an ibis or a dog be able
To save a man? For where with impious hearts
Men sin against the all-acknowledged Gods,
And yet escape unpunish'd, who can think
The altar of a cat will be more holy,
Or prompter to avenge itself, than they?

56. But that men used to wrap eels up in beet, and then eat them, is a fact constantly alluded to in the poets of the old comedy; and Eubulus says in his Echo—

The nymph who never knew the joys of marriage,
Clothed with rosy beet will now appear,
The white-flesh'd eel. Hail, brilliant luminary,
Great in my taste, and in your own good qualities.

And in his Ionian he says—

And after this were served up the rich
Entrails of roasted tunnies; then there came
Those natives of the lake, the holy eels,
Bœotian goddesses; all clothed in beet.

And in his Medea he says—

[Pg 471]

The sweet Bœotian Copaic virgin;
For I do fear to name the Goddess.

And that the eels of the river Strymon were also celebrated, Antiphanes tells us in his Thamyras, saying—

And then your namesake river, far renown'd
In all the mouths of men, the mighty Strymon,
Who waters the rich warlike plains of Thrace,
Breeds mighty eels.

And Demetrius the Scepsian, in the sixteenth book of his Trojan Array, says that there were eels of surpassing excellence produced in the neighbourhood of the river Euleus (and this river is mentioned by Antimachus in his work entitled The Tablets, where he says—

Arriving at the springs
Where Euleus with his rapid eddies rises).

57. With respect to the ellops, some mention has already been made of him. But Archestratus also speaks in this way of him—

The best of ellopes which you can eat
Come from the bay of famous Syracuse.
Those eat whene'er you can. For that's the place
Whence this great fish originally came.
But those which are around the islands caught,
Or any other land, or nigh to Crete,
Too long have battled with the eddying currents,
And so are thin and harder to the taste.

58. The erythrinus, or red mullet, has been mentioned too. Aristotle, in his book on Animals, and Speusippus both say that the fishes called erythrinus, phagrus, and hepatus are all very nearly alike. And Dorion has said much the same in his treatise on Fish. But the Cyrenæans give the name of erythrinus to the hyca; as Clitarchus tells us in his Dialects.

59. The encrasicholi are also mentioned by Aristotle as fish of small size, in his treatise on What relates to Animals. But Dorion, in his book on Fishes, speaks of the encrasicholi among those which are best boiled, speaking in the following terms—"One ought to boil the encrasicholi, and the iopes, and the atherinæ, and the tench, and the smaller mullets, and the cuttle-fish, and the squid, and the different kinds of crab or crawfish."

60. The hepsetus, or boiled fish, is a name given to several small fish. Aristophanes, in his Anagyrus, says—

[Pg 472]

There is not one dish of hepseti.

And Archippus says in his Fishes—

An hepsetus fell in with an anchovy
And quick devour'd him.

And Eupolis, in his Goats, says—

Ye graces who do love the hepseti.

And Eubulus, in his Prosusia or Cycnus, says—

Contented if just once in each twelve days
He sees an hepsetus well boil'd in beet.

And Alexis, in his Apeglaucomenos, says—

There were some hepseti besides served up
In a dædalean manner. For they call
All clever works by the name of Dædalus;

and presently afterwards he continues—

Will you not now then try the coracini?
Nor trichides, nor any hepseti?

But this word is always used in the plural, ἑψητοὶ, because they are only served up in numbers. Aristophanes, in his Dramata or Niobus, says—

I will say nothing of a dish of hepseti.

And Menander, in his Perinthian Woman, says—

The boy came in bringing some hepseti.

But Nicostratus uses the word in the singular number, in his Hesiod—

A bembras, an anchovy, and a hepsetus.

And Posidippus, in his Woman shut up, says—

She's gone to buy a hepsetus.

But in my country Naucratis, what they call hepseti are little fish left in the drains or ditches, when the Nile ceases its overflowing.

61. The hepatus or lebias is the next fish to be noticed. Diocles affirms that this is one of those fish which stick to the rocks; but Speusippus says that the hepatus is the same as the phagrus. But it is a solitary fish, as Aristotle declares, carnivorous, and with serrated teeth; black as to its flesh, and having eyes large, out of all proportion to the rest of its size; and its heart is triangular and white. But Archestratus, the marshal of banquets, says—

Remember that the lebias is best,
As also is the hepatus, in the waves
Which wash the Delian and the Tenian shores.

[Pg 473]


62. Then come the elacatenes, or spindle-fish. Mnesimachus, in his Horse-breeder, classes together in one line—

The turbot, tunny, tench, elacatene.

But they are a cetaceous fish, very good for curing. Menander, in his Colons, says—

The tench, th' elacatene, and the tail-fin of
The sea-dog are the best for pickling.

And Mnaseas of Patra says, "Of Ichthys and Hesychia, his sister, were born the galene, the lamprey, and the elacatene.

63. The tunny must also not be forgotten. Aristotle says this fish swims into the Black Sea, always keeping the land on the right; but that he sails out again, keeping the land on the left. For that he can see much best with his right eye, but that he is rather blind with his left eye. And under his fins he has a sort of gadfly; he delights in heat, on which account he comes wherever there is sand; and he is most eatable at the season when he gets rid of that fly. But he propagates his species after his time of torpor is over, as we are told by Theophrastus; and as long as his offspring are little, he is very difficult to catch, but when they get larger, then he is easily caught, because of the gadfly. But the tunny lies in holes, although he is a fish with a great deal of blood. And Archestratus says—

Around the sacred and the spacious isle
Of Samos you may see large tunnies caught.
The Samians call them horcyes, and others
Do name them cetus. These 'tis well to buy,
Fit offering for the Gods; and do it quickly,
Nor stop to haggle or bargain for the price.
Good too are those which fair Byzantium,
Or the Carystian marble rocks do breed.
And in the famous isle of Sicily,
The Cephalœdian and Tyndarian shores
Send forth fish richer still. And if you come
To sacred Italy, where Hipponium's cape
Frowns on the waves which lave the Bruttian coast,
Those are the best of all. The tunnies there
Have gain'd the height of fame and palm of victory.
Still those which there you find have wander'd far,
Cross'd many seas, and many a roaring strait,
So that we often catch them out of season.

64. But this fish was called the tunny (θύννος) from rushing (ἀπὸ τοῦ θύειν), and moving rapidly. For it is an impetuous fish, from, at a particular season, having a gadfly in its head; by [Pg 474] which Aristotle says that it is driven about, writing thus—"But the tunny-fish and the sword fish are driven to frenzy about the time of the rising of the dogstar; for both of them at that season have under their fins something like a small worm, which is called œstrus, resembling a scorpion, and in size something similar to a spider, and this makes them leap about in leaps as large as those of the dolphin." And Theodoridas says,—

The tunnies bend their furious course to Gades.

But Polybius of Megalopolis, in the thirty-fourth book of his History, speaking of the Lusitanian district in Iberia, says, "That in the sea, in these parts, acorn-bearing oaks grow, on the fruit of which the tunnies feed, and grow fat; so that a person who called the tunny the pig of the sea would not err, for the tunnies, like the pigs, grow to a great size on these acorns."

65. And the intestines of this fish are highly extolled, as Eubulus also tells us, in his Ionian,—

And after this the luscious intestines
Of roasted tunnies sail'd upon the table.

And Aristophanes, in his Lemnian Woman, says—

Despise not thou the fat Bœotian eel,
Nor grayling, nor the entrails of the tunny.

And Strattis, in his Atalanta, says—

Next buy the entrails of a tunny, and
Some pettitoes of pigs, to cost a drachma.

And the same poet says in his Macedonians—

And the sweet entrails of the tunny-fish.

And Eriphus says in his Melibœa—

These things poor men cannot afford to buy,
The entrails of the tunny or the head
Of greedy pike, or conger, or cuttle-fish,
Which I don't think the gods above despise.

But when Theopompus, in his Callæschrus, says,

The ὑπογάστριον of fish, O Ceres,

we must take notice that the writers of his time apply the term ὑπογάστριον to fish, but very seldom to pigs or other animals; but it is uncertain what animals Antiphanes is speaking of, when he makes use of the term ὑπογάστριον in his Ponticus, where he says—

[Pg 475]

Whoever has by chance bought dainty food
For these accursed and abandon'd women,
Such as ὑπογάστρια, which may Neptune
Confound for ever; and who seeks to place
Beside them now a dainty loin of meat . . . .

And Alexis, in his Ulysses weaving, praises the head of the tunny; and says—

A. And I will throw the fishers headlong down
Into the pit. They only catch for me
Food fit for freed men; trichides and squids,
And partly fried fish.
B. But not long ago,
This man, if he could get a tunny's head,
Thought he was eating tunnies whole, and eels.

They praised also that part of the tunny which they called "the key," as Aristophon does, in his Peirithus:—

A. But now the dinner is all spoilt entirely.
B. Here are two roasted keys quite fit to eat.
A. What, keys to open doors?
B. No, tunny keys;
A dainty dish.
A. There is the Spartan key too.

66. But Antigonus the Carystian, in his treatise on Language, says that the tunny is sacrificed to Neptune, as we have already mentioned. But Heracleon the Ephesian says that the Attic writers call the tunny the orcynus. And Sostratus, in the second book of his treatise on Animals, says that the pelamys is called the thunnis, or female tunny-fish; but that when it becomes larger, it is called thunnus; and when it gets to a larger size still, it is called the orcynus; and that when it has grown to a size which is quite enormous, then it is called cetus. And Æschylus likewise mentions the tunny, saying—

I bid you take up hammers now, and beat
The fiery mass of iron, which will utter
No groan, but bear in silence like the tunny.

And in another place he says—

Turning his eye aside, just like the tunny;

because the tunny cannot see well out of his left eye, as Aristotle has said. Menander, in his Fishermen, says—

And the disturbed and muddy sea which breeds
The largest tunnies.

[Pg 476]

And in Sophron we find the word θυννοθήρας (a hunter of tunnies); but the same fish which is usually called θύννος, the Attic writers call θυννίς.

67. But as to the thunnis, Aristotle says that this is the female, differing from the male thunnus in having a fin under the belly, the name of which fin is the "ather." But in his treatise on the Parts of Animals, he again distinguishes the thunnis from the thunnus; saying, that "in the summer, about the month Hecatombæon, it drops something like a bag, in which there are a great number of small eggs." And Speusippus, in the second book of his Similitudes, distinguishes the thunnis from the thunnus; and so does Epicharmus, in his Muses. But Cratinus, in his Pluti, says—

For I'm a thunnis, a melænas, or
A thunnus, orphos, grayling, eel, or sea-dog.

And Aristotle, in his treatise on Fishes, says that the thunnis is a gregarious fish, and also a migratory one. But Archestratus, who is so fond of petty details, says—

And then the thunna's tail, which I call thunnis,
That mighty fish, whose home's Byzantium.
Cut it in slices, and then roast it all
With accurate care, strewing on nought but salt,
Most thinly spread; then sprinkle a little oil;
Then eat it hot, first dipping it in brine.
Or if you like to eat them dry they're good;
Like the immortal gods in character,
And figure too; but if you once forget,
And vinegar add to them, then you spoil them.

And Antiphanes, in his Pæderastes, says—

And the middle slices take
Of the choice Byzantian tunny,
And let them be neatly hidden
Under leaves from beet-root torn.

Antiphanes also praises the tail of the thunnis, in his Couris, where he says—

A. The man who's country bred likes not to eat
Food from the sea extracted; unless indeed
It comes quite close in shore. Such as some conger,
Some ray, or tunny's . . .
B. Which part of the tunny?
A. The lower part.
B. Well, you may eat that safely.
A. All other fish I reckon cannibals.
B. Do not you eat those fish with the ugly backs?
A. Which?
B. The fat eels which haunt Copais' lake.

[Pg 477]

A. Aye, like a ploughman. For indeed I have
A farm not far from that most dainty lake.
But I impeach the eels now of desertion,
For none at all were there the other day.

And some of these iambics may be found in the Acestria, and also in the Countryman, or Butalion. And Hipponax, as Lysanias quotes him in his treatise on the Iambic Poets, says—

For one of them with rapid extravagance
Feasting each day on tunnies and on cheesecakes,
Like any eunuch of rich Lampsacus,
Ate up his whole estate. So that he now
Is forced to work and dig among the rocks,
Eating poor figs, and small stale loaves of barley,
Food fit for slaves.

And Strattis also mentions the thunnis, in his Callipides.

68. There is also a fish called the hippurus, or horsetail. Aristotle, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, says that the hippuri lay eggs, and that these are small at first, but come to a great size, like those of the lamprey; and that they bring forth their young in the spring. But Dorion, in his book upon Fish, says that the hippurus is also called the coryphæna. But Icesius calls it the hippuris; and Epicharmus also mentions them in his Hebe's Wedding, saying—

The sharp-nosed needle-fish,
And the hippurus, and bright chrysophrys.

But Numenius, in his treatise on the Art of Fishing, speaking of the nature of the fish, says that it keeps continually leaping out of the water; on which account it is also called the Tumbler. And he uses the following expressions about it:—

Or the great synodons, or tumbler hippurus.

And Archestratus says—

Th' hippurus of Carystus is the best,
And indeed all Carystian fish are good.

And Epænetus, in his Cookery Book, says that it is called also the coryphæna.

69. There is another fish called the horse; and perhaps it is the same which Epicharmus calls the hippidion, or little horse, when he says—

The coracinus colour'd like a crow,
Fat, well-fed fish; the smooth hippidion,

[Pg 478]

The phycæ, and the tender squill . . .

And Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, says—

The char, the mighty tench of size enormous,
The channus, and the eel; and he who roves
By night, the wary pitynus; the mussel,
The horse-fish, or the sea-green corydulis.

And Antimachus the Colophonian mentions it in his Thebais, where he says—

The hyca, or the horse-fish, or the one
Which they do call the thrush.

70. There is a fish, too, called the ioulis, concerning which Dorion says, in his treatise on Fishes, "Recollect that if you boil the ioulis, you must do it in brine; and if you roast them, you must roast them with marjoram." And Numenius says—

And ne'er neglect the medicine which keeps off
To a great degree the greedy fish ioulis,
And scolopendrus that doth poison dart.

But the same writer calls them ioulus, and the entrails of the earth, in the following lines:—

Moreover do not then the bait forget,
Which on the highest hills that fringe the shore
Shall soon be found. And they are called iouli,
Black, eating earth—the entrails of the earth;
Or the long-footed grasshopper, what time
The sandy rocks are sprinkled with the foam
Of the high-rising tide. Then dig them up,
And stow them carefully within your bag.

71. There are also fish called κίχλη, the sea-thrush, and κόσσυφος, the sea-blackbird. The Attic writers call the first κίχλη, with an η; and the reason is as follows:—All the feminine nouns which end in λα have another λ before the λα; as Σκύλλα, σκίλλα, κόλλα, βδέλλα, ἅμιλλα, ἅμαλλα: but those which end in λη do not require a λ to precede the λη; as ὁμίχλη, φύτλη, γενέθλη, αἴγλη, τρώγλη, and, in like manner, τρίγλη. Cratinus says—

Suppose a man had eaten a red mullet (τρίγλην),
Would that alone prove him an epicure?

And Diocles, in the first book of his treatise on Wholesomes, says, "Those fish which are called rocky fish have tender flesh; such as the sea-blackbird, the sea-thrush, the perch, the tench, the phyca, the alphesticus." But Numenius says, in his treatise on Fishing—

[Pg 479]

The sea-born race of grayling or of orphus,
The black-flesh'd blackbird, or the dainty sea-thrush
Sporting beneath the waves.

And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

Bambradones, sea-thrushes, and sea-hares;
And the bold dragon-fish.

And Aristotle, in his treatise on What concerns Animals, says, "And the fishes with black spots, like the sea-blackbird; and the fishes with variegated spots, like the sea-thrush." But Pancrates the Arcadian, in his Works of the Sea, says that the sea-thrush is called by many names:—

Add now to these the sea-thrush red, which they
Who seek to snare the wary fish with bait
Do call the saurus, and th' æolias,
Add too th' orphiscus with his large fat head.

And Nicander, in the fourth book of his Transformed People, says—

The scarus or the thrush with many names.

72. There is also the sea-boar and the cremys. Aristotle, in his treatise on Animals, says, "But some fish have no teeth and smooth skins, like the needle-fish; and some have stony heads, like the cremys; and some are harsher, with rough skins, like the sea-boar; and some are marked down the back with two lines, like the seserinus; and some are marked with many lines and with red spots, like the salpe." And both Dorion and Epænatus mention the sea-boar; and Archestratus says—

But when you go to Acta's favour'd land,
If you by chance should see a rich sea-boar,
Buy it at once, and let it not escape you,
Not if you buy it at its weight in gold;
Else will the indignation of the gods
O'erpower you; for 'tis the flower of nectar.
But 'tis not all men who can be allow'd
To eat this dainty, no, nor e'en to see it;
Unless they take a strongly-woven mesh
Of marsh-bred rush, and hold it in their hands,
Well used to ply the floats with rapid mind.
And with these dainties you must offer up,
Thrown on the ground, some gifts of lamb and mutton.

73. There is also the harp-fish. Aristotle, in his treatise on Animals, or on Fish, says, "The harp-fish has serrated teeth, is a fish of solitary habits, he lives on seaweed; he has a very loose tongue, and [Pg 480] a white and broad heart." Pherecrates, in his Slave-Tutor, says—

The harp-fish is a good fish; be you sure
To buy him when you can. He really is good;
But, I by Phœbus swear, this does perplex me
Exceedingly which men do say, my friend,
That there is secret harm within this harp-fish.

Epicharmus says, in his Marriage of Hebe—

There were hyænides,
And fine buglossi, and the harp-fish too.

And Apollodorus has said that, on account of his name, he was considered to be sacred to Apollo. And Callias, or Diocles, whichever was the author of the play, says in the Cyclops—

A roasted harp-fish, and a ray,
And the head of a well-fed tunny.

And Archestratus, in his Luxurious Way of Living, says—

I counsel you always to boil a harp-fish
If he is white and full of firmish meat;
But if he's red and also no great size,
Then it were best, when you have prick'd him o'er
With a new-sharpen'd knife, to roast him gently.
Sprinkle him then with oil and plenteous cheese,
For he does like to see men liberal,
And is himself intemperate.

74. There is also the cordylus. Aristotle calls this fish an amphibious animal, and says that it dies if it is dried by the sun. But Numenius, in his book on the Art of Fishing, calls it the courylus:—

All things are ready. First I strip the thighs
Of courylus, or pirene, and treat too
In the same way the marine grasshopper.

He also speaks of the fish called the cordylis, in these lines—

Mussels, sea-horses, or the sea-green cordylis.

75. There is also a fish called cammorus. Epicharmus, in his Marriage of Hebe, says—

Then after this there are boaces and
Smarides, anchovies, also cammori.

And Sophron, in his Female Farces, mentions them. But they are a species of squill, and this name was given them by the Romans.

76. There is also a fish called the carcharias. Numenius of Heraclea, in his Art of Fishing, says—

[Pg 481]

At times you may too a carcharias catch,
At times a psamathis who loves the surf.

And Sophron, in his Tunny-hunter, says, "But if your stomach happens to have swallowed a carcharias." But Nicander the Colophonian, in his essay on Dialects, says that the carcharias is also called the lamias and the squill.

77. There is also the cestreus. Icesius says, "Of the fish which are called by one general name of leucisci there are many sorts; for some are called cephali, and some cestres, and some chellones, and some myxini. But the cephali are the best both in flavour and juiciness; the next to them are those called the cestres; the myxini are inferior to either. But the worst of all are the chellones, which are called bacchi; and they are all full of wholesome juice, not very nutritious, but very digestible." And Dorion, in his essay on Fish, mentions the sea cestreus, but does not approve of the river one. And the sea cestreus he subdivides into two species—the cephalus and the nestis. But the cestreus, which is like the sea-urchin about the head, he calls sphondylus. And he says "that the cephalinus differs from the cephalus, and that this last is also called the blepsias." But Aristotle says, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, "But of the different kinds of cestreus, the chellones begin to be pregnant in the month Poseideon; so does the sargus and the fish called the myxus; and so does the cephalus: and they go thirty days with young. But some of the cestres are not generated by copulation, but are produced by the slime and the sand."

And in other places Aristotle says, "The cestreus is a fish with serrated teeth, but he does not eat other fishes; and, indeed, he is in no respect carnivorous. But of these fish there are several kinds—the cephalus, the chellon, and the pheræus. And the chellon feeds close to land, but the pheræus does not; and they use the following food—the pheræus uses the mucus which proceeds from itself, and the chellon eats slime and sand. It is said, also, that the spawn of the cestreus is not eaten by any other fish, just as the cestreus also eats no other fish." But Euthydemus the Athenian, in his treatise on Cured Fish, says that the spheneus and the dactyleus are both different species of cestres; and also that there is a species which are called cephali, because they have very large heads. And those which are called spheneus,[4] are called so because they are thin and four-cornered; and the dactyleis [Pg 482] are not so thick as two fingers. But the most excellent of the cestres are those which are caught near Abdera, as Archestratus has told us; and the second-best are those which come from Sinope.

78. But the cestres are called by some writers plotes, as Polemo says, in his treatise on the Rivers in Sicily. And Epicharmus, in his Muses, gives them this name—

Æolians, and plotes, and cynoglossi.
There also were sciathides.

And Aristotle, in his treatise on the Dispositions and Way of Living of Animals, says that "the cestres live even if they are deprived of their tails. But the cestreus is eaten by the pike, and the conger is eaten by the turbot." And there is an often-quoted proverb, "The cestreus is fasting," which is applied to men who live with strict regard to justice, because the cestreus is never carnivorous. Anaxilas, in his Morose Man, attacking Maton the Sophist for his gluttony, says—

Maton seized hold of a large cestreus' head,
And ate it all. But I am quite undone.

And that beautiful writer, Archestratus, says—

Buy if you can a cestreus which has come
From the sea-girt Ægina; then you shall
For well-bred men be fitting company.

Diocles, in his Sea, says—

The cestreus leaps for joy.

79. But that the nestes are a kind of cestreus, Archippus tells us, in his Hercules Marrying:—

Nestes cestres, cephali.

And Antiphanes, in his Lampon, says—

But all the other soldiers which you have
Are hungry (νήστεις) cestres.

And Alexis, in his Phrygian, says—

So I a nestis cestreus now run home.

Ameipsias says, in his Men playing at the Cottabus—

A. And I will seek the forum, there to find
Some one to take my work.
B. I wish you would,
You would all have less time to follow me,
Like any hungry (νῆστις) cestreus.

And Euphron says, in his Ugly Woman—

Midas then is a cestreus—see, he walks
Along the city fasting (νῆστις).

[Pg 483]


And Philemon says, in his Men dying together—

I bought me now a nestis cestreus roasted
Of no great size.

Aristophanes, in his Gerytades, says—

Is there within a colony of man cestres?
For that they all are νήστιδες you know.

Anaxandrides says, in his Ulysses—

He usually goes supperless about,
Like a cestrinus nestis.

And Eubulus, in his Nausicaa, says—

Who has been drown'd 'tis now four days ago,
Leading the life of a sad nestis cestreus.

80. When all this had been said about this nice dish of fish, one of the cynics coming late in the evening said, "My friends, are we, too, keeping a fast, as if this were the middle day of the Thesmophoria, since we are now fasting like cestres? For, as Diphilus says, in his Lemnian Women—

These men have supp'd, but I, wretch that I am,
Shall be a cestreus through th' extreme of fasting.

And Myrtilus answering, said—

But stand in order—

as the Hedychares of Theopompus says—

hungry band of cestres,
You who are fed, like geese, on vegetables.

For you shall not take a share of any of these things before either you, or your fellow-pupil Ulpian, tell me why the cestreus is the only fish which is called the faster. And Ulpian said,—It is because he never takes any living bait; and when he is caught, it is neither effected by any meat nor by any living animal; as Aristotle tells us, when he says "perhaps his being hungry makes him lazy;" and also that "when he is frightened he hides his head, as if by so doing he concealed his whole body." But Plato, in his Holidays, says—

As I was going out I met a fisherman,
And he was bringing me some cestres, and
He brought me all those worthless starving fish.

But do you tell me, O you Thessalian wrestler, Myrtilus! why it is that fish are called by the poets ἔλλοπες? And he said,—It is because they are voiceless; but some insist upon it that, by strict analogy, the word ought to be ἴλλοπες, because they are deprived of voice: for the verb ἴλλεσθαι means to be [Pg 484] deprived, and ὄψ means voice.[5] And are you ignorant of this, when you are an ἔλλοψ yourself? But I, as the wise Epicharmus says, when this dog makes me no answer,—

Am by myself enough well to reply
To what two men have lately said before me.

And I say that they are called ἔλλοπες from being covered with scales, [the word coming from the same root, and being equivalent to λεπιδωτός]. But I will tell you (though that is not a question which has been asked) why the Pythagoreans, who do touch other living creatures, though sparingly, and who allow themselves even to sacrifice some, absolutely abstain altogether from fish alone. Is it because of their silence? for they think silence a very divine quality. Since, then, you, O you Molossian dogs, are always silent, but are still not Pythagoreans, we will now go on to the rest of the discussion about fish.

81. There is a fish called the coracinus. The coracini, which are caught at sea, says Icesius, contain but little nourishment; but they are easily secreted, and have a moderate supply of good juice. But Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, says that "it happens to nearly all fish to have a rapid growth, and this is the case, in no small degree, with the coracinus; and he lays his eggs close to the land, in places full of weeds and moss." But Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Similitudes, says that the blacktail and the coracinus are much alike. But Numenius, in his Treatise on the Art of Fishing, says—

It easily would attract the spotted coracinus.

And perhaps the æoliæ mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Muses, may be the same as coracini. For Epicharmus says—

Æoliæ, plotes, cynoglossi too.

But, in his Hebe's Marriage, he speaks of the æoliæ as a different fish; for he says—

There there were mussels, and the alphastic fish,
And coracini like to coriander seed,
Æoliæ, plotes too, and the cynoglossi.

[Pg 485]


But Euthydemus, in his essay on Cured Fish, says that the coracinus is by many people called the saperda. And Heracleon the Ephesian has said much the same thing; and so has Philotimus, in his Cookery Book. But that the saperdas and the coracinus are both called the platistacus is affirmed by Parmeno the Rhodian, in the first book of his Culinary Doctrine. But Aristophanes, in his Telmessians, uses the expression "black-finned coracini."

Pherecrates also uses the word in its diminutive form, in his Forgetful Man, where he says—

Being with your κορακινίδια and μαινίδια.

And Amphis says, in his Ialemus—

Whoever eats a sea-born coracinus
When he may have a grayling, is a fool.

But the coracini of the Nile are very sweet and delicious in their flesh, as those who have tried them know; and they have got their name from continually moving their eyes (διὰ τὸ τὰς κόρας κινεῖν), and never ceasing. But the Alexandrians call them plataces, which is, more correctly speaking, the name of the whole genus.

82. There is also a fish called the cyprinus, or carp. He also, as Aristotle tells us, is a carnivorous and gregarious fish; and he has his tongue, not in the lower part of the mouth, but in the upper part. But Dorion, mentioning him in his list among the lake and river fish, writes thus: "A scaly fish, whom some people call the cyprinus."

83. There is also the tench. "The tench is very juicy," as Icesius says, "exceedingly attractive to the palate, very easily secreted, not very nutritious, nor is the juice which they give very wholesome. But, in delicacy of flavour, the white kind is superior to the black. But the flesh of the green tench is more dry, and devoid of fat; and they give a much smaller quantity of juice, and what they do give is thinner. Still they are more nutritious, on account of their size." Diocles says that those which are found in rocky situations are very tender. But Numenius, in his treatise on Fishing, calls them, not κωβιοι, but κωθοι.

A char or tench (κωθος) of mighty size and bold.

And Sophron, in his Countryman, speaks of "The cothons, who bathe in mud;" and perhaps it was from the name of this fish that he called the son of his Tunny-catcher, in the play, Cothonias. But it is the Sicilians who call the tench κώθων, as Nicander the Colophonian tells us, in his book on Dialects; and Apollodorus [Pg 486] confirms the statement, in his treatise on the Modest and Temperate Man. But Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Marriage, names the tench, calling it κώβιος:—

The turtle with their sting behind, and then the tender tench.

And Antiphanes, in his Timon, praising the tench, tells us in what places they are to be found in the greatest perfection, in these lines:—

I come, but I have been to great expense
In buying viands for this marriage feast.
I've bought a pennyworth of frankincense
To offer to the gods and all the goddesses;
And to the heroes I will offer cakes.
But when I bid that rascally house-breaking
Seller of fish to add a dainty dish,
"I'll throw you in," says he, "the borough itself,
For they are all Phalericans." The rest
I do believe were selling our Otrynicans.[6]

Menander, in his Ephesians, says—

A. There was a fishmonger not long ago,
Who asked four whole drachmas for his tench.
B. A mighty price indeed.

And Dorion mentions river tench also, in his book on Fishes.

84. There is also a fish called the cuckoo-fish. Epicharmus says—

And the beauteous cuckoos
Which we split in twain,
Then we roast and season them,
And then with pleasure eat them.

And Dorion says that one ought to roast them, first having split them down the back; and, having seasoned them with herbs, and cheese, and spice, and assafœtida, and oil, then one ought to turn them round, and oil them on the other side, and then to sprinkle them with a little salt; and, when one has taken them from the fire, to moisten them with vinegar. But Numenius gives it the epithet of red, from the facts of the case, saying—

Eating sometimes the cuckoo red, sometimes
A few pempherides, or else a lizard.

[Pg 487]


85. There is also a fish called the carcharias (or sharp-toothed dog). And Archestratus, whom we may call the Hesiod or Theognis of Epicures, speaks of this fish; for Theognis himself was not indifferent to luxury, as he admits, speaking of himself in these words:—

But when the sun, driving his coursers fleet
With solid hoofs along the heavenly road,
Guides them at mid-day in the centre path,
Then let us eat whate'er our heart may prompt,
And gratify our appetite with dainties.
Then let a Spartan maid with rosy hands,
Bring water, and fresh garlands for our brows.

Nor indeed was that wise man indifferent to the charms of boys; at all events, he speaks thus on the subject:—

O Academus, would you now but sing
A tuneful hymn, while in the midst should stand
A beauteous boy, in flower of his youth,
A prize for you and me to combat for,
Then you should know how far the mule excels the ass.

And Archestratus, in these beautiful suggestions of his, exhorts his friends in this way—

In fair Torone's town 'tis best to cook
The hollow entrails of the sharp-tooth'd dog.
Then strew the fish with cummin, sparing be
Of salt, then roast him, and add nothing else
Saving some sea-green oil. Then when 'tis done,
Serve him up with some little seasoning.
And if you boil a part of it within
The hollow of some flat dish, then add
No water, add no wine-made vinegar,
But pour on oil alone, and cummin dry,
And add what fragrant herbs the garden gives.
Then put the saucepan on the ashes hot,
And boil it; let no flame too quickly burn,
And stir it often lest the meat should catch,
And spoil your dinner so, before you know it.
'Tis but few mortals know this wondrous food;
And those who have thick stupid heavy souls,
Refuse to taste it, but are all alarm'd,
Because they say this dog's a cannibal,
And feeds on human flesh. But there is not
A fish that swims which does not like man's flesh
If he can only chance to come across it.

There is a part of this fish which the Romans call thursio, and which is very delicious, and much sought for as an article of luxury.

86. There is also the pike. These, as Aristotle reports, are a solitary and carnivorous fish; and they have a bony tongue, adhering to the [Pg 488] mouth, and a triangular heart. But, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, he says that they bring forth their young, like the cestres and chrysophryes do, chiefly in those places where rivers fall into the sea; and they bring forth in winter, and they also bring forth twice in the season. But Icesius says that the pike is very juicy, and not very nutritious; and that it is also not very easily secreted; but for delicacy of flavour it is accounted the very first of fish. And this fish has his name, λάβραξ, from his voracity λαβρότης. It is said, also, that in shrewdness he is superior to other fish, being very ingenious at devising means to save himself; on which account, Aristophanes the comic poet says—

The pike, the wisest of all fish that swim.

And Alcæus the lyric poet says that he swims very high in the water. But the wise Archestratus says—

Take the large cestris cephalus from Gæson,
When you do come to fair Miletus' city.
Take too the pike, the offspring of the gods.
For in those waters both these fish are best.
Such is the natural character of the place.
But there are many places where they grow
More fat and large; in famous Calydon,
And in the opulent Ambracia,
And at the Bolbe lake; but there they want
The fragrant fat which here surrounds their belly;
Nor have they such a pungent taste, my friend.
Those which I speak of are most admirable.
Take them and roast them without scaling them,
Soften with salt, and serve them up with brine.
And let no Syracusan, no Italian
Break in upon you while you dress this dish:
For they have no idea of dressing fish,
But spoil them all by seasoning them with cheese,
By sprinkling them with too much vinegar,
And strongly scented assafœtida.
They are good cooks enough to dress the vile
Fish which they take while clinging to the rocks;
And there are many kinds of season'd dishes
Which they can dress quite well enough; but they
Have no idea of dressing good fish plain.

87. And Aristophanes, in his Knights, speaks of the pike taken in the neighbourhood of Miletus as surpassingly good, when he speaks thus:—

But you shall not disturb me thus
Feasting on Milesian pike.

[Pg 489]


And in his Lemnian Women he says—

He would not buy a pike's head, nor a locust:

speaking because the brain of the pike is a great delicacy, as is also that of the sea-grayling. And Eubulus, in his Muses, says—

Do not be too expensive, still not mean,
Whate'er you do; not for decency's sake.
Get some small cuttle-fish, or squids, some nestis,
Some small fry of the polypus, some tripe,
And beestings and black-puddings; get besides
A noble head of the Milesian pike.

But the Gæson, which is mentioned by Archestratus, means the lake Gæsonis, which is between Priene and Miletus, connected with the sea, as Neanthes of Cyzicus tells us, in the sixth book of his Hellenics. But Ephorus, in his fifth book, says that the Gæson is a river near Priene, which flows into the lake Gæsonis. And Archippus, in his Fishes, mentioning the pike, says—

Hermes th' Egyptian is the greatest rogue
Of all the fishmongers; he skins by force
The sharks and rhinès, and takes out the entrails
Of the Milesian pikes, before he sells them.

88. There is also a fish called the latus; and Archestratus says that the best fish of this kind is that which is taken off the coast of Italy, and he speaks thus concerning them:—

Near the well-treed Italia's verdant shores,
Fierce Scylla's strait the famous latus breeds,
Most marvellous of dainties.

But the lati which are found in the river Nile grow to such a size that they weigh more than two hundred pounds; and this fish is exceedingly white, and very delicious, dress it in whatever way you choose. And it is like the fish called the glanis, which is found in the Danube. The Nile produces also many other kinds of fish, and they are all very delicious; but especially does it produce all the different coracini (for there are many different kinds of this fish). It also produces the fish called the mæotes, which are mentioned by Archippus, in his Fishes, in these words:—

Mæotæ, and saperdæ, likewise glanides.

And this fish is found in great numbers in Pontus; and they derive their name from the Palus Mæotis. But the following, as far as I can recollect, from having been a long time absent from the country, are [Pg 490] the names of the chief fish found in the Nile. The sweetest of all is the ray; then there is the sea-pig, the snub-nose, the phagrus, the oxyrhynchus, the allabes, the silurus, the synodontis, the elecoris, the eel, the thrissa, the abramis, the blind-fish, the scaly-fish, the bellows-fish, and the cestreus. And there are also a great number of others.

89. There is also a kind of shark, called the leiobatus, whose other name is the rhinè; and he is a white-fleshed fish, as Epænetus tells us in his Cookery Book. Plato says, in his Sophists—

The galeus, the leiobatus, the eel.

90. There is also the lamprey. Theophrastus, in the fifth book of his treatise on those Animals which can live on dry Land, says that the eel and the lamprey can exist for a long time out of the water, because they have very small gills, and so receive but very little moisture into their system. But Icesius affirms that they are not less nutritious than the eel, nor even, perhaps, than the conger. And Aristotle, in his treatise on the Parts of Animals, says that from the time that they are little they grow very rapidly, and that they have sharp serrated teeth; and that they keep on laying small-sized eggs every season of the year. But Epicharmus, in his Muses, calls them not σμύραινα, but μύραινα, without the σ; speaking in this way of them:—

No congers fat were wanting, and no lampreys (μύραιναι).

And Sophron, too, spells the word in the same manner. But Plato or Cantharus, in his Alliance, spells the word with the σ, saying—

The ray, the lamprey (σμύραινα) too, is here.

Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, says that the river lampreys have only one spine, like the kind of cod which is called gallarias. But Andreas, in his treatise on Poisonous Animals, says that those lampreys which are produced by a cross with the viper have a poisonous bite, and that that kind is less round than the other, and is variegated. But Nicander, in his Theriacus, says—

[Pg 491]

That is a terrible deed the lamprey does,
When oft its teeth it gnashes and pursues
Th' unhappy fishermen, and drives them headlong
Out of their boats in haste, when issuing forth
From the deep hole in which it long has lain:
If that the tale is true that it admits
The poisonous viper's love, when it deserts
Its pastures 'neath the sea, for food on land.

But Andreas, in his treatise on Things which are believed erroneously, says that it is quite a mistake to suppose that the lamprey ever breeds with the viper when it comes on marshy ground; for that vipers do not themselves feed in marshes, as they are fond rather of sandy and desert places. But Sostratus, in his books on Animals (and there are two books of his on this subject, and with this title), agrees with those who assert that the lamprey and the viper do breed together.

91. There is another kind of eel also, called the myrus. But the myrus, as Aristotle says, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, differs from the lamprey; this latter being a variegated fish, and less powerful than the other; while the myrus is a fish of one uniform colour, and strong, and its whole colour is like that of the wryneck, and it has teeth both within and without. And Dorion says, that the myrus has no small bones running through its flesh, but that it is in every part eatable, and exceedingly soft; and that there are two kinds of it, for some are black, and some are of rather a fiery colour, but those which are dark are best. And Archestratus, the voluptuary philosopher, says—

Between th' Italian and Sicilian shore,
Where the strait parts them with its narrow waves,
Whenever that most dainty fish is caught
Which men the lamprey call, be sure to buy it;
For in those waters 'tis the best of food.

92. There is a fish, too, called the mænis, or sprat; and Icesius says that they are more juicy than the tench, but that they are inferior in delicacy of flavour, and also in the extent to which they facilitate the secretions of the stomach. But Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things similar to one another, says that both the boax and the smaris resemble the sprat; and these two fishes are mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Earth and Sea, in the following manner:—

When you see many boaces and smarides.

And Epænetus, in his Cookery Book, says, "The smaris, which some people call cynoseuna." But Antiphanes, in his Countryman, or Butalion, calls the sprats the food of Hecate, on account of their diminutive size; [Pg 492] and the following is the passage:—

A. Why, I did think that all these monstrous fish
Were cannibals.
B. What can you mean, my friend?
A. Why, cannibals: so how would any man eat them?
B. That's true. But these are food of Hecate,
Which he is speaking of, just sprats and mullets.

There is also one kind which is called the leucomænis, or white sprat, which some people call the boax. Poliochus, in his Corinthiastes, says—

Let no man, in God's name I beg, persuade you,
Come when he will or whence, so to mistake
As to call leucomænides boaces.

93. There is also the melanurus, or blacktail; and concerning this fish Numenius says, in his Art of Fishing:—

The scorpion or melanurus black,
The guide and leader of the perch.

But Icesius says that he is very like the sargus, but that he is inferior to the latter in the quantity and quality of his juice, and also in delicacy of flavour; but that he is rather exciting food, and very nutritious. And Epicharmus mentions him in his Hebe's Marriage:—

There were sargini, there were melanuri.

Aristotle too, in his treatise on Animals, writes thus: "There are some fish which have barred or spotted tails, among which are the melanuri, and the sargi or sardine; and they have many lines on their skin, dark lines. But Speusippus affirms, in the second book of his treatise on Things similar to one another, that the fish called psyrus resembles the melanurus; but Numenius calls the psyrus, psorus, with an ο, saying—

The psorus, or the salpe, or the dragon-fish
Which haunts the shore.

94. There is also a fish called the mormyrus, a most nutritious fish, as Icesius says. But Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Marriage, calls it the myrmes, unless, at least, he means a different fish by this name. But his expression is—

The sea-swallow, the myrmes too,
And they are larger than the colias tunny.

[Pg 493]


But Dorion, in his book upon Fishes, calls them mormylus, with a λ. But Lynceus of Samos, in his treatise on the Art of buying Fish, which he addressed to some friend of his, who was very difficult to please when making his purchases, says, "But it is not a useless plan, with reference to men who are obstinate, and who will not abate their price, when you are standing by to disparage their fish, quoting Archestratus (who wrote the book called The voluptuous Life), or some other poet, and repeating this verse:—

The mormyrus that haunts the pebbly shore,
Is a bad, good-for-nothing, worthless fish.

And again you may quote—

Buy an amia in the autumn . . . .

'But now 'tis spring.' And again you may proceed, if it should be the proper season—

How good the cestreus is when winter comes.

'But now,' you will say, 'it is summer.' And you will go on in this way for some time; and in this way you will drive away a good many of those who are standing about, and who might become purchasers. So when you have done this, you will by this means compel the man to take whatever price you choose to give."

95. There is also the torpedo. Plato, or Cantharus, says, in the Alliance—

A boil'd torpedo is delicious food.

But Plato the Philosopher says, in the Meno, "You seem very much to resemble the sea-torpedo; for that fish causes any one who comes near it to become torpid." And an allusion to the name occurs also in Homer, where he says—

His hand was torpid (νάρκησε) at the wrist.

But Menander, in his Phanus, uses the termination α, and says—

A certain torpor (νάρκα) creeps o'er all my skin;

though no one of the ancient writers ever used this form of the word. But Icesius says that it is a fish without much nutriment or much juice in it, but that it has some cartilaginous sort of substance diffused all over it, very good for the stomach. And Theophrastus, in his book on Animals which live in Holes, says that the torpedo works its way underground because of the cold. But in his treatise on Poisonous Animals, and on Animals which sting, he says that the torpedo can send the power which proceeds from it through wood, and through harpoons, so as to produce torpor in those who have them in their hands. But [Pg 494] Clearchus the Solensian has explained the cause of this in his treatise on Torpor; but, since his explanation is rather a long one, I do not recollect his exact words, but will refer you to the treatise itself.

But the torpedo, says Aristotle, is one of the cartilaginous and viviparous fish; and, to provide itself with food, it hunts after little fish, touching them, and causing them all to become torpid and motionless. And Diphilus of Laodicea, in his essay on the Theriaca of Nicander, says that it is not every part of the animal which produces this torpor, but only some particular parts of it; and he says that he has arrived at this fact by a long series of experiments. But Archestratus speaks of—

A boil'd torpedo done in oil and wine,
And fragrant herbs, and some thin grated cheese.

Alexis, in his Galatea, says—

I counsel you to season well and stuff
Torpedos whole, and then to roast them thoroughly.

And in his Demetrius he says—

Then I took a torpedo, calculating
If my wife touch'd it with her tender fingers
That they would get no hurt from its backbone.

96. There is also the sword-fish. Aristotle says that this fish has its lower jaw short, but its upper one bony, long, and in fact as large as all the rest of the body of the fish; and this upper jaw is what is called the sword; but that this fish has no teeth. And Archestratus says—

But take a slice of sword-fish when you go
To fair Byzantium, and take the vertebræ
Which bend his tail. He's a delicious fish,
Both there and where the sharp Pelorian cape
Juts out towards the sea.

Now, who is then so great a general, or so great a critic in dishes and banquets, as this poet from Gela[7] (or, I should rather say, from Catagela), who, for the sake of his epicurism, sailed through those straits; and who also, for the sake of the same epicurism, investigated the different qualities and juices of each separate part of every fish, as if he had been laying the foundation of some science which was useful to human life?

[Pg 495]


97. There is also a fish called the orphos (ὄρφως); but the word is also spelt with an ο (ὄρφος), as Pamphilus tells us. But Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, where he says that the growth of most fish is very rapid, says, "The orphos also grows to a large fish from a little one with great rapidity; but he is a carnivorous fish, with serrated teeth, and of a solitary disposition. And there is this peculiarity in him, that it cannot be ascertained what means he has of propagating his species, and that he can live a long time after he has been cut in pieces. He is also one of those fish which bury themselves in holes during the winter season, and he is fond of keeping close to the land, rather than of going into the deep sea; but he does not live more than two years. And Numenius, speaking of this fish, says—

Now with such baits as these it is not hard
To draw the lengthy scorpion from his bed,
Or the rough orphus: for they're easily caught.

And in another place he says—

The grayling, or the sea-born race of orphi,
Or the dark flesh'd sea-blackbird.

But Dorion says that the young orphus is called by some the orphacines. And Archippus says, in his Fishes,—

The orphus came to them, the priest o' the god.

And Cratinus says, in his Ulysses,—

A hot slice of the newly taken orphus.

And Plato, in his Cleophon, says—

For he has brought you here, old dame, to dwell,
A rotten food for orphi and for phagri,
And other gristly boneless fish around.

And Aristophanes, in his Wasps, says—

If a man be inclined to purchase orphi,
And likes to leave alone the membrades.

Now this word ὀρφὼς, in the nominative case singular, is accented with an acute on the ultima by the Attic writers; so Archippus writes the word, in his Fishes, in the lines which I have already quoted; and Cratinus also, in his Ulysses, as I have above quoted it, writes—

τέμαχος ὀρφὼ χλιαρόν.

98. There is also a fish called orcynus. Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, says that the orcyni come from the sea near the Pillars of Hercules to the waters on our coasts; on which account, a great number [Pg 496] are taken in the Iberian and Tyrrhenian seas; and that from thence they are dispersed over the rest of the sea. But Icesius says that those which are caught near Cadiz are the fattest, and next to them those which are taken near Sicily. But that those which are taken at any great distance from the Pillars of Hercules have very little fat on them, because they have swum a very great distance. Accordingly, at Cadiz, it is only the shoulders by themselves which are dried and cured; as also it is only the jaws and palate of the sturgeon, and that part which is called the melandryas, which is cured. But Icesius says that the entrails are very rich, and very different in flavour from the other parts; and that the parts about the shoulders are superior even to these.

99. There is also the cod and the hake. The cod, says Aristotle, in his work on Living Animals, has a large wide mouth like the shark, and he is not a gregarious fish; and he is the only fish which has his heart in his stomach, and in his brain he has stones like millstones. And he is the only fish who buries himself in a hole in the hot weather, when the Dog-star rages; for all others take to their holes in the winter season. And these fish are mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding:—

And there are channæ with their large wide mouths,
And cod with their huge bellies.

But the cod is different from the hake, as Dorion tells us, in his work upon Fish, where he writes thus: "The ὄνος (cod), which some call γάδος." There is also the gallerides, which some call a hake, and some a maxinus. But Euthydemus, in his work on Cured Fish, says, "Some call this fish the bacchus, and some call it the gelaria, and some call it the hake." But Archestratus says—

Anthedon's famous for its cod, which some
Do call gallerias; there its size is great,
But the flesh spongy, and in many respects
I do not think it good, though others praise it.
But this man likes one thing, and that another.

100. There is the polypus, declined πολύπους, πολύποδος; at least this is the way the Attic writers use the word, and so does Homer:—

As when a polypus (πουλύποδος in the genitive) is dragged from out his lair:

[Pg 497]


keeping the analogy to the noun ποὺς, from which it is derived. But in the accusative case we find the form πολύπουν, just as we find Ἀλκίνουν and Οἰδίπουν. Æschylus, too, has the form τρίπουν, as an epithet of a caldron, in his Athamas, from ποὺς, as if it were a simple noun like νοῦς. But the form πώλυπος is Æolic. For the Attics always say πολύπους. Aristophanes, in his Dædalus, says—

When then I had this polypus (πουλύπους) and cuttle-fish.

And in another place he says—

He put before me a polypus (πουλύπουν).

And in another place he has—

They are the blows of a polypus press'd tight.

And Alcæus says, in his Adulterous Sisters,—

The man's a fool and has the mind of a polypus (πουλύποδος).

But Ameipsias, in his Glutton, says—

I want, it seems, a heap of polypi (πουλύπων).

And Plato, in his Boy, writes—

First of all you like the polypodes (τοὺς πουλύποδας).

Alcæus in another passage says—

I myself eat like any polypus (πουλύπους).

But others use the accusative case πολύποδα, in strict analogy with ποὺς, ποδὸς, ποδὶ, πόδα. Eupolis, in his Demi, has—

The man's a fellow-citizen of mine,
A very polypus in disposition.

101. Diocles, in the first book of his treatise on Wholesome Things, says—"The molluscous fish are calculated to give pleasure, and to excite the amorous propensities; especially the polypi (ὁι πολυποδες)." And Aristotle relates that the polypus has eight feet, of which the two highest and the two lowest are the smallest, and those in the middle are the largest; and they have also two feelers, with which they bring their food to their mouth. And they have their eyes placed above their two upper feet; and their mouth and teeth are between their feet. And when the polypus is dissected, he has a brain divided into two parts; and what is called his ink is not black, like the cuttle-fish, but of a reddish colour, in that part of him which is called the poppy; but the poppy lies above the stomach, like a bladder: and it has no intestines, like other fish. But for food it uses at times the flesh of small shell-fish, and casts the shells outside its body; by which the hunters know where to find it. And it propagates [Pg 498] its species by becoming intertwined with the female, and is a long time about it, because it is destitute of blood: and it ejects its young through the orifice which is called the spiracle, which is the only passage for its body; and it lays eggs in clusters, like bunches of grapes.

102. They say, also, that the polypus, when it is in want of food, will eat even itself. And among those who relate this fact is Pherecrates the comic poet; for he, in the play entitled The Countryman, says—

They live on green anthrysca, and on bracana,
And snails and slugs. And when they're very hungry,
Then, like the polypus, they e'en at night
Nibble their fingers.

And Diphilus, in his Merchant, says—

A polypus with all his feelers
And limbs unhurt; whose wicked tooth
Has not devour'd himself, my friend,
Is ready for our supper.

But all this is a mistake; for the fact is, that he is pursued by the congers, and has his feet hurt in that manner. And it is said that if any one strews salt over his hole, he immediately comes out. It is also affirmed, that when he flies in alarm, he changes his colour, and becomes like the places in which he conceals himself. As also Theognis of Megara says, in his Elegies—

Remark the tricks of that most wary polypus,
Who always seems of the same colour and hue
As is the rock near which he lies.

And Clearchus makes a similar statement in the second book of his treatise on Proverbs, where he quotes the following lines, without saying from whose writings they come—

My son, my excellent Amphilochus,
Copy the shrewd device o' the polypus,
And make yourself as like as possible
To those whose land you chance to visit.

[Pg 499]


103. And the same Clearchus says that, in olden time, about Trœzen, it was considered impious to try to catch either the polypus, which was called sacred, or that one which was called the rower. And it was contrary to law to eat either that or the sea-tortoise. But the polypus is a fish very apt to decay, and also very stupid; for it goes towards the hand of the people who are pursuing it: and sometimes even when it is pursued, it does not attempt to get out of the way. Their females waste away after laying their eggs, and get powerless; by reason of which they are easily taken. And sometimes they have been seen leaving the sea, and going on dry land, especially towards any rough or rugged ground; for they shun smooth places: and of all plants they especially delight in the olive, and they are often found embracing the trunk of an olive with their feelers. They have also been discovered clinging to such fig-trees as grow near the sea-shore, and eating the figs, as Clearchus tells us, in his treatise on those Animals which live in the Water. And this also is a proof that they are fond of the olive,—that if any one drops a branch of this tree down into the sea, in a place where there are polypi, and holds it there a little time, he without any trouble draws up as many polypi as he pleases, clinging to the branch. And all their other parts are exceedingly strong, but their neck is weak.

104. It is also said that the male has something corresponding to the parts of generation in one of his arms, in which there are his two large feelers; and that it is a limb full of nerves, sticking to the arm all along as far as the middle. But, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, Aristotle says—"The polypus propagates his species in the winter, and brings forth in the spring; and it lies in its hole for about two months: and it is a very prolific animal. But the male differs from the female, both in having a longer head, and also in having what the fishermen call its parts of generation in one of its feelers. And when it brings forth, it sits on its eggs, on which account it is worse to eat at that season; and the polypus lays its eggs either in its bed, or in any potsherd, or hollow place or vessel of that sort. And after fifty days, the little polypi come forth out of the egg in immense numbers, like young spiders. But the female polypus sometimes sits upon the eggs, and sometimes clings to the mouth of the bed, holding on with one of its feelers." Theophrastus, in his treatise on those Animals which change their Colour, says that the polypus generally becomes like only to those places which are rocky, doing this both out of fear and for the sake of protecting itself. But, in his book on those Animals which live on dry Land, he says that the polypi are not fond of sea-water. But, in his treatise on those Things which are different according to the Differences of their Situation, Theophrastus says that there are no [Pg 500] polypi about the Hellespont; for that sea is cold, and not very salt, and that both these circumstances are unfavourable to the polypus.

105. "But the fish called the nautilus," says Aristotle, "is not a polypus, though it resembles a polypus in its feelers. And the back of the nautilus is covered with a shell; and it rises up out of the bottom of the sea, having its shell upon its back, in order that it may not catch the water. But when it has turned round, then it sails on, putting up two of its feelers, which have a thin membrane growing between them, just as the feet of some birds are which have a membrane of skin between their toes. And their other two feelers they let down into the sea, instead of rudders; but when they see anything coming towards them, then out of fear they draw in those feet, and fill themselves with salt water, and so descend to the bottom as rapidly as possible." But, in his treatise on Animals and Fishes, he says—"Of the polypi there are two sorts; one, that which changes its colour, the other the nautilus."

106. Now, on this nautilus there is an epigram quoted of Callimachus of Cyrene, which runs thus:—

I was a shell, O Venus Zephyritis,[8]
Now I'm the pious offering of Selena,
The gentle nautilus. When balmy winds
Breathe soft along the sea, I hold my course,
Stretching my sails on their congenial yards.
Should calm, the placid goddess, still the waves,
I row myself along with nimble feet,
So that my name suits rightly with my acts.
Now have I fallen on the Iulian shore,
To be a pleasant sport to Arsinoe.
No more shall Halcyons' dew-besprinkled eggs,
My dainty meal, lie thick within my bed
As formerly they did, since here I lie.
But give to Cleinias's daughter worthy thanks;
For she does shape her conduct honestly,
And from Æolian Smyrna doth she come.

Posidippus also wrote this epigram on the same Venus which is worshipped in Zephyrium:—

Oh, all ye men who traffic on the streams,
Or on the land who hold a safer way,

[Pg 501]

Worship this shrine of Philadelphus' wife,
Venus Arsinoe, whom Callicrates,
The naval leader, first did firmly place
On this most beautiful Zephyrian shore.
And she will on your pious voyage smile,
And amid storms will for her votaries
Smooth the vex'd surface of the wide-spread sea.

Ion the tragedian also mentions the polypus, in his Phœnix, saying—

I hate the colour-changing polypus,
Clinging with bloodless feelers to the rocks.

107. Now the different species of polypus are these: the eledone, the polypodine, the bolbotine, the osmylus; as both Aristotle and Speusippus teach us. But, in his book on Animals and their Properties, Aristotle says that the polypus, the osmylus, the eledone, the cuttle-fish, and the squid, are all molluscous. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

A polypus, a cuttle-fish, and quickly-moving squid,
A foul-smelling bolbitine, and chattering old woman.

And Archestratus says—

The Carian and the Thasian polypi
Are far the best; Corcyra too can breed
Fish of large size and very numerous.

But the Dorians spell the word with an ω, πωλύπους; as, for instance, Epicharmus. Simonides too has the expression, πώλυπον διζήμενος. But the Attics spell the word πολύπους, with an ο: and it is a cartilaginous fish; for χονδρώδης and σελαχώδης have the same meaning;—

The polypodes and the dog-shark.

Moreover, all the fish belonging to the species of the cuttle-fish are called molluscous. But the whole tribe of . . . . . is cartilaginous.

108. There is also a fish called the pagurus; and it is mentioned by Timocles or Xenarchus, in his Purple, thus—

But I, as being a skilful fisherman,
Have carefully devised all sorts of arts
To catch those vile paguri, enemies
To all the gods and all the little fishes.
And shall I not without delay beguile
An old buglossus? That would be well done.

109. There is also the pelamys. Phrynichus mentions it in his Muses; and Aristotle, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, says the pelamydes and the tunnies breed in the Black Sea, [Pg 502] but not anywhere else. Sophocles also mentions them, in his Shepherds:—

There, too, the foreign pelamys does winter,
The stranger from the Hellespont. For she
Doth come with many of her kind in summer
To these cool waters of the Bosphorus.

110. Then there is the perch. He also is mentioned by Diocles; and Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things Resembling one another, says that the perch, the canna, and the phycis are all nearly alike. And Epicharmus says—

The comaris, the sea-dog, and the cestra
And variegated perch.

And Numenius, in his treatise on the Art of Fishing, says—

At one time perch, and at another strophades,
Which keep around the rocks. The phycis too,
Th' alphestes, and the red-flesh'd scorpion.

There is also the phycis. This also is mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding; and by Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things Resembling one another; and by Numenius: all whose testimonies are at hand. Aristotle, in his book upon Animals and their Properties, says that the phycis is surrounded with prickles and spotted. But the perch is marked with lines, and with bars running in an oblique direction. And there is a proverb also, "The perch follows the blacktail."

111. We have also the needle-fish. This also is mentioned by Epicharmus, who says—

The oxyrhynchi, and the needle-fish,
And the hippuri.

But Dorion, in his work on Fish, says—"The belone, which they also call the needle-fish." Aristotle too, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, calls this fish the belone. But, in his book on Animals and their Properties, or else in his work on Fishes, he calls it the needle-fish; and says that it has no teeth. And Speusippus calls it the belone.

112. There is also the rhinè. Dorion, in his book on Fishes, says that the rhinès are best at Smyrna; and that all the cartilaginous fish are especially good in the gulf of Smyrna. And Archestratus says—

And the far-famed Miletus does produce
All cartilaginous fish in high perfection,

[Pg 503]

But first of all one ought to take account
Both of the rhina and leiobatus,
Known for his spacious back. Still before all
Give me a roasted crocodile to eat,
Fresh from the oven, a most dainty dish
For all the children of Ionia.

113. There is next the scarus, or char. Aristotle says that this fish has serrated teeth, and is a solitary fish, and carnivorous; and that it has a small mouth, and a tongue which does not adhere closely to the mouth, and a triangular heart of a whitish colour and with three lobes; and that its gall and spleen are black, and that of its gills one is double and one single; and that it alone of all fish chews the cud. And that it delights in seaweed for food, on which account the fishermen use seaweed as a bait to catch it with. And it is in season in the summer. And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

We fish for spari, and for scari too,
Whose very dung may not be thrown away.

But Seleucus of Tarsus, in his treatise on Fishing, says that the scarus is the only fish which never sleeps; by reason of which it is not easily caught, even by night. But this may be the case on account of its timid nature. And Archestratus says, in his Gastronomy,—

Seek now a scarus, fresh from Ephesus,
And in the winter season eat a mullet
Caught in the waves of sandy Teichioussa,
A village of Miletus, near the Carians,
The crooked-footed Carians.

And in another part he says—

Wash and then roast the mighty scarus which
Comes from the sea that laves Chalcedon's walls:
That too is good which near Byzantium swims,
With back as broad as a large oval shield.
Take him and cook him whole as I shall tell you.
Sprinkle him o'er with oil and grated cheese,
Then place him in the oven hanging up,
So as to escape the bottom, and then roast him,
And sprinkle him with salt and cummin seed
Well mix'd together; and again with oil,
Pouring out of your hand the holy stream.

Nicander of Thyatira says that there are two kinds of scari; and that one is called the onias, and the other the æolus.

[Pg 504]

114. Then there is the sparus. Icesius says that this is a more juicy fish than the sprat, and more nutritious than most other fish. And Epicharmus says, in his Hebe's Wedding,—

Neptune then arrives himself
Laden with most beauteous nets
In the boats of fair Phœnicia,
Then we all do spari catch,
And scari too, that sacred fish,
Whose very dung may not be thrown away.

And Numenius says, in his treatise on Fishing,—

The sparus or the hycas fond of company.

And Dorion mentions this fish, in his treatise on Fishes.

115. There is also the scorpion. Diocles, in the first book of his treatise on Wholesome Things, addressed to Plistarchus, says—"Of fresh fish, the following have drier meat: the scorpions, the sea-cuckoo, the sea-sparrow, the sargi, and the rough-tail. But the mullet is not so dry as these are; for all fish which keep near the rocks have softer flesh." And Icesius says—"There are two kinds of scorpion; one of which lives in the sea, and the other in marshes. And the one which lives in the sea is red, but the other is rather black. But the sea-mullet is superior to the other, both in taste and in nutritious qualities. But the scorpions have purging qualities, are easy of secretion, very juicy, and very nutritious; for they are a cartilaginous fish." The scorpion brings forth its young twice a-year, as Aristotle tells us, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals. But Numenius says, in his treatise on Fishing,—

The phycides, the alphestes, and besides
The red-flesh'd scorpion, and the blacktail quick,
Which guides the perch all through the stormy sea.

But that he is a fish which has the power of stinging, Aristotle tells us, in his book about Fishes or Animals. And Epicharmus, in his Muses, says that the scorpion is a variegated fish:—

The variegated scorpion, the grayling,
The fat and well-fed lizards.

[Pg 505]


The scorpion is a solitary fish, and feeds on seaweed. But, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, Aristotle speaks of scorpions and scorpides in different places; but it is uncertain whether he means the same fish; because we ourselves have often eaten the scorpæna and the scorpion, and there is no one who does not know that both their juice and their meat are quite different. But Archestratus, that skilful cook, in his Golden Words, tells us—

When you're at Thasos buy a scorpion,
But let him not be longer than one cubit;
Avoid the larger sizes.

116. Then there is the scombrus, or tunny, which is mentioned by this name by Aristophanes, in his Gerytades. Icesius says that that species of tunny called scombrus is smaller in size, but more nutritious, than the species called colias; and also more juicy, though not more easily digested. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, mentions them thus:—

Sea-swallows, and mormyri, both of which
Are larger than the coliæ and the scombri,
But less than those whose name is thynnides.

117. The sargus is another fish. He (as Icesius tells us) is a fish of very exciting and astringent properties, and more nutritious than the melanurus, or blacktail. But Numenius, in his treatise on Fishing, says that the sargus is a very cunning fish as respects the catching him:—

The rich sea-blackbird, or the thrush who sports
Beneath the waves; the sargus too who rushes
Now here with sudden movement, and now there,
The greatest enemy to the fisher's nets.

And Aristotle, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, says that the sargus brings forth its young twice in the year; once in the spring, and once in the autumn. And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The sargus, and the chalcis, and the . . .

But he speaks of the sarginus, or sargus, as an excellent fish, in the following lines—

There the sarginus was, the melanurus,
And the dear tænia, thin but delicious.

And in a similar manner Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, speaks, calling them sargini and chalcides, on this very account. But the wise Archestratus says—

Now when the bright Orion's star doth set,
And the fair mother of the vinous grape
Doth shed her hair, then take a roasted sargus,
Well sprinkled o'er with cheese, of mighty size,
Smoking, and soften'd with sharp vinegar.
For he is hard by nature. And remember
This is the way all hard fish should be cook'd.

[Pg 506]

But those whose meat is good and soft by nature,
It is enough to sprinkle well with salt,
And lightly to anoint with oil. For they
Have virtue and delights within themselves.

118. There is the salpe, too. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The aon, and the phagrus, and the pike,
And the dung-eating, bloated, dirty salpe,
Which still have a sweet flavour in the summer.

And Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, says that the salpe has young once a-year only, in the autumn; and that his skin is covered with numerous red lines. Moreover, he has serrated teeth, and is a solitary fish. And he says that it is stated by the fishermen that he may be caught with a cucumber, being very fond of that kind of food. And Archestratus says—

I always do account the fish call'd salpe
A worthless fish. But it is least tasteless
When the wheat ripens. And the choicest kinds
Are caught at Mitylene.

And Pancrates, in his Works of the Sea, says—

There is the salpe too, of the same size,
Which the seafaring fishermen do call
The ox, because he grinds within his teeth
The stout seaweed with which he fills his belly.

He also is a spotted or variegated fish; on which account his friends used to nickname Mnaseas the Locrian (or, as some call him, the Colophonian),—the man who wrote the poem called The Sports,—Salpe, on account of the variety of things in his collection. But Nymphodorus the Syracusan, in his Voyage round Asia, says that it was a Lesbian woman, named Salpe, who wrote the book called The Sports. But Alcimus, in his Affairs of Sicily, says that in Messene, in Sicily, there was a man named Botrys, who was the author of some "Sports" very like those which are attributed to Salpe. But Archippus uses the word in the masculine form, Salpes, saying—

The ceryx shouted out,
The salpes trumpeted and fetch'd seven obols.

And there is a similar fish produced in the Red Sea, which is called the stromateus; and it has gold-coloured lines running along the whole of his body, as Philo tells us, in his book on Mines.

[Pg 507]


119. There is also the synodon and the synagris. They also are mentioned by Epicharmus, when he says—

Synagrides, and mazi, and the synodons,
With red spots variegated.

And Numenius, in his treatise on Fishing, writes the word with an υ, συνόδους; and says—

Then the white synodon, and boax, and triccus.

And in another place he says—

Fish with these baits then, if you wish to eat
The mighty synodon, or diving horsetail.

But Dorion writes the word σινόδους, with an ι; and so does Archestratus, in the following lines:—

But try to catch a well-fed sinodon,
And you will find the best in narrow straits.
All this advice to Cyrus I have given,
And now to you, Cleænus, I impart it.

And Antiphanes says, in his Archistrata,—

But who would eat an eel, or sinodon's head.

120. There is also the saurus, or lizard. Alexis mentions this fish, in his Leuce. It is a cook who is speaking:—

A. Do you know how you ought to dress a lizard?
B. I shall, when you have taught me.
A. First of all
Take off the gills, then wash him, then cut off
The spines all round, and split him open neatly;
Then when you've laid him flat, anoint him well
And thoroughly with assafœtida;
Sprinkle him then with cheese, and salt, and marjoram.

And Ephippus, in his Cydon, gives a list of many other fishes, and among them he mentions the lizard, in the following lines:—

Slices of tunny, and of glanis,
Of shark, and rhinè, and of conger,
Cephalus, perch, and lizard too,
And phycis, brinchus, also mullet,
Sea-cuckoo, phagrus, myllus, sparus,
Lebias, æolias, and sea-swallow,
Thritta, and squid, and cuttle-fish,
Sea-sparrow, and dracænides.
The polypus, the squid, and orphus,
The tench, th' anchovy, and the cestres,
And last of all the needle-fish.

And Innesimachus, in his Horse-breeder, says—

Of fish with teeth serrated, you may eat
The grim torpedo, the sea-frog, the perch,
The lizard, and the trichias, and the phycis,
The brinchus, and the mullet, and sea-cuckoo.

[Pg 508]

There is also the scepinus; and this fish is mentioned by Dorion, in his treatise on Fish; and he says that it is also called the attageinus, or sea-woodcock.

121. There is also the sciæna. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

Æoliæ were there, and plotes too,
And cynoglossi and sciathides.

But Numenius calls this fish the Sciadeus, saying—

Use then this bait, and you perhaps may catch,
If such your wish, a mighty synodon,
Or the quick leaping hippurus, or the phagrus
Proud with his high-raised crest, or in a shoal
Of trusty comrades, the fresh sciadeus.

There is also the syagris; and this fish is mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, and also in his Earth and Sea.

122. Then there is the sphuræna, or hammer-fish; and these fish, Icesius says, are more nutritious than the congers, but very unpleasant and unpalatable to the taste; and, as to their juicy qualities, they are tolerable. But Dorion says—"The sphuræna, which they call the cestra." And Epicharmus, in his Muses, having named the cestra, does not after that mention the sphuræna, thinking them the same fish—

The chalcides, the sea-dog, and the cestra,
And perch with variegated back.

And Sophron, in his Male Farces, says—"The cestræ, which eat the botis." But Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things which resemble one another, puts down the cestra, the needle-fish, and the sea-lizard as very nearly like one another. And the Attic writers in general call the sphuræna the cestra, and do not so often use the name of sphuræna. Accordingly, Strattis, in his Macedonians, when some Athenian asks the question, as being ignorant of the name, and saying,

But what is the sphuræna?

The other replies,

You, O Athenians, do call it the cestra.

And Antiphanes, in his Euthydicus, says—

A. The sphuræna is a common fish.
B. You should say cestra, in strict Attic Greek.

And Nicophon, in his Pandora, says—

The cestra and the pike.

[Pg 509]


And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The cestra and the variegated perch.

123. The cuttle-fish is often mentioned. Aristophanes says, in his Danaides,—

And when I have the cuttle-fish and polypus.

And the penultima of this word has the acute accent, like that in the word αἰτία, as Philemon tells us; like these words, παιδία, ταινία, οἰκία. But Aristotle says that the cuttle-fish has eight feet, of which the two lowest are the largest; and that it has two proboscises, and between them it has its eyes and mouth placed. And it has two teeth, one above and one below; and what is called a shell on its back. And the ink is contained in what is called the mutis, which answers to the liver; and it lies near its mouth, being something like a bladder. Its belly is wide and smooth, like the paunch of an ox. And the little cuttle-fish feed on small fish, extending their proboscises like fishermen's lines, and catching their prey with them. It is said, too, that when a storm comes, they seize hold of the rocks with their proboscises, as if they were anchors, and so fix themselves firm. And when the cuttle-fish is pursued, it discharges its ink, and is hidden in it, making it appear as if it were flying forwards. And it is also said, that when the female is struck by a harpoon, the male fish come to its assistance, dragging it on; but if the male fish be taken, the female fish flees away. But the cuttle-fish does not live more than a year, as neither does the polypus. But, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, Aristotle says—"The cuttle-fish and the squids swim together, being united together at the mouths, and also touching one another with their feelers, so as to join in that manner; and they also join proboscis to proboscis. But of all the molluscous fish, the cuttle-fish is the earliest in the spring to bring forth its young; and they do not bring forth at every season. But they go with young fifteen days; and when they lay their eggs, the male follows the female, and breathes upon the eggs and makes them firm. And they move in pairs; and the male is more variegated than the female, and blacker on the back."

124. And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The polypus, likewise the cuttle-fish,
And the swift-moving squid.

And we must also take notice of this, with reference to Speusippus, [Pg 510] who says that the cuttle-fish and the squid are the same fish. But when Hipponax, in his Iambics, uses the words σηπίης ὑπόσφαγμα, the interpreters have explained the expression as meaning "the ink of the cuttle-fish." But the word ὑπόσφαγμα is, properly speaking, equivalent to ὑπότριμμα, a dish compounded of various ingredients, as Erasistratus tells us, in his Cookery Book. And he writes as follows—"But ὑπόσφαγμα is made with roast meat and blood stirred up and compounded with cheese, and salt, and cummin, and assafœtida; but the meat may also be boiled." And Glaucus the Locrian, in his Cookery Book, writes as follows—"Ὑπόσφαγμα is blood boiled, and assafœtida, and boiled lees of wine; or sometimes honey and vinegar, and milk and cheese, and sweet-smelling herbs are shred and mixed together in it." And Archestratus, that man of the most varied learning, says—

The cuttle-fish of Abdera and the middle of Maronea.

And Aristophanes, in his Thesmophoriazusæ, says—

Has any fish or cuttle-fish been bought?

And in the Danaides he says—

Osmulia, mœnidea, and cuttle-fish.

Theopompus, in his Aphrodite, says—

. . . But eat, my friend,
This cuttle-fish, and this small polypus.

But concerning the boiling of the small polypus, Alexis, in his Wicked Woman, introduces a cook speaking as follows—

Now these three cuttle-fish I have just bought
For one small drachma. And when I've cut off
Their feelers and their fins, I then shall boil them.
And cutting up the main part of their meat
Into small dice, and rubbing in some salt,
After the guests already are sat down,
I then shall put them in the frying-pan,
And serve up hot towards the end of supper.

[Pg 511]


125. The next fish is the mullet; and τρίγλη is like κίχλη, ending in η. For the feminine nouns which end in λα require another λ before the λα; as σκύλλα, Τελέσιλλα. But all the words which have γ united to λ end in η; as τρώγλη, αἴγλη, ζεύγλη. But Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, says that the mullet brings forth three times in the year; and states that the fishermen have adopted this opinion from the spawn being seen three times a-year in certain localities. And perhaps it is from the word τρὶς (three times) that it has its name; just as the fish called ἀμία has its name from its being a fish which does not go about by itself, but in shoals (ἄμα). And the σκάροϛ is so called from σκαίρω (to leap); as also is the καρίς. And the ἀφύη is so named as being ἀφυὴϛ, which is equivalent to δυσφυὴς, that is to say, slowly propagated. Then θύννος has its name from θύω (to rush), because it is an impetuous fish, from being driven about by its fly in the head at the time of the rising of the Dog-star. But it is a fish with serrated teeth, gregarious, and spotted all over, and also carnivorous: and when it has had young three times it becomes barren; for some little worms are engendered in its womb, which devour the young as soon as they are conceived. And from the actual facts, Epicharmus calls them hump-backed, in his Hebe's Wedding, where he says—

He brought the hump-back'd mullet too,
And the ungrateful bæones.

But Sophron, in his Male Farces, speaks of a fish which he calls τρίγολη, saying,

The trigola which cuts the navel string.

And in another place he says—

The trigola which loves calm weather.

And in his play called Pædica he says—

. . . . . trigola . . . .

But, in his Affairs of Women, he says—

The bearded mullet (τρίγλη).

But Diocles, in his books addressed to Plistarchus, says that the mullet is a fish of hard flesh; and Speusippus says that the sea-cuckoo, the sea-swallow, and the mullet are all alike; on which account Tryphon says, in his treatise on Animals, that some people think that the trigola is the sea-cuckoo, from its likeness to it, and from the dryness of its hind-quarters; which Sophron indicates, when he says—

The fat mullets and the hinder parts of the trigola.

126. But Plato, in his Phaon, says—

The mullet is not wholesome for the nerves,
For it is sacred to the chaste Diana,
And all excitement hates.

But the mullet is attributed to Hecate as her fish, on account of the common derivation of their names; for Hecate is called τριοδῖτις, as presiding over places where three roads meet, and τρίγληνος, as having three eyes; and also they provide her a banquet on the thirtieth day of each month (ταῖς τριακάσι). [Pg 512] And, on similar principles, they assign to Apollo the fish κίθαρος, from κιθάρα (the harp); and the βόαξ to Mercury, from βοάω (to speak); and the κιττὸς to Bacchus, from κισσὸς (ivy); and the φάλαρις to Venus, as Aristophanes in his Birds says, from the similarity of its name to the word φαλλός. And so the bird called the νῆσσα (or duck), they call Neptune's bird; and the sea production which we call ἀφυὰ, and others ἀφρύα, and which is more generally called ἀφρὸς (foam), they also give to him; though they say that this also is very dear to Venus, because she herself was born of foam. But Apollodorus, in his books concerning the Gods, says that the mullet is sacrificed to Hecate on account of the resemblance of their names; for that the goddess is τρίμορφος, of a triple form. But Melanthus, in his treatise on the Eleusinian Mysteries, says that both the τρίγλη and the μαινὶς (or sprat), are sacred to Hecate, because Hecate is also a goddess of the sea. But Hegesander the Delphian says that the mullet is accustomed to be carried about in the Artemisia, because it is accustomed diligently to hunt out and destroy the sea-hares, which are poisonous animals; on which account, as it does this to the great benefit of mankind, the mullet as a huntress is considered sacred to the goddess who is also a huntress. And Sophron has called the mullet "bearded," because those which have beards are better flavoured than those which have not. And there is a place at Athens called Τρίγλα, and there there is a shrine to Ἑκάτη Τριγλανθίνη; on which account Chariclides, in his Chain, says—

O mistress Hecate, Trioditis,
With three forms (τρίμορφε) and three faces (τριπρόσωπε),
Propitiated with mullets (τρίγλαις).

127. And if the mullet, while alive, be choked with wine, and then a man drinks the wine, he will no longer be able to indulge in the pleasures of Venus, as Terpsicles tells us in his book on Amatory Pleasures. And if a woman drinks this same wine, she never becomes pregnant. Birds, too, are affected in the same manner. But Archestratus, that very learned man, after he has praised the Milesian mullet which are found at Teichius, proceeds to say—

If you at Thasos are, then buy a mullet;
You ne'er will get a worse, unless indeed
You go to Tius; but even those are fair:
But at Erythræ they are caught in shore
And are most excellent.

[Pg 513]


And Cratinus, in his Trophonius, says—

And do not eat a red-flesh'd mullet hard,
Brought from Æxona; nor of any turtle,
Or mighty melanurus from those seas.

But Nausicrates, the comic poet, praises the mullets from Æxona, in his Captains of Ships, saying—

A. Those yellow-fleshed fish, which the high wave
That beats Æxona brings towards the shore,
The best of fish; with which we venerate
The light-bestowing daughter of great Jove;
When sailors offer gifts of feasts to heaven.
B. You mean the mullet.

128. There is, too, the tænia; and this is mentioned by Epicharmus:—

The most belovèd tænia, which are thin,
But highly flavour'd, and need little fire.

And Mithæcus, in his Cookery Book, says—"Having taken out the entrails of the tænia, and cut off its head, and washed it, and having cut it into slices, sprinkle over it cheese and oil." But this fish is found in the greatest number and in the finest condition off Canopus, which is near Alexandria; and also off Seleucia, which is close to Antioch. But when Eupolis, in his Prospaltii, says—

His mother was a Thracian woman,
A seller of tæniæ;

he then means by the word ταινία, not the fish, but those pieces of woven work and girdles with which women bind their waists.

129. Another fish is the trachurus, or rough-tail. Diocles mentions this as a dry fish. And Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, says—

The aconia and the wagtail too,
And the . . . . trachurus.

There is also the taulopias. Concerning this fish, Archestratus says—

When it is summer buy a good-sized head
Of fresh taulopias, just when Phaethon
Is driving his last course. Dress it with speed,
Serve it up hot, and some good seasoning with it,
Then take its entrails, spit and roast them too.

130. There is also the τευθὶς, [which is a kind of cuttle-fish, different from the σηπίς.] Aristotle says that this also is a gregarious fish, and that it has a great many things [Pg 514] in common with the sepia; such as the same number of feet, and the two proboscises: but of this kind the lower feet are the smaller, and the upper feet the larger; and of the proboscises, that on the right side is the thickest: and the whole body is delicate, and of a more oblong shape than the sepia. And the teuthis also has ink in its mutis, which, however, is not black, but of a pale colour. And its shell is very small, and cartilaginous.

There is also the teuthus; and the only difference between the teuthus and the teuthis is in size: and the teuthus is of the size of three spans; and it is of a reddish colour. And of its two teeth, the lower one is the smallest, and the upper one is the largest; and both of them are black, and like a hawk's beak. And when it is slit open, it has a paunch like a pig's paunch. Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, says that both the teuthus and the sepia are short-lived fish. And Archestratus, who travelled and sailed over the whole earth, for the sake of gratifying his greedy appetite, says,—

The best of all the teuthides are those
Caught near Pierian Dium, near the stream
Of Baphyras. And in Ambracia's port
You will see mighty shoals of this same fish.

And Alexis, in his Eretrian, introduces a cook speaking in this way—

Teuthides, thornbacks, rays, and fat
Anchovies, lumps of meat, and paunches too.
I took the teuthides, cut off their fins,
Adding a little fat; I then did sprinkle
Some thin shred herbs o'er all for seasoning.

There is also a sort of cake or confectionary called τευθὶς, which is mentioned by Iatrocles, in his book on the Art of making Bread, as Pamphilus quotes.

131. Then there is the sea-pig. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

There were hyænides, buglossi,
There was the harp-fish too in numbers.

And he also calls them not only ὑαινίδες, but also ὔες in the following lines—

There were too chalcides and sea-pigs (ὔες),
And sea-hawks, and the fat sea-dog.

[Pg 515]


Unless, indeed, when he uses the word ὗς here, he means the same animal which is also called κάπρος, the sea-boar. But Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, enumerates plainly enough some sort of ὕαινα or plaice, when he says—

The cantharis, hyæna, and the mullet.

And Dionysius, in his Cookery Book, also speaks of the hyæna or plaice. And Archestratus, that prince of cooks and epicures says,—

At Ænus or at Potus buy the sea-pig,
Which some men call the digger of the sand,
Then boil his head, adding no seasoning,
But only water, stirring it full often,
And add some pounded hyssop; if you want
Anything more, pour on some pungent vinegar;
Steep it in that, then eat it with such haste
As if your object were to choke yourself.
But roast its neck, and all its other parts.

And perhaps it is the sea-pig which Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, calls the psamathis, or sand-fish, when he says—

Sometimes the fierce carcharias, and sometimes
The psamathis, delighting in the surf.

132. Then there is the hyces. Callimachus, in his epigrams, calls the hyces the sacred fish, in these lines—

And he does deem the sacred hyces god.

And Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, says—

The spar, or the gregarious hyces;
Or phagrus, ever wand'ring near the rocks.

And Timæus, in the thirteenth book of his Histories, speaking of the town in Sicily, (I mean the town of Hyccara,) says that this town derived its name from the circumstance of the first man who arrived at the place finding abundance of the fish called hyces, and those too in a breeding condition; and they, taking this for an omen, called the place Hyccarus. But Zenodotus says that the Cyrenæans call the hyces the erythrinus. But Hermippus of Smyrna, in his essay on Hipponax, when he speaks of the hyces, means the iulis; and says that it is very hard to catch; on which account Philetas says—

Nor was the hyces the last fish who fled.

133. There is also the phagrus. Speusippus, in the second book of his Things resembling one another, says that the phagrus, the erythrinus, and the hepatus, are very much alike. And Numenius also has mentioned [Pg 516] it in the lines which have been quoted not long ago. But Aristotle says that he is a carnivorous and solitary fish; and that he has a heart of a triangular shape, and that he is in season in the spring. And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, speaks of the

Aones, and the phagri, and the pikes.

And Metagenes also mentions them in his Thurio-Persæ. And Ameipsias says in his Connus—

A food for orphi and selachia,
And for the greedy phagri.

And Icesius says—"The phagrus, and the chromis, and the anthias, and the acharnanes, and the orphi, and the synodons, and the synagrides, are all very nearly akin to one another; for they are sweet and astringent, and nutritious, but in the same proportion they are hard of digestion. And those of them, which are fleshy, and which are caught nearer land, are the most nutritious, and those also which have the least fat." But Archestratus says—

'Tis when the dogstar rises in the sky
That you should eat the phagrus; specially
If you in Delos or Eretria are,
Or other favouring harbours of the sea;
But, if you can, purchase his head alone,
And tail; and bring no more within your doors.

Strattis also mentions the phagrus in his Lemnomeda—

Eating a number of large phagri.

And in his Philoctetes he says—

Then, going to the market, they will buy
A great abundance of large phagri, and
Slices of tender round Copaic eel.

There is also a kind of stone called the phagrus. For the whetstone is called so among the Cretans, as Simmias testifies.

134. There is also the channa. Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The channa, with large mouth, and then the cod,
With deep and spacious belly.

Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, says—

The channas and the eel, and pitinus,
Who only roams by night.

[Pg 517]


Dorion also mentions him in his treatise on Fishes. But Aristotle, in his book on Animals, calls the channa a fish variegated with red and black; and he calls it also ποικιλόγραμμος, because it is marked with black lines.

135. There is the chromis; this also is spoken of by Epicharmus, who says—

There is the sword-fish and the chromias,
Who, in the spring, as Ananius says,
Is of all fish the daintiest.

And Numenius, in his Art of Fishing, says—

The hyces, or the beautiful callicthys,
Or else the chromis, and sometimes the orphus.

And Archestratus says—

You may catch noble chromises in Pella,
And they are fat when it is midsummer;
And in Ambracia likewise they abound.

136. There is also the chrysophrys. Archippus says in his Fishes—

The chrysophrys, sacred to Cytherean Venus.

And Icesius says that these fish are the best of all fish in sweetness, and also in delicacy of flavour in other respects. They are also most nutritious. They produce their young, as Aristotle says, in a manner similar to the cestres, wherever there are flowing rivers. Epicharmus mentions them in his Muses; and Dorion also, in his book on Fishes. And Eupolis, in his Flatterers, says—

I spent a hundred drachmas upon fish,
And only got eight pike, and twelve chrysophryes.

But the wise Archestratus, in his Suggestions, says—

Pass not the chrysophrys from Ephesus
Unheeded by; which the Ephesians call
The ioniscus. Take him eagerly,
The produce of the venerable Selinus;
Wash him, and roast him whole, and serve him up,
Though he be ten full cubits long.

137. There is a fish, too, called the chalcis; and others which resemble it, namely, the thrissa, the trichis, and the eritimus. Icesius says, the fish called the chalcis, and the sea-goat, and the needle-fish, and the thrissa, are like chaff, destitute alike of fat and of juice. And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

The chalcides, the sea-pig too,
The sea-hawk, and the fat sea-dog.

But Dorion calls it the chalcidice. And Numenius says,—

But you would thus harpoon, in the same way,
That chalcis and the little tiny sprat.

[Pg 518]

But the χαλκεὺς is different from the χαλκὶς; and the χαλκεὺς is mentioned by Heraclides, in his Cookery Book; and by Euthydemus, in his book on Cured Fish, who says that they are bred in the country of the Cyzicenes, being a round and circular fish.

But the thrissa is mentioned by Aristotle in his book on Animals and Fishes, in these words—"The following are stationary fish: the thrissa, the encrasicholus, the membras anchovy, the coracinus, the erythrinus, and the trichis." And Eupolis mentions the trichis in his Flatterers;—

He was a stingy man, who once in his life
Before the war did buy some trichides;
But in the Samian war, a ha'p'orth of meat.

And Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

If trichides were to be a penny a hundred.

But Dorion, in his treatise on Fishes, speaks also of the river Thrissa; and calls the trichis trichias. Nicochares, in his Lemnian Women, says—

The trichias, and the premas tunny too,
Placed in enormous quantities for supper.

(But there was a kind of tunny which they used to call premnas. Plato, in his Europa, has these lines—

He once, when fishing, saw one of such size
A man could scarcely carry it, in a shoal
Of premnades, and then he let it go,
Because it was a boax.)

And Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, calls it a trichias also, but in the book which is entitled Ζωϊκὸν, he calls it trichis. And it is said that this fish is delighted with dancing and singing, and that when it hears music it leaps up out of the sea.

Dorion also mentions the eritimi, saying, that they are much the same as the chalcides, and that they are very nice in forced meat. And Epænetus, in his book upon Fishes, says—"The sea-weasel; the smaris, which some call the dog's-bed; the chalcides, which they also call sardini; the eritimi, the sea-hawk, and the sea-swallow." And Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, calls them sardines. And Callimachus, in his Names used by different Nations, writes thus—"The encrasicholus, the eritimus, are names used by the Chalcedonians; the trichidia, the chalcis, the ictar, the atherina." And in another part, giving a list of the names of fishes, he says—"The ozæna, the osmylnion, are names used by the Thurians; the iopes, the eritimi, are names used by the Athenians." And Nicander mentions the iopes in his Bœotian,—

[Pg 519]

But as when round a shoal of newly born
Iopes, phagri, or fierce scopes roam,
Or the large orphus.

And Aristophanes, in his Ships of Burden, says—

O wretched fish, the first of trichides
To be immersed in pickle.

For they used to steep in pickle all the fish which were proper to be dressed on the coals. And they called pickle, Thasian brine; as also the same poet says in his Wasps,—

For before that it twice drank in the brine.

138. There is also a fish called the thratta. And since we have brought the discussion to this point, and have also discussed the thrissa; let us now examine what the thrattæ are, which are mentioned by Archippus, in his play called the Fishes. For in that play, in the treaty between the Fishes and the Athenians, he introduces the following sentences—

And it is agreed on further
That both the high contracting parties
Shall restore all they now do hold
Of each other's property.
We shall give up thus the Thrattæ,
And the flute-playing Atherina,
And Thyrsus's daughter Sepia,
And the mullet, and Euclides,
Who was archon t'other day,
And the coraciontes too,
Who from Anagyrus come;
And the offspring of the tench,
Who swims round sacred Salamis;
And the frog who's seated near,
From the marshes of Oreum.

Now in these lines, perhaps a man may ask what sort of thrattæ among the fishes are meant here, which the fish agree to give up to the men. And since I have got some private things written out on this subject, I will now recite to you that portion of them which bears most on the subject.

The thratta, then, is really a genuine sea-fish; and Mnesimachus, in his Horse-breeder, mentions it; and Mnesimachus is a poet of the middle comedy. And he speaks thus—

[Pg 520]

The mullet, and the lebias, and the sparus,
The bright æolias, and the thratta too,
The sea-swallow, the caris, and the cuttle-fish.

But Dorotheus of Ascalon, in the hundred and eighth book of his Collection of Words, writes this name θέττα, either because he fell in with a copy of the drama with an incorrect text, or because, as he himself was unused to the word, he altered it so before he published it. But the name thetta does absolutely never occur in any Attic writer whatever. But that they were used to call a sea-fish by the name of thratta, that Anaxandrides establishes, speaking in this manner in his play called Lycurgus,—

And sporting with the little coracini,
With little perches, and the little thrattæ.

And Antiphanes says in his Etrurian—

A. He is of the Halæa borough. This is all
That now is left me, to be abused unjustly.
B. Why so?
A. He will (you'll see) bestow on me
Some thratta, or sea-sparrow, or some lamprey,
Or some enormous other marine evil.

139. We come now to the sea-sparrow. Diocles enumerates this fish among the drier kinds. But Speusippus, in the second book of his Things resembling one another, says that the sea-sparrow and the buglossus and the tænia are very much alike. But Aristotle, in the fifth book of his Parts of Animals, writes—"And in the same manner the greater number of the small fish have young once a-year; such as those which are called chyti, which are surrounded by a net, namely, the chromis, the sea-sparrow, the tunny, the pelamys, the cestreus, the chalcis, and others of the same sort." And in his treatise on Animals he says—"These fish are cartilaginous, the sea-cow, the turtle, the torpedo, the ray, the sea-frog, the buglossa, the sea-sparrow, the mussel." But Dorion, in his book on Fishes, says—"But of flat fish there is the buglossus, the sea-sparrow, the escharus, which they also call the coris." The buglossi are mentioned also by Epicharmus in his Hebe's Wedding—

Hyænides, buglossi, and a citharus.

And Lynceus the Samian, in his Letters, says that the finest sea-sparrows are procured near Eleusis, in Attica. And Archestratus says—

[Pg 521‒522]

Remember then to get a fine sea-sparrow,
And a rough-skinn'd buglossus, near the port
Of sacred Chalcis

But the Romans call the sea-sparrow rhombus; which, however, is a Greek name. And Nausicrates, in his Sea Captains, having first mentioned the sea-grayling, proceeds in this manner—

A. Those yellow-fleshed fish, which the high wave
That beats Æxona brings towards the shore,
The best of fish; with which we venerate
The light-bestowing daughter of great Jove;
When sailors offer gifts of feasts to heaven.
B. You mean the mullet, with its milky colour,
Which the Sicilian multitude calls rhombus.

140. So now, having given you, O Timocrates, the whole of the conversation which took place among the Deipnosophists on the subject of fish, we may conclude our book here; and unless you want some other kind of food, we will end by setting before you what Eubulus has said in his Lacedæmonians, or Leda;—

Besides all this you now shall have
A slice of tunny, a slice of pork,
Some paunch of kid, some liver of goat,
Some ram, the entrails of an ox,
A lamb's head, and a kid's intestines;
The belly of a hare, a pudding,
Some tripe, black-puddings, and a sausage.

Being sated, therefore, with all this, let us now take due care of our bodies, in order to be able to feed comfortably on what is coming next.


[1] From ἀφρὸς, foam.

[2] An Attic drachma was as near as may be 9‒3/4d. So that a thousand will amount to something over 40l.

[3] The Greek is Ἐπικούρειος εἰκαδιστὴς, which last word was an epithet of the Epicureans, because they celebrated the death of their founder on the twentieth day of the month Gamelion. Vide L. & S. in voc.

[4] From σφὴν, a wedge.

[5] Schweighaeuser thinks that something has dropped out of the text here; and proposes to insert, "And Ulpian said."

[6] The burgh of Otryna was one of the most obscure ones, while the Phaleric burgh was one of those of the highest reputation.

[7] This is a pun on the similarity of the name Gela to γέλως, laughter, the compound κατάγελως meaning derision. And it is probably borrowed from Aristophanes, who says, Acharn. 606:—

τοὺς δ᾽ ἐν καμαρίνῃ κᾀν γέλᾳ κᾀν καταγέλᾳ.

[8] Venus Zephyritis was the name under which Arsinoe was worshipped; and the next line refers to the custom of the maidens on the occasion of their marriage making a sportive offering of their toys to Venus. Arsinoe was the wife and sister of Ptolemy Philadelphus.

[Pg 523]


1. Polybius the Megalopolitan, speaking of the great happiness which exists in Lusitania (and that is a district of Iberia, which the Romans now call Spania), O most excellent Timocrates, in the thirty-fourth book of his Histories, says that in that country, on account of the excellent temperature of the air, both animals and men are exceedingly prolific; and the fruits, too, in that country never degenerate. "For there are roses there, and white violets, and asparagus, and other flowers and fruits like them, which last nine months in the year; and as for sea-fish, both in abundance, and in excellence, and in beauty, it is very superior to that produced in our seas. And a siclus (this is equal to a medimnus) of barley costs only a drachma; and one of wheat costs nine Alexandrian obols; and a measure of wine costs a drachma; and a moderate-sized kid costs an obol, and so does a hare. And of lambs, the price is three or four obols; and a fat pig, weighing a hundred minæ, costs five drachmæ; and a sheep costs two. And a talent weight of figs costs three obols; and a calf costs five drachmæ; and a draught-ox ten. And the meat of wild animals is scarcely ever valued at any price at all; but people throw that in to purchasers into the bargain, or as a present." But to us, whenever we sup with our excellent friend Laurentius, he makes Rome another Lusitania,—filling us with every sort of good thing every day, receiving us in a most princely manner with the greatest liberality, while we bring nothing from home as our contribution, except our arguments.

[Pg 524]

2. Now, as a long discussion had taken place about fish, it was plain that Cynulcus was annoyed at it; and so the excellent Democritus, anticipating him, said—But, O you men fish, as Archippus says, you have omitted (for I too must throw in a little contribution of my own) those which are called fossil fishes, which are produced at Heraclea, and near Tium, in Pontus, which is a colony of the Milesians, though Theophrastus gives us an account of them. And this very same philosopher has also told us about those that are congealed in ice the whole winter, so that they have no feeling whatever, and make not the slightest motion, until they are put into the saucepans and boiled. And these fish have this especial peculiarity, which also belongs in some degree to the fish which are called fossil fish in Paphlagonia. For it is said that ditches are dug in those places to an exceeding depth, where no overflow of rivers ever reaches, nor of any other waters whatever; and yet in those ditches there are found living fishes.

3. But Mnaseas of Patra, in his Periplus, says that the fish in the river Clitor are not dumb; though Aristotle has stated in writing that the only fishes which have any voice are the scarus and the river-hog. And Philostephanus, who was a Cyrenæan by birth, and a friend of Callimachus, in his treatise on Extraordinary Rivers, says that in the river Aroanius, which flows through Pheneum, there are fish which sing like thrushes, and that they are called the poiciliæ. And Nymphodorus the Syracusan, in his Voyages, says that there are pike in the river Helorus, and large eels, so tame that they take bread out of the hands of any who bring it to them. And I myself, and very likely many of you too, have seen cestres tamed to the hand in the fountain of Arethusa, near Chalcis; and eels, having silver and golden earrings, taking food from any one who offered it to them, and entrails from the victims, and fresh cheese. And Semus says, in the sixth book of his Delias—"They say that a boy once dipped a ewer into the well, and brought water to some Athenians who were sacrificing at Delos, to wash their hands with; and he brought up, as it happened, some fish in the ewer along with the water: and that on this the soothsayers of the Delians told them that they should become the lords of the sea."

[Pg 525]


4. And Polybius, in the thirty-fourth book of his Histories, says that behind Pyrene, as far as the river Narbo, the whole country is a plain, through which the rivers Illiberis and Rhoscynus proceed, flowing through cities of the same name as themselves, which are inhabited by some of the Celtæ; and in this plain he says that the above-mentioned fossil fish are also found. And he says that the soil of that plain is light, and that a great quantity of the herb agrostis grows in it; and that beneath it, as the soil is sandy for a depth of two or three cubits, the water flows, which wanders away from these rivers; and so the fish, too, leaving the rivers, and proceeding underground, in the course of these erratic underflowings, in quest of food (for they are exceedingly fond of the root of the agrostis), have caused the whole plain to be full of subterranean fish, which people catch when they dig up the plain. "And among the Indians," says Theophrastus, "there are fish which go forth out of the rivers over the land, and then, leaping back, return again to the water, just like frogs; being in appearance very like the fish which are called maxini."

5. But I am not ignorant of what Clearchus, the Peripatetic philosopher, has said about what he calls the exocoetus fish, or fish which comes out of the water to sleep, which he mentions in his work entitled A Treatise on Aquatic Animals. For he has said, (and I think that I recollect his exact words, which are as follows,) "The exocoetus fish, which some people call Adonis, has derived its name from constantly taking his rest out of the water. He is rather of a red colour, and from his gills down to his tail he has on each side of his body one white stripe reaching the whole length of his body. And he is round, but not being broad, he is equal in size to the cestrinisci which are found near the shore; and they are as near as may be about eight fingers in length. Altogether he is very like the fish called the sea-goat, except that the latter has a black place under his stomach, which they call the beard of the goat. And the exocoetus is one of the fish which keeps near to the rocks, and spends his life in rocky places. When it is calm weather he springs up with the waves and lies on the rocks for a considerable time, sleeping on the dry land, and turning himself so as to bask in the sun: and then, when he has had sufficient rest, he rolls towards the water again, until the wave, taking him again, bears him with the reflux back into the sea. And [Pg 526] when he is awake on the dry land then he is on his guard against those birds which are called pareudistæ, such as the halcyon, the sandpiper, and the helorius, which is a bird like the rail. For these birds in calm weather feed on the dry land, and often attack the exocoetus; but when he sees them at a distance he flies, leaping and panting, until he dives beneath the water."

6. Moreover, Clearchus says this also more plainly than Philostephanus the Cyrenæan, whom I have previously mentioned. "There are some fish which, though they have no throats, can utter a sound. Such are those which are found near Cleitor, in Arcadia, in the river called Ladon. For they have a voice, and utter a very audible sound." And Nicolaus, of Damascus, in the hundred and fourth book of his History, says—"In the country around Apamea, in Phrygia, at the time of the Mithridatic wars, there were some earthquakes, after which there appeared in that district some lakes which previously had no existence, and rivers, and other springs which had been opened by the earthquake. Many also which had previously existed disappeared. And such a quantity of additional water, which was brackish and of a sea-green colour, burst up in that district, though it is at a very great distance from the sea, that all the neighbouring country was filled with oysters and fish, and all other productions of the sea." I know also that it has very often rained fishes. At all events, Phænias, in the second book of his Eresian Magistrates, says that in the Chersonesus it once rained fish uninterruptedly for three days; and Phylarchus, in his fourth book, says that people had often seen it raining fish, and often also raining wheat, and that the same thing has happened with respect to frogs. At all events, Heraclides Lembus, in the twenty-first book of his History, says—"In Pæonia and Dardania it has, they say, before now rained frogs; and so great has been the number of these frogs that the houses and the roads have been full of them; and at first, for some days, the inhabitants, endeavouring to kill them, and shutting up their houses, endured the pest; but when they did no good, but found that all their vessels were filled with them, and the frogs were found to be boiled up and roasted with everything they ate, and when besides all this, they could not make use of any water, nor put their feet on the ground for the heaps of frogs that were everywhere, and were annoyed also by the smell of those that died, they fled the country."

[Pg 527]


7. I am aware, too, that Posidonius the Stoic makes this statement about the abundance of the fish:—"When Tryphon of Apamea, who seized upon the kingdom of Syria, was attacked by Sarpedon, the general of Demetrius, near the city of Ptolemais, and when Sarpedon, being defeated, retired into the inland parts of the country with his own troops, but the army of Tryphon, having been victorious in the battle, were marching along the shore, on a sudden, a wave of the sea, rising to a great height, came over the land, and overwhelmed them all, and destroyed them beneath the waters, and the retreating wave also left an immense heap of fish with the corpses. And Sarpedon and his army hearing of what had happened, came up, and were delighted at the sight of the corpses of their enemies, and carried away an enormous quantity of fish, and made a sacrifice to Neptune who puts armies to flight, near the suburbs of the city."

8. Nor will I pass over in silence the men who prophesy from fish in Lycia, concerning whom Polycharmus speaks, in the second book of his Affairs of Lycia; writing in this manner:—"For when they have come to the sea, at a place where there is on the shore a grove sacred to Apollo, and where there is an eddy on the sand, the persons who are consulting the oracle come, bringing with them two wooden spits, having each of them ten pieces of roast meat on them. And the priest sits down by the side of the grove in silence; but he who is consulting the oracle throws the spits into the eddy, and looks on to see what happens. And after he has put the spits in, then the eddy becomes full of salt water, and there comes up such an enormous quantity of fish of such a description that he is amazed at the sight, and is even, as it were, alarmed at the magnitude of it. And when the prophet enumerates the different species of fish, the person who is consulting the oracle in this manner receives the prophecy from the priest respecting the matters about which he has prayed for information. And there appear in the eddy orphi, and sea-grayling, and sometimes some sorts of whales, such as the phalæna, or pristis, and a great many other fish which are rarely seen, and strange to the sight."

And Artemidorus, in the tenth book of his Geography, says that—"It is [Pg 528] said by the natives that a fountain springs up in that place of sweet water, to which it is owing that these eddies exist there; and that very large fish are produced in that eddying place. And those who are sacrificing throw to these fish the first-fruits of what they offer, piercing them through with wooden spits, being pieces of meat, roasted and boiled, and cakes of barley and loaves. And both the harbour and the place is called Dinus."[9]

9. I know, too, that Phylarchus has spoken, somewhere or other, about large fish, and about fresh figs which were sent with them; saying that Patroclus, the general of Ptolemy, sent such a present to Antigonus the king, by way of a riddle, as the Scythians sent an enigmatical present to Darius, when he was invading their country. For they sent (as Herodotus relates) a bird, and an arrow, and a frog. But Patroclus (as Phylarchus tells us, in the third book of his Histories) sent the before-mentioned fishes and figs; and the king, at the time that they arrived, happened to be drinking with his friends, and when all the party were perplexed at the meaning of the gifts, Antigonus laughed, and said to his friends that he knew what was the meaning of the present; "for," says he, "Patroclus means that we must either be masters of the sea, or else be content to eat figs."

10. Nor am I unaware that all fishes are called by one generic name, camasenes, by Empedocles the natural philosopher, when he says—

How could the mighty trees and sea-born camasenes . . .

And the poet, too, who wrote the Cyprian poems (whether he was a Cyprian or a man of the name of Stasinus, or whatever else his name may have been), represents Nemesis as pursued by Jupiter, and metamorphosed into a fish, in the following lines:—

And after them she brought forth Helen third,
A marvel to all mortal men to see;
Her then the fair-hair'd Nemesis did bear,
Compell'd by Jove, the sovereign of the gods.
She indeed fled, nor sought to share the love
Of that great father, son of Saturn, Jove;
For too great awe did overpower her mind:
So Nemesis did flee o'er distant lands,
And o'er the black and barren waves o' the sea;

[Pg 529]

But Jove pursued her (and with eagerness
His soul desired her). In vain she took
The form of some large fish who bounds along,
Borne on the vast high-crested roaring wave;
Sometimes she fled along the ocean, where
The earth's most distant boundaries extend;
Sometimes she fled along the fertile land;
And took all shapes of every animal
Which the land bears, to flee from amorous Jove.

11. I know, also, what is related about the fish called apopyris, which is found in the lake Bolbe; concerning which Hegesander, in his Commentaries, speaks thus:—"Around Apollonia of Chalcis two rivers flow, the Ammites and the Olynthiacus, and they both fall into the lake Bolbe. And on the river Olynthiacus there is a monument of Olynthus, the son of Hercules and Bolbe. And in the months Anthesterion and Elaphebolion, the natives say that Bolbe sends Apopyris to Olynthus; and that about this time a most enormous number of fish ascend out of the lake into the river Olynthiacus: and this is a shallow river, scarcely deep enough to wet a man's ankles; but for all that there does not the less come a great number of fish, so that all the people of the district get enough cured fish for their use for the year. And it is a wonderful fact that they never pass above the monument of Olynthus. They say, in explanation of this, that the people of Apollonia did formerly, in the month Elaphebolion, celebrate sacrifices to the dead, but that they do so now in the month Anthesterion; and that on this account this ascent is made by the fish in those months alone in which the natives are accustomed to pay honour to their national heroes."

12. And this is the state of the case, O men fish; for you, having collected together every kind of thing, have thrown us out to be food for fishes, instead of giving them as food for us,—making such long speeches as not even Ichthys, the philosopher of Megara, nor Ichthyon (and this also is a proper name), who is mentioned by Teleclides in his Amphictyons, would make to us. And, on your account, I will give this advice to the servant, as it is said in the Ant-Men of Pherecrates:—

Mind that you never, O Deucalion,
(Even if I bid you,) set a fish before me.

For in Delos, as we are told by Semus the Delian, in the second book of the Delias, when they sacrifice to Brizo,—and she is a deity who [Pg 530] prophesies to people asleep (for the ancients used βριόζω as synonymous with καθεύδω, to sleep, saying—

Then sleeping (ἀποβρίξαντες) there we waited for the dawn)—

so, when the Delian women sacrifice to this deity, they bring her, as their offering, boats full of all kinds of good things, except fish; because they address prayers to her on every subject, and especially for the safety of their vessels.

13. But, my friends, though I admire Chrysippus, the leader of the sect of the Stoics, on many accounts, I also praise him especially for having always classed Archestratus, that man who is so famous for his treatise on Cookery, with Philænis, to whom that indelicate composition about Amatory Pleasures is attributed; which, however, Æschrion, the iambic poet of Samos, says was written by Polycrates the sophist, and attributed to Philænis for the sake of calumniating her, when she was a most respectable woman. And the iambics, in which this is stated, run as follows:—

I am Philænis, famous among men;
And here I lie, o'erwhelm'd by long old age.
Do not, O foolish sailor, pass this cape
Laughing and scorning and reproaching me.
For now I swear by Jove, and by the gods
Who reign below, I never lustful was,
I never made myself a sport to man.
But one Polycrates, of Attic race,
A trashy chatterer, and a false accuser,
Wrote what he wrote; I know not what it was.

Therefore that admirable Chrysippus, in the fifth book of his treatise on Honour and Pleasure, says—"The books, too, of Philænis, and the Gastronomy of Archestratus, and all the drugs calculated to provoke appetite or sensual desires, and also all the servants who are skilled in such motions and such figures, and whose occupation it is to attend to these things." And again he says—"That they learn such things, and get hold of the books written on such subjects by Philænis and Archestratus, and by those who have written similar works." And in his seventh book he says—"Just as it would not be advisable to study the writings of Philænis or the Gastronomy of Archestratus, as tending to make a person live better."

[Pg 531]


14. But you, who are constantly making mention of this Archestratus, have made this entertainment full of intemperance; for what of all the things which could unduly excite men has this fine epic poet omitted?—he, the only imitator of the life of Sardanapalus the son of Anacyndaraxes, who, Aristotle says, is made more obscure still by adding the name of his father; on whose tomb, Chrysippus says, the following inscription was engraved:—

Knowing that you are mortal, feed your soul
On banquets and delights; for in the grave
There's no enjoyment left. I now am dust
Who once was king of mighty Nineveh;
The things which I did eat, the joys of love,
The insolent thoughts with which my wealth did fill me,
Are all I now have left; for all my power
And all my happiness is gone for ever.
This is the only prudent rule of life,
I never shall forget it, let who will
Hoard boundless treasures of uncounted gold.

And the great poet has said of the Phæacians—

To dress, to dance, to sing, our sole delight,
The feast or bath by day, and love by night.

And another person, not unlike Sardanapalus in disposition, gives this advice and these rules to those who are deficient in wisdom:—

I to all mortals now give this advice:
Live for the day with pleasure; he who dies
Is nought; an empty shade beneath the earth:
Man lives but a short space, and therefore should,
While life remains, enjoy himself.

And Amphis the comic poet, in his Ialemus, says—

The man who knows that he is but a mortal,
And yet seeks not enjoyment while alive,
Leaving all other cares, is but a fool
In mine and all wise men's opinion,
And most unhappy in his destiny.

And, in his play entitled the Gynæcocracy, he says nearly the same—

Drink and play, our mortal life
On earth can but a brief space last;
Death alone will last for ever.
When once our too brief term is past.

And a man of the name of Bacchides, who lived on the same principles as Sardanapalus, after he was dead had the following inscription placed on his tomb:—

Eat, drink, indulge thy soul with all delights,
This stone is all that now remains for Bacchides.

[Pg 532]

15. Alexis, in his Tutor of Intemperate Men—(as Sotion the Alexandrian says, in his Commentary on the Silli of Timon; for I myself have never met with the play, though I have read more than eight hundred plays of what is called the Middle Comedy, and have made extracts from them, but still I have never fallen in with the Tutor of Intemperate Men, nor do I recollect having seen any mention of it in any regular list of such plays; for Callimachus has not inserted it in his catalogue nor has Aristophanes, nor even those scholars at Pergamus, who have handed down to us lists of plays,)—however, Sotion says that in that play a slave, named Xanthias, was represented as exhorting all his fellow-slaves to a life of luxury, and saying—

Why do you talk such stuff, why run about
To the Lyceum and the Academy,
To the Odeum's gates, hunting in vain
For all the sophists' nonsense? there's no good in it;
Let us drink, drink, I say. O Sicon, Sicon!
Let us amuse ourselves; while time allows us
To gratify our souls.—Enjoy yourself,
My good friend Manes! nothing is worth more
To you than your own stomach. That's your father;
That only is your mother;—as for virtues,
And embassies, and military commands,
They are but noisy boasts, vain empty dreams.
Fate at its destined hour will come to chill you;
Take all that you can get to eat and drink;
Pericles, Codrus, Cimon, are but dust.

16. But it would be better, says Chrysippus, if the lines inscribed on the tomb of Sardanapalus were altered thus—

Knowing that thou art mortal, feed thy soul
On wise discourse. There is no good in eating.
For I am now no good, who once did eat
All that I could, and sought all kinds of pleasure.
Now what I thought and learnt and heard of wisdom
Is all I now have left; my luxuries
And all my joys have long deserted me.

And Timon says, very beautifully,—

Of all bad things the chief is appetite.

17. But Clearchus, in his essay on Proverbs, says that Terpsion was the tutor of Archestratus, who was also the first person who wrote a book on Gastronomy; and he says that he gave precepts to his pupils as to what they ought to abstain from; and that Terpsion once extemporised the following line about a turtle:—

[Pg 533]

Eat now a turtle, or else leave it alone;

which, however, others read—

Eat now a turtle's flesh, or leave it alone.

18. But whence is it, O you wisest of men, that Dorion, who wrote a list of fish, has been mentioned as if he were the writer of some valuable history?—a fellow who, I know, has been named a musician and a fish-devourer, but certainly not a historian. Accordingly Machon, the comic poet, speaks of him as a musician, saying—

Dorion the musician once did come
To Mylon, all in vain; for he could find
No resting-place which he could hire at all;
So on some sacred ground he sat him down,
Which was by chance before the city gates,
And there he saw the keeper of the temple
Prepare a sacrifice.—"I pray thee, tell me,
In chaste Minerva's name, and all the gods',
What deity is it that owns this temple?"
The keeper thus replied: "This is, O stranger,
Of Jupiter-Neptune the sacred shrine."
"How then," said Dorion, "could any man
Expect to find a lodging in a place
Which in one temple crowds a pair of gods?"

And Lynceus the Samian, the pupil of Theophrastus, and the brother of Duris, who wrote the Histories, and made himself tyrant of his country, writes thus in his Apophthegms— "When a man once said to Dorion the flute-player, that the ray was a good fish, he said—'Yes, about as good as if a man were to eat a boiled cloak.' And once, when some one else praised the entrails of tunny-fish, he said—'You are quite right, but then a man must eat them as I eat them;' and when the man asked him how that was, he said—'How? why willingly.' And he said that crawfish had three good qualities,—exercise, good food, and contemplation. And once, at Cyprus, when he was supping with Nicocreon, he praised a goblet that there was there; and Nicocreon said—'Whatever there is here that you fancy, the artist will make you another like it.' 'Let him make that,' he replied, 'for you; but do you give me this one.'" And this was a clever speech of the flute-player; for there is an old saying that—

'Tis not that God denies a flutist sense,
But when he comes to blow it flies away.

[Pg 534]

19. And Hegesander, in his Commentaries, says this of him—"Dorion, the great fish-eater, once, when his slave had neglected to buy fish, scourged him, and ordered him to tell him the names of the best fish; and when the boy had counted up the orphus, and the sea-grayling, and the conger, and others of this sort, he said—'I desired you to tell me the names of fishes, and not of gods.'" The same Dorion, ridiculing the description of a tempest in the Nautilus of Timotheus, said that he had seen a more formidable storm in a boiling saucepan. And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Memorials of Laughable Circumstances and Sayings, says—"Dorion the musician was club-footed; and once, in some entertainment, he lost the slipper of his lame foot; on which he said, 'I will not wish anything more to the thief than that the slipper may fit him.'" But that this Dorion was notorious for his epicurism in fish, is plain from what Mnesimachus the comic poet says in his drama called Philip—

No, but all night Dorion the dish-piper
Does stay indoors with us.

20. I know, too, the sportive sayings which Lasus of Hermione has uttered about fishes; which Chamæleon of Heraclea has recorded in writing, in his book on this very Lasus, where he says—"They say that Lasus called raw fish ὀπτὸς (which means roasted or visible); and when many people wondered why he did so, he thus began to prove what he had said; arguing thus: 'As whatever a person can hear (ἀκοῦσαι) is properly called ἀκουστὸν, and as whatever a person can understand by his intellect (νοῆσαι) is properly called νοητὸν, so whatever any one can see (ὄπτεσθαι) is clearly ὀπτόν; as therefore it was possible to see the fish, he evidently was ὀπτός.' And once, in a joke, he stole a fish from a fisherman, and having taken it, he gave it to one of the bystanders; and when the fisherman put him to his oath, he swore that he had not got it himself, and that he had not seen any one else take it; because, in fact, he himself had taken it, but some one else had got it. And then he prompted the other man, on the other hand, to swear that he had not taken it himself, and that he was not acquainted with any one else who had it; for, in fact, Lasus had taken it, and he himself had it." And Epicharmus jests in the same way; as, in his Logus and Logina,—

[Pg 535]

A. Jupiter 'tis who did invite me, giving
A feast (γ̓ ἔρανον) to Pelops.
B. 'Tis a sorry food,
That crane (γέρανος), to my mind.
A. But I did not say
A crane (γέρανον), but a feast (ἔρανόν γε), as you might well have heard.

21. And Alexis, in his Demetrius, ridicules, in his comic manner, a man of the name of Phayllus, as very fond of fish, in these lines:—

First of all, whether the wind blew north or south,
As long as it blew hard, it was not possible
For anybody to get fish to eat.
But now, besides that pair of stormy winds,
We've a third tempest risen in Phayllus;
For when this last storm bursts upon the market,
He buys up all the fish at all the stalls,
And bears it off; so that we are reduced
To squabble for the vegetables remaining.

And Antiphanes, in his Female Fisher, enumerating some people as exceedingly fond of fish, says—

Give me some cuttle-fish first. O Hercules!
They've dirtied every place with ink; here, take them
And throw them back again into the sea,
To wash them clean: or else they'll say, O Dorion,
That you have caught some rotten cuttle-fish:
And put this crawfish back beside the sprats.
He's a fine fish, by Jove. O mighty Jove,
O you Callimedon, who now will eat you?
No one who's not prepared to pay his share.
I've giv'n you your place here on the right,
You mullets, food of great Callisthenes;
Who eats his patrimony in one dish;
Next comes the mighty conger from Sinope,
With his stout spines; the first who comes shall have him;
For Misgolas has no great love for such.
But here's a citharus, and if he sees him
He never will keep off his hands from him;
For he, indeed, does secretly adhere
As close as wax to all the harp-players (κιθαρῳδοῖς).
I ought to send this best of fish, this tench,
Still all alive, and leaping in his dish,
To the fair Pythionica, he's so fine:
But still she will not taste him, as her heart
Is wholly set on cured fish.—Here I place
These thin anchovies and this dainty turtle
Apart for Theano, to counterbalance her.

22. And it is a very clever way in which Antiphanes thus jested upon Misgolas, as devoting all his attention to beautiful harp-players and [Pg 536] lyre-players; for Æschines the orator, in his speech against Timarchus, says this of him—"Misgolas, the son of Naucrates, of Colyttus, O men of Athens, is a man in other respects brave and virtuous, and no one can find any fault with him in any particular; but he is known to be exceedingly devoted to this kind of business, and always to have about him some harp-players, and people who sing to the music of the harp. And I say this, not by way of disparaging him, but in order that you may be aware what sort of person he is." And Timocles, in his Sappho, says—

Misgolas is not seen to enter in,
Excited as he is by blooming youth.

And Alexis, in his Agonis, or the Little Horse, says—

O mother, do not threaten me, I pray,
With Misgolas, for I am not a harp-player.

23. But Antiphanes says that Pythionica is fond of cured fish, since she had for lovers the sons of Chærephilus, the seller of salt-fish; as Timocles says, in his Icarians,—

When that stout Anytus to Pythionica
Does come, to eat with her; for she invites him,
As people say, whenever she does get
Two noble tunnies from Chærephilus;
So fond is she of all things that are large.

And again he says—

And Pythionica will receive you gladly,
And very likely will devour the gifts
Which you have lately here received from us,
For she's insatiable. Still do you
Bid her give you a basket of cured fish;
For she has plenty; and she has indeed
A couple of saperdæ; ugly fish,
Ill salted, and broad nosed.

And before this she had a lover whose name was Cobius.

24. But with respect to Callimedon, the son of Carabus, Timocles, in his Busybody, tells us that he was fond of fish, and also that he squinted:—

Then up came Carabus Callimedon,
And looking on me, as it seem'd to me,
He kept on speaking to some other man.
And I, as it was likely, understanding
No word of what they said, did only nod.
But all the girls do keep on looking at him,
While they pretend to turn their eyes away.

[Pg 537]


And Alexis, in his Crateua, or the Apothecary, says—

A. I am now, these last four days, taking care of
These κόραι for Callimedon.
B. Had he then
Any κόραι (damsels) for daughters?
A. I mean κόραι,
The pupils of the eyes; which e'en Melampus,
Who could alone appease the raging Proetides,
Would e'er be able to keep looking straight.

And he ridicules him in a similar manner in the play entitled The Men running together. But he also jests on him for his epicurism as to fish, in the Phædo, or Phædria, where he says—

A. You shall be ædile if the gods approve,
That you may stop Callimedon descending
Like any storm all day upon the fish.
B. You speak of work for tyrants, not for ædiles;
For the man's brave, and useful to the city.

And the very same iambics are repeated in the play entitled Into the Well; but, in his Woman who has taken Mandragora, he says—

If I love any strangers more than you,
I'll willingly be turn'd into an eel,
That Carabus Callimedon may buy me.

And in his Crateua he says—

And Carabus Callimedon with Orpheus.

And Antiphanes says, in his Gorgythus,—

'Twould harder be to make me change my mind
Than to induce Callimedon to pass
The head of a sea-grayling.

And Eubulus, in his Persons saved, says—

Others prostrating them before the gods,
Are found with Carabus, who alone of men
Can eat whole salt-fish out of boiling dishes
So wholly as to leave no single mouthful.

And Theophilus, in his Physician, ridiculing his coldness of expression, says—"And the slave put before the young man himself with great eagerness a little eel: his father had a fine cuttle-fish before him. 'Father,' says he, 'what do you think of your crawfish?' 'It is cold,' says he; 'take it away,—I don't want to eat any orators.'"[10]

And when Philemon says, in his Canvasser,—

[Pg 538]

Agyrrius, when a crawfish was before him,
On seeing him exclaim'd, Hail, dear papa!
Still what did he do? He ate his dear papa!

And Herodicus the Cratetian, commenting on this in his Miscellaneous Commentaries, says that Agyrrius was the name of the son of Callimedon.

25. The following people, too, have all been great epicures about fish. Antagoras the poet would not allow his slave to touch his fish with oil, but made him wash it; as Hegesander tells us. And when in the army, he was once boiling a dish of congers, and had his clothes girt round him, Antigonus the king, who was standing by, said, "Tell me, Antagoras, do you think that Homer, who celebrated the exploits of Agamemnon, ever boiled congers?" And it is said that he answered, not without wit, "And do you think that Agamemnon, who performed those exploits, ever busied himself about inquiring who was cooking congers in his army?" And once, when Antagoras was cooking a bird of some kind, he said that he would not go to the bath, because he was afraid that the slaves might come and suck up the gravy. And when Philocydes said that his mother would take care of that, "Shall I," said he, "entrust the gravy of game to my mother?" And Androcydes of Cyzicus, the painter, being very fond of fish, as Polemo relates, carried his luxury to such a pitch that he even painted with great care the fish which are around Scylla.

26. But concerning Philoxenus of Cythera, the dithyrambic poet, Machon the comic poet writes thus:—

They say Philoxenus, the ancient poet
Of dithyrambics, was so wonderfully
Attach'd to fish, that once at Syracuse
He bought a polypus two cubits long,
Then dress'd it, and then ate it up himself,
All but the head—and afterwards fell sick,
Seized with a sharp attack of indigestion.
Then when some doctor came to him to see him,
Who saw that he was greatly out of order;
"If," said the doctor, "you have any business
Not well arranged, do not delay to settle it,
For you will die before six hours are over."
Philoxenus replied, "All my affairs,
O doctor, are well ended and arranged,
Long, long ago. By favour of the gods,
I leave my dithyrambics all full-grown,
And crown'd with many a prize of victory;

[Pg 539]

And I commit them to the guardianship
Of my dear foster-sisters, the Nine Muses,
And join to them both Bacchus and fair Venus.
This is my will. But now, since Charon gives
No time, but, as in the Niobe of Timotheus,
Keeps crying out, 'Now cross;' and deadly fate
Calls me away, who can't be disobey'd,
That I may go below with all my goods,
Bring me the relics of that polypus."

And in another part he says—

Philoxenus of Cythera, as men say,
Wished that he had a throat three cubits long;
"That I might drink," said he, "as long as possible,
And that my food may all at once delight me."

And Diogenes the Cynic, having eaten a polypus raw, died of a swelling in the belly. But concerning Philoxenus, Sopater the parodist also speaks, saying—

For, between two rich courses of fine fish,
He pleased himself by looking down the centre
Of Ætna's crater.

27. And Hyperides the orator was an epicure in fish; as Timocles the comic writer tells us, in his Delos, where he enumerates all the people who had taken bribes from Harpalus: and he writes thus—

A. Demosthenes has half-a-hundred talents.
B. A lucky man, if no one shares with him.
A. And Moerocles has got a mighty sum.
B. He was a fool who gave them; lucky he
Who got them.
A. Demon and Callisthenes
Have also got large sums.
B. Well, they were poor,
So that we well may pardon them for taking them.
A. And that great orator Hyperides.
B. Why, he will all our fishmongers enrich;
An epicure! Gulls are mere Syrians,
Compared to him.

And in the Icarians, the same poet says—

Then cross Hyperides, that fishy river,
Which with a gentle sound, bubbling with boasts
Of prudent speeches, with mild repetitions
*                *                *                *                *
And hired, bedews the plain of him who gave it.

And Philetærus, in his Æsculapius, says that Hyperides, besides being a glutton, was also a gambler. As also Axionicus, in his Lover of Euripides, says that Callias the orator was; and his words are—"A [Pg 540] man of the name of Glaucus came to this place, bringing from Pontus a kind of shark, a fish of extraordinary magnitude,—a great dainty for epicures in fish, and, in fact, for all men who are devoted to the pleasures of the table. And he brought it on his shoulders, and said, 'Whom shall I instruct how to dress it, and how shall it be dressed? Will you have it soaked in a sauce of green herbs, or shall I baste its body with basting of warm brine, and then dress it on a fierce fire? And a man named Moschio, a great flute-player, cried out that he should like to eat it boiled in warm pickle-juice. And this was meant as a reproof for you, O Calaides! for you are very fond of figs and cured fish; and yet you will not taste a most exquisite fish which you have served up to you in pickle." Reproaching him with the figs as if he were a sycophant; and perhaps concealing under the mention of the cured fish, some intimation of his having been implicated in discreditable conduct. And Hermippus says, in the third book of his treatise on the Pupils of Isocrates, that Hyperides was in the habit of taking a walk, the first thing in the morning, in the fish-market.

28. And Timæus of Tauromenium says that Aristotle the philosopher was a great epicure in respect of fish. Matron the sophist, also, was a great fish-eater: and Antiphanes, in his Harp-player, intimates this; for that play begins thus—

He tells no lie . . . .
A man dug out his eye, as Matron does
The eyes of fish when he comes near to them.

And Anaxilas says, in his Morose Man,—

Matron has carried off and eaten up
A cestris' head; and I am quite undone.

It being the very extravagance of gluttony to carry a thing off while eating it, and such a thing too as the head of a cestris; unless, perhaps, you may suppose, that those who are skilful in such things are aware of there being some particular good qualities in the head of a cestris; and if so, it belonged to Archestratus's gluttony to explain that to us.

29. But Antiphanes, in his Rich Man, gives us a catalogue of epicures, in the following lines:—

Euthymus too was there, with sandals on,
A ring upon his finger, well perfumed,
Silently pondering on I know not what.

[Pg 541]

Phœnicides too, and my friend Taureas,
Such great inveterate epicures that they
Would swallow all the remnants in the market;
They at this sight seem'd almost like to die.
And bore the scarcity with small good-humour;
But gather'd crowds and made this speech to them:—
"What an intolerable thing it is
That any of you men should claim the sea,
And spend much money in marine pursuits,
While not one fin of fish comes to this market!
What is the use of all our governors
Who sway the islands? We must make a law
That there should be copious importation
Of every kind of fish. But Matron now
Has carried off the fishermen; and then
There's Diogeiton, who, by Jove, has brought
The hucksters over to keep back for him
All the best fish; and he's not popular
For doing this, for there is mighty waste
In marriage-feasts and youthful luxury."

But Euphron, in his Muses, says,—

But when at some fine banquet of young men
Phœnicides perceived a smoking dish
Full of the sons of Nereus, he held back
His hands, with rage excited. Thus he spoke:—
"Who boasts himself a clever parasite
At eating at the public cost? who thinks
To filch the dainty dishes from the middle?
Where's Corydus, or Phyromachus, or Nillus?
Let them come here, they shall get nought of this."

30. But Melanthus the tragic poet was a person of the same sort; and he also wrote elegies. But Leucon, in his Men of the same Tribe, cuts his jokes upon him in the fashion of the comic writers, on account of his gluttony; and so does Aristophanes in the Peace, and Pherecrates in his Petale. But Archippus, in his play called The Fishes, having put him in chains as an epicure, gives him up to the fishes, to be eaten by them in retaliation. And, indeed, even Aristippus, the pupil of Socrates, was a great epicure,—a man who was once reproached by Plato for his gluttony, as Sotion and Hegesander relate. And the Delphian writes thus:—"Aristippus, when Plato reproached him for having bought a number of fish, said that he had bought them for two obols; and when Plato said, 'I myself would have bought them at that price,' 'You see, then,' said he, 'O Plato! that it is not I who am an epicure, but you who are a miser.'" And Antiphanes, in his Female Flute-player, or the [Pg 542] Female Twins, laughing at a man named Phœnicides for his gluttony, says—

Menelaus warr'd for ten whole years against
The Trojan nation for one lovely woman.
Phœnicides, too, attacks Taureas
For one fine eel.

31. But Demosthenes the orator reproaches Pherecrates, because, with the gold which he received for his treason, he bought himself courtesans and fish, and charges him with debauchery and gluttony. But Diocles the epicure, as Hegesander says, when a man once asked him which of the two fish was the best, the conger or the pike, said—"The one when it is boiled, and the other when it is roasted." And Leonteus the Argive also was an epicure: he was a tragedian, and a pupil of Athenion, and a slave of Juba, king of Mauritania; as Amarantus relates, in his treatise on the Stage, saying that Juba wrote this epigram on him, because he had acted the character of Hypsipyle very badly:—

If you should wish to see the genius
Of that devoted artichoke-devourer
Leonteus the tragedian, don't regard
The sorrow-stricken heart of Hypsipyle.
I once was dear to Bacchus, and his taste
Is ne'er perverted by base bribes t'approve
Untuneful sounds. But now the pots and pans,
And well-fill'd dishes have destroyed my voice,
While I've been anxious to indulge my stomach.

32. And Hegesander tells us that Phoryscus, the fish-eater, once, when he was not able to take exactly as much fish as he wished, but when a greater part of it was following his hand, as he was helping himself, said,—

But what resists is utterly destroy'd,

and so ate up the whole fish. And Bion, when some one had been beforehand with him, and had already taken the upper part of the fish, having turned it round himself, and eating abundantly of it, said, after he had done,—

But Ino finish'd all the rest o' the business.

[Pg 543]


And Theocritus the Chian, when the wife of Diocles the epicure died, and when the widowed husband, while making a funeral feast for her, kept on eating delicacies and crying all the time, said—"Stop crying, you wretched man; for you will not remedy your grief by eating all that fish." And when the same Diocles had also eaten up his land through gluttony, and was one day, while bolting down some hot fish, complaining that his palate (οὐρανὸς) was burnt, Theocritus, who was present, said to him—"Then it only remains for you to drink up the sea, and then you will have got rid of the three greatest things in the world,—earth, and sea, and heaven (οὐρανός)." And Clearchus, in his Lives, describing some person who was fond of fish, says—"Technon, one of the old flute-players, when Charmus the flute-player died, (and he, too, was very fond of fish,) sacrificed to the dead man a large dish of every sort of fish on his tomb." Alexis the poet, also, was a great epicure in fish, as Lynceus the Samian tells us; and being once ridiculed by some chattering fellows on account of his epicurism, when they asked him what he liked most to eat, Alexis said, "Roasted chatterers."

33. Hermippus mentions also Nothippus the tragic poet, in his Tales, thus—

But if such a race of men
Were to wage a present war
With those who now exist on earth,
And if a roast ray led them on,
Or a fine side of well-fed pork,
The rest might safely stay at home,
And trust Nothippus by himself,
For he alone would swallow up
The whole Peloponnesus:—

and that the man meant here was the poet, Teleclides shows plainly, in his Hesiods.

Myniscus, the tragic actor, is ridiculed by Plato, the comic writer, in his Syrphax, as an epicure in respect of fish; where he says—

A. Here is an Anagyrasian orphus for you,
Which e'en my friend Myniscus the Chalcidean
Could hardly finish.
B. Much obliged to you.

And for a similar reason, Callias, in his Pedetæ, and Lysippus, in his Bacchæ, ridicule Lampon the soothsayer. But Cratinus, in his Female Runaways, speaking of him, says—"Lampon, whom nothing which men said of him could keep away from any banquet of his friends;" and adds, "But now again he is belching away; for he devours everything which he can see, and he would fight even for a mullet."

[Pg 544]

34. And Hedylus, in his Epigrams, giving a list of epicures in fish, mentions a man named Phædo, in these lines:—

But Phædo, that great harpist, praises phyces,
And sausages, he's such an epicure.

And he mentions Agisoto, in these lines:—

The fish is boil'd, now firmly bar the doors,
Lest Agis, Proteus of the dishes, enter;
For he'll be fire, water,—what he likes;
But bar the door . . . . . .
For he, transform'd, like Jupiter, to gold
Will hasten to this rich Acrisian dish.

He also speaks of a woman named Clio, on a similar account, saying—

Clio's an epicure. Let's shut our eyes.
I beg you, Clio, by yourself to feed.
This conger costs a drachma; leave a pledge,
A band, an earring, or some ornament.
But we cannot endure the sight of you;
You're our Medusa; and we're turn'd to stone,
Not by the Gorgon, but by that whole conger.

35. And Aristodemus, in his Catalogue of Laughable Sayings, says that Euphranor the epicure, having heard that another epicure in fish was dead from having eaten a hot slice of fish, cried out, "What a sacrilegious death!" And Cindon the fish-eater, and Demylus (and he also was an epicure in fish), when a sea-grayling was set before them, and nothing else, the former took one eye of the fish, and then Demylus seized hold of Cindon's eye, crying, "Let his eye go, and I will let your's go." And once at a feast, when a fine dish of fish was served up, Demylus, not being able to contrive any way by which he might get the whole of it to himself, spat upon it. And Zeno the Cittiæan, the founder of the Stoic school, when he had lived a long time with a great epicure in fish, (as Antigonus the Carystian tells us, in his life of Zeno,) once, when a very large fish was by chance served up to them, and when no other food was provided, took the whole fish from the platter, pretending to be about to eat it all himself; and, when the other looked at him, said—"What do you think, then, that those who live with you must suffer every day, if you cannot endure my being a glutton for a single day?" And Ister says that Choerilus the poet used to receive four minæ every day from Archelaus, and that he spent them all on fish, of which he was so exceedingly fond.

[Pg 545]


I am aware, also, that there have been boys who were great fish-eaters, who are mentioned by Clearchus, in his book on Sands; which says that Psammitichus, king of Egypt, bred up some boys to eat nothing but fish, when he was anxious to discover the source of the Nile; and that he accustomed others to endure a great degree of thirst, who were to be employed in exploring the sands in Libya; of whom, however, very few escaped in safety. I know, too, that the oxen around Mosynus, in Thrace, eat fish, which are given to them in their cribs. And Phœnicides, having set fish before men who had brought their contribution for a banquet, said that the sea was common, but that the fish in it belonged to those who bought them.

36. And, my friends, the noun ὀψοφάγος (an eater of fish), and the verb ὀψοφάγω (to eat fish), are both used. Aristophanes, in his second edition of the Clouds, says—

Not to eat fish (ὀψοφάγειν) nor to giggle.

And Cephisodorus, in his Pig, says—

Not a fish-eater (οψοφαγος) nor a chatterer.

Machon, in his Letter, says—

I am a fish-eater (ὀψοφάγος), and this is now
The whole foundation of the art we practise.
And he who wishes not to spoil the dishes
Served up to others, should be pleased himself.
For he who rightly cares for his own eating
Will not be a bad cook. And if you keep
Your organs, sense and taste, in proper order,
You will not err. But often taste your dishes
While you are boiling them. Do they want salt?
Add some;—is any other seasoning needed?
Add it, and taste again—till you've arrived
At harmony of flavour; like a man
Who tunes a lyre till it rightly sounds.
And then, when everything is well in tune,
Bring in a troop of willing damsels fair,
Equal in number to the banqueters.

In addition to these epicures in fish, my friends, I am aware also that Apollo is honoured among the Eleans, under the title of Fish-eater: and Polemo mentions this name of his in his letter to Attalus. I am aware, also, that in Pisa there is a picture consecrated in the temple of Diana Alpheosa (and it is the work of Cleanthes the Corinthian), in which Neptune is represented as bringing a tunny to Jupiter in labour; as Demetrius tells us, in the eighth book of his Trojan Array.

[Pg 546]

37. These, then, are the things, said Democritus, which I myself have brought in the way of my contribution, not going to eat fish myself, for the sake of my excellent friend Ulpian; who, on account of the national customs of the Syrians, has deprived us of our fish, continually bringing forward one thing after another. And Antipater of Tarsus, the Stoic philosopher, in the fourth book of his treatise on Superstition, tells us that it is said by some people that Gatis, the queen of the Syrians, was so exceedingly fond of fish, that she issued a proclamation that no one should eat fish without Gatis being invited (ἄτερ γάτιδος); and that the common people, out of ignorance, thought her name was Atergatis, and abstained wholly from fish. And Mnaseus, in the second book of his History of Asia, speaks thus—"But I think that Atergatis was a very bad queen, and that she ruled the people with great harshness, so that she even forbad them by law to eat fish, and ordered them to bring all the fish to her, because she was so fond of that food; and, on account of this order of hers, a custom still prevails, when the Syrians pray to the goddess, to offer her golden or silver fish; and for the priests every day to place on the table before the god real fish also, carefully dressed, both boiled and roasted, which the priests of the goddess eat themselves." And a little further on, he says again—"But Atergatis (as Xanthus the Lydian says), being taken prisoner by Mopsus, king of Lydia, was drowned with her son in the lake near Ascalon, because of her insolence, and was eaten up by fishes."

38. And you, perhaps, my friends, have willingly passed by (as if it were some sacred fish) the fish mentioned by Ephippus the comic poet, which he says was dressed for Geryon, in his play called Geryon. The lines are these:—

A. When the natives of the land
Catch a fish which is not common,
But fine, as large as the whole isle
Of Crete, he furnishes a dish
Able to hold a hundred such;
And orders all who live around,
Sindi, and Lycians, and Paphians,
Cranai, and Mygdoniotæ,
To cut down wood, because the king
Is boiling this enormous fish.
So then they bring a load of wood,
Enough to go all round the city,

[Pg 547]

And light the fire. Then they bring
A lake of water to make brine,
And for eight months a hundred carts
Are hard at work to carry salt.
And around the dish's edge
Five five-oar'd boats keep always rowing;
And bid the slaves take care the fire
Burns not the Lycian magistrates.
B. Cease to blow this cold air on us,
King of Macedon, extinguish
The Celts, and do not burn them more.

But I am not ignorant that Ephippus has said the very same thing in his play called the Peltast; in which the following lines also are subjoined to those which I have just quoted:—

Talking all this nonsense, he
Raises the wonder of the youths
With whom he feasts, though knowing not
The simplest sums and plainest figures;
But drags his cloak along the ground
With a most lordly, pompous air.

But, with reference to whom it is that Ephippus said this, it is now proper for you to inquire, my good friend Ulpian, and then to tell us; and in this inquiry—

If you find aught hard and inexplicable,
Repeat it over, understand it clearly,—
For I have much more leisure than I like;

as Prometheus says in Æschylus.

39. And on this Cynulcus exclaimed:—And what great subject of inquiry,—I do not say great fish,—can this fellow admit into his mind?—a man who is always picking out the spines of hepseti and atherinæ, and even of worse fish than these, if there be any such, passing over all finer fish.

For, as Eubulus says, in the Ixion,—

As if a man at a luxurious feast,
When cheese cakes are before him, chooses nought
But anise, parsley, and such silly fare,
And ill-dress'd cardamums . . . .

so, too, this Pot-friend, Ulpian,—to use a word of my fellow-Megalopolitan, Cercidas,—appears to me to eat nothing that a man ought to eat, but to watch those who are eating, to see if they have passed over any spine or any callous or gristly morsel of the meat set before them; never once considering what the admirable and brilliant Æschylus has said, who called his tragedies, "Relics of the noble banquets of Homer." But Æschylus was one of the greatest of philosophers,—a man who, being once defeated undeservedly, as [Pg 548] Theophrastus or Chamæleon (whichever was really the author of the book), in his treatise on Pleasure, has related, said that he committed his tragedies to time, well knowing that, he should hereafter receive the honour due to him.

40. But whence could Ulpian know what Stratonicus the harp-player said about Propis the Rhodian harp-player? For Clearchus, in his book on Proverbs, says that Stratonicus, when he had seen Propis, who was a man of great size, but a very inferior artist, with a mind much less than his body, said to some one who asked him what sort of player he was,

οὐδεὶς κακὸς μέγας ἰχθῖς;

speaking enigmatically, and saying, first of all, that he is οὐδεὶς, no one, or good-for-nothing; secondly, that he is κακὸς, bad; and, in addition to this, that he is μέγας, great; and, lastly, ἰχθὺς, a fish, as having no voice. But Theophrastus, in his book on The Laughable, says that this was a proverb originating with Stratonicus, but applied to Simmychas the actor; for that he uttered the proverb, dividing the words distinctly—

μέγας οὐδεὶς σαπρὸς ἰχθῦς.

And Aristotle, in his Constitution of the Naxians, speaks thus of this proverb—"Of the rich men among the Naxians, the greater part lived in the city, but the remainder lived scattered about in the villages. Accordingly, in one of these villages, the name of which was Lestadæ, Telestagoras lived, a man of great riches and of very high reputation, and greatly honoured by the people in other respects, and also with daily presents which they used to send him. And whenever people from the city, going down to the market, wanted to drive a hard bargain for anything they wished to purchase, the sellers would say that they would rather give it to Telestagoras than sell it for such a price as was offered. So some young men, buying a large fish, when the fisherman made this speech, being annoyed at hearing this so often, having already drunk a good deal, went to his house to sup; and Telestagoras received them in a very friendly and hospitable manner, but the young men insulted him, and his two marriageable daughters. At which the Naxians were very indignant, and took up arms and attacked the young men; and there was a great sedition, Lygdamis being the leader of the Naxians, who, having got the chief command in this sedition, became the tyrant of his country."

[Pg 549]


41. And I do not think it unseasonable myself, since I have mentioned the harp-player Stratonicus, to say something also concerning his readiness in repartee. For when he was teaching people to play the harp, and as he had in his school nine statues of the nine Muses, and one of Apollo, and had also two pupils, when some one asked him how many pupils he had, he said, "Gods and all, twelve." And once when he had travelled to Mylassa, and saw there a great number of temples, but very few citizens, standing in the middle of the forum, he cried out—

᾿ακούετε ναοί.[11]

And Macho has recorded some memorials of him in these lines:—

Once Stratonicus travell'd down to Pella,
And having heard from many men before
That the baths of that city were accustom'd
To give the bathers spleen; and finding, too,
That many of the youths did exercise
Before the fire, who preserved their colour
And vigour of their body unimpair'd;
He said that those who told him so were wrong.
But finding afterwards, when he left the bath,
A man whose spleen was twice his belly's size,—
"This man," said he, "appears to me here now
To sit and keep the garments of the men
Who go to bathe, and all their spleens beside,
That all the people may have room enough."
A miserable singer once did give
A feast to Stratonicus and his friends,
And, while the cup was freely going round,
Exhibited his art to all the company.
And as the feast was rich and liberal,
Poor Stratonicus, wearied with the song,
And having no one near him he could speak to,
Knock'd down his cup, and asked for a larger.
And when he'd drunk full many a draught, he made
A last libation to the glorious sun,
And then composed himself to sleep, and left
The rest to fortune. Presently more guests
Came, as good luck would have it, to the singer,
To feast with him; still Stratonicus slept,
Heavy with wine; and when they ask'd him why
A man so much accustom'd to drink wine
Had been so soon o'ercome by drink this day,
"This treacherous, cursed singing man," said he,
"Treated me like a bullock in a stall;
For first he fed me up, and then he kill'd me."
[Pg 550] Once Stratonicus to Abdera went,
To see some games which there were celebrated;
And seeing every separate citizen
Having a private crier to himself,
And each of them proclaiming a new moon
Whene'er he pleased, so that the criers were
Quite out of all proportion to the citizens,
He walk'd about on tiptoes through the city,
Looking intently on the ground beneath.
And when some stranger ask'd him what had happen'd
To his feet, to make him look so gravely at them:—
He said, "I'm very well all over, friend,
And can run faster to an entertainment
Than any parasite; but I'm in fear
Lest I should tread by hazard on some κῆρυξ,[12]
And pierce my foot with its spikes and lame myself."
Once, when a wretched flute-player was preparing
To play the flute at a sacred festival,
"Let us have only sounds of omen good,"
Said Stratonicus; "let us pour libations
And pray devoutly to the mighty gods."
There was a harper, and his name was Cleon,
But he was nicknamed Ox; he sang most vilely
Without th' accompaniment of the lyre.
When Stratonicus heard him, then he said,
"I've often heard of asses at the lyre,
But now I see an ox in the same case."
The harper Stratonicus once had sail'd
To Pontus, to see king Berisades.
And when he'd staid in Pontus long enough,
He thought he would return again to Greece.
But when the king refused to let him go,
They say that Stratonicus said to him—
"Why, do you mean to stay here long yourself?"
The harper Stratonicus once was staying
Some time at Corinth; when an aged woman
One day stood looking at him a long time,
And would not take her eyes off: then said he,
"Tell me, I pray you, in God's name, good mother,
What is't you wish, and why you look thus on me?"
"I marvell'd," said she, "how 'twas your mother
Held you nine months, without her belly bursting,
While this town can't endure you one whole day."
Fair Biothea, Nicotheon's wife,
Once at a party with a handmaid fair
Made some strange noise; and after that, by chance,
She trod upon a Sicyonian almond.
Then Stratonicus said, "The noise is different."
But when night came, for this heedless word,
He wash'd out his free-speaking in the sea.

[Pg 551]

Once, when at Ephesus, as rumour goes,
A stupid harper was exhibiting
One of his pupils to a band of friends;
Stratonicus, who by chance was present, said,
"He cannot make himself a harp-player,
And yet he tries to teach the art to others."

42. And Clearchus, in the second book of his treatise on Friendship, says,—"Stratonicus the harp-player, whenever he wished to go to sleep, used to order a slave to bring him something to drink; 'not,' says he, 'because I am thirsty now, but that I may not be presently.'" And once, at Byzantium, when a harp-player had played his prelude well, but had made a blunder of the rest of the performance, he got up and made proclamation, "That whoever would point out the harp-player who had played the prelude should receive a thousand drachmæ." And when he was once asked by some one who were the wickedest people, he said, "That in Pamphylia, the people of Phaselis were the worst; but that the Sidetæ were the worst in the whole world." And when he was asked again, according to the account given by Hegesander, which were the greatest barbarians, the Bœotians or the Thessalians, he said, "The Eleans." And once he erected a trophy in his school, and put this inscription on it—"Over the bad harp-players." And once, being asked by some one which was the safer kind of vessel, the long one or the round one,—"Those," quoth he, "are the safest which are in dock." And once he made a display of his art at Rhodes, and no one applauded; on which he left the theatre, and when he had got into the air he said, "When you fail to give what costs you nothing, how can I expect any solid pay from you?" "Let the Eleans," said he, "celebrate gymnastic contests, and let the Corinthians establish choral, and the Athenians theatrical exhibitions; and if any one of them does anything wrong, let the Lacedæmonians be scourged,"—jesting upon the public scourgings exhibited in that city, as Charicles relates, in the first book of his treatise on the City Contests. And when Ptolemy the king was talking with him in an ambitious kind of way about harp-playing, "The sceptre," said he, "O king, is one thing, and the plectrum another;" as Capito the epic poet says in the fourth book of his Commentaries addressed to Philopappus. And once being invited to hear a flute-player, after he had heard him, he said—

[Pg 552]

The father granted half his prayer,
The other half denied.

And when some one asked him which half he granted, he said, "He granted to him to play very badly, and denied him the ability to sing well." And once, when a beam fell down and slew some wicked man, "O Men," said he, "I think (δοκῶ) there are gods; and if not, there are beams (δόκοι)."

43. Also, after the before-mentioned witticisms of Stratonicus, he put down besides a list of these things following.

Stratonicus said once to the father of Chrysogonus, when he was saying that he had everything at home in great abundance, for that he himself had undertaken the works, and that of his sons, one could teach[13] and another play the flute; "You still," said Stratonicus, "want one thing." And when the other asked him what that was, "You want," said he, "a theatre in your house." And when some one asked him why he kept travelling over the whole of Greece, and did not remain in one city, he said—"That he had received from the Muses all the Greeks as his wages, from whom he was to levy a tax to atone for their ignorance." And he said that Phaon did not play harmony,[14] but Cadmus. And when Phaon pretended to great skill on the flute, and said that he had a chorus at Megara, "You are joking," said he; "for you do not possess anything there, but you are possessed yourself." And he said—"That he marvelled above all things at the mother of Satyrus the Sophist, because she had borne for nine months a man whom no city in all Greece could bear for nine days." And once, hearing that he had arrived in Ilium at the time of the Ilian games, "There are," said he, "always troubles in Ilium." And when Minnacus was disputing with him about music, he said—"That he was not attending to what he said, because he had got in above his ankles." At another time he said of a bad physician—"That he made those who were attended by him go to the shades below the very day they came to him." And having met one of his acquaintances, when he saw his sandals carefully sponged, he pitied him as being badly off, pretending to think that he would never have had his sandals so well sponged if he had not sponged them himself. And as it was a very mixed race of people who lived at Teichius, a town in the Milesian territory, when he saw that all the tombs about were those of foreigners, "Let us begone, O boy," said he; "for all the strangers, as it seems, die here, and none of the citizens." And when Zethus the harper was giving a lecture upon music, he said that he was the only person who was utterly unfit to discuss the subject of music, inasmuch as he had chosen the most unmusical of all names, and called himself Zethus[15] instead of Amphion. And once, when he was teaching some Macedonian to play on the harp, being angry that he did nothing as he ought, he said, "Go to Macedonia."

[Pg 553]


44. And when he saw the shrine of some hero splendidly adorned, close to a cold and worthless bathing-house, when he came out, having had a very bad bath, "I do not wonder," said he, "that many tablets are dedicated here; for every one of the bathers naturally offers one, as having been saved from drowning." And at another time he said—"In Ænus there are eight months of cold and four of winter." At another time he said, "that the people of Pontus had come out of a great sea"—as though he had said (great) trouble. And he called the Rhodians White Cyrenæans, and the city he called the City of Suitors; and Heraclea he called the Man-Corinth; and Byzantium he called the Arm-pit of Greece; and the Leucadians were Stale Corinthians; and the Ambraciotes he called Membraciotes. And when he had gone out of the gates of Heraclea, and was looking round him, when some one asked him what he was looking at, he said that "he was ashamed of being seen, as if he were coming out of a brothel." And once, seeing two men bound in the stocks, he said—"This is suited to the disposition of a very insignificant city, not to be able to fill such a place as this." And once he said to a man who professed to be a musician, but who had been a gardener before, and who was disputing with him about harmony,—

Let each man sing the art in which he's skill'd.

And once at Maronea, when he was drinking with some people, he said,—"That he could tell in what part of the city he was, if men led him through it blindfold;" and then when they did so lead him, and asked him where he was, "Near the eating-house," said he, because all Maronea seemed a mere eating-house. And once, when he was sitting [Pg 554] next to Telephanes, and he was beginning to blow the flute, he said, "Higher, like men who belch." And when the bathing-man in Cardia brought him some bad earth and salt water to cleanse himself with, he said that he was being besieged both by land and sea.

45. And when he had conquered his competitors at Sicyon, he set up a trophy in the temple of Æsculapius, and wrote upon it, "Stratonicus, conqueror of those who played badly on the harp." And when some one had sung, he asked what tune he had been singing; and when he said that it was an air of Carcinus,[16] "More like that," said he, "than the air of a man." He also said, on another occasion, that there was no spring at Maronea, only heat. And once at Phaselis, when the bathing-man was wrangling with his boy about the money, (for the law was that foreigners should pay more for bathing than natives,) "Oh, you wretched boy!" said he, "you have almost made me a citizen of Phaselis, to save a halfpenny." And once, when a person was praising him in hopes to get something by it, he said, "that he himself was a greater beggar." And once, when he was teaching in a small town, he said, "This is not a city (πόλις), but hardly one (πόλις)." And once, when he was at Pella, he came to a well, and asked whether it was fit to drink; and when those who were drawing water from it said, "At all events we drink it;" "Then," said he, "I am sure it is not fit to drink:" for the men happened to be very sallow-looking. And when he had heard the poem of Timotheus, on the subject of Semele in Labour, he said, "But if she had brought forth an artisan, and not a god, what sounds would she have uttered!"

And when Polyidas was giving himself airs, because his pupil Philotas had beaten Timotheus, he said, "That he wondered at his being so ignorant as not to know that he makes decrees, and Timotheus laws." And he said to Areus the harp-player, who was annoying him, "Play to the crows."[17] And once he was at Sicyon, when a leather-dresser was abusing him, and he said to the leather-dresser (νακοδέψης), "O you κακόδαιμον νακόδαιμον." And Stratonicus himself, beholding the Rhodians dissolved in luxury, and drinking only warm drinks, said, "that there were white Cyrenæans." And he called Rhodes itself the City of the Suitors,[18] thinking that they were in no respect different from the Cyrenæans in debauchery, but only in complexion; and also because of the devotion to pleasure of the inhabitants, he compared Rhodes itself to the city of the Suitors.

[Pg 555]


46. And Stratonicus was, in all these elaborate witticisms, an imitator of Simonides the poet, as Ephorus tells us in the second book of his treatise on Inventions; who says that Philoxenus of Cythera was also a great studier of the same pursuit. And Phænias the Peripatetic, in the second book of his treatise on Poets, says—"Stratonicus the Athenian appears to have been the first person who introduced the system of playing chords into the simple harp-playing; and he was the first man who ever took pupils in music, and who ever composed tables of music. And he was also a man of no small brilliancy as a wit." He says also that he was eventually put to death by Nicocles, the King of the Cyprians, on account of the freedom of his witticisms, being compelled to drink poison, because he had turned the sons of the king into ridicule.

47. But I marvel at Aristotle, whom these wise men, my excellent Democritus, are so incessantly speaking of and praising, (and whose writings you also esteem highly, as you do those of the other philosophers and orators,) on account of his great accuracy: and I should like to know when he learnt, or from what Proteus or Nereus who came up from the depths he found out, what fish do, or how they go to sleep, or how they live: for all these things he has told us in his writings, so as to be, in the words of the comic poets, "a wonder to fools;" for he says that the ceryx, and indeed that the whole race of shell-fish, are propagated without copulation; and that the purple-fish and the ceryx are longlived. For how could he know that the purple-fish lives six years? and how could he know that the viper takes a long time to propagate his species? or that of all its tribe the longest at that work is the pigeon, the next the œnas, and the quickest is the turtle-dove? And whence did he learn that the horse lives five-and-thirty years, but the mare more than forty? saying, too, that some have lived even seventy-five years. And he also states that from the copulation of lice there are born nits; and that from a worm, [Pg 556] after its change, there is produced a caterpillar, from which comes the humble-bee, and from that the larva of the silk-worm. And he also says that bees live to six years of age, and that some live even seven years; and he says that neither bee nor wasp have ever been seen in the act of copulation, on which account no one can ever tell whether they are male or female. And from what did he learn that men are inferior to bees? for these latter always preserve an equal condition of life, being subject to no changes, but employing themselves without ceasing in the collection of honey, and doing that without having been taught by any one to do so: but men are inferior to bees, and as full of fancy as bees are of honey: how, then, has Aristotle observed all these things? And in his treatise on Long Life, he says that a fly has been seen which had lived six or seven years. But what proof is there of this?

48. And where did he ever see ivy growing out of a stag's head? And again, owls and night-jars, he says, cannot see by day; on which account they hunt for their food by night, and they do this not during the whole night, but at the beginning of evening. And he says, too, that there are several different kinds of eyes, for some are blue, and some are black, and some are hazel. He says, too, that the eyes of men are of different characters, and that the differences of disposition may be judged of from the eyes; for that those men who have goats' eyes, are exceedingly sharp-sighted, and have the best dispositions. And of others, he says that some men have projecting eyes, and some have eyes deeply set, and some keep a mean between the two: and those whose eyes are deeply set, he says, have the sharpest sight, and those whose eyes project, must have the worst dispositions; and those who are moderate in these respects, are people, says he, of moderate dispositions. There are also some people whose eyes are always winking, and some who never wink at all, and some who do so in a moderate degree: and those who are always winking are shameless[19] people, and those who never wink at all are unstable and fickle, and those who wink in a moderate degree have the best disposition.

[Pg 557]


He says also that man is the only animal which has its heart on the left side; and that all other animals have it in the middle of the body. And he says that males have more teeth than females; and he affirms that this has been noticed in the case of the sheep, and of the pig, and of the goat. And he says also that there is no fish which has testicles, and there is no fish which has a breast, and no bird either; but that the only fish which has no gall is the dolphin. There are, however, some, says he, which have no gall in their liver, but they have it near their bowels; as the sturgeon, the synagris, the lamprey, the sword-fish, and the sea-swallow. But the amia has its gall spread over the whole of its entrails: and the hawk and the kite have theirs spread both over their liver and their entrails; but the ægocephalus has his gall both in his liver and in his stomach: and the pigeon, and the quail, and the swallow have theirs, some in their entrails, and some in their stomach.

49. Moreover, he says that all the molluscous fish, and the shell-fish, and the cartilaginous fish, and all insects, spend a long time in copulation; but that the dolphin and some other fish copulate lying alongside the female. And he says that the dolphins are very slow, but fish in general very quick. Again he says that the lion has very solid bones, and that if they are struck, fire comes from them as from flint stones. And that the dolphin has bones, but no spine; but that cartilaginous fish have both gristle and spine. And of animals he says that some are terrestrial and some aquatic; and that some even live in the fire; and that there are some, which he calls ephemera, which live only one day: and that there are some which are amphibious, such as the river-horse, and the crocodile, and the otter. And that all animals in general have two forefeet, but that the crab has four; and that all the animals which have blood are either without feet at all, or are bipeds, or quadrupeds; and that all the animals which have more than four feet are destitute of blood: on which account every animal which moves, moves by what he calls four tokens,—man by two hands and two feet, a bird by two feet and two wings, an eel and a conger by two fins and two joints. Moreover, some animals have hands, as a man has, and some appear to have hands, as a monkey does; for there is no brute beast which can really give and take, and it is for those things that hands [Pg 558] are given to men as instruments. Again, some animals have limbs, as a man, an ox, an ass; and some have no limbs, as a serpent, an oyster, the pulmo marinus. There are also many animals which are not always visible, such as those which hide in holes; and those which do not hide in holes are still not always visible, as swallows and cranes.

50. And though I could repeat to you now a great deal of nonsense which the medicine-seller talked, I forbear to do so, although I know that Epicurus, that most truthful of men, said of him in his letter about Institutions, that he devoted himself to a military life after having squandered his patrimony in gluttony; and that, turning out an indifferent soldier, he then took to selling medicines. Then, when the school of Plato was opened, he says, he changed again, and applied himself to philosophical discussions, and as he was not a man destitute of ability, by little and little he became a speculative philosopher. I know, too, that Epicurus is the only person who ever said this of him; for neither did Eubulides nor Cephisodorus venture to say anything of the kind against the Stagirite, and that, too, though they did write books against him. But in that same letter Epicurus says, that Protagoras also, who became a philosopher from having been a porter and a wood-carrier, was first promoted to be an amanuensis of Democritus; who, wondering at the admirable way in which he used to put the wood together, took him under his eye in consequence of this beginning; and then he began to teach the rudiments of learning in some village, and after that he proceeded on to the study of philosophy. And I now, O fellow feasters, after all this conversation, feel a great desire for something to eat. And when some one said that the cooks were already preparing something, and taking care that the dishes should not be served up cold, on account of the excessive length to which the "feast of words" had been carried, for that no one could eat cold dishes, Cynulcus said,—But I, like the Milcon of Alexis, the comic poet, can eat them even if they are not served up warm—

For Plato teaches us that what is good,
Is everywhere on all occasions good;
Can you deny this? and that what is sweet
Is always sweet, here, there, and ev'rywhere.

[Pg 559]


And it was not without some cleverness that Sphærus, who was a fellow-pupil with Chrysippus in the school of Cleanthes, when he had been sent for to Alexandria by king Ptolemy; when on one occasion birds made of wax were served up at a banquet, and he was putting out his hand to take some, but was stopped by the king, who told him that he was assenting to a sham; very appropriately answered,—"That he did not agree that they were birds at all, but only that it was probable that they might be birds; and that an opinion which could be confirmed by the perception, is superior to that which is merely probable; for that the one cannot be incorrect, but that what is probable may turn out contrary to what was expected." And so it could not be a bad thing if some waxen dishes were brought round to us too, according to our perceptive opinions, so that we might be beguiled at least by the sight of them, and so escape talking on for ever.

51. And when they were now on the point of sitting down to eat again, Daphnus bade them stop, quoting this iambic out of the Mammacythus or Auri of Metagenes—

As when we're feasting anywhere,
Then we all talk and argue faster.

And indeed, said he, I say that the discussion about fish is still defective in some points, since the sons of Æsculapius (such as Philotimus I mean, in his essay on Food, and Mnesitheus the Athenian, and Diphilus the Siphnian) have said a good deal about fishes, of which we have as yet taken no notice. For Diphilus, in his work entitled A Treatise on Food fit for People in Health and Invalids, says,—"Of sea-fish, those which keep to the rocks are easily digested, and juicy, and purgative, and light, but not very nutritious; but those which keep in the deep water are much less digestible, very nutritious, but apt to disagree with one. Now, of the fish which keep to the rocks, the phycen and the phycis are very tender little fish, and very digestible; but the perch, which is like them, varies a little as to the places in which it is found. And the tench resembles the perch; but the smaller tench and the white ones are tender, juicy, and digestible; but the green ones (and they are also called caulinæ) are dry, and devoid of juice. The channæ also have tender meat, but still they are harder than the perch. Then there is the scarus, which has tender flesh, not very firm, sweet, light, digestible, not apt to disagree with one, and good [Pg 560] for the stomach. But the fresh ones are less popular than the others, because they hunt the sea-hares and feed on them, owing to which their entrails are apt to produce cholera morbus. And the fish which is called ceris is tender, good for the bowels, and good for the stomach; but its juice has fattening and purgative qualities. The orphus, which some write ὀρφὸς, and some ὀρφὼς, is very full of a pleasant juice, glutinous, indigestible, very nutritious, diuretic. But the parts near his head are glutinous and digestible; but the more fleshy parts are indigestible and heavy, and the part towards the tail is the tenderest part; and he is a fish apt to generate phlegm, and indigestible. The sphyrænæ are more nutritious than the congers; and the eel caught in lakes is not so nice as the sea-eel, but it is more nutritious. The chrysophrys is very like the melanurus; and the sea-scorpions, which are found in the deep sea, and are of a tawny colour, are more nutritious than those which are found in marshes, or than the large ones which are taken on the shores.

52. "But the sparus is harsh-tasted, tender, with no unpleasant smell, good for the stomach, diuretic, and not indigestible; but when he is fried he is indigestible. The mullet is good for the stomach, very astringent, of very firm flesh, not very digestible, apt to bind the bowels, especially when it is broiled; but when it is fried in a frying-pan, then it is heavy and indigestible; and, as a general rule, the whole tribe of mullets has the property of causing secretions of blood. The synodon and the charax are of the same kind, but the charax is the better of the two. The phagrus is found both in the river and in the sea; but that which is found in the sea is the best. The capriscus is called also the mussel; but it has a strong smell, and very hard meat, and it is more indigestible than the citharus; but its skin is very pleasant to the taste. The needle-fish, or belone, and it is also called the ablennes, is indigestible and moist, but good for the bowels. The thrissa, and those of the same kind, such as the chalcis and the eretimis, are very digestible. The cestreus is found in the sea, and in rivers, and in lakes. And this fish, says he, is also called the oxyrhynchus; but the one which is taken in the Nile is called the coracinus. And the black kind is smaller than the white, and when boiled it is not so good as when it is roasted; for when roasted it is good for the stomach and good for the bowels. The salpe is hard-fleshed, and unpleasant to the taste, but the best are those which are caught at Alexandria, and those which are taken in the autumn. For it is white, full of moisture, and free from any unpleasant smell. The gryllus is like the eel in appearance, but it is not nice to the taste. The sea-hawk is harder than the sea-cuckoo, but in other respects they are much alike. The uranoscopus, and also the fish called agnus, which is also called the callionymus, are heavy fish. The boax, when boiled, is very digestible, giving out a very wholesome juice, and is good for the stomach; and that which is broiled on the coals is sweeter and more tender. The bacchus is full of abundant and agreeable and wholesome juice, and is very nutritious. The sea-goat is not very agreeable as to its juice, not very digestible, and has a disagreeable smell. The sea-sparrow and the buglossus are both nutritious and palatable, and the turbot is like them. The sea-grayling, the cephalus, the cestreus, the myxinus, and the colon are all much alike as to their eatable properties; but the cestreus is inferior to the cephalus, the myxinus is worse, and the colon is the least good of all.

[Pg 561]


53. "The thynnis and the thynnus are both heavy and nutritious; but the fish which is called the Acarnanian is sweet, very exciting, very nutritious, and easily secreted. The anchovy is heavy and indigestible, and the white kind is called the cobitis; and the hepsetus, a little fish, is of the same genus.

"Of cartilaginous fish, the sea-cow is fleshy, but the shark is superior to that,—that kind, I mean, which is called the asterias. But the alopecias, or sea-fox, is in taste very like the land animal, from which circumstance, indeed, it has its name. The ray is a very delicate fish to the taste; but the stellated ray is tenderer still, and full of excellent juice; but the smooth ray is less wholesome for the stomach, and has an unpleasant smell. But the torpedo, which is hard of digestion, is in the parts below the head very tender, and good for the stomach, and, moreover, very digestible, but its other parts are not so; and the small ones are the best, especially when they are plain boiled. The rhinè, which is one of the cartilaginous class, is very digestible and light; but those of the largest size are the most nutritious; and, as a general rule, all the cartilaginous fish are [Pg 562] apt to create flatulence, and are fleshy, and difficult of digestion, and if they are eaten in any quantity, they are bad for the eyes. The cuttle-fish, when boiled, is tender, palatable, and digestible, and also good for the stomach; but the juice which comes from it has the property of making the blood thin, and is apt to cause secretions by hæmorrhoids. The squid is more digestible, and is nutritious, especially the small-sized one; but when boiled they are harder, and not palatable. The polypus promotes amativeness, but it is hard and indigestible; and those of the largest size are the most nutritious, and when they are much boiled, they have a tendency to fill the stomach with liquid, and they bind the bowels. And Alexis, in his Pamphila, points out the useful properties of the polypus, speaking as follows,—

But if you are in love, O Cteson,
What is more useful than these fish I bring?
Ceryces, cockles, (onions too, are here,)
The mighty polypus, and good-sized turbot.

"The pelamys also is very nutritious and heavy, it is also diuretic, and very indigestible; but when cured like the callubium, it is quite as good for the stomach, and it has a tendency to make the blood thin; and the large kind is called the synodontis. The sea-swallow, or chelidonias, is also something like the pelamys, but harder; and the chelidon is like the polypus, and emits juice which purifies the complexion, and stirs up the blood. The orcynus is a fish who delights in the mud; and the larger kind is like the chelidonias in hardness, but the lower part of its abdomen and its collar-bone are palatable and tender; but those which are called costæ, when cured and salted, are a middling fish. The xanthias has rather a strong smell, and is tenderer than the orcynus." These are the statements of Diphilus.

[Pg 563]


54. But Mnesitheus the Athenian, in his treatise on Eatables, says,—"The larger breed of fishes are called by some sectile, and by others sea-fish; as, for instance, the chrysophrys, the sea-grayling, and the phagrus. And these are all difficult of digestion, but when they are digested they supply a great deal of nourishment. And the whole class of scaly fish, such as the thynni, the scombri, the tunnies, the congers, and all of those kinds, are also gregarious. But those which are not seen by themselves, nor in large shoals, are the most digestible, such as the congers, and the carchariæ, and fish of that kind. But the gregarious kinds of fish of that sort are very pleasant to the palate, for they are fat; but they are heavy, and difficult of digestion, on which account they are very good for curing; and, indeed, these kinds make the best cured fish of all; they are also very good roasted, for by that process their fatty parts are got rid of. But those kinds which are skinned before they are dressed, as a general rule, are those fish which have a rough outside to their skin, not of scales, but such as rays and rhinæ have. And all these kinds are easily divided into small pieces, but they have not a sweet smell. And they supply the body with plenty of moist nourishment, and of all boiled fish they have the greatest effect on the bowels; but when they are roasted they are not so good. And the whole class of molluscous fish, such as polypi and cuttle-fish, and others like them, are very indigestible, on which account they are very serviceable in exciting the amatory passions. They are also calculated to cause flatulence; and the time of indulgence in amatory pleasures requires a flatulent habit of body. All these fish are better when boiled. For their juices are injurious, and you may see what juices they emit when they are washed; and the boiling extracts all these juices from their flesh. For as the heat which is applied in boiling is a gradual one, and conjoined with moisture, there is, as it were, a sort of washing of them. But when they are roasted, that dries up the moisture, and moreover, as their flesh is hard by nature, it is natural that it should be made more so in this way.

55. "But anchovies of all kinds, and membrades, and trichides, and all the other little fish which we eat backbones and all, make the digestion flatulent, and give a good deal of moist nutriment. And so, as the digestion is unequal, the flesh being digested with great rapidity, and the bones dissolving slowly, for the anchovies are very bony of themselves, the digestion of the one part hinders the digestion of the other, and so flatulence arises from the digestion, and moisture comes from the quantity of nourishment. They are better when they are boiled, but still they have very unequal effects on the bowels. The fish which keep close to the rocks, such as tench, and scorpions, and sea-sparrows, and others of the same kind, supply a dry kind of nourishment to our bodies, but they are light and nutritious, and [Pg 564] are easily digested, and leave nothing behind them, and are not apt to cause flatulence. And every kind of fish is more digestible when dressed simply, and especially those which keep near the rocks have a better flavour when dressed plainly. And the species which is called soft-fleshed is like them, namely, the sea-thrush, the sea-blackbird, and others which resemble them. And these contain more moisture than the others, and with respect to refreshing the strength of those who eat them, they have more efficacy. And if any one wishes to produce an effect upon his bowels, he should eat them boiled; but if he is in good health, then he will find them nutritious roasted. And as diuretic food they are equally useful cooked either way.

56. "But the places of the sea where rivers and lakes fall into it, and also those where there are large bays and gulfs of the sea, are those where all the fish are more juicy, and more full of fat. They are also more palatable when caught in those places, but less nutritious and less digestible. And on the shore where it is exposed to the open sea, and where it is unprotected, then the fishes found there are for the most part hard and thin, beaten by the continued action of the waves. But where the sea is deep close in shore and less exposed to violent winds, especially if there are any cities near, then there is the greatest number of fish, and they are equally excellent in respect of pleasantness of flavour and ease of digestion, and also in the nourishment which they afford to the body. But of sea fish those are the most indigestible and the heaviest which migrate at certain seasons from the sea to the lakes and rivers; such as the cestreus; and as a general rule that is the character of every fish which can live in both salt and fresh water. But of those which live wholly in rivers and lakes, the river fish are the best; for the water of lakes is more apt to putrefy. And, again, of river fish those are the best which are found in the most rapid rivers; and especially the trout; for those are never found except where the river is rapid and cold, and they are far superior to all other river fish in their digestible properties."

57. This now, my friends, is my contribution, and I have brought you the wholesomest food with which it was in my power to provide you. For, as you may read in the Parasite of Antiphanes,—

[Pg 565]

For I have never taken any great trouble
In buying fish; * *
*                *                *                *                *
* * So that others from rich banquets coming
Should blame the gluttonous surfeits of their friends.

And, indeed, I myself am not so violently fond of fish as the man in the Butalion of the same poet. (And that play is an amended edition of one of the Countryman's characters.) And he says—

A. And I to-day will give a feast to all of you;
And take you money now, and buy the supper.
B. Yes; for unless I've money I should hardly
Know how to buy discreetly. But i' the first place,
Tell me what food, what dishes you prefer.
A. All kinds of food.
B. But tell me separately.
First now, should you approve of any fish?
A. A fishmonger came once into the country
With a good basketfull of sprats and triglides,
And, by Jove, greatly he pleased all of us.
B. Well, tell me then, should you now like some fish?
A. Indeed I should, if they were very little.
For all large fish I always fancy cannibals.
B. What can you mean, my friend?
A. Why, cannibals;—
How can a man eat fish which eat up men?
B. 'Tis plain enough that it is Helen's food This fellow means, just sprats and triglides.

And in his Countryman he also calls sprats and triglides the food of Hecate. And Ephippus too, disparaging small fish, in his Philyra, speaks as follows—

A. My father, would you like to go to market
And buy some fish for me?
B. What shall I buy?
A. Some grown up fish, my father, no small babies.
B. Do not you yet know all the worth of money?

58. And in the same poet, in his Spit-bearers, there is a very witty young man who disparages everything connected with the purchase of fish. And he speaks thus—

A. But while you buy, don't disregard economy,
For anything will do.
B. Just tell me how.
A. Don't be expensive, though not mean or stingy;
Whatever you may buy will be enough;
Some squids and cuttle-fish; and should there be
Some lobsters in the market, let's have one—
Some eels will look nice too upon the table—
[Pg 566] Especially if from the Theban lake:
Then let us have a cock, a tender pigeon,
A partridge, and a few such other things;
And if a hare should offer, then secure it.
B. Why how precise you are in your directions!
A. I'd need be, you are so extravagant;
And we are certain to have meat enough.
B. Has anybody sent you any present?
A. No, but my wife has sacrificed the calf
Which from Corone came, and we to-morrow
Shall surely sup on it.

And in Mnesimachus, the Morose Man, in the play of the same name, being a great miser, says to the extravagant young man in the play—

A. I do entreat you, do not lecture me
So very fiercely; do not say so much
About the money; recollect I'm your uncle;
Be moderate, I beg.
B. How can I be
More moderate than I am?
A. At least be briefer,
And don't deceive me; use diminutives;
For fish say fishlings; if you want aught more,
Speak of your bits of dishes; and at least
I shall be ruin'd with a better grace.

59. But since, as fortune would have it so, in the before-quoted lines,—my excellent Ulpian, or you too, O you sons of grammarians, just tell me what was Ephippus's meaning in what I have just repeated, when he said—

The calf
Which from Corone[20] came, and we to-morrow
Shall surely sup on it.

For I think there is here an allusion to some historical fact, and I should like to understand it. And Plutarch said,—There is a Rhodian tale, which, however, I can hardly repeat at the moment, because it is a very long time since I have fallen in with the book in which it occurs. But I know that Phoenix the Colophonian, the Iambic poet, making mention of some men as collecting money for the Jackdaw, speaks as follows—

[Pg 567]

My friends, I pray you give a handful now
Of barley to the jackdaw, Phoebus' daughter;
Or else a plate of wheat; or else a loaf,
A halfpenny, or whatsoe'er you please;
Give, my good friends, whatever you can spare
To the poor jackdaw; e'en a grain of salt;
For willingly she feeds on anything;
And he who salt bestows to-day, to-morrow
May give some honey. Open, boy, the door;
Plutus has heard, and straight a serving maid
Brings out some figs. Gods, let that maiden be
For ever free from harm, and may she find
A wealthy husband of distinguish'd name:
And may she show unto her aged father
A lusty boy, and on her mother's lap
Place a fair girl, her daughter, to bring up
A happy helpmate for some lucky cousin.
But I, where'er my feet conduct my eyes,
Sing with alternate melody at the gates
Of him who gives, and him who rude denies.
At present I'll leave off, and say no more.

And at the end of this set of iambics he says—

But you, my friends, who have good store at home,
Give something. Give, O king; give you too, housewife.
It is the law that all should give their hand
When the crow begs. And you who know this law,
Give what you please, and it shall be sufficient.

And those people who went about collecting for the jackdaw (κορώνη) were called Coronistæ, as Pamphilus of Alexandria tells us, in his treatise on Names. And the songs which are sung by them are called coronismata, as Agnocles the Rhodian tells us, in his Coronistæ.

60. There is also another collection made among the Rhodians, the making of which is called χελιδονίζειν; and it is mentioned by Theognis, in the second book of his treatise on the Sacrifices in Rhodes, where he writes thus—"There is a species of collecting which the Rhodians call χελιδονίζειν, which takes place in the month Boedromion. And it derives its name of χελιδονίζειν because the people are accustomed to utter the following song:—

The swallow, the swallow (χελιδών) is come,
Bringing good seasons and a joyful time.
Her belly is white, her back is black.
Bring, oh bring, a cake of figs
Out of your luxurious house,
Bring a cup of wine,
And a dish of cheese,
And a bag of wheat.
[Pg 568] Those the good swallow will not despise,
Nor a cake of eggs.
Shall we now go, or shall we get something?
Give something, and we'll go; if you give nothing
We will not cease to pester you; we'll force the door
And carry it away, or th' upper lintel,
Or e'en your wife who sits within the house.
She is but little, we shall find her light.
If you give something, let it be worth having.
Open, then, open the door to the swallow,
For we are not old men, but only boys.

And Cleobulus the Lindian was the first man who introduced the custom of this collection, at a time when there was a great want in Lindus of a collection of money.

[Pg 569]


61. But, since we have mentioned the Rhodian histories, I myself am now going to tell you something about fish, from the account given of the beautiful Rhodes, which that delightful writer Lynceus says is full of excellent fish. Ergias the Rhodian, then, in his Account of his own Country, having first made mention of the Phoenicians, who inhabited the island, says—"That Phalanthus, and his friends, having a very strong city in Ialysus, called Achaia, and being very economical of their provisions, held out for a long time against Iphiclus, who besieged them. For they had also a prophecy given them by some oracle, that they should keep the place till crows became white, and till fish were seen in their goblets. They therefore, expecting that these things would never happen, prosecuted the war with less vigour. But Iphiclus, having heard from some one of the oracles of the Phoenicians, and having waylaid a highly-trusted adherent of Phalanthus, whose name was Larcas, as he was going for water, and having entered into a covenant with him, caught some fish at the spring, and putting them into the ewer, gave them to Larcas, and bade him carry the water back, and pour it into the goblet from which he was used to pour out wine for Phalanthus: and he did so. And Iphiclus also caught some crows, and smeared them over with gypsum, and let them fly again. But when Phalanthus saw the crows, he went to his goblet; and when he saw the fish there, he considered that the place no longer belonged to him and his party, and so he sent a herald to Iphiclus, demanding permission to retire, with all his troops, under the protection of a treaty. And when Iphiclus agreed to this, Phalanthus devised the following contrivance. Having slain some victims, and taken out the entrails, he endeavoured to put in some silver and gold, and so to carry it away. But when Iphiclus perceived this, he prevented it. And when Phalanthus alleged against him the oath which he had taken, when he swore to allow them to take away whatever they had in their bellies, he met them with a counter device, giving them vessels to go away in, but taking away the rudders, and the oars, and the sails, saying that he had sworn to give them boats, and nothing further. And as the Phoenicians were in great perplexity, they buried a great deal of their riches underground, marking the places where they buried it, that at some future time they might come and take it up again; but they left a great deal for Iphiclus. And so, when the Phoenicians had left the place in this manner, the Greeks became masters of it." And Polyzelus has given the same account, in his History of Rhodian Affairs; and says—"That the only people who knew the secret about the fishes and the crows were Phaces and his daughter Dorcia; and she, being beloved by Iphiclus, and having come to an agreement to marry him through the intervention of her nurse, persuaded the man who brought the water to bring the fish and put them into the goblet; and she herself whitewashed the crows, and let them go."

62. And Creophylus, in his Annals of the Ephesians, says—"Those who colonized Ephesus, being much perplexed for want of a place where they could settle, sent at last to the oracle, and asked where they should build themselves a city; and he told them to build a city in that place which a fish should show them, and to which a wild boar should guide them. Accordingly, it is said that some fishermen were breakfasting at the spot where the fountain called Hypelæus now is, and where the harbour is which is called the sacred harbour; and that one of the fish leaped up with a burning cinder sticking to him, and fell on some of the refuse; and that by this means a thicket was set on fire, in which there happened to be a wild boar; and he, being disturbed by the fire, ran for some distance up the mountain which is called the Rough Mountain, and at last was transfixed by javelins, and fell where the temple of Minerva now stands. And the Ephesians, having crossed over from the island, occupied that for twenty-one years, and in the twenty-second year they founded Trachea and the towns around Coressus, and erected a temple [Pg 570] to Diana in the market-place, and one to the Pythian Apollo overlooking the harbour."

63. Now after this long conversation, all of a sudden there was heard all over the city the music of flutes and the noise of cymbals, and also a great crash of drums, with singing at the same time. And it happened to be the time of a festival which used formerly to be called the Parilia, but which is now called the Romana, in honour of the temple built to the Fortune of the City, by that most excellent and accomplished sovereign Hadrian. And all the inhabitants of Rome (and all the foreigners sojourning in the city) every year keep that day as a remarkable one. Accordingly, Ulpian said,—My friends, what is this?—

Is it a supper or a marriage feast?
For certainly there is no picnic held now.

And when some one replied that every one in the city was dancing (using the verb βαλλίζω) in honour of the goddess,—My fine fellow, said Ulpian, laughing, what Greek in the world ever called this dancing βαλλισμός̣ You should have said κωμάζουσιν or χορεύουσιν, or, at all events, some word in common use; but you have bought us a name out of the Subura,

And spoilt the wine by pouring in this water.'

And Myrtilus said—But I will prove to you, my dear Epitimæus,[21] that the word is a genuine Greek word; for you, who want to stop every one's mouth, have not succeeded in convicting any one of ignorance, but have proved yourself to be emptier than a snake's cast-off skin. Epicharmus, my most excellent gentlemen, in his Theori, speaks of the βαλλισμὸς, and Italy is no great way from Sicily. Accordingly, in that play, the public ambassadors, surveying the offerings at Pytho, and mentioning each one separately, speak as follows:—

Here there are brazen caldrons, brazen goblets,
And spits. And then to see the men with spits
And flutes, too, dancing (βαλλίζοντες), what a sight it was!

And Sophron, in his play which is entitled Nymphoponus, says—

Then he did take it, and proceeded onwards;
The rest did follow dancing (ἐβάλλιζον).

And again he says—

Dancing (βαλλίζοντες) they filled the entrance room with dung.

[Pg 571]


And Alexis, in his Curis, says—

And now I see a multitude of men
Hastening to a feast, as if a goodly company
Were here invited. May it be my luck
To keep out of your way, my revellers,
After your dancing (βαλλισμὸς) and your feasting both
Have gone off well and are quite finish'd.
For I should never bear my robe off safely,
Unless my wings had grown.

I know, too, that the word is found in other places, and when I recollect the exact passage, I will bring it forward.

64. But we have a right to ask of you, who have quoted to us these lines out of Homer,

But say, you joyful troop so gaily drest,
Is this a bridal or a friendly feast?—

in what respect the different sorts of feasts, which he calls εἰλαπίνη and ἔρανος, differ from one another? But, since you are silent, I will tell you; for, as the poet of Syracuse says,—

I by myself am equal to the task
Which formerly it took two men to answer.

The ancients used to call sacrifices, and the more splendid kind of preparations, εἰλάπιναι; and those who partook of them they used to call εἰλαπινασταί. But those feasts they called ἔρανοι, the materials for which were contributed by all who joined in them; and this name was derived from all the guests being friendly together (ἀπὸ τοῦ συνερᾷν) and contributing. And this same ἔρανος is also called θίασος, and those who partake of it are called ἐρανισταὶ and συνθιαῶται. The crowd, also, which follows Bacchus in his festivals is called θίασος, as Euripides says—

I see three thiasi of women coming.

And they gave them the name θίασος from the word θεός;— and, indeed, the Lacedæmonian form of the word θεὸς is σιός. And the word εἰλαπίνη is derived from the preparation and expense gone to for such purposes; for being destructive and extravagant is called λαφύττειν καὶ λαπάζειν, from which words the poets have used the word ἀλαπάζω for to destroy, And the plunder which is carried off after the sacking of a city they call λάφυρα. And accordingly Æschylus and Eripides have given to the more luxurious banquets the name of εἰλάπιναι, from the verb λαπάζω. There is also a verb, λάπτω, which means to digest one's food, and [Pg 572] to become relaxed (λαγαρὸς) by becoming empty. And from this word λαγαρὸς we get the word λαγὼν (the flank), and also λάγανον (a thin, broad cake); and from the word λαπάττω we get λαπάρα (the loins). And the verb λαφύττω means, with great freedom and abundance to evacuate and erupt oneself. And the word δαπανάω (to spend) is derived from δάπτω; and δάπτω is akin to δαψιλής; on which account we find the verbs δάπτω and δαρδάπτω applied to those who eat in a voracious and savage manner. Homer says—

Him the fierce dogs and hungry vultures tore (κατέδαψαν).

But the word εὐωχία (a luxurious feast) is derived not from ὀχὴ, which means nutriment, but from everything going on well (ἀπὸ τοῦ εὖ ἔχειν) in such a banquet, in which those who assemble honour the deity, and give themselves up to mirth and relaxation; and from this relaxation (ἀπὸ τοῦ μεθιέναι) they call wine μέθυ, and the god who gave them wine they call Methymnaeus, and Lyæus, and Evius, and Icius; just as also they call a man who is not sullen-looking and morose ἱλαρός; on which account, too, they pray the deity to be propitious (ἵλεως), uttering the ejaculation ἰὴ, ἰή. And from this again they call the place where they do this ἱερόν. And that they meant very nearly the same thing by ἵλεως and ἱλαρός is plain from the language used by Ephippus, in his play entitled Traffic; for he is speaking of a courtesan, and he says—

Then too, when any one is out of humour,
When he comes in she flatters him discreetly,
And kisses him, not pressing his mouth hard
Like some fierce enemy; but just billing towards him
Like some fond sparrow; then she sings and comforts him,
And makes him cheerful (ἱλαρὸς) and dispels all clouds
From off his face, and renders him propitious (ἵλεως).

65. But the ancients, who represented the gods under the form of men, arranged all their festivals on a similar principle; for, seeing that it is not possible to divert men from an eagerness for pleasure, but that it is useful and expedient to accustom them to enjoy themselves with moderation and in an orderly manner, they set apart certain times, and, sacrificing first to the gods, they in this way permitted them relaxation and enjoyment, in order that every one, thinking that the gods had come among them, and were present at the first-fruits and libations, might enjoy himself with order and decency. Accordingly Homer says—

[Pg 573]

There, too, was Pallas to partake the feast:

and Neptune, too, is represented thus—

The monarch of the main, a heavenly guest,
In Ethiopia graced the genial feast,
There on the world's extremest verge, revered
With hecatombs and prayer in pomp preferr'd,
Distant he lay:[22]

and of Jupiter he says—

The sire of gods and all the ethereal train
On the warm limits of the furthest main
Now mix with mortals, nor disdain to grace
The feast of Ethiopia's blameless race.[23]

And if a man of more mature age, and devoted to wise and virtuous pursuits, is present, they are ashamed to say or do anything indecorous; as also Epicharmus says, somewhere or other:—

But when their aged superiors are present,
Young men should silent be.

Therefore, considering that the gods were near to them, they celebrated their festivals in an orderly and temperate manner; on which account it was not the fashion of the ancients to lie at their meals, but, as Homer says,—

Feasting they sate;

nor were they accustomed to drink to the extent of drunkenness—

But when they'd eaten thus, and drank their fill,
Each to his room retired, not dreaming ill.

66. But the men of modern times, pretending to be sacrificing to the gods, and inviting their friends and nearest kinsmen to the sacrifice, vent imprecations on their children, and abuse their wives, and treat their slaves with indignity, and threaten the multitude, almost verifying the line of Homer:—

But now with speed let's take a short repast,
And well refresh'd to bloody conflict haste.

Nor do they ever give a thought to what has been said by the poet who wrote the poem entitled Chiron, whether it is Pherecrates, or Nicomachus, the teacher of rhythm, or whatever else his name may have been:—

[Pg 574]

When you have ask'd a friend to come to supper,
Do not be angry when you see him come;
That is the part of an unworthy man;
But give yourself to happy thoughts of joy,
And study to amuse your friend and guest.

But now men utterly forget all these rules, and they recollect only the lines which follow them, which are all written in imitation of the Great Eoæ which are attributed to Hesiod, and which are also meant as a parody on his great work, Works and Days:—

When any of us does celebrate
A sacrifice, and bids his friends to th' feast,
Still, if he come, we're vex'd and look askance,
And wish him to depart without delay.
And he his want of welcome soon perceives
And reassumes his shoes; when some one rises
Of the surrounding revellers, and says,
"Here, my friend, do not go; why won't you drink?
Take off your shoes." And then the host again
Is angry with the guest who calls him back,
And quotes some scraps of poetry against him,—
"Remember, always speed the parting guest,
And when a man is sleeping let him rest."
Do not we in this manner oft behave
When feasting those we choose to call our friends?

And, moreover, we add this:—

Let not a numerous party vex your mind,
For more are pleased, and the cost's near the same.

67. And when we are sacrificing to the gods, we spend as little as possible upon our sacrifices, and give them the most ordinary presents; as the admirable Menander tells us, in his Drunkenness:—

We don't do other things as we perform
Our duties to the gods. We sacrifice
One sheep scarce worth ten or a dozen drachmæ;
But for our flute-women, our perfumes rich,
Our harpers, Thasian and Mendæan wine,
Eels, cheese, and honey to regale ourselves,
We do not a whole talent think too much.
'Tis very well to spend a dozen drachmæ
When we are sacrificing to the gods,
But if you much curtail that slight expense,
Are you not thus dishonouring the gods?
I, if I were a god, would ne'er allow
A scanty loin of beef to load my altars,
Unless an eel were also sacrificed,
So that Callimedon might die of rage.

[Pg 575]


68. And the ancients call some feasts ἐπιδόσιμα, that is to say, given into the bargain,—the same which the Alexandrians call ἐξ ἐπιδομάτων. Alexis, at all events, in his Woman at the Well, says—

A. And now the master here has sent a slave
To bring to me a jar of his own wine.
B. I understand; this is ἐπιδόσιμος,
A gift into the bargain, as a makeweight;
I praise the wise old woman.

And Crobylus, in his Supposititious Son, says—

A. Laches, I come to you; proceed.
B. Which way?
A. How can you ask? Why, to my mistress, who
Has a feast ἐπιδόσιμος prepared;
And in her honour only yesterday
You made the guests drink down twelve glasses each.

The ancients, also, were acquainted with the banquets which are now called dole-basket banquets; and Pherecrates mentions them in his Forgetful Man, or the Sea, saying—

Having prepared a small dole-basket supper
He went away to Ophela.

And this clearly points to the dole-basket supper, when a man prepares a supper for himself, and then puts it in a basket, and goes off to sup with some one. And Lysias has used the word σύνδειπνον for a banquet, in his speech against Micinus, on his trial for murder; for he says that he had been invited to a σύνδειπνον: and Plato says—"Those who had made a σύνδειπνον:" and Aristophanes, in his Gerytades, says—

Praising great Æschylus in his σύνδειπνα,

on which account some people wish to write the title of Sophocles's play in the neuter gender, σύνδειπνον. Some people also use the expression συναγώγιμα δεῖπνα, picnic feasts; as Alexis does, in his Man fond of Beauty, or the Nymphs, where he says—

Come, sit you down, and call those damsels in;
We've got a picnic here, but well I know
That your's is but a skin-flint disposition.

And Ephippus says, in his Geryones,—

They also celebrate a picnic feast.

They also use the verb συνάγω for to drink with on another, and the noun συναγώγιον for a drinking party. Menander, in his Angry Woman, says—

And for this reason now they drink (συνάγουσι) alone:

and presently afterwards he says—

And so they ended the entertainment (συναγώγιον).

And probably the συναγώγιον is the same as that which was also called τὸ ἀπὸ συμβολων δεῖπνον. But what the συμβολαὶ, or contributions, are, we learn from Alexis, in his Woman who has taken Mandragora, where he says—

A. I'll come and bring my contributions now.
B. How, contributions?
A. The Chalcidians
Call fringes, alabaster, scent boxes,
And other things of that kind, contributions.

But the Argives, as Hegesander tells us in his Commentaries, (the following are his exact words)—"The Argives call the contributions towards an entertainment which are brought by the revellers, χῶν; and each man's share they call αἶσα.”

69. And now, since this book also has come to a not unsuitable end, my good friend Timocrates, let us stop our discussion at this point, lest any one should think that we were formerly fishes ourselves, as Empedocles says that he was; for that great natural philosopher says—

For I myself have been a boy, a girl,
A bush, a bird, and fish which roams the sea.


[9] From δίνη, an eddy.

[10] There is a punning allusion here to κάραβος, a crawfish, and to Callimedon's nickname, Carabus.

[11] This was a parody on the first words of the crier's usual proclamation,—Ἀκούετε λαοὶ,—Hear, O people. Ναοὶ means temples.

[12] Κῆρυξ means, not only a crier, but also a prickly instrument of torture.

[13] There is meant here to be a pun on διδάσκω, which means "to teach," and also "to exhibit a play."

[14] There is an allusion here to Harmonia the wife of Cadmus.

[15] Zethus was the name of the brother of Amphion.

[16] καρκῖνος is also Greek for a crab.

[17] Ψάλλ᾽ ἐς κόρακας, parodying the common execration, Βάλλ᾽ ἐς κόρακας.

[18] Alluding to the intemperance of the suitors of Penelope, as described in the Odyssey.

[19] Schweigh, referring to the passage here alluded to, (Hist. An. i. 10,) proposes to transpose these characteristics, so as to attribute shamelessness to those who do not wink, and fickleness to those who do.

[20] Corone is not a woman's name, as some have fancied; the allusion is to the custom of some beggars, who, pretending to be ashamed to beg for themselves, carried about a talking jackdaw (κορώνη), and professed to be begging only for the use of the bird.

[21] From ἐπιτιμάω, to rebuke.

[22] Hom. Odyss. i. 22.

[23] Hom. Iliad, i. 424.

[Pg 576]



But now let each becalm his troubled breast,
Wash, and partake serene the friendly feast;
While to renew these topics we delay
Till Heaven's revolving lamp restores the day,

both to you and me, O Timocrates. For when some hams were brought round, and some one asked whether they were tender, using the word τακερὸς,— In what author does τακερὸς occur? said Ulpian: and is there any authority, too, for calling mustard σίναπι instead of νᾶπυ̣ For I see that that condiment is being brought round in the dishes with the hams. And I see that the word κωλεὸς, a ham, a ham, is now used in the masculine gender, and not in the feminine only, as our Attic writers use it. At all events, Epicharmus, in his Megarian Woman, says—

Sausages, cheese, and hams χορδὴ, and artichokes, But not a single thing that's eatable:

and in his Cyclops he says—

Pig's tripe is good, by Jove, and so is ham (κωλεός).

And learn this now from me, O you wise man, that Epicharmus, uses χορδὴ for what, in every other place, he calls ὀρύα, tripe. And I see, too, that salt is used in seasoning in other dishes; but of salt which is not seasoned the Cynics are full, among whom we find, in the Corycus of Antiphanes, another Cynic saying—

Of delicacies which the sea produces,
We have but one, but that is constant, salt;
And then[24] . . . . . .

I see, too, that brine is mingled with vinegar; and I know, too, that now some of the inhabitants of Pontus prepare the pickle which they call oxygarum, or vinegar pickle, by itself.

2. Zoilus replied to this, and said—Aristophanes, my good friend, in his Lemnian Woman, has used the word τακερὸς for delicate, saying—

Lemnus producing good and delicate (τακεροὺς) beans:

and Pherecrates, in his Crapatalli, says—

To make the vetches delicate (τακερούς):

and Nicander the Colophonian has used the word σιόνηπυ in his Theriacans, where he said—

A brazen cucumber and mustard too (σίνηπυ);

and in his Georgics he writes—

The biting pungent seed of mustard (σινήπυος);

and again he says—

Cardamum and the plant which stings the nose,
The black-leav'd mustard (σίνηπυ).

And Crates, in his treatise on the Attic Dialect, introduces Aristophanes as saying—

He looked mustard (σίναπυ) and drew down his brows,

as Seleucus quotes it, in his books on Hellenism. But it is a line out of the Knights, and it ought to be read thus—

κἄβλεψε νάπυ, not καὶ βλέπε σινάπυ:

for no Attic writer ever used the form σίναπυ, although there is a reason for each form. For νάπυ may be said, as if it were νάφυ, because it has no φύσις, or growth. For it is ἀφυὲς and little, like the anchovy, which is called ἀφύη, and is called σίναπυ, because it injures the eyes (σίνεται τοὺς ὦπας) by its smell, as the onion has [Pg 578] the name of κρόμμυον, because it makes us wink our eyes (ὅτι τὰς κόρας μύομεν). And Xenarchus the comic writer says, in his Scythians—

This evil is no longer evil; so
My daughter is corrupted by the stranger.

And that exquisite writer, Aristophanes, mentions salt and vinegar, saying, in the place where he speaks of Sthenelus the tragedian,—

A. How can I swallow Sthenelus's words?
B. By soaking them in vinegar or white salt.

3. We then, my good friend, have gone along with you in these inquiries. But we have a right to expect an answer from you, in what author the word παροψὶς is used for a vessel. For when speaking of some victuals of various sorts, which were carefully dressed, and of some other things of this sort, I am aware that Plato, in his Festivals, has used the following expressions—

Whence barley-cakes might be got, and παροψίδες.

And again, in his Europa, speaking at considerable length of some exquisite dish, he has used the following expressions among others—

A. The woman is asleep;
B. I am aware
That she is doing nothing.
A. The παροψίδες
Are all awake; and there is not a thing
More calculated to give pleasure always.
B. But where are these παροψίδες, I pray you?

And in the passage immediately following, he uses the word παροψὶς, as if it were equivalent to παροψώνημα, a delicacy; and in his Phaon he says—

Other men's things are like παροψίδες,
They please a short time, and are quickly spent.

And Aristophanes, in his Dædalus, says—

All women have one set of principles,
And have a lover, like a παροψὶς, ready.

4. So when Ulpian made no reply,—But I, said Leonidas, have a right to speak, since I have been silent a long time. But as Evenus the Parian says—

Many men make a point of contradicting
On every subject equally; but care not
Whether they rightly contradict or not.

[Pg 579]

But for such men there's an old answer fitting,
"That may be your opinion, this is mine."
But with good arguments one may persuade
The wise with ease: for always men of sense
Do prove the easiest pupils.

5. And my excellent friend Myrtilus,—for I have taken the words out of your mouth, Antiphanes,—in his Bœotian, has used this word παροψὶς for a vessel, where he says—

After she has invited you to supper,
She sets before you a παροψὶς full of . . . .

And Alexis, in his Hesione, says—

But when he saw two men well loaded with
The table and conveying it indoors,
Groaning beneath a number of παροψίδες,
Looking no more at me, he said . . . .

And the man who was the author of the plays which are attributed to Magnes, says in his first Bacchus—

These things are now παροψίδες of ill to me.

And Achæus, in his Æthnon, a satyric drama, says—

And let these savoury boil'd and roasted meats
On the παροψιόδες be carved in pieces.

And Sotades the comic writer says, in his Man wrongly Ransomed—

I a παροψὶς seem to Crobylus.
Him he devours alone, but me he takes
But as a seasoning to something else.

But the word is used in an ambiguous sense by Xenophon, in the first book of his Cyropædia. For the philosopher says, "They brought him παροψίδας, and condiments of all sorts, and food of all kinds." And in the works of the author of Chiron, which is usually attributed to Pherecrates, the word παροψὶς is used for seasoning; and not, as Didymus, in his treatise on Words used in a Corrupted Sense, asserts, for a vessel. For he says—

By Jove, as παροψιόδες are praised or blamed
Because of the way in which they flavour meat,
So Caletas esteems these people nothing.

And Nicophon, in his Sirens, says—

Others may fight the παροψὶς for their seat.

And Aristophanes says, in his Dædalus,—

All women have one set of principles,
[Pg 580] And have a lover, like a παροψὶς, ready.

And Plato says, in his Festivals,—

Whence barley-cakes may be got, and παροψίδες.

But he is speaking here of cooking and seasoning onions. But the Attic writers, O my Syri-Attic friend Ulpian, use ἔμβαμμα also in this sense; as Theopompus says, in his Peace:—

Bread's a good thing; but flattery and tricks,
When added as a seasoning (ἔμβαμμα) to bread,
Are odious as can be.

6. When speaking of hams, they use the two forms κωλῆ and κωλήν. Eupolis, in his Autolycus, says—

The legs and hams (κῳλῆες) out of the soup.

And Euripides, in his Sciron, says—

Nor hams (κωλῆνες) of kids.

But the word κωλῆ is contracted from κωλέα, as συκῆ from συκέα, λεοντῆ from λεοντέα; so κωλῆ from κωλέα. Aristophanes, in his second Plutus, says—

Alas the ham (κωλῆς) which I have just devour'd!

And in his Daitaleis he says—

And the fat hams (κωλαὶ) of tender little pigs
And dainty tit-bits swift to fly.

And in his Storks he says—

The heads of lambs, the hams (κωλὰς) of kids.

And Plato, in his Griffins, says—

Fish, and hams (κωλὰς), and sausages.

And Ameipsias, in his Connus, says—

The ham (κωλῆ) from off the victim, and the ribs,
And the left side o' th' head are usually given.

And Xenophon, in his book on Hunting, says—"The ham (κωλῆ) is fleshy, and the loins moist." And Xenophanes the Colophonian, in his Elegies, says—

For having sent a ham (κωλῆ) of kid, you won
A mighty leg of carefully fatted bull,
An honourable present for a man,
Whose glory shall pervade all Greece, and never
Cease while the poets and the songs of Greece
Survive in memory and the mouths of men.

[Pg 581]


7. And as immediately after this a great quantity of food of all sorts was brought in, we will just mention those dishes which seem most worthy of being remembered; for there was a great quantity of birds, and of geese, and also of young birds (which some people call πίποι), and of pigs, and of those highly-esteemed birds the pheasants. And after I have told you about the vegetables, I will then enumerate to you the other dishes also.

8. First of all, there were turnips; and Apellas, in his treatise on the Cities in Peloponnesus, says that turnips are called γαστέρες by the Lacedæmonians: and Nicander the Colophonian, in his Dialects, says that among the Bœotians it is cabbages which are called γαστέρες, and that turnips are called in Boeotia ζεκελτίδες. But Amerias and Timachidas affirm that it is gourds which are called ζακελτίδες. And Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things resembling one another, says—"The radish, the turnip, the rape, and the nasturtium all resemble each other." But Glaucus, in his Cookery Book, spells the word ῥάφυς (rape) with the lene π,—ῥάπυς. But these vegetables have nothing else like them, unless, indeed, it be the plant which we call bounias: but Theophrastus does not use the name of bounias, but calls it a sort of male turnip; and perhaps the plant which he means is the bounias. And Nicander, in his Georgics, mentions the bounias—

Sow turnips on a well-roll'd field, that they
May grow as large as the flat dish that holds them.
*                      *                      *                      *
. . . . . For there are two kinds
Which from the radish spring: one long, one firm,
Both seen in well-till'd beds in kitchen gardens.

And the turnips which grow on the banks of the Cephisus are mentioned by Cratis, in his Orators, thus—

And wholly like the turnips of Cephisus.

But Theophrastus says that there are two kinds of turnips, the male and the female, and that they both come from the same seed; but Posidonius the Stoic philosopher, in the twenty-seventh book of his Histories, concerning Dalmatia, says that there are some turnips which grow without any cultivation, and also some carrots that grow wild. But Diphilus the physician, of Siphnos, says—"The turnip has attenuating properties, and is harsh and indigestible, and moreover is apt to cause flatulence: but the vegetable called bounias is superior to that; for it is sweeter in taste and more digestible, in addition to being [Pg 582] wholesome for the stomach and nutritious. But the turnip," he says, "when roasted, is more easily digested, but in this state it attenuates the blood still more." This vegetable is mentioned by Eubulus, in his Ancylion, where he says—

I bring this turnip to be roasted now.

And Alexis, in his Enthusiast, says—

I speak to Ptolemy, roasting slices of turnip.

But the turnip, when pickled, is more attenuating in its effects than when boiled, especially when it is pickled with mustard, as Diphilus says.

9. Then there was the cabbage. Eudemus the Athenian, in his treatise on Vegetables, says that there are three kinds of cabbage—the kind called the salt-cabbage, and the smooth-leaved-cabbage, and the parsley-cabbage: and that the salt-cabbage is reckoned the finest of all in respect of its delicacy of taste; and it grows in Eretria, and Cyme, and Rhodes, and also in Cnidos and Ephesus: but the smooth-leaved kind is found in every country; and the parsley-cabbage has its name from the curly nature of its leaves, for it is like parsley, both in that respect and in its general thickness. But Theophrastus writes thus—"But of the ῥάφανος,—I mean the cabbage,—there is one kind with curly leaves, and another with smooth leaves, and a third which is wild." And Diphilus the Siphnian says—"The finest and most delicious cabbage grows in Cyme: in Alexandria it is bitter; and the seed which is brought from Rhodes to Alexandria produces sweet cabbage for one year, after which time it degenerates again, from the nature of the soil." And Nicander, in his Georgics, says—

The smooth-leaved cabbage sometimes wild is found,
And then the curly many-leaved plants
Are often sown in beds; . . . . . . . .
There is another kind, of reddish colour,
Like frogs in drought; some of bad colour too
Do come from Cyme, like the dingy soles
Which cobblers often sew on worn-out boots;
And these the ancients do the Prophets call.

But perhaps Nicander calls the cabbage Prophet, as being sacred; since in Hipponax, in his Iambics, we find some such lines as these,—

He falling down worshipp'd the seven-leaved cabbage,
To which, before she drank the poison'd draught,
Pandora brought a cake at the Thargelia.

[Pg 583]


And Ananius says—

And, by the cabbage do I swear, I love thee
By far the most of mortal men . . . .

And Teleclides, in his Prytanes, uses the oath, "Yes, by the cabbages!" and Epicharmus has the same exclamation in his Earth and Sea; and so has Eupolis, in his Dyers; and it appears to have been an Ionian oath: and there is nothing very strange in the fact of some people having sworn by the cabbage, since Zeno the Cittiæan, the founder of the sect of the Stoics, imitating the oath of Socrates, "by the bitch," was used himself to swear "by the caper," as Empodus relates in his Memorabilia.

10. And at Athens the cabbage used to be given to women who had just been delivered, as a sort of medicine, having a tendency to add to their nourishment. Accordingly, Ephippus, in his Geryones, says—

What shall next be done?
There is no garland now before the doors,
No savoury smell strikes on my nostril's edge
From Amphidromian festival, in which
The custom is to roast large bits of cheese,
Such as the Chersonesus furnishes,
And then to boil a radish bright with oil,
And fry the breasts of well-fed household lamb,
And to pluck pigeons, thrushes too, and finches,
And to eat squids and cuttle-fish together,
And many polypi with wondrous curls,
And to quaff many goblets of pure wine.

And Antiphanes, in his Parasite, speaks of the cabbage as an economical food, in the following lines, where he says—

And what these things are, you, my wife, know well;
Garlic, and cheese, and cheesecakes, dainty dishes
Fit for a gentleman; no fish cured and salted,
No joints of lamb well stuff'd with seasoning,
No forced meat of all kinds of ingredients;
No high made dishes, fit to kill a man;
But they will boil some cabbage sweet, ye gods!
And in the dish with it some pulse of pease.

And Diphilus says, in his Insatiable Man,—

All sorts of dainties now come round us here,
All of their own accord. There's cabbage fresh,
Well boil'd in oil; and many paunches, and
Dishes of tender meat. No . . . . by Jove,
[Pg 584] Nor are they like my platters of bruised olives.

And Alcæeus, in his Palæstra, says—

And now she's roasted a large dish of cabbage.

And Polyzelus, in his Birth of the Muses, names cabbages; and says—

The close-grown cabbage with its lofty leaves.

11. The next thing to be mentioned is beet-root. Of beet-root (according to the opinion of Theophrastus), the white is more juicy than the black, and it contains less seed, and it is the kind which is called the Sicilian beet. But, says he, the beet called σευτλὶς is a different kind from the τεῦτλον. On which account, Diphilus the comic poet, in his drama called the Hero, reproaches some one for speaking incorrectly, and for calling τεῦτλα, τευτλίδας. And Eudemus, in his treatise on Vegetables, says that there are four kinds of τεὖτλα: there is the kind which may be pulled, the kind with a stalk, the white kind, and the common kind; and this last is of a brown colour. But Diphilus the Siphnian says that the beet which he calls σεύτλιον is more juicy than the cabbage, and is also, in a moderate degree, more nutritious; and it ought to be boiled and eaten with mustard, and that then it has a tendency to attenuate the blood, and to destroy worms; but the white kind is better for the stomach, while the black is more diuretic. He says, also, that their roots are more pleasing to the palate, and more nutritious.

12. Then there is the carrot. "This vegetable," says Diphilus, "is harsh, but tolerably nutritious, and moderately good for the stomach; but it passes quickly through the bowels, and causes flatulence: it is indigestible, diuretic, and not without some influence in prompting men to amatory feelings; on which account it is called a philtre by some people." And Numenius, in his Man fond of Fishing, says—

Of all the plants which grow in fields unsown,
Or which take root in fertile plough'd-up lands
In winter, or when flowering spring arrives,
Such as the thistle dry, or the wild carrot,
Or the firm rape, or lastly, the wild cabbage.

And Nicander, in the second book of his Georgics, says—

Then there is also the deep root of fennel,
And of rock-parsley, and the carrot too,
Which loves dry soils, the sow-thistle, the myrrh plant,
The dog-tongue and the chicory. And with them bruise
The tough hard-tasted leaves of arum, and
The plant which farmers do entitle bird's-milk.

[Pg 585]


Theophrastus also mentions the carrot; and Phænias, in the fifth book of his treatise on Plants, speaks as follows:—"But as to the nature of the seed, the plant which is called σὴψ and the seed of the carrot are much alike." And in his first book he says—"The following plants have seed in pods of umbellated form: the anise, fennel, the carrot, the bur-parsley, hemlock, coriander, and aconite (which some call mousekiller)." But, since Nicander has mentioned the arum, I must also add that Phænias, in the book which I have just mentioned, writes thus:—"The dracontium, which some call arum or aronia." But Diocles, in the first book of his treatise on the Wholesomes, calls the carrot, not σταφυλῖνος, but ἀσταφύλινος. There is also another kind which is called καρωτὸν, which is a large and well-grown carrot, more juicy than the σταφυλῖνος, and more heating,—more diuretic, very good for the stomach, and very easily digested, as Diphilus assures us.

13. Then there is the κεφαλωτὸν, or leek, which the same Diphilus says is also called πράσιον; and he says that it is superior to the kind called the sliced-leek, and that it has some effect in attenuating the blood, and is nutritious, and apt to cause flatulence. But Epænetus, in his Cookery Book, says that the leeks are also called γηθυλλίδες; and I find this name occurring in Eubulus, in his Pornoboscus, where he says—

I cannot now eat any other loaf,
For I've just had one at Gnathænius',
Whom I found boiling up γηθυλλίδες.

But some say that the γηθυλλὶς is the same as the peculiar kind of leek called γήθυον, which Phrynichus mentions in his Saturn. And Didymus, interpreting that play, says that the γήθυον resembles the leek called the vine-leek, or ἀμπελόπρασον; and he says that they are also called ἐπιθυλλίδες. And Epicharmus also mentions the gethyllides in his Philoctetes, where he says—

Two heads of garlic, two gethyllides.

And Aristophanes, in his second Æolosicon, says—

Some roots of leeks (γηθύων), which taste almost like garlic.

And Polemo the geographer, in his book on Samothrace, says that Latona had a longing for the gethyllis, writing as follows:—"Among the Delphians, at the festival which they call the Theoxenia, there [Pg 586] is a rule that whoever brings the largest gethyllis to Latona shall receive a portion of food from off her table; and I myself have seen a gethyllis as big as a turnip or as the round rape. And men say that Latona, when she was pregnant with Apollo, longed for the gethyllis; on which account it is treated with this respect."

14. Next comes the gourd. But as gourds were served round to us in the winter season, every one marvelled, thinking that they were fresh gourds; and we recollected what the beautiful Aristophanes said in his Seasons, praising the glorious Athens in these lines:—

A. There you shall at mid-winter see
Cucumbers, gourds, and grapes, and apples,
And wreaths of fragrant violets
Cover'd with dust, as if in summer.
And the same man will sell you thrushes,
And pears, and honey-comb, and olives,
Beestings, and tripe, and summer swallows,
And grasshoppers, and bullock's paunches.
There you may see full baskets pack'd
With figs and myrtle, crown'd with snow;
There you may see fine pumpkins join'd
To the round rape and mighty turnip;
So that a stranger well may fear
To name the season of the year.
B. That's a fine thing if all the year
A man can have whate'er he pleases.
A. Say rather, it's the worst of evils;
For if the case were different,
Men would not cherish foolish fancies
Nor rush into insane expenses.
But after some short breathing time
I might myself bear off these things;
As indeed in other cities,
Athens excepted, oft I do:
However, as I tell you now,
The Athenians have all these things.
Because, as we may well believe,
They pay due honour to the gods.
B. 'Tis well for them they honour you,
Which brings them this enjoyment, since
You seek to make their city Egypt,
Instead of the immortal Athens.

[Pg 587]


At all events, we were astonished eating cucumbers in the month of January; for they were green, and full of their own peculiar flavour, and they happened to have been dressed by cooks who above all men knew how to dress and season such things. Laurentius, therefore, asked whether the ancients were acquainted with this vegetable, or with this way of dressing it. And Ulpian said—Nicander the Colophonian, in the second book of his Georgics, mentions this way of dressing the vegetable, calling the gourds not κολόκυνται, but σίκυαι; for, indeed, that was one of their names, as we have said before. And his words are:—

First cut the gourds in slices, and then run
Threads through their breadth, and dry them in the air;
Then smoke them hanging them above the fire;
So that the slaves may in the winter season
Take a large dish and fill it with the slices,
And feast on them on holidays: meanwhile
Let the cook add all sorts of vegetables,
And throw them seed and all into the dish;
Let them take strings of gherkins fairly wash'd,
And mushrooms, and all sorts of herbs in bunches,
And curly cabbages, and add them too.

15. The next thing to be mentioned is poultry. And since poultry was placed on the gourds and on other scraped (κνιστὰ) vegetables, (and this is what Aristophanes in his Delian Woman says of chopped up vegetables, “κνιστὰ, or pressed grapes,”) Myrtilus said,—But now, in our time, we have got into a habit of calling nothing ὄρνιθας or ὀρνίθια but pullets, of which I see a quantity now being brought round. (And Chrysippus the philosopher, in the fifth book of his Treatise on what is Honourable and Pleasant, writes thus—"As some people insist upon it that white pullets are nicer than black ones.") And the names given to the male fowl are ἀλεκτρυόνες and ἀλεκτορίδες. But anciently, men were accustomed to use the word ὄρνις, both in the masculine and feminine gender, and to apply it to other birds, and not to this species in particular to the exclusion of others, as is now done when we speak of buying birds, and mean only poultry. Accordingly, Homer says,

And many birds (ὄρνιθες πολλοὶ) beneath the sun's bright rays.

And in another place he uses the word in the feminine gender, and says—

A tuneful bird (ὄρνιθι λιγυρῇ).

And in another place he says—

[Pg 588]

As the bold bird her helpless young attends,
From danger guards them, and from want defends;
In search of prey she wings the spacious air,
And with untasted food supplies her care,[25]

again using ὄρνις in the feminine gender. But Menander in his first edition of the Heiress, uses the word plainly in the sense in which it is used at the present day; saying—

A cock had loudly crow'd—"Will no one now,"
He cried out, “drive this poultry (τὰς ὄρνιθας) from our doors”

And again, he writes—

She scarcely could the poultry (τὰς ὄρνεις) drive away.

But Cratinus, in his Nemesis, has used the form ὀρνίθιον, saying—

And all the other birds (ὀρνίθια).

And they use not only the form ὄρνιν, but also that of ὄρνιθα, in the masculine gender. The same Cratinus says in the same play—

A scarlet winged bird (ὄρνιθα φοινικόπτερον).

And again, he says—

You, then, must now become a large bird (ὄρνιθα μέγαν).

And Sophocles, in his Antenoridæ, says—

A bird (ὄρνιθα), and a crier, and a servant.

And Æschylus, in his Cabiri, says—

I make you not a bird (ὄρνιθα) of this my journey.

And Xenophon, in the second book of his Cyropædia, says—"Going in pursuit of birds (τοὺς ὄρνιθας) in the severest winter." And Menander, in his Twin Sisters, says—

I came laden with birds (ὄρνεις).

And immediately afterwards he has

He sends off birds (ὄρνιθας ἀποστέλλει).

And that they often used ὄρνεις as the plural form we have the evidence of Menander to prove to us: and also Alcman says somewhere or other—

The damsels all with unaccomplish'd ends
Departed; just as frighten'd birds (ὄρνεις) who see
A hostile kite which hovers o'er their heads.

And Eupolis, in his Peoples, says—

Is it not hard that I should have such sons,
When every bird (ὄρνεις) has offspring like its sire?

[Pg 589]


16. But, on the other hand, the ancients sometimes also used the word ἀλεκτρυὼν in the feminine gender for a hen. Cratinus, in his Nemesis, says—

This is your work, O Leda. Take you care
To imitate the manners of a hen (ἀλεκτρυόνος)
And sit upon this egg, that so you may
Show us from out this shell a noble bird.

And Strattis, in his Men Fond of Cold, says—

And all the hens (αἱ δ᾽ ἀλεκτρυόνες ἅπασαι),
And all the pigs are also dead,
And all the little birds around.

And Anaxandrides says, in his Tereus—

They saw the boars their species propagate
With joy, and likewise all the hens (τὰς ἀλεμτρυόνας).

And since I have mentioned this comic poet, and as I know, too, that this play of his, namely Tereus, is not reckoned one of his best, I will also bring forward, my friends, for your judgment, what Chamæleon of Heraclea has said about him in the sixth book of his treatise on Comedy; where he uses the following language:—"Anaxandrides once, publishing a dithyrambic poem at Athens, entered the city on a horse, and recited some lines of his Ode. And he was a very fine, handsome man to look at; and he let his hair grow, and wore a purple robe with golden fringes, but being a man of a bitter disposition he was in the habit of behaving in some such manner as this with respect to his comedies. Whenever he did not get the victory he took his play and sent it to the frankincense market to be torn up to pack bunches of frankincense in, and did not revise it as most people did. And in this way he destroyed many clever and elegant plays; being, by reason of his old age, very sulky with the spectators. And he is said to have been a Rhodian by birth, of the city of Camirus: and I wonder therefore how it was that his Tereus got preserved, since it did not obtain the victory; and I feel the same wonder in the case of others by the same author. And Theopompus, in his Peace, also uses the word ἀλεκτρύων for hens, speaking thus—

I am so vex'd at having lost the hen (ἀλεκτρυόνα)
Which laid the finest eggs in all the yard.

And Aristophanes, in his Dædalus, says—

[Pg 590]

She laid a noble egg, like any hen (ἀλεκτρυών).

And in another place he says—

Sometimes we find that hens (ἀλεκτρυόνες) when driven about,
And frighten'd, lay wind eggs.

And in the Clouds, where he is explaining to the old man the difference between the names, he says—

A. Tell me then, now, what name I ought to give them.
B. Call this, the hen, ἀλεκτρύαιναν, thus,
And call her mate, the cock, ἀλέκτορα.

And we find the cock called ἀλεκτορὶς and ἀλέκτωρ. And Simonides writes—

O tuneful voiced ἀλέκτωπ.

And Cratinus, in his Seasons, says—

Like the Persian loud-voiced cock (ἀλέκτωρ),
Who every hour sings his song.

And he has this name from rousing us from our beds (λέκτρον). But the Dorians, who write ὄρνις with a ξ, ὄρνιξ, make the genitive with a χ, ὄρνιχος. But Alcman writes the nominative with a ς, saying—

The purple bird (ὄρνις) of spring.

Though I am aware that he too makes the genitive with a χ, saying—

But yet by all the birds (ὀρνίχων).

17. The next thing to be mentioned is the pig, under the name of δέλφαξ. Epicharmus calls the male pig δέλφαξ in his Ulysses the Deserter, saying—

I lost by an unhappy chance
A pig (δέλφακα) belonging to the neighbours,
Which I was keeping for Eleusis
And Ceres's mysterious feast.
Much was I grieved; and now he says
That I did give it to th' Achæans,
Some kind of pledge; and swears that I
Betray'd the pig (τὸν δέλφακα) designedly.

And Anaxilus also, in his Circe, has used the word δέλφαξ in the masculine gender; and moreover has used it of a full-grown pig, saying—

Some of you that dread goddess will transform
To pigs (δέλφακας), who range the mountains and the woods.
Some she will panthers make; some savage wolves,
And terrible lions.

But Aristophanes, in his Fryers, applies the word to female pigs, and says—

[Pg 591]

The paunch, too, of a sow in autumn born (δέλφακος ὀπωρίνης).

And in his Acharnians he says—

For she is young (νέα), but when she is a sow (δελφακουμένα),
You'll see she'll have a large, fat, ruddy tail;
And if you keep her she'll be a noble pig (χοῖρος καλά).

And Eupolis, in his Golden Age, uses it as feminine; and Hipponax wrote—

Ώς Έφεσίη δέλφαξ.

And, indeed, it is the female pig which is more correctly called by this name, as having δελφύας, for that word δελφὺς means a womb. And it is the word from which ἀδελφὸς is derived. But respecting the age of these animals, Cratinus speaks in his Archilochi, saying—

These men have δέλφακες, the others χοῖροι.

And Aristophanes the grammarian, in his treatise on Ages, says—"Those pigs which are now come to a compact form, are called δέλφακες; but those which are tender, and are full of juice, are called χοῖροι;" and this makes that line of Homer intelligible—

The servants all have little pigs (χοίρεα) to eat,
But on fat hogs (σύες) the dainty suitors feast.[26]

And Plato the comic poet, in his Poet, uses the word in the masculine gender, and says—

He led away the pig (τόν δέλφακα) in silence.

But there was ancient custom, as Androtion tells us, for the sake of the produce of the herds, never to slay a sheep which had not been shorn, or which had never had young, on which account they always ate full-grown animals:

But on fat hogs the dainty suitors feast.

And even to this day the priest of Minerva never sacrifices a lamb, and never tastes cheese. And when, on one occasion, there was a want of oxen, Philochorus says, that a law was passed that they should abstain from slaying them on account of their scarcity, wishing to get a greater number, and to increase the stock by not slaying them. But the Ionians use the word χοιρος also of the female pig, as Hipponax does, where he says—

With pure libations and the offer'd paunch
Of a wild sow (ἀγρίας χοίρου).

And Sophocles, in his Tænarus, a satyric drama, says—

Should you then guard her, like a chain'd-up sow (χοῖρον δεσμίαν)?

[Pg 592]

And Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, in the ninth book of his Commentaries, says—"When I was at Assus, the Assians brought me a pig (χοῖρον) two cubits and a half in height, and the whole of his body corresponding in length to that height; and of a colour as white as snow: and they said that King Eumenes had been very diligent in buying all such animals of them, and that he had given as much as four thousand drachmæ a piece for one." And Æschylus says—

But I will place this carefully fed pig
Within the crackling oven; and, I pray,
What nicer dish can e'er be given to man?

And in another place he says—

A. Is he a white one?
B. Aye, indeed he is
A snow-white pig (χοῖρος), and singed most carefully.
A. Now boil him, and take care he is not burnt.

And again in another place he says—

But having kill'd this pig (χοῖρον τόνδε), of the same litter
Which has wrought so much mischief in the house,
Pushing and turning ev'rything upside down.

And these lines have all been quoted by Chamæleon, in his Commentary on Æschylus.

18. But concerning the pig, that it is accounted a sacred animal among the Cretans, Agathocles the Babylonian, in the first book of his account of Cyzicus, speaks as follows—"They say that Jupiter was born in Crete, on the mountain Dicte; on which mountain a mysterious sacrifice used to take place. For it is said that a sow allowed Jupiter to suck its udder. And that she going about with her constant grunting, made the whining of the infant inaudible to those who were looking for him. On which account all the Cretans think that that animal is to be worshipped; and nothing, it is said, can induce them to eat its flesh. And the Praisians also sacrifice to a sow; and this is a regular sacrifice among that people before marriage. And Neanthes of Cyzicus gives a similar account, in the second book of his treatise on Mysteries.

Achæus the Eretrian mentions full-grown sows under the name of πεταλίδες ὕες in Æthon, a satyric drama, where he says—

And I have often heard of full-grown sows
Under this shape and form.

[Pg 593]


But he has given the name of πεταλίδες by a metaphor from heifers. For they are called πέτηλοι, or spreading, from their horns, when they have spreading horns. And Eratosthenes has spoken of pigs in the same way as Achæus has in his Anterinnys, and has called them λαρινοὶ, using this word metaphorically, which properly belongs to fatted oxen which were called so from the verb λαπινεύομαι, which is a word of the same meaning as σιτίζομαι, to be fed up. And Sophron uses the word—

βόες δὲ λαρινεύονται;

or perhaps it comes from Larina, a small town of Epirus, or from the name of the herdsman, which may have been Larinus.

19. And once when a pig was served up before us, the half of which was being carefully roasted, and the other half boiled gently, as if it had been steamed, and when all marvelled at the cleverness of the cook, he being very proud of his skill, said—And, indeed, there is not one of you who can point out the place where he received the death wound; or where his belly was cut so as to be stuffed with all sorts of dainties. For it has thrushes in it, and other birds; and it has also in it parts of the abdomens of pigs, and slices of a sow's womb, and the yolks of eggs, and moreover the entrails of birds, with their ovaries, those also being full of delicate seasoning, and also pieces of meat shred into thin shavings and seasoned with pepper. For I am afraid to use the word ἰσίκια before Ulpian, although I know that he himself is very fond of the thing. And, indeed, my favourite author Paxamus speaks of it by this name, and I myself do not care much about using no words but such as are strictly Attic. Do you, therefore, show me now how this pig was killed, and how I contrived to roast half of him and to boil the other side.—And as we kept on examining him, the cook said,—But do you think that I know less about my business than the ancient cooks, of whom the comic poets speak? for Posidippus, in his Dancing Women, speaks as follows—and it is a cook who is represented as making the following speech to his pupils—

My pupil Leucon, and the rest of you,
You fellow servants—for there is no place
Unfit to lecture upon science in;
[Pg 594] Know that in the cookery no seasoning
Is equal to the sauce of impudence.
And, if I must confess the whole o' the truth,
You'll find this quality of great use everywhere.
See now, this tribune, who displays a breastplate
All over scales, or dragon wrought in steel,
Appears some Briareus; but when th' occasion
Calls for his might, he proves a very hare.
So when a cook with helpers and attendants
Comes to some stranger, and his pupils brings,
Calling the servants of the house mere humbugs,
Mere cummin splitters, famine personified;
They all crouch down before him: but if you bear
Yourself with honesty and spirit towards him,
He'll fly half flay'd with fear. Do you remember,
And, as I bade you, give fair room for boasting,
And take you care to know the taste of the guests;
For as in any other market, so
This is the goal which all your art should seek,
To run straight into all the feasters' mouths
As into harbour. At the present moment
We're busied about a marriage feast—
An ox is offer'd as the choicest victim;
The father-in-law is an illustrious man,
The son-in-law a person of like honour;
Their wives are priestesses to the good goddess.
Corybantes, flutes, a crowd of revellers
Are all assisting at the festival.
Here's an arena for our noble art.
Always remember this.

And concerning another cook (whose name is Seuthes) the same poet speaks in the following manner—

Seuthes, in the opinion of those men,
Is a great bungler. But I'd have you know,
My excellent friend, the case of a good cook
Is not unlike that of a general.
The enemy are present,—the commander,
A chief of lofty genius, stands against them,
And fears not to support the weight of war:—
Here the whole band of revellers is the enemy,
It marches on in close array, it comes
Keen with a fortnight's calculation
Of all the feast: excitement fires their breasts,
They're ready for the fray, and watch with zeal
To see what will be served up now before them.
Think now, that such a crowd collected sits
To judge of your performance.

[Pg 595]


21. Then you know there is a cook in the Synephebi of Euphron; just hear what a lecture he gives—

When, Carion, you a supper do prepare,
For those who their own contributions bring,
You have no time to play, nor how to practise
For the first time the lessons you've received.
And you were yesterday in danger too;
For not one single one of all your tenches
Had any liver, but they all were empty.
The brain was decomposed too.—But you must,
O Carion, when at any future time
You chance a band like this to thus encounter,
As Dromon, Cerdon, and Soterides,
Giving you all the wages that you ask'd,
Deal with them fairly. Where we now are going
To a marriage feast, there try experiments.
And if you well remember all my rules,
You are my real pupil; and a cook
By no means common: 'tis an opportunity
A man should pray for. Make the best of it,
The old man is a miser, and his pay
Is little. If I do not find you eating up
The very coals, you're done for. Now go in;
For here the old man comes himself, behold
How like a skin-flint usurer he looks!

22. But the cook in Sosipater's Liar is a great sophist, and in no respect inferior to the physicians in impudence. And he speaks as follows—

A. My art, if you now rightly do consider it,
Is not, O Demylus, at all an art
To be consider'd lightly;—but alas,
'Tis too much prostituted; and you'll find
That nearly all men fear not to profess
That they are cooks, though the first principles
Of the great art are wholly strange to them;
And so the whole art is discredited.
But when you meet an honest, genuine cook,
Who from his childhood long has learnt the art,
And knows its great effects, and has its rules
Deep buried in his mind; then, take my word,
You'll find the business quite a different thing.
There are but three of us now left in Greece;
Boidion, and Chariades, and I;
The rest are all the vilest of the vile.
B. Indeed?
A. I mean it. We alone preserve
The school of Sicon: he was the great teacher
Of all our art: he was the first who taught us
To scan the stars with judgment: the great Sicon!
Then, next to this he made us architects:
He open'd too the paths of physical knowledge;
And after this he taught us all the rules
[Pg 596] Of military science; for all these
Were but preliminaries accessory
To the preeminent, godlike art of cooking.
B. I think you mean to choke me, my good friend.
A. Not I; but till the boy comes back from market
I'll stir you up a little with some rules
About your art, since we can never have
A more convenient time for talking of it.
B. Oh, by Apollo, you're a zealous man.
A. Listen, my friend. In the first place, a cook
Must the sublimer sciences have learnt:
He must know when the stars do set and rise,
And why. Moreover, when the sun returns,
Causing the long and short days on the earth;
And in what figures of the zodiac
He is from time to time. For, men do say
All fish, and every meat and herb we eat,
Have different qualities at different seasons
Of the revolving year; and he who knows
The principles and reasons of these things
Will use each meat when it is most in season;
And he who knows them not, but acts at random,
Is always laugh'd at most deservedly.
Perhaps, too, you don't know wherein the science
Of th' architect can bear on this our art.
B. Indeed I wonder'd what it had to do with it.
A. I'll tell you:—rightly to arrange the kitchen,
To let in just the light that's requisite,
To know the quarter whence the winds blow most,
Are all of great importance in this business—
For smoke, according to which way it goes,
Makes a great difference when you dress a dinner.
B. That may be; but what need is there, I pray,
For cooks to have the science of generals?
A. Order is a prevailing principle
In every art; and most of all in ours:
For to serve up and take away each dish
In regular order, and to know the time
When quick t' advance them, and when slowly bring,
And how each guest may feel towards the supper,
And when hot dishes should be set before him,
When warm ones, and when regular cold meat
Should be served up, depends on various branches
Of strategetic knowledge, like a general's.
B. Since then you've shown me what I wish'd to know,
May you, departing now, enjoy yourself.

[Pg 597]


23. And the cook in the Milesians of Alexis is not very different from this, for he speaks as follows—

A. Do you not know, that in most arts and trades
'Tis not th' artificer who alone has pow'r
O'er their enjoyment? Those who use them too
Contribute all their part, if well they use them.
B. How so? Let me, O stranger, understand.
A. The duty of the cook is but to dress
And rightly season meat; and nothing more.
If, then, the man who is to eat his meat,
And judge of it, comes in proper time,
He aids the cook in that his business.
But if he come too late, so that the joint
Already roasted must be warm'd again,
Or if he come too soon, so that the cook
Is forced to roast the meat with undue haste,
He spoils the pleasure which he might have had
From the cook's skill by his unpunctuality.
I class a cook among philosophers;
You're standing round; my fire is alight;
See how the numerous dogs of Vulcan's pack
Leap to the roof; . . . . .
. . . . . . You know what happens next:
And so some unforeseen necessity
Has brought on us alone this end of life.

24. But Euphron, whom I mentioned a little while ago, O judges, (for I do not hesitate to call you judges, while awaiting the decision of your sense,) in his play called the Brothers, having represented a certain cook as a well-educated man of extensive learning, and enumerating all the artists before his time, and what particular excellence each of them had, and what he surpassed the rest in, still never mentioned anything of such a nature as I have frequently prepared for you. Accordingly, he speaks as follows—

I have, ere this, had many pupils, Lycus,
Because I've always had both wit and knowledge;
But you, the youngest of them all, are now
Leaving my house an all-accomplish'd cook
In less than forty weeks. There was the Rhodian
Agis, the best of cooks to roast a fish;
Nereus, the Chian, could a conger boil
Fit for the gods: Charides, of Athens,
Black broth was first devised by Lamprias;
Sausages rich we owe to Aphthonetus;
Euthunus taught us to make lentil soup;
Aristion made out whole bills of fare
For those who like a picnic entertainment.
So, like those grave philosophers of old,
These are our seven wisest of all cooks.
But I, for all the other ground I saw
[Pg 598] Had been pre-occupied by former artists,
First found out how to steal, in such a way
That no one blamed me, but all sought at once
T' engage my aid. And you, perceiving too
This ground already occupied by me,
Invented something new yourself—'tis this:—
Five days ago the Tenians, grey old men,
After a tedious voyage o'er the sea,
Did hold a sacrifice: a small thin kid:
Lycus could crib no portion of that meat,
Nor could his master. You compell'd the men
To furnish two more kids. For as they long
And oft survey'd the liver of the victims,
You, letting down one unperceived hand,
Were impudent enough to throw the kidneys
Into the ditch: you raised a mighty tumult:
"The victim has no kidneys," they exclaim'd,
And all look'd downcast at th' unusual want.
They slew another, and again I saw
You eat the heart from out this second victim.
You surely are a mighty man; you know it—
For you alone have found a way to hinder
A wolf (λύκον) from opening his mouth in vain.
And[27] yesterday you threw some strings of sausages
(Which you had sought all day) into the fire,
And sang to the dichordon. And I witness'd
That play of yours; but this is merely sport.

25. I wonder if it was any of these second seven wise men who contrived this device about the pig, so as to stuff his inside without cutting his throat, and so as to roast one side of him and boil the other at the same time. And as we now urged and entreated him to explain this clever device to us, he said,—I will not tell you this year, I swear by those who encountered danger at Marathon, and also by those who fought at Salamis. So when he had taken such an oath as that, we all thought we ought not to press the man; but all began to lay hands on the different dishes which were served up before us. And Ulpian said,—I swear by those who encountered danger at Artemisium, no one shall taste of anything before we are told in what ancient author the word παραφέρω is used in the sense of serving up. For as to the word γεύματα, I think I am the only person who knows anything about that. And Magnus said, Aristophanes in his Proagon says—

[Pg 599]

Why did you not desire him to place
The goblets on the board (παραφέρειν)?

And Sophron, in his Female Actresses, uses the word in a more general sense, where he says—

O Cocoas, bring (παράφερε) me now a goblet full.

And Plato, in his Lacedæmonians, says—

Let him bring forward (παραφερέτω).

And Alexis, in his Pamphila, says—

He laid the table, then he placed on it (παραφέρων)
Good things in wagon loads.

But concerning the word γεύματα, meaning anything which is tasted, food, the exclusive knowledge about which you have claimed for yourself, it is time for you now to tell us, O Ulpian, what you do know. For as to the verb γεῦσαι, we have that in Eupolis, in his Goats, where he says—

Take now of this, and taste (γεῦσαι) it.

And Ulpian said, Ephippus in his Peltastes says—

There there were stations for the horses and asses,
And wine to drink (γεύματα οἴνων).

And Antiphanes, in his Twins, says—

Now he drinks wine (οἰνογευστεῖ) and walks about in splendour,
Wreathed with flowery garlands.

26. On this the cook said—I, then, will relate to you now, not an ancient contrivance, but a device of my own, in order that the flute-player may escape being beaten; (for Eubulus, in his Lacedæmonians or Leda, says—

But I have heard of this, I swear by Vesta,
That when the cook at home makes any blunder,
The flute-player is always beaten for it.

And Philyllius, or whoever the poet may have been who wrote the play of The Cities, says—

Whatever blunders now the cook may make,
The flute-player receives the stripes for them.)

And I mean the device about the pig half-roasted, half-boiled, and stuffed, without having had any apparent incision made in him. The fact is, the pig was stuck with a very short wound under his shoulder; (and he showed the wound.) Then when the greater part of the blood had flowed from it, all the entrails, with the intestines, I washed (and the word ἐξαίρεσις, O you revellers who think so much of words, means not only a taking out, but also the entrails themselves) [Pg 600] carefully in wine several times, and hung the pig up by his feet. Then again I washed him in wine; and having boiled up beforehand all the seasonings which I have spoken of with a good deal of pepper, I pushed them in at his mouth, pouring in afterwards a quantity of broth very carefully made. And after this I plastered over one half of the pig, as you see, with a great quantity of barley-meal, having soaked that in wine and oil. And then I put it in an oven, placing under it a brazen table, and I roasted it at a gentle fire, so as not to burn it, nor, on the other hand, to take it away before it was quite done. And when the skin began to get roasted and brown, I conjectured that the other side was boiled enough. And so then I took off the barley-meal, and brought it up in that condition and set it before you.

27. But as to the word ἐξαίρεσις, my excellent friend Ulpian, Dionysius the comic poet, in his drama called Things having the same Name, speaks thus, representing a cook speaking to his pupils—

Come now, O Dromon, if you aught do know,
Wise or accomplish'd in your business,
Or fit to charm the eyes, reveal it straight
To me your master. For I ask you now
For a brief exhibition of your skill.
I'm leading you into an enemy's country;
Come gaily to the charge. They'll weigh the meat
And count the joints they give you, and they'll watch you:
But you, by boiling them to pieces, will
Not only make them tender, but confuse
The number of the pieces, so as quite
To upset all their calculations.
They bring you a fine fish;—his tail is yours.
And if you filch a slice, that, too, is yours.
While we are in the house: when we've got out
It then belongs to me. Th' ἐξαιρέσεις,
And all the other parts, which can't be counted,
In which you cannot easily be found out,
Which may be class'd as parings and as scrapings,
Shall make a feast for you and me to-morrow.
And let the porter share in all your spoils,
That you may pass his gate with his good-will.
Why need I say much to a prudent man?
You are my pupil, I am your preceptor,
Remember this, and come along with me.

[Pg 601]


28. And so when we had all praised the cook for the readiness of his discourse, and for the exceeding perfection of his skill, our excellent entertainer Laurentius said—And how much better it is for cooks to learn such things as these, than as they do with one whom I could mention of our fellow-citizens, who having had his head turned by riches and luxury, compelled his cooks to learn the dialogues of the incomparable Plato, and when they were bringing in dishes to say, "One, two, three, but where is the fourth, O most excellent Timæus, of those who were guests yesterday, but who are hosts to-day?" Then another made answer, "An illness has overtaken him, O Socrates,"—and so they went through the whole dialogue in this manner, so that those who were at the feast were very indignant, and so that that all-accomplished man was laughed at and insulted every day, and that on this account many most respectable men refused all invitations to his entertainments. But these cooks of ours, who are perhaps just as well instructed in these things as he was, give us no little pleasure. And then the slave who had been praised for his cleverness as a cook, said,—Now what have my predecessors ever devised or told us of a similar kind to this? and is not my behaviour moderate enough, since I do not boast myself? And yet Coroebus the Elean, who was the first man who ever was crowned as victor in the Olympic games, was a cook; and yet he was not as proud of his skill and of his art as the cook in Straton in the Phœnicides, concerning whom the man who had hired him speaks thus—


'Tis a male sphinx, and not a cook, that I
Seem to have introduced into my house.
For by the gods I swear there's not one thing
Of all he says that I can understand,
So full is he of fine new-fangled words.
For when he first came in, he, looking big,
Ask'd me this question—"How many μέροπες[28] now
Have you invited here to dinner? Tell me."—
"How many μέροπες have I ask'd to dinner?"—
"You're angry."—"Do you think that I'm a man
To have acquaintance with your μέροπες̣?
It is a fine idea, to make a banquet
And ask a lot of μέροπες to eat it."
"Then do you mean there'll be no δαιτύμων (guest)?"
"No Dætymon that I know of."—Then I counted—
[Pg 602] There'll be Philinus, and Niceratus,
And Moschion, and this man too, and that—
And so I counted them all name by name;
But there was not a Dætymon among them.
"No Dætymon will come," said I. "What! no one?"
Replied he in a rage, as though insulted
That not a Dætymon had been invited.
"Do you not slay that tearer up of th' earth,"
Said he, "the broad-brow'd ox?" "In truth, not I;
I've got no ox to kill, you stupid fellow."
"Then you will immolate some sheep?" "Not I,
By Jove; nor ox, nor sheep, but there's a lamb."
"What! don't you know, said he, that lambs are sheep?"
"Indeed," said I, "I neither know nor care
For all this nonsense. I'm but country bred;
So speak more plainly, if you speak at all."
"Why, don't you know that this is Homer's language?"
"My good cook, Homer was a man who had
A right to call things any names he pleased;
But what, in Vesta's name, is that to us?"
"At least you can't object when I quote him."
"Why, do you mean to kill me with your Homer?"
"No, but it is my usual way of talking."
"Then get another way, while here with me."
"Shall I," says he, "for your four dirty drachmas,
Give up my eloquence and usual habits?
Well, bring me here the οὐλόχυται." "Oh me!
What are οὐλόχυται̣?" "Those barley-cakes."
"You madman, why such roundabout expressions?"
"Is there no sediment of the sea at hand?"
"Sediment? Speak plain; do tell me what you want
In words I understand." "Old man," says he,
"You are most wondrous dull; have you no salt?
That's sediment, and that you ought to know;
Bring me the basin."—So they brought it. He
Then slew the animals, adding heaps of words
Which not a soul of us could understand,
μίστυλλα, μοίρας, σίπτυχ᾽, ὀβελούς[29]
So that I took Philetas' Lexicon down,
To see what each of all these words did mean.
And then once more I pray'd of him to change,
And speak like other men; by earth I swear,
Persuasion's self could not have work'd on him.

[Pg 603]


30. But the race of cooks are really very curious for the most part about the histories and names of things. Accordingly the most learned of them say, "The knee is nearer than the leg,"—and, "I have travelled over Asia and Europe:" and when they are finding fault with any one they say, "It is impossible to make a Peleus out of an Œneus."—And I once marvelled at one of the old cooks, after I had enjoyed his skill and the specimens of his art which he had invented. And Alexis, in his Caldron, introduces one speaking in the following manner—

A. He boil'd, it seem'd to me, some pork, from off
A pig who died by suffocation.
B. That's nice.
A. And then he scorch'd it at the fire.
B. Never mind that; that can be remedied.
A. How so?
B. Take some cold vinegar, and pour it
Into a plate. Dost heed me? Then take up
The dish while hot and put it in the vinegar;
For while 'tis hot 'twill draw the moisture up
Through its material, which is porous all;
And so fermenting, like a pumice-stone,
'Twill open all its spongy passages,
Through which it will imbibe new moisture thoroughly.
And so the meat will cease to seem dried up,
But will be moist and succulent again.
A. O Phoebus, what a great physician's here!
O Glaucias!—I will do all you tell me.
B. And serve them, when you do serve them up,
(Dost mark me?) cold; for so no smell too strong
Will strike the nostrils; but rise high above them.
A. It seems to me you're fitter to write books
Than to cook dinners; since you quibble much
In all your speeches, jesting on your art.

31. And now we have had enough of cooks, my feasters; lest perhaps some one of them, pluming himself and quoting the Morose Man of Menander, may spout such lines as these—

No one who does a cook an injury
Ever escapes unpunish'd; for our art
Is a divine and noble one.

But I say to you, in the words of the tuneful Diphilus—

I place before you now a lamb entire,
Well skewer'd, and well cook'd and season'd;
Some porkers in their skins, and roasted whole;
And a fine goose stuff'd full, like Dureus.

32. We must now speak of the goose. For as many geese were served up very excellently dressed, some one said, Look at the fat geese (σιτευτοὶ χῆνες). And Ulpian said, Where do you ever find the expression σιτευτὸς χήν̣? And Plutarch answered [Pg 604] him:—Theopompus the Chian, in his History of Greece, and in the thirteenth book of his History of the Affairs and Exploits of Philip, says that the Egyptians sent to Agesilaus the Lacedæmonian, when he arrived in Egypt, some fatted (σιτευτοὺς) calves and geese (χῆνας). And Epigenes the comic poet says in his Bacchanalian Women—

But if a person were to take me like
A fatted goose (χῆνα σιτευτόν).

And Archestratus, in that celebrated poem of his, says—

And at the same time dress the young of one
Fat goose (σιτευτοῦ χῆνος), and let him too be roasted

But we have a right now, O Ulpian, to expect you to tell us, you who question everybody about everything, where this very costly dish of the livers of geese has been mentioned by any ancient writer. For Cratinus is a witness that they were acquainted with people whose business it was to feed geese, in his Dionysalexander, where he says—

Geese-feeders, cow-herds . . . .

And Homer uses the word χὴν in both the masculine and feminine gender; for he says—

Αἰετὸς ἀργὴν χῆνα φέρων—An eagle carrying off a lazy goose.

And again he says—

And as he seized a fine home-fatten'd goose (χῆνα ἀτιταλλομένην).

And in another place he says—

I've twenty geese, fond of the lucid stream,
Who in my house eat wheat, and fatten fast.

And Eupolis mentions the livers of geese (and they are thought an excessive delicacy at Rome), in his Women Selling Garlands, where he says—

If you have not a goose's liver or heart.

33. There were also heads of pigs split in half and served up as a dish. And this dish is mentioned by Crobylus, in his Son falsely held to be Supposititious—

There came in half a head of a young pig,
A tender dish; and I did stick to it
So close, by Jove, that I left none of it.

[Pg 605]


After these things there was served up a haricot, called κρεωκάκκαβος. And this dish consists of meat chopped up with blood and fat, in a sauce richly sweetened; and Aristophanes the Grammarian says that it was the Achæans who gave this name to the dish. But Anticlides, in the seventy-eighth book of his Returns, says, "Once when there was a design on the part of the Erythreans to put the Chians to death by treachery at a banquet, one of them having learnt what was intended to be done, said—

O Chians, wondrous is the insolence
Which now has seized the Erythreans' hearts.
Flee when you've done your pork—don't wait for beef.

And Aristomenes, in his Jugglers, makes mention in the following terms of boiled meat, which he calls ἀναβραστὰ κρέα

*                    *                    *                    *                    *

They used also to eat the testicles of animals, which they called νέφροι.—Philippodes, in his Renovation, speaking of the gluttony of Gnathæna the courtesan, says—

Then, after all these things, a slave came in,
Bearing a large dish full of testicles;
And all the rest of the girls made prudish faces,
But fair Gnathæna, that undoer of men,
Laughed, and said, "Capital things are testicles,
I swear by Ceres." So she took a pair
And ate them up: so that the guests around
Fell back upon their chairs from laughing greatly.

34. And when some one said that a cock dressed with a sauce of oil and vinegar (ὀξυλίπαρον) was a very good bird, Ulpian, who was fond of finding fault, and who was reclining on a couch by himself, eating little, but watching the rest of the guests, said—What is that ὀξυλίπαρον you speak of? unless indeed you give that name to the small figs called κόττανα and lepidium, which are both national food of mine.—But Timocles, he replied, the comic poet, in his play called The Ring, mentions ὀξυλίπαρον, saying—

And sharks and rays and all the other fish,
Which may be dressed in sauce of ὀξυλίπαρον.

And Alexis has called some men ἀκρολίπαροι, fat on the surface, in his Wicked Woman, saying—

Fat on the surface, but the rest of their body
Is all as dry as wood.

And once when a large fish was served up in sour pickle (ὀξάλμν), and somebody said that every fish (ὀψάριον) was best when dressed in this kind of pickle, Ulpian, picking out the small bones, and contracting his brows, said,—here do you find the word ὀξάλμη̣ And as to ὀψάριον, I am quite sure that that is a word used by no living author. However, at that time the [Pg 606] guests all desired him to settle that as he pleased, and themselves preferred eating; while Cynulcus quoted these lines out of the Breezes of Metagenes—

But, my friend, now let us dine,
After that ask what you choose;
For at present I'm so hungry,
I can't recollect a thing.

But Myrtilus in a pleasant manner declared that he subscribed to Ulpian's sentiments, so as to be willing to have nothing to eat, as long as he might talk; and said;—Cratinus, in his Ulysseses, has mentioned ὀξάλμη, in the following lines—

And in return for this I now will take
All you my brave companions; and will pound,
And boil, and broil, and roast you thoroughly,
n pickle, sour pickle (ὀξάλμη), garlic pickle,
Soaking you thoroughly in each by turns.
And that one which does seem most fairly roasted
I'll do the honour to devour myself.

And Aristophanes, in his Wasps,—

Breathe on me, and then put me in hot pickle (ὀξάλμη).

35. And of living people we ourselves use the word ὀψάριον. Plato does so too; speaking of fish in his Pisander, he says—

A. Now eating . . . .
B. What on earth? . . .
A. Why, all there is;
Fish (ὀψάριον).
B. You were sick, and did they give you this?
A. But I, the other day, eating a crab . . . .

And Pherecrates, in his Deserters, says—

Some one has served us up this dish of fish (τ᾽ ὀψάριον).

And Philemon, in his Treasure, says—

It is not right to cheat us in this way,
Nor to have worthless fish (ὀψάρια).

And Menander, in his Carthaginian, says—

I offered Boreas much frankincense,
And yet I did not catch one single fish (ὀψάριον),
So I must now cook lentils for my supper.

And in his Ephesian he says—

Having some fish (ὀψάριον) for breakfast.

And then he goes on to say—

Some fishmonger
Sold me some tench for four drachmas a-piece.

[Pg 607]


And Anaxilas, in his Hyacinthus the Pander, says—

I now, O Dion, will buy you some fish (ὀψάριον).

And a few lines afterwards he writes—

Now dress, O boy, the fish (τοὐψάριον) for us.

And in the Anagyrus of Aristophanes we read—

Unless on all occasions you do soothe me
With dainty dishes of fish (ὀψαρίου).

Where, however, perhaps we must take ὀψάρια as used synonymously with προσψωήματα, for made dishes in general. For Alexis, in his Woman Sitting up all Night, represents a cook as speaking in the following terms:—

A. Do you prefer your high made dishes hot,
Or cold, or something just between the two?
B. Cold.
A. Are you sure, my master? only think;
The man has not one notion how to live?
Am I to serve you everything up cold?
B. By no means.
A. Will you, then, have all things hot?
B. O Phoebus!
A. Then, if neither hot nor cold,
They surely must be just between the two;
And none of all my fellows can do this.
B. I dare say not, nor many other things
Which you can do.
A. I'll tell you now, for I
Give all the guests an opportunity
To practise a wise mixture of their food.
Have you not, I adjure you by the gods,
Just slain a kid?
B. Don't cut me, cut the meat:—
Boys, bring the kid.
A. Is there a kitchen near?
B. There is.
A. And has it got a chimney too?
For this you do not say.
B. It has a chimney.
A. But if it smokes, it will be worse than none.
B. The man will kill me with his endless questions.

36. These passages I have quoted to you on the part of us who are still alive, my well-fed friend Ulpian. For you too, as it seems to me, agree so far with Alexis as to eat no living animals. And Alexis, in his Attic Woman, speaks in the following manner—

The man who first did say that no philosopher
Would eat of living things, was truly wise.
[Pg 608] For I am just come home, and have not bought
A living thing of any kind. I've bought
Some fish, but they were dead, and splendid fish.
Then here are joints of well-fed household lamb,
But he was kill'd last week. What else have I?
Oh, here's some roasted liver. If there be
A man who can this liver prove to have
Or soul or voice or animation,
I will confess I've err'd and broken the law.

So now after all this let us have some supper. For just see, while I am talking to you, all the pheasants have flown by me, and are gone out of reach, disregarding me, because of your unseasonable chattering. But I should like you to tell me, my master Myrtilus, said Ulpian, where you got that word ὀλβιογάστωρ, and also whether any ancient author mentions the pheasant, and I—

Rising at early morn to sail . . . .

not through the Hellespont, but into the market-place, will buy a pheasant which you and I may eat together.

37. And Myrtilus said,—On this condition I will tell you. Amphis uses the word ὀλβιογάστωρ in his Gynæcomania, where he speaks as follows:—

Eurybates, you hunter of rich smells,
You surely are the most well-fed (ὀλβιογάστωρ) of men.

And as for the bird called the pheasant, that delicious writer Aristophanes mentions it in his play called The Birds. There are in that play two old Athenians, who, from their love of idleness, are looking for a city where there is nothing to do, that they may live there; and so they take a fancy to the life among the birds. And accordingly they come to the birds: and when all of a sudden some wild bird flies towards them, they, alarmed at the sight, comfort one another, and say a great many things, and among them they say this—

A. What now is this bird which we here behold?
Will you not say?
B. I think it is a pheasant.

And I also understand the passage in the Clouds to refer to birds, and not to horses as many people take it—

The Phasian flocks, bred by Leogoras.

For it is very possible that Leogoras may have bred horses and pheasants too. And Leogoras is also turned into ridicule as a gourmand by Plato in his Very Miserable Man.

[Pg 609]


And Mnesimachus, in his play called Philip, (and Mnesimachus is one of the poets of the Middle Comedy,) says—

And as the proverb runs, it is more rare
Than milk of birds, or than a splendid pheasant
Artistically pluck'd.

And Theophrastus the Eresian, a pupil of Aristotle, mentions them in the third book of his Treatise on Animals, speaking nearly as follows—"There is also some such difference as this in birds. For the heavy birds which are not so well-suited for flying, such as the woodcock, the partridge, the cock, and the pheasant, are very well adapted for walking and have thick plumage." And Aristotle, in the eighth book of his History of Animals, writes thus:—"Now of birds there are some which are fond of dusting themselves, and some which are fond of washing, and some which neither dust nor wash themselves. And those which are not good flyers, but which keep chiefly on the ground, are fond of dusting themselves; such as the common fowl, the partridge, the woodcock, the pheasant, the lark." Speusippus also mentions them in the second book of his treatise on Things Resembling one another. And the name these men give the pheasant is φασιανὸς, not φασιανικός.

38. But Agatharchides of Cnidos, in the thirty-fourth book of his History of the Affairs of Europe, speaking of the river Phasis, writes as follows:—"But the great multitude of the birds called pheasants (φασιανοι) come for the sake of food to the places where the mouths of the rivers fall into the sea." And Callixenus the Rhodian, in the fourth book of his Account of Alexandria, describing a procession which took place in Alexandria, when Ptolemy who was surnamed Philadelphus was king, mentions, as a very extraordinary circumstance connected with these birds—"Then there were brought on in cases parrots, and peacocks, and guinea-fowl, and pheasants, and an immense number of Æthiopian birds." And Artemidorus the pupil of Aristophanes, in his book entitled The Glossary of Cookery, and Pamphilus the Alexandrian, in his treatise on Names and Words, represents Epænetus as saying in his Cookery Book that the pheasant is also called τατύρας. But Ptolemy Euergetes, in the second book of his Commentaries, says that the pheasant is called τατύρας. Now this is what I am able to tell you about the pheasant, which I have seen brought up on your account, as if we all had fevers. [Pg 610] But you, if you do not, according to your agreement, give me to-morrow what you have covenanted to, I do not say that I will prosecute you in the public courts for deceit, but I will send you away to live near the Phasi, as Polemon, the Describer of the World, wished to drown Ister the pupil of Callimachus, the historian, in the river of the same name.

39. The next thing to be mentioned is the woodcock. Aristophanes, in his Storks, says—

The woodcock, most delicious meat to boil,
Fit dish for conqueror's triumphal feast.

And Alexander the Myndian says that it is a bird a little larger than a partridge, and spotted all over the back, about the colour of earthenware, but a little more ruddy. And it is caught by the hunters, because it is a heavy flyer in consequence of the shortness of its wings; and it is a bird fond of dusting itself, and very prolific, and it feeds on seeds.[30] But Socrates, in his treatise on Boundaries, and Places, and Fire, and Stones, says,—"The woodcock having been transported into Egypt from Lydia, and having been let loose in the woods there, for some time uttered a sound like a quail: but after the river got low, and a great scarcity arose, in which a great many of the natives of the country died, they never ceased uttering, as they do to this day, in a voice more distinct than that of the very clearest speaking children, 'Threefold evils to the wicked doers.' But when they are caught it is not only impossible to tame them, but they even cease to utter any sound at all; but if they are let go again, they recover their voice." And Hipponax mentions them thus—

Not eating woodcocks or the timid hare.

And Aristophanes, in his Birds, mentions them also. And in his Acharnians he speaks of them as being very common in the district about Megara.And the Attic writers circumflex the noun in a manner quite contrary to analogy. For words of more than two syllables ending in ας, when the final α is long, are barytones; as for instance, ἀκάμας, Σακάδας, ἀδάμας. And we ought also to read the plural ἀττάγαι, and not ἀτταγῆνες.

[Pg 611]


40. There is also a bird called the porphyrion. And it is well known that this bird is mentioned by Aristophanes. And Polemo, in the fifth book of his treatise addressed to Antigonus and Adæus, says that the bird called the porphyrion, when it is kept in a house, watches those women who have husbands very closely; and has such instantaneous perception of any one who commits adultery, that, when it perceives it, it gives notice of it to the master of the house, cutting its own existence short by hanging itself. And, says he, it never partakes of food before it has walked all round the place seeking for some spot which may suit it; and then it dusts itself there, and washes itself, and after that it feeds. And Aristotle says that it has cloven feet, and that it is of a dark blue colour, with long legs, with a beak of a scarlet colour beginning at its very head; of about the size of a cock of the common poultry breed; and it has a small gullet, on which account it seizes its food with its foot, and divides it into diminutive morsels. And it drinks greedily; and it has five toes on each foot, of which the middle one is the largest. But Alexander the Myndian, in the second book of his treatise on the History of Birds, says that the bird comes originally from Libya, and that it is sacred to the gods of Libya.

There is also another bird called the porphyris. Callimachus, in his treatise on Birds, says that the porphyris is different from the porphyrion, and enumerates the two birds separately. And he says that the porphyrion takes its food while hiding itself in darkness, so that no one may see it; for it hates those who come near its food. And Aristophanes also mentions the porphyris in his drama entitled The Birds. And Ibycus speaks of some birds which he calls lathiporphyrides, and says; "There are some variegated ducks with purple necks which frequent the highest branches of the trees; and the birds called lathiporphyrides with variegated necks, and king-fishers with extended wings." And in another place he says—

You're always bearing me aloft, my mind,
Like some bold porphyris, with out-stretch'd wings.

41. The next bird is the partridge. A great many authors mention this bird, as also does Aristophanes. And some of them in the oblique cases [Pg 612] shorten the penultima of the noun; as Archilochus does where he writes—

πτώσσουσαν ὥς τε πέρδῖκα,

in the same way as ὄρτῦγα and χοίνῖκα have the penultima short. But it is usually made long by the Attic writers. Sophocles, in his Camici, says—

A man arrived, who in the famous hills
Of Attica is a namesake of the partridge (πέρδι:κος).

And Pherecrates, or whoever it was who wrote the Chiron, says—

He goes against his will, like any partridge (πέρδικος τρόπον).

And Phrynichus, in his Tragedians, says—

And Cleombrotus the son of Perdix (Πέρδικος),

(for the bird is sometimes cited as a model of lasciviousness).

Nicophon, in his Handicraftsmen, says—

The hepseti, and all those partridges (περδι:κας).

But Epicharmus, in his Revellers, uses the word with the penultima short, where he says—

They brought in cuttle-fish, who swim the deep,
And partridges (πέρδικας) who fly in lofty air.

And Aristotle gives the following account of the bird—"The partridge is a land bird, with cloven feet; and he lives fifteen years: but the female lives even more. For among all birds the female lives longer than the male. It lays eggs, and hatches its young itself, as the common hen does. And when it is aware that it is being hunted, it comes away from its nest, and rolls near the legs of the huntsman, giving him a hope that he may catch it; and so it deceives him, until its young have flown away, and then it flies away itself also.

[Pg 613]


42. "But it is a very ill-disposed and cunning animal; and moreover it is much devoted to amatory enjoyments; on which account it breaks the eggs of its hen, that it may not be deprived of her while she is hatching them; and therefore the hen, knowing this, runs away and hides her eggs." And Callimachus gives the same account in his treatise on Birds. And the single birds fight with one another, and the one which is defeated becomes the mate of the conqueror. But Aristotle says that they all in turn use the bird which has been defeated as their mate, and that the tame birds also take the wild ones for their mates. And the bird which is defeated by the other patiently allows itself to be treated by him as his mate. And this happens at a particular time of the year, as is also stated by Alexander the Myndian. And they lay their eggs on the ground, both the cocks and the hens making themselves separate nests. And the leader of the wild birds attacks the decoy partridge, and when he is taken another comes forward to fight the decoy bird; and this is done whenever the bird used for the decoy is a cock bird; but when a hen is employed for the purpose, then she crows till the leader of the wild birds meets her, and the rest of the wild birds assemble and drive him away from the hen, because he is attending to her and not to them; on which account sometimes he advances without making any noise, in order that no other bird may hear his voice and come to fight him. And sometimes the hen also checks the crowing of the cock as he comes up:[31] and very often when she is sitting on her nest she gets off it on perceiving the cock approaching the decoy bird, and remains there to receive his embraces in order to draw him away from the decoy bird. And so very eager to propagate their species are both quails and partridges, that they fall into the hands of the hunters on that account, sitting on the tiles. They say, too, that when hen partridges are taken out to hunt, even when they see or smell a cock standing or flying down the wind, become pregnant, and some say that they immediately begin to lay eggs. And about breeding time they fly about with their mouths open, putting out their tongues, both hens and cocks. And Clearchus says, in his treatise on Panic Fear,—"Sparrows and partridges, and also the common barn-door fowl and the quail, are eager to propagate their species, not only the moment that they see the hen, but even as soon as they hear her voice. And the cause of this is the excessive impression made on their minds by amatory pleasures and proximity. And you may see more easily all that takes place with respect to the propagation of their species if you put a looking-glass opposite to them. For they run forward, being deceived by the appearance, and behave as if they saw a hen, and so are caught. Only the common poultry cock does not do so. But the perception of the [Pg 614] reflected image operates on them only so far as to make them wish to fight." And this is the statement of Clearchus.

43. Partridges are by some people called κάκκαβαι, as, for instance, by Alcman, who speaks as follows—

Alcman, too, began the strain;
And he introduced into the language
The compound name of κακκαβίδες:

showing plainly enough that he had learnt to compound the word from the noise made by partridges. On which account also Chamæleon of Pontus said that the discovery of music was originally made by the ancients from the birds singing in desert places; by imitation of whom they arrived at the art of music; but it is not all partridges who make the noise called κακκαβίζειν, or cackling. At all events, Theophrastus, in his treatise on the Different Noises made by Animals of the same Species, says—"The partridges in Attica, near Corydallus, on the side towards the city, cackle; but those on the other side twitter." And Basilis, in the second book of his History of India, says—"The diminutive men in those countries which fight with cranes are often carried by partridges." And Menecles, in the first book of his Collectanea, says—"The pygmies fight both with partridges and with cranes." But there is a different kind of partridge found in Italy, of a dark colour on its wings, and smaller in size, with a beak inclining in the smallest possible degree to a red colour. But the partridges about Cirrha are not at all nice to eat as to their flesh, on account of the nature of their food. But the partridges in Boeotia either do not cross into Attica at all, or else, whenever they do, they are easily recognised by their voices, as we have previously mentioned. But the partridges which are found in Paphlagonia, Theophrastus says, have two hearts. But those in the island of Sciathos feed on cockles. And sometimes they have as many as fifteen or sixteen young at a time; and they can only fly short distances, as Xenophon tells us in the first book of his Anabasis, where he writes,—"But if any one rouses the bustard suddenly it is easy to catch him; for they can only fly a short distance, like partridges, and they very soon tire; but their flesh is very delicious."

[Pg 615]


44. And Plutarch says that Xenophon is quite correct about the bustard; for that great numbers of these birds are brought to Alexandria from the adjacent parts of Libya; being hunted and caught in this manner. The animal is a very imitative one, the bustard; being especially fond of imitating whatever it sees a man do; and accordingly it does whatever it sees the hunters do. And they, standing opposite to it, anoint themselves under the eyes with some unguent, having prepared other different unguents calculated to close up the eyes and eyelids; and these other unguents they place in shallow dishes near the bustards. And so the bustards, seeing the men anoint themselves under the eyes, do the same thing also themselves, taking the unguents out of these dishes; and by this means they are quickly caught. And Aristotle writes the following account of them:—"It is a migratory bird, with cloven feet, and three toes; of about the size of a large cock, of the colour of a quail, with a long head, a sharp beak, a thin neck, large eyes, a bony tongue, and it has no crop." But Alexander the Myndian says that it is also called also called λαγωδίας. And he says, also, that it ruminates, and that it is very fond of the horse; and that if any one puts on a horse's skin he can catch as many as he pleases; for they come up to him then of their own accord. And presently, in another passage, Aristotle tells us, "The bustard is something like the owl, but it is not a bird which flies by night; and it has large feathers about its ears, on which account it is called ὦτος, from ὦτα; and it is about the size of a pigeon, and a great imitator of mankind; and accordingly it is caught by dancing opposite to them." And it is in shape something like a man, and it is an imitator of whatever man does. On which account the comic poets call those people who are easily taken in by any one whom they chance to meet, a bustard. Accordingly, in hunting them, the man who is cleverest at it, stands opposite to them and dances; and the birds, looking at the man dancing, move like puppets pulled by strings; and then some one comes behind them, and, without being perceived, seizes on them while they are wholly occupied with the delight they derive from the imitation.

45. They say, also, that the screech-owl does the same thing: for it is said that they also are caught by dancing. And Homer mentions them. And there is a kind of dance, which is called σκὼψ, [Pg 616] or the screech-owl, from them; deriving its name from the variety of motion displayed by this animal. And the screech-owls also delight in imitation, and it is from their name that we say that those men σκώπτουσι, who keep looking at the person whom they wish to turn into ridicule, and mock all his conduct by an exact imitation, copying the conduct of those birds. But all the birds whose tongues are properly formed, and who are capable of uttering articulate sounds, imitate the voices of men and of other birds; as the parrot and the jay. The screech-owl, as Alexander the Myndian says, is smaller than the common owl, and he has whitish spots on a leaden-coloured plumage; and he puts out two tufts of feathers from his eyebrows on each temple. Now Callimachus says that there are two kinds of screech-owls, and that one kind does screech, and the other does not—on which account one kind is called σκῶπες, and the other kind is called ἀείσκωπες, and these last are of a grey colour.

But Alexander the Myndian says that the name is written in Homer, κῶπες without the ς, and that that was the name which Aristotle gave them; and that they are constantly seen, and that they are not eatable; but that those which are only seen about the end of autumn for a day or two are eatable. And they differ from the ἀείσκωπες in their speed, and they are something like the turtle-dove and the pigeon in pace. And Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things Resembling one another, also calls them κῶπες without the ς. But Epicharmus writes σκῶπας, epopses and owls. And Metrodorus, in his treatise on Custom and Habituation, says, that the screech-owl is caught by dancing opposite to it.

[Pg 617]


46. But since, when we were talking of partridges, we mentioned that they were exceedingly amorous birds, we ought also to add, that the cock of the common poultry fowl is a very amorous bird too; at all events Aristotle says, that when cocks are kept in the temples as being dedicated to the Gods, the cocks who were there before treat any new comer as a hen until another is dedicated in a similar manner. And if none are dedicated, then they fight together, and the one which has defeated the other works his will on the one which he has defeated. It is related, also, that a cock, whenever he goes in at any door whatever, always stoops his crest, and that one cock never yields to another without a battle; but Theophrastus says, that the wild cocks are still more amorous than the tame ones, he says, also, that the cocks are most inclined to pursue the hens the moment they leave their perch in the morning, but the hens prefer it as the day advances.

Sparrows, also, are very amorous birds; on which account Terpsicles says, that those who eat sparrows are rendered exceedingly prone to amorous indulgences; and perhaps it is from such an idea that Sappho represents Venus as being drawn by sparrows yoked in her chariot; for they are very amorous birds, and very prolific. The sparrow has about eight young ones at one hatching, according to the statement of Aristotle. And Alexander the Myndian says that there are two kinds of sparrows, the one a tame species, and the other a wild one; and he adds that the hen-sparrow is weaker in other respects, and also that their beaks are of a more horny colour, and that their faces are not very white, nor very black; but Aristotle says that the cock-sparrow never appears in the winter, but that the hen-sparrows remain, drawing his conclusions as to what he thinks probable from their colour; for their colour changes, as the colour of blackbirds and of coots does, who get whiter at certain seasons. But the people of Elis call sparrows δείρηται, as Nicander the Colophonian tells us in the third book of his treatise on Different Dialects.

47. We must also speak of the quail; they are called ὄρτυγες. And here there arises a general question about words ending in υξ, why the words with this termination do not all have the same letter as the characteristic of the genitive case. I allude to ὄρτυξ and ὄνυξ. For the masculine simple nouns ending in ξ when the vowel υ precedes ξ, and when the last syllable begins with any one of the immutable consonants or those which are characteristic of the first[32] conjugation of barytone verbs, make the genitive with κ; as κῆρυξ κήρυκος, πέλυξ πέλυκος, Ἔρυξ ἔρυκος, Βέβρυξ, Βέβρυκος; but those which have not this characteristic make the genitive with a γ, as ὄρτυξ ὄρτυγος, κόκκυξ κόκκυγος, ὄρυξ ὄρυγος; and there is one word with a peculiar inflexion, ὄνυξ ὄνυχος; and as a general rule, in the nominative case plural, they follow the genitive case singular in having the same characteristic of the [Pg 618] last syllable. And the case is the same if the last syllable does not begin with a consonant at all.

But with respect to the quail Aristotle says, "The quail is a migratory bird, with cloven feet, and he does not make a nest, but lies in the dust; and he covers over his hole with sticks for fear of hawks; and then the hen lays her eggs in the hole." But Alexander the Myndian says, in the second book of his treatise on Animals, "The female quail has a thin neck, not having under its chin the same black feathers which the male has. And when it is dissected it is found not to have a large crop, but it has a large heart with three lobes; it has also its liver and its gall-bladder united in its intestines, but it has but a small spleen, and one which is not easily perceived; and its testicles are under its liver, like those of the common fowl." And concerning their origin, Phanodemus, in the second book of his History of Attica, says:—"When Erysichthon saw the island of Delos, which was by the ancients called Ortygia, because of the numerous flocks of quails which came over the sea and settled in that island as one which afforded them good shelter . . . ." And Eudoxus the Cnidian, in the first book of his Description of the Circuit of the Earth, says that the Phoenicians sacrifice quails to Hercules, because Hercules, the son of Asteria and Jupiter, when on his way towards Libya, was slain by Typhon and restored to life by Iolaus, who brought a quail to him and put it to his nose, and the smell revived him. For when he was alive he was, says Eudoxus, very partial to that bird.

48. But Eupolis uses the word in its diminutive form, and in his play called Cities, calls them ὀρτύγια, speaking as follows:—

A. Tell me now, have you ever bred any ὄρτυγες̣?
B. I've bred some small ὀρτύγια. What of that?

And Antiphanes, in his play called The Countryman, speaks as follows, using also the form ὀρτύγιον:—

For what now could a man like you perform,
Having the soul of a quail (ὀρτυγίου)?

It is an odd expression that Pratinas uses, who in his Dymænæ, or the Caryatides, calls the quail a bird with a sweet voice, unless indeed quails have voices in the Phliasian or Lacedæmonian country as partridges have; and perhaps it is from this, also, that the bird called σίαλις has its name, as Didymus says. For nearly all birds derive their names from the sounds which they make.

[Pg 619]


There is also a bird called the ὀρτυγομήτρα (which is mentioned by Crates in his Chirons, where he says,

The ὀρτυγομήτρα came from Ithaca.)

And Alexander the Myndian also mentions it, and says that in size it is nearly equal to a turtle-dove; that it has long legs, a slender body, and is very timid. And with respect to the hunting for quails, Clearchus the Solensian mentions some very singular circumstances, in his book which is entitled "A Treatise on those things which have been asserted on Mathematical Principles in Plato's Polity," where he writes as follows—"Quails, about breeding time, if any one puts a looking-glass opposite to them, and a noose in front of it, run towards the bird which is seen in the looking-glass; and so fall into the noose." And about the birds called jackdaws he makes a similar statement, saying—"And a very similar thing happens to the jackdaws, on account of their naturally affectionate disposition towards each other. For they are a most exceedingly cunning bird; nevertheless when a bowl full of oil is placed near them, they stand on the edge of the bowl, and look down, and then rush down towards the bird which appears visible in the liquid. In consequence of which, when they are soaked through with the oil, their wings stick together and cause them to be easily captured." And the Attic writers make the middle syllable of the oblique cases of ὄρτυξ long, like δοίδῦκα, and κήρῦκα; as Demetrius Ixion tells us, in his treatise on the Dialect of the Alexandrians. But Aristophanes, in his Peace, has used the word with the penultima short for the sake of the metre, writing—

The tame domestic quails (ὄρτῦγες οἰκογενεῖς).

There is also a bird called χέννιον, which is a small kind of quail, which is mentioned by Cleomenes, in his letter to Alexander, where he expresses himself in the following manner—"Ten thousand preserved coots, and five thousand of the kind of thrush called tylas, and ten thousand preserved χέννια." And Hipparchus, in his Egyptian Iliad, says—

I cannot fancy the Egyptian life,
Plucking the chennia, which they salt and eat.

49. And even swans in great plenty were not wanting to our banquets. [Pg 620] And Aristotle speaks in the following manner of this bird—"The swan is a prolific bird, and a quarrelsome one. And, indeed, they are so fond of fighting that they often kill one another. And the swan will fight even the eagle; though he does not begin the battle himself. And they are tuneful birds, especially towards the time of their death. And they also cross the seas singing. And they are web-footed, and feed on herbage." But Alexander the Myndian says, that though he followed a great many swans when they were dying, he never heard one sing. And Hegesianax of Alexandria, who arranged the book of Cephalion, called the History of Troy, says that the Cycnus who fought with Achilles in single combat, was fed in Leucophrys by the bird of the same name, that is, by the swan. But Boius, or Boio, which Philochorus says was his proper name, in his book on the Origin of Birds, says that Cycnus was turned into a bird by Mars, and that when he came to the river Sybaris he was cooped with a crane. And he says, also, that the swan lines his nest with that particular grass which is called lygæa.

And concerning the crane (γέρανος), Boius says that there was among the Pygmies a very well known woman whose name was Gerana. And she, being honoured as a god by her fellow-countrymen, thought lightly of those who were really gods, and especially of Juno and Diana. And accordingly Juno, being indignant, metamorphosed her into an unsightly bird, and made her hostile to and hated by the Pygmies who had been used to honour her. And he says, also, that of her and Nicodamas was born the land tortoise. And as a general rule, the man who composed all these fables asserts that all the birds were formerly men.

50. The next bird to be mentioned is the pigeon. Aristotle says, that there is but one genus of the pigeon, but five subordinate species; writing thus—"The pigeon, the œnas, the phaps, the dove, and the turtle-dove." But in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, he makes no mention of the phaps, though Æschylus, in his tragedy called Proteus, does mention that bird in the following line—

Feeding the wretched miserable phaps,
Entangled as to its poor broken sides
Within the winnowing spokes.

[Pg 621]


And in his Philoctetes he uses the word in the genitive case plural, φαβῶν. "The œnas, then," says Aristotle, "is something larger than the pigeon, and it has a puce-coloured plumage; but the phaps is something between the pigeon and the œnas. And the species called phassa is about as large as the common cock, but of the colour of ashes; and the turtle-dove is less than all the other species, and is of a cinder-colour. And this last is only seen in the summer, and during the winter it keeps in its hole. Now, the phaps and the common pigeon are always to be seen, but the œnas is only visible in the autumn. And the species called the phassa is said to be longer lived than any of the others; for it lives thirty or forty years. And the cock birds never leave the hens to the day of their death, nor do the hens ever desert the cock: but when one dies the other remains solitary: and crows, and ravens, and jackdaws all do the same thing. And in every kind of the genus pigeon, both male and female sit on the eggs in turn; and when the chickens are hatched, the cock bird spits upon them to prevent their being fascinated. And the hen lays two eggs, the first of which produces a cock and the second a hen. And they lay at every season of the year; so that they lay ten or eleven times a-year; and in Egypt they lay twelve times; for the hen conceives again the very next day to that in which it lays." And further on, in the same book, Aristotle says that the kind called περιστερὰ differs from the πελειὰς, and the πελειὰς is the least of the two. And the πελειὰς is easily tamed; but the περιστερὰ is black, and small, and has red rough legs; on which account no one keeps them. But he mentions a peculiarity of the species called περιστερὰ, that they kiss one another when courting, and that if the males neglect this, the hens do not admit their embraces. However, old doves do not go through this formality; but omit the kisses and still succeed in their suit, but the younger ones always kiss before they proceed to action. And the hens, too, make love to one another, when there is no cock at hand, kissing one another beforehand. But still, as there are no real results, the eggs which they lay never produce chickens. The Dorians, however, consider the πελειὰς and the περιστερὰ as identical; and Sophron uses the two words as synonymous in his Female Actresses. But Callimachus, in his treatise on Birds, speaks of the pyrallis, the [Pg 622] dove, the wood-pigeon, and the turtle-dove, as all different from one another.

51. But Alexander the Myndian says, that the pigeon never lifts up his head when it drinks, as the turtle-dove does; and that it never utters any sound in the winter except when it is very fine weather. It is said, also, that when the species called œnas has eaten the seed of the mistletoe, and then leaves its droppings on any tree, mistletoe after that grows upon that tree. But Daïmachus, in his history of India, says that pigeons of an apple-green colour are found in India. And Charon of Lampsacus, in his history of Persia, speaking of Mardonius, and of the losses which the Persian army sustained off Mount Athos, writes as follows—"And that was the first time that white pigeons were ever seen by the Greeks; as they had never existed in that country." And Aristotle says, that the pigeons, when their young are born, eat a lot of earth impregnated with salt, and then open the mouths of their young and spit the salt into them; and by this means prepare them to swallow and digest their food.

And at Eryx in Sicily, there is a certain time which the Sicilians call The Departure, at which time they say that the Goddess is departing into Africa: and at this time all the pigeons about the place disappear, as if they had accompanied the Goddess on her journey.And after nine days, when the festival called καταγώγια, that is to say The Return, is celebrated, after one pigeon has first arrived, flying across the sea like an avant-courier, and has flown into the temple, the rest follow speedily. And on this, all the inhabitants around, who are comfortably off, feast; and the rest clap their hands for joy. And at that time the whole place smells of butter, which they use as a sort of token of the return of the Goddess. But Autocrates, in his history of Achaia, says that Jupiter once changed his form into that of a pigeon, when he was in love with a maiden in Ægium, whose name was Phthia. But the Attic writers use the word also in the masculine gender, περιστερός. Alexis, in his People Running together, says—

For I am the white pigeon (περιστερὸς) of Venus;
But as for Bacchus, he knows nothing more
Than how to get well drunk; and nothing cares
Whether 'tis new wine that he drinks or old.

[Pg 623]


But in his play of the Rhodian, or the Woman Caressing, he uses the word in the feminine gender; and says in that passage that the Sicilian pigeons are superior to all others—

Breeding within some pigeons from Sicily,
The fairest shaped of all their species.

And Pherecrates, in his Painters, says—

Send off a pigeon (περιστερὸν) as a messenger.

And in his Petale he uses the diminutive form περιστέριον, where he says,—

But now, my pigeon, fly thou like Callisthenes,
And bear me to Cythera and to Cyprus.

And Nicander, in the second book of his Georgics, mentions the Sicilian doves and pigeons, and says,—

And do you in your hall preserve a flock
Of fruitful doves from Sicily or Dracontium,
For it is said that neither kites nor hawks
Incline to hurt those choice and sacred birds.

52. We must also mention ducks. The male of these birds, as Alexander the Myndian says, is larger than the female, and has a more richly coloured plumage: but the bird which is called the glaucion, from the colour of its eyes, is a little smaller than the duck. And of the species called boscades the male is marked all over with lines, and he also is less than the duck; and the males have short beaks, too small to be in fair proportion to their size: but the small diver is the least of all aquatic birds, being of a dirty black plumage, and it has a sharp beak, turning upwards towards the eyes, and it goes a great deal under water. There is also another species of the boscades, larger than the duck, but smaller than the chenalopex: but the species which are called phascades are a little larger than the small divers, but in all other respects they resemble the ducks. And the kind called uria are not much smaller than the duck, but as to its plumage it is of a dirty earthenware colour, and it has a long and narrow beak: but the coot, which also has a narrow beak, is of a rounder shape, and is of an ash colour about the stomach, and rather blacker on the back. But Aristophanes, in his Acharnians, in the following lines, mentions the duck and the diver, from whose names (νῆττα and κολυμβὰς) we get the verbs νήχομαι, to swim, and κολυμβάω, to dive, with a great many other water birds—

[Pg 624]

Ducks too, and jackdaws, woodcocks too, and coots,
And wrens, and divers.

And Callimachus also mentions them in his treatise on Birds.

53. We often also had put before us the dish called parastatæ, which is mentioned by Epænetus in his Cookery Book, and by Semaristus in the third and fourth books of his treatise on Synonymes. And it is testicles which are called by this name. But when some meat was served up with a very fragrant sauce, and when some one said,—Give me a plate of that suffocated meat, that Dædalus of names, Ulpian, said—I myself shall be suffocated if you do not tell me where you found any mention of meat of that kind; for I will not name them so before I know. And he said, Strattis, in his Macedonians or Cinesias, has said—

Take care, and often have some suffocated meat.

And Eubulus, in his Catacollomenos, says—

And platters heap'd with quantities of meat
Suffocated in the Sicilian fashion.

And Aristophanes, in his Wasps, has said—

Some suffocated meat in a platter.

And Cratinus, in his Delian Women, says—

And therefore do you take some meat and pound it,
Having first neatly suffocated it.

And Antiphanes, in his Countryman, says—

And first of all
I bring you the much-wish'd-for barley-cake,
Which the all-genial mother Ceres gives
A joyful gift to mortals; and besides,
Some tender limbs of suffocated goats
Set round with herbs, a young and tender meat.
B. How say you?
A. I am going through a tragedy
Of the divinest Sophocles.

54. And when some sucking-pigs were carried round, and the guests made an inquiry respecting them, whether they were mentioned by any ancient author, some one said—Pherecrates, in his Slave turned Tutor, says—

I stole some sucking-pigs not fully grown.

And in his Deserters he says—

[Pg 625]

Are you not going to kill a sucking-pig?

And Alcæus, in his Palæstra, says—

For here he is himself, and if I grunt
One atom more than any sucking-pig . . . .

And Herodotus, in his first book, says that in Babylon there is a golden altar, on which it is not lawful to sacrifice anything but sucking-pigs. Antiphanes says in his Philetærus—

There's here a pretty little cromaciscus
Not yet wean'd, you see.

And Heniochus, in his Polyeuctus, says—

The ox was brazen, long since past all boiling,
But he perhaps had taken a sucking-pig,
And slaughter'd that.

And Anacreon says—

Like a young sucking kid, which when it leaves
Its mother in the wood, trembles with fear.

And Crates, in his Neighbours, says—

For now we constantly have feasts of lovers,
As long as we have store of lambs and pigs
Not taken from their dams.

And Simonides represents Danae as speaking thus over Perseus—

O my dear child, what mis'ry tears my soul!
But you lie sleeping,
You slumber with your unwean'd heart.

And in another place he says of Archemorus—

Alas the wreath! They wept the unwean'd child,
Breathing out his sweet soul in bitter pangs.

And Clearchus, in his Lives, says that Phalaris the tyrant had arrived at such a pitch of cruelty, that he used to feast on sucking children. And there is a verb θῆσθαι, which means to suck milk, (Homer says—

Hector is mortal, and has suck'd the breast;)

because the mother's breast is put into the mouth of the infant. And that is the derivation of the word τίτσθος, breast, from τίθημι, to place, because the breasts are thus placed in the children's mouths.

After she'd lull'd to sleep the new-born kids,
As yet unweaned from their mother's breast.

55. And when some antelopes were brought round, Palmedes of Elea, the collector of words, said—It is not bad meat that of the antelopes (δόρκωνες). And Myrtilus said to him—The word is only δορκάδες, not δόρκωνες. Xenophon, in the first book of his [Pg 626] Anabasis, says, "And there were in that part bustards and δορκάδες."

56. The next thing to be mentioned is the peacock. And that this is a rare bird is shown by what Antiphanes says in his Soldier, or Tychon, where his words are—

And then some man brought in one single pair
Of peacocks to the city; 'twas a sight
Wondrous to see; now they're as thick as quails.

And Eubulus says in his Phoenix—

The peacock is admired for his rarity.

"The peacock," says Aristotle, "is cloven-footed, and feeds on herbage; it begins to breed when it is three years old, at which age it also gets the rich and varied colours of its plumage; and it sits on its eggs about thirty days, and once a-year it lays twelve eggs, and it lays these not all at once, but at intervals, laying every third day. But the first year of a hen's laying she does not lay more than eight eggs; and she sometimes lays wind eggs like the common hen, but never more than two; and she sits upon her eggs and hatches them very much in the same way as the common hen does." And Eupolis, in his Deserters from the Army, speaks of the peacock in the following terms—

Lest I should keep in Pluto's realm,
A peacock such as this, who wakes the sleepers.

And there is a speech extant, by Antiphanes the orator, which is entitled, On Peacocks. And in that speech there is not one express mention of the name peacock, but he repeatedly speaks of them in it as birds of variegated plumage, saying—"That Demus, the son of Pyrilampes, breeds these birds, and that out of a desire to see these birds, a great many people come from Lacedæmon and from Thessaly, and show great anxiety to get some of the eggs." And with respect to their appearance he writes thus—"If any one wishes to remove these birds into a city, they will fly away and depart; and if he cuts their wings he takes away their beauty. For their wings are their beauty, and not their body." And that people used to be very anxious to see them he tells us subsequently in the same book, where he says; "But at the time of the festival of the new moon, any one who likes is admitted to see them, but on other days if any one comes and wishes to see them he is never allowed to do so; and this is not a custom of yesterday, or a recent practice, but one which has subsisted for more than thirty years."

[Pg 627]


57. "But the Athenians call the word ταῶς," as Tryphon tells us, "circumflexing and aspirating the last syllable. And they read it spelt in this way in the Deserters from the Army of Eupolis, in the passage which has been already quoted, and in the Birds of Aristophanes—

Are you then Tereus? are you a bird or a peacock (ταῶς)?

And in another passage he writes—

A bird then; what kind? is it not a peacock (ταῶς)?

But in the dative they say ταὧνι, as Aristophanes does in the same play. But it is quite impossible in the Attic or Ionic dialects that, in nouns which have more than one syllable, the last syllable beginning with a vowel should be aspirated; for it is quite inevitable that it should be pronounced with a lene breathing, as νεὢς, λεὢς, Τυνδάρεὠς, Μενέλεὠς, λειπόνεὠς, εὔνεὠς, Νείλεὠς, πρᾶὀς, ὑίὀς, Κεῖὀς, χῖὀς, δῖὀς, χρεῖὀς, πλεῖὀς, λεῖὀς, λαιὄς, βαιὂς, φαιὂς, πηὂς, γόὀς, θοὂς, ῥόὀς, ζωὄς. For the aspirate is fond of beginning a word, and is by nature inclined to the lead, and is never included in the last part of a word. And the name ταὧς is derived from the extension (τάσις) of the wings." And Seleucus, in the fifth book of his treatise on Hellenisms, says: "The peacock, ταὧς:—but the Attics, contrary to all rule, both aspirate and circumflex the last syllable; but the aspirate is only attached to the first vowel when it begins a word in the simple pronunciation of the word, and there taking the lead, and running on more swiftly, it has the first place in the word. Accordingly, the Athenians, in consequence of this arrangement, observing the inherent character of this breathing, do not put it on vowels, as they do often accents and breathings, but put it before them. And I think that the ancients used to mark the aspirate by the character H, on which account the Romans write the letter H at the beginning of all aspirated nouns, showing its predominant nature; and if this be the proper character of the aspirate, it is plain that it is contrary to all reason and analogy that the word ταῶς has any breathing at all marked upon it by the Attic writers."

58. And as at the banquet a great many more discussions arose about each of the dishes that were served up;—But I, said Laurentius, [Pg 628] according to the example of our most excellent friend Ulpian, will myself also say something to you (for we are feeding on discussions). What do you think of the grouse? And when some one said,—He is a species of bird; (but it is the custom of the sons of the grammarians to say of anything that is mentioned to them in this way, It is a species of plant, a species of bird, a species of stone;) Laurentius said—And I, my good friend, am aware that the admirable Aristophanes, in his Birds, mentions the grouse in the following lines—

With the porphyrion and the pelican,
And pelecinnus, and the phlexis too,
The grouse and peacock.

But I wish to learn from you whether there is any mention of the bird in any other author. For Alexander the Myndian, in the second book of his treatise on Winged Animals, speaks of it as a bird of no great size, but rather as one of the smaller birds. For his words are these—"The grouse, a bird about the size of rook, of an earthenware colour, variegated with dirty coloured spots, and long lines, feeding on fruit; and when it lays its eggs t cackles (τετράζει). from which it derives its name (τέτραξ)." And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—

For when you've taken quails and sparrows too,
And larks who love to robe themselves in dust,
And grouse, and rooks, and beauteous fig-peckers.

And in another passage he says—

There were the herons with their long bending necks,
A numerous flock; and grouse, and rooks besides.

[Pg 629]


But since none of you have anything to say on the subject (as you are all silent), I will show you the bird itself; for when I was the Emperor's Procurator in Mysia, and the superintendent of all the affairs of that province, I saw the bird in that country. And learning that it was called by this name among the Mysians and Pæonians, I recollected what the bird was by the description given of it by Aristophanes. And believing that this bird was considered by the all-accomplished Aristotle worthy of being mentioned in that work of his worth many talents (for it is said that the Stagirite received eight hundred talents from Alexander as his contribution towards perfecting his History of Animals), when I found that there was no mention of it in this work, I was delighted at having the admirable Aristophanes as an unimpeachable witness in the matter. And while he was saying this, a slave came in bringing in the grouse in a basket; but it was in size larger than the largest cock of the common poultry, and in appearance it was very like the porphyrion; and it had wattles hanging from its ears on each side like the common cock; and its voice was loud and harsh. And so after we had admired the beauty of the bird, in a short time one was served up on the table dressed; and the meat of him was like that of the ostrich, which we were often in the habit of eating.

59. There was a dish too called loins (ψύαι). The poet who wrote the poem called The Return of the Atridæ, in the third book says—

And with his rapid feet Hermioneus
Caught Nisus, and his loins with spear transfix'd.

And Simaristus, in the third book of his Synonymes, writes thus: "The flesh of the loins which stands out on each side s called ψύαι, and the hollows on each side they call κύβοι and γάλλιαι." And Clearchus, in the second book of his treatise on The Joints in the Human Body, speaks thus: "There is flesh full of muscle on each side; which some people call ψύαι, and others call ἀλώπεκες, and others νευρόμητραι." And the admirable Hippocrates also speaks of ψύαι; and they get this name from being easily wiped (ἀπὸ τοῦ ῥαδίως ἀποψᾶσθαι), or as being flesh lightly touching (ἐπιψαύουσα) the bones, and lying lightly on the surface of them. And Euphron the comic poet mentions them in his Theori—

There is a lobe and parts, too, called ψύαι;
Learn to cut these before you view the sacrifice.

60. There is a dish too made of udder. Teleclides, in his Rigid Men, says—

Since I'm a female, I must have an udder.

Herodotus, in the fourth book of his History, uses the same term when speaking of horses; but it is rare to find the word (οὖθαρ) applied to the other animals; but the word most commonly used is ὑπογάστριον, as in the case of fishes. Strattis, in his Atalanta, says—

The ὑπογάστριον and the extremities
Of the large tunny.

And Theopompus, in his Callæschrus, says—

A. And th' ὑπογάστρια of fish.
B. O, Ceres!

[Pg 630]

But in the Sirens he calls it not ὑπογάστρια, but ὑπήτρια, saying—

Th' ὑπήτρια of white Sicilian tunnies.

61. We must now speak of the hare; concerning this animal Archestratus, that author so curious in his dishes, speaks thus—

Many are the ways and many the recipes
For dressing hares; but this is best of all,
To place before a hungry set of guests,
A slice of roasted meat fresh from the spit,
Hot, season'd only with plain simple salt,
Not too much done. And do not you be vex'd
At seeing blood fresh trickling from the meat,
But eat it eagerly. All other ways
Are quite superfluous, such as when cooks pour
A lot of sticky clammy sauce upon it,
Parings of cheese, and lees, and dregs of oil,
As if they were preparing cat's meat.

And Naucrates the comic poet, in his Persia, says that it is an uncommon thing to find a hare in Attica: and he speaks thus—

For who in rocky Attica e'er saw
A lion or any other similar beast,
Where 'tis not easy e'en to find a hare?

But Alcæus, in his Callisto, speaks of hares as being plentiful, and says—

You should have coriander seed so fine
That, when we've got some hares, we may be able
To sprinkle them with that small seed and salt.

62. And Tryphon says,—"Aristophanes, in his Danaides, uses the form λαγὼν in the accusative case with an acute accent on the last syllable, and with a ν for the final letter, saying—

And when he starts perhaps he may be able
To help us catch a hare (λαγών).

And in his Daitaleis he says—

I am undone, I shall be surely seen
Plucking the fur from off the hare (λαγών).

But Xenophon, in his treatise on Hunting, writes the accusative λαγω without the ν, and with a circumflex accent. But among us the ordinary form of the nominative case is λαγός; and as we say ναὸς, and the Attics νεὼς, and as we say λαὸς, and the Attics λεώς; so, while we call this animal λαγὸς, they call him λαγώς. And as for our using the form λαγὸν in the accusative case singular, to that we find a corresponding nominative plural in Sophocles, in his Amycus, a satyric drama; where he enumerates—

[Pg 631]

Cranes, crows, and owls, and kites, and hares (λαγοι).

But there is also a form of the nominative plural corresponding to the accusative λαγὼν, ending in ω, as found in the Flatterers of Eupolis—

Where there are rays, and hares (λαγὼ), and light-footed women.

But some people, contrary to all reason, circumflex the last syllable of this form λαγώ; but it ought to have an acute accent, since all the nouns which end in ος, even when they are changed into ως by the Attic writers, still preserve the same accent as if they had undergone no alteration; as ναὸς, νεώς; κάλος, κάλως. And so, too, Epicharmus used this noun, and Herodotus, and the author of the poem called the Helots. Moreover, λαγὸς is the Ionic form—

Rouse the sea-hare (λαγὸς) before you drink the water;

and λαγὼς the Attic one. But the Attic writers use also the form λαγός; as Sophocles, in the line above quoted—

Cranes, crows, and owls, and hares (λαγοι).

There is also a line in Homer, where he says—

ἢ πτῶκα λαγωόν.

Now, if we have regard to the Ionic dialect, we say that ω is interpolated; and if we measure it by the Attic dialect, then we say the ο is so: and the meat of the hare is called λαγῶα κρέα.

63. But Hegesander the Delphian, in his Commentaries, says that in the reign of Antigonus Gonatas, there were such a number of hares in the island of Astypalæa, that the natives consulted the oracle on the subject. And the Pythia answered them that they ought to breed dogs, and hunt them; and so in one year there were caught more than six thousand. And all this immense number arose from a man of the island of Anaphe having put one pair of hares in the island. As also, on a previous occasion, when a certain Astypalæan had let loose a pair of partridges in the island of Anaphe, there came to be such a number of partridges in Anaphe, that the inhabitants ran a risk of being driven out of the island by them. But originally Astypalæa had no hares at all, but only partridges. And the hare is a very prolific animal, as Xenophon has told us, in his treatise on Hunting; and Herodotus [Pg 632] speaks of it in the following terms—"Since the hare is hunted by everything—man, beast, and bird—it is on this account a very prolific animal; and it is the only animal known which is capable of superfetation. And it has in its womb at one time one litter with the fur on, and another bare, and another just formed, and a fourth only just conceived." And Polybius, in the twelfth book of his History, says that there is another animal like the hare which is called the rabbit (κούνικλος); and he writes as follows—"The animal called the rabbit, when seen at a distance, looks like a small hare; but when any one takes it in his hands, there is a great difference between them, both in appearance and taste: and it lives chiefly underground." And Posidonius the philosopher also mentions them in his History; and we ourselves have seen a great many in our voyage from Dicæarchia[33] to Naples. For there is an island not far from the mainland, opposite the lower side of Dicæarchia, inhabited by only a very scanty population, but having a great number of rabbits. And there is also a kind of hare called the Chelidonian hare, which is mentioned by Diphilus, or Calliades, in his play called Ignorance, in the following terms—

What is this? whence this hare who bears the name
Of Chelidonian? Is it grey hare soup,
Mimarcys call'd, so thick with blood?

And Theophrastus, in the twentieth book of his History, says that there are hares about Bisaltia which have two livers.

[Pg 633]


64. And when a wild boar was put upon the table, which was in no respect less than that noble Calydonian boar which has been so much celebrated,—I suggest to you now, said he, O my most philosophical and precise Ulpian, to inquire who ever said that the Calydonian boar was a female, and that her meat was white. But he, without giving the matter any long consideration, but rather turning the question off, said—But it does seem to me, my friends, that if you are not yet satisfied, after having had such plenty of all these things, that you surpass every one who has ever been celebrated for his powers of eating,—and who those people are you can find out by inquiry. But it is more correct and more consistent with etymology to make the name σὺς, with a ς; for the animal has its name from rushing (σεύομαι) and going on impetuously; but men have got a trick of pronouncing the word without the ς, ὗς; and some people believe that it is called σῦν, by being softened from θῦν, as if it had its name from being a fit animal to sacrifice (θύειν). But now, if it seems good to you, answer me who ever uses the compound word like we do, calling the wild boar not σῦς ἄγριος, but σύαγρος̣ At all events, Sophocles, in his Lovers of Achilles, has applied the word σύαγρος to a dog, as hunting the boar (ἀπὸ τοῦ σῦς ἀγρεύειν), where he says—

And you, Syagre, child of Pelion.

And in Herodotus we find Syagrus used as a proper name of a man who was a Lacedæmonian by birth, and who went on the embassy to Gelon the Syracusan, about forming an alliance against the Medes; which Herodotus mentions in the seventh book of his History. And I am aware, too, that there was a general of the Ætolians named Syagrus, who is mentioned by Phylarchus, in the fourth book of his History. And Democritus said—You always, O Ulpian, have got a habit of never taking anything that is set before you until you know whether the existing name of it was in use among the ancients. Accordingly you are running the risk, on account of all these inquiries of yours, (just like Philetas of Cos, who was always investigating all false arguments and erroneous uses of words,) of being starved to death, as he was. For he became very thin by reason of his devotion to these inquiries, and so died, as the inscription in front of his tomb shows—

Stranger, Philetas is my name, I lie
Slain by fallacious arguments, and cares
Protracted from the evening through the night.

65. And so that you may not waste away by investigating this word σύαγρος, learn that Antiphanes gives this name to the wild boar, in his Ravished Woman:—

This very night a wild boar (σύαγρον) will I seize,
And drag into this house, and a lion and a wolf.

And Dionysius the tyrant, in his Adonis, says—

Under the arched cavern of the nymphs
I consecrate . . . .
A wild boar (σύαγρον) as the first-fruits to the gods.

And Lynceus the Samian, in his epistle to Apollodorus, writes thus—"That you may have some goat's flesh for your children, and some meat of the wild boar (τὰ συάγρια) for yourself and [Pg 634] your friends." And Hippolochus the Macedonian, whom we have mentioned before now, in his epistle to the above-named Lynceus, mentioned many wild boars (συάγρων). But, since you have turned off the question which was put to you about the colour of the Calydonian boar, and whether any one states him to have been white as to his flesh, we ourselves will tell you who has said so; and you yourself may investigate the proofs which I bring. For some time ago, I read the dithyrambics of Cleomenes of Rhegium; and this account is given in that ode of them which is entitled Meleager. And I am not ignorant that the inhabitants of Sicily call the wild boar (which we call σύαγρος) ἀσχέδωρος. And Æschylus, in his Phorcides, comparing Perseus to a wild boar, says—

He rush'd into the cave like a wild boar (ἀσχέδωρος ὥς).

And Sciras (and he is a poet of what is called the Italian comedy, and a native of Tarentum), in his Meleager, says—

Where shepherds never choose to feed their flocks,
Nor does the wild boar range and chase his mate.

And it is not wonderful that Æschylus, who lived for some time in Sicily, should use many Sicilian words.

66. There were also very often kids brought round by the servants, dressed in various ways; some of them with a great deal of assafoetida, which afforded us no ordinary pleasure; for the flesh of the goat is exceedingly nutritious. At all events, Clitomachus the Carthaginian, who is inferior to no one of the new Academy for his spirit of philosophical investigation, says that a certain Theban athlete surpassed all the men of his time in strength, because he ate goat's flesh; for the juice of that meat is nervous and sticky, and such as can remain a long time in the substance of the body. And this wrestler used to be much laughed at, because of the unpleasant smell of his perspiration. And all the meat of pigs and lambs, while it remains undigested in the system, is very apt to turn, because of the fat. But the banquets spoken of by the comic poets rather please the ears by sweet sounds, than the palate by sweet tastes; as, for instance, the feast mentioned by Antiphanes, in his Female Physician—

[Pg 635]

A. But what meat do you eat with most delight?
B. What meat?—why if you mean as to its cheapness,
There's mutton ere it bears you wool or milk,
That is to say, there's lamb, my friend; and so
There's also meat of goats which give no milk,
That is to say, of kids. For so much profit
Is got from these when they are fully grown,
That I put up with eating cheaper kinds.

And in his Cyclops he says—

These are the animals which the earth produces,
Which you will have from me: the ox of th' herd,
The goat which roves the woods, the chamois which
Loves the high mountain tops, the fearless ram,
The hog, the boar, the sucking-pig besides,
And hares, and kids .  .  .  .
Green cheese, dry cheese, and cut and pounded cheese,
Scraped cheese, and chopp'd cheese, and congeal'd cheese

67. And Mnesimachus, in his Horse-breeder, provides the following things for dinner—

Come forth, O Manes, from the chamber
Deck'd with the lofty cypress roof;
Go to the market, to the statues
Of Maia's son, where all the chiefs
Of the tribes meet, and seek the troop
Of their most graceful pupils, whom
Phidon is teaching how to mount
Their horses, and dismount from them.
I need not tell you now their names.
Go; tell them that the fish is cold,
The wine is hot, the pastry dry,
The bread dry, too, and hard. The chops
Are burnt to pieces, and the meat
Taken from out the brine and dish'd.
The sausages are served up too;
So is the tripe, and rich black-puddings.
Those who're indoors are all at table,
The wine cups all are quickly drain'd,
The pledge goes round; and nought remains
But the lascivious drunken cordax.[34]
The young men all are waxing wanton,
And ev'rything's turn'd upside down.
Remember what I say, and bear
My words in mind.
Why stand you gaping like a fool?
Look here, and just repeat the message
Which I've just told you; do,—I will
Repeat it o'er again all through.
Bid them come now, and not delay,
Nor vex the cook who's ready for them.
For all the fish is long since boil'd,
And all the roast meat's long since cold.
[Pg 636] And mention o'er each separate dish;—
Onions and olives, garlic too,
Cucumbers, cabbages, and broth,
Fig-leaves, and herbs, and tunny cutlets,
Glanis and rhinè, shark and conger,
A phyxicinus whole, a tunny,
A coracinus whole, a thunnis,
A small anchovy, and a tench,
A spindle-fish, a tail of dog-fish,
A carcharias and a torpedo;
A sea-frog, lizard, and a perch,
A trichias and a phycis too,
A brinchus, mullet, and sea-cuckoo.
A turtle, and besides a lamprey,
A phagrus, lebias, and grey mullet,
A sparus, and æolias,
A swallow, and the bird of Thrace,
A sprat, a squid, a turbot, and
Dracænides, and polypi,
A cuttle-fish, an orphus too;
A crab, likewise an escharus,
A needle-fish, a fine anchovy,
Some cestres, scorpions, eels, and loaves.
And loads of other meat, beyond
My calculation or my mention.
Dishes of goose, and pork, and beef,
And lamb, and mutton, goat and kid;
Of poultry, ducks and partridges,
And jays, and foxes. And what follows
Will be a downright sight to see,
So many good things there will be.
And all the slaves through all the house
Are busy baking, roasting, dressing,
And plucking, cutting, beating, boiling,
And laughing, playing, leaping, feasting,
And drinking, joking, scolding, pricking.
And lovely sounds from tuneful flutes,
And song and din go through the house,
Of instruments both wind and string'd.
Meantime a lovely scent of cassia,
From Syria's fertile land, does strike
Upon my sense, and frankincense,
And myrrh, and nard *   *   *
*              *              *              *              *
Such a confusion fills the house
With every sort of luxury.

[Pg 637]


68. Now, after all this conversation, there was brought in the dish which is called Rhoduntia; concerning which that wise cook quoted numbers of tragedies before he would tell us what he was bringing us. And he laughed at those who professed to be such admirable cooks, mentioning whom, he said—Did that cook in the play of Anthippus, the comic poet, ever invent such a dish as this?—the cook, I mean, who, in the Veiled Man, boasted in this fashion:—

A. Sophon, an Ararnanian citizen,
And good Democritus of Rhodes, were long
Fellow-disciples in this noble art,
And Labdacus of Sicily was their tutor.
These men effaced all vulgar old recipes
Out of their cookery books, and took away
The mortar from the middle of the kitchen.
They brought into disuse all vinegar,
Cummin, and cheese, and assafoetida,
And coriander seed, and all the sauces
Which Saturn used to keep within his cruets.
And the cook who employ'd such means they thought
A humbug, a mere mountebank in his art.
They used oil only, and clean plates, O father,
And a quick fire, wanting little bellows:
With this they made each dinner elegant.
They were the first who banish'd tears and sneezing,
And spitting from the board; and purified
The manners of the guests. At last the Rhodian,
Drinking some pickle by mistake, did die;
For such a draught was foreign to his nature.
B. 'Twas likely so to be.
A. But Sophon still
Has all Ionia for his dominions,
And he, O father, was my only tutor.
And I now study philosophic rules,
Wishing to leave behind me followers,
And new discover'd rules to guide the art.
B. Ah! but, I fear, you'll want to cut me up,
And not the animal we think to sacrifice.
A. To-morrow you shall see me with my books,
Seeking fresh precepts for my noble art;
Nor do I differ from th' Aspendian.
And if you will, you too shall taste a specimen
Of this my skill. I do not always give
The self-same dishes to all kinds of guests;
But I regard their lives and habits all.
One dish I set before my friends in love,
Another's suited to philosophers,
Another to tax-gatherers. A youth
Who has a mistress, quickly will devour
His patrimonial inheritance;
So before him I place fat cuttle-fish
Of every sort; and dishes too of fish
Such as do haunt the rocks, all season'd highly
[Pg 638] With every kind of clear transparent sauce.
For such a man cares nought about his dinner,
But all his thoughts are on his mistress fix'd.
Then to philosophers I serve up ham,
Or pettitoes; for all that crafty tribe
Are wonderful performers at the table.
Owls, eels, and spars I give the publicans,
When they're in season, but at other times
Some lentil salad. And all funeral feasts
I make more splendid than the living ones.
For old men's palates are not critical;
At least not half so much as those of youths.
And so I give them mustard, and I make them
Sauces of pungent nature, which may rouse
Their dormant sense, and make it snuff the air;
And when I once behold a face, I know
The dishes that its owner likes to eat.

69. And the cook in the Thesmophorus of Dionysius, my revellers, (for it is worth while to mention him also,) says—

You have said these things with great severity,
(And that's your usual kindness, by the Gods);
You've said a cook should always beforehand
Know who the guests may be for whom he now
Is dressing dinner. For he should regard
This single point—whom he has got to please
While seasoning his sauces properly;
And by this means he'll know the proper way
And time to lay his table and to dress
His meats and soups. But he who this neglects
Is not a cook, though he may be a seasoner.
But these are different arts, a wondrous space
Separates the two. It is not every one
That's called a general who commands an army,
But he who can with prompt and versatile skill
Avail himself of opportunities,
And look about him, changing quick his plans,
He is the general. He who can't do this
Is only in command. And so with us.
To roast some beef, to carve a joint with neatness,
To boil up sauces, and to blow the fire,
Is anybody's task; he who does this
Is but a seasoner and broth-maker:
A cook is quite another thing. His mind
Must comprehend all facts and circumstances:
Where is the place, and when the time of supper;
Who are the guests, and who the entertainer;
What fish he ought to buy, and when to buy it.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  * For all these things
You'll have on almost every occasion;

[Pg 639]

But they're not always of the same importance,
Nor do they always the same pleasure give.
Archestratus has written on this art,
And is by many people highly thought of,
As having given us a useful treatise;
But still there's much of which he's ignorant,
And all his rules are really good for nothing,
So do not mind or yield to all the rules
Which he has laid down most authoritatively,
For a more empty lot of maxims you
Will hardly find. For when you write a book
On cookery, it will not do to say,
"As I was just now saying;" for this art
Has no fix'd guide but opportunity,
And must itself its only mistress be.
But if your skill be ne'er so great, and yet
You let the opportunity escape,
Your art is lost, and might as well be none.
B. O man, you're wise. But as for this man who
You just now said was coming here to try
His hand at delicate banquets, say, does he
Forget to come?
A. If I but make you now
One forced meat ball, I can in that small thing
Give you a specimen of all my skill.
And I will serve you up a meal which shall
Be redolent of the Athenian breezes.
*              *              *              *              *
Dost fear that I shall fail to lull your soul
With dishes of sufficient luxury?

70. And to all this Æmilianus makes answer—

My friend, you've made a speech quite long enough
In praising your fav'rite art of cookery;—

as Hegesippus says in his Brethren. Do you then—

Give us now something new to see beyond
Your predecessor's art, or plague us not;
But show me what you've got, and tell its name.

And he rejoins—

You look down on me, since I am a cook.

But perhaps—

What I have made by practising my art—

according to the comic poet Demetrius, who, in his play entitled The Areopagite, has spoken as follows—

What I have made by practising my art
Is more than any actor e'er has gain'd,—
This smoky art of mine is quite a kingdom.
I was a caper-pickler with Seleucus,
And at the court of the Sicilian king,
[Pg 640] Agathocles, I was the very first
To introduce the royal dish of lentils.
My chief exploit I have not mention'd yet:
There was a famine, and a man named Lachares
Was giving an entertainment to his friends;
Whom I recovered with some caper-sauce.

Lachares made Minerva naked, who caused him no inconvenience; but I will now strip you who are inconveniencing me, said Æmilianus, unless you show me what you have got with you. And he said at last, rather unwillingly, I call this dish the Dish of Roses. And it is prepared in such a way, that you may not only have the ornament of a garland on your head, but also in yourself, and so feast your whole body with a luxurious banquet. Having pounded a quantity of the most fragrant roses in a mortar, I put in the brains of birds and pigs boiled and thoroughly cleansed of all the sinews, and also the yolks of eggs, and with them oil, and pickle-juice, and pepper, and wine. And having pounded all these things carefully together, I put them into a new dish, applying a gentle and steady fire to them. And while saying this, he uncovered the dish, and diffused such a sweet perfume over the whole party, that one of the guests present said with great truth—

The winds perfumed the balmy gale convey
Through heav'n, through earth, and all the aërial way;

so excessive was the fragrance which was diffused from the roses.

71. After this, some roasted birds were brought round, and some lentils and peas, saucepans and all, and other things of the same kind, concerning which Phænias the Eresian writes thus, in his treatise on Plants—"For every leguminous cultivated plant bearing seed, is sown either for the sake of being boiled, such as the bean and the pea, (for a sort of boiled soup is made of these vegetables,) or else for the sake of extracting from them a farinaceous flour, as, for instance, the aracus; or else to be cooked like lentils, as the aphace and the common lentil; and some again are sown in order to serve as food for fourfooted animals, as, for instance, the vetch for cattle, and the aphace for sheep. But the vegetable called the pea is mentioned by Eupolis, in his Golden Age." And Heliodorus, who wrote a description of the whole world, in the first book of his treatise on the Acropolis, said—"After the manner in which to boil wheat was discovered, the ancients called it πύανον, but the people of the present day name it ὁλόπυρον."

[Pg 641]


Now, after this discussion had continued a long time, Democritus said—But at least allow us to have a share of these lentils, or of the saucepan itself, lest some of you get pelted with stones, like Hegemon the Thasian. And Ulpian said,—What is the meaning of this pelting (βαλλητὺς) with stones? for I know that in my native city, Eleusis, there is a festival celebrated which is called βαλλητὺς, concerning which I will not say a word, unless I get a reward from each of you. But I, said Democritus, as I am not a person who makes speeches by the hour for hire, like the Prodeipnus of Timon, will tell you all I know about Hegemon.

72. Chamæleon of Pontus, in the sixth book of his treatise concerning ancient Comedy, says—"Hegemon of Thasos, the man who wrote the Parodies, was nicknamed The Lentil, and in one of his parodies he wrote—

While I revolved these counsels in my mind,
Pallas Minerva, with her golden sceptre,
Stood by my head, and touched me, and thus spake—
O thou ill-treated Lentil, wretched man,
Go to the contest: and I then took courage.

And once he came into the theatre, exhibiting a comedy, having his robe full of stones; and he, throwing the stones into the orchestra, caused the spectators to wonder what he meant. And presently afterwards he said—

These now are stones, and let who chooses throw them;
But Lentil's good alike at every season.

But the man has an exceedingly high reputation for his parodies, and was exceedingly celebrated for reciting his verses with great skill and dramatic power; and on this account he was greatly admired by the Athenians. And in his Battle of the Giants, he so greatly delighted the Athenians, that they laughed to excess on that day; and though on that very day the news of all the disasters which had befallen them in Sicily had just arrived, still no one left the theatre, although nearly every one had lost relations by that calamity; and so they hid their faces and wept, but no one rose to depart, in order to avoid being seen by the spectators from other cities to be grieved at the disaster. But they remained listening to the performance, and that too, though Hegemon himself, when he heard of it, had resolved to cease his [Pg 642] recitation. But when the Athenians, being masters of the sea, brought all the actions at law concerning the islands or the islanders into the city, some one instituted a prosecution against Hegemon, and summoned him to Athens to answer it. And he came in court, and brought with him all the workmen of the theatre, and with them he appeared, entreating Alcibiades to assist him. And Alcibiades bade him be of good cheer, and ordered all the workmen to follow him; and so he came to the temple of Cybele, where the trials of prosecutions were held; and then wetting his finger with his mouth, he wiped out the indictment against Hegemon. And though the clerk of the court and the magistrate were indignant at this, they kept quiet for fear of Alcibiades, for which reason also the man who had instituted the prosecution ran away."

73. This, O Ulpian, is what we mean by pelting (βαλλητὺς), but you, when you please, may tell us about the βαλλητὺς at Eleusis. And Ulpian replied,—But you have reminded me, my good friend Democritus, by your mention of saucepans, that I have often wished to know what that is which is called the saucepan of Telemachus, and who Telemachus was. And Democritus said,—Timocles the comic poet, and he was also a writer of tragedy, in his drama called Lethe, says—

And after this Telemachus did meet him,
And with great cordiality embraced him,
And said, "Now lend me, I do beg, the saucepans
In which you boil'd your beans." And scarcely had
He finish'd saying this, when he beheld
At some small distance the renowned Philip,
Son of Chærephilus, that mighty man,
Whom he accosted with a friendly greeting,
And then he bade him send some wicker baskets.

But that this Telemachus was a citizen of the borough of Acharnæ, the same poet shows us in his Bacchus, where he says—

A. Telemachus th' Acharnian still is speaking,
And he is like the new-bought Syrian slaves.
B. How so, what does he do? I wish to know.
A. He bears about with him a deadly dish.

And in his Icarians, a satyric drama, he says—

So that we'd nothing with us; I myself,
Passing a miserable night, did first

[Pg 643]

Sleep on the hardest bed; and then that Lion,
Thudippus, did congeal us all with fear;
Then hunger pinch'd us . . . . . .
And so we went unto the fiery Dion.
But even he had nought with which to help us;
So running to the excellent Telemachus,
The great Acharnian, I found a heap
Of beans, and seized on some and ate them up.
And when that ass Cephisodorus saw us,
He by a most unseemly noise betray'd us.

From this it is plain that Telemachus, being a person who was constantly eating dishes of beans, was always celebrating the festival Pyanepsia.

74. And bean soup is mentioned by Heniochus the comic writer, in his play called the Wren, where he says—

A. I often, by the Gods I swear, consider
In my own mind how far a fig surpasses
A cardamum. But you assert that you
Have held some conversation with this Pauson,
And you request of me a difficult matter.
B. But having many cares of divers aspects,
Just tell me this, and it may prove amusing;
Why does bean soup so greatly fill the stomach,
And why do those who know this Pauson's habits
Dislike the fire? For this great philosopher
Is always occupied in eating beans.

75. So after this conversation had gone on for some time, water for the hands was brought round; and then again Ulpian asked whether the word χέρνιβον, which we use in ordinary conversation, was used by the ancients; and who had met with it; quoting that passage in the Iliad—

He spoke, and bade the attendant handmaid bring
The purest water of the living spring,
(Her ready hands the ewer (χέρνιβον) and basin held,)
Then took the golden cup his queen had fill'd.

But the Attic writers say χερνίβιον, as Lysias, for instance, in his speech against Alcibiades, where he says, "With all his golden wash-hand basins (χερνιβιοις) and incense-burners;" but Eupolis uses the word χειρόνιπτρον, in his Peoples—

And he who runs up first receives a basin (χειρόνιπτρον),
But when a man is both a virtuous man
And useful citizen, though he surpass
In virtue all the rest, he gets no basin (χειρόνιπτρον).

But Epicharmus, in his Ambassadors for a Sacred Purpose, uses the word χειρόνιβον in the following lines:—

[Pg 644]

A harp, and tripods, chariots too, and tables
Of brass Corinthian, and wash-hand basins (χειρόνιβα),
Cups for libations, brazen caldrons too.

But it is more usual to say κατὰ χειρὸς ὕδωρ (water to be poured over the hands), as Eupolis does say in his Golden Age, and Ameipsias in his Sling, and Alcæus in his Sacred Wedding: and this is a very common expression. But Philyllius, in his Auge, says κατὰ χειρῶν, not χειρὸς, in these lines:—

And since the women all have dined well,
'Tis time to take away the tables now,
And wipe them, and then give each damsel water
To wash her hands (κατὰ χειρῶν), and perfumes to anoint them.

And Menander, in his Pitcher, says—

And they having had water for their hands (κατὰ χειρῶν λαβόντες),
Wait in a friendly manner.

76. But Aristophanes the grammarian, in his Commentary on the Tablets of Callimachus, laughs at those who do not know the difference between the two expressions, κατὰ χειρὸς and ἀπονίψασθαι; for he says that among the ancients the way in which people washed their hands before breakfast and supper was called κατὰ χειρὸς, but what was done after those meals was called ἀπονίψασθαι. But the grammarian appears to have taken this observation from the Attic writers, since Homer says, somewhere or other—

Marshall'd in order due, to each a ewer
Presents, to bathe his hands (νίψασθαι), a radiant ewer;
Luxuriant then they feast.

And somewhere else he says—

The golden ewer a maid obsequious brings,
Replenish'd from the cool translucent springs,
With copious water the bright vase supplies,
A silver laver of capacious size;
They wash (ὕδωρ ἐπὶ χεῖρας ἔχευαν). The tables in fair order spread,
They heap the glittering canisters with bread.

And Sophron, in his Female Actresses, says—

O hard-work'd Cæcoa, give us water for our hands (κατὰ χειρὸς),
And then prepare the table for our food.

And among both the tragic and comic writers the word χερνίβα is read with an acute accent on the penultima. By Euripides, in his Hercules—

Which great Alcmena's son might in the basin (χερνίβα) dip.

And also by Eupolis, in his Goats—

Here make an end of your lustration (χερνίβα).

[Pg 645]


And χέρνιψ means the water into which they used to dip a firebrand which they took from the altar on which they were offering the sacrifice, and then sprinkling the bystanders with it, they purified them. But the accusative χερνιβα ought to be written with an acute accent on the antepenultima; for all compound words like that, ending in ψ, derived from the perfect passive, preserve the vowel of the penultima of that perfect tense. And if the perfect ends its penultimate syllable with a double μμ, then the derivative has a grave on the ultima, as λέλειμμαι αἰγίλιψ, τέτριμμαι οἰκότριψ, κέκλεμμαι βοόκλεψ (a word found in Sophocles and applied to Mercury), βέβλεμμαι κατώβλεψ (a word found in Archelaus of the Chersonese, in his poem on Things of a Peculiar Nature: and in the oblique cases such words keep the accent on the same syllable). And Aristophanes, in his Heroes, has used the word χερνίβιον.

77. And for washing the hands they also used something which they called σμῆμα, or soap, for the sake of getting off the dirt; as Antiphanes mentions in his Corycus—

A. But while I'm listening to your discourse,
Bid some one bring me water for my hands.
B. Let some one here bring water and some σμῆμα.

And besides this they used to anoint their hands with perfumes, despising the crumbs of bread on which men at banquets used to wipe their hands, and which the Lacedæmonians called κυνάδες,[35] as Polemo mentions in his Letter on Mean Appellations. But concerning the custom of anointing the hands with perfumes, Epigenes or Antiphanes (whichever was the author of the play called the Disappearance of Money) speaks as follows:—

And then you'll walk about, and, in the fashion,
Will take some scented earth, and wash your hands.

And Philoxenus, in his play entitled the Banquet, says—

And then the slaves brought water for the hands (νίπτρα κατὰ χειρῶν),
And soap (σμῆμα) well mix'd with oily juice of lilies,
And poured o'er the hands as much warm water
As the guests wish'd. And then they gave them towels
Of finest linen, beautifully wrought,
And fragrant ointments of ambrosial smell,
And garlands of the flow'ring violet.

[Pg 646]

And Dromo, in his Female Harp-player, says—

And then, as soon as we had breakfasted,
One handmaid took away the empty tables,
Another brought us water for our hands;
We wash'd, and took our lily wreaths again,
And crown'd our heads with garlands.

78. But they called the water in which they washed either their hands or their feet equally απονιπτρον, Aristophanes says—

Like those who empty slops(απονιπτρον) at eventide.

And they used the word λεκάνη, or basin, in the same way as they used χειρόνιπτρον (a wash-hand basin); but the word ἀπόνιμμα is used in a peculiar sense by the Attic writers only for the water used to do honour to the dead, and for purifying men who have incurred some religious pollution. As also Clidemus tells us, in his book entitled Exegeticus; for he, having mentioned the subject of Offerings to the Dead, writes as follows:—"Dig a trench to the west of the tomb. Then look along the side of the trench towards the west. Then pour down water, saying these words,—'I pour this as a purifying water for you to whom it is right to pour it, and who have a right to expect it.' Then after that pour perfume." And Dorotheus gives the same instructions; saying, that among the hereditary national customs of the people of Thyatira, these things are written concerning the purification of suppliants,—"Then having washed your hands yourself, and when all the rest of those who have joined in disembowelling the victim have washed theirs, take water and purify yourselves, and wash off all the blood from him who is to be purified: and afterwards stir the purifactory water, and pour it into the same place."

79. But the cloth of unbleached linen with which they used to wipe their hands was called χειρόμακτρον, which also, in some verses which have been already quoted, by Philoxenus of Cythera, was called ἔκτριμμα. Aristophanes, in his Cook's Frying, says—

Bring quickly, slave, some water for the hands (κατὰ χειρος),
And bring at the same time a towel (χειρόμακτρον) too.

(And we may remark here, that in this passage he uses the expression κατὰ χειρὸς with reference to washing the hands after eating; not, as Aristophanes the grammarian says, that

[Pg 647]


the Athenians used the expression κατὰ χειρὸς before eating, but the word νίψασθαι after eating.) Sophocles, in his Œnomaus, says—

Shaved in the Scythian manner, while his hair
Served for a towel, and to wipe his hands in.

And Herodotus, in the second book of his History, speaks in a similar manner. But Xenophon, in the first book of his Cyropædia, writes—"But when you have touched any one of these things, you immediately wipe your hands in a towel, as if you were greatly annoyed at their having been polluted in such a manner." And Polemo, in the sixth book of his books addressed to Antigonus and Adæus, speaks of the difference between the two expressions κατὰ χειρὸς and νίψασθαι. And Demonicus, in his Achelonius, uses the expression κατὰ χειρὸς, of water used before a meal, in these lines:—

But each made haste, as being about to dine
With one who'd always a good appetite,
And who had also but Bœotian manners.
And so they all neglected washing their hands (κατὰ χειρὸς),
Because they could do that when they had dined.

And Cratinus also mentions towels, which he calls ὠμόλινον, in his Archilochi,—

With her hair cover'd with a linen towel,
Token of slovenly neglect.

And Sappho, in the fifth book of her Melodies addressed to Venus, when she says—

And purple towels o'er your knees I'll throw,
And do not you despise my precious gifts
*            *            *            *            *            *

speaks of these towels as a covering for the head; as Hecatæus shows, or whoever else it was who wrote those Descriptions of the World in the book entitled Asia,—"And the women wear towels (χειρόμακτρα) on their heads." And Herodotus, in his second book, says, "And after this they said that this king descended down alive into the lower regions, which the Greeks call αἵδης, and that there he played at dice with Ceres, and that sometimes he won and sometimes he lost; and that after that he returned to earth with a gold-embroidered towel, which he had received as a present from her."

80. And Hellanicus, in his Histories, says that the name of the boy who, when he had given Hercules water to wash his hands, and poured it over his hands from the basin, was afterwards slain by Hercules with a blow of his fist, (on which account Hercules left Calydon,) was Archias; but in the second book of the Phoronis he calls him Cherias: but Herodorus, in the seventeenth book of his account of the Exploits of Hercules, calls him Eunomus. And Hercules also, without intending it, killed Cyathus, the son of Pyles and brother of Antimachus, who was acting as his cupbearer, as Nicander relates in the second book of his History of Œta; to whom also he says that a temple was dedicated by Hercules in the Proschium, which to this day is called the Temple of the Cupbearer.

But we will stop this conversation at this point, and begin the next book with an account of the voracity of Hercules.


[24] The fragment here given appears to be hopelessly corrupt.

[25] Hom. Iliad, ix. 323, Pope's translation.

[26] Hom. Odyss. xiv. 80.

[27] This is very obscure and corrupt. Casaubon suspects the genuineness of the last four lines altogether.

[28] Μέροπες means properly men speaking articulately, in contradistinction to brutes. It is a favourite word with Homer.

[29] These are words applied by Homer to sacrifices.—Μοιρα is a portion, and ὀβελὸς a spit; but μιστυλλα is only a word derived from Homer's verb μιστύλλω, (from which Æmilianus, a friend of Martial, called his cook _Mistyllus_,) and δίπτυχα is used by Homer as an adverb.

[30] I have translated ἀτταγᾶς as the woodcock, because that is always considered to be the bird meant, but it is plain that the description here given does not apply in the least to the woodcock. In some particulars it is more like the landrail.

[31] Schweighaeuser thinks, with apparent reason, that there is some corruption in the text here.

[32] Athenæus here does not arrange his conjugations as we do; nor is it very plain what he means by an immutable consonant.

[33] The same as Puteoli.

[34] The cordax was a lascivious dance of the old comedy; to dance it off the stage was considered a sign of drunkenness and indecency.

[35] As being thrown to the dogs; from κυὼν, a dog.

[Pg 648]



But a wise poet should behave
Like one who gives a splendid feast;
And so if he is wise should he
Seek the spectators to delight,
So that each one, when he departs,
May think that he has drunk and eaten
Exactly what he'd most have wish'd;
Not that there should have been but one
Dish for all sorts of appetites,
Or but one kind of writing for all tastes.

These, my good friend Timocrates, are the words of Astydamas the tragedian, in his satyric drama of Hercules. Come, let us now proceed to mention what is consistent with what we have said before, to show how great an eater Hercules was. And this is a point in his character mentioned by nearly all poets and historians. Epicharmus, in his Busiris, says—

For if you were to see him eat, you would
Be frighten'd e'en to death; his jaws do creak,
His throat with long deep-sounding thunder rolls,
His large teeth rattle, and his dog-teeth crash,
His nostrils hiss, his ears with hunger tremble.

And Ion, in his Omphale, having mentioned his voracity, adds—

And then, excited by th' applause, he rose
And swallow'd all the logs and burning coals.

[Pg 649]


But Ion borrowed all this from Pindar, who said[36]

*              *              *              *             *

And they say that he was a man of such excessive voracity, that they gave him the cormorant, amongst birds which should be sacred to him, which is called the ox-eater, on account of its voracity.

2. And Hercules is represented as having entered into a contest with Lepreus in respect of their mutual powers of eating, Lepreus having been the challenger: however, Hercules gained the victory. But Zenodotus, in the second book of his Epitomes, says that Lepreus was the son of Caucon, who was the son of Neptune and Astydamia; and that he ordered Hercules to be thrown into prison, when he demanded of Augeas the reward which was due to him for his labours. But Hercules, when he had completed his labours, came to the house of Caucon, and at the entreaty of Astydamia, he became reconciled to Lepreus. And after this Lepreus contended with Hercules in throwing the quoit, and in drawing water, and also as to which would eat a bull with the greatest rapidity; and in all these things he was defeated. And after that he armed himself, and challenged Hercules to single combat, and was slain in the battle. But Matris, in his panegyric on Hercules, says, that Hercules was also challenged by Lepreus to a contest as to who could drink most, and that Lepreus was again defeated. And the Chian orator, Caucalus, the brother of Theopompus the historian, relates the same story in his panegyric on Hercules.

3. Homer, too, represents Ulysses as a great eater, and a very voracious man, when he says—

What histories of toil I could declare,
But still long-wearied nature wants repair.
Spent with fatigue and shrunk with pining fast,
My craving bowels still require repast;
Howe'er the noble suffering mind may grieve
Its load of anguish, and disdain to live,
Necessity demands our daily bread;
Hunger is insolent and will be fed.

For in these lines his gluttony appears prodigious, when it induces him on so unseasonable an occasion to utter apophthegms about his stomach. For he ought, if he had been ever so hungry, to have endured it, or at all events to have been moderate in his food. But this last passage [Pg 650] shows the extreme voracity and gluttony of the man—

For all my mind is overwhelm'd with care,
But hunger is the worst of griefs to bear;
Still does my stomach bid me eat and drink,
Lest on my sorrows I too deeply think.
Food makes me all my sufferings forget,
And fear not those which may surround me yet.

For even the notorious Sardanapalus would hardly have ventured to give utterance to such sentiments as those. Moreover, when Ulysses was an old man—

Voraciously he endless dishes ate,
And quaff'd unceasing cups of wine. . . .

4. But Theagenes of Thasos, the athlete, ate a bull single-handed, as Posidippus tells us in his Epigrams.

And as I'd undertaken, I did eat
A Thracian bull. My own poor native land
Of Thasos could not have purvey'd a meal
Sufficient for the hunger of Theagenes.
I ate all I could get, then ask'd for more.
And, therefore, here you see, I stand in brass,
Holding my right hand forth; put something in it.

And Milo of Crotona, as Theodorus of Hierapolis tells us in his book upon Games, ate twenty minæ[37] weight of meat, and an equal quantity of bread, and drank three choes[38] of wine. And once at Olympia he took a four year old bull on his shoulders, and carried it all round the course, and after that he killed it and cut it up, and ate it all up by himself in one day. And Titormus the Ætolian had a contest with him as to which could eat an ox with the greatest speed, as Alexander the Ætolian relates. But Phylarchus, in the third book of his Histories, says that Milo, while lying down before the altar of Jupiter, ate a bull, on which account Dorieus the poet made the following epigram on him:—

[Pg 651]

Milo could lift enormous weights from earth,
A heifer four years old, at Jove's high feast,
And on his shoulders the huge beast he bore,
As it had been a young and little lamb,
All round the wondering crowd of standers by.
But he did still a greater feat than this,
Before the altar of Olympian Jove;
For there he bore aloft an untamed bull
In the procession, then he cut it up,
And by himself ate every bit of it.

But Astydamas the Milesian, having gained the victory at Olympia three times in the pancratium, being once invited to supper by Ariobarzanes the Persian, when he had come, offered to eat everything that had been prepared for the whole party, and did eat it. And when, Theodorus relates, the Persian entreated him to do something suitable to his enormous strength, he broke off a large brazen ornament in the shape of a lentil from the couch and crushed it in his hand. And when he died, and when his body was burnt, one urn would not contain his bones, and scarcely two could do so. And they say that the dinner which he ate by himself at Ariobarzanes's table had been prepared for nine persons.

5. And there is nothing unnatural in such men as those being very voracious; for all the men who practise athletic exercises, learn with these gymnastic exercises also to eat a great deal. On which account Euripides says, in the first edition of his Autolycus—

For when there are ten thousand ills in Greece,
There's none that's worse than the whole race of athletes.
For, first of all, they learn not to live well,
Nor could they do so; for could any man
Being a slave to his own jaws and appetite
Acquire wealth beyond his father's riches?
How could a man like that increase his substance?
Nor yet can they put up with poverty,
Or e'er accommodate themselves to fortune;
And so being unaccustom'd to good habits,
They quickly fall into severe distress.—
In youth they walk about in fine attire,
And think themselves a credit to the city;
But when old age in all its bitterness
O'ertakes their steps, they roam about the streets,
Like ragged cloaks whose nap is all worn off.
And much I blame the present fashions, too,
Which now in Greece prevail; where many a feast
Is made to pay great honour to such men,
And to show false respect to vain amusements.
For though a man may wrestle well, or run,
Or throw a quoit, or strike a heavy blow,
Still where's the good his country can expect
From all his victories and crowns and prizes?
Will they fight with their country's enemies
With quoit in hand? Or will their speed assist
[Pg 652] To make the hostile bands retreat before them?
When men stand face to face with th' hostile sword
They think no more of all these fooleries.
'Twere better to adorn good men and wise
With these victorious wreaths; they are the due
Of those who govern states with wisdom sound,
And practise justice, faith, and temperance;
Who by their prudent language ward off evils,
Banishing wars and factions. These are the men,
Who're not alone a grace and ornament
To their own land, but to the whole of Greece.

6. Now Euripides took all this from the Elegies of Xenophanes the Colophonian, who has spoken in this way—

But if a man, in speed of foot victorious,
Or in the contests of the pentathlum,
Where is the sacred grove of Jupiter,
Near to the sacred streamlets of Olympia;
Or as a wrestler, or exchanging blows
And painful struggles as a hardy boxer,
Or in the terrible pancratium,
He surely is a noble citizen,
And well he does deserve the honours due
Of a front seat at games and festivals,
And at the public cost to be maintain'd;
And to receive a public gift of honour,
Which shall become an heirloom to his children.
And such shall be his honours, even if
He wins by horses, not by his own strength.
And still I think he does not equal me;
For wisdom far exceeds in real value
The bodily strength of man, or horses' speed;
But the mob judges of such things at random;
Though 'tis not right to prefer strength to sense:
For though a man may a good boxer be,
Or pentathlete, or never-conquer'd wrestler,
Or if he vanquish all in speed of foot—
Which is the most important of all contests—
Still for all this his city will enjoy
No better laws through his great strength or speed;
And 'tis small cause for any lasting joy,
That one of all her citizens should gain
A prize on Pisa's banks; for such achievements
Fill not the country's granaries with corn.

And Xenophanes contends at great length, and with great earnestness and variety of argument, in favour of the superior advantage of his own wisdom, running down athletic exercises as useless and unprofitable. And Achæus the Eretrian, speaking of the good constitution of the athletes, says—

[Pg 653]

For naked they did wave their glistening arms,
And move along exulting in their youth,
Their valiant shoulders swelling in their prime
Of health and strength; while they anoint with oil
Their chests and feet and limbs abundantly,
As being used to luxury at home.

7. But Heraclitus, in his Entertainer of Strangers, says that there was a woman named Helena, who ate more than any other woman ever did. And Posidippus, in his Epigrams, says that Phuromachus was a great eater, on whom he wrote this epigram:—

This lowly ditch now holds Phuromachus,
Who used to swallow everything he saw,
Like a fierce carrion crow who roams all night.
Now here he lies wrapp'd in a ragged cloak.
But, O Athenian, whoe'er you are,
Anoint this tomb and crown it with a wreath,
If ever in old times he feasted with you.
At last he came sans teeth, with eyes worn out,
And livid swollen eyelids; clothed in skins,
With but one single cruse, and that scarce full;
For from the gay Lenæan games he came,
Descending humbly to Calliope.

But Amarantus of Alexandria, in his treatise on the Stage, says that Herodorus, the Megarian trumpeter, was a man three cubits and a half in height; and that he had great strength in his chest, and that he could eat six chœnixes[39] of bread, and twenty litræ of meat, of whatever sort was provided for him, and that he could drink two choes of wine; and that he could play on two trumpets at once; and that it was his habit to sleep on only a lion's skin, and when playing on the trumpet he made a vast noise. Accordingly, when Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, was besieging Argos, and when his troops could not bring the helepolis against the walls on account of its weight, he, giving the signal with his two trumpets at once, by the great volume of sound which he poured forth, instigated the soldiers to move forward the engine with great zeal and earnestness; and he gained the prize in all the games ten times; and he used to eat sitting down, as Nestor tells us in his Theatrical Reminiscences. And there was a woman, too, who played on the trumpet, whose name was Aglais, the daughter [Pg 654] of Megacles, who, in the first great procession which took place in Alexandria, played a processional piece of music; having a head-dress of false hair on, and a crest upon her head, as Posidippus proves by his epigrams on her. And she, too, could eat twelve litræ of meat and four chœnixes of bread, and drink a choeus of wine, at one sitting.

8. There was, besides, a man of the name of Lityerses, a bastard son of Midas, the king of Celænæ in Phrygia, a man of a savage and fierce aspect, and an enormous glutton; and he is mentioned by Sositheus the tragic poet, in his play called Daphnis or Lityersa; where he says—

He'll eat three asses' panniers, freight and all,
Three times in one brief day; and what he calls
A measure of wine is a ten-amphoræ cask;
And this he drinks all at a single draught.

And the man mentioned by Pherecrates, or Strattis, whichever was the author of the play called The Good Men, was much such another; the author says—

A. I scarcely in one day, unless I'm forced,
Can eat two bushels and a half of food.
B. A most unhappy man! how have you lost
Your appetite, so as now to be content
With the scant rations of one ship of war?

And Xanthus, in his Account of Lydia, says that Cambles, who was the king of the Lydians, was a great eater and drinker, and also an exceeding epicure; and accordingly, that he one night cut up his own wife into joints and ate her; and then, in the morning, finding the hand of his wife still sticking in his mouth, he slew himself, as his act began to get notorious. And we have already mentioned Thys, the king of the Paphlagonians, saying that he too was a man of vast appetite, quoting Theopompus, who speaks of him in the thirty-fifth book of his History; and Archilochus, in his Tetrameters, has accused Charilas of the same fault, as the comic poets have attacked Cleonymus and Pisander. And Phœnicides mentions Chærippus in his Phylarchus in the following terms—

And next to them I place Chærippus third;
He, as you know, will without ceasing eat
As long as any one will give him food,
Or till he bursts,—such stowage vast has he,
Like any house.

[Pg 655]


9. And Nicolaus the Peripatetic, in the hundred and third book of his History, says that Mithridates, the king of Pontus, once proposed a contest in great eating and great drinking (and the prize was a talent of silver), and that he himself gained the victory in both; but he yielded the prize to the man who was judged to be second to him, namely, Calomodrys, the athlete of Cyzicus. And Timocreon the Rhodian, a poet, and an athlete who had gained the victory in the pentathlum, ate and drank a great deal, as the epigram on his tomb shows—

Much did I eat, much did I drink, and much
Did I abuse all men; now here I lie;—
My name Timocreon, my country Rhodes.

And Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, in one his Prefaces, says that Timocreon came to the great king of Persia, and being entertained by him, did eat an immense quantity of food; and when the king asked him, What he would do on the strength of it? he said that he would beat a great many Persians; and the next day, having vanquished a great many, one after another, taking them one by one, after this, he beat the air with his hands; and when they asked him what he wanted, he said that he had all those blows left in him if any one was inclined to come on. And Clearchus, in the fifth book of his Lives, says, that Cantibaris the Persian, whenever his jaws were weary with eating, had his slaves to pour food into his mouth, which he kept open as if they were pouring it into an empty vessel. But Hellanicus, in the first book of his Deucalionea, says that Erysichthon, the son of Myrmidon, being a man perfectly insatiable in respect of food, was called Æthon. And Polemo, in the first book of his Treatise addressed to Timæus, says that among the Sicilians there was a temple consecrated to gluttony, and an image of Ceres Sito;[40] near which, also, there was a statue of Himalis,[41] as there is at Delphi one of Hermuchus,[42] and as at Scolum, in Boeotia, there are statues of Megalartus[43] and Megalomazus.

[Pg 656]

10. And Alcman the poet records himself to have been a great eater, in his third book of Odes, when he says—

And presently I will bestow
On you a large round dish well fill'd;
And even now 'tis on the fire,
Full of pulse-broth, which e'en the glutton
Alcman would like to feast on warm,
After the wintry solstice sets in;
For he for dainties does not care,
But loves the common people's dishes,
As long as they are full enough.

And in his fifth book he also displays his love of eating, speaking thus—

God has bestow'd on man three various seasons,
The summer, and the winter, and the autumn;
And a fourth too, the spring, when men can dance,
But scarce are able to get much to eat.

And Anaxilas the comic poet, speaking in his play called Chrysochous of a man named Ctesias, says—

You now have nearly all things, save the art
Of Ctesias himself; for wise men say,
That he does recognise nought but the beginning
Of a rich banquet, and denies the end.

And in his Rich Men he says—

A. Others may also burst when fed too well
Not Ctesias alone.—
B. What should hinder it?
A. For he, as wise men say, loves the beginning
Of any feast, but ne'er can make an end of it.

And in his play called The Graces he includes a man called Cranaus in his list of great eaters; saying—

Men do not come and ask at random now,
Does Cranaus eat less than Ctesias?
Or do they both keep constantly devouring?

And Philetærus, in his Atalante, says—

If it were needful, I could run more stadia
Than e'er were run by Sotades; I surpass
E'en Taureas himself in these my labours;
And out-run Ctesias himself in eating.

And Anaxippus, in his Thunderbolt, says—

A. For now I see Damippus here approaching
From the palæstra.
B. What! that man of stone?

[Pg 657]

Him whom your friends e'en now, from his great strength,
Surname the Thunderbolt?
A. Most probably;
For I think he will overturn all tables
Which he once strikes with his consuming jaw.

And in these lines the comic poet shows that it was from this man that he had given his play the title of The Thunderbolt. And Theophilus, in his Epidaurus, says—

There was a Mantinean centurion,
Atrestides his name; who of all men
That ever lived could eat the greatest quantity.

And, in his Pancratiast, he introduces the athlete as eating a great deal, where he says—

A. Of boil'd meat about three minæ weight.
B. Now mention something else.
A. A fine pig's face;
A ham; four pettitoes;—
B. Oh, Hercules!
A. Three calves' feet, and one hen.
B. Oh, Phoebus, oh!
What else?
A. Two minæ weight of figs: that's all.
B. And how much did you drink?
A. Twelve measures only
Of unmix'd wine.
B. Oh, Bacchus! oh, Sabazius!

11. And whole nations also have been ridiculed by the comic poets for their gluttony; as the Bœotians, for instance. Accordingly, Eubulus says, in his Antiopa—

We are courageous men to toil and eat,
And to endure sharp pain; the Attic race
Is quick and eloquent, and they eat little;
But the Bœotians eat enormously.

And in his Europa he says—

Go now and build up the Bœotian city,
Where the men eat all day and never tire.

And in his Ionian he says—

He is so thorough a Bœotian
In all his manners, that, like them, 'tis said
He's never tired nor content with eating.

And in his Cercopes he says—

And after that I came to Thebes, where men
Spend the whole night in feasts and revelry;
And each man has a privy at his doors,
Which is a great boon to an o'er-fed man;
[Pg 658] For men who have got a long way to go,
And who eat much and bite their weary lips,
Are some of the most ludicrous of sights.

And in his Mysians he represents some one as making the following speech to Hercules—

You leaving, as you say, the Theban plain,
Where valiant men sit eating all the day,
Being all throat, and close beside the privy.

Diphilus, in his Bœotian, says—

That man can eat, beginning before dawn,
Or come again and eat till the following day.

Mnesimachus, in his Busiris, says—

. . . . . . . For I am a Bœotian,
Who do not eat much else, except these things.

Alexis, in his Trophonius, says—

And now that you may not be found out thus,
And spoken of as men of Boeotia,
By those whose wont it is to run you down,
As men unequall'd in creating noise,
And knowing nothing else save how to eat
And drink unceasingly the whole night long;
Strip yourselves quick, and all prepare for action.

And Achæus, in his Contests, says—

A. Are you now speaking to the spectators here,
Or to the body of competitors?
B. To those who eat much, as men training do.
A. Whence do the strangers come from?
B. They're Bœotians.

And very likely it is because of all this that Eratosthenes, in his Epistles, says, that Pempelus, when he was asked, "What sort of people the Bœotians appeared to him?" answered, "That they only spoke just as vessels might be expected to speak, if they had a voice, of how much each of them could hold." And Polybius of Megalopolis, in the twentieth book of his Histories, says that "the Bœotians, having gained great glory at the battle of Leuctra, after that relaxed their courage again, and turned to feasting and drunkenness, and to making parties for eating among friends; and many of them, even of those who had children, spent the greater part of their substance on their feasts; so that there were a great number of Bœotians who had more invitations to supper than there were days in the month. On which account the Megarians, hating such a system as that, abandoned their alliance, and joined themselves to the Achæans.

[Pg 659]


12. The people of Pharsalus also are ridiculed by the comic poets as being enormous eaters; accordingly Mnesimachus, in his Philip, says—

A. Has any man of the Pharsalians come,
That he may eat up e'en our very tables?
B. There's no one come at all.
A. So much the better;
Perhaps they have all gone somewhere else to eat
Some city of Achaïa ready roasted.

And that it was a general imputation on all the Thessalians, that they were great eaters, Crates tells us in his Lamia, saying—

Great words three cubits long,
Cut into huge Thessalian slices thus:—

and he by this alludes to the Thessalians as cutting their meat into overgrown pieces. And Philetærus, in his Lampbearers, says also—

And a huge piece of pork, enough to break
One's arm, cut in the coarse Thessalian fashion.

They used to speak also of a Thessalian mouthful, as something enormous. Hermippus says in his Fates—

But Jupiter, considering nought of this,
Wink'd, and made up a huge Thessalian mouthful.

And such great bits of meat Aristophanes, in his Men Frying, calls Capanic, saying—

What is all this
To the great Lydian and Thessalian banquets?

And presently he says—

More splendid (καπανικώτερα) far than the Thessalian;

meaning big enough to load a wagon. For the Thessalians use the word καπάνη as equivalent to ἀπήνη. Xenarchus, in his Scythians, says—

A. They kept to seven Capanæ for the games
At Pisa.
B. What do you mean?
A. In Thessaly
They call their carts Capanæ.
B. I understand.

13. And Hecatæus says that the Egyptians were great bread-eaters, eating loaves of rye, called κυλλήστιες, and bruising barley [Pg 660] to extract a drink from it; and on this account Alexis, in his treatise on Contentment, says that Bocchoris and his father Neochabis were contented with a moderate quantity of food; as Lycon of Iasus relates in his treatise on Pythagoras. But he did not abstain from animal food, as Aristoxenus tells us; and Apollodorus the Arithmetician says, that he even sacrificed a hecatomb when he found out that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the side subtending the right angle is equal to the squares of the two sides containing it—

When the illustrious Pythagoras
Discover'd that renowned problem which
He celebrated with a hecatomb.

But Pythagoras was a very sparing drinker, and lived in a most frugal manner, so that he often contented himself with honey by itself. And nearly the same thing is told us of Aristides, and of Epaminondas, and of Phocion, and of Phormio, the generals. But Manius Curius, the Roman general, lived on turnips all his life; and once, when the Sabines sent him a large sum of gold, he said he had no need of gold while he ate such food as that. And this story is recorded by Megacles in his treatise on Illustrious Men.

14. And there are many people who approve of moderate meals, as Alexis tells us in his Woman in Love—

But I am content with what is necessary,
And hate superfluous things; for in excess
There is not pleasure, but extravagance.

And in his Liar he says—

I hate excess; for those who practise it
Have only more expense, but not more pleasure.

And in his Foster Brothers he says—

How sweet all kinds of moderation are!
I now am going away, not empty, but
In a most comfortable state,—for wise
Mnesitheus tells us that 'tis always right
T' avoid extravagance in everything.

[Pg 661]


And Ariston the philosopher, in the second book of his Amatory Similitudes, says that Polemo, the Academic philosopher, used to exhort those who were going to a supper, to consider how they might make their party pleasant, not only for the present evening, but also for the morrow. And Timotheus, the son of Conon, being once taken by Plato from a very sumptuous and princely entertainment to one held at the Academy, and being there feasted in a simple and scholar-like manner, said that those who supped with Plato would be well the next day also. But Hegesander, in his Commentaries, says that on the next day Timotheus, meeting with Plato, said, "You, O Plato, sup well, more with reference to the next day than to the present one!" But Pyrrho the Elean, when on one occasion one of his acquaintances received him with a very sumptuous entertainment, as he himself relates, said, "I will for the future not come to you if you receive me in this manner; that I may avoid being grieved by seeing you go to a great expense for which there is no necessity, and that you, too, may not come to distress by being overwhelmed by such expenses; for it is much better for us to delight one another by our mutual companionship and conversation, than by the great variety of dishes which we set before one another, of which our servants consume the greater part."

15. But Antigonus of Carystus, in his Life of Menedemus, relating the way in which the banquets of that philosopher are managed, says, that he used to dine with one or two companions at most; and that all the rest of his guests used to come after they had supped. For in fact, Menedemus's supper and dinner were only one meal, and after that was over they called in all who chose to come; and if any of them, as would be the case, came before the time, they would walk up and down before the doors, and inquire of the servants who came out what was being now served up, and how far on the dinner had proceeded. And if they heard that it was only the vegetables or the cured fish that was being served up, they went away; but if they were told that the meat was put on the table, then they went into the room which had been prepared for that purpose. And in the summer a rush mat was spread over each couch, and in the winter a fleece. But every one was expected to bring his own pillow; and the cup, which was brought round to each person, did not hold more than one cotyla. And the dessert was lupins or beans as a general rule; but sometimes some fruits, such as were in season, were brought in; in summer, pears or pomegranates; and in spring, pulse; and in winter, figs. And we have a witness as to these things, Lycophron the Chalcidian, who wrote a satyric drama entitled Menedemus, in which [Pg 662] Silenus says to the satyrs—

O cursed sons of a most excellent father,
I, as you see, have quite a fancy for you:
For, by the gods I swear, that not in Caria,
Nor in fair Rhodes, nor royal Lydia,
Have I e'er eaten so superb a supper;
Phoebus Apollo! what a feast it was.

And a little further on, he says—

And the boy brought us round a scanty cup
Of wine that might be worth five pence a bottle—
Awfully flat; and then that cursed thing,
That hang-dog lupin, danced upon the board,
A fitting meal for parasites and beggars.

And presently afterwards, he says that philosophical disquisitions were carried on during the entertainment—

And for dessert,
We had some learned conversation.

It is also related that those who met in this way very often kept on conversing to such a time that "the bird which calls the morn still caught them talking, and they were not yet satisfied."

16. But Arcesilaus, when giving a supper to some people, when the bread fell short, and his slave made him a sign that there were no loaves left, burst out laughing, and clapped his hands; and said, "What a feast we have here, my friends! We forgot to buy loaves enough; run now, my boy:"—and this he said, laughing; and all the guests who were present burst out laughing, and great amusement and entertainment were excited, so that the very want of bread was a great seasoning to the feast. And at another time, Arcesilaus ordered Apelles, one of his friends, to strain some wine; and when he, not being used to doing so, shook some of the wine and spilt some, so that the wine appeared much thicker than usual, he laughed, and said, "But I told a man to strain the wine who has never seen anything good any more than I myself have; so do you now get up, Aridices; and do you go away and tap the casks that are outside." And this good-humour of his so pleased and excited the mirth of those present, that they were all filled with joy.

[Pg 663]


17. But those of the present day who give entertainments, especially the inhabitants of the beautiful Alexandria, cry out, and make a noise, and curse the cupbearer, the steward, and cook; and the slaves are all crying, being beaten with fists and driven about in every direction. And not only do the guests who are invited sup with great discomfort and annoyance, but even if there is any sacrifice going on, the god himself would veil his face and go away, leaving not only the house, but even the entire city, in which such things take place. For it is absurd for a man, proclaiming that people should all confine themselves to words of good omen, to curse his wife and his children; and such a man as that would say to the guests—

And now then let us hasten to the feast,
That we may plan the movements of the war;—

for such a man's house—

Is redolent of frankincense,
And pæans too, and groans at the same time.

Now, when all this had been said, one of the guests who were present said,—We ought, then, when we consider these things, to guard against indulging our appetites too much;

For a frugal supper breeds no drunkenness,

as Amphis says, in his Pan: nor does it produce insolence or insulting conduct; as Alexis testifies in his Ulysses Weaving, where he says—

For many a banquet which endures too long,
And many and daily feasts, are wont t' engender
Insult and mockery; and those kind of jests
Give far more pain than they do raise amusement.
For such are the first ground of evil-speaking;
And if you once begin t' attack your neighbour,
You quickly do receive back all you bring,
And then abuse and quarrels surely follow;
Then blows and drunken riot. For this is
The natural course of things, and needs no prophet.

18. And Mnesimachus, in his Philip, on account of the immoderate indulgence in suppers of people of his time, introduces an entertainment which professes to be a preparation for war, and which really is what that admirable writer Xenophon calls a workshop of war. And he speaks thus—

Know you now with what men you must fight?
With us, who sup upon well-sharpen'd swords,
And swallow lighted firebrands for dainties:
And then, for our dessert, our slaves bring in,
After the first course, Cretan bows and arrows;
[Pg 664] And, 'stead of vetches, broken heads of spears,
And fragments of well-batter'd shields and breastplates;
And at our feet lie slings, and stones, and bows,
And on our heads are wreaths of catapults.

And Phoenix the Colophonian says—

A cask of wine shall be our sword—a cup
Shall be our spear—our hair shall arrows be;
Goblets shall be our enemies—wine our horses—
Ointments and perfumes our war-cry fierce.

And in the Parasite, Alexis, speaking of some very voracious person, says—

And all the younger men do call him parasite,
Using a gentler name; but he cares not.
And Telephus in speechless silence sits,
Making but signs to those who ask him questions;
So that the inviter often offers prayers
To the great Samothracian gods o' the sea,
To cease their blowing, and to grant a calm;
For that young man's a storm to all his friends.

And Diphilus, in his Hercules, speaking of some similar kind of person, says—

Do you not now behold me drunk and merry,
Well fill'd with wine, and all inflamed with anger?
Have not I just devour'd a dozen cakes,
Every one larger than a good-sized shield?

On which account, Bion of the Borysthenes said, cleverly enough, that "A man ought not to derive his pleasures from the table, but from meditation;" and Euripides says—

I pleased my palate with a frugal meal;

signifying that the pleasure derived from eating and drinking is chiefly limited to the mouth. And Æschylus, in his Phineus, says—

And many a most deceitful meal they snatch'd
Away from hungry jaws, in haste t' enjoy
The first delight of the too eager palate.

And in his Sthenebœa, Euripides speaks of frugality thus—

A life at sea is a much troubled life,
Not reinforced with pleasures of the table,
But like a stable on the shore. The sea itself
Is a moist mother, not a nurse on land;
'Tis her we plough; from this our food, procured
With nets and traps, comes daily home to us.

19. For the belly is a great evil to man; concerning which Alexis speaks, in his Men Dying together—

[Pg 665]

And hence you well may see how great an evil
The belly is to man; what lessons strange
It teaches, and what deeds it forces on us.
If there were any power which could take
This part alone from out our bodies, then
No one would any more do injury
Or insult to his neighbour. But from this
Flow all the ills that harass human life.

And Diphilus, in his Parasite, says—

Well did that wise Euripides oft speak,
And this does seem his wisest word of all—
"But want compels me and my wretched belly;"
For there is nought more wretched than the belly:
And into that you pour whate'er you have,
Which you do not in any other vessel.
Loaves you perhaps may in a wallet carry,—
Not soup, or else you'll spoil it. So again,
You put cakes in a basket, but not pulse;
And wine into a bladder, but not crabs:
But into this accursed belly, men
Put every sort of inconsistent thing.
I add no more; since it is plain enough
That all men's errors are produced by it.

And Crates the Cynic, as Sosicrates tells us in his Successions, reproached Demetrius Phalereus for sending him a wallet of bread with a flagon of wine. "I wish," said he, "that the fountains bore bread." And Stilpo did not think himself guilty of intemperance when, having eaten garlic, he went to sleep in the temple of the Mother of the Gods; but all who eat of that food were forbidden even to enter into it. But when the goddess appeared to him in his sleep, and said, "O Stilpo, do you, though you are a philosopher, transgress the law?" he thought that he made answer to her (still being asleep), "Do you give me something better to eat, and I will not eat garlic."

20. After this, Ulpian said,—Since we have feasted (δεδείπναμεν) . . . . . . . . . And Alexis, in his Curis, has used this expression, where he says—

Since we have long since supp'd (δεδείπναμεν);

and so has Eubulus, in his Procris—

But we have not yet supp'd (δεδείπναμεν);

and in another passage he says—

[Pg 666]

A man who ought long since to have had supper (δεδειπναναι).

And Antiphanes, in his Leonidas, says—

He will be here before we've finish'd supper (δεδειπνάναι).

And Aristophanes, in his Proagon, says—

It's time for me to go now to my master,
For by this time I think they all have supp'd (δεδειπνάναι).

And in his Danaides he says—

You now are insulting me in a drunken manner
Before you've supp'd (δεδειπνάναι).

And Plato, in his Sophist, and Epicrates of Ambracia (and this last is a poet of the middle comedy), in his Amazons, says—

For these men seem to me to have had their supper (δεδειπνάναι)
In capital season.

And, on the same principle, Aristophanes has given us the form ἠρίσταμεν, in his Men Frying—

We've drank our fill, my men, and well have dined (ἠπίσταμεν).

And Hermippus, in his Soldiers, says—

To dine (ἀριστάναι), and come to this man's house.

And Theopompus, in his Callæschrus, says—

We've dined (ἠρίσταμεν);—for I must this discourse cut short.

But, in his Politician, Antipho has used the word καταριστᾶν, saying—

When any one has all consumed in dinners (κατηρίστηκεν)
His own estate, and that of all his family.

And Amphis has used the word παραδεδειπνημένος, in his Vagabond, saying—

The boys who long ago have lost their dinner (παραδεδειπνημένοι).

21. "Let us, then, now," as Plato says in his Philebus, "pray to the gods, and pour libations to them, whether it be Bacchus, or Vulcan, or whoever else of the gods it may be, who has had the honour of having our cups mixed for his sake. For there are two fountains by us, as if we were cupbearers to mix the wine: and a person might compare a fountain of pleasure to honey; but the fountain of wisdom, which is a sober and wine-eschewing spring, to that of some hard but wholesome water, which we must be very earnest to mix as well as possible." It is, then, time for us now to drink wine; and let some one of the slaves bring us goblets from the sideboard, for I see here a great variety of beautiful and variously-ornamented drinking-cups. Accordingly, when a large cup had been given to him, he said,—But, O boy, draw out and pour into my cup a liquor with not quite so much water in it; not like the man in the comic poet Antiphanes, who, in the Twins, says—

[Pg 667]

He took and brought me an enormous cup,
And I pour'd into it unmixed wine,
Not to the honour of a boy, but all
My cups, and they were numberless, I quaff'd
To all the gods and goddesses of heaven.
Then, after them, I drank twice as much more
To the great goddess and the noble king.

So do you now, O boy, pour me out something stronger; for I do not prescribe to you the exact number of cyathi.[44] But I will show you that the words κύαθος and ἀκρατέστερον (wine with less water in it) are both used: and then, too, I will give you a lecture about cupbearers.

22. But, first of all, I will speak about the habit of drinking strong drinks, with reference to which we find the word ζωρότερον. Antiphanes, in his Milanion, says—

I think this man does drink the cup of health,
Making his cupbearer shun too much water (ζωροτέρῳ χρώμενον οἰνοχόῳ).

And in his Lampon he says—

My friend Iapyx, mix it somewhat stronger (εὐζωρέστερον).

And Ephippus, in his Ephebi, says—

He gave him in each hand a brimming flagon,
Mixing in strong wine (ζωρότερον), in Homer's fashion.

And you find some people say that the expression in Homer—

Take care and give less water (ζωρότερον κέραιρε),

does not mean that there is to be less water, but that the draught is to be hot; urging that ζωρὸς is derived from [Pg 668] ζωτικὸς (giving life), and from ζέσις (boiling);—for that, as there were companions present, it would have been absurd to begin mixing the cups of wine over again. But some say that the word is to be understood as equivalent to εὔκρατον (well-mixed); just as we find the form δεξιτερὸν used instead of δεξιόν. And some say that, since the year is called ὧρος, and since the particle ζα indicates magnitude or number, ζῶρος means merely what has been made many years. And Diphilus, in his Pederastæ, says—

Pour me now out a cup of wine to drink;
Give it, by Jove! εὐζωρότερον than that;
For wat'ry things are ruinous to the stomach.

And Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drinking, says that ζωρότερον means mixed; quoting the following lines of Empedocles;—

And soon the things which formerly they learnt
Immortal were, did mortal now become,
And things unmix'd before became now mix'd (ζωρὰ,)
Changing their previous ways and habits all.

23. And Plato has used the word κύαθος in the sense of a ladle, in his Phaon, where he says—

Taking up thus the ladle (κύαθος) in their mouths.

And in his Ambassadors he says—

He stole the ladles (κύαθοι) every time he could.

And Archippus, in his Fishes, says—

I bought a ladle (κύαθος) there from Dæsias.

And there is a similar use of the word in the Peace of Aristophanes:—

All having fought till they had got black eyes,
Lying all on the ground around the κύαθοι;

for black eyes are reduced by having κύαθοι (cupping glasses) applied to them. Xenophon also speaks of the κύαθος in the first book of his Cyropædia; and so does Cratinus; and, besides, so does Aristophanes in many places, and Eubulus in his Orthanna; and Pherecrates, in his Triflers, has spoken of a κύαθος made of silver. But Timon, in the second book of his History of the Silli, has called κύαθοι, ἀρύσαναι; speaking thus:—

And ἀρύσαναι, hard to fill with wine;

naming them so from the verb ἀρύομαι, to draw. And they are called also ἀρυστῆρες and ἀρίστιχοι. Simonides says—

[Pg 669]

And no one gave me even one ἀρυστὴρ
Of the mere dregs and lees.

And Aristophanes, in his Wasps, says—

For I had these ἀρύστιχοι near me.

And Phrynichus, in his Weeding Women, says—

(A cup) κύλικ᾽ ἀρύστιχον:

and from this comes the word ἀρύταινα. They also called this vessel ἔφηβος, as Xenophanes did in his Relationship; and Polybius, in the ninth book of his Histories, says that there is a certain river called the Cyathus, near Arsinoe, a city in Ætolia.

24. But the word ἀκρατέστερον, meaning the same as ζωρότερον, is used by Hyperides in his oration against Demosthenes; where he writes thus—“If any one drank any wine of much strength (ἀκρατέστερον), it grieved you.” And a similar form is ἀνιαρέστερον, and also the expression in the Heliades of Æschylus—

ἀφθονέστερον λίβα.

And Epicharmus, in his Pyrrha, has the word εὐωνέστερον (cheaper); and Hyperides, in his Oration against Demades, has used the expression—

ῥαδιεστέραν τὴν πόλιν.

And as for the word κεραννύω (to mix), that is used by Plato in his Philebus—“Let us, O Protarchus, pray to the gods, and mingle cups (κεραννύωμεν) to pour libations to them.” And Alcæus, in his Sacred Marriage, says—

They mix the cups (κεραννύουσιν) and drink them.

And Hyperides, in his Delian Oration, says—“And the Greeks mix (κεραννύουσι) the Panionian goblet all together."

And among the ancients they were the most nobly born youths who acted as cupbearers; as, for instance, the son of Menelaus:—

And the king's noble son pour'd out the wine.

And Euripides the poet, when he was a boy, acted as cupbearer. Accordingly, Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drinking, says—"But I hear that Euripides the poet also acted as a cupbearer at Athens, among those who are called the dancers: and these men were they who used to dance around the temple of the Delian Apollo, being some of the noblest of the Athenians, and they were clothed in garments of the [Pg 670] Theræans. And this is that Apollo in whose honour they celebrate the Thargelian festival; and a writing concerning them is kept at Phylæ, in the Daphnephorium." And Hieronymus the Rhodian gives the same account, who was a disciple of Aristotle, and that too in a book of his entitled a Treatise on Drunkenness. And the beautiful Sappho often praises her brother Larichus, as having acted as cupbearer to the Mitylenæans in the Prytaneum. And among the Romans, the most nobly born of the youths perform this office in the public sacrifices, imitating the Æolians in everything, as even in the tones of their voices.

25. And so great was the luxury of the ancients in respect of their sumptuous meals, that they not only had cupbearers, but also men whom they called œnoptæ (inspectors of wines). At all events, the office of œnoptæ is a regular office among the Athenians; and it is mentioned by Eupolis, in his play called The Cities, in the following lines—

And men whom heretofore you'd not have thought
Fit e'en to make œnoptæ of, we now
See made commanders. But oh, city, city!
How much your fortune does out-run your sense.

And these œnoptæ superintended the arrangement of banquets, taking care that the guests should drink on equal terms. But it was an office of no great dignity, as Philinus the orator tells us, in his debate on the Croconidæ. And he tells us, too, that the œnoptæ were three in number, and that they also provided the guests with lamps and wicks. And some people called them "eyes;" but among the Ephesians, the youths who acted as cupbearers at the festival of Neptune were called "bulls," as Amerias tells us. And the people of the Hellespont call the cupbearer ἐπεγχύτης, or the pourer out; and they call carving, which we call κρεωνομία, κρεωδαισία, as Demetrius of Scepsis tells us, in the twenty-sixth book of his Arrangement of the Trojan Forces. And some say that the nymph Harmonia acted as cupbearer to the gods; as Capito the epic poet relates (and he was a native of Alexandria by birth), in the second book of his Love Poems. But Alcæus also represents Mercury as their cupbearer; as also does Sappho, who says—

And with ambrosia was a goblet mix'd,
And Mercury pour'd it out to all the gods.

[Pg 671]


26. But the ancients used to call the men who discharged this office, heralds (κήρυκες). Homer says—

Meanwhile the heralds through the crowded town
Bring the rich wine and destined victims down.
Idæus's arms the golden goblets prest,
Who thus the venerable king addrest.

And a few lines further on he says—

On either side a sacred herald stands;
The wine they mix, and on each monarch's hands
Pour the full urn.

But Clidemus says that the cooks used to be called heralds. And some people have represented Hebe as acting as cupbearer to the gods, perhaps because their banquets were called Hebeteria. And Ptolemy, the son of Agesarchus, speaks of a damsel named Cleino as the cupbearer of Ptolemy the king, who was surnamed Philadelphus, mentioning her in the third book of his History of Philopator. But Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his History, adds that there are statues of her in Alexandria, in many parts of the city, clad in a tunic alone, holding a cup in her hand.

27. And so, after this conversation, Ulpian drinking a goblet of wine, said—

I drink this cup, a pledge of friendship dear,
To all my kinsmen, naming them.

And while he was still drinking, one of those who were present quoted the rest of the passage—

When I have drunk, I'll say
The rest; for I am choked: but now drink this.

And Ulpian, when he had drunk it up, said,—Clearchus has these lines in his Harp-Player; but I, as is said in the Wool-spinners of Amphis, recommend—

Let the boy wait on all with frequent goblets.

And again—

You fill for me, and I will give you drink;
So shall the almond with the almond play:

as Xenarchus says, in his Twins. And accordingly, when some of the guests asked for more wine, and others wished to have it mixed half-and-half, and when some one mentioned that Archippus, in the second edition of his Amphitryon, said—

[Pg 672]

Wretch, who has mix'd for you this half-and-half?

and that Cratinus had said—

Giving him half-and-half; but I'm undone;

every one seemed to agree to speak of the way of mixing wine among the ancients.

28. And when some one mentioned that Menander, in his Hero, said—

Here is a measure of well-temper'd wine;
Take it, and drink it up;—

Democritus said—Hesiod, my friends, recommends men

To pour three parts of water in the cup,
And let the fourth part be the vinous juice.

And, perhaps, it was on account of Hesiod that Anaxilas said, in his Nereus,—

And this is much more pleasant; for I'd never
Have drunk one part of wine to three of water.

And Alexis, in his Nurse, recommends even a more moderate mixture than this—

See, here is wine. Shall I, then, give to Criton
Equal proportions? This is better far,
One part of wine to four of limpid water:
Perhaps you'll call that weak; but still, when you
Have drunk your fill of this, you'll find your head
Clear for discussion,—and the drink lasts longer.

And Diocles, in his Bees, says—

A. In what proportions should the wine be mix'd?
B. Four parts of water to two parts of wine.

And this mixture, as it is not that in ordinary use, put the questioner in mind of the well-known proverb,—

Drink waters three or five; but never four.

What they mean is, You had better take two parts wine with five of water, or one of wine to three of water. But, concerning this mixture, Ion the poet, in his book on Chios, says that Palamedes the soothsayer discovered and prophesied to the Greeks, that they would have a favourable voyage if they drank one portion of wine to three of water. But they, applying themselves to their drink very vigorously, took two pints of wine to five of water;—accordingly Nicochares in his Amymone, playing on the name, says—

Here, you Œnomaus,—here, you two and five,—
Let you and I now have a drink together.

And he said nearly the same in his Lemnian Women: and Ameipsias, in his Men Playing the Cottabus, says—

[Pg 673]

But I (it is Bacchus who is represented as speaking) am five
and two to all of you.

And Eupolis says, in his Goats,—

Hail, my friend Bacchus, are you two to five?

And Hermippus says, in his Gods,—

A. Then, when we drink, or when we thirsty are,
We pray our wine may be in due proportion.
B. I do not bring it from a roguish wine-vault,
Meaning to mock you: this which I do bring
Is, as before, the proper two and five.

29. But in Anacreon we find one measure of wine to two of water spoken of—

Come, my boy, and bring to me
Such a cup as I may drink
At one easy draught: pour in
Ten cyathi of water pure,
And five of richest Chian wine;
That I may drink, from fear removed,
And free from drunken insolence.

And going on presently, he calls the drinking of unmixed wine, a Scythian draught—

Come hither, now, and let us not
Give way to vulgar shouts and noise,
Indulging in the Scythian draughts
While o'er our wine; but let us drink,
Singing well-omen'd, pious hymns.

And the Lacedæmonians, according to the statement of Herodotus, in his sixth book, say that Cleomenes the king, having lived among the Scythians, and got the habit of drinking unmixed wine, became perfectly mad from his habit of drunkenness. And the Lacedæmonians themselves, when they take it into their heads to drink hard, say that they are Episcythising. Accordingly, Chamæleon of Heraclea, in his book on Drunkenness, writes thus concerning them:—"Since the Lacedæmonians say also, that Cleomenes the Spartan became mad from having lived among the Scythians, and there learnt to drink unmixed wine; on which account, when they take a fancy to drink unmixed wine they desire their slaves to pour out in the Scythian fashion." And Achæus, in his Æthon, a satyric drama, represents the Satyrs as indignant at being compelled to drink their wine watered, and as saying—

Was the whole Achelous in this wine?
But even then this race would not cease drinking,
[Pg 674] For this is all a Scythian's happiness.

30. But the habit of pouring libations of pure wine, as Theophrastus says, in his treatise on Drinking, was not ancient; but originally libations were what is given to the Gods, and the cottabus, what was devoted to the object of one's love. For men practised throwing the cottabus with great care, it being originally a Sicilian sport, as Anacreon the Teian says—

Throwing, with his well-bent arm
The Sicilian cottabus.

On which account those songs of the ancient poets, which are called scolia, are full of mention of the cottabus.[45] I mean, for instance, such a scolion as Pindar composed—

And rightly I adore the Graces,
Nymphs of Venus and of Love,
While drinking with a loving heart
This sounding cottabus I pour
To Agathon, my heart's delight.

And they also consecrated to those of their friends who were dead, all that portion of their victuals which fell from their tables. On which account Euripides says of Sthenobœa, when she thinks that Bellerophon is dead—

Nothing escaped her from her hand which fell,
But in a moment she did couple it
With the loved name of the Corinthian stranger.

31. But the ancients were not in the habit of getting drunk. But Pittacus recommended Periander of Priene not to get drunk, nor to become too much addicted to feasting, "so that," says he, "it may not be discovered what sort of a person you really are, and that you are not what you pretend to be."—

[Pg 675]

For brass may be a mirror for the face,—
Wine for the mind.

On which account they were wise men who invented the proverb, "Wine has no rudder." Accordingly, Xenophon the son of Gryllus, (when once at the table of Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily, the cupbearer was compelling the guests to drink,) addressed the tyrant himself by name, and said, "Why, O Dionysius, does not also the confectioner, who is a skilful man in his way, and one who understands a great many different recipes for dressing things, compel us also, when we are at a banquet, to eat even when we do not wish to; but why, on the contrary, does he spread the table for us in an orderly manner, in silence?" And Sophocles, in one of his Satyric dramas, says—

To be compell'd to drink is quite as hard
As to be forced to bear with thirst.

From which also is derived the saying—

Wine makes an old man dance against his will.

And Sthenelus the poet said very well—

Wine can bring e'en the wise to acts of folly.

And Phocylides says—

It should be a rule for all wine-bibbing people
Not to let the jug limp round the board like a cripple,
But gaily to chat while enjoying their tipple:

and to this day this custom prevails among some of the Greeks. But since they have begun to be luxurious and have got effeminate they have given up their chairs and taken to couches; and having taken indolence and laziness for their allies, they have indulged in drinking in an immoderate and disorderly manner; the very way in which the tables were laid contributing, as I imagine, to luxury.

32. And it is on this account that Hesiod, in his Eoæ, has said—

What joys and also what exceeding pains
Has Bacchus given to mortal men who drink,
Indulging in excess: for to such men
Wine is an insolent master, binding fast
Their feet and hands, their tongues and intellects,
With chains unspeakable, unnoticeable;
[Pg 676] And tender sleep loves on their eyes to fall.

And Theognis says—

I come like wine, the sweetest drink of men,—
I am not sober, nor yet very drunk;
But he who goes to great excess in drink
Is no more master of his mind or senses;
Then he talks unintelligible nonsense.
Which seems to sober men a shameful thing;
But he, when drunk, is not ashamed of anything,
E'en though at other times a modest man
And gentle-minded. Mind you this, my friend,
And don't indulge in drinking to excess,
But rise from table ere the wine begins
To take effect; nor let your appetite
Reduce you to become its daily slave.

But Anacharsis the philosopher, wishing to exhibit the power of the vine to the king of the Scythians, and showing him some of its branches, said that if the Greeks did not prune it every year it would by this time have reached to Scythia.

[Pg 677]


33. But those men do not act wisely who represent and describe Bacchus in their statues or pictures, and who also lead him through the middle of the market-place on a waggon, as if he were drunk; for, by so doing, they show the beholders that wine is stronger than the god. And I do not think that even a good and wise man could stand this. And if they have represented him in this state because he first showed us the use of wine, it is plain that for the same reason they should always represent Ceres as reaping corn or eating bread. And I should say that Æschylus himself erred in this particular; for he was the first person (and not Euripides, as some people say,) who introduced the appearance of drunken people into a tragedy. For in his Cabiri he introduces Jason drunk. But the fact is, that the practices which the tragedian himself used to indulge in, he attributed to his heroes: at all events he used to write his tragedies when he was drunk; on which account Sophocles used to reproach him, and say to him, "O Æschylus,[46] even if you do what you ought, at all events you do so without knowing it;" as Chamæleon tells us, in his treatise on Æschylus. And they are ignorant people who say that Epicharmus was the first person who introduced a drunken man on the stage, and after him Crates, in his Neighbours. And Alcæus the lyric poet, and Aristophanes the comic poet, used to write their poems when they were drunk. And many other men have fought with great gallantry in war when they were drunk. But among the Epizephyrian Locrians, if any one drank untempered wine, except by the express command of his physician for the sake of his health, he was liable to be punished with death, in accordance with a law to that effect passed by Zaleucus.

And among the people of Massilia there was a law that the women should drink water only. And Theophrastus says, that to this day that is the law at Miletus. And among the Romans no slave ever drank wine, nor any free woman, nor any youth born of free parents till he was thirty years of age. And Anacreon is very ridiculous for having referred all his poems to the subject of drunkenness; for, owing to this, he is found fault with as having in his poems wholly abandoned himself to effeminacy and luxury, as the multitude are not aware that while he wrote he was a sober and virtuous man, who pretended to be a drunkard, when there was no necessity at all for his doing so.

34. And men who are ignorant of the power of wine, say that Bacchus is the cause of madness to men; in saying which they abuse wine in a very senseless manner. On which account Melanippides says—

All men have detested water
Who did not before have wine;
And though some have enjoy'd their cups,
Others have turn'd to ravings wild.

And Aristotle, in his treatise on Drinking, says, "If the wine be moderately boiled, then when it is drunk, it is less apt to intoxicate; for, as some of its power has been boiled away, it has become weaker." And he also says, "Old men become drunk more quickly on account of the small quantity of natural warmth which there is in them, and also of the weak-genius get drunk very quickly, on account of the great [Pg 678] quantity of natural warmth that there is in them; for, in consequence, they are easily subdued by the warmth proceeding from the wine which is added to their natural warmth. And some of the brute beasts are also capable of becoming intoxicated; such as pigs when they are filled with the husks of pressed grapes; and the whole race of crows, and of dogs, when they have eaten of the herb called œnussa: and the monkey and the elephant get intoxicated if they drink wine; on which account they hunt monkeys and crows when the former have been made drunk with wine, and the latter with œnussa.

But to drink unceasingly—

as Crobylus says, in his Woman who deserted her Husband—

Can have
No pleasure in it, surely; how should it,
When it deprives a living man of power
To think as he should think? and yet is thought
The greatest blessing that is given to man.

And Alexis, in the revised edition of his Phrygian, says—

If now men only did their headaches get
Before they get so drunk, I'm sure that no one
Would ever drink more than a moderate quantity:
But now we hope t' escape the penalty
Of our intemperance, and so discard
Restraint, and drink unmixed cups of wine.

And Aristotle says, that the wine called the Samagorean wine was so strong that more than forty men were made drunk with a pint and a half of it after it had been mixed with water.

35. Democritus having said this, and having drunk, said,—Now if any one can gainsay any of these statements let him come forward: and then he shall be told, as Evenus says—

That may be your opinion; this is mine.

But I, since I have now made this digression about the mixtures of the ancients, will resume the thread of my original discourse where I let it drop; considering what was said by Alcæus the lyric poet. For he speaks, somewhere or other, in this way—

Pour out, in just proportion, one and two.

[Pg 679]


For in these words some people do not think that he is alluding to the mixture of wine and water at all; but that, being a moderate and temperate man, he would not drink more than one cyathus of pure wine, or perhaps, at the most, two. And this is the interpretation given to the passage by Chamæleon of Pontus, who was ignorant how fond of wine Alcæus had been. For this poet will be found to have been in the habit of drinking at every season and in every imaginable condition of affairs. In winter he speaks thus—

Now the storm begins to lower,
And Jove descends in heavy snow,
And streams of water stand congeal'd
In cruel ice: let's drive away
The wintry cold, and heap up fire,
And mingle with unsparing hand
The honied cup, and wreathe our brows
With fragrant garlands of the season.

And in summer, he writes—

Now it behoves a man to soak his lungs
In most cool wine; for the fierce dogstar rages,
And all things thirst with the excessive heat.

And in spring, he says—

Now does the flowery spring return,
And shed its gifts all o'er the land;

and he continues—

Come then, my boy, and quickly pour
A cup of luscious Lesbian wine.

And in his misfortunes he sings—

One must not give one's thoughts up wholly
To evil fortune; for by grieving
We shall not do ourselves much good.
Come to me, Bacchus; you are ever
The best of remedies, who bring
Us wine and joyous drunkenness.

And in his hours of joy he says—

Now is the time to get well drunk,
Now e'en in spite of self to drink,
Since Myrsilus is dead at last.

And, giving some general advice, he says—

Never plant any tree before the vine.

How, then, could a man who was so very devoted to drinking be a sober man, and be content with one or two cups of wine? At all events, his very poem, says Seleucus, testifies against those people who receive the line in this sense. For he says, in the whole passage—

Let us now drink,—why put we out the light?
Our day is but a finger: bring large cups,
[Pg 680] Fill'd with the purple juice of various grapes;
For the great son of Semele and Jove
Gave wine to men to drive away their cares.
Pour on, in just proportion, one and two,
And let one goblet chase another quickly
Out of my head.

In which words he plainly enough intimates that his meaning is, that one cup of wine is to be mixed with two of water.

36. But Anacreon likes his liquors stronger still; as is shown by the verses in which he says—

Let the cup well be clean'd, then let it hold
Five measures water, three of rosy wine.

And Philetærus, in his Tereus, speaks of two measures of water to three of wine. And he speaks thus,—

I seem to have drunk two measures now of water,
And only three of wine.

And Pherecrates, in his Corianno, speaks even of two measures of water to four of wine, and says—

A. Throw that away, my dear; the fellow has
Given you such a watery mixture.
B. Nay rather, 'tis mere water and nought else.
A. What have you done?—in what proportions,
You cursed man, have you this goblet mix'd?
B. I've put two waters only in, my mother.
A. And how much wine?
B. Four parts of wine, I swear.
A. You're fit to serve as cupbearer to the frogs.

And Ephippus, in his Circe, says—

A. You will find it a much more prudent mixture, To take three parts of one, and four of th' other.
B. That's but a watery mixture, three to four. A. Would you, then, quite unmix'd your wine prefer? B. How say you?

37. And Timocles speaks of half-and-half in his Conisalus,—

And I'll attack you straight with half-and-half,
And make you tell me all the truth at once.

And Alexis, in his Dorcis, or the Caressing Woman, says—

I drink now cups brimming with love to you,
Mixed in fair proportions, half and half.

And Xenarchus, or Timocles, in his Purple, says—

By Bacchus, how you drink down half-and-half!

And Sophilus, in his Dagger, says,—

And wine was given in unceasing flow,
Mix'd half and half; and yet, unsatisfied,
They ask'd for larger and for stronger cups.

[Pg 681]


And Alexis, in his play entitled The Usurer, or Liar, says—

A. Don't give him wine quite drown'd in water, now;—
Dost understand me? Half and half, or nearly:
That's well.
B. A noble drink: where was the land
That raised this noble Bacchus? by its flavour,
I think he came from Thasos.
A. Sure 'tis just
That foreigners should foreign wines enjoy,
And that the natives should drink native produce.

And again, in his Supposititious Son, he says—

He drank and never drew his breath, as one
Would quaff rich wine, mix'd half and half with care.

And Menander, in his Brethren—

Some one cried out to mingle eight and twelve,
Till he with rivalry subdued the other (κατέσεισε).

And the verb κατασείω was especially used of those who fell down from drinking, taking its metaphor from the shaking down fruit from the tree.

And Alexis, in his Man cut off, says—

He was no master of the feast at all,
But a mere hangman, Chæreas his name;
And when he'd drunk full twenty cups of wine,
Mix'd half-and-half, he ask'd for more, and stronger.

38. And Diodorus of Sinope, in his Female Flute-player, says—

When any one, O Crito, drinks ten cups,
Consider, I do beg you, whether he
Who never once allows the wine to pass
Is in a fit state for discussion.

And it was not without some wit that Lysander the Spartan, as Hegesander relates in his Commentaries, when some vintners sold wine which had been much watered in his camp, ordered some one to supply it properly tempered, that his men might buy it with less water in it. And Alexis has said something which comes to nearly the same thing, in his Æsop; thus—

A. That is a good idea of yours, O Solon,
And cleverly imagined, which you have
Adopted in your city.
S. What is that?
A. You don't let men drink neat wine at their feasts.
S. Why, if I did, 'twould not be very easy
For men to get it, when the innkeepers
[Pg 682] Water it ere it comes out of the waggon.
No doubt they do not do so to make money,
But only out of prudent care for those
Who buy the liquor; so that they may have
Their heads from every pang of headache free.
This now is, as you see, a Grecian drink;
So that men, drinking cups of moderate strength,
May chat and gossip cheerfully with each other:
For too much water is more like a bath
Than like a wine-cup; and the wine-cooler
Mix'd with the cask, my friend, is death itself.

39. "But to drink to the degree of drunkenness," says Plato, in his sixth book of the Laws, is neither becoming anywhere—except perhaps in the days of festival of the god who gave men wine for their banquets,—nor is it wholesome: and, above all, a man ought to guard against such a thing who has any thoughts of marriage; for at such a time, above all other times, both bride and bridegroom ought to be in full possession of their faculties; when they are entering upon what is no small change in the circumstances of their life; and also they ought to be influenced by anxiety that their offspring shall be the offspring of parents in the fullest possible possession of all their faculties; for it is very uncertain what day or what night will be the originating cause of it." And in the first book of his Laws he says—"But respecting drunkenness it may be a question, whether we ought to give way to it as the Lydians do, and the Persians, and the Carthaginians, and the Celtæ, and the Spaniards, and the Thracians, and other nations like them; or whether like you, O Lacedæmonians, one ought wholly to abstain from it. But the Scythians and the Thracians, who indulge altogether in drinking unmixed wine, both the women and all the men, and who spill it all over their clothes, think that they are maintaining a very honourable practice, and one that tends to their happiness. And the Persians indulge to a great extent in other modes of luxury which you reject; but still they practise them with more moderation than the Scythians and Thracians.

40. And a great many of the guests were drinking, and putting lumps of meal into their wine, a custom which Hegesander of Delphi mentions. Accordingly Epinicus, when Mnesiptolemus had given a recitation of his history, in which it was written how Seleucus had used meal in his wine, having written a drama entitled Mnesiptolemus, and having turned him into ridicule, as the comic poets do, and using his own words about that sort of drink, represents him as saying:—

[Pg 683]

Once I beheld the noble king Seleucus,
One summer's day, drinking with mighty pleasure
Some wine with meal steep'd in it. (So I took
A note of it, and show'd it to a crowd,
Although it was an unimportant thing,
Yet still my genius could make it serious.)
He took some fine old Thasian wine, and eke
Some of the liquor which the Attic bee
Distils who culls the sweets from every flower;
And that he mingled in a marble cup,
And mix'd the liquor with fair Ceres' corn,
And took the draught, a respite from the heat.

And the same writer tells us that in the Therades islands men mash lentils and pease into meal, instead of ordinary corn, and put that into the wine, and that this drink is said to be better than that in which the meal is mixed.

41. Now it was not the fashion among the Lacedæmonians to practise the system of pledging healths at their banquets, nor to salute one another with mutual greetings and caresses at their feasts. And Critias shows us this in his Elegies:—

And this is an old fashion, well establish'd,
And sanction'd by the laws of noble Sparta,
That all should drink from one well-fill'd cup;
And that no healths should then be drunk to any one,
Naming the tender object: also that
The cup should not go round towards the right.
The Lydian goblets . . . . . .
   *                     *                     *                     *
And to drink healths with skill and well-turn'd phrase,
Naming the person whom one means to pledge.
For, after draughts like this, the tongue gets loose,
And turns to most unseemly conversation;
They make the body weak; they throw a mist
Over the eyes; and make forgetfulness
Eat recollection out of the full heart.
The mind no longer stands on solid ground;
The slaves are all corrupted by licentiousness,
And sad extravagance eats up the house.
But those wise youths whom Lacedæmon breeds
Drink only what may stimulate their souls
To deeds of daring in th' adventurous war,
And rouse the tongue to wit and moderate mirth.
Such draughts are wholesome both for mind and body,
[Pg 684] And not injurious to the pocket either:
Good, too, for deeds of love; authors of sleep,
That wholesome harbour after toil and care:
Good, too, for health—that best of goddesses
Who mortal man befriend: and likewise good
For piety's best neigbour temperance.

And presently afterwards he goes on—

For fierce, immoderate draughts of heady wine
Give momentary pleasure, but engender
A long-enduring pain which follows it.
But men at Sparta love a mode of life
Which is more equal; they but eat and drink
That which is wholesome, so that they may be
Fit to endure hard pains, and do great deeds.
Nor have they stated days in all the year,
When it is lawful to indulge too much.

42. And a man who is always ready for wine is called φίλοινος. But he is called φιλοπότης who is always ready to drink anything; and he is called φιλοκωθωνιστὴς who drinks to the degree of drunkenness. And of all heroes, the greatest drinker is Nestor, who lived three times as long as other men; for he evidently used to stick to his wine more closely than other people, and even than Agamemnon himself, whom Achilles upbraids as a man given to much drinking. But Nestor, even when a most important battle was impending, could not keep away from drinking. Accordingly Homer says—

But not the genial feast or flowing bowl
Gould charm the cares of Nestor's watchful soul.

And he is the only hero whose drinking-cup he has described, as he has the shield of Achilles; for he went to the war with his goblet just as he did with that shield, the fame of which Hector says had reached to heaven. And a man would not be very wrong who called that cup of his the Goblet of Mars, like the Cæneus of Antiphanes, in which it is said—

The hero stood and brandish'd Mars's cup,
Like great Timotheus, and his polish'd spear.

And indeed it was on account of his fondness for drinking that Nestor, in the games instituted in honour of Patroclus, received a drinking-cup as a present from Achilles; not but what Achilles also gave a cup to the competitor who was defeated: for victory does not commonly attend hard drinkers, on account of their usual inactivity; or perhaps it is owing to their thirst that boxers usually fail, from being fatigued with holding out their hands too long. But Eumelus receives a breastplate after having run a course with great danger, and having been torn, the breastplate being a serviceable piece of defensive armour.

[Pg 685]


43. But there is nothing more covetous than thirst; on which account the poet has called Argos thirsty, or rather causing great thirst, as having been much desired on account of the length of time the person of whom he is speaking had been absent from it. For thirst engenders in all men a violent desire for abundant enjoyment; on which account Sophocles says—

Though you were to unfold unnumber'd treasures
Of wisdom to a thirsty man, you'd find
You pleased him less than if you gave him drink.

And Archilochus says—

I wish to fight with you, as much as e'er
A thirsty man desired to quench his thirst.

And one of the tragic poets has said—

I bid you check your hand which thirsts for blood.

And Anacreon says—

For you are kind to every stranger,
So let me drink and quench my thirst.

And Xenophon, in the third book of his Cyropædia, represents Cyrus as speaking in this manner:—"I thirst to gratify you." And Plato, in his Polity, says—"But if, as I imagine, any city which is governed by a democracy, thirsting for its liberty, should have evil-disposed cupbearers to wait upon it, and should be intoxicated to an improper degree with unmixed wine . . . ."

44. Proteas the Macedonian was also a very great drinker, as Ephippus tells us in his treatise on the Funeral of Alexander and Hephæstion: and he had an admirable constitution, and he had practised drinking to a great degree. Accordingly, Alexander, having once asked for a cup containing two choes, and having drank from it, pledged Proteas; and he, having taken it, and having sung the praises of the king a great deal, drank it in such a manner as to be applauded by every one. And presently Proteas asked for the same cup again, and again he drank and pledged the king. And Alexander, having taken the cup, drank it off in a princely manner, but he could not stand it, but leaned back on the pillow, letting the cup fall from his hands; and after this [Pg 686] he fell sick and died, Bacchus, as it is said, being angry with him because he had besieged his native city of Thebes. And Alexander drank a great deal too, so that he once, after a drunken bout, slept without interruption two days and two nights. And this is shown in his Journals, which were compiled by Eumenes the Cardian, and Diodotus the Erythræan. But Menander, in his Flatterer, says—

A. My good friend, Struthias, I thrice have drunk
A golden cup in Cappadocia,
Containing ten full cotylæ of wine.
St. Why, then you drank more than king Alexander.
A. At all events not less, I swear by Pallas.
St. A wondrous feat.

But Nicobule, or whoever it was who wrote the books attributed to her, says that "Alexander, once supping with Medeus the Thessalian, when there were twenty people present at the party, pledged every one of the guests, receiving a similar pledge from all of them, and then, rising up from the party, he presently went off to sleep." And Callisthenes the Sophist, as Lynceus the Samian says in his Commentaries, and Aristobulus and Chares in their Histories, when in a banquet given by Alexander, a cup of unmixed wine came to him, rejected it; and when some one said to him, Why do you not drink? "I do not wish," said he, "after having drunk the cup of Alexander, to stand in need of the cup of Æsculapius."

45. But Darius, who destroyed the Magi, had an inscription written on his tomb,—"I was able to drink a great deal of wine, and to bear it well." And Ctesias says, that among the Indians it is not lawful for the king to get drunk; but among the Persians it is permitted to the king to get drunk one day in the year,—the day, namely, on which they sacrifice to Mithras. And Duris writes thus, with respect to this circumstance, in the seventh book of his Histories:—"The king gets drunk and dances the Persian dance on that festival only which is celebrated by the Persians in honour of Mithras; but no one else does so in all Asia; but all abstain during this day from dancing at all. For the Persians learn to dance as they learn to ride; and they think that the motion originated by this sort of exercise contains in it a good kind of practice tending to the strength of the body.

[Pg 687]


But Alexander used to get so drunk, as Carystius of Pergamus relates in his Historic Commentaries, that he used even to celebrate banquets in a chariot drawn by asses; and the Persian kings too, says he did the same thing. And perhaps it was owing to this that he had so little inclination for amatory pleasures; for Aristotle, in his Problems of Natural History, says, that the powers of men who drink to any great excess are much weakened. And Hieronymus, in his Letters, says, that Theophrastus says, that Alexander was not much of a man for women; and accordingly, when Olympias had given him Callixene, a Thessalian courtesan, for a mistress, who was a most beautiful woman, (and all this was done with the consent of Philip, for they were afraid that he was quite impotent,) she was constantly obliged to ask him herself to do his duty by her.

46. And Philip, the father of Alexander, was a man very fond of drinking, as Theopompus relates in the twenty-sixth book of his History. And in another part of his History he writes, "Philip was a man of violent temper and fond of courting dangers, partly by nature, and partly too from drinking; for he was a very hard drinker, and very often he would attack the enemy while he was drunk." And in his fifty-third book, speaking of the things that took place at Chæronea, and relating how he invited to supper the ambassadors of the Athenians who were present there, he says, "But Philip, when they had gone away, immediately sent for some of his companions, and bade the slaves summon the female flute-players, and Aristonicus the harp-player, and Durion the flute-player, and all the rest who were accustomed to drink with him; for Philip always took people of that sort about with him, and he had also invented for himself many instruments for banquets and drinking-parties; for being very fond of drinking and a man intemperate in his manners, he used to keep a good many buffoons and musicians and professed jesters about him. And when he had spent the whole night in drinking, and had got very drunk and violent, he then dismissed all the rest, and when it was day-break proceeded in a riotous manner to the ambassadors of the Athenians. And Carystius in his Historical Commentaries says, that Philip, when he intended to get drunk, spoke in this way: "Now we may drink; for it is quite sufficient if Antipater is sober." And once, when he was playing at dice, and some one told him [Pg 688] that Antipater was coming, he hesitated a moment, and then thrust the board under the couch.

47. And Theopompus gives a regular catalogue of men fond of drinking and addicted to drunkenness; and among them he mentions the younger Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, whose eyes were a good deal injured by wine. And Aristotle, in his Polity of the Syracusans, says that he sometimes was drunk for three months at a time together, owing to which he had got somewhat weak in the eyes. And Theophrastus says that his companions also, who were flatterers of the supreme power, pretended not to see well, and to be led by the hand by Dionysius, and not to be able to see the meat that was served up before them, nor the cups of wine, on which account they got the name of Dionysiocolaces, or flatterers of Dionysius. Nysæus also, who was tyrant of Syracuse, drank a great deal, and so did Apollocrates; and these men were the sons of the former Dionysius, as Theopompus tells us in the fortieth and forty-first books of his History; and he writes thus about Nysæus: "Nysæus, who was afterwards tyrant of Syracuse, when he was taken for the purpose of being put to death, and knew that he had only a few months to live, spent them wholly in eating and drinking." And in his thirty-ninth book he says: "Apollocrates, the son of Dionysius the tyrant, was an intemperate man, and addicted to drinking; and some of his flatterers worked upon him so as to alienate him as much as possible from his father." And he says that Hipparinus, the son of Dionysius, who behaved like a tyrant when drunk, was put to death. And about Nysæus he writes as follows: "Nysæus, the son of the elder Dionysius, having made himself master of Syracuse, got a four-horse chariot, and put on an embroidered robe, and devoted himself to gluttony and hard drinking, and to insulting boys and ravishing women, and to all other acts which are consistent with such conduct. And he passed his life in this manner." And in his forty-fifth book the same historian, speaking of Timolaus the Theban, says: "For though there have been a great many men who have been intemperate in their daily life, and in their drinking, I do not believe that there has ever been any one who was concerned in state affairs, more intemperate, or a greater glutton, or a more complete slave to his pleasures than Timolaus, whom I have mentioned." And in his twenty-third book, speaking of Charidemus of Oreum, whom the Athenians made a citizen, he says: "For it was notorious that he spent every day in the greatest intemperance, and in such a manner that he was always drinking and getting drunk, and endeavouring to seduce free-born women; and he carried his intemperance to such a height that he ventured to beg a young boy, who was very beautiful and elegant, from the senate of the Olynthians, who had happened to be taken prisoner in the company of Derdas the Macedonian."

[Pg 689]


48. A man of the name of Arcadion, too, was a very great drinker, (but it is uncertain whether this is the same man who was at enmity with Philip,) as the epigram shows which Polemo has preserved in his treatise on the Inscriptions existing in different Cities—

This is the monument of that great drinker,
Arcadion; and his two loving sons,
Dorcon and Charmylus, have placed it here,
At this the entrance of his native city:
And know, traveller, the man did die
From drinking strong wine in too large a cup.

And the inscription over some man of the name of Erasixenus says that he also drank a great deal.

Twice was this cup, full of the strongest wine,
Drain'd by the thirsty Erasixenus,
And then in turn it carried him away.

Alcetas the Macedonian also used to drink a great deal, as Aristos the Salaminian relates; and so did Diotimus the Athenian: and he was the man who was surnamed the Funnel. For he put a funnel into his mouth, and would then drink without ceasing while the wine was being poured into it, according to the account of Polemo. And it has been already mentioned that Cleomenes the Lacedæmonian was a great drinker of unmixed wine; and that in consequence of his drunkenness he cut himself to pieces with a sword, is related by Herodotus. And Alcæus the poet also was very fond of drinking, as I have already mentioned. And Baton of Sinope, in his essay on Ion the poet, says that Ion was a man fond of drinking and amorous to excess; and he himself, too, in his Elegies, confesses that he loved Chrysilla the Corinthian, the daughter of Teleas, with whom Teleclides, in his Hesiods, says that the Olympian[47] Pericles also was in love. And Xenarchus the Rhodian, on [Pg 690] account of the excessive way in which he used to drink, was surnamed "The Nine-gallon Cask;" and Euphorion the Epic poet mentions him in his Chiliades.

49. And Chares the Mitylenæan, in his History of Alexander, speaking of Calanus the Indian philosopher, and saying that he threw himself on a funeral pile that had been raised, and so died, says also that Alexander instituted some gymnastic games at his tomb, and also a musical contest of panegyrics on him.—"And he instituted," says Chares, "because of the great fondness of the Indians for wine, a contest as to who should drink the greatest quantity of unmixed wine; and the prize was a talent for the first, and thirty minæ for the second, and ten minæ for the third. And of those who entered for the prize and drank the wine, thirty-five died at once by reason of the cold; and a little afterwards six more died in their tents. And he who drank the greatest quantity and won the prize, drank four choes of unmixed wine, and received the talent; and he lived four days after it; and he was called the Champion." And Timæus says that "Dionysius the tyrant gave, at the festival of the Choes, to the first man who should drink a choeus, a golden crown as a prize:" and he says also that "Xenocrates the philosopher was the first person who drank it; and that he, taking the golden crown, and departing, offered it up to the Mercury who was placed in his vestibule, on which statue he was always accustomed on every occasion to offer up the garlands of flowers which he had, every evening as he returned home; and he was much admired for this conduct." And Phanodemus says, that the festival of the Choes was established at Athens by Demophoon the king, when he was desirous to receive Orestes in hospitality on his arrival at Athens. And that, as he did not like him to come to the temples, or to share in the libations offered to the gods, before his trial was decided, he ordered all the temples to be shut, and a choeus of wine to be set before everybody, saying that a cheesecake should be given as a prize to the first person who drank it up. And he bade them, when they had finished drinking, not to offer up the garlands, with which they had been crowned, in the temples, because they had been under the same roof with Orestes; but he desired each man to place his garland round his own cup, and so to bring them to the priestess at the temple which is in the Marshes, and after that to perform the rest of the sacred ceremonies in the temple. And from thence it was that this festival got the name of the Choes. But on the day of the festival of the Choes, it is customary for the Athenians to send presents and pay to the sophists, who also themselves invite their acquaintances to a banquet, as Eubulides the dialectician shows us in his drama entitled the Revellers, where he says—

[Pg 691]

You're acting like a sophist now, you wretch,
And long for the pay-giving feast of Choes.
   *                  *                  *                  *

50. But Antigonus the Carystian, in his essay on the Life of Dionysius of Heraclea, who was called the Turncoat, says that Dionysius, when he was feasting with his slaves at the festival of the Choes, and was not able, by reason of his old age, to avail himself of the courtesan whom they brought him, turned round and said to those who were feasting with him—

I cannot now, so let another take her.

But Dionysius, as Nicias of Nicæa tells us in his Successions, had been from the time he was a boy very furious in the indulgence of his amorous propensities; and he used to go to all the common women promiscuously. And once, when walking with some of his acquaintances, when he came near the house where the girls are kept, and where, having been there the day before, he had left some money owing, as he happened to have some with him then, he put out his hand and paid it in the presence of all of them. And Anacharsis the Scythian, when a prize for drinking was proposed at the table of Periander, demanded the prize, because he was the first man to be drunk of all the guests who were present; as if to get to the end were the goal to be aimed at, and the victory to be achieved in drinking as in running a race. But Lacydes and Timon the philosophers, being invited to an entertainment which was to last two days, by one of their friends, and wishing to adapt themselves to the rest of the guests, drank with great eagerness. And accordingly, in the first day, Lacydes went away first, as soon as he was quite satiated with drink. And Timon, seeing him as he was departing, said—

Now have we gain'd immortal praise and fame,
Since we have slain great Hector. . . .

But on the next day Timon went away first because he could not drink [Pg 692] up the goblet in which he had been pledged, and Lacydes seeing him departing, said—

Wretched are they who dare encounter me.

51. And Herodotus, in his second book, relates that Mycerinus the Egyptian, having been told by the soothsayers that he was fated to live but a short time, used to light a great number of lamps when night arrived, and spend all his time in drinking and luxury, relaxing neither by day nor by night; and when he withdrew into the marshes and into the groves, or wherever he heard that there were meetings of young people to amuse themselves, he always got drunk. And Herodotus tells us that Amasis also, who was another of the Egyptian kings, was a very hard drinker indeed. And Hermeas the Methymnæan, in the third book of his History of Sicily, says that Nicoteles the Corinthian was a man greatly addicted to drinking. And Phænias the Eresian, in the book entitled, The Slaying of Tyrants out of Revenge, says that Scopas the son of Creon, and the grandson of the former Scopas, was throughout his whole life very fond of drinking; and that he used to return from banquets at which he had been present, sitting on a throne, and carried by four palanquin-bearers, and in that way he used to enter his house. And Phylarchus, in the sixth book of his Histories, says that Antiochus the king was a man very fond of wine; and that he used to get drunk, and then go to sleep for a long time, and then, as evening came on, he would wake up, and drink again. And it was very seldom, says he, that he transacted the affairs of his kingdom when he was sober, but much more frequently when he was drunk; on which account there were two men about him who managed all the real business of the state as they pleased, namely Aristos and Themiso, Cyprians by birth, and brothers; and they were both on terms of the greatest intimacy with Antiochus.

52. And Antiochus the king, who was surnamed Epiphanes, was also a great drinker,—the one, I mean, who had been a hostage among the Romans, whom Ptolemy Euergetes mentions in the third book of his Commentaries, and also in the fifth; saying that he turned to Indian revellings and drunkenness, and spent a vast quantity of money in those practices; and for the rest of the money which he had at hand, he spent

[Pg 693]


a part of it in his daily revels, and the rest he would scatter about, standing in the public streets, and saying, "Let whoever chance gives it to, take it:" and then, throwing the money about, he would depart. And very often, having a plaited garland of roses on his head, and wearing a golden embroidered robe, he would walk about alone, having stones under his arm, which he would throw at those of his friends who were following him. And he used to bathe also in the public baths, anointed all over with perfumes; and, on one occasion, some private individual, seeing him, said, "You are a happy man, O king; you smell in a most costly manner:" and he, being much pleased, said, "I will give you as much as you can desire of this perfume." And so he ordered an ewer containing more than two choes of thick perfumed unguent to be poured over his head; so that the multitude of the poorer people who were about all collected to gather up what was spilt; and, as the place was made very slippery by it, Antiochus himself slipped and fell, laughing a great deal, and most of the bathers did the same.

But Polybius, in the twenty-sixth book of his Histories, calls this man Epimanes (mad), and not Epiphanes (illustrious), on account of his actions. "For he not only used to go to entertainments of the common citizens, but he also would drink with any strangers who happened to be sojourning in the city, and even with those of the meanest class. And if," says Polybius, "he heard that any of the younger men were making a feast anywhere whatever, he would come with an earthen bowl, and with music, so that the greater part of the feasters fled away alarmed at his unexpected appearance. And very often he would put off his royal robes, and take a common cloak, and in that dress go round the market."

53. And in the thirty-first book of his Histories, the same Polybius tells us "that when Antiochus was celebrating some public games at Antioch, he invited all the Greeks and any of the multitude who chose to come to the spectacle. And when a great many people came, he anointed them all in the gymnasia with ointment of saffron, and cinnamon, and nard, and amaracus, and lilies, out of golden vessels: and then, inviting them all to a feast, he filled sometimes a thousand and sometimes fifteen hundred triclinia with the most expensive [Pg 694] preparations; and he himself personally attended to waiting on the guests. For, standing at the entrance, he introduced some, and others he placed upon the couches; and he himself marshalled the servants who brought in the different courses; and, walking about among the guests, at times he sat down in one place, and at times he lay down in another. And sometimes he would put down what he was eating, and at other times he would lay down his cup, and jump up, and change his place, and go all round the party, standing up himself, and pledging different people at different times; and then, mingling with the musicians, he would be brought in by the actors, entirely covered up, and laid down on the ground, as if he had been one of the actors himself; and then, when the music gave the signal, the king would leap up, and dance and sport among the actors, so that they were all ashamed. To such absurdities does a want of education, when joined with drunkenness, reduce miserable men." And his namesake, the Antiochus who carried on war in Media against Arsaces, was very fond of drinking; as Posidonius of Apamea relates in the sixteenth book of his History. Accordingly, when he was slain, he says that Arsaces, when he buried him, said—"Your courage and your drunkenness have ruined you, O Antiochus; for you hoped that, in your great cups, you would be able to drink up the kingdom of Arsaces."

54. But the Antiochus who was surnamed the Great, who was subdued by the Romans (as Polybius relates in his twentieth book), having arrived at Chalcis, in Euboea, celebrated a marriage when he was fifty years of age; and after he had undertaken two most enormous and important affairs, namely, the liberation of the Greeks (as he himself professed) and the war against the Romans. At all events, he, being smitten with love for a damsel of Chalcis, was very anxious to marry her at the very time that he was engaged in this war, being a man very fond of drinking and delighting in drunkenness. And she was the daughter of Cleophanes, one of the nobles, and superior to all the maidens of her country in beauty. Accordingly, he celebrated his marriage in Chalcis, and remained there all the winter, not once giving the smallest thought to the important affairs which he had in hand. And he gave the damsel the name of Euboea. Accordingly, being defeated

[Pg 695]


in the war, he fled to Ephesus, with his newly-married bride. And in the second book, the same Polybius relates that Agron, the king of the Illyrians, being delighted at having gained a victory over the haughty Ætolians, being a man much addicted to drinking, and to drunkenness, and banqueting, fell ill of a pleurisy, and died. And the same historian says, in his twenty-ninth book, that Genthion, the king of the Illyrians, on account of his great fondness for drinking, did a great many intemperate things during his life, being incessantly drunk, both night and day; and having murdered Pleuratus, his brother, who was about to marry the daughter of Menunius, he married the damsel himself, and treated his subjects with great cruelty. And he says, in the thirty-third book of his History, that Demetrius, when he fled after having been a hostage at Rome, and became king of the Syrians, became a great drinker, and was drunk the greater part of the day. And he also, in his thirty-second book, says that Orophernes, who was for a short time king of Cappadocia, disregarded all the customs of his country, and introduced the artificial luxury of the Ionians.

55. On which account, that divinest of writers, Plato, lays down admirable laws in his second book—"That boys, till they are eighteen years of age, should absolutely never taste wine at all; for that it is not well to heap fire on fire: that men up to thirty years of age may drink wine in moderation; and that the young man should wholly abstain from much wine and from drunkenness. But that a man, when he arrives at forty years of age, may feast in large banquets, and invoke the other gods, and especially Bacchus, to the feasts and amusements of the older men; since he it is who has given men this means of indulgence, as an ally against the austerity of old age, for which wine was the best medicine; so that, owing to it, we grow young again, and forget our moroseness." And then he proceeds to say—"But there is a report and story told that this god was once deprived of his mind and senses by his mother-in-law, Juno; on which account he sent Bacchic frenzy, and all sorts of frantic rage, among men, out of revenge for the treatment which he had experienced; on which account also he gave wine to men."

56. But Phalæus, in his Epigrams, makes mention of a woman, whose name was Cleo, as having been a very hard drinker—

[Pg 696]

Cleo bestow'd this splendid gift on Bacchus,
The tunic, fringed with gold and saffron hues,
Which long she wore herself; so great she was
At feasts and revelry: there was no man
Who could at all contend with her in drinking.

And it is a well-known fact that all the race of women is fond of drinking. And it was not without some wit that Xenarchus introduces, in his Pentathlum, a woman swearing this most horrible oath:—

May it be granted me to pass from life
Drinking abundant draughts of wine, while you,
My darling daughter, live and prosper here.

But among the Romans, as Polybius says, in his sixth book, it was forbidden to women to drink wine at all. However, they drink what is called Passum; and that is made of raisins, and when drank is very like the sweet Ægosthenite and Cretan wine, on which account men use it when oppressed by excessive thirst. And it is impossible for a woman to drink wine without being detected: for, first of all, she has not the key of the cellar; and, in the next place, she is bound to kiss her relations, and those of her husband, down to cousins, and to do this every day when she first sees them; and besides this, she is forced to be on her best behaviour, as it is quite uncertain whom she may chance to meet; for if she has merely tasted wine, it needs no informer, but is sure to betray itself."

And Alcimus the Sicilian, in that book of his which is entitled the Italian History, says that all the women in Italy avoid drinking wine on this account: "When Hercules was in the district of the Crotoniatæ, he one day was very thirsty, and came to a certain house by the wayside and asked for something to drink; and it happened that the wife of the master of the house had privily opened a cask of wine, and therefore she said to her husband that it would be a shameful thing for him to open this cask for a stranger; and so she bade him give Hercules some water. But Hercules, who was standing at the door, and heard all this, praised her husband very much, but advised him to go indoors himself and look at the cask. And when he had gone in, he found that the cask had become petrified. And this fact is proved by the conduct of the women of the country, among whom it is reckoned disgraceful, to this day, to drink wine, on account of the above-mentioned reason."

[Pg 697]


57. And what sort of women those among the Greeks are who get drunk, Antiphanes tells us, in his Female Darter; where he says—

There is a certain neighbouring victualler,
And he, whenever I arrive, being thirsty,
Is th' only man who knows the proper way
In which to mix my wine; and makes it not
Too full of water, nor too strong and heady:
I recollect that once when I was drinking . . . . .

And, in his Woman Initiated, (and it is women who are conversing,) he writes—

A. Would you now like, my dearest friend, to drink?
B. No doubt I should.
A. Well come, then, take a cup;
For they do say the first three cups one takes
All tend to th' honour of the heavenly gods.

And Alexis, in his Female Dancer, says—

A. But women are quite sure to be content
If they have only wine enough to drink.
B. But, by the heavenly twins, we now shall have
As much as we can wish; and it shall be
Sweet, and not griping,—rich, well-season'd wine,
Exceeding old.
A. I like this aged sphinx;
For hear how now she talks to me in riddles.

And so on. And, in his Jupiter the Mourner, he mentions a certain woman named Zopyra, and says—

Zopyra, that wine-cask.

Antiphanes, in his Female Bacchanalians—

But since this now is not the case, I'm sure
He is a wretched man who ever marries
Except among the Scythians; for their country
Is the sole land which does not bear the vine.

And Xenarchus, in his Pentathlum, says—

I write a woman's oath in mighty wine.

58. Plato, in his Phaon, relating how many things happen to women because of wine, says—

Come now, ye women, long ago have I
Pray'd that this wine may thus become your folly;
For you don't think, as the old proverb goes,
That there is any wisdom at a vintner's.
For if you now desire to see Phaon,
You first must all these solemn rites perform.
First, as the nurse of youths, I must receive
A vigorous cheesecake, and a pregnant mealcake,
And sixteen thrushes whole, well smear'd with honey,
[Pg 698] Twelve hares, all taken when the moon was full;
But all the other things may be got cheaply.
Now listen. Three half-measures of fine onions;
These for Orthanna. For Conisalus
And his two mates, a plate of myrtleberries,
Pluck'd with the hand: for the great Gods above
Dislike the smell of lamps. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . for the dogs and huntsmen.
A drachma for Lordon; for Cybdasus,
Three obols; for the mighty hero Celes,
Some hides and incense. Now if you bring
These things, you'll certainly obtain admittance;
But if you don't, you'll knock in vain, and long
In vain to enter, and get nothing by it.

And Axionicus says, in his Philinna—

Just trust a woman to drink only water.

59. And whole nations are mentioned as addicted to drunkenness. Accordingly, Bæton, the measurer of distances for Alexander, in his book which is entitled Stations of the March of Alexander, and Amyntas also, in his Stations, says that the nation of the Tapyri is so fond of wine that they never use any other unguent than that. And Ctesias tells the same story, in his book Concerning the Revenues in Asia. And he says that they are a most just people. And Harmodius of Lepreum, in his treatise on the Laws in force among the people of Phigalea, says that the Phigaleans are addicted to drinking, being neighbours of the Messenians, and being also a people much accustomed to travelling. And Phylarchus, in his sixth book, says that the Byzantians are so exceedingly fond of wine, that they live in the wine-shops and let out their own houses and their wives also to strangers: and that they cannot bear to hear the sound of a trumpet even in their sleep. On which account once, when they were attacked by the enemy, and could not endure the labour of defending their walls, Leonidas, their general, ordered the innkeepers' booths to be erected as tents upon the walls, and even then it was with difficulty that they were stopped from deserting, as Damon tells us, in his book on Byzantium. But Menander, in his play called the Woman carrying the Mysterious sacred Vessels of Minerva, or the Female Flute-player, says—

Byzantium makes all the merchants drunk.
On your account we drank the whole night long,
And right strong wine too, as it seems to me,—
At least I got up with four heads, I think.

[Pg 699]


And the Argives too are ridiculed by the comic poets as addicted to drunkenness; and so are the Tirynthians by Ephippus, in his Busiris. And he introduces Hercules as saying—

A. For how in the name of all the gods at once,
Do you not know me, the Tirynthian Argive?
That race fights all its battles when 'tis drunk.
B. And that is why they always run away.

And Eubulus, in his Man Glued, says that the Milesians are very insolent when they are drunk. And Polemo, in his treatise on the Inscriptions to be found in Cities, speaking of the Eleans, produces this epigram:—

Elis is always drunk, and always lying:
As is each single house, so is the city.

60. And Theopompus, in his twenty-second book, speaking of the Chalcidians in Thrace, says: "For they disregarded all the most excellent habits, rushing readily with great eagerness to drinking and laziness, and every sort of intemperance. And all the Thracians are addicted to drinking; on which account Callimachus says—

For he could hardly bear the Thracian way
Of drinking monstrous goblets at one draught;
And always did prefer a smaller cup."

And, in his fiftieth book, Theopompus makes this statement about the Methymnæans: "And they live on the most sumptuous kind of food, lying down and drinking—and never doing anything at all worthy of the expense that they went to. So Cleomenes the tyrant stopped all this; he who also ordered the female pimps, who were accustomed to seduce free-born women, and also three or four of the most nobly born of those who had been induced to prostitute themselves, to be sewn in sacks and thrown into the sea." And Hermippus, in his account of the Seven Wise Men, says Periander did the same thing. But in the second book of his History of the Exploits of Philip he says, "The Illyrians both eat and drink in a sitting posture; and they take their wives to their entertainments; and it is reckoned a decorous custom for the women to pledge the guests who are present. And they lead home their husbands from their drinking-parties; and they all live plainly, and when they drink, they girdle their stomach with broad girdles, and at first they do so moderately; but when they drink more vehemently, then they keep contracting their belt. And the Ariæans," says he, "have three hundred [Pg 700] thousand slaves whom they call prospelatæ, and who correspond to the Helots; and they get drunk every day, and make large entertainments, and are very intemperate in their eating and drinking. On which account the Celtæ when making war upon them, knowing their intemperance, ordered all the soldiers to prepare as superb a feast as possible in the tent, and to put in the food some medicinal herbs which had the power to gripe and purge the bowels exceedingly. And when this had been done . . . . And so some of them were taken by the Celtæ and put to death, and some threw themselves into the rivers, being unable to endure the pains which they were suffering in their stomachs."

61. Now, after Democritus had uttered all this long uninterrupted discourse, Pontianus said that wine was the metropolis of all these evils; and it was owing to this that drunkenness, and madness, and all sorts of debauchery took place; and that those people who were too much addicted to it were not unappropriately called rowers of cups, by that Dionysius who is surnamed the Brazen, in his Elegies, where he says—

And those who bring their wine in Bacchus' rowing,
Sailors through feasts, and rowers of large cups.

And concerning this class of men, (for it is not extinct,) Alexis, in his Curia, speaking of some one who drunk to excess, says—

This then my son is such in disposition
As you have just beheld him. An Œnopion,
Or Maron, or Capelus, or Timoclees,
For he's a drunkard, nothing more nor less.
And for the other, what can I call him?
A lump of earth, a plough, an earth-born man.

So getting drunk is a bad thing, my good friends; and the same Alexis says, with great cleverness, to those who swallow wine in this way, in his Opora, (and the play is called after a courtesan of that name,)—

Are you then full of such a quantity
Of unmix'd wine, and yet avoid to vomit?

And in his Ring he says—

Is not, then, drunkenness the greatest evil,
And most injurious to the human race?

[Pg 701]


And in his Steward he says—

For much wine is the cause of many crimes.

And Crobylus, in his Female Deserter, says—

What pleasure, prithee tell me, can there be
In getting always drunk? in, while still living,
Yourself depriving thus of all your senses;
The greatest good which nature e'er has given?

Therefore it is not right to get drunk; for "A city which has been governed by a democracy," says Plato, in the eighth book of his Polity, "when it has thirsted for freedom, if it meets with bad cupbearers to help it, and if, drinking of the desired draught too deeply, it becomes intoxicated, then punishes its magistrates if they are not very gentle indeed, and if they do not allow it a great deal of licence, blaming them as wicked and oligarchical; and those people who obey the magistrates it insults." And, in the sixth book of his Laws, he says—"A city ought to be like a well-mixed goblet, in which the wine which is poured in rages; but being restrained by the opposite and sober deity, enters into a good partnership with it, and so produces a good and moderate drink."

62. For profligate debauchery is engendered by drunkenness. On which account Antiphanes, in his Arcadia, says—

For it, O father, never can become
A sober man to seek debauchery,
Nor yet to serious cares to give his mind,
When it is rather time to drink and feast.
But he that cherishes superhuman thoughts,
Trusting to small and miserable riches,
Shall at some future time himself discover
That he is only like his fellow-men,
If he looks, like a doctor, at the tokens,
And sees which way his veins go, up or down,
On which the life of mortal man depends.

And, in his Æolus, mentioning with indignation the evil deeds which those who are great drinkers do, he says—

Macareus, when smitten with unholy love
For one of his own sisters, for a while
Repress'd the evil thought, and check'd himself;
But after some short time he wine admitted
To be his general, under whose sole lead
Audacity takes the place of prudent counsel,
[Pg 702] And so by night his purpose he accomplish'd.

And well, therefore, did Aristophanes term wine the milk of Venus, saying—

And wine, the milk of Venus, sweet to drink;

because men, after having drunk too much of it, have often conceived a desire for illicit amours.

63. But Hegesander the Delphian speaks of some men as ἔξοινοι; by which term he means, overtaken with wine; speaking thus:—"Comeon and Rhodophon being two of the ministers who managed the affairs of Rhodes, were both drunk; and Comeon attacking Rhodophon as a gambler, said—

O you old man, the crew of youthful gamblers
Beyond a doubt are pressing hard upon you.

And Rhodophon reproached him with his passion for women, and with his incontinence, abstaining from no sort of abuse." And Theopompus, in the sixteenth book of his Histories, speaking of another Rhodian, says—"When Hegesilochus had become perfectly useless, partly from drunkenness and gambling, and when he had utterly lost all credit among the Rhodians, and when instead his whole course of life was found fault with by his own companions and by the rest of the citizens." . . . . . Then he goes on to speak of the oligarchy which he established with his friends, saying—"And they violated a great number of nobly-born women, wives of the first men in the state; and they corrupted no small number of boys and young men; and they carried their profligacy to such a height that they even ventured to play with one another at dice for the free-born women, and they made a bargain which of the nobly-born matrons he who threw the lowest number on the dice should bring to the winner for the purpose of being ravished; allowing no exception at all; but the loser was bound to bring her to the place appointed, in whatever way he could, using persuasion, or even force if that was necessary. And some of the other Rhodians also played at dice in this fashion; but the most frequent and open of all the players in this way was Hegesilochus, who aspired to become the governor of the city."

[Pg 703]


And Antheas the Lindian, who claimed to be considered a relation of Cleobulus the philosopher, as Philodemus reports, in his treatise on the Sminthians in Rhodes, being an oldish man, and very rich, and being also an accomplished poet, celebrated the festivals in honour of Bacchus all his life, wearing a dress such as is worn by the votaries of Bacchus, and maintaining a troop of fellow-revellers. And he was constantly leading revels both day and night; and he was the first man who invented that kind of poetry which depends upon compound words, which Asopodorus the Phliasian afterwards employed in his conversational Iambics. And he too used to write comedies and many other pieces in the same style of poetry, which he used to recite to his phallus-bearers.

64. When Ulpian had heard all this he said,—Tell me, my good Pontianus, says he, in what author does the word πάροινος occur? And he replied—

You will undo me with your questions . .

(as the excellent Agatho says)—

. . . . and your new fashion,
Always talking at an unseasonable time.

But since it is decided that we are to be responsible to you for every word, Antiphanes, in his Lydian, has said—

A Colchian man drunken and quarrelsome (πάροινος).

But you are not yet satisfied about your πάροινοι, and drunkards; nor do you consider that Eumenes the king of Pergamus, the nephew of Philetærus, who had formerly been king of Pergamus, died of drunkenness, as Ctesicles relates, in the third book of his Times. But, however, Perseus, whose power was put down by the Romans, did not die in that way; for he did not imitate his father Philip in anything; for he was not eager about women, nor was he fond of wine; but when at a feast he was not only moderate himself, but all his friends who were with him were so too, as Polybius relates, in his twenty-sixth book. But you, O Ulpian, are a most immoderate drinker yourself (ἀῤῥυθμοπότης), as Timon the Phliasian calls it. For so he called those men who drink a great quantity of unmixed wine, in the second book of his Silli—

Or that great ox-goad, harder than Lycurgus's,
Who smote the ἀῤῥυθμόποται of Bacchus,
And threw their cups and brimming ladles down.

For I do not call you simply ποτικὸς, or fond of drinking; and this last is a word which Alcæus has used, in his Ganymede. And that a habit of getting drunk deceives our eyesight, Anacharsis has shown plainly enough, in what he says where he shows that mistaken opinions are taken up by drunken men. For a fellow-drinker of his once, seeing [Pg 704] his wife at a banquet, said, "O Anacharsis, you have married an ugly woman." And he replied, "Indeed I think so too, but however now, give me, O boy, a cup of stronger wine, that I may make her out beautiful."

65. After this Ulpian, pledging one of his companions, said,—But, my dear friend, according to Antiphanes, who says, in his Countryman—

A. Shut now your eyes, and drink it all at once.
B. 'Tis a great undertaking.
A. Not for one
Who has experience in mighty draughts.

Drink then, my friend; and—

A. Let us not always drink

(as the same Antiphanes says, in his Wounded Man,)

Full cups, but let some reason and discussion
Come in between, and some short pretty songs;
Let some sweet strophes sound. There is no work,
Or only one at least, I tell you true,
In which some variation is not pleasant.
B. Give me, then, now at once, I beg you, wine,
Strengthening the limbs (ἀρκεσίγυιον), as says Euripides—
A. Aye, did Euripides use such a word?
B. No doubt—who else?
A. It may have been Philoxenus,
'Tis all the same; my friend, you now convict me,
Or seek to do so, for one syllable.

And he said,—But who has ever used this form πῖθι̣? And Ulpian replied,—Why, you are all in the dark, my friend, from having drunk such a quantity of wine. You have it in Cratinus, in his Ulysses,—

Take now this cup, and when you've taken, drink it (πῖθι),
And then ask me my name.

And Antiphanes, in his Mystic, says—

A. Still drink (πῖθι), I bid you.
B. I'll obey you, then,
For certainly a goblet's figure is
A most seductive shape, and fairly worthy
The glory of a festival. We have—
Have not we? (for it is not long ago)—
Drunk out of cruets of vile earthenware.
May the Gods now, my child, give happiness
And all good fortune to the clever workman
For the fair shape that he bestow'd on thee.

[Pg 705]


And Diphilus, in his Bath, says—

Fill the cup full, and hide the mortal part,
The goblet made by man, with godlike wine:
Drink (πῖθι); these are gifts, my father, given us
By the good Jove, who thus protects companionship.

And Ameipsias, in his Sling, says—

When you have stirr'd the sea-hare, take and drink (πῖθι).

And Menander, in his Female Flute-player, says—

Away with you; have you ne'er drunk, O Sosilas?
Drink (πῖθι) now, I beg, for you are wondrous mad.

66. And in the future tense of πίνω, we should not read πιοῦμαι, but πιόμαι without the υ, lengthening the ι. And this is the way the future is formed in that line of Homer—

(πιόμεν᾽ ἐκ βοτάνης) Drank after feeding.

And Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

He ne'er shall drink (πίεται) of the same cup with me:

and in another place he says—

Thou shalt this day drink (πίει) the most bitter wine;

though this might, perhaps, come from πιοῦμαι. Sometimes, however, they shorten the ι, as Plato does, in his Women Returning from Sacrifice—

Nor he who drinks up (ἐκπίεται) all her property:

and in his Syrphax he says—

And ye shall drink (πίεσθε) much water.

And Menander uses the word πῖε as a dissyllable, in his Dagger—

A. Drink (πῖε).
B. I will compel this wretch,
This sacrilegious wretch, to drink (πιεῖν) it first:

and the expression τῆ πίε, take and drink, and πῖνε, drink. So do you, my friend, drink; and as Alexis says, in his Twins,—

Pledge you (πρόπιθι) this man, that he may pledge another.

And let it be a cup of comradeship, which Anaceron calls ἐπίστιος. For that great lyric poet says—

And do not chatter like the wave
Of the loud brawling sea, with that
Ever-loquacious Gastrodora,
Drinking the cup ἐπίστιος.

But the name which we give it is ἀνίσων.

67. But do not you be afraid to drink; nor will you be in any danger [Pg 706] of falling on your hinder parts; for the people who drink what Simonides calls—

Wine, the brave router of all melancholy,

can never suffer such a mischance as that. But as Aristotle says, in his book on Drunkenness, they who have drunk beer, which they call πῖνος, fall on their backs. For he says, “But there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, which they call πῖνος, for they who get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body; they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer who fall on their backs, and lie with their faces upwards.” But the wine which is made of barley is by some called βρύτος, as Sophocles says, in his Triptolemus—

And not to drink the earthy beer (βρύτον).

And Archilochus says—

And she did vomit wine as any Thracian
Might vomit beer (βρύτον), and played the wanton stooping.

And Æschylus, also, mentions this drink, in his Lycurgus—

And after this he drank his beer (βρύτον), and much And loudly bragg'd in that most valiant house.

But Hellanicus, in his Origins, says that beer is made also out of roots, and he writes thus:—"But they drink beer (βρύτον) made of roots, as the Thracians drink it made of barley." And Hecatæus, in the second book of his Description of the World, speaking of the Egyptians, and saying that they are great bread-eaters, adds, "They bruise barley so as to make a drink of it." And, in his Voyage round Europe, he says that "the Pæonians drink beer made of barley, and a liquor called παραβίη, made of millet and conyza. And they anoint themselves," adds he, "with oil made of milk." And this is enough to say on these topics.


But in our time dear to the thyrsus-bearers
Is rosy wine, and greatest of all gods
Is Bacchus.

As Ion the Chian says, in his Elegies—

For this is pretext fit for many a song;
The great assemblies of th' united Greeks,
The feasts of kings, do from this gift proceed,
Since first the vine, with hoary bunches laden,
Push'd from beneath the ground its fertile shoots,
Clasping the poplar in its firm embrace,
And from its buds burst forth a numerous race,

[Pg 707]

Crashing, as one upon the other press'd;
But when the noise has ceased they yield their juice,
Divinest nectar, which to mortal men
Is ever the sole remedy for care,
And common cause of joy and cheerfulness.
Parent of feasts, and laughter, and the dance,
Wine shows the disposition of the good,
And strengthens all their noble qualities.
Hail! then, O Bacchus, president of feasts,
Dear to all men who love the wreathed flowers;
Give us, kind God, an age of happiness,
To drink, and play, and cherish just designs.

But Amphis, in his Philadelphi, praising the life of those who are fond of drinking, says:—

For many causes do I think our life,
The life of those who drink, a happy one;
And happier far than yours, whose wisdom all
Lies in a stern and solemn-looking brow.
For that slow prudence which is always busy
In settling small affairs, which with minuteness,
And vain solicitude, keeps hunting trifles,
Fears boldly to advance in things of weight;
But our mind, not too fond of scrutinising
Th' exact result of every trifling measure,
Is ever for prompt deeds of spirit ready.

69. And when Ulpian was about to add something to this Æmilianus said,—It is time for us, my friends, to inquire in some degree about γρῖφοι, that we may leave our cups for a little while, not indeed in the spirit of that work which is entitled the Grammatical Tragedy of Callias the Athenian: but let us first inquire what is the definition of what we call a γρῖφος . . . . And we may omit what Cleobulina of Lindus has proposed in her Epigrams; for our companion, Diotimus of Olympia, has discussed that point sufficiently; but we must consider how the comic poets have mentioned it, and what punishment those who have failed to solve it have undergone. And Laurentius said,—Clearchus the Solensian defines the word thus: "Γρῖφος," says he, "is a sportive problem, in which we are bidden to seek out, by the exertion of our intellect and powers of investigation, what is proposed to us, which has been uttered for the sake of some honour or some penalty." And in his discussion on these griphi, the same Clearchus asserts that "there are seven kinds of griphi. In the letter, when we say that there is a certain name of a fish or plant, beginning with α. And similarly, when he who proposes the griphus desires us to mention [Pg 708] some name in which some particular letter is or is not. Such are those which are called sigma-less griphi; on which account Pindar has composed an ode on the ς, as if some griphus had been proposed to him as a subject for a lyric poem. Then griphi are said to be in the syllable, when we are desired to recite some verse which begins with the syllable βα, as with βασιλεὺς, for instance, or which ends with ναξ, as Καλλιάναξ, or some in which the syllables Λεων take the lead, as Λεωνίδης, or on the other hand close the sentence, as Θρασυλέων. They are in the name, when we utter simple or compound names of two syllables, by which some tragic figure, or on the other hand some humble one, is indicated; or some names which have no connexion with anything divine, as Κλεώνυμος, or which have some such connexion, as Διονύσιος: and this, too, whether the connexion be with one God or with more, as ῾Eρμαφρόδιτος; or whether the name begins with Jupiter, as Διοκλῆς, or with Mercury, as Ὲρμόδωρος; or whether it ends, as it perhaps may, with νῖκος. And then they who were desired to say such and such things, and could not, had to drain the cup.” And Clearchus defined the word in this way. And now you, my good friend Ulpian, may inquire what the cup to be drained is.

70. But concerning these griphi, Antiphanes says, in his Cnoethis, or the Pot-bellied Man—

A. I thought before that those who while at meals
Bade me solve griphi, were the silliest triflers,
Talking mere nonsense. And when any one
Was bade to say what a man bore and bore not,
I laugh'd and thought it utter childishness;
And did not think that truth did lie beneath,
But reckon'd them as traps for the unwary.
But now, indeed, I see there is some truth in them;
For we, ten men, contribute now for supper,
But no one of them all bears what he brings,
So here's a case where he who bears bears not,
And this is just the meaning of a griphus.
So surely this may fairly be excused;
But others play tricks with the things themselves,
Paying no money, as, for instance, Philip.
B. A wise and fortunate man, by Jove, is he.

And in his Aphrodisian he says—

[Pg 709]

A. Suppose I want to say now "dish" to you,
Shall I say "dish," or shall I rather say,
A hollow-bodied vessel, made of earth,
Form'd by the potter's wheel in rapid swing,
Baked in another mansion of its mother,
Which holds within its net the tender milk-fed
Offspring of new-born flocks untimely choked?
B. By Hercules, you'll kill me straight if you
Do not in plain words say a "dish of meat."
A. 'Tis well. And shall I speak to you of drops
Flowing from bleating goats, and well compounded
With streams proceeding from the yellow bee,
Sitting on a broad receptacle provided
By the chaste virgin born of holy Ceres,
And now luxuriating beneath a host
Of countless finely-wrought integuments;
Or shall I say "a cheesecake?"
B. Prithee say
A cheesecake.
A. Shall I speak of rosy sweat
From Bacchic spring?
B. I'd rather you'd say wine.
A. Or shall I speak of dusky dewy drops?
B. No such long paraphrase,—say plainly, water.
A. Or shall I praise the cassia-breathing fragrance
That scents the air?
B. No, call it myrrh,—forbear
Those sad long-winded sentences, those long
And roundabout periphrases; it seems
To me by far too great a labour thus
To dwell on matters which are small themselves,
And only great in such immense descriptions.

71. And Alexis, in his Sleep, proposes a griphus of this kind—

A. It is not mortal, nor immortal either,
But as it were compounded of the two,
So that it neither lives the life of man,
Nor yet of God, but is incessantly
New born again, and then again deprived
Of this its present life; invisible,
Yet it is known and recognised by all.
B. You always do delight, O lady, in riddles.
A. No, I am speaking plain and simple things.
B. What child then is there which has such a nature?
A. 'Tis sleep, my girl, victor of human toils.

And Eubulus, in his Sphingocarion, proposes griphi of this kind, himself afterwards giving the solution of them—

A. There is a thing which speaks, yet has no tongue;
A female of the same name as the male;
The steward of the winds, which it holds fast;
Rough, and yet sometimes smooth; full of dark voices
[Pg 710] Scarce to be understood by learned men;
Producing harmony after harmony;
'Tis one thing, and yet many; e'en if wounded
'Tis still invulnerable and unhurt.
B. What can that be?
A. Why, don't you know, Callistratus?
It is a bellows.
B. You are joking now.
A. No; don't it speak, although it has no tongue?
Has it not but one name with many people?
Is't not unhurt, though with a wound i' the centre?
Is it not sometimes rough, and sometimes smooth?
Is it not, too, a guardian of much wind?


There is an animal with a locust's eye,
With a sharp mouth, and double deathful head;
A mighty warrior, who slays a race
Of unborn children.

('Tis the Egyptian ichneumon.)

For he does seize upon the crocodile's eggs,
And, ere the latent offspring is quite form'd,
Breaks and destroys them: he's a double head,
For he can sting with one end, and bite with th' other.


I know a thing which, while it's young, is heavy,
But when it's old, though void of wings, can fly
With lightest motion, out of sight o' th' earth.

This is thistledown. For it—

While it is young, stands solid in its seed,
But when it loses that, is light and flies,
Blown about every way by playful children.

Listen, now, to this one—

There is an image all whose upper part
Is its foundation, while the lower part
Is open; bored all through from head to feet;
'Tis sharp, and brings forth men in threefold way,
Some of whom gain the lot of life, some lose it:
All have it; but I bid them all beware.

And you yourselves may decide here, that he means the box into which the votes are thrown, so that we may not borrow everything from Eubulus.

[Pg 711]


72. And Antiphanes, in his Problem, says—

A. A man who threw his net o'er many fish,
Though full of hope, after much toil and cost,
Caught only one small perch. And 'twas a cestreus,
Deceived itself, who brought this perch within, For the perch followeth the blacktail gladly.
B. A cestreus, blacktail, perch, and man, and net,—
I don't know what you mean; there's no sense in it.
A. Wait while I clearly now explain myself:
There is a man who giving all he has,
When giving it, knows not to whom he gives it,
Nor knows he has the things he does not need.
B. Giving, not giving, having, and not having,—
I do not understand one word of this.
A. These were the very words of this same griphus.
For what you know you do not just now know,
What you have given, or what you have instead.
This was the meaning.
B. Well, I should be glad
To give you too a griphus.
A. Well, let's have it.
B. A pinna and a mullet, two fish, both
Endued with voices, had a conversation,
And talk'd of many things; but did not say
What they were talking of, nor whom they thought
They were addressing; for they both did fail
In seeing who it was to whom they talk'd.
And so, while they kept talking to each other,
The goddess Ceres came and both destroy'd.

73. And in his play called Sappho, Antiphanes represents the poetess herself as proposing griphi, which we may call riddles, in this manner: and then some one else is represented as solving them. For she says—

S. There is a female thing which holds her young
Safely beneath her bosom; they, though mute,
Cease not to utter a loud-sounding voice
Across the swelling sea, and o'er the land,
Speaking to every mortal that they choose;
But those who present are can nothing hear,
Still they have some sensation of faint sound.

And some one, solving this riddle, says—

B. The female thing you speak of is a city;
The children whom it nourishes, orators;
They, crying out, bring from across the sea,
From Asia and from Thrace, all sorts of presents:
The people still is near them while they feed on it,
And pour reproaches ceaselessly around,
While it nor hears nor sees aught that they do.
S. But how, my father, tell me, in God's name,
Can you e'er say an orator is mute,
Unless, indeed, he's been three times convicted?
B. And yet I thought that I did understand
[Pg 712] The riddle rightly. Tell me then yourself.

And so then he introduces Sappho herself solving the riddle, thus—

S. The female thing you speak of is a letter,
The young she bears about her is the writing:
They're mute themselves, yet speak to those afar off
Whene'er they please. And yet a bystander,
However near he may be, hears no sound
From him who has received and reads the letter.

74. And Diphilus, in his Theseus, says that there were once three Samian damsels, who, on the day of the festival of Adonis, used to delight themselves in solving riddles at their feasts. And that when some one had proposed to them this riddle, "What is the strongest of all things?" one said iron, and alleged the following reasons for her opinion, because that is the instrument with which men dig and cut, and that is the material which they use for all purposes. And when she had been applauded, the second damsel said that a blacksmith exerted much greater strength, for that he, when he was at work, bent this strong iron, and softened it, and used it for whatever purposes he chose. And the third said, they were both wrong, and that love was the strongest thing of all, for that love could subdue a blacksmith.

And Achæus the Eretrian, though he is usually a very clear poet as respects the structure of his poems, sometimes makes his language obscure, and says many things in an enigmatical style; as, for instance, in his Iris, which is a satyric play. For he says, "A cruet of litharge full of ointment was suspended from a Spartan tablet, written upon and twisted on a double stick;" meaning to say a white strap, from which a silver cruet was suspended; and he has spoken of a Spartan written tablet when he merely meant the Spartan scytale. And that the Lacedæmonians put a white strap, on which they wrote whatever they wished, around the scytale, we are told plainly enough by Apollonius Rhodius, in his Treatise on Archilochus. And Stesichorus, in his Helen, speaks of a footpan of litharge; and Ion, in his Phoenix or Cæneus, calls the birdlime the sweat of the oak, saying—

The sweat of oaks, and a long leafy branch
Cut from a bush supports me, and a thread
Drawn from Egyptian linen, clever snare
To catch the flying birds.

[Pg 713]


75. And Hermippus says, that Theodectes of Phaselus, in his book on the Pupils of Isocrates, was a wonderfully clever man at discovering any riddles that might be proposed to him, and that he too could propose riddles to others with great acuteness. As that riddle about shade, for instance;—for he said that there was a nature which is greatest at its birth and at its decease, and least when at its height. And he speaks thus:—

Of all the things the genial earth produces,
Or the deep sea, there is no single one,
Nor any man or other animal
Whose growth at all can correspond to this:
For when it first is born its size is greatest;
At middle age 'tis scarcely visible,
So small it's grown; but when 'tis old and hastens
Nigh to its end, it then becomes again
Greater than all the objects that surround it.

And in the Œdipus, which is a tragedy, he speaks of night and day in the following riddle:—

There are two sisters, one of whom brings forth
The other, and in turn becomes its daughter.

And Callisthenes, in his Greek History, tells the following story, that "when the Arcadians were besieging Cromnus, (and that is a small town near Megalopolis,) Hippodamus the Lacedæmonian, being one of the besieged persons, gave a message to the herald who came to them from the Lacedæmonians, showing the condition in which they were by a riddle, and he bade him tell his mother—'to be sure and release within the next ten days the little woman who was bound in the temple of Apollo; as it would not be possible to release her if they let those days elapse.' And by this message he plainly enough intimated what he was desirous to have understood; for the little woman meant is Famine, of which there was a picture in the temple of Apollo, near the throne of Apollo, and it was represented under a woman's form; so it was evident to every one that those who were besieged could hold out only ten days more because of famine. So the Lacedæmonians, understanding the meaning of what had been said, brought succour with great speed to the men in Cromnus."

76. There are also many other riddles, such as this:—

I saw a man who by the means of fire
Was glueing brass unto another man
[Pg 714] So closely that they two became like brothers.
And this expression means the application of a cupping-glass. And a similar one is that of Panarces, mentioned by Clearchus, in his Essay on Griphi, that "A man who is not a man, with a stone which was not a stone, struck a bird which was not a bird, sitting on a tree which was not a tree." For the things alluded to here are a eunuch, a piece of pumice-stone, a bat, and a narthex[48]. And Plato, in the fifth book of his Laws,[49] alludes to this riddle, where he says, that those philosophers who occupy themselves about minute arts, are like those who, at banquets, doubt what to eat, and resemble too the boys' riddle about the stone thrown by the eunuch, and about the bat, and about the place from which they say that the eunuch struck down the bat, and the engine with which he did it.

77. And of this sort also are those enigmatical sayings of Pythagoras, as Demetrius of Byzantium says, in the fourth book of his treatise on Poets, where, for instance, he says, "A man should not eat his heart;" meaning, "a man should cultivate cheerfulness." "One should not stir the fire with a sword;" meaning, "one should not provoke an angry man;" for anger is fire, and quarrelsomeness is a sword. "One should not step over a yoke;" meaning, "one should avoid and hate all kinds of covetousness, but seek equality." "One should not travel along the high road;" meaning, "one should not follow the opinions of the multitude, (for the common people approve of whatever they take in their heads without any fixed principle,) but one should rather go on the straight road, using sense as one's guide." "One should not sit down upon a bushel;" meaning, "one should not be content with merely considering what is sufficient for the present day, but one should always have an eye to the future" * * * * * * * * *[50] "For death is the boundary and limit of life;" and this saying is meant to forbid us approaching the subject with anxiety and grief.

[Pg 715]


78. And Dromeas the Coan used to play at riddles in much the same way as Theodectes, according to the statement of Clearchus: and so did Aristonymus, the player on the harp, without any vocal accompaniment: and so did that Cleon who was surnamed Mimaulus, who was the best actor of Italian mimes that ever appeared on the stage without a mask. For in the style of play which I have mentioned already, he was superior even to Nymphodorus. And Ischomachus the herald was an imitator of his, who used to give his representations in the middle of a crowd, and after he had become celebrated, he altered his style and used to act mimes at the jugglers' shows. And the riddles which these men used to propose were of the following kind:—A clown once had eaten too much, and was very unwell, and when the physician asked him whether he had eaten to vomit, No, said he, but I ate to my stomach. And another was,—A poor woman had a pain in her stomach, and when the physician asked her whether she had anything[51] in her stomach, How should I, said she, when I have eaten nothing for three days?

And the writings of Aristonymus were full of pompous expressions: and Sosiphanes the poet said to Cephisocles the actor, reproaching him as a man fond of long words, "I would throw a stone at your loins, if I were not afraid of wetting the bystanders." But the logical griphus is the oldest kind, and the one most suited to the natural character of such enigmatical language. "What do we all teach when we do not know it ourselves?" and, "What is the same nowhere and everywhere?" and also, "What is the same in the heavens and on the earth and in the sea?" But this is a riddle arising from an identity of name; for there is a bear, and a serpent, and an eagle, and a dog, both in the heavens and on the earth and in the sea. And the other riddle means Time; for that is the same to all people and everywhere, because it has not its nature depending on one place. And the first riddle means "How to live:" for though no one knows this himself, he teaches his neighbour.

79. And Callias the Athenian, whom we were discussing just now, and who was a little before Strattis in point of time, wrote a play which he called Grammatical Science; and the plot of it was as follows. The prologue consists of the elements, and the actor should recite it, [Pg 716] dividing it into paragraphs, and making the termination in the manner of a dramatic catastrophe, into "Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, eta, theta. For ει is sacred to the God; iota, cappa, lambda, mu, nu, xu, the diphthong ou, pi, rho, sigma, tau, the present υ, phi, chi, which is next to psi, all down to omega." And the chorus consisted of women, in pairs, made of two elements taken together, composed in metre and lyrical odes in this fashion;—"Beta alpha ba, beta ei be, beta eta be, beta iota bi, beta ou bo, beta upsilon bu, beta omega bo." And then, again, in the antistrophe of the ode and of the metre, "Gamma alpha, gamma ei, gamma eta, gamma iota, gamma omicron, gamma upsilon, gamma omega." And in the same way he dealt with all other syllables—all which have the same melody and the same metre in the antistrophes. So that people not only suspect that Euripides drew all his Medea from this drama, but they think that it is perfectly plain that he drew the system of his choruses from it. And they say that Sophocles, after he had heard this drama, endeavoured to divide his poem in respect of the metre, and did it thus, in the Œdipus,—

I shall not grieve myself nor you,
Being convicted of this action.

On which account, all the rest admitted the system of antistrophes from his example, as it should seem, into their tragedies. Then, after this chorus, Callias introduces another speech of vowels, in this manner: (and this also the reciter must divide into paragraphs in the same way as the previous portions, in order that that delivery may be preserved which the author originally intended)—

Alpha alone, O woman; then one should
Say Ει alone in the second place: next,
Still by itself you will say, thirdly, Eta;
Fourth, still alone, Iota; fifthly, Ou.
In the sixth place, Upsilon by itself.
The last of all the seven vowels is
The slow-paced Omega. The seven vowels
In seven verses; and when you've recited
All these, then go and ponder by yourself.

80. Callias was also the first man who taught the elements of learning by iambics, in a licentious sort of language, described in the following manner—

[Pg 717]

For I'm in labour, ladies; but from shame,
I will, my dear, in separate lines and letters,
Tell you the name of the child. There is a line
Upright and long; and from the middle of it
There juts forth on each side a little one,
With upward look: and next a circle comes,
On two short feet supported.

And afterwards, following this example, as any one may suspect, Mæandrius the prose writer, turning away a little from the usual pronunciation in his descriptions, wrote those things which are found in his Precepts, in a less polished style than the above-mentioned Callias. And Euripides appears to have followed the same model when he composed those verses, in his Theseus, in which the elements of writing are described. But the character is an illiterate shepherd, who is showing that the name of Theseus is inscribed in the place in this way—

For I indeed do nothing know of letters,
But I will tell you all their shapes, and give
Clear indications by which you may judge.
There is a circle, round as though 't had been
Work'd in a lathe, and in its centre space
It has a visible sign. Then the second
Has first of all two lines, and these are parted
By one which cuts them both across the middle.
The third's a curly figure, wreathed round.
The fourth contains one line which mounts right up,
And in a transverse course three others hang
From its right side. The letter which comes fifth
Admits of no such easy explanation;
For there are two diverging lines above,
Which meet in one united line below.
The letter which comes last is like the third.

[So as to make Θ Ε Σ Ε Υ Σ]

And Agathon the tragic poet has composed a similar passage, in his Telephus; for there also some illiterate man explains the way of spelling Theseus thus:—

The letter which comes first is like a circle,
Divided by a navel in the middle;
Then come two upright lines well join'd together;
The third is something like a Scythian bow:
Next comes a trident placed upon its side;
And two lines branching from one lower stem:
The last again the same is as the third.

And Theodectes of Phaselus introduces an illiterate clown, who also represents the name of Theseus in his own way—

[Pg 718]

The letter which comes first a circle is,
With one soft eye; then come two upright lines
Of equal and exact proportions,
United by one middle transverse line;
The third is like a wreathed curl of hair;
The next a trident lying on its side;
The fifth two lines of equal length above,
Which below join together in one base;
The sixth, as I have said before, a curl.

And Sophocles has said something like this, in his Amphiaraus, which is a satyric drama, where he introduces an actor dancing in unison with his explanation of the letters.

81. But Neoptolemus the Parian, in his treatise on Inscriptions, says that this inscription is engraved on the tomb of Thrasymachus the sophist at Chalcedon—

My name is Theta, ro, alpha, and san,
Upsilon, mu, alpha, chi, ou, san again:
Chalcedon was my home, wisdom my trade.

And there is a poem of this kind upon Pan, by Castorion the Solensian, as Clearchus says: every foot[52] consists of one entire word, and so every line has its feet in pairs, so that they may either precede or follow each other; as for instance—

σὲ τὸν βόλοις νιφοκτύποις δυσχείμερον
ναίονθ᾽ ἕδος, θηρονόμε πὰν, χθόν᾽ ᾿αρκάδων,
κλήσω γραφῇ τῇδ᾽ ἐν σοφῇ, πάγκψειτ᾽ ἔπη
συνθεὶς, ἄναξ, δύσγνωστα μὴ σοφοῖς κλύειν,
μουσοπόλε θὴρ, κηρόχυτον ὅς μείλιγμ᾽ ἱεῖς.

[Which may be translated thus—

O thou that dwellest on the lofty plain,
Stormy with deep loud-sounding falls of snow,
Th' Arcadian land,—lord of the forest kinds,
Thee, mighty Pan, will I invoke in this
Sagacious writing, carefully compounding
Words difficult for ignorant men to know,
Or rightly understand. Hail, friend o' the Muse,
Who pourest forth sweet sounds from waxen flute.]

And so on in the same manner. And in whatever order you place each of these pairs of feet it will give the same metre; as you may, for instance, transpose the first line, and instead of—

σὲ, τὸν βόλοις νιφοκτύποις δυσχείμερον,

you may read it—

νιφοκτύποις σὲ τὸν βόλοις δυσχείμερον.

[Pg 719]


You may also remark that each pair of feet consists of ten[53] letters; and you may produce the same effect not in this way, but in a different one, so as to have many ways of putting one line; for instead you may read—

μέτρον φράσον μοι, τῶν ποδῶν μέτρον λαβών:

or this way—

λαβὼν μέτρον μοι τῶν ποδῶν, μέτρον φράσον.

[And you may take this line too—]

οὐ βούλομαι γὰρ τῶν ποδῶν μέτρον λαβεῖν,

[and transpose it thus—]

λαβεῖν μέτρον γὰρ τῶν ποδῶν οὐ βούλομαι.

82. But Pindar, with reference to the ode which was composed without a σ in it, as the same Clearchus tells us, as if some griphus had been proposed to him to be expressed in a lyric ode,—as many were offended because they considered it impossible to abstain from the σ, and because they did not approve of the way in which the idea was executed, uttered this sentence—

Before long series of songs were heard,
And the ill-sounding san from out men's mouths.

And we may make use of this observation in opposition to those who pronounce the sigma-less ode of Lasus of Hermione to be spurious, which is entitled The Centaurs. And the ode which was composed by Lasus to the Ceres in Hermione, has not a σ in it, as Heraclides of Pontus says, in the third book of his treatise on Music, which begins—

I sing of Ceres and her daughter fair,
The bride of Clymenus.

83. And there are great numbers of other griphi. Here is one—

In a conspicuous land I had my birth,
The briny ocean girds my country round,
My mother is the daughter fair of Number.

By the conspicuous land (φανερὰ) he means Delos (as δῆλος is synonymous with φανερὸς), and that is an island surrounded by the sea. And the mother meant is Latona, who is the daughter of Coius, and the Macedonians use κοῖος as synonymous with ἀριθμός. And the one on barley-water (πτυσάνη)—

Mix the juice of peel'd barley, and then drink it.

And the name πτισάνη is derived from the verbs πτίσσω, to pound, and ἄνω, to bruise. There is also the one [Pg 720] on the snail, which is quoted in the Definitions of Teucer—

An animal destitute of feet and spine
And bone, whose back is clad with horny shell,
With long, projecting, and retreating eyes.

And Antiphanes, in the Man who admires himself, says—

Coagulated, tender-bodied milk.
Dost understand me not? I mean new cheese.

And Anaxandrides, in his Ugly Woman, says—

He's lately cut it up; then he confined
The long, unbroken portions of the body
In earthen vases, wrought in crackling fire,—
A phrase, my men, invented by Timotheus,
Who meant to say in dishes.

And Timocles, in his Heroes, says—

A. And when the nurse of life was taken away,
Fierce hunger's foe, sweet friendship's guardian,
Physician of voracious hunger, which
Men call the table . . . .
B. How you tire yourself,
When you might say "the table" in a word.

And Plato, in his Adonis, saying that an oracle was given to Cinyras concerning his son Adonis, reports it in these words—

O Cinyras, king of hairy Cyprians,
Your son is far the fairest of all men,
And the most admirable: but two deities
Lay hands upon him; one is driven on
By secret courses, and the other drives.

He means Venus and Bacchus; for both of them loved Adonis. And the enigma of the Sphinx is reported by Asclepiades, in his essay on the Subjects on which Tragedies have been written, to have been such as this—

There is upon the earth an animal
With two feet, and with four, and eke with three,
And with one voice; and it alone, of all
The things which move on earth, or in the heavens,
Or o'er the boundless sea, doth change its nature;
But when its feet are of the greatest number,
Then is its speed the slowest, and strength least.

84. And there are also some sayings partaking of the character of griphi, composed by Simonides, as is reported by Chamæleon of Heraclea, in his treatise on the Life and Writings of Simonides—

[Pg 721]

The father of a kid which roves for food,
And a sad fish, had their heads near together;
And when they had received beneath their eyelids
The son of Night, they did not choose to cherish
The bull-slaying servant of the sovereign Bacchus.

But some say that these verses were inscribed on some one of the ancient offerings which were dedicated at Chalcis; and that on it were represented the figures of a goat and a dolphin; to which animals allusion is made in the above lines. And others say that a dolphin and a goat were embossed in that part of a psaltery where the strings are put in, and that they are what is meant here; and that the bull-slaying servant of Bacchus is the dithyrambic. And others say that the ox which is sacrificed to Bacchus in the town of Iulis is struck with an axe by some one of the young men: and that the festival being near, the axe had been sent to a forge, and Simonides, being then a young man, went to the smith to fetch it; and that when he found the man asleep, and his bellows and his tongs lying loosely about with their fore parts touching one another, he then came back, and told the before-mentioned problem to his friends. For the father of a kid he called the bellows, and the sad fish the tongs (which is called καρκῖνος, or the crab). The son of Night is sleep, and the bull-slaying servant of Bacchus is the axe. And Simonides composed also another epigram which causes perplexity to those who are ignorant of history—

I say that he who does not like to win
The grasshopper's prize, will give a mighty feast
To the Panopeiadean Epeus.

And it is said, that when he was sojourning at Carthea he used to train choruses; and that the place where these exercises took place was in the upper part of the city, near the temple of Apollo, a long way from the sea; so that all the rest of the citizens, and Simonides himself, went down to get water, to a place where there was a fountain; and that an ass, whose name was Epeus, used to carry the water up for them; and they gave him this name, because there was a fable that Epeus himself used to do this; and there was also represented in a picture, in the temple of Apollo, the Trojan fable, in which Epeus is represented as drawing water for the Atridæ; as Stesichorus also relates—

For the great daughter of Jove pitied him
[Pg 722] Bearing incessant water for the kings.

And as this was the case, they say that it was a burden imposed on every member of the choruses who was not present at the appointed time, that he should give the ass a chœnix of barley; and that this is stated by the same poet; and that what is meant by not liking to win the grasshopper's prize, is not liking to sing; and that by Panopeiadean is meant the ass, and the mighty feast is the chœnix of barley.

85. And of the same kind is the epigram of Theognis the poet,—

For a sea-corpse has call'd me now back home,
Which, though dead, speaketh with a living mouth.

Where he means the cockle. And we may consider of the same character those sentences in which we use words which resemble men's names, as—

λαβὼν ἀριστόνικον ἐν μάχῃ κράτος:
He gain'd in battle a glorious victory;

where ἀριστόνικος sounds like the name of a man, Aristonicus. And there is also that riddle which is so frequently repeated—

Five men came to one place in vessels ten,
And fought with stones, but might not lift a stone,
And died of thirst while water reach'd their chins.

86. And what punishment had the Athenians who could not solve this riddle when proposed to them, if it was only to drink a bowl of mixed wine, as Clearchus has stated in his Definition? And, in the first book of his treatise on Proverbs, he writes thus—"The investigation of riddles is not unconnected with philosophy; for the ancients used to make a display of their erudition by such things; for they used at their entertainments to ask questions, not such as the men of the present day ask one another, as to what sort of amorous enjoyment is the most delicious, or what kind of fish is nicest, or what is most in season at the moment; or again, what fish is best to eat at the time of Arcturus, or what after the rising of the Pleiades, or of the Dog-star. And then they offer kisses as prizes for those who gain the victory in such questions; such as are hateful to men of liberal sentiments; and as a punishment for those who are defeated they enjoin them to drink sheer wine; which they drink more willingly than the cup of health. For these things are well adapted to any one who has devoted his attention to the writings of Philænis and Archestratus, or who has studied the books called Gastrologies.

[Pg 723]


They preferred such plays as these;—when the first person had recited a verse, the others were bound to quote the verse following; or if any one had quoted a sentence from some poet, the rest were bound to produce a sentence from some other poet expressing the same sentiments. After that, every one was bound to repeat an iambic. And then, each person was to repeat a line of such and such a number of syllables precisely; and so on with everything that related to any acquaintance with letters and syllables. And in a similar manner they would be bound to repeat the names of all the commanders in the army which attacked Troy, or of all the Trojan leaders: or to tell the name of some city in Asia beginning with a given letter; and then the next person was to tell the name of a city in Europe: and then they were to go through the rest according as they were desired to give the names of Grecian or barbarian cities; so that this sport, not being an inconsiderate one, was a sort of exhibition of the ability and learning of each individual. And the prizes given were a garland and applause, things by which love for one another is especially sweetened."

87. This, then, was what Clearchus said; and the things which he says one ought to propose, are, I imagine, such as these. For one person to quote a line in Homer beginning with Alpha, and ending with the same letter, such as—

Ἀγχοῦ δ᾽ ἱσταμένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα.
Ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε νῦν μάστιγα καὶ ἡνία σιγαλόεντα.
Ἀσπίδας εὐκύκλους λαισήαϊ τε πτερόεντα.

And, again, they quoted iambics on a similar principle—

Ἀγαθὸς ἀνὴρ λέγοιτ᾽ ἄν, ὁ φέρων τ᾽ ἀγαθά
. Ἀγαθὸς ἂν εἴη καὶ ὁ φέρων καλῶς κακά.

Or lines in Homer beginning and ending with ε, as—

Εὗρε λυκάονος υἷον ἀμύμονά τε κρατερόν τε.
Ἐν πόλει ὑμετέρῃ ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἔμελλον ἔγωγε.

And iambics on the same principle—

Εὐκαταφρόνητός ἐστι πενία, δέρκυλε:
Ἐπὶ τοῖς παροῦσι τὸν βίον διάπλεκε.

And lines of Homer beginning and ending with η, as—

Ἠ μὲν ἄπ᾽ ὥς εἰποῦσ᾽ ἀπέβη γλαυκῶπις ᾿αθήνη:
Ἠ δ᾽ ἐν γούνασι πίπτε διώνης δῖ ᾿αφροδίτη.

And iambics—

[Pg 724]

Ἠ τῶν φίλων σοι πίστις ἔστω κεκριμένη.

Lines in Homer beginning and ending with ι, as—

Ἰλίου ἐξαπολοίατ᾽ ἀκήδεστοι καὶ ἄφαντοι:
Ἰππόλοχος δέ μ᾽ ἔτικτε καὶ ἐκ τοῦ φημὶ γενέσθαι.

Beginning and ending with σ, as—

Συμπάντων δαναῶν, οὐδ᾽ ἢν ᾿αγαμέμνονα εἴπῃς.

And iambics as—

Σοφος ἐστιν ὁ φέρων τἀπὸ τῆς τύχης καλῶς.

And beginning and ending with ω, as—

Ὠς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἀπ᾽ οὐλύμπου νέφος ἔρχεται οὐρανὸν εἴσω.

And iambics as—

Ὠρθωμένην πρὸς ἅπαντα τὴν ψύχην ἔχω.

Sometimes too, it is well to propound lines without a sigma, as—

Πάντ᾽ ἐθέλω δόμεναι, καὶ ἔτ᾽ οἴκοθεν ἄλλ᾽ ἐπιθεῖναι:

and again, to quote lines of Homer, of which the first syllable when connected with the last, will make some name, such as—

ἌΙας δ᾽ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος ἄγεν δύο καὶ δεκα νῆΑΣ:
φΥΛείδης ὃν τίκτε Διῒ φίλος ἵπποτα φυλεΥΣ.
Ἰητὴρ δ᾽ ἀγαθὸς Ποδαλείριος ἠδὲ ΜάχαΩΝ.

There are also other lines in Homer expressing the names of vessels from the first and last syllable, such as—

ὈΛψυμένων Δαναῶν ὀλοφύρεται ἐν φρεσὶ θυΜΟΣ,

which makes Ὄλμος, a mortar;

ΜΥθεῖται κατὰ μοῖραν ἅπερ κ᾽ οἴοιτο καὶ ἄλΛΟΣ,

which makes Μύλος, a millstone;

ΛΥγρός ἐὼν μή πού τι κακὸν καὶ μεῖζον ἐπαύΡῌ,

which makes λύρη, a lyre.

And other lines, the first and last syllables of which give some eatable, as—

ἈΡγυρόπεζα Θέτις θυγατὴρ ἁλίοιο γέρονΤΟΣ,

which makes ἄρτος, bread;

ΜΗτι σὺ ταῦτα ἕκαστα διείρεο, μὴ δὲ μετάλΛΑ,

which makes μῆλα, apples.

88. And since we have made a pretty long digression about griphi, we must now say what punishment those people underwent who failed to solve the griphus which was proposed to them. They drank brine mingled with their drink, and were bound to drink the whole cup up at one draught; as Antiphanes shows in his Ganymede, where he says—

A. Alas me! what perplexing things you say,
O master, and what numerous things you ask me.
B. But now I will speak plainly: if you know
One circumstance about the rape of the child,
You must reveal it quick, before you're hang'd.
A. Are you then asking me a riddle, master,
Bidding me tell you all about the rape
Of the child? What's the meaning of your words?
B. Here, some one, bring me out a halter quickly.
A. What for?
B. Perhaps you'll say you do not know.
A. Will you then punish me with that? Oh don't!
You'd better make me drink a cup of brine.
B. Know you then how you ought to drink that up?
A. Indeed I do.
B. How?
A. So as to make you pledge me.
B. No, but first put your hands behind your back,
Then drink it at a draught, not drawing breath.

So when the Deipnosophists had said all this about the griphi, since it has taken us till evening to recollect all they said, we will put off the discussion about cups till to-morrow. For as Metagenes says in his Philothytes—

I'll change my speech, by way of episode,
So as to treat the theatre with many
New dishes rich with various seasonings;

taking the discussion about cups next.


[36] The passage from Pindar is hopelessly corrupt.

[37] A mina was something less than a pound.

[38] A χοεὺς was something under three quarts.

[39] It is not quite certain what was the size of the chœnix; some make it about a pint and a half, while others make it nearly four pints. The λίτρα is only the Greek form of the Roman libra, and was a little more than three-quarters of a pound.

[40] Sito is from σῖτος, food.

[41] It is uncertain what this name means, or how it should be spelt. Some write it Simalis.

[42] This name appears to mean, "having unexpected gain," ἕρμαιον ἔχων.

[43] Megalartus, from μέγας, large, and ἄρτος, a loaf. Megalomazus, from μέγας, great, and μάζα, a barley-cake.

[44] The cyathus held the twelfth part of a sextarius, which was about a pint; and the Romans who wished to preserve a character for moderation used to mix their wine in the proportion of nine cyathi of water to three of wine. Poets, who, according to Horace, were good for nothing till they were inebriated, reversed these proportions:—

Tribus aut novem
Miscentur cyathis pocula commodis.
Qui Musas amat impares,
Ternos ter cyathos attonitus petit
Vates. Tres prohibet supra
Rixarum metuens tangere Gratia,
Nudis juncta sororibus.—Hor. iii. 19. 11.

[45] The cottabus was a Sicilian game, much in vogue at the drinking-parties of young men in Athens. The simplest mode was when each threw the wine left in his cup so as to strike smartly in a metal basin, at the same time invoking his mistress's name. If all fell in the basin, and the sound was clear, it was a sign that he stood well with her. The basin was called κοτταβεῖον, the action of throwing ἀποκοτταβίζειν, and the wine thrown λάταγες, or λαταγή. The game afterwards became more complicated, and was played in various ways; sometimes a number of little cups (ὀξύβαφα) were set floating, and he who threw his cottabus so as to upset the greatest number, in a given number of throws, won the prize, which was also called κοτταβεῖον. Sometimes the wine was thrown upon a scale (πλάστιξ), suspended over a little image (μάνης) placed in water: here the cottabus was to be thrown so as to make the scale descend upon the head of the image. It seems quite uncertain what the word is derived from.—Vide L. & S. Gr. Eng. Lex. υ. κότταβος.

[46] Schlegel gives a very different interpretation to this story. He says—"In Æschylus the tragic style is as yet imperfect, and not unfrequently runs into either unmixed epic or lyric. It is often abrupt, irregular, and harsh. To compose more regular and skilful tragedies than those of Æschylus was by no means difficult; but in the more than mortal grandeur which he displayed, it was impossible that he should ever be surpassed, and even Sophocles, his younger and more fortunate rival, did not in this respect equal him. The latter, in speaking of Æschylus, gave a proof that he was himself a thoughtful artist;—'Æschylus does what is right, without knowing it.' These few simple words, exhaust the whole of what we understand by the phrase, powerful working unconsciously." This is the comment of a man of real sense, learning, taste, and judgment.—Dramatic Literature, p. 95. (Bohn's Standard Library.)

[47] This was a name given to Pericles by Aristophanes, Acharn. 531.

[48] "Νάρθηξ, a tall umbelliferous plant, (Lat. ferula,) with a slight knotted pithy stalk, in which Prometheus conveyed the spark of fire from heaven to earth." —L. & S. Gr. Eng. Lex. in voc. νάρθηξ.

[49] This is a mistake of Athenæus. The passage referred to occurs in the fifth book of the De Republica.

[50] A line or two is lost here, containing probably the enigmatical sentence subsequently referred to.

[51] The Greek is ἐν γάστρι ἔχει, which also signifies to be pregnant.

[52] There is probably some corruption in the text here.

[53] There is some mistake here, for they consist of eleven.

[Pg 725]



Come now, where shall our conversation rise?

as Cephisodorus the comic poet says, my good friend Timocrates; for when we were all met together at a convenient season, and with serious minds, to discuss the goblets, Ulpian, while every one was sitting still, and before any one began to speak at all, said,—At the court of Adrastus, my friends, the chief men of the nation sup while sitting down. But Polyidus, while sacrificing on the road, detained Peteos as he was passing by, and while lying on the grass, strewing some leaves which he had broken off on the ground by way of a table, set before him some part of the victim which he had sacrificed. And when Autolycus had come to the rich people of Ithaca, and while he was sitting down, (for [Pg 726] the men of that time ate their meals while sitting down,) the nurse took Ulysses, (as the poet says—

His course to Ithaca the hero sped
When first the product of Laertes' bed
Was new disclosed to birth; the banquet ends
When Euryclea from the queen descends,
And to his fond embrace the babe commends:)

and placed him on his knees, not near his knees. So let us not waste time now, but let us lie down, that Plutarch may lead the way in the lecture which he promised us on the subject of goblets, and that he may pledge us all in bumpers.

2.But I imagine that Simonides of Amorgos is the first poet who has spoken of drinking-cups (ποτήρια) by name in his iambics, thus—

The cups away did lead him from the table.

And the author of the poem called the Alcmæonis says—

He placed the corpses lowly on the shore
On a broad couch of leaves; and by their side
A dainty feast he spread, and brimming cups,
And garlands on their noble temples wreathed.

And the word ποτήριον comes from πόσις, drink, as the Attic word ἔκπωμα also does; but they form the word with ω, as they also say ὑδροπωτέω, to drink water, and οἰνοπωτέω, to drink wine. Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

A stupid serpent drinking deep of blood (αἱματοπώτης).

But he also says in the same play—

Much then did Bacis use the cup (ποτήριον).

And Pherecrates, in his Tyranny, says—

One is better than a thousand cups (ποτήρια).

And Anacreon said—

I am become a wine-bibber (οἰνοπώτης).

And the verb occurs also in the same poet, for he says οἰνοποτάζων. And Sappho, in her second Ode, says—

And many countless cups (ποτήρια), O beauteous Iphis.

And Alcæus says—

And from the cups (ποτηρία) . . . . . .

And in Achaia Ceres is honoured under the title of Δημήτηρ ποτηριοφόρος, in the territories of the Antheans, as Autocrates informs us in the second book of his History of Achaia.

[Pg 727]


3. And I think it right that you should inquire, before we begin to make a catalogue of the cups of which this sideboard (κυλικεῖον) is full,—(for that name is given to the cupboard where the cups are kept, by Aristophanes, in his Farmers—

As a cloth is placed in front of a sideboard (κυλικεῖον);

and the same word occurs also in Anaxandrides in his Melilotus; and Eubulus in his Leda says—

As if he had been offering a libation,
He's broken all the goblets in the sideboard (κυλικεῖον).

And in his Female Singer he says—

And he found out the use of sideboards (κυλικεῖα) for us.

And in his Semele or Bacchus he says—

Hermes the son of Maia, polish'd well
Upon the sideboard . . . . .

And the younger Cratinus, in his Chiron, says—

But, after many years, I now have come
Home from my enemies; and scarce have found
Relations who would own me, or companions
Of the same tribe or borough. I enroll'd
My name among a club of cup-collectors (κυλικεῖον):
Jupiter is the guardian of my doors—
Protector of my tribe. I pay my taxes.)

4. It is worth while, I say, to inquire whether the ancients drank out of large cups. For Dicæarchus the Messenian, the pupil of Aristotle, in his Essay on Alcæus, says that they used small cups, and that they drank their wine mixed with a good deal of water. But Chamæleon of Heraclea, in his essay on Drunkenness, (if I only recollect his words correctly,) says—"But if those who are in power and who are rich prefer this drunkenness to other pleasures, it is no great wonder, for as they have no other pleasure superior to this, nor more easy to obtain, they naturally fly to wine: on which account it has become customary among the nobles to use large drinking-cups. For this is not at all an ancient custom among the Greeks; but one that has been lately adopted, and imported from the barbarians. For they, being destitute of education, rush eagerly to much wine, and provide themselves with all kinds of superfluous delicacies. But in the various countries of Greece, we neither find in pictures nor in poems any trace of any cups of large size being made, except indeed in the heroic times. For the cup which is called ῥυτὸν they attributed only to the [Pg 728] heroes, which fact will appear a perplexing one to some people; unless indeed any one should choose to say that this custom was introduced because of the fierceness of the appearance of these demigods. For they think the heroes irascible and quarrelsome, and more so by night than by day. In order, then, that they may appear to be so, not in consequence of their natural disposition, but because of their propensity for drinking, they represent them as drinking out of large cups. And it appears to me not to have been a bad idea on the part of those people who said that a large cup was a silver well."

In all this Chamæleon appears to be ignorant that it is not a small cup which in Homer is given to the Cyclops by Ulysses; for if it had been a small one, he would not have been so overcome with drunkenness after drinking it three times only, when he was a man of such a monstrous size. There were therefore large cups at that time; unless any one chooses to impute it to the strength of the wine, which Homer himself has mentioned, or to the little practice which the Cyclops had in drinking, since his usual beverage was milk; or perhaps it was a barbaric cup, since it was a big one, forming perhaps a part of the plunder of the Cicones. What then are we to say about Nestor's cup, which a young man would scarcely have had strength enough to carry, but which the aged Nestor lifted without any labour; concerning which identical cup Plutarch shall give us some information. However, it is time now to lie down at table.

5. And when they had all laid themselves down;—But, said Plutarch, according to the Phliasian poet Pratinas—

Not ploughing ready-furrow'd ground,
But, seeking for a goblet,
I come to speak about the cups (κυλικηγορήσων)

Nor indeed am I one of those κυλίκρανοι whom Hermippus, the comic poet, ridicules in his iambics, where he says—

I've come now to the vineyard of the Cylicranes,
And seen Heraclea, a beauteous city.

[Pg 729]


But these are Heracleans who live at the foot of Mount Œta, as Nicander of Thyatira says; saying that they are so named from a certain Cylix, a Lydian by birth, who was one of the comrades of Hercules. And they are mentioned also by Scythinus the Teian, in his work entitled The History, where he says, "Hercules, having taking Eurytus and his son, put them to death for exacting tribute from the people of Euboea. And he laid waste the territory of the Cylicranes for behaving like robbers; and there he built a city called Heraclea of Trachis." And Polemo, in the first of his books, addressed to Adæus and Antigonus, speaks thus—"But the inhabitants of the Heraclea which is at the foot of Mount Œta, and of Trachis, are partly some Cylicranes who came with Hercules from Lydia, and partly Athamanes, some of whose towns remain to this day. And the people of Heraclea did not admit them to any of the privileges of citizenship, considering them only as foreigners sojourning amongst them; and they were called Cylicranes, because they had the figure of a cup (κύλιξ) branded on their shoulders."

6. I am aware, too, that Hellanicus says, in his treatise on the Names of Races, that "Some of the Libyan nomades have no other possessions than a cup, and a sword, and a ewer, and they have small houses made of the stalks of asphodel, merely just to serve as a shade, and they even carry them about with them wherever they go." There is also a spot amongst the Illyrians, which has been celebrated by many people, which is called Κύλικες, near to which is the tomb of Cadmus and Harmonia, as Phylarchus relates in the twenty-second book of his Histories. And Polemo, in his book on Morychus, says that at Syracuse, on the highest spot of the part called the Island, there is an altar near the temple of Olympia, outside the walls, from which he says that people when putting to sea carry a goblet with them, keeping it until they get to such a distance that the shield in the temple of Minerva cannot be seen; and then they let it fall into the sea, being an earthenware cup, putting into it flowers and honeycombs, and uncut frankincense, and all sorts of other spices besides.

7. And since I now see your banquet, as Xenophanes the Colophonian says, full of all kinds of pleasure—

For now the floor and all men's hands are clean,
And all the cups, and since the feasters' brows
Are wreathed with garlands, while the slaves around
Bring fragrant perfume in well-suited dishes;
And in the middle stands the joyful bowl,
And wine's at hand, which ne'er deserts the guests
Who know its worth, in earthen jars well kept,
Well flavour'd, fragrant with the sweet fresh flowers;
[Pg 730] And in the midst the frankincense sends forth
Its holy perfume; and the water's cold,
And sweet, and pure; and golden bread's at hand,
And duly honour'd tables, groaning under
Their weight of cheese and honey;—then an altar,
Placed in the centre, all with flow'rs is crown'd.
And song and feasting occupies the house,
And dancing, and all sorts of revelry:—
Therefore it does become right-minded men
First with well-omen'd words and pious prayers
To hymn the praises of the Gods; and so,
With pure libations and well-order'd vows,
To win from them the power to act with justice—
For this comes from the favour of the Gods;
And you may drink as much as shall not hinder
You from returning home without assistance,
Unless, indeed, you're very old: and he
Deserves to be above his fellows lauded
Who drinks and then says good and witty things,
Such as his memory and taste suggests,—
Who lays down rules, and tells fine tales of virtue;
Not raking up the old Titanic fables,
Wars of the Giants, or the Lapithæ,
Figments of ancient times, mere pleasing trifles,
Full of no solid good; but always speaking
Things that may lead to right ideas of God.

8. And the exquisite Anacreon says—

I do not love the man who, 'midst his cups,
Says nothing but old tales of war and strife,
But him who gives its honour due to mirth,
Praising the Muses and the bright-faced Venus.

And Ion of Chios says—

Hail, our great king, our saviour, and our father!
And let the cupbearers now mix us wine
In silver jugs: and let the golden bowl
Pour forth its pure libations on the ground,
While duly honouring the mighty Jove.
First of the Gods, and first in all our hearts,
We pour libations to Alcmena's son,
And to the queen herself,—to Procles too,
And the invincible chiefs of Perseus' line.
Thus let us drink and sport; and let the song
Make the night cheerful; let the glad guests dance;
And do thou willingly preside among us:
But let the man who's a fair wife at home
Drink far more lustily than those less happy.

Those also who were called the seven wise men used to make drinking parties; "for wine comforts the natural moroseness of old age," as Theophrastus says, in his treatise on Drunkenness.

[Pg 731]


9. On which account, when we are met together in these Dionysiac conversaziones, no one, as is said in the Tarentines of Alexis—

No one can find a just pretence to grudge us
Our harmless pleasure, since we never injure
One of our neighbours. Know you not, my friend,
That what is called life is but a name,
Well soften'd down (to make it palatable),
For human fate? And whether any one
Thinks that I'm right or wrong in what I say,
I cannot change a word; for well I know,
And long have I consider'd the whole matter,
That all th' affairs of men are full of madness,
And we who live are only sojourners,
Like men who go to some great festival,
Starting from death and darkness to a pastime,
And to this light which we behold before us.
But he who laughs and drinks most cheerfully,
And most enjoys the charming gifts of Venus,
And most attends on feasts and festivals,
He goes through life, and then departs most happily.

And, in the words of the beautiful Sappho,—

Come, O Venus, hither come,
Bringing us thy goblets fair,
Mingled with the merry feast;
And pour out sparkling wine, I pray,
To your and my companions gay.

10. And we may add to all this, that different cities have peculiar fashions of drinking and pledging one another; as Critias mentions, in his Constitution of the Lacedæmonians, where he says—"The Chian and the Thasian drink out of large cups, passing them on towards the right hand; and the Athenian also passes the wine round towards the right, but drinks out of small cups. But the Thessalian uses large cups, pledging whoever he pleases, without reference to where he may be; but among the Lacedæmonians, every one drinks out of his own cup, and a slave, acting as cupbearer, fills up again the cup when each has drained it." And Anaxandrides also mentions the fashion of passing the cup round towards the right hand, in his Countrymen, speaking as follows:—

A. In what way are you now prepared to drink?
Tell me, I pray.
B. In what way are we now
Prepared to drink? Why any way you please.
A. Shall we then now, my father, tell the guests
[Pg 732] To push the wine to the right?
B. What! to the right?
That would be just as though this were a funeral.[54]

11. But we may decline entering on the subject of goblets of earthenware; for Ctesias says—"Among the Persians, that man only uses an earthenware who is dishonoured by the king." And Choerilus the epic poet says—

Here in my hands I hold a wretched piece
Of earthen goblet, broken all around,
Sad relic of a band of merry feasters;
And often the fierce gale of wanton Bacchus
Dashes such wrecks with insult on the shore.

But I am well aware that earthenware cups are often very pleasant, as those which are imported among us from Coptus; for they are made of earth which is mixed up with spices. And Aristotle, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says—"The cups which are called Rhodiacan are brought into drinking-parties, because of the pleasure which they afford, and also because, when they are warmed, they deprive the wine of some of its intoxicating properties; for they are filled with myrrh and rushes, and other things of the same sort, put into water and then boiled; and when this mixture is put into the wine, the drinkers are less apt to become intoxicated." And in another place he says—"The Rhodiacan cups consist of myrrh, flowery rushes, saffron, balsam, spikenard, and cinnamon, all boiled together; and when some of this compound is added to the wine, it has such effect in preventing intoxication, that it even diminishes the amorous propensities, checking the breath in some degree."

[Pg 733]


12. We ought not, then, to drink madly, looking at the multitude of these beautiful cups, made as they are with every sort of various art, in various countries. "But the common people," says Chrysippus, in the introduction to his treatise on what is Good and Evil, "apply the term madly to a great number of things; and so they call a desire for women γυναικομανία, a fondness for quails ὀρτυγομανία; and some also call those who are very anxious for fame δοξομανεῖς; just as they call those who are fond of women γυναικομανεῖς, and those who are fond of birds ὀρνιθομανεῖς: all these nouns having the same notion of a propensity to the degree of madness. So that there is nothing inconsistent in other feelings and circumstances having this name applied to them; as a person who is very fond of delicacies, and who is properly called φίλοψος and ὀψοφάγος, may be called ὀψομανής; and a man very fond of wine maybe called οἰνομανής; and so in similar instances. And there is nothing unreasonable in attributing madness to such people, since they carry their errors to a very mad pitch, and wander a great distance from the real truth.

13. Let us, then, as was the custom among the Athenians, drink our wine while listening to these jesters and buffoons, and to other artists of the same kind. And Philochorus speaks of this kind of people in these terms—"The Athenians, in the festivals of Bacchus, originally used to go to the spectacle after they had dined and drunk their wine; and they used to witness the games with garlands on their heads. But during the whole time that the games were going on, wine was continually being offered to them, and sweetmeats were constantly being brought round; and when the choruses entered, they were offered wine; and also when the exhibition was over, and they were departing, wine was offered to them again. And Pherecrates the comic poet bears witness to all these things, and to the fact that down to his own time the spectators were never left without refreshment." And Phanodemus says—"At the temple of Bacchus, which is in the Marshes (ἐν Λίμναις), the Athenians bring wine, and mix it out of the cask for the god, and then drink of it themselves; on which account Bacchus is also called Λιμναῖος,because the wine was first drunk at that festival mixed with water. On which account the fountains were called Nymphs and the Nurses of Bacchus, because the water being mingled with the wine increases the quantity of the wine.

Accordingly, men being delighted with this mixture, celebrated Bacchus in their songs, dancing and invoking him under the names of Euanthes, and Dithyrambus, and Baccheutes, and Bromius." And Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says—"The nymphs are really the nurses of [Pg 734] Bacchus; for the vines, when cut, pour forth a great deal of moisture, and after their own nature weep." On which account Euripides says that one of the Horses of the Sun is

Æthops, who with his fervent heat doth ripen
Th' autumnal vines of sweetly flow'ring Bacchus,
From which men also call wine Æthops (αἴθοπα οἶνον).

And Ulysses gave

Twelve large vessels of unmix'd red wine,
Mellifluous, undecaying, and divine,
Which now (some ages from his race conceal'd)
The hoary sire in gratitude reveal'd.
Such was the wine, to quench whose fervent steam
Scarce twenty measures from the living stream
To cool one cup sufficed; the goblet crown'd,
Breathed aromatic fragrancies around.[55]

And Timotheus, in his Cyclops, says—

He fill'd one cup, of well-turn'd iv'ry made,
With dark ambrosial drops of foaming wine;
And twenty measures of the sober stream
He poured in, and with the blood of Bacchus
Mingled fresh tears, shed by the weeping nymphs.

14. And I know, my messmates, of some men who were proud, not so much of their wealth in money as of the possession of many cups of silver and gold; one of whom is Pytheas the Arcadian, of the town of Phigalea, who, even when dying, did not hesitate to enjoin his servants to inscribe the following verses on his tomb:—

This is the tomb of Pytheas, a man
Both wise and good, the fortunate possessor
Of a most countless number of fine cups,
Of silver made, and gold, and brilliant amber.
These were his treasures, and of them he had
A store, surpassing all who lived before him.

And Harmodius the Lepreatian mentions this fact in his treatise on the Laws and Customs subsisting in Phigalea. And Xenophon, in the eighth book of his Cyropædia, speaking of the Persians, writes as follows—"And also they pride themselves exceedingly on the possession of as many goblets as possible; and even if they have acquired them by notorious malpractices, they are not at all ashamed of so doing; for injustice and covetousness are carried on to a great degree among them." But Œdipus cursed his sons on account of some drinking-cups (as the author of the Cyclic poem called the Thebaïs says), because they set before him a goblet which he had forbidden; speaking as follows:—

[Pg 735]

But the divine, the golden-hair'd hero,
Great Polynices, set before his father first
A silver table, beautifully wrought,
Whilome the property of th' immortal Cadmus;
And then he fill'd a beauteous golden cup
Up to the brim with sweet and fragrant wine;
But Œdipus, when with angry eyes he saw
The ornaments belonging to his sire
Now set before him, felt a mighty rage,
Which glow'd within his breast, and straightway pour'd
The bitterest curses forth on both his sons,
(Nor were they by the Fury all unheard,)
Praying that they might never share in peace
The treasures of their father, but for ever
With one another strive in arms and war.

15. And Cæcilius the orator who came from Cale Acte, in his treatise on History, says that Agathocles the Great, when displaying his golden drinking-cups to his companions, said that he had got all these from the earthenware cups which he had previously made. And in Sophocles, in the Larissæans, Acrisius had a great many drinking-cups; where the tragedian speaks as follows:—

And he proclaims to strangers from all quarters
A mighty contest, promising among them
Goblets well wrought in brass, and beauteous vases
Inlaid with gold, and silver drinking-cups,
Full twice threescore in number, fair to see.

And Posidonius, in the twenty-sixth book of his Histories, says that Lysimachus the Babylonian, having invited Himerus to a banquet (who was tyrant not only over the people of Babylon, but also over the citizens of Seleucia), with three hundred of his companions, after the tables were removed, gave every one of the three hundred a silver cup, weighing four minæ; and when he had made a libation, he pledged them all at once, and gave them the cups to carry away with them. And Anticlides the Athenian, in the sixteenth book of his Returns, speaking of Gra, who, with other kings, first led a colony into the island of Lesbos, and saying that those colonists had received an answer from the oracle, bidding them, while sailing, throw a virgin into the sea, as an offering to Neptune, proceeds as follows:—"And some people, who treat of the history and affairs of Methymna, relate a fable [Pg 736] about the virgin who was thrown into the sea; and say that one of the leaders was in love with her, whose name was Enalus, and that he dived down, wishing to save the damsel; and that then both of them, being hidden by the waves, disappeared. But that in the course of time, when Methymna had now become populous, Enalus appeared again, and related what had happened, and how it had happened: and said that the damsel was still abiding among the Nereids, and that he himself had become the superintendent of Neptune's horses; but that a great wave having been cast on the shore, he had swam with it, and so come to land: and he had in his hand a goblet made of gold, of such wondrous workmanship that the golden goblets which they had, when compared with his, looked no better than brass."

16. And in former times the possession of drinking-cups was reckoned a very honourable thing. Accordingly, Achilles had a very superb cup as a sort of heirloom:—

But, mindful of the gods, Achilles went
To the rich coffer in his shady tent,
(There lay the presents of the royal dame;)
From thence he took a bowl of antique frame,
Which never man had stain'd with ruddy wine,
Nor raised in offerings to the pow'rs divine,
But Peleus' son; and Peleus' son to none
Had raised in offerings but to Jove alone.[56]

And Priam, when offering ransom for his son, amid all his most beautiful treasures especially offers a very exquisitely wrought cup. And Jupiter himself, on the occasion of the birth of Hercules, thinks a drinking-cup a gift worthy to be given to Alcmena; which he, having likened himself to Amphitryon, presents to her:—

And she received the gift, and on the bowl
Admiring gazed with much delighted soul.

And Stesichorus says that the sun sails over the whole ocean in a bowl; in which also Hercules passed over the sea, on the occasion of his going to fetch the cows of Geryon. We are acquainted, too, with the cup of Bathycles the Arcadian, which Bathycles left behind him as a prize of wisdom to him who should be pronounced the best of those who were called the wise men.

[Pg 737]


And a great many people have handled the cup of Nestor; for many have written books about it. And drinking-cups were favourites even among the Gods; at all events—

They pledged each other in their golden cups.[57]

But it is a mark of a gentleman to be moderate in his use of wine, not drinking too greedily, nor drinking large draughts without drawing one's breath, after the fashion of the Thracians; but to mingle conversation with his cups, as a sort of wholesome medicine.

17. And the ancients affixed a great value to such goblets as had any story engraved upon them; and in the art of engraving cups in this manner, a high reputation was enjoyed by Cimon and Athenocles. They used also drinking-cups inlaid with precious stones. And Menander, somewhere or other, speaks of drinking-cups turned by the turning-lathe, and chased; and Antiphanes says—

And others drain with eager lips the cup,
Full of the juice of ancient wine, o'ershadow'd
With sparkling foam,—the golden-wrought rich cup,
Which circled round they raised: one long, deep draught
They drain, and raise the bottom to the skies.

And Nicomachus says to some one—

O you, who . . . . . and vomit golden . . . .

And Philippides says—

Could you but see the well-prepared cups,
All made of gold, my Trophimus; by heaven,
They are magnificent! I stood amazed
When I beheld them first. Then there were also
Large silver cups, and jugs larger than I.

And Parmenio, in his letter to Alexander, summing up the spoils of the Persians, says, "The weight of goblets of gold is seventy-three Babylonian talents, and fifty-two minæ.[58] The weight of goblets inlaid with precious stones, is fifty-six Babylonian talents, and thirty-four minæ."

18. And the custom was, to put the water into the cup first, and the wine afterwards. Accordingly, Xenophanes says—

[Pg 738]

And never let a man a goblet take,
And first pour in the wine; but let the water
Come first, and after that, then add the wine.

And Anacreon says—

Bring me water—bring me wine,
Quick, O boy; and bring, besides,
Garlands, rich with varied flowers;
And fill the cup, that I may not
Engage in hopeless strife with love.

And before either of them Hesiod had said—

Pour in three measures of the limpid stream,
Pure from an everflowing spring; and then
Add a fourth cup of sacred rosy wine.

And Theophrastus says—"The ancient fashion of the mixture of wine was quite opposite to the way in which it is managed at the present day; for they were not accustomed to pour the water on the wine, but the wine on the water, in order, when drinking, not to have their liquor too strong, and in order also, when they had drunk to satiety, to have less desire for more. And they also consumed a good deal of this liquor, mixed as it was, in the game of the cottabus."

19. Now of carvers of goblets the following men had a high reputation,—Athenocles, Crates, Stratonicus, Myrmecides the Milesian, Callicrates the Lacedæmonian, and Mys; by which last artist we have seen a Heraclean cup, having most beautifully wrought on it the capture of Troy, and bearing also this inscription—

The sketch was by Parrhasius;—by Mys
The workmanship; and now I represent
The lofty Troy, which great Achilles took.

20. Now among the Cretans, the epithet κλεινὸς, illustrious, is often given to the objects of one's affection. And it is a matter of great desire among them to carry off beautiful boys; and among them it is considered discreditable to a beautiful boy not to have a lover. And the name given to the boys who are carried off in that manner is παρασταθέντες. And they give to the boy who has been carried off a robe, and an ox, and a drinking-cup. And the robe they wear even when they are become old, in order to show that they have been κλεινοί.

21. You see that when men drink, they then are rich;
They do whate'er they please,—they gain their actions,
They're happy themselves, and they assist their friends.

[Pg 739]


For amusing oneself with wine exalts, and cherishes, and elevates the mind, since it inflames and arouses the soul, and fills it with lofty thoughts, as Pindar says—

When the sad, laborious cares
Flee from the weary hearts of men,
And in the wide, expansive ocean
Of golden wealth we all set sail,
Floating towards the treacherous shore.
E'en he who is poor, is rich when he
Has fill'd his soul with rosy wine;
And he who's rich . . . . .

And then he goes on—

becomes elated
Beneath the glad dominion of the vine.

22. There is a kind of drinking-cup also called ancyla, or curved; a kind especially useful for the play of the cottabus. Cratinus says—

'Tis death to drink of wine when water's mix'd:
But she took equal shares, two choes full
Of unmix'd wine, in a large ancyla:
And calling on her dear Corinthian lover
By name, threw in his honour a cottabus.

And Bacchylides says—

When she does throw to the youths a cottabus
From her ancyla, stretching her white arm forth.

And it is with reference to this ancyla that we understand the expression of Æschylus—

The cottabus of th' ancyla (ἀγκυλήτους κοττάβους).

Spears are also called ἀγκύλητα, or curved; and also μεσάγκυλα, held by a string in the middle. There is also the expression ἀπ᾽ ἀγκύλης, which means, from the right hand. And the cup is called ἀγκύλη, from the fact that the right hand is curved, in throwing the cottabus from it. For it was a matter to which great attention was paid by the ancients— namely, that of throwing the cottabus dexterously and gracefully. And men in general prided themselves more on their dexterity in this than in throwing the javelin skilfully. And this got its name from the manner in which the hand was brandished in throwing the cottabus, when they threw it elegantly and dexterously into the cottabium. And they also built rooms especially designed for this sport.

23. In Timachides there is also a kind of drinking-cup mentioned, called the æacis.

[Pg 740]

There is another kind also, called the ἄκατος,or boat, being shaped like a boat. Epicrates sayss—

Throw down th' acatia,

(using here the diminutive form,)

and take instead
The larger goblets; and the old woman lead
Straight to the cup; . . . the younger maiden . . . .
. . . . . . . fill it; have your oar
All ready, loose the cables, bend the sails.

Among the Cyprians there is also a kind of cup called the aotus, as Pamphilus tells us: and Philetas says, this is a cup which has no ears (ὤτους).

There is also a kind of cup called aroclum, which is mentioned by Nicander the Colophonian.

24. The cup called ἄλεισον, is the same as that called δέπας. Homer, in his Odyssey, speaking of Pisistratus, says—

In a rich golden cup he pour'd the wine;[59]

and proceeding, he says, in the same manner—

To each a portion of the feast he bore,
And held the golden goblet (ἄλεισον) foaming o'er;

and presently afterwards he says—

And gave the goblet (δέπας) to Ulysses' son.

And, accordingly, Asclepiades the Myrlean says—"The δέπας appears to me to have been much of the same shape as the φιάλη. For men make libations with it. Accordingly, Homer says, δέπαϛ

The cup which Peleus' son
Had raised in offerings to Jove alone.

And it is called δέπας, either because it is given to all (δίδοται πᾶσι) who wish to make libations, or who wish to drink; or because it has two ears (δύο ὦπας), for ὦπες must be the same as ὦτα. And it has the name of ἄλεισον, either from being very smooth (ἄγαν λεῖον), or because the liquor is collected (ἁλίζεται) in it. And that it had two ears is plain—

High in his hands he rear'd the golden bowl
By both its ears.

[Pg 741]


But when he applies the word ἀμφικύπελλον to it, he means nothing more than ἀμφίκυρτον curved on both sides.” But Silenus interprets the word ἀμφικύπελλον to mean devoid of ears, while others say that ἀμφὶ here is equivalent to περὶ, and that it means a cup which you may put to your mouth all round, at any part of it. But Parthenius says that it means that the ears are curved (περικεκυρτῶσθαι), for that is synonymous with κυρτός. But Anicetus says that the κύπελλον is a kind of cup (φίαλη), and that the word ἀμφικύπελλον is equivalent to ὑπερφίαλον, that is to say, superb and magnificent; unless, indeed, any one chooses to interpret the word ἄλεισον as something very highly ornamented, and therefore not at all smooth (α, λεῖον). And Pisander says, Hercules gave Telamon a cup (ἄλεισον) as the prize of his preeminent valour in the expedition against Troy.

25. There is also a kind of cup called the horn of Amalthea, and another called ἐνιαυτὸς, or the year.

There is also a kind of cup made of wood, called ἄμφωτις, which Philetas says that the countrymen use, who milk their cattle into it, and then drink the milk.

There is also a kind of drinking called ἄμυστις, when any one drinks a long draught without taking breath and without winking (μὴ μύσαντα). And they give the same name to the goblets from which it is easy to drink in this manner. And they also use a verb (ἐκμυστίζω) for drinking without taking breath, as Plato the comic poet says—

And opening a fair cask of fragrant wine,
He pours it straight into the hollow cup;
And then he drank it sheer and not disturb'd,
And drain'd it at one draught (ἐξεμύστισε).

And they also drank the ἄμυστις draught to an accompaniment of music; the melody being measured out according to the quickness of the time; as Ameipsias says—

Gentle musician, let that dulcet strain
Proceed; and, while I drink this luscious draught,
Play you a tune; then you shall drink yourself.
For mortal man has no great wants on earth,
Except to love and eat;—and you're too stingy.

26. There is also a kind of cup called Antigonis, from the name of king Antigonus: like the Seleucis from king Seleucus; and the Prusis, from king Prusias.

There is also a kind of cup known in Crete, and called anaphæa, which they use for hot drinks.

There is also a kind of cup called aryballus. This kind of cup is wider at the bottom, and contracted at top like a purse when it is drawn together; and, indeed, some people call purses ἀρύβαλλοι, from their resemblance to this kind of cup. Aristophanes says, in his Knights—

[Pg 742]

He pour'd upon his head
Ambrosia from a holy cup (ἀρύβαλλος).

And the aryballus is not very different from the arystichus, being derived from the verbs ἀρύτω and βάλλω; they also call a jug ἄρυστις. Sophocles says—

You are most accursed of all women,
Who come to supper with your ἀρύστεις.

There is also a city of the Ionians called arystis.

There is another kind of cup called argyris, which is not necessarily made of silver. Anaxilas says—

And drinking out of golden argyrides.

27. Then batiacium, labronius, tragelaphus, pristis, are all names of different kinds of cups. The batiaca is a Persian goblet. And among the letters of the great Alexander to the Satraps of Asia there is inserted one letter in which the following passage occurs:—"There are three batiacæ of silver-gilt, and a hundred and seventy-six silver condya; and of these last thirty-three are gilt. There is also one silver tigisites, and thirty-two silver-gilt mystri. There is one silver vegetable dish, and one highly wrought wine-stand of silver ornamented in a barbaric style. There are other small cups from every country, and of every kind of fashion, to the number of twenty-nine: and other small-sized cups called rhyta, adbatia, and Lycurgi, all gilt, and incense-burners and spoons."

There is a cup used by the Alexandrians named bessa, wider in the lower parts, and narrow above.

28. There is also a kind of cup called baucalis: and this, too, is chiefly used in Alexandria, as Sopater the parodist says—

A baucalis, with four rings mark'd on it.

And in another passage he says—

'Tis sweet for men to drink (καταβαυκαλίσαι)
Cups of the juice by bees afforded,
At early dawn, when parch'd by thirst,
Caused by too much wine overnight.

[Pg 743]


And the men in Alexandria, it is said, have a way of working crystal, forming it often into various shapes of goblets, and imitating in this material every sort of earthenware cup which is imported from any possible country. And they say that Lysippus the statuary, wishing to gratify Cassander, when he was founding the colony of Cassandria, and when he conceived the ambition of inventing some peculiar kind of utensil in earthenware, on account of the extraordinary quantity of Mendean wine which was exported from the city, took a great deal of pains with that study, and brought Cassander a great number of cups of every imaginable fashion, all made of earthenware, and taking a part of the pattern of each, thus made one goblet of a design of his own.

29. There is also a kind of cup called bicus. Xenophon, in the first book of his Anabasis, says:— "And Cyrus sent him a number of goblets (βίκους) of wine half full; and it is a cup of a flat shallow shape, like a φιάλη, according to the description given of it by Pollux the Parian.

There is another kind of cup called the bombylius; a sort of Rhodian Thericlean cup; concerning the shape of which Socrates says,—"Those who drink out of the phiale as much as they please will very soon give over; but those who drink out of a bombylius drink by small drops." There is also an animal of the same name.

There is also a kind of drinking-cup called the bromias, in form like the larger kind of scyphus.

30. There is another kind called the lettered cup, having writing engraved round it. Alexis says—

A. Shall I describe to you the appearance first
O' the cup you speak of? Know, then, it was round;
Exceeding small; old, sadly broken too
About the ears; and all around the brim
Were carved letters.
B. Were there those nineteen
Engraved in gold,—To Jupiter the Saviour?[60]
A. Those, and no others.

And we have seen a lettered cup of this kind lying at Capua in Campania, in the temple of Diana; covered with writing taken from the poems of Homer, and beautifully engraved; having the verses inlaid in golden characters, like the drinking-cup of Nestor. And Achæus the tragic poet, in his Omphale, himself also represents the Satyrs speaking in the following manner about a lettered drinking-cup—

And the god's cup long since has call'd me,
Showing this writing,—delta, then iota,
The third letter was omega, then nu,
[Pg 744] Then u came next, and after that a sigma
And omicron were not deficient.

But in this passage we want the final υ which ought to have ended the word. Since all the ancients used the omicron not only with the power which it has now, but also when they meant to indicate the diphthong ου they wrote it by ο only. And they did the same when they wished to write the vowel ε, whether it is sounded by itself, or when they wish to indicate the diphthong ει by the addition of iota. And accordingly, in the above-cited verses, the Satyrs wrote the final syllable of the genitive case Διονύσου with ο only; as being short to engrave: so that we are in these lines to understand the final upsilon, so as to make the whole word Διονύσου. And the Dorians called sigma san; for the musicians, as Aristoxenus often tells us, used to avoid saying sigma whenever they could, because it was a hard-sounding letter, and unsuited to the flute; but they were fond of using the letter rho, because of the ease of pronouncing it. And the horses which have the letter Σ branded on them, they call samphoras. Aristophanes, in his Clouds, says—

Neither you, nor the carriage-horse, nor samphoras.

And Pindar says—

Before long series of songs were heard,
And the ill-sounding san from out men's mouths.

And Eubulus also, in his Neottis, speaks of a lettered cup as being called by that identical name, saying—

A. Above all things I hate a letter'd cup,
Since he, my son, the time he went away,
Had such a cup with him.
B. There are many like it.

31. There is a kind of cup also called gyala. Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says that the Megarians call their cups gyalæ. And Parthenius, the pupil of Dionysius, in the first book of his Discussions upon Words found in the Historians, says—"The gyala is a kind of drinking-cup, as Marsyas the priest of Hercules writes, where he says, 'Whenever the king comes into the city, a man meets him having a cup (γυάλην) full of wine; and the king takes it, and pours a libation from it.'"

[Pg 745]


32. There is another sort of cup called the deinus. And that this is the name of a cup we are assured by Dionysius of Sinope, in his Female Saviour, where he gives a catalogue of the names of cups, and mentions this among them, speaking as follows—

And as for all the kinds of drinking-cups,
Lady, all fair to see,—dicotyli,
Tricotyli besides, the mighty deinus,
Which holds an entire measure, and the cymbion,
The scyphus and the rhytum; on all these
The old woman keeps her eyes, and minds nought else.

And Cleanthes the philosopher, in his book on Interpretation, says, that the cups called the Thericlean, and that called the Deinias, are both named from the original makers of them. And Seleucus, saying that the deinus is a kind of cup, quotes some lines of Stratis, from his Medea—

Dost know, O Creon, what the upper part
Of your head doth resemble? I can tell you:
'Tis like a deinus turned upside down.

And Archedicus, in his Man in Error, introducing a servant speaking of some courtesans, says—

A. I lately introduced a hook-nosed woman,
Her name Nicostrata; but surnamed also
Scotodeina, since (at least that is the story)
She stole a silver deinus in the dark.
B. A terrible thing (δεινὸν), by Jove; a terrible thing!

The deinus is also the name of a kind of dance, as Apollophanes tells us in his Dalis, where he says—

A strange thing (δεινὸν) is this deinus and calathiscus.

And Telesilla the Argive calls a threshing-floor also δεῖνος. And the Cyrenæans give the same name to a foot-tub, as Philetas tells us in his Attic Miscellanies.

33. There is also a kind of drinking-cup called δέπαστρον. Silenus and Clitarchus, in their Dialects, say that this is a name given to drinking-cups among the Clitorians; but Antimachus the Colophonian, in the fifth book of his Thebais, says—

And carefully they all commands obey'd
Which wise Adrastus laid on them. They took
A silver goblet, and they pour'd therein
Water, and honey pure, compounding deftly;
And quickly then they all distributed
The cups (δέπαστπα) among the princes of the Greeks,
Who there were feasting; and from a golden jug
They pour'd them wine for due libations.

And in another place he says—

Let others bring the bowl of solid silver,
[Pg 746] Or golden cups (δέπαστρα), which in my halls are stored.

And immediately afterwards he says—

And golden cups (δέπαστρα), and a pure untouch'd vessel
Of honey sweet, which will be best for him.

34. There is also a kind of cup called δακτυλωτὸν, with finger-like handles; and it is called so by Ion, in the Agamemnon—

And you shall have a gift worth running for,
A finger-handled cup, not touch'd by fire,
The mighty prize once given by Pelias,
And by swift Castor won.

But by this expression Epigenes understands merely having two ears, into which a person could put his fingers on each side. Others, again, explain it as meaning, having figures like fingers engraved all round it; or having small projections like the Sidonian cups;—or, again, some interpret the word as meaning merely smooth. But when he says, untouched by fire, that has the same meaning as Homer's phrase—

ἄπυρον κατέθηκε λέβητα,

meaning a caldron fit for the reception of cold water, or suitable for drinking cold drinks out of. But by this expression some understand a horn; and about the Molossian district the oxen are said to have enormous horns; and the way in which they are made into cups is explained by Theopompus: and it is very likely that Pelias may have had cups made of these horns; and Iolcos is near the Molossian district, and it was at Iolcos that these contests spoken of were exhibited by Pelias.—"But," says Didymus, in his Explanation of the play here spoken of, "it is better to say that Ion misunderstood Homer's words, where he says—

And for the fifth he gave a double bowl,
Which fire had never touch'd;

for he fancied that this meant a drinking-cup, while it was in reality a large flat vessel made of brass in the form of a caldron, suitable to receive cold water. And he has spoken of the dactylotus cup, as if it were a goblet that had a hollow place all round the inside of it, so as to be taken hold of inside by the fingers of the drinkers. And some say that the cup which has never been touched by fire means a cup of horn; for that that is not worked by the agency of fire. And perhaps a man might call a φιάλη a drinking-cup by a metaphorical use of the word." But Philemon, in his treatise on Attic Nouns and Attic Dialects, under the word καλπὶς says, "The dactylotus cup is the same as the two-headed cup into which a person can insert his fingers on both sides. But some say that it is one which has figures in the shape of fingers carved all round it."

[Pg 747]


35. There is also the elephant; and this was the name of a kind of cup, as we are told by Damoxenus, in the Man who laments himself—

A. If that is not enough, here is the boy
Bringing the elephant.
B. In God's name tell me,
What beast is that?
A. 'Tis a mighty cup,
Pregnant with double springs of rosy wine,
And able to contain three ample measures:
The work of Alcon. When I was at Cypseli,
Adæus pledged me in this self-same cup.

And Epinicus also mentions this cup, in his Supposititious Damsels; and I will quote his testimony when I come to speak of the rhytum.

36. There is another kind of cup called the Ephebus. And Philemon the Athenian, in his treatise on Attic Nouns and Attic Dialects, says that this cup is also called the embasicoitas; but Stephanus the comic poet, in his Friend of the Lacedæmonians, says—

Sos. The king then pledged him in a certain village.
B. A wondrous thing. What can you mean? Is this
A kind of goblet?
Sos. No; I mean a village
Near Thyria.
B. Why, my whole thoughts were borne
Off to the Rhodian cups, O Sosia,
And to those heavy bowls they call ephebi.

37. There are also some cups which are called ἡδυποτίδες. "These," says Lynceus the Samian, "were made by the Rhodians in emulation of the Thericlean goblets which were in use at Athens. But as the Athenians, on account of the great weight of metal employed in them, only made this shape for the use of the richer classes, the Rhodians made theirs so light that they were able to put these ornaments within the reach even of the poor. And Epigenes mentions them, in his Heroine, in these words—

A psycter, and a cyathus, and cymbia,
Four rhyta, and three hedypotides,
A silver strainer, too.

And Semus, in the fifth book of his Delias, says that there is among [Pg 748] the offerings at Delos a golden hedypotis, the gift of Echenica, a woman of the country, whom he mentions also, in his eighth book. And Cratinus the younger says, using the diminutive form,—

And Archephon had twelve ἡδυπότια.

38. There was another kind of cup called the Herculeum. Pisander, in the second book of his Herculead, says that the cup in which Hercules sailed across the ocean belonged to the Sun; and that Hercules received it from Oceanus for that purpose. But, perhaps, as the hero was fond of large cups, the poets and historians jesting because of the great size of this one, invented the fable of his having gone to sea in a cup. But Panyasis, in the first book of his Herculead, says that Hercules obtained the cup of the Sun from Nereus, and sailed even to Erythea in it. And we have said before that Hercules was one of the inordinate drinkers. And that the sun was borne on towards his setting in a cup, Stesichorus tells us, where he says—

And then the Sun, great Hyperion's offspring,
Embarked in his golden cup, that he
Might cross the ocean's wide expanse, and come
To the deep foundations of immortal Night;
To his fond mother, and his virgin bride,
And his dear children. And the son of Jove
Came to the grove
Shaded with laurels and with bays.

And Antimachus speaks thus—

And then the most illustrious Erythea
Sent the Sun forth in a convenient cup.

And Æschylus, in his Daughters of the Sun, says—

There in the west is found the golden cup,
Great Vulcan's work, your father's property,
In which he's borne along his rapid course
O'er the dark waters of the boundless sea.
When, his work done, he flies before dark Night,
Borne on her black-horsed chariot.

39. And Mimnermus, in his Nannus, says that the Sun when asleep is borne round to the east, lying on a golden bed which was made for this express purpose by Vulcan; by which enigmatical statement hie indicates the hollow form of the cup; and he speaks thus—

[Pg 749]

For the Sun labours every day, nor ever
Do he or his fleet steeds know pleasing rest
From that bright hour when the rosy Morn,
Leaving her ocean-bed, mounts up to heaven.
For all across the sea, a lovely bed
Of precious gold, the work of Vulcan's hands,
Conveys the god; passing on rapid wings
Along the water, while he sleeps therein,
From the bright region of th' Hesperides,
To th' Ethiopian shore, where his swift car
And fiery horses wait within their stalls
Till bright Aurora comes again and opes
Her rosy portals. Then Hyperion's son
Ascends again his swift untiring car.

But Theolytus, in the second book of his Annals, says that the Sun crosses the sea in a cup, and that the first person who invented this statement was the author of the poem called the Battle of the Titans. And Pherecydes, in the third book of his Histories, having previously spoken about the ocean, adds—"But Hercules drew his bow against him, as if he meant to shoot him: and the Sun bade him desist, and so he, being afraid, did desist. And in return for his forbearance, the Sun gave him the golden cup in which he himself used to travel with his horses when he has set, going all night across the ocean to the east, where he again rises. And so then Hercules went in this cup to Erythea. And when he was at sea, Oceanus, to tempt him, appeared to him in visible form, tossing his cup about in the waves; and he then was on the point of shooting Oceanus; but Oceanus being frightened desired him to forbear."

40. There is also a cup of the name of ethanion. Hellanicus, in his account of the History and Manners of the Egyptians, writes thus—"In the houses of the Egyptians are found a brazen φιάλη, and a brazen κύαθος, and a brazen ἠθάνιον."

There is another kind called hemitomus; a sort of cup in use among the Athenians, so called from its shape; and it is mentioned by Pamphilus, in his Dialects.

41. Then there is the cup called the thericlean cup; this kind is depressed at the sides, sufficiently deep, having short ears, as being of the class of cup called κύλιξ.[61] And, perhaps, it is out of a thericlean cup that Alexis, in his Hesione, represents Hercules to be drinking, when he speaks thus—

[Pg 750]

And when he had, though scarcely, come t' himself,
He begg'd a cup of wine (κύλικα), and when he'd got it,
He drank down frequent draughts, and drain'd it well;
And, as the proverb says, the man sometimes
Is quite a bladder, and sometimes a sack.

And that the thericlean cup belongs to the class κύλιξ is plainly stated by Theophrastus, in his History of Plants. For speaking of the turpentine-tree, be says—“And thericlean cups (κύλικες θηρίκλειοι) are turned of this wood, in such a manner that no one can distinguish them from earthenware ones." And Thericles the Corinthian is said to have been the first maker of this kind of cup, and he was a potter originally, and it is after him that they have their name; and he lived about the same time as Aristophanes the comic poet. And Theopompus speaks of this cup, in his Nemea, where he says—

A. Come hither you, you faithful child of Thericles,
You noble shape, and what name shall we give you
Are you a looking-glass of nature? If
You were but full, then I could wish for nothing
Beyond your presence. Come then—
B. How I hate you,
You old Theolyta.
A. Old dost thou call me, friend?
B. What can I call you else? but hither come,
Let me embrace you; come to your fellow-servant:
Is it not so?
A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . you try me.
B. See here I pledge you in fair friendship's cup.
A. And when you've drunk your fill, then hand the cup
Over to me the first.

But Cleanthes, in his treatise on Interpretation, says—"And as for all these inventions, and whatever others there are of the same kind, such as the thericlean cup, the deinias, the iphicratis, it is quite plain that these, by their very names, indicate their inventors. And the same appears to be the case even now. And if they fail to do so, the name must have changed its meaning a little. But, as has been said before, one cannot in every case trust to a name." But others state that the thericlean cup has its name from the skins of wild beasts (θηρίων) being carved on it. And Pamphilus of Alexandria says that it is so called from the fact of Bacchus disturbing the beasts (τοὺς θῆρας) by pouring libations out of these cups over them.

[Pg 751]


42. And Antiphanes mentions this kind of cup, in his Similitudes, saying—

And when they had done supper, (for I wish
To put all things that happen'd in the interval
Together,) then the thericlean cup
Of Jove the Saviour was introduced,
Full of the luscious drops which o'er the sea
Came from the isle of the delicious drinks,
The sea-girt Lesbos, full, and foaming up,
And each one in his right hand gladly seized it.

And Eubulus, in his Dolon, says—

I never drain'd a cup more carefully,
For I did make the earthen cask more clean
Than Thericles did make his well-turn'd cups
E'en in his youth.

And, in his Dice-players, he says—

And then they drain'd the valiant cup yclept
The thericlean; foaming o'er the brim,
With Lacedæmonian lip, loud sounding
As if 'twere full of pebbles, dark in colour,
A beauteous circle, with a narrow bottom,
Sparkling and brilliant, beautifully wash'd,
All crown'd with ivy; and the while they call'd
On the great name of Jove the Saviour.

And Ararus, or Eubulus, whichever it was who was the author of the Campylion, says—

O potter's earth, you whom great Thericles
Once fashion'd, widening out the circling depth
Of your large hollow sides; right well must you
Have known the natures and the hearts of women,
That they are not well pleased with scanty cups.

And Alexis, in his Horseman, says—

There is, besides, a thericlean cup,
Having a golden wreath of ivy round it,
Carved on it, not appended.

And in his Little Horse he says—

He drank a thericlean cup of unmix'd wine,
Right full, and foaming o'er the brim.

43. But Timæus, in the twenty-eighth book of his History, calls the cup thericlea, writing thus:—"There was a man of the name of Polyxenus who was appointed one of the ambassadors from Tauromenium, and he returned having received several other presents from Nicodemus, and also a cup of the kind called thericlea." And Adæus, in his treatise on [Pg 752] Descriptions, considers that the thericleum and the carchesium are the same. But that they are different is plainly shown by Callixenus, who, in his Account of Alexandria and its customs, says—"And some people marched in the procession, bearing thericlea (and he uses the masculine form θηρικλείους), and others bearing carchesia.” And what kind of cup the carchesium was, shall be explained in due time. There is also another kind called the thericlean bowl (θηρίκλειος κρατὴρ), which is mentioned by Alexis, in his Cycnus—

And in the midst a thericlean bowl
Resplendent stood; full of old clear white wine,
And foaming to the brim. I took it empty,
And wiped it round, and made it shine, and placed it
Firm on its base, and crown'd it round with branches
Of Bacchus' favourite ivy.

Menander also has used the form θηρίκλειος as feminine, in his Fanatic Woman, when he says—

And being moderately drunk, he took
nd drain'd the thericleum (τὴν θηρίκλειον).

And in his Begging Priest he says—

Drinking a thericleum of three pints.

And Dioxippus, in his Miser, says—

A. I want now the large thericlean cup (τῆς θηρικλείου τῆς μεγάλης).
B. I know it well.
A. Likewise the Rhodian cups;
For when I've pour'd the liquor into them,
I always seem to drink it with most pleasure.

And Polemo, in the first book of his treatise on the Acropolis at Athens, has used the word in the neuter gender, saying— "Neoptolemus offered up some golden thericlean cups (τὰ θηρίκλεια) wrought on foundations of wood."

44. And Apollodorus of Gela, in his Philadelphia or the Man who killed himself by Starvation, says—

Then there were robes of fine embroidery,
And silver plate, and very skilful chasers
Who ornament the thericlean cups,
And many other noble bowls besides.

And Aristophon, in his Philonides, says—

[Pg 753]

Therefore my master very lately took
The well-turn'd orb of a thericlean cup,
Full foaming to the brim with luscious wine,
Mix'd half-and-half, a most luxurious draught,
And gave it me as a reward for virtue;
I think because of my tried honesty;
And then, by steeping me completely in it,
He set me free.

And Theophilus, in his Boeotia, says—

He mixes beautifully a large cup
Of earthenware, of thericlean fashion,
Holding four pints, and foaming o'er the brim;
Not Autocles himself, by earth I swear,
Could in his hand more gracefully have borne it.

And, in his Proetides, he says—

And bring a thericlean cup, which holds
More than four pints, and 's sacred to good fortune.

There is also a cup called the Isthmian cup: and Pamphilus, in his treatise on Names, says that this is a name given to a certain kind of cup by the inhabitants of Cyprus.

45. There is also a kind of vessel called cadus; which Simmias states to be a kind of cup, quoting this verse of Anacreon—

I breakfasted on one small piece of cheesecake,
And drank a cadus full of wine.

And Epigenes, in his Little Monument, says—

A. Craters, and cadi, olkia, and crunea.
B. Are these crunea?
A. To be sure these are,
Luteria, too. But why need I name each?
For you yourself shall see them.
B. Do you say
That the great monarch's son, Pixodarus,
Has come to this our land?

And Hedylus, in his Epigrams, says—

Let us then drink; perhaps among our cups
We may on some new wise and merry plan
With all good fortune light. Come, soak me well
In cups (κάδοις) of Chian wine, and say to me,
"Come, sport and drink, good Hedylus;" I hate
To live an empty life, debarr'd from wine.

And in another place he says—

From morn till night, and then from night till morn,
The thirsty Pasisocles sits and drinks,
In monstrous goblets (κάδοις), holding quite four quarts,
And then departs whatever way he pleases.
But midst his cups he sports more mirthfully,
And is much stronger than Sicelides.
How his wit sparkles! Follow his example,
[Pg 754] And ever as you write, my friend, drink too.

But Clitarchus, in his treatise on Dialects, says that the Ionians call an earthenware cask κάδος. And Herodotus, in his third book, speaks of a cask (κάδος) of palm wine.

46. There is also the καδίσκος. Philemon, in his treatise before mentioned, says that this too is a species of cup. And it is a vessel in which they place the Ctesian Jupiters, as Anticlides says, in his Book on Omens, where he writes,—"The statuettes of Jupiter Ctesius ought to be erected in this manner. One ought to place a new cadiscus with two ears . . . . —and crown the ears with white wool; and on the right shoulder, and on the forehead . . . . and put on it what you find there, and pour ambrosia over it. But ambrosia is compounded of pure water, and oil, and all kinds of fruits; and these you must pour over." Stratis the comic poet also mentions the cadiscus, in his Lemnomeda, where he says—

The wine of Mercury, which some draw forth
From a large jug, and some from a cadiscus,
Mix'd with pure water, half-and-half.

47. There is also the cantharus. Now, that this is the name of a kind of boat is well known. And that there is a kind of cup also called by this name we find from Ameipsias, in his Men Playing at the Cottabus, or Madness, where he says—

Bring here the vinegar cruets, and canthari.

And Alexis, in his Creation (the sentence refers to some one drinking in a wine-shop), says—

And then I saw Hermaiscus turning over
One of these mighty canthari, and near him
There lay a blanket, and his well-fill'd wallet.

And Eubulus, who often mentions this cup by name, in his Pamphilus, says—

But I (for opposite the house there was
A wine-shop recently establish'd)
There watch'd the damsel's nurse; and bade the vintner
Mix me a measure of wine worth an obol,
And set before me a full-sized cantharus.

And in another place he says—

How dry and empty is this cantharus!

And again, in another place—

Soon as she took it, she did drink it up,—
How much d'ye think? a most enormous draught;
And drain'd the cantharus completely dry.

[Pg 755]


And Xenarchus, in his Priapus, says this—

Pour, boy, no longer in the silver tankard,
But let us have again recourse to the deep.
Pour, boy, I bid you, in the cantharus,
Pour quick, by Jove, aye, by the Cantharus,[62] pour.

And Epigenes, in his Heroine, says—

But now they do no longer canthari make,
At least not large ones; but small shallow cups
Are come in fashion, and they call them neater,
As if they drank the cups, and not the wine.

48. And Sosicrates, in his Philadelphi, says—

A gentle breeze mocking the curling waves,
Sciron's fair daughter, gently on its course
Brought with a noiseless foot the cantharus;

where cantharus evidently means a boat.

And Phrynichus, in his Revellers, says—

And then Chærestratus, in his own abode,
Working with modest zeal, did weep each day
A hundred canthari well fill'd with wine.

And Nicostratus, in his Calumniator, says—

A. Is it a ship of twenty banks of oars,
Or a swan, or a cantharus? For when
I have learnt that, I then shall be prepared
Myself t' encounter everything.
B. It is
A cycnocantharus, an animal
Compounded carefully of each.

And Menander, in his Captain of a Ship, says—

A. Leaving the salt depths of the Ægean sea,
Theophilus has come to us, O Strato.
How seasonably now do I say your son
Is in a prosperous and good condition,
And so's that golden cantharus.
B. What cantharus?
A. Your vessel.

And a few lines afterwards he says—

B. You say my ship is safe?
A. Indeed I do,
That gallant ship which Callicles did build,
And which the Thurian Euphranor steer'd.

And Polemo, in his treatise on Painters, addressed to Antigonus, says—"At Athens, at the marriage of Pirithous, Hippeus made a wine [Pg 756] jug and goblet of stone, inlaying its edges with gold. And he provided also couches of pinewood placed on the ground, adorned with coverlets of every sort, and for drinking-cups there were canthari made of earthenware. And moreover, the lamp which was suspended from the roof, had a number of lights all kept distinct from one another. And that this kind of cup got its name originally from Cantharus a potter, who invented it, Philetærus tells us in his Achilles—

Peleus?—but Peleus[63] is a potter's name,
The name of some dry wither'd lamp-maker,
Known too as Cantharus, exceeding poor,
Far other than a king, by Jove.

And that cantharus is also the name of a piece of female ornament, we may gather from Antiphanes in his Boeotia.

49. There is also a kind of cup called carchesium. Callixenus the Rhodian, in his History of the Affairs and Customs of Alexandria, says that it is a cup of an oblong shape, slightly contracted in the middle, having ears which reach down to the bottom. And indeed, the carchesium is a tolerably oblong cup, and perhaps it has its name from its being stretched upwards. But the carchesium is an extremely old description of cup; if at least it is true that Jupiter, when he had gained the affections of Alcmena, gave her one as a love gift, as Pherecydes relates in his second book, and Herodorus of Heraclea tells the same story. But Asclepiades the Myrlean says that this cup derives its name from some one of the parts of the equipment of a ship. For the lower part of the mast is called the pterna, which goes down into the socket; and the middle of the mast is called the neck; and towards the upper part it is called carchesium. And the carchesium has yards running out on each side, and in it there is placed what is called the breastplate, being four-cornered on all sides, except just at the bottom and at the top. Both of which extend a little outwards in a straight line. And above the breastplate is a part which is called the distaff, running up to a great height, and being sharp-pointed. And Sappho also speaks of the carchesia, where she says—

[Pg 757]

And they all had well-fill'd carchesia,
And out of them they pour'd libations, wishing
All manner of good fortune to the bridegroom.

And Sophocles, in his Tyro, says—

And they were at the table in the middle,
Between the dishes and carchesia;

saying that the dragons came up to the table, and took up a position between the meats and the carchesia, or cups of wine. For it was the fashion among the ancients to place upon the table goblets containing mixed wine; as Homer also represents the tables in his time. And the carchesium was named so from having on it rough masses like millet (κεγχροειδὴς), and the α is by enallage instead of ε, καρχήσιον for κερχήσιον. On which account Homer calls those who are overcome by thirst καρχαλέους. And Charon of Lampsacus, in his Annals, says that among the Lacedæmonians there is still shown the very same cup which was given by Jupiter to Alcmena, when he took upon himself the likeness of Amphitryon.

There is another kind of cup called calpium, a sort of Erythræan goblet, as Pamphilus says; and I imagine it is the same as the one called scaphium.

50. There is another kind of cup called celebe. And this description of drinking-cup is mentioned by Anacreon, where he says—

Come, O boy, and bring me now
A celebe, that I may drink
A long deep draught, and draw no breath.
It will ten measures of water hold,
And five of mighty Chian wine.

But it is uncertain what description of cup it is, or whether every cup is not called celebe, because one pours libations into it (ἀπὸ τοῦ χέειν λοιβὴν),or from one's pouring libations (λείβειν). And the verb λείβω is applied habitually to every sort of liquid, from which also the word λέβης is derived. But Silenus and Clitarchus say that celebe is a name given to drinking-cups by the Æolians. But Pamphilus says that the celebe is the same cup which is also called thermopotis, a cup to drink warm water from. And Nicander the Colophonian, in his Dialects, says that the celebe is a vessel used by the shepherds in which they preserve honey. For Antimachus the Colophonian, in the fifth book of his Thebais, says—

[Pg 758]

He bade the heralds bear to them a bladder
Fill'd with dark wine, and the most choice of all,
The celebea in his house which lay,
Fill'd with pure honey.

And in a subsequent passage he says—

But taking up a mighty celebeum
In both his hands, well fill'd with richest honey,
Which in great store he had most excellent.

And again he says—

And golden cups of wine, and then besides,
A celebeum yet untouch'd by man,
Full of pure honey, his most choice of treasures.

And in this passage he very evidently speaks of the celebeum as some kind of vessel distinct from a drinking-cup, since he has already mentioned drinking-cups under the title of δέπαστρα. And Theocritus the Syracusan, in his Female Witches, says—

And crown this celebeum with the wool,
Well dyed in scarlet, of the fleecy sheep.

And Euphorion says—

Or whether you from any other stream
Have fill'd your celebe with limpid water.

And Anacreon says—

And the attendant pour'd forth luscious wine,
Holding a celebe of goodly size.

But Dionysius, surnamed the Slender, explaining the poem of Theodoridas, which is addressed to Love, says that celebe is a name given to a kind of upstanding cup, something like the prusias and the thericleum.

51. There is also the horn. It is said that the first men drank out of the horns of oxen; from which circumstance Bacchus often figured with horns on his head, and is moreover called a bull by many of the poets. And at Cyzicus there is a statue of him with a bull's head. But that men drank out of horns (κερατα) is plain from the fact that to this very day, when men mix water with wine, they say that they κερασαι (mix it). And the vessel in which the wine is mixed is called κρατηρ, from the fact of the water being mingled (συγκιρνασθαι) in it, as if the word were κερατηρ, from the drink being poured εις το κερας (into the horn); and even to this day the fashion of making horns into cups continues: but some people call these cups rhyta. And many of the poets represent the ancients as drinking out of horns. Pindar, speaking of the Centaurs, says—

[Pg 759]

After those monsters fierce
Learnt the invincible strength of luscious wine;
Then with a sudden fury,
With mighty hands they threw the snow-white milk
Down from the board,
And of their own accord
Drank away their senses in the silver-mounted horns.

And Xenophon, in the seventh book of his Anabasis, giving an account of the banquet which was given by the Thracian Seuthes, writes thus: "But when Xenophon, with his companions, arrived at Seuthes's palace, first of all they embraced one another, and then, according to the Thracian fashion, they were presented with horns of wine." And in his sixth book he says, when he is speaking of the Paphlagonians, "And they supped lying on couches made of leaves, and they drank out of cups made of horn." And Æschylus, in his Perrhæbi, represents the Perrhæbi as using horns for cups, in the following lines:—

With silver-mounted horns,
Fitted with mouthpieces of rich-wrought gold.

And Sophocles, in his Pandora, says—

And when a man has drain'd the golden cup,
She, pressing it beneath her tender arm,
Returns it to him full.

And Hermippus, in his Fates, says—

Do you now know the thing you ought to do?
Give not that cup to me; but from this horn
Give me but once more now to drink a draught.

And Lycurgus the orator, in his Oration against Demades, says that Philip the king pledged those men whom he loved in a horn. And Theopompus, in the second book of his history of the Affairs and Actions of Philip, says that the kings of the Pæonians, as the oxen in their countries have enormous horns, so large as to contain three or four choes of wine, make drinking-cups of them, covering over the brims with silver or with gold. And Philoxenus of Cythera, in his poem entitled The Supper, says—

He then the sacred drink of nectar quaff'd
From the gold-mounted brims of th' ample horns,
And then they all did drink awhile.

And the Athenians made also silver goblets in the shape of horns, [Pg 760] and drank out of them. And one may ascertain that by seeing the articles mentioned in writing among the list of confiscated goods on the pillar which lies in the Acropolis, which contains the sacred offerings—"There is also a silver horn drinking-cup, very solid."

52. There is also the cernus. This is a vessel made of earthenware, having many little cup-like figures fastened to it, in which are white poppies, wheat-ears, grains of barley, peas, pulse, vetches, and lentils. And he who carries it, like the man who carries the mystic fan, eats of these things, as Ammonius relates in the third book of his treatise on Altars and Sacrifices.

53. There is also the cup called the cissybium. This is a cup with but one handle, as Philemon says. And Neoptolemus the Parian, in the third book of his Dialects, says that this word is used by Euripides in the Andromache, to signify a cup made of (κίσσινον)—

And all the crowd of shepherds flock'd together,
One hearing a huge ivy bowl of milk,
Refreshing medicine of weary toil;
Another brought the juice o' the purple vine.

For, says he, the cissybium is mentioned in a rustic assembly, where it is most natural that the cups should be made of wood. But Clitarchus says that the Æolians called the cup which is elsewhere called scyphus, cissybium. And Marsyas says that it is a wooden cup, the same as the κύπελλον. But Eumolpus says that it is a species of cup which perhaps (says he) was originally made of the wood of the ivy. But Nicander the Colophonian, in the first book of his History of Ætolia, writes thus:—"In the sacred festival of Jupiter Didymæus they pour libations from leaves of ivy (κισσοῦ), from which circumstance the ancient cups are called cissybia. Homer says—

Holding a cup (κισσύβιον) of dark rich-colour'd wine.

And Asclepiades the Myrlean, in his essay on the cup called Nestoris, says, "No one of the men in the city or of the men of moderate fortune used to use the σκύφος or the κισσύβιον, but only the swineherds and the shepherds, and the men in the fields. Polyphemus used the cissybium, and Eumæus the other kind." But Callimachus seems to make a blunder in the use of these names, speaking of an intimate friend of his who was entertained with him at a banquet by Pollis the Athenian, for he says—

[Pg 761]

For he abhorr'd to drink at one long draught
Th' amystis loved in Thrace, not drawing breath:
And soberly preferr'd a small cissybium:
And when for the third time the cup (ἄλεισον) went round,
I thus address'd him . . . . . .

For, as he here calls the same cup both κισσύβιον and ἄλεισον, he does not preserve the accurate distinction between the names. And any one may conjecture that the κισσύβιον was originally made by the shepherds out of the wood of the ivy (κισσός). But some derive it from the verb χεύμαι, used in the same sense as χωρέω, to contain; as it occurs in the following line:—

This threshold shall contain (χείσεται) them both.

And the hole of the serpent is also called χείη, as containing the animal; and they also give the name of κήθιον, that is, χήτιον, to the box which holds the dice. And Dionysius of Samos, in his treatise on the Cyclic Poets, calls the cup which Homer calls κισσύβιον, κύμβιον, writing thus—"And Ulysses, when he saw him acting thus, having filled a κύμβιον with wine, gave it to him to drink."

54. There is also the ciborium. Hegesander the Delphian says that Euphorion the poet, when supping with the Prytanis, when the Prytanis exhibited to him some ciboria, which appeared to be made in a most exquisite and costly manner, . . . . . . . . And when the cup had gone round pretty often, he, having drunk very hard and being intoxicated, took one of the ciboria and defiled it. And Didymus says that it is a kind of drinking-cup; and perhaps it may be the same as that which is called scyphium, which derives its name from being contracted to a narrow space at the bottom, like the Egyptian ciboria.

55. There is also the condu, an Asiatic cup. Menander, in his play entitled the Flatterer, says—

Then, too, there is in Cappadocia,
O Struthion, a noble golden cup,
Call'd condu, holding ten full cotylæ.

And Hipparchus says, in his Men Saved,—

A. Why do you so attend to this one soldier?
He has no silver anywhere, I know well;
But at the most one small embroider'd carpet,
[Pg 762] (And that is quite enough for him,) on which
Some Persian figures and preposterous shapes
Of Persian griffins, and such beasts, are work'd.
B. Away with you, you wretch.
A. And then he has
A condu, a wine-cooler, and a cymbium.

And Nicomachus, in the first book of his treatise on the Egyptian Festivals, says—"But the condu is a Persian cup; and it was first introduced by Hermippus the astrologer. [64] . . . . . . . . .   . . . . on which account libations are poured out of it." But Pancrates, in the first book of his Conchoreis, says—

But he first pour'd libations to the gods
From a large silver condu; then he rose,
And straight departed by another road.

There is also the cononius. Ister, the pupil of Callimachus, in the first book of his History of Ptolemais, the city in Egypt, writes thus:—"A pair of cups, called cononii, and a pair of thericlean cups with golden covers.

56. There is also the cotylus. The cotylus is a cup with one handle, which is also mentioned by Alcæus. But Diodorus, in his book addressed to Lycophoron, says that this cup is greatly used by the Sicyonians and Tarentines, and that it is like a deep luterium, and sometimes it has an ear. And Ion the Chian also mentions it, speaking of "a cotylus full of wine." And Hermippus, in his Gods, says—

He brought a cotylus first, a pledge for his neighbours.

And Plato, in his Jupiter Afflicted, says—

He brings a cotylus.

Aristophanes also, in his Babylonians, mentions the cotylus; and Eubulus, in his Ulysses, or the Panoptæ, says—

And then the priest utt'ring well-omen'd prayers,
Stood in the midst, and in a gorgeous dress,
Pour'd a libation from the cotylus.

[Pg 763]


And Pamphilus says that it is a kind of cup, and peculiar to Bacchus. But Polemo, in his treatise on the Fleece of the Sheep sacrificed to Jupiter, says—"And after this he celebrates a sacrifice, and takes the sacred fleece out of its shrine, and distributes it among all those who have borne the cernus in the procession: and this is a vessel made of earthenware, having a number of little cups glued to it; and in these little cups there is put sage, and white poppies, and ears of wheat, and grains of barley, and peas, and pulse, and rye, and lentils, and beans, and vetches, and bruised figs, and chaff, and oil, and honey, and milk, and wine, and pieces of unwashed sheep's-wool. And he who has carried this cernus eats of all these things, like the man who has carried the mystic fan."

57. There is also the cotyle. Aristophanes, in his Cocalus, says—

And other women, more advanced in age,
Into their stomachs pour'd, without restraint,
From good-sized cotylæ, dark Thasian wine,
The whole contents of a large earthen jar,
Urged by their mighty love for the dark wine.

And Silenus, and Clitarchus, and also Zenodotus, say that it is a kind of κύλιξ, and say—

And all around the corpse the black blood flow'd,
As if pour'd out from some full cotyle.

And again—

There is many a slip
'Twixt the cup (κοτύλης) and the lip.

And Simaristus says that it is a very small-sized cup which is called by this name; and Diodorus says that the poet has here called the cup by the name of cotyle, which is by others called cotylus, as where we find—

πύρνον (bread) καὶ κοτύλην;

and that it is not of the class κύλιξ, for that it has no handles, but that it is very like a deep luterium, and a kind of drinking cup (ποτηρίου); and that it is the same as that which by the Ætolians, and by some tribes of the Ionians, is called cotylus, which is like those which have been already described, except that it has only one ear: and Crates mentions it in his Sports, and Hermippus in his Gods. But the Athenians give the name of κοτύλη to a certain measure. Thucydides says—"They gave to each of them provisions for eight months, at the rate of a cotyla of water and two cotylæ of corn a-day." Aristophanes, in his Proagon, says—

And having bought three chœnixes of meal,
All but one cotyla, he accounts for twenty.

But Apollodorus says that it is a kind of cup, deep and hollow; and he says—"The ancients used to call everything that was hollow κοτύλη, as, for instance, the hollow of the hand; on which account we find the expression κοτολήρυτον αἷμα meaning, [Pg 764] blood in such quantities that it could be taken up in the hand. And there was a game called ἐγκοτύλη, in which those who are defeated make their hands hollow, and then take hold of the knees of those who have won the game and carry them." And Diodorus, in his Italian Dialects, and Heraclitus (as Pamphilus says), relate that the cotyla is also called hemina, quoting the following passage of Epicharmus:—

And then to drink a double measure,
Two heminæ of tepid water full.

And Sophron says—

Turn up the hemina, O boy.

But Pherecrates calls it a cotylisca, in his Corianno, saying—

The cotylisca? By no means.

And Aristophanes, in his Acharnians, uses a still more diminutive form, and says—

A cotyliscium (κοτυλίσκιον) with a broken lip.

And even the hollow of the hip is called κοτύλη; and the excrescences on the feelers of the polypus are, by a slight extension of the word, called κοτυληδών. And Æschylus, in his Edonians, has called cymbals also κότυλαι, saying—

And he makes music with his brazen κότυλαι.

But Marsyas says that the bone of the hip is also called ἄλεισον and κύλιξ. And the sacred bowl of Bacchus is called κοτυλίσκος; and so are those goblets which the initiated use for their libations; as Nicander of Thyatira says, adducing the following passage from the Clouds of Aristophanes:—

Nor will I crown the cotyliscus.

And Simmias interprets the word κοτύλη by ἄλεισον.

[Pg 765]


58. There is also the cottabis. Harmodius of Lepreum, in his treatise on the Laws and Customs of Phigalea, going through the entertainments peculiar to different countries, writes as follows:—"When they have performed all these purificatory ceremonies, a small draught is offered to each person to drink in a cottabis of earthenware; and he who offers it says, 'May you sup well.'" But Hegesander the Delphian, in his Commentaries (the beginning of which is "In the best Form of Government"), says—"That which is called the cottabus has been introduced into entertainments, the Sicilians (as Dicæarchus relates) having been the first people to introduce it. And such great fondness was exhibited for this amusement, that men even introduced into entertainments contests, which were called cottabian games; and then cups of the form which appeared to be most suitable for such an exercise were made, called cottabides. And besides all this, rooms were built of a round figure, in order that all, the cottabus being placed in the middle, might contest the victory, all being at an equal distance, and in similar situations. For they vied with one another, not only in throwing their liquor at the mark, but also in doing everything with elegance; for a man was bound to lean on his left elbow, and, making a circuit with his right hand, to throw his drops (τὴν λάταγα) over gently—for that was the name which they gave to the liquor which fell from the cup: so that some prided themselves more on playing elegantly at the cottabus than others did on their skill with the javelin."

59. There is also the cratanium. But perhaps this is the same cup, under an ancient name, as that which is now called the craneum: accordingly, Polemo (or whoever it is who wrote the treatise on the Manners and Customs of the Greeks), speaking of the temple of the Metapontines which is at Olympia, writes as follows:—"The temple of the Metapontines, in which there are a hundred and thirty-two silver phialæ, and two silver wine-jars, and a silver apothystanium, and three gilt phialæ. The temple of the Byzantians, in which there is a figure of Triton, made of cypress-wood, holding a silver cratanium, a silver siren, two silver carchesia, a silver culix, a golden wine-jar, and two horns. But in the old temple of Juno, there are thirty silver phialæ, two silver cratania, a silver dish, a golden apothystanium, a golden crater (the offering of the Cyrenæans), and a silver batiacium."

There is also the crounea. Epigenes, in his Monument, says—

A. Crateres, cadi, holcia, crounea,
B. Are these crounea?
A. Yes, indeed these are.

There is the cyathis also. This is a vessel with a great resemblance to the cotyla. Sophron, in his play entitled the Buffoon, represents the women who profess to exhibit the goddess as present, as saying—

Three sovereign antidotes for poison
[Pg 766] Are buried in a single cyathis.

60. Then there is the κύλιξ. Pherecrates, in his Slave-Tutor, says—

Now wash the κύλιξ out; I'll give you then
Some wine to drink: put o'er the cup a strainer,
And then pour in some wine.

But the κύλιξ is a drinking-cup made of earthenware, and it is so called from being made circular (ἀπὸ τοῦ κυλίεσθαι) by the potter's wheel; from which also the κυλικεῖον, the place in which the cups are stored up, gets its name, even when the cups put away in it are made of silver. There is also the verb κυλικηγορέω, derived from the same source, when any one makes an harangue over his cups But the Athenians also call a medicine chest κυλικὶς, because it is made round in a turning-lathe. And the κύλικες, both at Argos and at Athens, were in great repute; and Pindar mentions the Attic κύλικες in the following lines—

O Thrasybulus, now I send
This pair of pleasantly-meant odes
As an after-supper entertainment for you.
May it, I pray, be pleasing
To all the guests, and may it be a spur
To draw on cups of wine,
And richly-fill'd Athenian κύλικες.

61. But the Argive κύλικες appear to have been of a different shape from the Athenian ones. At all events, they tapered towards a point at the brims, as Simonides of Amorgos says—

But this is taper-brimm'd (φοξίχειλος),

that is to say, drawn up to a point towards the top; such as those which are called ἄμβικες. For they use the word φοξὸς in this sense, as Homer does when speaking of Thersites—

His head was sharp at top.

And the word is equivalent to φαοξὸς,—it being perceived to be sharp (ὀξὺς) in the part where the eyes (τὰ φάη) are.

And very exquisitely wrought κύλικες are made at Naucratis, the native place of our companion Athenæus. For some are in the form of phialæ, not made in a lathe, but formed by hand, and having four handles, and being widened considerably towards the bottom: (and there are a great many potters at Naucratis, from whom the gate nearest to the potteries (κεραμείων) is called the Ceramic gate:) and they are dyed in such a manner as to appear like silver. The Chian κύλικες also are highly extolled, which Hermippus mentions in his Soldiers—

[Pg 767]

And a Chian κύλιξ hung on a peg aloft.

But Glaucon, in his Dialects, says that the inhabitants of Cyprus call the cotyle culix. And Hipponax, in his Synonymes, writes thus—"The aleisum, the poterium, the cupellum, the amphotis, the scyphus, the culix, the cothon, the carchesium, the phiale." Alcmæon, instead of κύλικες, has lengthened the word, and written κυλιχνίδες, in these lines—

But it is best to bring, as soon as possible,
Dark wine, and one large common bowl for all,
And some κυλιχνίδες besides

And Alcæus says—

Let us at once sit down and drink our wine,
Why do we wait for lights? Our day is but
A finger's span. Bring forth large goblets (κύλιχναι) now
Of various sorts. For the kind liberal son
Of Jove and Semele gave rosy wine,
Which bids us all forget our griefs and cares;
So pour it forth, and mix in due proportion.

And in his tenth Ode he says—

Drops of wine (λάταγες) fly from Teian culichnæ,

showing, by this expression, that the κύλικες of Teos were exceedingly beautiful.

62. Pherecrates also says, in his Corianno—

A. For I am coming almost boil'd away
From the hot bath; my throat is parch'd and dry;
Give me some wine. I vow my mouth and all
My jaws are sticky with the heat.
B. Shall I
Then take the κυλίσκη, O damsel, now?
A. By no means, 'tis so small; and all my bile
Has been stirr'd up since I did drink from it,
Not long ago, some medicine. Take this cup
Of mine, 'tis larger, and fill that for me.

And that the women were in the habit of using large cups, Pherecrates himself expressly tells us in his Tyranny, where he says—

And then they bade the potter to prepare
Some goblets for the men, of broader shape,
Having no walls, but only a foundation,
And scarcely holding more than a mere shell.
More like to tasting cups; but for themselves
[Pg 768] They order good deep κύλικες, good-sized,
Downright wine-carrying transports, wide and round,
Of delicate substance, swelling in the middle.
A crafty order: for with prudent foresight
They were providing how, without much notice,
They might procure the largest quantity
Of wine to drink themselves; and then when we
Reproach them that 'tis they who've drunk up everything,
They heap abuse on us, and swear that they,
Poor injured dears, have only drunk one cup,
Though their one's larger than a thousand common cups.

63. Then there are cymbia. These are a small hollow kind of cup, according to Simaristus. But Dorotheus says, "The cymbium is a kind of deep cup, upright, having no pedestal and no handles." But Ptolemy the father of Aristonicus calls them "curved goblets." And Nicander of Thyatira says that Theopompus, in his Mede, called a cup without handles cymbium. Philemon, in his Vision, says—

But when fair Rhode came and shook above you
A cymbium full of mighty unmix'd wine.

But Dionysius of Samos, in the sixth book of his treatise on the Cyclic Poets, thinks that the κισσύβιον and the κύμβιον are the same. For he says that Ulysses, having filled a cymbium with unmixed wine, gave it to the Cyclops. But the cup mentioned in Homer, as having been given to him by Ulysses, is a good-sized cissybium; for if it had been a small cup, he, who was so enormous a monster, would not have been so quickly overcome by drunkenness, when he had only drunk it three times. And Demosthenes mentions the cymbium in his oration against Midias, saying that he was accompanied by rhyta and cymbia: and in his orations against Euergus and Mnesibulus. But Didymus the grammarian says that is a cup of an oblong shape, and narrow in figure, very like the shape of a boat. And Anaxandrides, in his Clowns, says—

Perhaps large cups (ποτήρια) immoderately drain'd,
And cymbia full of strong unmixed wine,
Have bow'd your heads, and check'd your usual spirit.

And Alexis, in his Knight, says—

A. Had then those cymbia the faces of damsels
Carved on them in pure gold?
B. Indeed they had.
A. Wretched am I, and wholly lost . . . .

[Pg 769]


64. But Eratosthenes, in his letter addressed to Ageton the Lacedæmonian, says, that the cymbium is a vessel of the shape of the cyathus, writing thus—"But these men marvel how a man who had not got a cyathus, but only a cymbium, had, besides that, also a phiale. Now it seems to me, that he had one for the use of men, but the other for the purpose of doing honour to the Gods. And at that time they never used the cyathus nor the cotyla. For they used to employ, in the sacrifices of the Gods, a crater, not made of silver nor inlaid with precious stones, but made of Coliad clay. And as often as they replenished this, pouring a libation to the Gods out of the phiale, they then poured out wine to all the company in order, bailing out the newly-mixed wine in a cymbium, as they do now among us at the phiditia. And if ever they wished to drink more, they also placed on the table beside them the cups called cotyli, which are the most beautiful of all cups, and the most convenient to drink out of. And these, too, were all made of the same earthenware." But when Ephippus says, in his Ephebi—

Chæremon brings no culices to supper,
Nor did Euripides with cymbia fight,

he does not mean the tragic poet, but some namesake of his, who was either very fond of wine, or who had an evil reputation on some other account, as Antiochus of Alexandria says, in his treatise on the Poets, who are ridiculed by the comic writers of the Middle Comedy. For the circumstance of cymbia being introduced into entertainments, and being used to fight with in drunken quarrels, bears on each point. And Anaxandrides mentions him in his Nereids—

Give him a choeus then of wine, O messmate,
And let him bring his cymbium, and be
A second Euripides to-day.

And Ephippus, in his Similitudes, or Obeliaphori, says—

But it were well to learn the plays of Bacchus,
And all the verses which Demophoon
Made upon Cotys; and, at supper-time,
To spout the eclogues of the wise Theorus.
*            *            *            *            *            *
And let Euripides, that banquet-hunter,
Bring me his cymbia.

And that the κύμβη is the name of a boat too we are shown by Sophocles, who, in his Andromeda, says—

[Pg 770]

Come you on horseback hither, or in a boat (κύμβαισι)?

And Apollodorus, in his Paphians, says there is a kind of drinking-cup called κύμβα.

65. Then there is the κύπελλον. Now, is this the same as the ἄλεισον and the δέπας, and different from them only in name?

Then rising, all with goblets (κυπέλλοις) in their hands,
The peers and leaders of the Achaian bands
Hail'd their return.

Or was their form different also? For this kind has not the character of the amphicupellum, as the depas and aleison have, but is only of a curved form. For the κύπελλον is so called from its curved shape, as also is the ἀμφικύπελλον. Or is it so called as being in shape like a milk-pail (πέλλα), only contracted a little, so as to have an additional curve? And the word ἀμφικύπελλα is equivalent to ἀμφίκυρτα, being so called from its handles, because they are of a curved shape. For the poet calls this cup—

Golden, two-handled.

But Antimachus, in the fifth book of his Thebais, says—

And heralds, going round among the chiefs,
Gave each a golden cup (κύπελλον) with labour wrought.

And Silenus says, the κύπελλα are a kind of cup resembling the σκύφα, as Nicander the Colophonian says—

The swineherd gave a goblet (κύπελλον) full to each.

And Eumolpus says that it is a kind of cup, so called from its being of a curved shape (κυφόν). But Simaristus says that this is a name given by the Cyprians to a cup with two handles, and by the Cretans to a kind of cup with two handles, and to another with four. And Philetas says that the Syracusans give the name of κύπελλον to the fragments of barley-cakes and loaves which are left on the tables.

There is also the κύμβη. Philemon, in his Attic Dialect, calls it “a species of κύλιξ.” And Apollodorus, in his treatise on Etymologies, says, that the Paphians call a drinking-cup κύμβα.

[Pg 771]


66. Then there is the κωθων, which is mentioned by Xenophon, in the first book of his Cyropædia. But Critias, in his Constitution of the Lacedæmonians, writes as follows—"And other small things besides which belong to human life; such as the Lacedæmonian shoes, which are the best, and the Lacedæmonian garments, which are the most pleasant to wear, and the most useful. There is also the Lacedæmonian κωθων, which is a kind of drinking-cup most convenient when one is on an expedition, and the most easily carried in a knapsack. And the reason why it is so peculiarly well-suited to a soldier is, because a soldier often is forced to drink water which is not very clean; and, in the first place, this cup is not one in which it can be very easily seen what one is drinking; and, secondly, as its brim is rather curved inwards, it is likely to retain what is not quite clean in it." And Polemo, in his work addressed to Adæus and Antigonus, says that the Lacedæmonians used to use vessels made of earthenware; and proceeds to say further—"And this was a very common practice among the ancients, such as is now adopted in some of the Greek tribes. At Argos, for instance, in the public banquets, and in Lacedæmon, they drink out of cups made of earthenware at the festivals, and in the feasts in honour of victory, and at the marriage-feasts of their maidens. But at other banquets and at their Phiditia[66] they use small casks." And Archilochus also mentions the cothon as a kind of cup, in his Elegies, where he says—

But come now, with your cothon in your hand,
Move o'er the benches of the speedy ship,
And lift the covers from the hollow casks,
And drain the rosy wine down to the dregs;
For while we're keeping such a guard as this,
We shan't be able to forego our wine;

as if the κύλιξ were here called κώθων. Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

They leapt into th' horse-transports gallantly,
Buying cothones; but some bought instead
Garlic and onions.

And Heniochus, in his Gorgons, says—

Let a man give me wine to drink at once,
Taking that capital servant of the throat,
The ample cothon,—fire-wrought, and round,
Broad-ear'd, wide-mouth'd.

And Theopompus, in his Female Soldiers, says—

Shall I, then, drink from out a wryneck'd cothon,
Breaking my own neck in the hard attempt?

[Pg 772]

And Alexis, in his Spinners, says—

And then he hurl'd a four-pint cothon at me,
An ancient piece of plate, an heirloom too.

And it is from this cup that they call those who drink a great deal of unmixed wine (ὐκράτον)ἀκρτοκώθωνες, as Hyperides does in his oration against Demosthenes. But Callixenus, in the fourth book of his History of Alexandria, giving an account of the procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and giving a catalogue of a number of drinking-cups, adds these words: "And two cothons, each holding two measures of wine."

67. But with respect to drinking, (which from the name of this kind of cup is sometimes called in the verb κωθωνίζομαι, and in the substantive κωθωνισμὸς,) that occasional drinking is good for the health is stated by Mnesitheus the Athenian physician, in his letter on the subject of Drinking (κωθωνισμὸς), where he speaks as follows: "It happens that those who drink a great quantity of unmixed wine at banquets often receive great injury from so doing, both in their bodies and minds; but still occasional hard drinking (κωθωνιζεσθαι) for some days appears to me to produce a certain purging of the body and a certain relaxation of the mind. For there are some little roughnesses on the surface, arising from daily banquets; now for getting rid of these there is no easier channel than the wine. But of all modes of purging, that which is caused by hard drinking is the most advantageous; for then the body is as it were washed out by the wine; for the wine is both liquid and heating: but the wine which we secrete is harsh; accordingly, fullers use it as a cleanser when they are cleaning garments. But when you are drinking hard, you should guard against three things,—against drinking bad wine, against drinking unmixed wine, and against eating sweetmeats while you are drinking. And when you have had enough, then do not go to sleep, until you have had a vomit, moderate or copious as the case may be; and when you have vomited, then go to sleep after having taken a slight bath. And if you are not able to empty yourself sufficiently, then you must take a more copious bath, and lie down in the bath in exceedingly warm water." But Polemo, in the fifth book of his treatise addressed to Antigonus and Adæus, says—"Bacchus being full grown, sitting on a rock, and on his left hand a satyr, bald, holding in his right hand a cothon of striped colours, with one handle."

[Pg 773]


68. There is also the labronia. This is a species of Persian drinking-cup, so named from the eagerness (λαβρότης) with which people drink: and its shape is wide, and its size large, and it has large handles. Menander, in his Fisherman, says—

We are abundantly well off at this time
For golden cylinders; and all those robes
From Persia, all those quaintly carved works,
Are now within, and richly-chased goblets,
Figures and faces variously carved,
Tragelaphi and labronia.

And in his Philadelphi he says—

And now the drinking of healths began, and now
Labroniæ, inlaid with precious stones,
Were set upon the board; and slaves stood round
With Persian fly-flappers.

And Hipparchus, in his Thais, says—

But this labronius is an omen now.
O Hercules! it is a cup which weighs
Of standard gold more than two hundred pieces.
Just think, my friend, of this superb labronius.

And Diphilus, in his Pithraustes, giving a catalogue of other kinds of cups, says—

A. The tragelaphus, and likewise the pristis,
The batiace, and labronius too.
B. These seem to me to be the names of slaves.
A. By no means; they are all the names of cups;
And this labronius is worth twenty pieces.

And Didymus says that it resembles the bombylium and the batiacium.

69. There is also the lacæna. And this is a kind of cup so called either from the potter, as the Attic vessels usually are, or from the form which is usual in that district, on the same principle as the thericlean cups derive their name. Aristophanes, in his Daitaleis, says—

He gladly shared the Sybaritic feasts,
And drank the Chian wine from out the cups
Called the lacænæ, with a cheerful look.

70. Then there is the lepaste. Some mark this word λεπαστη with an acute accent on the last syllable, like καλή; but some mark the penultima with an acute, as μεγάλη. And this kind of cup derived its name from those who spend a great deal of money on their drinking and [Pg 774] intemperance, whom men call λάφυκται. Aristophanes, in his Peace, says—

What will you do, then, when you've drunk
One single lepaste full of new wine?

And it is from this word λεπαστὴ that the verb λάπτω comes, which means to swallow all at once, having a meaning just opposite to the bombylium; for the same author says, somewhere or other,—

You've drunk up all my blood, O king, my master!

which is as much as to say, you have utterly drained me. And in his Gerytades he says—

But there was then a festival: a slave
Went round, and brought us all a lepaste,
And pour'd in wine dark as the deep-blue sea;

but the poet means here to indicate the depth of the cup. And Antiphanes, in his Æsculapius, says—

He took an agèd woman, who had been
A long time ill, sick of a ling'ring fever,
And bruising some small root, and putting it
Into a noble-sized lepaste there,
He made her drink it all, to cure her sickness.

Philyllius, in his Auge, says—

For she was always in the company
Of young men, who did nothing else but drink;
And with a lot of aged women too,
Who always do delight in good-sized cups.

And Theopompus says in his Pamphila—

A sponge, a dish, a feather; and, besides,
A stout lepaste, which, when full, they drain
To the Good Deity, raising loud his praises,
As chirps a grasshopper upon a tree.

And in his Mede he says—

Callimachus, 'tis stated, once did charm
The Grecian heroes by some promised gain,
When he was seeking for their aid and friendship.
The only thing he fail'd in was th' attempt
To gain the poor, thin-bodied Rhadamanthus
Lysander with a cothon, ere he gave him
A full lepaste.

But Amerias says that the ladle with which the wine is poured into the cups is called lepaste; but Aristophanes and Apollodorus say that it is a sort of cup of the class κύλιξ. Pherecrates, in his Crapatalli, says—

[Pg 775]

If there was one of the spectators thirsty,
He would a full lepaste seize, and drain
The whole contents.

But Nicander the Colophonian says that "the Dolopians give the name of λεπαστὴ to the κύλιξ; but Lycophron, in the ninth book of his treatise on Comedy, quoting this passage of Pherecrates, himself also asserts the lepaste to be kind of κύλιξ; but Moschus, in his Interpretation of Rhodiat Words, says that it is an earthenware vessel resembling those which are called ptomatides, but flatter and wider: but Artemidorus, the pupil of Aristophanes, says that it is some sort of drinking-cup. And Apollophanes, in his Cretans, says—

And the lepasta, fill'd with fragrant wine,
Shall fill me with delight the livelong day.

And Theopompus says in his Pamphila—

A stout lepaste, which, well-fill'd with wine,
They drain in honour of the Happy Deity,
Rousing the village with their noise and clamour.

But Nicander of Thyatira says it is a larger kind of κύλιξ, quoting the expressions of Teleclides out of his Prytanes—

To drink sweet wine from a sweet-smelling lepaste.

And Hermippus, in his Fates, says—

If anything should happen to me when
I've drain'd this promising lepaste, then
I give my whole possessions unto Bacchus.

71. There is also the loibasium. This, too, is a κύλιξ, as Clearchus and Nicander of Thyatira say; with which they pour libations of oil over the sacred offerings and victims.

Spondeum is the name given to the cup out of which they pour libations of wine. And he says that the spondea are also called loibides, by Antimachus of Colophon.

Then we have the lesbium. This also is a kind of cup, as Hedylus proves in his Epigrams, where he says—

Callistion, contending against men
In drinking, ('tis a marvellous thing, but true,)
When fasting, drank three whole choeis of wine;
And now her cup, fashion'd of purple glass,
Adorn'd with bands fragrant of luscious wine,
She offers here to you, O Paphian queen.
Preserve this first, that so your walls may bear
The spoils of all the love excited so.

There is also the luterium. Epigenes, in his Tomb, where he gives a catalogue of cups of different kinds, says—

[Pg 776]

Crateres, cadi, holcia, cruneia—
Are they cruneia? aye, and luteria.
But why need I each separate article
Enumerate? for you yourself shall see them.

72. There is also the Lyciurges. The things which are so called are some kinds of phialæ, which derive their name from Lycon who made them, just as the Cononii are the cups made by Conon. Now, Demosthenes, in his Oration for the Crown, mentions Lycon; and he does so again, in his oration against Timotheus for an assault, where he says—"Two lyciurgeis phialæ." And in his speech against Timotheus he also says—"He gives Phormion, with the money, also two lyciurgeis phialæ to put away." And Didymus the grammarian says that these are cups made by Lycius. And this Lycius was a Bœotian by birth, of the town of Eleutheræ, a son of Myron the sculptor, as Polemo relates in the first book of his treatise on the Acropolis of Athens; but the grammarian is ignorant that one could never find such a formation of a word as that derived from proper names, but only from cities or nations. For Aristophanes, in his Peace, says—

The vessel is a Nαξιονργὴς cantharus;

that is to say, made at Naxos.

And Critias, in his Constitution of the Lacedæmonians, has the expressions, κλίνη μιλησιουργὴς, and again, δίφρος λησιουργής: and κλινὴ χιουργὴς, and τράπεξα ρηνιοεργής: made at Miletus, or Chios, or Rhenea. And Herodotus, in his seventh book, speaks of “two spears, λυκοεργέες.” But perhaps we ought to read λυκιοεργέες in Herodotus as we do in Demosthenes, so as to understand by the word things made in Lycia.

73. There is also the mele. This is a name given to some cups which are mentioned by Anaxippus in his Well, where he says—

And you, Syriscus, now this mele take,
And bring it to her tomb—do you understand?
Then pour a due libation.

There is also the metaniptrum. This is the kind of cup which is offered after dinner, when men have washed their hands. Antiphanes, in his Lamp, says—

The metaniptrum of the Fortunate God;
Feasting, libations, and applause . . .

[Pg 777]


And Diphilus, in his Sappho, says—

Archilochus, receive this metaniptris,
The brimming cup of Jupiter the Saviour.

But some people say that this is rather the name of the draught itself which was given to the guests after they had washed their hands; as, for instance, Seleucus says in his Dialects. But Callias, in his Cyclops, says—

Receive this metaniptris of Hygeia.

And Philetærus, in his Æsculapius, says—

He raised aloft a mighty metaniptris,
Brimfull of wine, in equal portions mix'd,
Repeating all the time Hygeia's name.

And Philoxenus the Dithyrambic poet, in his ode entitled the Supper, pledging some one after they have washed their hands, says—

Do you, my friend, receive
This metaniptris full of wine,
The sweetly dewy gift of Bacchus.
Bromius gives this placid joy,
To lead all men to happiness.

And Antiphanes, in his Torch, says—

Our table shall now be this barley-cake,
And then this metaniptrum of Good Fortune . . . . .

Nicostratus, in his Woman returning Love, says—

Pour over him the metaniptrum of health.

74. Then there is the mastus. Apollodorus the Cyrenæan, as Pamphilus says, states that this is a name given to drinking-cups by the Paphians.

There are also the mathalides. Blæsus, in his Saturn, says—

Pour out for us now seven mathalides
Full of sweet wine.

And Pamphilus says, “Perhaps this is a kind of cup, or is it only a measure like the cyathus” But Diodorus calls it a cup of the κύλιξ class.

75. There is also the manes, which is a species of cup. Nicon, in his Harp-player, says—

And some seasonably then exclaim'd,
My fellow-countryman, I drink to you;
And in his hand he held an earthenware manes,
Of ample size, well able to contain
Five cotylæ of wine; and I received it.

And both Didymus and Pamphilus have quoted these iambics. But that is [Pg 778] also called manes which stands upon the cottabus, on which they throw the drops of wine in that game, which Sophocles, in his Salmoneus, called the brazen head, saying—

This is a contest, and a noise of kisses;
I give a prize to him who gains the victory
In elegantly throwing the cottabus,
And striking with just aim the brazen head.

And Antiphanes, in his Birthday of Venus, says—

A. I then will show you how: whoever throws
The cottabus direct against the scale (πλάστιγξ),
So as to make it fall—
B. What scale? Do you
Mean this small dish which here is placed above?
A. That is the scale—he is the conqueror.
B. How shall a man know this?
A. Why, if he throw
So as to reach it barely, it will fall
Upon the manes,[65] and there'll be great noise.
B. Does manes, then, watch o'er the cottabus,
As if he were a slave?

And Hermippus says in his Fates—

You'll see, says he, a cottabus rod,
Wallowing round among the chaff;
But the manes hears no drops,—
And you the wretched scale may see
Lying by the garden gate,
And thrown away among the rubbish.

76. There is the Nestoris also. Now concerning the shape of the cup of Nestor, the poet speaks thus—

Next her white hand a spacious goblet brings,
A goblet sacred to the Pylian kings
From eldest times; the massy, sculptured vase,
Glittering with golden studs, four handles grace,
And curling vines, around each handle roll'd,
Support two turtle-doves emboss'd in gold.
On two firm bases stood the mighty bowl,
Lest the topweight should make it loosely roll:
A massy weight, yet heaved with ease by him,
Though all too great for men of lesser limb.

Now with reference to this passage a question is raised, what is the meaning of "glittering with golden studs:"—and again, what is meant by "the massy, sculptured vase four handles grace." For Asclepiades the Myrlean, in his treatise on the Nestoris, says that the other cups have two handles.

[Pg 779]


And again, how could any one give a representation of turtle-doves feeding around each of the handles? How also can he say, "On two firm bases stood the mighty bowl?" And this also is a very peculiar statement that he makes, that he could heave it with ease, "though all too great for men of lesser limb." Now Asclepiades proposes all these difficulties, and especially raises the question about the studs, as to how we are to understand that they were fastened on. Now some say that golden studs must be fastened on a silver goblet from the outside, on the principles of embossing, as is mentioned in the case of the sceptre of Achilles—

He spoke,—and, furious, hurl'd against the ground
His sceptre, starr'd with golden studs around;

for it is plain here that the studs were let into the sceptre, as clubs are strengthened with iron nails. He also says of the sword of Agamemnon—

A radiant baldric, o'er his shoulder tied,
Sustain'd the sword that glitter'd at his side:
Gold were the studs—a silver sheath encased
The shining blade.

But Apelles the engraver, he says, showed us on some articles of Corinthian workmanship the way in which studs were put on. For there was a small projection raised up by the chisel, to form, as it were, the heads of the nails. And these studs are said by the poet to be fixed in, not because they are on the outside and are fixed by nails, but because they resemble nails driven through, and project a little on the outside, being above the rest of the surface.

77. And with respect to the handles, they tell us that this cup had indeed two handles above, like other cups; but that it had also two more on the middle of its convex surface, one on each side, of small size, resembling the Corinthian water-ewers. But Apelles explained the system of the four handles very artistically in the following manner. He said, that from one root, as it were, which is attached to the bottom of the cup, there are diverging lines extending along each handle, at no great distance from each other: and these reach up to the brim of the cup, and even rise a little above it, and are at the greatest distance from each other at the point where they are furthest from the vessel itself; but at the lower extremity, where they join the rim, they are again united. And in this way there are [Pg 780] four handles; but this kind of ornament is not seen in every cup, but only on some, and especially on those which are called seleucides. But with respect to the question raised about the two bases, how it can be said, "On two firm bases stood the mighty bowl," some people explain that line thus:—that some cups have one bottom, the natural one, being wrought at the same time as, and of one piece with, the whole cup; as for instance, those which are called cymbia, and the phialæ, and others of the same shape as the phialæ. But some have two bottoms; as for instance, the egg-shaped cups called ooscyphia, and those called cantharia, and the seleucides, and the carchesia, and others of this kind. For they say that one of these bottoms is wrought of the same piece as the entire cup, and the other is attached to it, being sharp at the upper part, and broader towards the lower end, as a support for the cup; and this cup of Nestor's, they say, was of this fashion. But the poet may have represented this cup as having two bottoms; the one, that is to say, bearing the whole weight of the cup, and having an elevation proportionate to the height, in accordance with its greater circumference; and the other bottom might be smaller in circumference, so as to be contained within the circumference of the larger circle, where the natural bottom of the cup becomes sharper; so that the whole cup should be supported on two bases.

But Dionysius the Thracian is said to have made the cup called Nestor's, at Rhodes, all his pupils contributing silver for the work; of which Promethidas of Heraclea, explaining the way in which it was made on the system of Dionysius, says that it is a cup having its handles made side by side, as the ships with two prows have their prows made; and that turtle-doves are represented sitting on the handles; and that two small sticks, as it were, are placed under the cup as a support to it, running transversely across in a longitudinal direction, and that these are the two bottoms meant by Homer. And we may to this day see a cup of that fashion at Capua, a city of Campania, consecrated to Diana; and the Capuans assert that that is the identical cup which belonged to Nestor. And it is a silver cup, having on it the lines of Homer engraved in golden characters.

[Pg 781]


78. "But I," said the Myrlean, "have this to say about the cup:—the ancients, who first brought men over to a more civilized system of life, believing that the world was spherical, and taking their ideas of form from the visible forms of the sun and moon which they beheld, and adapting these figures to their own use in the daily concerns of life, thought it right to make all their vessels and other articles of furniture resemble, in shape at least, the heaven which surrounds everything: on which account they made tables round; and so also they made the tripods which they dedicated to the Gods, and they also made their cakes round and marked with stars, which they also call moons. And this is the origin of their giving bread the name of ἄρτος, because of all figures the circle is the one which is the most complete (ἀπήρτισται), and it is a perfect figure. And accordingly they made a drinking-cup, being that which receives moist nourishment, circular, in imitation of the shape of the world. But the cup of Nestor has something peculiar about it, for it has stars on it, which the poet compares to studs, because the stars are as round as the studs, and are, as it were, fixed in the heaven; as also Aratus says of them—

There do they shine in heaven,—ornaments
Fix'd there for ever as the night comes round.

But the poet has expressed this very beautifully, attaching the golden studs to the main body of the silver cup, and so indicating the nature of the stars and of the heaven by the colour of the ornaments. For the heaven is like silver, and the stars resemble gold from their fiery colour.

79. "So after the poet had represented the cup of Nestor as studded with stars, he then proceeds on to the most brilliant of the fixed stars, by contemplating which men form their conjectures of what is to happen to them in their lives. I mean the Pleiades. For when he says δύο δὲ πελειάδες were placed in gold around each handle, he does not mean the birds called πελειάδες, that is to say, turtle-doves; and those who think that he does use πελειάδες here as synonymous with περιστεραὶ are wrong. For Aristotle says expressly that the πελειὰς is one bird, and the περιστερὰ another. But the poet calls that constellation πελειάδες which at present w call πλειάδες; by the rising of which men regulate their swing and their reaping, and the beginning of their raising their crops, and their collection of them; as Hesiod says:—

[Pg 782]

When the seven daughters of the Libyan king
Rise in the heavens, then begin to mow;
And when they hide their heads, then plough the ground.

And Aratus says—

Their size is small, their light but moderate,
Yet are they famous over all the world;
At early dawn and late at eve they roll,
Jove regulating all their tranquil motions;
He has ordain'd them to give signs to men,
When winter, and when summer too begins,—
What is the time for ploughing, what for sowing.

And accordingly it is with great appropriateness that the poet has represented the Pleiades, who indicate the time of the generation and approach to perfection of the fruits of the earth, as forming parts of the ornaments of the cup of that wise prince Nestor. For this vessel was intended to contain any kind of food, whether solid or liquid; on which account he also says that the turtle-doves bring ambrosia to Jupiter:—

No bird of air, nor dove of trembling wing,
That bears ambrosia to th' ethereal king,
But shuns these rocks.

For we must not think here that it is really the birds called turtle-doves which bring ambrosia to Jupiter, which is the opinion of many; for that were inconsistent with the majesty of Jupiter; but the daughters of Atlas, turned into the constellation of Pleiades or doves. For it is natural enough that they who indicate the appropriate seasons to the human race should also bring ambrosia to Jupiter, on which account also he distinguishes between them and other birds, saying—

No bird of air, nor dove of trembling wing;

and that he considers the Pleiades as the most famous of all fixed stars is plain, from his having placed them in the first rank when giving a list of other constellations:—

There earth, there heaven, there ocean he design'd,—
Th' unwearied sun, the moon completely round,—
The starry lights, that heaven's high convex crown'd,—
The Pleiades, Hyads, with the Northern Team,
And great Orion's more refulgent beam;
To which, around the axle of the sky,
The Bear, revolving, points his golden eye;
Still shines exalted on th' ethereal plain,
Nor bathes his blazing forehead in the main,—
The Bear, whom trusting rustics call the Wain.

[Pg 783]


"But people in general have been deceived by fancying the πελειάδες here spoken of to be birds, first of all from the poetical form of the word, because of the insertion of the letter ε; and secondly, because they have taken the word τρήρωνες, 'trembling,' as an epithet only of doves; since, owing to its weakness, that is a very cautious bird; and when he calls it τρήρων, this word is derived from τρέω, and τρέω is the same as εὐλαβέομαι, to be cautious. But still there is a good deal of reason in attributing the same characteristic also to the Pleiades: for the fable is, that they are always fleeing from Orion, since their mother Pleione is constantly pursued by Orion.

80. "And the variation of the name, so that the Pleiades are called both πέλειαι and πελειάδες, occurs in many poets. First of all, Myro the Byzantian admirably caught the feeling of the Homeric poems, saying in her poem entitled Memory, that the Pleiades convey ambrosia to Jupiter. But Crates the critic, endeavouring to appropriate to himself the credit due to her, produces that assertion as his own. Simonides also has called the Pleiades Πελειάδες, in the following lines:—

And may great Mercury, whose protecting pow'r
Watches o'er contests, Maia's mighty son,
Grant you success. But Atlas was the sire
Of seven dark-hair'd daughters, beautiful,
Surpassing all the maidens upon earth,
And now in heaven they're call'd Peleiades.

Here he distinctly calls the Pleiades Πελειάδες, for they it was who were the daughters of Atlas; as Pindar says—

And it is natural
That great Orion should advance
Not far from the seven Pleiades, at the tail (ὀρίας).

For, in the arrangement of the stars, Orion is not far from the Pleiades; from which circumstance has arisen the fable about them, that they, with their mother Pleione, are always fleeing from Orion. But when he calls the Pleiades ὄριαι here, he means οὔριαι, only he has left out the v, because the Pleiades are close to the tail of the Bull. And Æschylus has spoken still more plainly, playing on their name on account of the resemblance of its sound, where he says—

The seven celebrated daughters of
The mighty Atlas, much bewail'd with tears
[Pg 784] Their father's heaven-supporting toil; where they
Now take the form of night-appearing visions,
The wingless Peleiades.

For he calls them here wingless on account of the similarity of the sound of their name to that of the birds Ππελειάδες. And Myro herself also speaks in the same manner—

The mighty Jove was nourish'd long in Crete,
Nor yet had any of the heav'nly beings
E'er recognised their king; meanwhile he grew
In all his limbs; and him the trembling doves
Cherish'd, while hidden in the holy cave,
Bringing him, from the distant streams of ocean,
Divine ambrosia: and a mighty eagle,
Incessant drawing with his curved beak
Nectar from out the rock, triumphant brought
The son of Saturn's necessary drink.
Him, when the God of mighty voice had cast
His father Saturn from his unjust throne,
He made immortal, and in heaven placed.
And so, too, did he give the trembling doves (πελειάσιν)
Deserved honour; they who are to men
Winters and summer's surest harbingers.

And Simmias, in his Gorgo, says—

The swiftest ministers of air came near,
The quivering peleiades.

And Posidippus, in his Asopia, says—

Nor do the evening cool πέλειαι set.

But Lamprocles the Dithyrambic poet has also expressly and poetically said that the word πελειάδες is in every sense synonymous with περιστεραὶ, in the following lines—

And now you have your home in heaven,
Showing your title with the winged doves.

And the author of the poem called Astronomy, which is attributed to Hesiod, always calls the Pleiades Πελειάδες, saying—

Which mortals call Peleiades.

And in another place he says—

And now the Peleiades of winter set.

And in another passage we find—

Then the Peleiades do hide their heads;

so that there is nothing at all improbable in the idea of Homer having lengthened the name Πλειάδες by poetic licence into Πελειάδες.

[Pg 785]


81. "Since, then, it is demonstrated that it is the Pleiades who were embossed on the goblet, we must understand that two were affixed to each handle, whether we choose to fancy that the damsels were represented under the form of birds or under human form;—at all events they were studded with stars: and as for the expression, "Around each there were golden peleiades," we are not to understand that as meaning around each separate one; for that would make eight in number: but as each of the handles was divided into two sections, and as these again were united towards the bottom, the poet has the word ἕκαστος, speaking as if there were four sections of handles; but if he had said ἑκάτερον, that would have applied to the fact of their again becoming united at the highest point which they respectively reach. And accordingly, when he says—

And curling vines, around each handle roll'd,
Bear two Peleiades emboss'd in gold;
On two firm bases stood the mighty bowl;

we are by that to understand one Peleias to. each section of the handles. And he has called them δοιὰς, as being united to one another and grown together as it were. For the word δοιοὶ, δοιαὶ, signifies simply the number two, as in the passage—

Two tripods (δοιοὺς δὲ τρίποδας), and ten golden talents;

and again—

Two attendants (δοιοὶ θεράπογτες):

and it also at times intimates a natural connexion subsisting between the two things spoken of, as well as that they are two in number; as in these lines:—

There grew two (δοιοὶ) olives, closest of the grove,
With roots entwined and branches interwove,
Alike their leaves, but not alike they smiled
With sister fruits,—one fertile, one was wild:—

and accordingly this calculation will give altogether four Peleiades upon the handles.

82. "And, then, when he adds this—

And curling vines, around each handle roll'd,
Bear two Peleiades emboss'd in gold:
On two firm bases stood the mighty bowl;

we are to understand not two actual separate bases, nor indeed ought we to read ὑποπυθμένες as two words, like Dionysius the Thracian, but we ought to read it as one word, υποπυθμενες, [Pg 786] in order to understand it with reference to the Peleiades, that there were four Peleiades on the handles, and two more ὑποπυθμένες, which is equivalent to ὑπὸ τῷ πυθμένι, that is to say, under the pedestal, as if the word were ὑποπυθμένιοι. So that the goblet is supported by two Peleiades which lie under the bottom, and in that way there are altogether six Pleiades in all, since that is the number which are seen, though they are said to be seven in number, as Aratus says—

They are indeed declared by mortal man
To be in number seven; yet no more
Than six have e'er been seen by mortal eyes.
Not that a star can e'er have disappear'd
Unnoticed from the pure expanse of heaven
Since we have heard of its existence; but
The number has been stated carelessly,
And therefore they are usually call'd seven.

Accordingly, what is seen in the stars the poet has very suitably described among the ornaments made on the occasion. And many fancy that the poet is here referring to Jupiter, when he says—

No bird of air, nor dove of trembling wing,
That bears ambrosia to th' ethereal king,
But shuns these rocks. In vain she cuts the skies,
They fearful meet, and crush her as she flies.

Meaning in reality, that one of the Pleiades was destroyed by the sharpness of the rocks and their smooth edge, and that another is substituted in her place by Jupiter for the sake of keeping the number undiminished. Expressing by the enigmatical figures of speech common to poets, that, though there are only six Pleiades seen, still their real number is not actually diminished; but there are said to be seven in number, and also the names of the seven are distinctly given.

83. But as for those people who contend that there is no appropriateness in embossing the Pleiades on this cup, as they are rather indicative of dry food, we must state that this kind of cup is calculated to receive both solid and liquid food; for κυκεὼν[67] is made in it; and this is a kind of potion, having mixed in it cheese and meal; and the poet tells us that both these ingredients are stirred up (κυκωμένα) together and so drunk:—

[Pg 787]

The draught prescribed fair Hecamede prepares,
Arsinous' daughter, graced with golden hairs
(Whom to his aged arms a royal slave
Greece, as the prize of Nestor's wisdom, gave):
A table first with azure feet she placed,
Whose ample orb a brazen charger graced;
Honey, new press'd, the sacred flour of wheat,
And wholesome garlic crown'd the savoury treat.
Next her white hand a spacious goblet brings,
A goblet sacred to the Pylian kings;
Temper'd in this, the nymph of form divine
Pours a large portion of the Pramnian wine;
With goats'-milk cheese a flavorous taste bestows,
And last with flour the smiling surface strows.
This for the wounded prince the dame prepares;
The cordial beverage reverend Nestor shares.

84. And as for the lines—

A massy weight, yet heav'd with ease by him,
Though all too great for men of smaller limb;

we are not to understand this as referring only to Machaon and Nestor, as some people think, who refer ὃς to Machaon, taking it as if it were , and say,

Ἀλλ᾽ δ̓ς μὲν μογέων ἀποκινήσασκε τραπέζης,—

thinking that "heaved with ease by him" is said of Machaon, as he was the person for whom the cup has been mixed, as he had been wounded; but we shall show hereafter that Machaon is never represented in Homer as wounded. But these men do not perceive, that when Homer says ἄλλος, he is not speaking of Machaon and Nestor alone (for these two are drinking of the cup), for in that case he would have said ἕτερος. For ἕτερος is the proper word for the other of two, as in this line—

οἴσετε δ᾽ ἄρν᾽ ἕτερον λευκὸν, ἑτέρην δὲ μέλαιναν,—
And bring two lambs, one male, with snow-white fleece,
The other black, who shall the breed increase.

Besides, Homer never uses ὁς for the demonstrative pronoun ; but, on the contrary, he sometimes uses the demonstrative for the relative ὁς, as in the line—

ἒνθα δὲ σὶσυφος ἒσκεν ὃ κέρδιστος γὲνετ᾽ ἀνδρῶν,—
There Sisyphus, who of all men that lived
Was the most crafty, held his safe abode.

[Pg 788]

"But still, in this line, τις is wanting, for the sentence, when complete, should run—

ᾶλλος μέν τις μογέων ἀποκινήσασκε τραπέζης
πλεῖον ἐὸν, νέστωρ δ᾽ ὁ γέρων ἀμογητὶ ἄειρεν:

so that the meaning would be, that there is no man who could lift the cup up from the table without an effort, but that Nestor raised it easily, without any labour or distress. For the cup is described as having been large in size, and very heavy in weight; which however Nestor, being very fond of drinking, was easily able to lift, from his constant practice.

85. "But Sosibius, the solver of questions, quoting the lines—

ἄλλος μὲν μογέων ἀποκινήσασκε τραπέζης
πλεῖον ἐόν: νέστωρ δ᾽ ζ γέρων ἀμογητὶᾶειρεν,

writes on this expression—'Now, the poet has been often reproached for making that the rest of the men could only lift this cup by a great effort, but that Nestor alone could do so without any extraordinary exertion. For it appeared unreasonable, that when Diomede and Ajax, and even Achilles too were present, Nestor should be represented as more vigorous than they, when he was so far advanced in years. But though these accusations are brought against him, we may release the poet from them by transposing the order. For in that hexameter—

πλεῖον ἐὸν, Νέστωρ δ᾽ ὁ γέρων ἀμογητὶ ἄειρεν,

if we take γέρων out of the middle, we shall unite that to the beginning of the preceding line, after ἄλλος μὲν, and then we shall connect the words as before—

ἄλλος μὲν γέρων μογέων ἀποκινήσασκε τραπέζης
πλεῖον ἐὸν, ὁ δὲ νέστωρ ἀπονητὶ ἄειρεν.

Now then, when the words are arranged in this way, Nestor only appears to be represented as the only one of the old men who could lift the cup without an extraordinary effort.'

[Pg 789]


"These are the observations of that admirable solver of difficulties, Sosibius. But Ptolemy Philadelphus the king jested upon him with some wit, on account of this and other much talked-of solutions. For as Sosibius received a royal stipend, Ptolemy, sending for his treasurers, desired them, when Sosibius came to demand his stipend, to tell him that he had received it already. And when, not long after, he did come and ask for his money, they said they had given it to him already, and said no more. But he, going to the king, accused the treasurers. And Ptolemy sent for them, and ordered them to come with their books, in which were the lists of those who received those stipends. And when they had arrived, the king took the books into his hands, and looking into them himself, also asserted that Sosibius had received his money; making it out in this way:—These names were set down,—Soter, Sosigenes, Bion, Apollon, Dion; and the king, looking on these names, said—My excellent solver of difficulties, if you take Σω from Σωτὴρ, and σι from Σωσιγένης, and the first syllable βι from Βίων and the last syllable from Ἀπόλλωνος, you will find, on your own principles, that you have received your stipend. And you are caught in this way, not owing to the actions of others, but by your own feathers, as the incomparable Æschylus says, since you yourself are always occupied about solutions of difficulties which are foreign to the subject in hand."

86. There is the holmus also. This, too, is a drinking-cup, made in the fashion of a horn. Menesthenes, in the fourth book of his Politics, writes thus—"A twisted albatanes and a golden holmus. But the holmus is a cup wrought after the fashion of a horn, about a cubit in height."

87. There is also the oxybaphum. Now common usage gives this name to the cruet that holds the vinegar; but it is also the name of a cup; and it is mentioned by Cratinus, in his Putina, in this way:—

How can a man now make him leave off this
Excessive drinking? I can tell a way;
For I will break his jugs and measures all,
And crush his casks as with a thunderbolt,
And all his other vessels which serve to drink:
Nor shall he have a single oxybaphum left,
Fit to hold wine.

But that the oxybaphum is a kind of small κύλιξ, made of earthenware, Antiphanes proves plainly enough, in his Mystis, in the following words.[68] There is a wine-bibbing old [Pg 790] woman praising a large cup, and disparaging the oxybaphum as small. So when some one says to her—

Do you, then, drink;

she answers—

There I will obey you.
And, by the gods, the figure of the cup
Is quite inviting, worthy of the fame
Of this high festival; for have we not—
Have we not, and not long ago, I say,
Drunk out of earthenware oxybapha?
But may the gods, my son, give many blessings
To him who made this cup—a noble cup,
As to its beauty and its good capacity.

And also in the Babylonians of Aristophanes we hear of the oxybaphum as a drinking-cup, when Bacchus speaks of the demagogues at Athens, saying that they demanded of him two oxybapha when he was going away to trial. For we cannot think that they asked him for anything but cups. And the oxybaphum, which is put before the people who play at the cottabus, into which they pour their drops of wine, can be nothing else but a flat cup. Eubulus also, in his Mylothris, mentions the oxybaphum as a cup—

And besides, I measure out for drinking
An oxybaphum all round; and then he swore
The wine was nothing but pure vinegar,
And that the vinegar was wine, at least
Superior to the other.

88. There is the oinisteria too. The young men, when they are going to cut their hair, says Pamphilus, fill a large cup with wine, and bring it to Hercules; and they call this cup an oinisteria. And when they have poured a libation, they give it to the assembled people to drink.

There is the ollix also. Pamphilus, in his Attic Words, describes this as a wooden cup.

89. There is also the panathenaicum. Posidonius the philosopher, in the thirty-sixth book of his History, mentions some cups called by this name, speaking thus—"There were also cups made of an onyx, and also of several precious stones joined together, holding about two cotylæ. And very large cups, called panathenaica, some holding two choes, and some even larger."

[Pg 791]


There is the proaron too. This was a wooden cup, into which the Athenians used to pour mixed wine. "In hollow proara," says Pamphilus.

90. Then there is the pelica. Callistratus, in his Commentary on the Thracian Women of Cratinus, calls this a κύλιξ. But Crates, in the second book of his treatise on the Attic Dialect, writes thus:—"Choes, as we have already said, were called pelicæ. But the form of this vessel was at first like that of the panathenaica, when it was called pelica; but afterwards it was made of the same shape as the œnochoe, such as those are which are put on the table at festivals, which they formerly used to call olpæ, using them for infusing the wine, as Ion the Chian, in his Sons of Eurytus, says—

You make a noise, intemperately drawing
Superfluous wine from the large casks with olpæ.

But now a vessel of that sort, which has been consecrated in some fashion or other, is placed on the table at festivals alone. And that which comes into every-day use has been altered in form, being now generally made like a ladle, and we call it choeus." But Clitarchus says that the Corinthians, and Byzantians, and Cyprians call an oil-cruet, which is usually called lecythus, olpa; and the Thessalians call it prochous. But Seleucus says that the Bœotians call a κύλιξ pelichna; but Euphronius, in his Commentaries, says that they give this name to a choeus.

91. There is the pella. This is a vessel resembling the scyphus, having a wider bottom, into which men used to milk the cattle. Homer says—

Thick as beneath some shepherd's thatch'd abode,
The pails πέλλαι high foaming with a milky flood,
The buzzing flies, a persevering train,
Incessant swarm, and chased, return again.

But Hipponax calls this pellis; saying,—

Drinking from pellides; for there was not
A culix there,—the slave had fallen down,
And broken it to pieces;

showing, I imagine, very plainly that the pellis was not a drinking-cup, but that on this occasion they used it as one, from want of a regular culix. And in another place he says—

And they at different times from out the pella
Did drink; and then again Arete pledged them.

But Phoenix the Colophonian, in his Iambics, interprets this word as identical with the phiala; saying,—

[Pg 792]

For Thales,—honestest of all the citizens,
And, as they say, by far the best of men
Who at that time were living upon earth,—
Took up a golden pellis.

And in another part he says—

And with one hand he pours from out the pellis,
Weak as he was in all his limbs and fingers,
A sharp libation of sour vinegar,
Trembling, like age, by Boreas much shaken.

But Clitarchus, in his Dialects, says that the Thessalians and Æolians call the milk-pail pelleter; but that it is a drinking-cup which they call pella. But Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says that the Bœotians give the name of pelleter to a culix.

92. There is also the pentaploa. Philochorus mentions this, in the second book of his treatise on Attic Affairs. But Aristodemus, in the third book of his Commentary on Pindar, says that on the third day of the Scira, games are celebrated at Athens, in which the young men run races; and that they run, holding in their hands a branch of the vine loaded with fruit, which is called oschus. And they run from the temple of Bacchus to the temple of Minerva Sciras; and he who has gained the victory takes a cup of the species called pentaplous, and feasts with the rest of the runners. But the cup is called pentaplous, as containing five (πέντε) ingredients; inasmuch as it has in it wine, and honey, and cheese, and meal, and a little oil.

There is the petachnum. This is a cup of a flat shape, which is mentioned by Alexis, in his Dropidas; and the passage has been already cited. And Aristophanes also mentions it in his Dramas, where he says—

And every one indoors drinks out of petachna.

93. There is the plemochoe, too. This is an earthenware vessel, shaped like a top, not very steady; and some people call it the cotyliscus, as Pamphilus tells us. But they use it at Eleusis on the last day of the Mysteries, which day they call Plemochoai, from the cups. And on this day they fill two plemochoæ, and place one looking towards the east, and the other looking towards the west, saying over them a mystic form of words; and the author of the Pirithous names them (whoever he was, whether Critias the tyrant, or Euripides), saying,—

That with well-omen'd words we now may pour
These plemochoæ into the gulf below.

[Pg 793]


There is a vessel, too, called the pristis; and that this is a species of cup has been already stated in the discussion on the batiacium.

94. There is the prochytes, too. This is a kind of drinking-cup, as Simaristus says, in the fourth book of his Synonymes. But Ion the Chian, in his Elegies, says—

But let the cupbearing maidens fill for us
A crater with their silver prochytæ;

and Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says it is a wooden vessel, from which the countrymen drink: and Alexander also mentions it in his Tigon. And Xenophon, in the eighth book of his Cyropædia, calls some kinds of culices, prochoides, writing thus (and it is of the Persians that he is speaking):—"But it was a custom among them not to bring prochoides into their banquets, evidently because they think that not drinking too much is good both for the body and the mind. And even now the custom prevails that they do not bring them; but they drink such a quantity of wine that, instead of carrying in their cups, they themselves are carried out, when they can no longer go out themselves in an upright attitude."

There is also the Prusias; and it has been already said that this is an upright kind of cup, and that it derived its name from Prusias king of Bithynia, who was a man very notorious for his luxury and effeminacy; as is mentioned by Nicander the Chalcedonian, in the fourth book of his History of the Events of the Life of Prusias.

95. There are also rheonta; for this was a name given to some cups: and Astydamas mentions them in his Mercury, speaking thus:—

First of all were two silver craters large,
And fifty phialæ, and ten cymbia,
And twelve rheonta, two of which were gold,
The others silver;—of the gold ones, one
Was like a griffin, one like Pegasus.

There is also the rhysis. This is called a golden phiala by Theodorus; and Cratinus, in his Laws, says—"Pouring a libation from a rhysis."

96. There is also the Rhodias. Diphilus, in his Stormer of Walls (but Callimachus calls the play The Eunuch), speaks thus—

And they intend to drink more plenteously
[Pg 794] Than rhodiaca or rhyta can supply.

Dioxippus, too, mentions this cup, in his Miser; and so does Aristotle, in his treatise on Drunkenness; and so also does Lynceus the Samian, in his Letters.

97. There is also the rhytum—ῥυτόν. The υ is short, and the word has an acute accent on the last syllable. Demosthenes, in his speech against Midias, speaks of "rhyta, and cymbia, and phialæ." But Diphilus, in his Eunuch, or The Soldier, (and this play is a new edition of his Stormer of Walls,) says—

And they intend to drink more plenteously
Than rhodiaca or rhyta can supply.

And Epinicus, in his Supposititious Damsels, says—

A. And of the large-sized rhyta three are here;
To-day one will be forced to drink more steadily,
By the clepsydra.
B. This, I think, will act
Both ways.
A. Why, 'tis an elephant!
B. Yes, he
Is bringing round his elephants.
A. A rhytus,
Holding two choes, such as e'en an elephant
Could hardly drink; but I have drunk it often.
B. Yes, for you're very like an elephant.
A. There is besides another kind of cup,
Its name a trireme; this, too, holds one choeus.

And, speaking of the rhytum, he says—

A. Bellerophon, on Pegasus's back,
Fought and subdued the fire-breathing Chimæra.
B. Well, take this cup.

But formerly a drinking-horn was also called a rhytum; and it appears that this kind of vessel was first made by Ptolemy Philadelphus the king, to be carried by the statues of Arsinoe: for in her right hand she bears a vessel of this kind, full of all the fruits of the season; by which the makers of it designed to show that this horn is richer than the horn of Amalthea. And it is mentioned by Theocles, in his Ithyphallics, thus—

For all the journeymen to-day
Have sacrificed Soteria;
And in their company I've drunk this cup,
And now I go to my dear king.

[Pg 795]


But Dionysius of Sinope, in his Female Saviour, giving a list of some cups, has also mentioned the rhytus, as I have said before; but Hedylus, in his Epigrams, mentioning the rhytum made by Ctesibius the engineer or machinist, speaks thus—

Come hither, all ye drinkers of sheer wine,—
Come, and within this shrine behold this rhytus,
The cup of fair Arsinoe Zephyritis,
The true Egyptian Besa, which pours forth
Shrill sounds, what time its stream is open'd wide,—
No sound of war; but from its golden mouth
It gives a signal for delight and feasting,
Such as the Nile, the king of flowing rivers,
Pours as its melody from its holy shrines,
Dear to the priests of sacred mysteries.
But honour this invention of Ctesibius,
And come, O youths, to fair Arsinoe's temple.

But Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says that the cup called the rhytum is given to heroes alone. Dorotheus the Sidonian, says that the rhyta resemble horns, but are perforated at both ends, and men drink of them at the bottom as they send forth a gentle stream; and that it derives its name from the liquor flowing from them (ἀπὸ τῆς ῥύσεως).

98. There is the sannacra too. Crates, in the fifth book of his treatise on the Attic Dialect, says that it is a drinking-cup which bears this name, but it is a Persian cup. But Philemon, in his Widow, mentioning the batiacia, and jesting on the ridiculousness of the name, says—

The sannacra, and hippotragelaphi,
And batiacia, and sannacia.

There is also the Seleuci; and we have already stated that this cup derives its name from king Seleucus; Apollodorus the Athenian having made the same statement. But Polemo, in the first chapter of his treatise addressed to Adæus, says these goblets are very like one another, the Seleucis, the Rhodias, and the Antigonis.

Then, there is the scallium. This is a small cup (κυλίκον), with which the Æolians pour libations, as Philetas tells us, in his Miscellanies.

99. There is also the scyphus. Now some people form the genitive of this word σκύθος with a ς invariably; but they are mistaken: for sometimes σκύθος is masculine, like λύχνος, and then we form its genitive case without ς but when σκύθος is neuter, then we must decline with the ς, σκύθος σκύθους, like τεῖχος τείχους. But the Attic writers use the nominative case in both the masculine and neuter genders. And Hesiod, in the second book of his Melampodia, writes the [Pg 796] word with a π, σκύπθοσ

To him came Mares, a swift messenger,
Straight from his house; he fill'd a silver cup (σκύθος),
And brought it in his hand, and gave it to the king.

And in another place he says—

And then the prophet in his right hand took
The chain that held the bull; and on his back
Iphiclus laid his hand: and following then,
Holding a cup (σκύπθος) in one hand, in the other
Raising a staff, brave Phylacus advanced,
And, standing amid the servants, thus he spoke.

And in the same manner Anaximander in his Heroology speaks, where he says, "But Amphitryon, when he had divided the booty among his allies, and having the cup (σκύπθος) which he had selected for himself, . . ." And in another place he says—"But Neptune gives his σκύπθος to Teleboas his own son, and Teleboas to Pteselaus; and he when he received it sailed away." And in the same manner Anacreon has said—

But I, in my right hand holding
A σκύπθος full of wine,
Drank to the health of the white-crested Erxion.

(And in this last line he uses the verb ἐξέπινον instead of προέεπινον For properly speaking προπίνω means to give to some one else to drink before yourself. And so Ulysses, in Homer,—

Gave to Arete first the well-fill'd cup.

And in the Iliad he says—

And first he fill'd a mighty cup of wine,
Then pledg'd the hero, Peleus' son divine;

for they used, when they had filled their cups, to pledge one another with a friendly address.) Panyasis, in the third book of his Heraclea, says—

This wine he pour'd into an ample bowl,
Radiant with gold, and then with frequent draughts
He drain'd the flowing cup.

Euripides, in his Eurystheus, uses the word in the masculine gender—

And a long cup (σκύφος τε μακρός).

And so does Achæus, in his Omphale—

The goblet of the god invites me (ὁ δὲ σκύθος με τοῦ θεοῦ ῾Ἀλεἶ).

[Pg 797]


And Simonides too, speaking of a cup with handles, says, οὐατόεντα σκύφον. But Ion, in his Omphale, says—

There is no wine in the cup (οἶνος οὐκ ἔνι ἐν τῷ σκύφεἰ),

forming σκύφει regularly from σκύφος, as a neuter noun. And in the same way Epicharmus, in his Cyclops, says—

Come, pour the wine into the cup (ἐς τὸ σκύφος).

And Alexis, in his Leucadia, says—

And with his aged lips he drank
A mighty cup μέγα σκύφος of fragrant wine.

And Epigenes, in his Bacchea, says—

I rejoiced when I received τὸ σκύφος.

And Phædimus, in the first book of his Heraclea, says—

A mighty cup (εὐρὺ σκύφος) of well-grain'd timber framed,
And fill'd with honied wine.

And also in Homer, Aristophanes the Byzantian writes—

But having filled a cup σκύφος, he gave it him,
Having himself drunk from the same.

But Aristarchus in this line writes σκύφον, not σκύφος.

But Asclepiades the Myrlean, in his treatise on the Nestoris, says that none of those who lived in the city, and none of the men of moderate property, used the scyphus (τῷ σκύφει) and the cissybium; but only the swineherds, and shepherds, and men in the fields, as Eumæus, for instance,

Gave him the cup (σκύφος) from which he drank himself,
Well fill'd with wine.

And Alcman says—

And often on the highest mountain tops,
When some most tuneful festival of song
Is held in honour of the Gods, you hold
A golden vessel,—a fine, ample cup σκύφον̓,
Such as the shepherds, pasturing their flocks
On the high hills, delight in, . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . have made cheese
Most delicate and white to look upon.

And Æschylus, in his Perrhæbians, says—

Where are my many gifts and warlike spoils,—
Where are my gold and silver cups (σκυφώματα)̣?

And Stesichorus calls the cup on the board of Pholus the Centaur σκύφειον δέπας, using σκύφειον as synonymous to σκυφοειδές. And he says, when speaking of Hercules—

And taking a huge scyphus-shaped cup (σκύπφειον δέπας),
Holding three measures, to his lips he raised it,
[Pg 798] Full of rich wine, which Pholus wisely mix'd
And gave him; and at one good draught he drank it.

And Archippus, in his Amphitryon, has used the word in the neuter gender.

100. But as for the word λάγυνον, they say that that is the name of a measure among the Greeks, as also are the words χοὸς and κοτύλη. And they say that the λάγυνον contains twelve Attic κότυλαι. And at Patræ they say that there is a regular measure called ἡ λάγυνος. But Nicostratus, in his Hecate, has used the word in the masculine gender, ὁ λάγυνος, where he says—

A. And yet among the flagons into which
We pour'd the wine out of the casks, now tell me
What is the measure some of them contain (πηλίκοι τινές̣)?
B. They hold three choes each.

And again he says—

Bring us the full flagon (τὸν μεστὸν λάγυνον).

And, in the play entitled The Couch, he says—

And this most odious flagon's (λάγυνος οὗτος) full of vinegar.

Diphilus, in his People Saved, says—

I have an empty flagon, my good woman,
And a full wallet.

And Lynceus the Samian, in his letter to Diagoras, says,—"At the time that you sojourned in Samos, O Diagoras, I know that you often came to banquets at my house, at which a flagon was placed by each man, and filled with wine, so as to allow every one to drink at his pleasure." And Aristotle, in his Constitution of the Thessalians, says that the word is used by the Thessalians in the feminine gender, as ἡ λάγυνος. And Rhianus the epic poet, in his Epigrams, says—

This flagon (ἥδε λάγυνος), O Archinus, seems to hold
One half of pitch from pines, one half of wine;
And I have never met a leaner kid:
And he who sent these dainties to us now,
Hippocrates, has done a friendly deed,
And well deserves to meet with praise from all men.

But Diphilus, in his Brothers, has used the word in the neuter gender—

O conduct worthy of a housebreaker
Or felon, thus to take a flagon now
Under one's arm, and so go round the inns;
And then to sell it, while, as at a picnic,
One single vintner doth remain behind,
Defrauded by his wine-merchant.

[Pg 799]


And the line in the Geryonis of Stesichorus—

A measure of three flagons (ἔμμετρον ὡς τριλάγυνον̓),

leaves it quite uncertain under what gender the word is to be classed as far as respects that line. But Eratosthenes says that the words πέτασος and στάμνος are also used as feminine nouns by some authors.

101. But the name σκύφος is derived from σκαφὶς, a little boat. And this likewise is a round vessel made of wood, intended to receive milk, or whey; as it is said in Homer—

Capacious chargers all around were laid,
Full pails (σκαφίδες), and vessels of the milking trade.

Unless, indeed, σκύφος is quasi σκύθος, because the Scythians were in the habit of drinking more than was decent. But Hieronymus the Rhodian, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says to get drunk is called σκυθίζω; for that θ is a cognate letter to φ. But at subsequent times scyphi were made of earthenware and of silver, in imitation of the wooden ones. And the first makers of cups of this kind were the Bœotians, who obtained a high reputation for their manufacture; because Hercules originally used these cups in his expeditions. On which account they are called Heracleotici by some people. And they are different from other cups; for they have on their handles what is called the chain of Hercules. And Bacchylides mentions the Bœotian scyphi in these words, (addressing his discourse to Castor and Pollux, and invoking their attendance at a banquet)—

Here there are no mighty joints
Of oxen slain,—no golden plate,
No purple rich embroidery;
But there is a cheerful mind,
And a sweetly-sounding Muse,
And plenty of delicious wine,
In cups of Theban workmanship (Βοιωτίοισιν ἐν σκύφοισιν̓).

And next to the Bœotian scyphi, those which had the highest reputation were the Rhodian ones, of the workmanship of Damocrates. And the next to them were the Syracusan cups. But the σκύφος is called by the Epirotes λυρτὸς, as Seleucus reports; and by the Methymnæans it is called σκύθος, as Parmeno says, in his book on Dialects. And Dercyllidas the Lacedæmonian was nicknamed [Pg 800] Σκύθος, as Ephorus relates in his eighteenth book, where he speaks as follows:—"The Lacedæmonians sent Dercyllidas into Asia in the place of Thymbron, having heard that the barbarians were in the habit of doing everything by deceit and trick; on which account they sent Dercyllidas, thinking that he was the least likely of all men to be taken in; for he was not at all of a Lacedæmonian and simple disposition, but exceedingly cunning and fierce; on which account the Lacedæmonians themselves used to call him Σκύθον."

102. There is the tabaitas also. Amyntas, in the first book of his treatise on the Stations of Asia, speaking of what is called aerial honey, writes as follows:—"They gather it with the leaves, and store it up, making it up in the same manner as the Syrian cakes of fruit, but some make it into balls; and when they are about to use it for food, they break pieces off these cakes into wooden cups, which they call tabaitæ, and soak them, and then strain them off and drink the liquor; and the drink is very like diluted honey, but this is much the sweeter of the two."

There is also the tragelaphus. And this is the name given to some cups, as Alexis mentions, in his Coniates—

Cymbia, phialæ, tragelaphi, culices.

And Eubulus, in his Man Glued on, says—

But there are five phialæ, and two tragelaphi.

And Menander, in his Fisherman, says—

Tragelaphi, labronii.

And Antiphanes, in his Chrysis, says—

And for this rich and sordid bridegroom now,
Who owns so many talents, slaves, and stewards,
And pairs of horses, camels, coverlets,—
Such loads of silver plate, such phialæ,
Triremes, tragelaphi, carchesia,
Milkpails of solid gold, vessels of all sorts;
For all the gluttons and the epicures
Call casks brimful of wine mere simple milkpails.

There is also the trireme. And that trireme is the name of a species of drinking-cup Epicurus has shown, in his Supposititious Damsels; and the passage which is a proof of this has been already quoted.

There is also the hystiacum, which is some sort of drinking-cup. Rhinthon, in his Hercules, says—

[Pg 801]

You swallow'd, in one small hystiacum,
A cheesecake of pure meal, and groats, and flour.

103. There is the phiale too. Homer, when he says—

He placed a phiale upon the board,
By both hands to be raised (ἀμφίθετον), untouch'd by fire;

and again, when he says—

A golden phiale, and doubled fat;

is not speaking of a drinking-cup, but of a brazen vessel of a flat shape like a caldron, having perhaps two handles, one on each side. But Parthenius the pupil of Dionysius understands by ἀμφίθετον a phiale without any bottom. But Apollodorus the Athenian, in his short essay on the Crater, says that it means a cup which cannot be firmly placed and steadied on its bottom, but only on its mouth. But some say, that just as the word ἀμφιφορεὺς is used for a cup which can be lifted by its handles on both sides, the same is meant by the expression ἀμφίθετος φιάλη. But Aristarchus says that it means a cup which can be placed on either end, on its mouth or on its bottom. But Dionysius the Thracian says that the word ἀμφίθετος means round, running round (ἀμφιθέων) in a circular form. And Asclepiades the Myrlean says,—"The word φιάλη, by a change of letters, becomes πιάλη, a cup which contains enough to drink (πιεῖν ἅλις); for it is larger than the ποτήριον. But when Homer calls it also ἀπύρωτος, he means either that it was wrought without fire, or never put on the fire. On which account he calls a kettle which may be put on the fire ἐμπυριβήτης, and one which is not so used ἄπυρος. And when he says—

An ample charger, of unsullied frame,
With flowers high wrought, not blacken'd yet by flame,

he perhaps means one intended to receive cold water. So that the phiale would in that case resemble a flat brazen vessel, holding cold water. But when he calls it ἀμφίθετος, can we understand that it has two bases, one on each side; or is ἀμφὶ here to be taken as equivalent to περὶ, and then again is περὶ to be taken as equivalent to περιττὸν, so that in fact all that is meant by the epithet is beautifully made; since θεῖναι was often used by the ancients for 'to make?' It may also mean, ' being capable of being placed either on its bottom or upon its mouth;' and such a placing of cups is an Ionian [p. 802] and an ancient fashion. And even now the Massilians often adopt it, and set their goblets down on their mouths."

[Pg 802]

104. But as Cratinus has said, in his Female Runaways—

Receive from me these round-bottom'd phialæ,

Eratosthenes, in the eleventh book of his treatise on Comedy, says that Lycophron did not understand the meaning of the word (βαλανειόμφαλος), for that the word ὀμφαλὸς, as applied to a phiale, and the word θόλος, as applied to a bath, were nearly similar in meaning; and that, in the word, allusion is neatly enough made to the umbilical form. But Apion and Diodorus say, "There are some kinds of phialæ of which the boss is similar to a strainer." But Asclepiades the Myrlean, in his Essays on Cratinus, says— "βαλανειόμφαλοι are the phialæ called, because their bosses and the vaulted roofs of the baths are much alike." And Didymus, saying the same thing, cites the words of Lycophron, which run thus:—"From the bosses in the women's baths, out of which they ladle the water in small cups." But Timarchus, in the fourth book of his Essay on the Mercury of Eratosthenes, says,—"Any one may suppose that this word contains a secret allusion in it, because most of the baths at Athens, being circular in their shape, and in all their furniture, have slight projections in the middle, on which a brazen boss is placed. Ion, in his Omphale, says—

Go quick, O damsels; hither bring the cups,
And the mesomphali;—

and by μεσόμφαλοι here, he means the same things as those which Cratinus calls βαλανειόμφαλοι, where he says—

Receive from me these round-bottom'd phialæ.

And Theopompus, in his Althæa, said—

She took a golden round-bottom'd (μεσόμφαλον) phiale,
Brimful of wine; to which Telestes gave
The name of acatos;

as Telestes had called the phiale an acatos, or boat. But Pherecrates, or whoever the poet was who composed the Persæ, which are attributed to him, says, in that play—

Garlands to all, and well-boss'd chrysides (ὀμφαλωταὶ χρυσίδες).

105. But the Athenians call silver phialæ ἀργυρίδες, and golden ones they call χρυσίδες. And Pherecrates mentions the silver phiale in the following words in his Persæ—

[Pg 803]

Here, you sir; where are you now carrying
That silver phiale (τὴν ἀργυρίδα τηνδί)?

And Cratinus mentions the golden one in his Laws—

Making libations with a golden phiale (χρυσίδἰ),
He gave the serpents drink.

And Hermippus, in his Cercopes, says—

He first completely drain'd an ample cup,
Golden (χρυσίδα) and round, then carried it away.

There was also a kind of cup called the βαλανωτὴ phiale, under the bottom of which were placed golden feet. And Teneus says, that among the offerings at Delos there was a brazen palm-tree, the offering of the Naxians, and some golden phialæ, to which he gives the epithet καρυωταί. But Anaxandrides calls cups of this fashion the phialæ of Mars. But the Æolians call the phiale an aracis.

106. There is also the phthoïs; these are wide-shaped phialæ with bosses. Eupolis says—

He pledged the guests in phthoïdes,

writing the dative plural φθοῖσι; but it ought to have an acute on the last syllable; like καρσὶ, παισὶ, φθειρσί.

There is the philotesia also. This is a kind of κύλιξ, in which they pledged one another out of friendship, as Pamphilus says. And Demosthenes says, "And he pledged him in the philotesia." And Alexis says—

We, in our private and public capacity,
Do pledge you now in this philotesian culix.

But, besides being the name of a cup, a company feasting together was also called φιλοτήσιον. Aristophanes says—

Now does the shadow of the descending sun
Mark seven feet: 'tis time for supper now,
And the philotesian company invites me.

But it was from the system of pledging one another at these banquets that the cup got the name of philotesia—as in the Lysistrata—

O thou Persuasion, mistress of my soul!
And you, O philotesian cup of wine.

There are also chonni. Among the Gortynians this is the name given to a species of cup resembling the thericleum, made of brass, which Hermonax says is given by lovers to the objects of their affection.

There are also Chalcidic goblets, having their name and reputation perhaps from Chalcis in Thrace.

[Pg 804]

107. There are also χυτρίδες; Alexis, in his Supposititious Child, says—

I, seeking to do honour to the king,
To Ptolemy and to his sister, took
Four χυτρίδια of strong, untemper'd wine,
And drank them at a draught, with as much pleasure
As any one ever swallow'd half-and-half:
And, for the sake of this agreement, why
Should I not now feast in this splendid light?

But Herodotus, in the fifth book of his History, says "that the Argives and Æginetans made a law that no one should ever use any Attic vessel of any kind in their sacrifices, not even if made of earthenware; but that for the future every one should drink out of the χυτρίδες of the country." And Meleager the Cynic, in his Symposium, writes as follows—"And in the meantime he proposed a deep pledge to his health, twelve deep χυτρίδια full of wine."

108. There is also the ψυγεὺς or ψυκτήρ. Plato, in his Symposium, says,—"But, O boy, bring, said he, that psycter hither (for he had seen one which held more than eight cotylæ). Accordingly, when he had filled it, first of all he drank it himself, and then he ordered it to be filled again for Socrates . . . . . as Archebulus was attempting to be prolix, the boy, pouring the wine out at a very seasonable time, overturned the psycter." And Alexis, in his Colonist, says—

A psygeus, holding three full cotylæ.

And Dioxippus, in his Miser, says—

And from Olympicus he then received
Six thericlean cups, and then two psycters.

And Menander, in his play entitled The Brazier's Shop, says—

And, as the present fashion is, they shouted
For more untemper'd wine; and some one took
A mighty psycter, giving them to drink,
And so destroy'd them wretchedly.

And Epigenes, in his Heroine, giving a list of many cups, among them mentions the psygeus thus—

Now take the boys, and make them hither bring
The thericlean and the Rhodian cups;
But bring yourself the psycter and the cyathus,
Some cymbia too.

And Strattis, in his Psychastæ—

[Pg 805]

And one man having stolen a psycter,
And his companion, who has taken away
A brazen cyathus, both lie perplex'd,
Looking for a chœnix and a cotylis.

But Alexis, in his Hippiscus, uses the diminutive form, and calls it a ψυκτηρίδιον, saying—

I went to see my friend while at his inn,
And there I met a dark-complexion'd man,
And told my slaves, for I brought two from home,
To put in sight the well-clean'd drinking-cups:
There was a silver cyathus, and cups
Weighing two drachmas each; a cymbium,
Whose weight was four; a ψυκτηρίδιον,
Weighing two obols, thinner than Philippides.

109. But Heracleon of Ephesus says, “The cup which we call ψυγεὺς some name the ψυκτηρία, but the Attic writers make jokes upon the ψυγεὺς, as being a foreign name.” Euphorion, in his Woman Restoring, says—

But when they call a ψυγεὺς a ψυκτηρία,
And σεύτλιον τεῦλα, and the φακῆ φακεὺς,
What can one do? For I rightly said,
Give me, I pray, Pyrgothemis, some change
For this your language, as for foreign money.

And Antiphanes, in his Knights, says—

How then are we to live? Our bedclothes are
A saddlecloth, and our well-fitting hat
Only a psycter. What would you have more?
Here is the very Amalthean horn.

And in the Carna he declares plainly that, when pouring out wine, they used the psycter for a cyathus. For after he had said—

And putting on the board a tripod and cask,
And psycter too, he gets drunk on the wine;

in the passage following, he represents his man as saying—

So will the drink be fiercer: therefore now,
If any one should say it is not fit
T' indulge in wine at present, just leave out
This cask, and this one single drinking-cup,
And carry all the rest away at once.

But Dionysius the pupil of Tryphon, in his treatise on Names, says—"The ancients used to call the psygeus dinus." But Nicander of Thyatira says, that woods and shady places dedicated to the gods are also called ψυκτῆρες, as being places where one may cool oneself (ἀναψύξαι). Æschylus, in his Young Men, says—

[Pg 806]

And gentle airs, in the cool, shady places (ψυκτηρίοις);

and Euripides, in his Phaethon, says—

The trees, affording a cool shade (ψυκτήρια),
Shall now embrace him in their loving arms;

and the author of the poem called Ægimius, whether it really was Hesiod, or only Cecrops of Miletus, says—

There shall my cool shade (ψυκτήριον) be, O king of men.

110. There is also the oidos. This was the name of a drinking-cup, as we are told by Tryphon, in his Onomasticon; a cup given to him who sang the scolia—as Antiphanes shows in his Doubles—

A. What will there be, then, for the gods?
B. Why, nothing,
Unless now some one mixes wine for them.
A. Stop; take this ᾠδὸς, and abandon all
Those other worn-out fashions; sing no more
Of Telamon, or Pæon, or Harmodius.

There are also the ooscyphia. Now respecting the shape of these cups, Asclepiades the Myrlean, in his Essay on the Nestoris, says that it has two bottoms, one of them wrought on to the bowl of the cup, and of the same piece with it; but the other attached to it, beginning with a sharp point, and ending in a broad bottom, on which the cup stands.

There is also the ὠὸν, or egg-cup. Dinon, in the third book of his Affairs of Persia, speaks as follows:—There is also a bread called potibazis, made of barley and roasted wheat; and a crown of cypress leaves; and wine tempered in a golden oon, from which the king himself drinks."

111. Plutarch having said this, and being applauded by every one, asked for a phiala, from which he made a libation to the Muses, and to Mnemosyne their mother, and drank the health of every one present, saying,—As if any one, taking a cup in his hand, being a rich man, were to make a present of it, foaming over with the juice of the vine;"—and drinking not only to the young bridegroom, but also to all his friends; and he gave the cup to the boy, desiring him to carry it round to every one, saying that this was the proper meaning of the phrase κύκλῳ πίνειν, reciting the verses of Menander in his Perinthian Woman—

And the old woman did not leave untouch'd
One single cup, but drank of all that came.

And again, in his Fanatical Woman, he says—

[Pg 807]

And then again she carries round to all
A cup of unmix'd wine.

And Euripides, in his Cretan Women, says—

Farewell all other things, as long
As cups of wine go freely round.

And then, when Leonidas the grammarian demanded a larger cup, and said,—Let us drink hard (κρατηρίζωμεν), my friends, (for that was the word which Lysanias the Cyrenean says that Herodorus used to apply to drinking-parties, when he says, "But when they had finished the sacrifice they turned to the banquet, and to craters, and prayers, and pæans;" and the poet, who was the author of the poem called the Buffoons—a play which Duris says that the wise Plato always had in his hands—says, somewhere, ἐκεκρατηρίχημες, for "we had drunk;") But now, in the name of the gods, said Pontianus, you are drinking in a manner which is scarcely becoming, out of large cups, having that most delightful and witty author Xenophon before your eyes, who in his Banquet says,—"But Socrates, in his turn, said, But it seems to me now, O men, that we ought to drink hard. For wine, in reality, while it moistens the spirit, lulls the griefs to sleep as mandragora does men; but it awakens all cheerful feelings, as oil does fire. And it appears to me that the bodies of men are liable to the same influences which affect the bodies of those things which grow in the ground; for the very plants, when God gives them too much to drink, cannot hold up their heads, nor can they expand at their proper seasons. But when they drink just as much as is good for them, and no more, then they grow in an upright attitude, and flourish, and come in a flourishing state to produce fruit. And so, too, in our case, if we take too much drink all at once, our bodies and our minds rapidly get disordered, and we cannot even breathe correctly, much less speak. But if our slaves bedew us (to use Gorgias-like language) in small quantities with small cups, then we are not compelled to be intoxicated by the wine; but being gently induced, we proceed to a merry and cheerful temperament."

112. Now, any one who considers these expressions of the accomplished Xenophon, may understand how it was that the brilliant Plato displayed such jealousy of him. But perhaps the fact may partly be because these men did from the very [Pg 808] beginning feel a spirit of rivalry towards one another, each being aware of his own powers; and perhaps they began very early to contend for the preeminence, as we may conjecture not only from what they have both written about Cyrus, but also from other writings of theirs on similar subjects. For they have both written a piece called the Banquet; and in these two pieces, one of them turns out the female flute-players, and the other introduces them; and one, as has been already said, refuses to drink out of large cups, but the other represents Socrates as drinking out of a psycter till morning. And in his treatise concerning the Soul, Plato, reckoning up all who were present, does not make even the slightest mention of Xenophon. And concerning Cyrus, the one says that from his earliest youth he was trained up in all the national practices of his country; but Plato, as if in the express spirit of contradiction, says, in the third book of his Laws,—"But with respect to Cyrus, I consider that, as to other things, he was indeed a skilful and careful general, but that he had never had the very least particle of a proper education, and that he had never turned his mind the least in the world to the administration of affairs. But he appears from his earliest youth to have been engaged in war, and to have given his children to his wives to bring up." And again, Xenophon, who joined Cyrus with the Ten Thousand Greeks, in his expedition into Persia, and who was thoroughly acquainted with the treachery of Meno the Thessalian, and knew that he was the cause of the murder of Clearchus by Tissaphernes, and who knew also the disposition of the man, how morose and debauched he was,—has given us a full account of everything concerning him. But the exquisite Plato, who all but says, "All this is not true," goes through a long panegyric on him, who was incessantly calumniating every one else. And in his Polity, he banishes Homer from his city, and all poetry of the theatrical kind; and yet he himself wrote dialogues in a theatrical style,—a manner of writing of which he himself was not the inventor; for Alexamenus the Teian had, before him, invented this style of dialogue, as Nicias of Nicæa and Sotion both agree in relating. And Aristotle, in his treatise on Poets, writes thus:—"Let us not then call those Mimes, as they are called, of Sophron, which are written in metre, Discourses and Imitations; or those Dialogues of Alexamenus of Teos, which were written before the Socratic Dialogues;"—Aristotle, the most learned of all men, stating here most expressly that Alexamenus composed his Dialogues before Plato. And Plato also calumniates Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, saying that he was a sophist in a way consistent with his name.[69] And he also attacks Hippias, and Gorgias, and Parmenides; and in one dialogue, called Protagoras, he attacks a great many;—a man who in his Republic has said, "When, as I think, a city which has been governed by a democracy, feels a thirst for liberty, and meets with bad cupbearers, and so it gets intoxicated by too untempered a draught . . . ."

[Pg 809]


113. And it is said also, that Gorgias himself, when he read the dialogue to which Plato has given his name, said to his friends, "How well Plato knows how to write iambics!" And Hermippus, in his book on Gorgias, says,—"When Gorgias was sojourning at Athens, after he had offered up at Delphi the golden image of himself which is there now, and when Plato said when he had seen it, The beautiful and golden Gorgias is come among us, Gorgias replied, This is indeed a fine young Archilochus whom Athens has now brought forth." But others say that Gorgias, having read the dialogue of Plato, said to the bystanders that he had never said any of the things there attributed to him, and had never heard any such things said by Plato. And they say that Phædo also said the same when he had read the treatise on the Soul, on which account it was well said by Timon, respecting him,—

"How that learned Plato invented fictitious marvels!"

For their respective ages will scarcely admit of the Socrates of Plato ever having really had a conference with Parmenides, so as to have addressed him and to have been addressed by him in such language. And what is worst of all is, that he has said, though there was not the slightest occasion for making any such assertion, that Zeno had been beloved by Parmenides, who was his fellow-citizen. Nor, indeed, is it possible that Phædrus should have lived in the time of Socrates, much less that he should have been beloved by him. Nor, again, is it possible that Paralus and Xanthippus, the sons of Pericles, who died of the plague, should have conversed with Protagoras when he came the second time to [Pg 810] Athens, as they had died before. And we might mention many other particulars respecting his works to show how wholly fictitious his Dialogues are.

114. But that Plato was ill-natured to everybody is plain from what he says in his dialogue entitled Ion; in which first of all he abuses all the poets, and then all those who have been promoted to the highest dignities by the people, such as Phanosthenes of Andros, and Apollodorus of Cyzicus, and also Heraclides of Clazomenæ. And in his Menon he abuses those who have been the greatest men among the Athenians—Aristides and Themistocles; and he extols Meno, who betrayed the Greeks. But in his Euthydemus he attacks this same Meno and his brother Dionysiodorus, and calls them men slow to learn any good thing, and contentious people, reproaching them with their flight from Chios, which was their native place, from which they went and settled in Thurii. And, in his essay on Manly Courage, he attacks Melesias, the son of that Thucydides who headed the opposite party to Pericles, and Lysimachus, the son of Aristides the Just, saying that they both fell far short of their fathers' virtues. And as to what he said about Alcibiades, in his Banquet, that is not fit to be produced to light; nor is what he says in the first of the Dialogues which go by his name. For the second Alcibiades is said by some people to be the work of Xenophon; as also the Halcyon is said to be the work of Leon the Academician, as Nicias of Nicæa says. Now, the things which he has said against Alcibiades I will pass over; but I cannot forbear to mention his calling the Athenian people a random judge, guided only by outward appearance. And he praises the Lacedæmonians, and extols also the Persians, who are the enemies of all the Greeks.

And he calls Cleinias the brother of Alcibiades a madman; and the sons of Pericles he makes o