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

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

Author: of Naucratis Athenaeus

Translator: Charles Duke Yonge

Release date: October 10, 2021 [eBook #66508]

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.







Love of Pleasure—Luxury of the Persians—Profligacy of the Lydians
Persian Customs—The Sybarites—The Tarentines—The Milesians
—The Abydenes—The Colophonians—Luxury of the Syrians—Of the
Asiatic Kings—Sardanapalus—Philip—The Pisistratidæ—Alcibiades
—Lucullus—Aristippus—The Persian—Epicurus—Anaxarchus—
Ptolemy Euergetes—The Lacedæmonians—Cincsias—Anointing—
Venus Callipyge 818‒888
Lacedæmonian Marriages—Hercules—Rapacity of Courtesans—Folly
of Marrying—Love—Beauty—Courtesans—Hetæræ—Courtesans—
Love—Beauty of Women—Praise of Modesty—Faults of Philosophers
—Lending Money 888‒978
Music—Dancing—Dances—Music—Musical Instruments—Music—
Love Songs—Sweetmeats—Different Courses at Dinner—Dessert—
Peacocks—Partridges—The Helots—Cheese—Cooks—The
Thessalians—Ματτύη 978‒1062
The Cottabus—Garlands—Dyes—Perfumes—Libations—Scolia—
Parodies—Torches 1062‒1122
 Appendix 1123

[Pg 818]


1. You appear to me, my good friend Timocrates, to be a man of Cyrene, according to the Tyndareus of Alexis—

For there if any man invites another
To any banquet, eighteen others come;
Ten chariots, and fifteen pairs of horses,
And for all these you must provide the food,
So that 'twere better to invite nobody

And it would be better for me also to hold my tongue, and not to add anything more to all that has been said already; but since you ask me very earnestly for a discussion on those men who have been notorious for luxury, and on their effeminate practices, you must be gratified.

2. For enjoyment is connected, in the first instance, with appetite; and in the second place, with pleasure. And Sophocles the poet, being a man fond of enjoyment, in order to avoid accusing old age, attributed his impotence in amatory pleasures to his temperance, saying that he was glad to be released from them as from some hard master. But I say that the Judgment of Paris is a tale originally invented by the ancients, as a comparison between pleasure and virtue. Accordingly, when Venus, that is to say pleasure, was preferred, everything was thrown into confusion. And that excellent writer Xenophon seems to me to have invented his fable about Hercules and Virtue on the same principle. For according to Empedocles—

Mars was no god to them, nor gallant War,
Nor Jupiter the king, nor Saturn old,
Nor Neptune; Venus was their only queen.
Her they propitiate and duly worship
With pious images, with beauteous figures
Skilfully carved; with fragrant incenses,
And holy offerings of unmix'd myrrh,
And sweetly-smelling frankincense; and many
A pure libation of fresh golden honey
They pour'd along the floor.

[Pg 819]


And Menander, in his Harp-player, speaking of some one who was very fond of music, says—

He was to music much devoted, and
Sought ever pleasing sounds to gratify
His delicate taste.

3. And yet some people say that the desire of pleasure is a natural desire, as may be proved by all animals becoming enslaved by it; as if cowardice, and fear, and all sorts of other passions were not also common to all animals, and yet these are rejected by all who use their reason. Accordingly, to be very eager in the pursuit of pleasure is to go hunting for pain. On which account Homer, wishing to represent pleasure in an odious light, says that the greatest of the gods receive no advantage from their power, but are even much injured by it, if they will allow themselves to be hurried away by the pursuit of pleasure. For all the anxiety which Jupiter, when awake, lavished on the Trojans, was lost in open day, when he abandoned himself to pleasure. And Mars, who was a most valiant deity, was put in chains by Vulcan, who was very powerless, and incurred great disgrace and punishment, when he had given himself up to irrational love; and therefore he says to the Gods, when they came to see him in fetters—

Behold, on wrong
Swift vengeance waits, and art subdues the strong.
Dwells there a god on all th' Olympian brow
More swift than Mars, and more than Vulcan slow?
Yet Vulcan conquers, and the God of arms
Must pay the penalty for lawless charms.[1]

But no one ever calls the life of Aristides a life of pleasure (ἡδὺς), but that is an epithet they apply to Smindyrides the Sybarite, and to Sardanapalus, though as far as glory went, as Theophrastus says in his book on Pleasure, it was a far more splendid one; but Aristides never devoted himself to luxury as those other men did. Nor would any one call the life of Agesilaus the king of the Lacedæmonians ἡδὺς; but this name they would apply rather to the life of Ananis, a man who, as far as real glory is concerned, is totally unknown. Nor would one call the life of the heroes who fought [Pg 820] against Troy ἡδὺς; but they would speak in that way much more of the men of the present time; and naturally enough. For the lives of those men were destitute of any luxurious preparation, and, as I might almost say, had no seasoning to them, inasmuch as at that time there was no commercial intercourse between nations, nor were the arts of refinement carried to any degree of accuracy; but the life of men of the present day is planned with entire reference to laziness, and enjoyment, and to all sorts of pastimes.

4. But Plato, in his Philebus, says—"Pleasure is the most insolent of all things; and, as it is reported, in amatory enjoyments, which are said to be the most powerful of all, even perjury has been pardoned by the Gods, as if pleasure was like a child, incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong." And in the eighth book of his Polity, the same Plato has previously dilated upon the doctrine so much pressed by the Epicureans, that, of the desires, some are natural but not necessary, and others neither natural nor necessary, writing thus—"Is not the desire to eat enough for health and strength of body, and for bread and meat to that extent, a necessary desire?—I think it is.—At all events, the desire for food for these two purposes is necessary, inasmuch as it is salutary, and inasmuch as it is able to remove hunger?—No doubt.—And the desire for meat, too, is a necessary desire, if it at all contributes to a good habit of body?—Most undoubtedly.—What, then, are we to say? Is no desire which goes beyond the appetite for this kind of food, and for other food similar to it, and which, if it is checked in young people, can be entirely stifled, and which is injurious also to the body, and injurious also to the mind, both as far as its intellectual powers are concerned, and also as to its temperance, entitled to be called a necessary one?—Most certainly not."

[Pg 821]


5. But Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, speaks as follows—"Tyrants and kings, having all kinds of good things in their power, and having had experience of all things, place pleasure in the first rank, on the ground that pleasure makes the nature of man more magnanimous. Accordingly, all those who have honoured pleasure above everything, and who have deliberately chosen to live a life of luxury, have been and magnificent people, as, for instance, the Medes and the Persians. For they, of all men, are those who hold pleasure and luxury in the highest honour; and they, at the same time, are the most valiant and magnanimous of all the barbarians. For to indulge in pleasure and luxury is the conduct of freeborn men and of a liberal disposition. For pleasure relaxes the soul and invigorates it. But labour belongs to slaves and to mean men; on which account they are contracted in their natural dispositions. And the city of the Athenians, while it indulged in luxury, was a very great city, and bred very magnanimous men. For they wore purple garments, and were clad in embroidered tunics; and they bound up their hair in knots, and wore golden grasshoppers over their foreheads and in their hair: and their slaves followed them, bearing folding chairs for them, in order that, if they wished to sit down, they might not be without some proper seat, and forced to put up with any chance seat. And these men were such heroes, that they conquered in the battle of Marathon, and they alone worsted the power of combined Asia. And all those who are the wisest of men, and who have the greatest reputation for wisdom, think pleasure the greatest good. Simonides certainly does when he says—

For what kind of human life
Can be worth desiring,
If pleasure be denied to it?
What kingly power even?
Without pleasure e'en the gods
Have nothing to be envied for.

And Pindar, giving advice to Hiero the tyrant of Syracuse, says—

Never obscure fair pleasure in your life;
A life of pleasure is the best for man.

And Homer, too, speaks of pleasure and indulgence in the following terms—

How sweet the products of a peaceful reign,—
The heaven-taught poet and enchanting strain,
The well-fill'd palace, the perpetual feast,
A loud rejoicing, and a people blest!
How goodly seems it ever to employ
Man's social days in union and in joy;
The plenteous board high heap'd with cates divine,
And o'er the foaming bowl the laughing wine.

[Pg 822]

And again, he calls the gods "living at ease." And "at ease" certainly means "without labour;" as if he meant to show by this expression, that the greatest of all evils is labour and trouble in life.

6. On which account Megaclides finds fault with those poets who came after Homer and Hesiod, and have written about Hercules, relating how he led armies and took cities,—who passed the greater part of his life among men in the most excessive pleasure, and married a greater number of women than any other man; and who had unacknowledged children, by a greater number of virgins, than any other man. For any one might say to those who do not admit all this—"Whence, my good friends, is it that you attribute to him all this excessive love of eating; or whence is it that the custom has originated among men of leaving nothing in the cup when we pour a libation to Hercules, if he had no regard for pleasure? or why are the hot springs which rise out of the ground universally said to be sacred to Hercules; or why are people in the habit of calling soft couches the beds of Hercules, if he despised all those who live luxuriously?" Accordingly, says he, the later poets represent him as going about in the guise of a robber by himself, having a club, and a lion's hide, and his bow. And they say that Stesichorus of Himera was the original inventor of this fable. But Xanthus the lyric poet, who was more ancient than Stesichorus, as Stesichorus himself tells us, does not, according to the statement of Megaclides, clothe him in this dress, but in that which Homer gives him. But Stesichorus perverted a great many of the accounts given by Xanthus, as he does also in the case of what is called the Orestea. But Antisthenes, when he said that pleasure was a good, added—"such as brought no repentance in its train."

7. But Ulysses, in Homer, appears to have been the original guide to Epicurus, in the matter of that pleasure which he has always in his mouth; for Ulysses says to Alcinous—

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  Thou whom first in sway,
As first in virtue, these thy realms obey,
How goodly seems it ever to employ
Man's social days in union and in joy!
The plenteous board high heap'd with cates divine,
And o'er the foaming bowl the laughing wine,
The well-fill'd palace, the perpetual feast,
Are of all joys most lasting and the best.

[Pg 823]


But Megaclides says that Ulysses is here adapting himself to the times, for the sake of appearing to be of the same disposition as the Phæacians; and that with that view he embraces their luxurious habits, as he had already heard from Alcinous, speaking of his whole nation—

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

for he thought that that would be the only way by which he could avoid failing in the hopes he cherished. And a similar man is he who recommends Amphilochus his son—

Remember thou, my son, to always dwell
In every city cherishing a mind
Like to the skin of a rock-haunting fish;
And always with the present company
Agree, but when away you can change your mind.

And Sophocles speaks in a like spirit, in the Iphigenia—

As the wise polypus doth quickly change
His hue according to the rocks he's near,
So change your mind and your apparent feelings.

And Theognis says—

Imitate the wary cunning of the polypus.

And some say that Homer was of this mind, when he often prefers the voluptuous life to the virtuous one, saying—

And now Olympus' shining gates unfold;
The Gods with Jove assume their thrones of gold;
Immortal Hebe, fresh with bloom divine,
The golden goblet crowns with purple wine;
While the full bowl flows round the Powers employ
Their careful eyes on long-contended Troy.

And the same poet represents Menelaus as saying—

Nor then should aught but death have torn apart
From me so loving and so glad a heart.

And in another place—

We sat secure, while fast around did roll
The dance, and jest, and ever-flowing bowl.

And in the same spirit Ulysses, at the court of Alcinous, represents luxury and wantonness as the main end of life.

8. But of all nations the Persians were the first to become notorious for their luxury; and the Persian kings even spent their winters at Susa and their summers at Ecbatana. And Aristocles and Chares say [Pg 824] that Susa derives its name from the seasonable and beautiful character of the place: for that what the Greeks call the lily, is called in the Persian language σοῦσον. But they pass their autumns in Persepolis; and the rest of the year they spend in Babylon. And in like manner the kings of the Parthians spend their spring in Rhagæ, and their winter in Babylon, and the rest of the year at Hecatompylus. And even the very thing which the Persian monarchs used to wear on their heads, showed plainly enough their extreme devotion to luxury. For it was made, according to the account of Dinon, of myrrh and of something called labyzus. And the labyzus is a sweet-smelling plant, and more valuable than myrrh. And whenever, says Dinon, the king dismounts from his chariot, he does not jump down, however small the height from the chariot to the ground may be, nor is he helped down, leaning on any one's hand, but a golden chair is always put by him, and he gets on that to descend; on which account the king's chairbearer always follows him. And three hundred women are his guard, as Heraclides of Cumæ relates, in the first book of his history of Persia. And they sleep all day, that they may watch all night; and they pass the whole night in singing and playing, with lights burning. And very often the king takes pleasure with them in the hall of the Melophori. The Melophori are one of his troops of guards, all Persians by birth, having golden apples (μῆλα) on the points of their spears, a thousand in number, all picked men out of the main body of ten thousand Persians who are called the Immortals. And the king used to go on foot through this hall, very fine Sardian carpets being spread in his road, on which no one but the king ever trod. And when he came to the last hall, then he mounted a chariot, but sometimes he mounted a horse; but on foot he was never seen outside of his palace. And if he went out to hunt, his concubines also went with him. And the throne on which he used to sit, when he was transacting business, was made of gold; and it was surrounded by four small pillars made of gold, inlaid with precious stones, and on them there was spread a purple cloth richly embroidered.

[Pg 825]


9. But Clearchus the Solensian, in the fourth book of his Lives, having previously spoken about the luxury of the Medes, and having said that on this account they made eunuchs of many citizens of the neighbouring tribes, adds, "that the institution of the Melophori was adopted by the Persians from the Medes, being not only a revenge for what they had suffered themselves, but also a memorial of the luxury of the body-guards, to indicate to what a pitch of effeminacy they had come. For, as it seems, the unseasonable and superfluous luxury of their daily life could make even the men who are armed with spears, mere mountebanks." And a little further on he says—"And accordingly, while he gave to all those who could invent him any new kind of food, a prize for their invention, he did not, while loading them with honours, allow the food which they had invented to be set before them, but enjoyed it all by himself, and thought this was the greatest wisdom. For this, I imagine, is what is called the brains of Jupiter and of a king at the same time."

But Chares of Mitylene, in the fifth book of his History of Alexander, says—"The Persian kings had come to such a pitch of luxury, that at the head of the royal couch there was a supper-room laid with five couches, in which there were always kept five thousand talents of gold; and this was called the king's pillow. And at his feet was another supper-room, prepared with three couches, in which there were constantly kept three thousand talents of silver; and this was called the king's footstool. And in his bed-chamber there was also a golden vine, inlaid with precious stones, above the king's bed." And this vine, Amyntas says in his Posts, had bunches of grapes, composed of most valuable precious stones; and not far from it there was placed a golden bowl, the work of Theodorus of Samos. And Agathocles, in the third book of his History of Cyzicus, says, that there is also among the Persians a water called the golden water, and that it rises in seventy springs; and that no one ever drinks of it but the king alone, and the eldest of his sons. And if any one else drinks of it, the punishment is death.

10. But Xenophon, in the eighth book of his Cyropædia, says—"They still used at that time to practise the discipline of the Persians, but the dress and effeminacy of the Medes. But now they disregard the sight of the ancient Persian bravery becoming extinct, and they are solicitous only to preserve the effeminacy of the Medes. And I think it [Pg 826] a good opportunity to give an account of their luxurious habits. For, in the first place, it is not enough for them to have their beds softly spread, but they put even the feet of their couches upon carpets in order that the floor may not present resistance to them, but that the carpets may yield to their pressure. And as for the things which are dressed for their table, nothing is omitted which has been discovered before, and they are also continually inventing something new; and the same is the way with all other delicacies. For they retain men whose sole business it is to invent things of this kind. And in winter it is not enough for them to have their head, and their body, and their feet covered, but on even the tips of their fingers they wear shaggy gloves and finger-stalls; and in summer they are not satisfied with the shade of the trees and of the rocks, but they also have men placed in them to contrive additional means of producing shade." And in the passage which follows this one, he proceeds to say—"But now they have more clothes laid upon their horses than they have even on their beds. For they do not pay so much attention to their horsemanship as to sitting softly. Moreover, they have porters, and breadmakers, and confectioners, and cup-bearers, and men to serve up their meals and to take them away, and men to lull them to sleep and men to wake them, and dressers to anoint them and to rub them, and to get them up well in every respect."


11. The Lydians, too, went to such a pitch of luxury, that they were the first to castrate women, as Xanthus the Lydian tells us, or whoever else it was who wrote the History which is attributed to him, whom Artemon of Cassandra, in his treatise on the Collection of Books, states to have been Dionysius who was surnamed Leather-armed; but Artemon was not aware that Ephorus the historian mentions him as being an older man than the other, and as having been the man who supplied Herodotus with some of his materials. Xanthus, then, in the second book of his Affairs of Lydia, says that Adramyttes, the king of the Lydians, was the first man who ever castrated women, and used female eunuchs instead of male eunuchs. But Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, says—"The Lydians, out of luxury, made parks; and having planted them like gardens, made them very shady, thinking it a refinement in luxury if the sun never touched them with its rays at all; and at last they carried their insolence to such a height, that they used to collect other men's wives and maidens into a place that, [Pg 827] from this conduct, got the name of Hagneon, and there ravished them. And at last, having become utterly effeminate, they lived wholly like women instead of like men; on which account their age produced even a female tyrant, in the person of one of those who had been ravished in this way, by name Omphale. And she was the first to inflict on the Lydians the punishment that they deserved. For to be governed and insulted by a woman is a sufficient proof of the severity with which they were treated. Accordingly she, being a very intemperate woman herself, and meaning to revenge the insults to which she herself had been subjected, gave the maiden daughters of the masters to their slaves, in the very same place in which she herself had been ravished. And then having forcibly collected them all in this place, she shut up the mistresses with their slaves.

On which account the Lydians, wishing to soften the bitterness of the transaction, call the place the Woman's Contest—the Sweet Embrace. And not only were the wives of the Lydians exposed to all comers, but those also of the Epizephyrian Locrians, and also those of the Cyprians—and, in fact, those of all the nations who devote their daughters to the lives of prostitutes; and it appears to be, in truth, a sort of reminding of, and revenge for, some ancient insult. So against her a Lydian man of noble birth rose up, one who had been previously offended at the government of Midas; while Midas lay in effeminacy, and luxury, and a purple robe, working in the company of the women at the loom. But as Omphale slew all the strangers whom she admitted to her embraces, he chastised both—the one, being a stupid and illiterate man, he dragged out by his ears; a man who, for want of sense, had the surname of the most stupid of all animals: but the woman....

12. And the Lydians were also the first people to introduce the use of the sauce called caruca; concerning the preparation of which all those who have written cookery books have spoken a good deal—namely, Glaucus the Locrian, and Mithæcus, and Dionysius, and the two Heraclidæ (who were by birth Syracusans), and Agis, and Epænetus, and Dionysius, and also Hegesippus, and Erasistratus, and Euthydemus, and Criton; and [Pg 828] besides these, Stephanus, and Archytas, and Acestius, and Acesias, and Diocles, and Philistion; for I know that all these men have written cookery books. And the Lydians, too, used to speak of a dish which they called candaulus; and there was not one kind of candaulus only, but three, so wholly devoted were they to luxury. And Hegesippus the Tarentine says, that the candaulus is made of boiled meat, and grated bread, and Phrygian cheese, and aniseed, and thick broth: and it is mentioned by Alexis, in his Woman Working all Night, or The Spinners; and it is a cook who is represented as speaking:—

A. And, besides this, we now will serve you up
A dish whose name's candaulus.
B. I've ne'er tasted
Candaulus, nor have I e'er heard of it.
A. 'Tis a most grand invention, and 'tis mine;
And if I put a dish of it before you,
Such will be your delight that you'll devour
Your very fingers ere you lose a bit of it.
We here will get some balls of snow-white wool.
      *                *                *                *
You will serve up an egg well shred, and twice
Boil'd till it's hard; a sausage, too, of honey;
Some pickle from the frying-pan, some slices
Of new-made Cynthian cheese; and then
A bunch of grapes, steep'd in a cup of wine:
But this part of the dish is always laugh'd at,
And yet it is the mainstay of the meal.
B. Laugh on, my friend; but now be off, I beg,
With all your talk about candauli, and
Your sausages, and dishes, and such luxuries.

Philemon also mentions the candaulus in his Passer-by, where he says—

For I have all these witnesses in the city,
That I'm the only one can dress a sausage,
A candaulus, eggs, a thrium, all in no time:
Was there any error or mistake in this?

And Nicostratus, in his Cook, says—

A man who could not even dress black broth,
But only thria and candauli.

And Menander, in his Trophonius, says—

Here comes a very rich Ionian,
And so I make a good thick soup, and eke
A rich candaulus, amatory food.

[Pg 829]


And the Lydians, when going out to war, array themselves to the tune of flutes and pipes, as Herodotus says; and the Lacedæmonians also attack their enemies keeping time to their flutes, as the Cretans keep time to the lyre.

13. But Heraclides of Cumæ, who wrote the History of Persia, having said in his book entitled The Preparation, that in the country which produces frankincense the king is independent, and responsible to no one, proceeds as follows:—"And he exceeds every one in luxury and indolence; for he stays for ever in his palace, passing his whole life in luxury and extravagance; and he does no single thing, nor does he see many people. But he appoints the judges, and if any one thinks that they have decided unjustly, there is a window in the highest part of the palace, and it is fastened with a chain: accordingly, he who thinks that an unjust decision has been given against him, takes hold of the chain, and drags the window; and when the king hears it, he summons the man, and hears the cause himself. And if the judges appear to have decided unjustly, they are put to death; but if they appear to have decided justly, then the man who has moved the window is put to death." And it is said that the sum expended every day on the king, and on his wives and friends, amounts to fifteen Babylonian talents.

14. And among the Tyrrhenians, who carry their luxury to an extraordinary pitch, Timæus, in his first book, relates that the female servants wait on the men in a state of nudity. And Theopompus, in the forty-third book of his History, states, "that it is a law among the Tyrrhenians that all their women should be in common: and that the women pay the greatest attention to their persons, and often practise gymnastic exercises, naked, among the men, and sometimes with one another; for that it is not accounted shameful for them to be seen naked. And that they sup not with their own husbands, but with any one who happens to be present; and they pledge whoever they please in their cups: and that they are wonderful women to drink, and very handsome. And that the Tyrrhenians bring up all the children that are born, no one knowing to what father each child belongs: and the children, too, live in the same manner as those who have brought them up, having feasts very frequently, and being intimate with all the women. Nor is it reckoned among the Tyrrhenians at all disgraceful either to do or suffer anything in the open air, or to be seen while it is going on; [Pg 830] for it is quite the custom of their country: and they are so far from thinking it disgraceful, that they even say, when the master of the house is indulging his appetites, and any one asks for him, that he is doing so and so, using the coarsest possible words for his occupation. But when they are together in parties of companions or relations, they act in the following manner. First of all, when they have stopped drinking, and are about to go to sleep, while the lights are still burning, the servants introduce sometimes courtesans, and sometimes beautiful boys, and sometimes women; and when they have enjoyed them, they proceed to acts of still grosser licentiousness: and they indulge their appetites, and make parties on purpose, sometimes keeping one another in sight, but more frequently making tents around the beds, which are made of plaited laths, with cloths thrown over them. And the objects of their love are usually women; still they are not invariably as particular as they might be and they are very beautiful, as is natural for people to be who live delicately, and who take great care of their persons."

And all the barbarians who live towards the west, smooth their bodies by rubbing them with pitch, and by shaving them; and among the Tyrrhenians there are many shops in which this trade is practised, and many artists whose sole employment it is, just as there are barbers among us. And when the Tyrrhenians go to these men, they give themselves wholly up to them, not being ashamed of having spectators, or of those who may be passing by. And many of the Greeks, and of those who inhabit Italy, adopt this practice, having learnt it from the Samnites and Messapians. But the Tyrrhenians (as Alcimus relates) are so far gone in luxury, that they even make bread, and box, and flog people to the sound of the flute.


15. The tables of the Sicilians also are very notorious for their luxury. "And they say that even the sea in their region is sweet, delighting in the food which is procured from it," as Clearchus says, in the fifth book of his Lives. And why need we mention the Sybarites, among whom bathing men and pourers of water were first introduced in fetters, in order to prevent their going too fast, and to prevent also their scalding the bathers in their haste? And the [Pg 831] Sybarites were the first people to forbid those who practise noisy arts from dwelling in their city; such as braziers, and smiths, and carpenters, and men of similar trades; providing that their slumbers should always be undisturbed. And it used to be unlawful to rear a cock in their city.

And Timæus relates concerning them, that a citizen of Sybaris once going into the country, seeing the husbandmen digging, said that he himself felt as if he had broken his bones by the sight; and some one who heard him replied, "I, when I heard you say this, felt as if I had a pain in my side." And once, at Crotona, some Sybarites were standing by some one of the athletes who was digging up dust for the palæstra, and said they marvelled that men who had such a city had no slaves to dig the palæstra for them. But another Sybarite, coming to Lacedæmon, and being invited to the phiditium, sitting down on a wooden seat and eating with them, said that originally he had been surprised at hearing of the valour of the Lacedæmonians; but that now that he had seen it, he thought that they in no respect surpassed other men: for that the greatest coward on earth would rather die a thousand times than live and endure such a life as theirs.

16. And it is a custom among them that even their children, up to the age when they are ranked among the ephebi, should wear purple robes, and curls braided with gold. And it is a custom with them also to breed up in their houses little mannikins and dwarfs (as Timon says), who are called by some people στίλπωνες; and also little Maltese dogs, which follow them even to the gymnasia. And it was these men, and men like them, to whom Masinissa, king of Mauritania, made answer (as Ptolemy rebates, in the eighth book of his Commentaries), when they were seeking to buy some monkeys: "Why,—do not your wives, my good friends, produce any offspring?" For Masinissa was very fond of children, and kept about him and brought up the children of his sons, and of his daughters equally, and he had a great many of them: and he brought them all up till they were three years old, and after that he sent them to their parents, having the younger ones to take their places. And Eubulus the comic writer has said the same thing in his Graces:—

For is it not, I pray you, better far
For one man, who can well afford such acts,
[Pg 832]
To rear a man, than a loud gaping goose,
Or sparrow, or ape—most mischievous of beasts?

And Athenodorus, in his treatise on Serious Studies and Amusements, says that "Archytas of Tarentum, who was both a statesman and a philosopher, having many slaves, was always delighted at his entertainments when any of them came to his banquets. But the Sybarites delighted only in Maltese puppy dogs, and in men which were no men."

17. The Sybarites used to wear also garments made of Milesian wool, from which there arose a great friendship between the two cities, as Timæus relates. For of the inhabitants of Italy, the Milesians gave the preference to the Tyrrhenians, and of foreigners to the Ionians, because they were devoted to luxury. But the cavalry of the Sybarites, being in number more than five thousand, used to go in procession with saffron-coloured robes over their breastplates; and in the summer their younger men used to go away to the caves of the Lusiades Nymphs, and live there in all kinds of luxury. And whenever the rich men of that country left the city for the country, although they always travelled in chariots, still they used to consume three days in a day's journey. And some of the roads which led to their villas in the country were covered with awnings all over; and a great many of them had cellars near the sea, into which their wine was brought by canals from the country, and some of it was then sold out of the district, but some was brought into the city in boats. They also celebrate in public numbers of feasts; and they honour those who display great magnificence on such occasions with golden crowns, and they proclaim their names at the public sacrifices and games; announcing not only their general goodwill towards the city, but also the great magnificence which they had displayed in the feasts. And on these occasions they even crown those cooks who have served up the most exquisite dishes. And among the Sybarites there were found baths in which, while they lay down, they were steamed with warm vapours. And they were the first people who introduced the custom of bringing chamber-pots into entertainments. But laughing at those who left their countries to travel in foreign lands, they themselves used to boast that they had grown old without ever having crossed the bridges which led over their frontier rivers.

[Pg 833]


18. But it seems to me, that besides the fact of the riches of the Sybarites, the very natural character of their country,—since there are no harbours on their coasts, and since, in consequence, nearly all the produce of the land is consumed by the citizens themselves,—and to some extent also an oracle of the God, has excited them all to luxury, and has caused them to live in practices of most immoderate dissoluteness. But their city lies in a hollow, and in summer is liable to excess of cold both morning and evening, but in the middle of the day the heat is intolerable, so that the greater part of them believe that the rivers contribute a great deal to the health of the inhabitants; on which account it has been said, that "a man who, living at Sybaris, wishes not to die before his time, ought never to see the sun either rise or set." And once they sent to the oracle to consult the God (and one of the ambassadors was named Amyris), and to ask how long their prosperity should last; and the priestess of Delphi answered them—

You shall be happy, Sybarite,—very happy,
And all your time in entertainments pass,
While you continue to th' immortal gods
The worship due: but when you come, at length,
To honour mortal man beyond the gods,
Then foreign war and intestine sedition
Shall come upon you, and shall crush your city.

When they had heard this they thought the God had said to them that they should never have their luxury terminated; for that there was no chance of their ever honouring a man more than God. But in agreement with the oracle they experienced a change of fortune, when one of them flogging one of his slaves, continued to beat him after he had sought an asylum in a temple; but when at last he fled to the tomb of his father, he let him go, out of shame. But their whole revenues were dissipated by the way in which they rivalled one another in luxury. And the city also rivalled all other cities in luxury. And not long after this circumstance, when many omens of impending destruction, which it is not necessary to allude to further at present, had given them notice, they were destroyed.

19. But they had carried their luxury to such a pitch that they had taught even their horses to dance at their feasts to the music of the flute. Accordingly the people of Crotona, knowing this, and being at [Pg 834] war with them, as Aristotle relates in his History of the Constitution of Sybaris, played before their horses the air to which they were accustomed to dance; for the people of Crotona also had flute-players in military uniform. And as soon as the horses heard them playing on the flute, they not only began to dance, but ran over to the army of the Crotonians, carrying their riders with them.

And Charon of Lampsacus tells a similar story about the Cardians, in the second book of his Annals, writing as follows:—"The Bisaltæ invaded the territory of the Cardians, and conquered them. But the general of the Bisaltæ was Onaris; and he, while he was a boy, had been sold as a slave in Cardia; and having lived as a slave to one of the Cardians, he had been taught the trade of a barber. And the Cardians had an oracle warning them that the Bisaltæ would some day invade them; and they very often used to talk over this oracle while sitting in this barber's shop. And Onaris, escaping from Cardia to his own country, prompted the Bisaltæ to invade the Cardians, and was himself elected general of the Bisaltæ. But all the Cardians had been in the habit of teaching their horses to dance at their feasts to the music of the flute; and they, standing on their hind feet, used to dance with their fore feet in time to the airs which they had been taught. Onaris then, knowing these things, got a female flute-player from among the Cardians. And this female flute-player coming to the Bisaltæ, taught many of their flute-players; and when they had learnt sufficiently, he took them in his army against the Cardians. And when the battle took place, he ordered the flute-players to play the airs which they had learnt, and which the horses of the Cardians knew. And when the horses heard the flute, they stood up on their hind feet, and took to dancing. But the main strength of the Cardians was in their cavalry, and so they were conquered."


And one of the Sybarites, once wishing to sail over to Crotona, hired a vessel to carry him by himself, on condition that no one was to splash him, and that no one else was to be taken on board, and that he might take his horse with him. And when the captain of the ship had agreed to these terms, he put his horse on board, and ordered some straw to be [Pg 835] spread under the horse. And afterwards he begged one of those who had accompanied him down to the vessel to go with him, saying, "I have already stipulated with the captain of the ship to keep along the shore." But he replied, "I should have had great difficulty in complying with your wishes if you had been going to walk along the sea-shore, much less can I do so when you are going to sail along the land."

20. But Phylarchus, in the twenty-fifth book of his History, (having said that there was a law at Syracuse, that the women should not wear golden ornaments, nor garments embroidered with flowers, nor robes with purple borders, unless they professed that they were public prostitutes; and that there was another law, that a man should not adorn his person, nor wear any extraordinarily handsome robes, different from the rest of the citizens, unless he meant to confess that he was an adulterer and a profligate: and also, that a freewoman was not to walk abroad when the sun had set, unless she was going to commit adultery; and even by day they were not allowed to go out without the leave of the regulators of the women, and without one female servant following them,)—Phylarchus, I say, states, that "the Sybarites, having given loose to their luxury, made a law that women might be invited to banquets, and that those who intended to invite them to sacred festivities must make preparation a year before, in order that they might have all that time to provide themselves with garments and other ornaments in a suitable manner worthy of the occasion, and so might come to the banquet to which they were invited. And if any confectioner or cook invented any peculiar and excellent dish, no other artist was allowed to make this for a year; but he alone who invented it was entitled to all the profit to be derived from the manufacture of it for that time; in order that others might be induced to labour at excelling in such pursuits. And in the same way, it was provided that those who sold eels were not to be liable to pay tribute, nor those who caught them either. And in the same way the laws exempted from all burdens those who dyed the marine purple and those who imported it."

21. They, then, having carried their luxury and insolence to a great height, at last, when thirty ambassadors came to them from the people of Crotona, slew them all, and threw their bodies down over the [Pg 836] wall, and left them there to be eaten by beasts. And this was the beginning of great evils to them, as the Deity was much offended at it. Accordingly, a few days afterwards all their chief magistrates appeared to see the same vision on one night; for they thought that they saw Juno coming into the midst of the market-place, and vomiting gall; and a spring of blood arose in her temple. But even then they did not desist from their arrogance, until they were all destroyed by the Crotonians. But Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Justice, says,—"The Sybarites having put down the tyranny of Telys, and having destroyed all those who had exercised authority, met them and slew them at the altars of the gods. And at the sight of this slaughter the statue of Juno turned itself away, and the floor sent up a fountain of blood, so that they were forced to cover all the place around with brazen tablets, wishing to stop the rising of the blood: on which account they were all driven from their city and destroyed. And they had also been desirous to obscure the glory of the famous games at Olympia; for watching the time when they are celebrated, they attempted to draw over the athletes to their side by the extravagance of the prizes which they offered."


22. And the men of Crotona, as Timæus says, after they had destroyed the people of Sybaris, began to indulge in luxury; so that their chief magistrate went about the city clad in a purple robe, and wearing a golden crown on his head, and wearing also white sandals. But some say that this was not done out of luxury, but owing to Democedes the physician, who was by birth a native of Crotona; and who having lived with Polycrates the tyrant of Samos, and having been taken prisoner by the Persians after his death, was taken to the king of Persia, after Orœtes had put Polycrates to death. And Democedes, having cured Atossa, the wife of Darius, and daughter of Cyrus, who had a complaint in her breast, asked of her this reward, to be sent back to Greece, on condition of returning again to Persia; and having obtained his request he came to Crotona. And as he wished to remain there, when some Persian laid hold of him and said that he was a slave of the king of Persia, the Crotonians took him away, and having stripped the Persian of his robe, dressed the lictor of their chief magistrate in it. And [Pg 837] from that time forward, the lictor, having on the Persian robe, went round with the chief magistrate to all the altars every seventh day; not for the sake of luxury or insolence, but doing it for the purpose of insulting the Persians. But after this the men of Crotona, as Timæus says, attempted to put an end to the Assembly at Olympia, by appointing a meeting for games, with enormously rich prizes, to be held at exactly the same time as the Olympian games; but some say that the Sybarites did this.

23. But Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, says that the people of Tarentum, being a very valiant and powerful people, carried their luxury to such a height, that they used to make their whole body smooth, and that they were the first people who set other nations an example of this smoothness. They also, says he, all wore very beautiful fringes on their garments; such as those with which now the life of woman is refined. And afterwards, being led on by their luxury to insolence, they overthrew a city of the Iapyges, called Carbina, and collected all the boys and maidens, and women in the flower of their age, out of it into the temples of the Carbinians; and building tents there, they exposed them naked by day for all who chose to come and look at them, so that whoever pleased, leaping, as it were, on this unfortunate band, might satiate his appetites with the beauty of those who were there assembled, in the sight of every one, and above all of the Gods, whom they were thinking of but little. And this aroused the indignation of the Deity, so that he struck all the Tarentines who behaved so impiously in Carbina with his thunderbolts. And even to this day at Tarentum every one of the houses has the same number of pillars before its doors as that of the people whom it received back of those who were sent to Iapygia. And, when the day comes which is the anniversary of their death, they do not bewail those who perished at those pillars, nor do they offer the libations which are customary in other cases, but they offer sacrifices to Jupiter the Thunderer.

24. Now the race of the Iapygians came originally from Crete, being descended from those Cretans who came to seek for Glaucus, and settled in that part of Italy; but afterwards, they, forgetting the orderly life of the Cretans, came to such a pitch of luxury, and from thence to such a degree of insolence, that they were the first people who [Pg 838] painted their faces, and who wore headbands and false hair, and who clothed themselves in robes embroidered with flowers, and who considered it disgraceful to cultivate the land, or to do any kind of labour. And most of them made their houses more beautiful than the temples of the gods; and so they say, that the leaders of the Iapygians, treating the Deity with insult, destroyed the images of the gods out of the temples, ordering them to give place to their superiors. On which account, being struck with fire and thunderbolts, they gave rise to this report; for indeed the thunderbolts with which they were stricken down were visible a long time afterwards. And to this very day all their descendants live with shaven heads and in mourning apparel, in want of all the luxuries which previously belonged to them.

25. But the Spaniards, although they go about in robes like those of the tragedians, and richly embroidered, and in tunics which reach down to the feet, are not at all hindered by their dress from displaying their vigour in war; but the people of Massilia became very effeminate, wearing the same highly ornamented kind of dress which the Spaniards used to wear; but they behave in a shameless manner, on account of the effeminacy of their souls, behaving like women, out of luxury: from which the proverb has gone about,—May you sail to Massilia. And the inhabitants of Siris, which place was first inhabited by people who touched there on their return from Troy, and after them by the Colophonians, as Timæus and Aristotle tell us, indulged in luxury no less than the Sybarites; for it was a peculiar national custom of theirs to wear embroidered tunics, which they girded up with expensive girdles (μίτραι); and on this account they were called by the inhabitants of the adjacent countries ηιτροχίτωνες, since Homer calls those who have no girdles ἀμιτροχίτωνες. And Archilochus the poet marvelled beyond anything at the country of the Siritans, and at their prosperity. Accordingly, speaking of Thasos as inferior to Siris, he says—

For there is not on earth a place so sweet,
Or lovely, or desirable as that
Which stands upon the stream of gentle Siris.

[Pg 839]


But the place was called Siris, as Timæus asserts, and as Euripides says too in his play called The Female Prisoner, or Melanippe, from a woman named Siris, but according to Archilochus, from a river of the same name. And the number of the population was very great in proportion to the size of the place and extent of the country, owing to the luxurious and delicious character of the climate all around. On which account nearly all that part of Italy which was colonised by the Greeks was called Magna Græcia.

26. "But the Milesians, as long as they abstained from luxury, conquered the Scythians," as Ephorus says, "and founded all the cities on the Hellespont, and settled all the country about the Euxine Sea with beautiful cities. And they all betook themselves to Miletus. But when they were enervated by pleasure and luxury, all the valiant character of the city disappeared, as Aristotle tells us; and indeed a proverb arose from them,—

Once on a time Milesians were brave."

Heraclides of Pontus, in the second book of his treatise on Justice, says,—"The city of the Milesians fell into misfortunes, on account of the luxurious lives of the citizens, and on account of the political factions; for the citizens, not loving equity, destroyed their enemies root and branch. For all the rich men and the populace formed opposite factions (and they call the populace Gergithæ). At first the people got the better, and drove out the rich men, and, collecting the children of those who fled into some threshing-floors, collected a lot of oxen, and so trampled them to death, destroying them in a most impious manner. Therefore, when in their turn the rich men got the upper hand, they smeared over all those whom they got into their power with pitch, and so burnt them alive. And when they were being burnt, they say that many other prodigies were seen, and also that a sacred olive took fire of its own accord; on which account the God drove them for a long time from his oracle; and when they asked the oracle on what account they were driven away, he said—

My heart is grieved for the defenceless Gergithæ,
So helplessly destroy'd; and for the fate
Of the poor pitch-clad bands, and for the tree
Which never more shall flourish or bear fruit.

And Clearchus, in his fourth book, says that the Milesians, imitating the luxury of the Colophonians, disseminated it among their [Pg 840] neighbours. And then he says that they, when reproved for it, said one to another, "Keep at home your native Milesian wares, and publish them not."

27. And concerning the Scythians, Clearchus, in what follows these last words, proceeds to say—"The nation of the Scythians was the first to use common laws; but after that, they became in their turn the most miserable of all nations, on account of their insolence: for they indulged in luxury to a degree in which no other nation did, being prosperous in everything, and having great resources of all sorts for such indulgences. And this is plain from the traces which exist of it to this day in the apparel worn, and way of life practised, by their chief men. For they, being very luxurious, and indeed being the first men who abandoned themselves wholly to luxury, proceeded to such a pitch of insolence that they used to cut off the noses of all the men wherever they came; and their descendants, after they emigrated to other countries, even now derive their name from this treatment. But their wives used to tattoo the wives of the Thracians, (of those Thracians, that is, who lived on the northern and western frontiers of Scythia,) all over their bodies, drawing figures on them with the tongues of their buckles; on which account, many years afterwards, the wives of the Thracians who had been treated in this manner effaced this disgrace in a peculiar manner of their own, tattooing also all the rest of their skin all over, in order that by this means the brand of disgrace and insult which was imprinted on their bodies, being multiplied in so various a manner, might efface the reproach by being called an ornament. And they lorded it over all other nations in so tyrannical a manner, that the offices of slavery, which are painful enough to all men, made it plain to all succeeding ages what was the real character of "a Scythian command."

Therefore, on account of the number of disasters which oppressed them, since every people had lost, through grief, all the comforts of life, and all their hair at the same time, foreign nations called all cutting of the hair which is done by way of insult, aposkythizomai.

28. And Callias, or Diocles, (whichever was the author of the Cyclopes), ridiculing the whole nation of the Ionians in that play, says—

[Pg 841]

What has become of that luxurious
Ionia, with the sumptuous supper-tables?
Tell me, how does it fare?

And the people of Abydus (and Abydus is a colony of Miletus) are very luxurious in their way of life, and wholly enervated by pleasure; as Hermippus tells us, in his Soldiers—

A. I do rejoice when I behold an army
From o'er the sea,—to see how soft they are
And delicate to view, with flowing hair,
And well-smooth'd muscles in their tender arms.
B. Have you heard Abydus has become a man?

And Aristophanes, in his Triphales, ridiculing (after the fashion of the comedians) many of the Ionians, says—

Then all the other eminent foreigners
Who were at hand, kept following steadily,
And much they press'd him, begging he would take
The boy with him to Chios, and there sell him:
Another hoped he'd take him to Clazomenæ;
A third was all for Ephesus; a fourth
Preferred Abydus on the Hellespont:
And all these places in his way did lie.

But concerning the people of Abydus, Antipho, in reply to the attacks of Alcibiades, speaks as follows:—"After you had been considered by your guardians old enough to be your own master, you, receiving your property from their hands, went away by sea to Abydus,—not for the purpose of transacting any private business of your own, nor on account of any commission of the state respecting any public rights of hospitality; but, led only by your own lawless and intemperate disposition, to learn lascivious habits and actions from the women at Abydus, in order that you might be able to put them in practice during the remainder of your life."

29. The Magnesians also, who lived on the banks of the Mæander, were undone because they indulged in too much luxury, as Callinus relates in his Elegies; and Archilochus confirms this: for the city of Magnesia was taken by the Ephesians. And concerning these same Ephesians, Democritus, who was himself an Ephesian, speaks in the first book of his treatise on the Temple of Diana at Ephesus; where, relating their excessive effeminacy, and the dyed garments which they used to wear, he uses these expressions:—"And as for the violet and purple robes of the Ionians, and their saffron garments, embroidered with round figures, [Pg 842] those are known to every one; and the caps which they wear on their heads are in like manner embroidered with figures of animals. They wear also garments called sarapes, of yellow, or scarlet, or white, and some even of purple: and they wear also long robes called calasires, of Corinthian workmanship; and some of these are purple, and some violet-coloured, and some hyacinth-coloured; and one may also see some which are of a fiery red, and others which are of a sea-green colour. There are also Persian calasires, which are the most beautiful of all. And one may see also," continues Democritus, "the garments which they call actææ; and the actæa is the most costly of all the Persian articles of dress: and this actæa is woven for the sake of fineness and of strength, and it is ornamented all over with golden millet-grains; and all the millet-grains have knots of purple thread passing through the middle, to fasten them inside the garment." And he says that the Ephesians use all these things, being wholly devoted to luxury.

30. But Duris, speaking concerning the luxury of the Samians, quotes the poems of Asius, to prove that they used to wear armlets on their arms; and that, when celebrating the festival of the Heræa, they used to go about with their hair carefully combed down over the back of their head and over their shoulders; and he says that this is proved to have been their regular practice by this proverb—"To go, like a worshipper of Juno, with his hair braided."

Now the verses of Asius run as follows:—

And they march'd, with carefully comb'd hair
To the most holy spot of Juno's temple,
Clad in magnificent robes, whose snow-white folds
Reach'd to the ground of the extensive earth,
And golden knobs on them like grasshoppers,
And golden chaplets loosely held their hair,
Gracefully waving in the genial breeze;
And on their arms were armlets, highly wrought,
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  and sung
The praises of the mighty warrior.

But Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, says that the Samians, being most extravagantly luxurious, destroyed the city, out of their meanness to one another, as effectually as the Sybarites destroyed theirs.

[Pg 843]


31. But the Colophonians (as Phylarchus says), who originally adopted a very rigid course of life, when, in consequence of the alliance and friendship which they formed with the Lydians, they began to give way to luxury, used to go into public with their hair adorned with golden ornaments, as Xenophanes tells us—

They learnt all sorts of useless foolishness
From the effeminate Lydians, while they
Were held in bondage to sharp tyranny.
They went into the forum richly clad
In purple garments, in numerous companies,
Whose strength was not less than a thousand men,
Boasting of hair luxuriously dress'd,
Dripping with costly and sweet-smelling oils.

And to such a degree did they carry their dissoluteness and their unseemly drunkenness, that some of them never once saw the sun either rise or set: and they passed a law, which continued even to our time, that the female flute-players and female harpers, and all such musicians and singers, should receive pay from daybreak to midday, and until the lamps were lighted; but after that they set aside the rest of the night to get drunk in. And Theopompus, in the fifteenth book of his History, says, "that a thousand men of that city used to walk about the city, wearing purple garments, which was at that time a colour rare even among kings, and greatly sought after; for purple was constantly sold for its weight in silver. And so, owing to these practices, they fell under the power of tyrants, and became torn by factions, and so were undone with their country." And Diogenes the Babylonian gave the same account of them, in the first book of his Laws. And Antiphanes, speaking generally of the luxury of all the Ionians, has the following lines in his Dodona:—

Say, from what country do you come, what land
Call you your home? Is this a delicate
Luxurious band of long and soft-robed men
From cities of Ionia that here approaches?

And Theophrastus, in his essay on Pleasure, says that the Ionians, on account of the extraordinary height to which they carried their luxury, gave rise to what is now known as the golden proverb.

32. And Theopompus, in the eighth book of his History of the Affairs of Philip, says that some of those tribes which live on the sea-coast are exceedingly luxurious in their manner of living. But about the [Pg 844] Byzantians and Chalcedonians, the same Theopompus makes the following statement:—"But the Byzantians, because they had been governed a long time by a democracy, and because their city was so situated as to be a kind of mart, and because the whole people spent the whole of their time in the market-place and about the harbour, were very intemperate, and in the constant habit of feasting and drinking at the wine-sellers'. But the Chalcedonians, before they became members of the same city with them, were men who at all times cultivated better habits and principles of life; but after they had tasted of the democracy of the Byzantians, they fell into ruinous luxury, and, from having been most temperate and moderate in their daily life, they became a nation of hard drinkers, and very extravagant." And, in the twenty-first book of the History of the Affairs of Philip, he says that the nation of the Umbrians (and that is a tribe which lives on the shores of the Hadriatic) was exceedingly devoted to luxury, and lived in a manner very like the Lydians, and had a fertile country, owing to which they advanced in prosperity.

33. But speaking about the Thessalians, in his fourth book, he says that "they spend all their time among dancing women and flute-playing women, and some spend all the day in dice and drinking, and similar pastimes; and they are more anxious how they may display their tables loaded with all kinds of food, than how they may exhibit a regular and orderly life. But the Pharsalians," says he, "are of all men the most indolent and the most extravagant." And the Thessalians are confessed (as Critias says) to be the most extravagant of all the Greeks, both in their way of living and in their apparel; which was a reason why they conducted the Persians into Greece, desiring to copy their luxury and expense.

But concerning the Ætolians, Polybius tells us, in the thirteenth book of his History, that on account of their continual wars, and the extravagance of their lives, they became involved in debt. And Agatharchides, in the twelfth book of his Histories, says—"The Ætolians are so much the more ready to encounter death, in proportion as they seek to live extravagantly and with greater prodigality than any other nation."

[Pg 845]


34. But the Sicilians, and especially the Syracusans, are very notorious for their luxury; as Aristophanes also tells us, in his Daitaleis, where he says—

But after that I sent you, you did not
Learn this at all; but only learnt to drink,
And sing loose songs at Syracusan feasts,
And how to share in Sybaritic banquets,
And to drink Chian wine in Spartan cups.

But Plato, in his Epistles, says—"It was with this intention that I went to Italy and Sicily, when I paid my first visit there. But when I got there, the way of life that I found there was not at all pleasing to me; for twice in the day they eat to satiety, and they never sleep alone at night; and they indulge also in all other such practices as naturally follow on such habits: for, after such habits as these, no man in all the world, who has been bred up in them from his youth, can possibly turn out sensible; and as for being temperate and virtuous, that none of them ever think of." And in the third book of his Polity he writes as follows:—"It seems to me, my friend, that you do not approve of the Syracusan tables, and the Sicilian variety of dishes; and you do not approve either of men, who wish to preserve a vigorous constitution, devoting themselves to Corinthian mistresses; nor do you much admire the delicacy which is usually attributed to Athenian sweetmeats."

35. But Posidonius, in the sixteenth book of his Histories, speaking of the cities in Syria, and saying how luxurious they were, writes as follows:—"The inhabitants of the towns, on account of the great fertility of the land, used to derive great revenues from their estates, and after their labours for necessary things used to celebrate frequent entertainments, at which they feasted incessantly, using their gymnasia for baths, and anointing themselves with very costly oils and perfumes; and they passed all their time in their γραμματεῖα, for that was the name which they gave to their public banqueting-rooms, as if they had been their own private houses; and the greater part of the day they remained in them, filling their bellies with meat and drink, so as even to carry away a good deal to eat at home; and they delighted their ears with the music of a noisy lyre, so that whole cities resounded with such noises." But Agatharchides, in the thirty-fifth book of his Affairs of Europe, says—"The Arycandians of Lycia, being neighbours of the Limyres, having got involved in debt, [Pg 846] on account of the intemperance and extravagance of their way of living, and, by reason of their indolence and devotion to pleasure, being unable to discharge their debts, placed all their hopes on Mithridates, thinking that he would reward them with a general abolition of debts." And, in his thirty-first book, he says that the Zacynthians were inexperienced in war, because they were accustomed to live in ease and opulence.

36. And Polybius, in his seventh book, says, that the inhabitants of Capua in Campania, having become exceedingly rich through the excellence of their soil, fell into habits of luxury and extravagance, exceeding all that is reported of the inhabitants of Crotona or Sybaris. "Accordingly," says he, "they, not being able to bear their present prosperity, called in Hannibal, owing to which act they afterwards suffered intolerable calamities at the hands of the Romans. But the people of Petelia, who kept the promises which they had made to the Romans, behaved with such resolution and fortitude when besieged by Hannibal, that they did not surrender till they had eaten all the hides which there were in the city, and the bark and young branches of all the trees which grew in the city, and till they had endured a siege for eleven months, without any one coming to their assistance; and they did not even then surrender without the permission of the Romans."

37. And Phylarchus, in the eleventh book of his History, says that Æschylus says that the Curetes derived their name from their luxurious habits—

And their luxurious curls, like a fond girl's,
On which account they call'd him Κουρῆτες.[2]

And Agathon in his Thyestes says, that "the suitors who courted the daughter of Pronax came sumptuously dressed in all other points, and also with very long, carefully dressed hair. And when they failed in obtaining her hand—

At least (say they) we cut and dress'd our hair,
To be an evidence of our luxury,
A lovely action of a cheerful mind;
And thence we gain'd the glory of a name,—
To be κουρῆτες, from our well-cut (κοίριμος) hair."

[Pg 847]


And the people of Cumæ in Italy, as Hyperochus tells us, or whoever else it was who wrote the History of Cumæ which is attributed to him, wore golden brocaded garments all day, and robes embroidered with flowers; and used to go to the fields with their wives, riding in chariots.—And this is what I have to say about the luxury of nations and cities.

38. But of individual instances I have heard the following stories:—Ctesias, in the third book of his History of Persia, says, that all those who were ever kings in Asia devoted themselves mainly to luxury; and above all of them, Ninyas did so, the son of Ninus and Semiramis. He, therefore, remaining in-doors and living luxuriously, was never seen by any one, except by his eunuchs and by his own women.

And another king of this sort was Sardanapalus, whom some call the son of Anacyndaraxes, and others the son of Anabaxarus. And so, when Arbaces, who was one of the generals under him, a Mede by birth, endeavoured to manage, by the assistance of one of the eunuchs, whose name was Sparamizus, to see Sardanapalus; and when he with difficulty prevailed upon him, with the consent of the king himself,—when the Mede entered and saw him, painted with vermilion and adorned like a woman, sitting among his concubines carding purple wool, and sitting among them with his feet up, wearing a woman's robe, and with his beard carefully scraped, and his face smoothed with pumice-stone (for he was whiter than milk, and pencilled under his eyes and eyebrows; and when he saw Arbaces, he was just putting a little more white under his eyes), most historians, among whom Duris is one, relate that Arbaces, being indignant at his countrymen being ruled over by such a monarch as that, stabbed him and slew him. But Ctesias says that he went to war with him, and collected a great army, and then that Sardanapalus, being dethroned by Arbaces, died, burning himself alive in his palace, having heaped up a funeral pile four plethra in extent, on which he placed a hundred and fifty golden couches, and a corresponding number of tables, these, too, being all made of gold. And he also erected on the funeral pile a chamber a hundred feet long, made of wood; and in it he had couches spread, and there he himself lay down with his wife, and his concubines lay on other couches around. For he had sent on his three sons and his daughters, when he saw that his affairs were getting in a dangerous state, to Nineveh, to the king of that city, giving them three thousand talents of gold. And he made the roof of this apartment [Pg 848] of large stout beams, and then all the walls of it he made of numerous thick planks, so that it was impossible to escape out of it. And in it he placed ten millions of talents of gold, and a hundred millions of talents of silver, and robes, and purple garments, and every kind of apparel imaginable. And after that he bade the slaves set fire to the pile; and it was fifteen days burning. And those who saw the smoke wondered, and thought that he was celebrating a great sacrifice; but the eunuchs alone knew what was really being done. And in this way Sardanapalus, who had spent his life in extraordinary luxury, died with as much magnanimity as possible.

39. But Clearchus, relating the history of the king of Persia, says that—"in a very prudent manner he proposed prizes for any one who could invent any delicious food. For this is what, I imagine, is meant by the brains of Jupiter and the king. On which account," continues he, "Sardanapalus was the most happy of all monarchs, who during his whole life preferred enjoyment to everything else, and who, even after his death, shows by his fingers, in the figure carved on his tomb, how much ridicule all human affairs deserve, being not worth the snap of his fingers which he makes . . . . . . . . anxiety about other things."

However, Sardanapalus does not appear to have lived all his life in entire inaction; for the inscription on his tomb says—

The king, and son of Anacyndaraxes,
In one day built Anchiale and Tarsus;
But now he's dead.

And Amyntas, in the third book of his Account of the Posts, says that at Nineveh there is a very high mound, which Cyrus levelled with the ground when he besieged the city, and raised another mound against the city; and that this mound was said to have been erected by Sardanapalus the son of King Ninus; and that on it there was said to be inscribed, on a marble pillar and in Chaldaic characters, the following inscription, which Chærilus translated into Greek, and reduced to metre. And the inscription is as follows—

[Pg 849]

I was the king, and while I lived on earth,
And saw the bright rays of the genial sun,
I ate and drank and loved; and knew full well
The time that men do live on earth was brief,
And liable to many sudden changes,
Reverses, and calamities. Now others
Will have th' enjoyment of my luxuries,
Which I do leave behind me. For these reasons
I never ceased one single day from pleasure.

But Clitarchus, in the fourth book of his History of Alexander, says that Sardanapalus died of old age after he had lost the sovereignty over the Syrians. And Aristobulus says—"In Anchiale, which was built by Sardanapalus, did Alexander, when he was on his expedition against the Persians, pitch his camp. And at no great distance was the monument of Sardanapalus, on which there was a marble figure putting together the fingers of its right hand, as if it were giving a fillip. And there was on it the following inscription in Assyrian characters—

The king, and son of Anacyndaraxes,
In one day built Anchiale and Tarsus.
Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth e'en this,—

by "this" meaning the fillip he was giving with his fingers.

40. But Sardanapalus was not the only king who was very luxurious, but so was also Androcotus the Phrygian. For he also used to wear a robe embroidered with flowers; and to adorn himself more superbly than a woman, as Mnaseas relates, in the third book of his History of Europe. But Clearchus, in the fifth book of his Lives, says that Sagaus the king of the Mariandyni used, out of luxury, to eat, till he arrived at old age, out of his nurse's mouth, that he might not have the trouble of chewing his own food; and that he never put his hand lower than his navel; on which account Aristotle, laughing at Xenocrates the Chalcedonian, for a similar preposterous piece of laziness, says—

His hands are clean, but sure his mind is not.

And Ctesias relates that Annarus, a lieutenant of the king of Persia, and governor of Babylon, wore the entire dress and ornaments of a woman; and though he was only a slave of the king, there used to come into the room while he was at supper a hundred and fifty women playing the lyre and singing. And they played and sang all the time that he was eating. And Phœnix of Colophon, the poet, speaking of Ninus, in the first book of his Iambics, says—

[Pg 850]

There was a man named Ninus, as I hear,
King of Assyria, who had a sea
Of liquid gold, and many other treasures,
More than the whole sand of the Caspian sea.
He never saw a star in all his life,
But sat still always, nor did wish to see one;
He never, in his place among the Magi,
Roused the sacred fire, as the law bids,
Touching the God with consecrated wand;
He was no orator, no prudent judge,
He never learn'd to speak, or count a sum,
But was a wondrous man to eat and drink
And love, and disregarded all besides:
And when he died he left this rule to men,
Where Nineveh and his monument now stands:—
"Behold and hear, whether from wide Assyria
You come, or else from Media, or if
You're a Choraxian, or a long-hair'd native
Of the lake country in Upper India,
For these my warnings are not vain or false:
I once was Ninus, a live breathing man,
Now I am nothing, only dust and clay,
And all I ate, and all I sang and jested,
And all I loved  .  .  .  .   .  .  .  .
But now my enemies have come upon me,
They have my treasures and my happiness,
Tearing me as the Bacchæ tear a kid;
And I am gone, not taking with me gold,
Or horses, or a single silver chariot;
Once I did wear a crown, now I am dust.

41. But Theopompus, in the fifteenth book of his History of Philip, says that "Straton the king of Sidon surpassed all men in luxury and devotion to pleasure. For as Homer has represented the Phæacians as living feasting and drinking, and listening to harp-players and rhapsodists, so also did Straton pass the whole of his life; and so much the more devoted to pleasure was he than they, that the Phæacians, as Homer reports, used to hold their banquets in the company of their own wives and daughters; but Straton used to prepare his entertainments with flute-playing and harp-playing and lyre-playing women. And he sent for many courtesans from Peloponnesus, and for many musicians from Ionia, and for other girls from every part of Greece; some skilful in singing and some in dancing, for exhibitions of skill in which they had contests before himself and his friends; and with these women he spent a great deal of his time. He then, [Pg 851] delighting in such a life as this, and being by nature a slave to his passions, was also especially urged on by rivalry with Nicocles. For he and Nicocles were always rivalling one another; each of them devoted all his attention to living more luxuriously and pleasantly than the other. And so they carried their emulation to such a height, as we have heard, that when either of them heard from his visitors what was the furniture of the other's house, and how great was the expense gone to by the other for any sacrifice, he immediately set to work to surpass him in such things. And they were anxious to appear to all men prosperous and deserving of envy. Not but what neither of them continued prosperous throughout the whole of their lives, but were both of them destroyed by violent deaths."

And Anaximenes, in his book entitled the Reverses of Kings, giving the same account of Straton, says that he was always endeavouring to rival Nicocles, who was the king of Salamis in Cyprus, and who was exceedingly devoted to luxury and debauchery, and that they both came to a violent end.

42. And in the first book of his History of the Affairs of Philip, Theopompus, speaking of Philip, says—"And on the third day he comes to Onocarsis, which was a strong place in Thrace, having a large grove kept in beautiful order, and full of every resource for living pleasantly, especially during the summer. For it was one of the places which had been especially selected by Cotys, who, of all the kings that ever lived in Thrace, was the most eager in his pursuit of pleasure and luxury. And going round all the country, wherever he saw any place shaded with trees and well watered with springs, he made it into a banqueting place. And going to them whenever he chose, he used to celebrate sacrifices to the Gods, and there he would stay with his lieutenants, being a very happy and enviable man, until he took it into his head to blaspheme Minerva, and to treat her with contempt." And the historian goes on to say, that Cotys once prepared a feast, as if Minerva had married him; and prepared a bed-chamber for her, and then, in a state of intoxication, he waited for the goddess. And being already totally out of his mind, he sent one of his body-guards to see whether the goddess had arrived at the bed-chamber. And when he came there, and went back and reported that there was nobody there, he shot [Pg 852] him and killed him. And he treated a second in the same way, until a third went, and on his return told him that the goddess had been a long time waiting for him. And this king, being once jealous of his wife, cut her up with his own hands, beginning at her legs.

43. But in the thirteenth book of his History of the Affairs of Philip, speaking of Chabrias the Athenian, he says—"But he was unable to live in the city, partly on account of his intemperance, and partly because of the extravagant habits of his daily life, and partly because of the Athenians. For they are always unfavourable to eminent men; on which account their most illustrious citizens preferred to live out of the city. For instance, Iphicrates lived in Thrace, and Conon in Cyprus, and Timotheus in Lesbos, and Chares at Sigeum, and Chabrias himself in Egypt." And about Chares he says, in his forty-fifth book—"But Chares was a slow and stupid man, and one wholly devoted to pleasure. And even when he was engaged in his military expeditions, he used to take about with him female flute-players, and female harp-players, and a lot of common courtesans. And of the money which was contributed for the purposes of the war, some he expended on this sort of profligacy, and some he left behind at Athens, to be distributed among the orators and those who propose decrees, and on those private individuals who had actions depending. And for all this the Athenian populace was so far from being indignant, that for this very reason he became more popular than any other citizen; and naturally too: for they all lived in this manner, that their young men spent all their time among flute-players and courtesans; and those who were a little older than they, devoted themselves to gambling, and profligacy of that sort; and the whole people spent more money on its public banquets and entertainments than on the provision necessary for the well-doing of the state.


But in the work of Theopompus, entitled, "Concerning the Money of which the Temple at Delphi was pillaged," he says—"Chares the Athenian got sixty talents by means of Lysander. And with this money he gave a banquet to the Athenians in the market-place, celebrating a triumphal sacrifice in honour of their victory gained in the battle which [Pg 853] took place against the foreign troops of Philip." And these troops were commanded by Adæus, surnamed the Cock, concerning whom Heraclides the comic poet speaks in the following manner—

But when he caught the dunghill cock of Philip
Crowing too early in the morn, and straying,
He kill'd him; for he had not got his crest on.
And having kill'd this one, then Chares gave
A splendid banquet to the Athenian people;
So liberal and magnificent was he.

And Duris gives the same account.

44. But Idomeneus tells us that the Pisistratidæ also, Hippias and Hipparchus, instituted banquets and entertainments; on which account they had a vast quantity of horses and other articles of luxury. And this it was that made their government so oppressive. And yet their father, Pisistratus, had been a moderate man in his pleasures, so that he never stationed guards in his fortified places, nor in his gardens, as Theopompus relates in his twenty-first book, but let any one who chose come in and enjoy them, and take whatever he pleased. And Cimon afterwards adopted the same conduct, in imitation of Pisistratus. And Theopompus mentions Cimon in the tenth book of his History of the Affairs of Philip, saying—"Cimon the Athenian never placed any one in his fields or gardens to protect the fruit, in order that any of the citizens who chose might go in and pick the fruit, and take whatever they wanted in those places. And besides this, he opened his house to every one, and made a daily practice of providing a plain meal for a great number of people; and all the poor Athenians who came that way might enter and partake of it. He also paid great attention to all those who from day-to-day came to ask something of him; and they say that he used always to take about with him one or two young men bearing bags of money. And he ordered them to give money to whoever came to him to ask anything of him. And they say that he also often contributed towards the expense of funerals. And this too is a thing that he often did; whenever he met any citizen badly clad, he used to order one of the young men who were following him to change cloaks with him. And so by all these means he acquired a high reputation, and was the first of all the citizens."

[Pg 854]

But Pisistratus was in many respects very oppressive; and some say that that statue of Bacchus which there is at Athens was made in his likeness.

45. And Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, says that Pericles, nicknamed the Olympian, after he got rid of his wife out of his house, and devoted himself to a life of pleasure, lived with Aspasia, the courtesan from Megara, and spent the greater part of his substance on her. And Themistocles, when the Athenians were not yet in such a state of intoxication, and had not yet begun to use courtesans, openly filled a chariot with prostitutes, and drove early in the morning through the Ceramicus when it was full. But Idomeneus has made this statement in an ambiguous manner, so as to leave it uncertain whether he means that he harnessed the prostitutes in his chariot like horses, or merely that he made them mount his four-horsed chariot. And Possis, in the third book of his History of the Affairs of Magnesia, says, that Themistocles, having been invested with a crowned magistracy in Magnesia, sacrificed to Minerva, and called the festival the Panathenæa. And he sacrificed also to Dionysius Choopotes, and celebrated the festival of the Choeis there. But Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on Friendship, says that Themistocles had a triclinium of great beauty made for him, and said that he should be quite contented if he could fill that with friends.

46. And Chamæleon of Pontus, in his Essay on Anacreon, having quoted these lines—

And Periphoretus Artemon
Is loved by golden-hair'd Eurypyle,

says that Artemo derived this nickname from living luxuriously, and being carried about (περιφέρεσθαι) on a couch. For Anacreon says that he had been previously very poor, and then became on a sudden very luxurious, in the following verses—

Having before a poor berberium cloak,
And scanty cap, and his poor ears
With wooden earrings decorated,
And wearing round his ribs a newly-bought
Raw ox-hide, fitter for a case
For an old-fashion'd shield, this wretch
Artemon, who long has lived
With bakers' women, and the lowest of the low,
Now having found a new style of life,
Often thrusts his neck into the yoke,
Or beneath the spear doth crouch;
And many a weal he can display,
Mark'd on his back with well-deserved scourge;
And well pluck'd as to hair and beard.
But now he mounts his chariot, he the son
Of Cyca, and his golden earrings wears;
And like a woman bears
An ivory parasol o'er his delicate head.

[Pg 855]


47. But Satyrus, speaking of the beautiful Alcibiades, says,—"It is said that when he was in Ionia, he was more luxurious than the Ionians themselves. And when he was in Thebes he trained himself, and practised gymnastic exercises, being more of a Bœotian than the Thebans themselves. And in Thessaly he loved horses and drove chariots; being fonder of horses than the Aleuadæ: and at Sparta he practised courage and fortitude, and surpassed the Lacedæmonians themselves. And again, in Thrace he out-drank even the Thracians themselves. And once wishing to tempt his wife, he sent her a thousand Darics in another man's name: and being exceedingly beautiful in his person, he cherished his hair the greater part of his life, and used to wear an extraordinary kind of shoe, which is called Alcibias from him. And whenever he was a choregus, he made a procession clad in a purple robe; and going into the theatre he was admired not only by the men, but also by the women: on which account Antisthenes, the pupil of Socrates, who often had seen Alcibiades, speaks of him as a powerful and manly man, and impatient of restraint, and audacious, and exceedingly beautiful through all his life.

"And whenever he went on a journey he used four of the allied cities as his maid-servants. For the Ephesians used to put up a Persian tent for him; and the Chians used to find him food for his horses; and the people of Cyzicus supplied him with victims for his sacrifices and banquets; and the Lesbians gave him wine, and everything else which he wanted for his daily food. And when he came to Athens from Olympia, he offered up two pictures, the work of Aglaophon: one of which represented the priestesses of Olympia and Delphi crowning him; and in the other Nemea was sitting, and Alcibiades on her knees, appearing more beautiful than any of the women. And even when on military expeditions he wished to appear beautiful; accordingly he had a shield [Pg 856] made of gold and ivory, on which was carved Love brandishing a thunderbolt as the ensign. And once having gone to supper at the house of Anytus, by whom he was greatly beloved, and who was a rich man, when one of the company who was supping there with him was Thrasyllus, (and he was a poor man,) he pledged Thrasyllus in half the cups which were set out on the side-board, and then ordered the servants to carry them to Thrasyllus's house; and then he very civilly wished Anytus good night, and so departed. But Anytus, in a very affectionate and liberal spirit, when some one said what an inconsiderate thing Alcibiades had done; 'No, by Jove,' said he, 'but what a kind and considerate thing; for when he had the power to have taken away everything, he has left me half.'"

48. And Lysias the orator, speaking of his luxury, says—"For Axiochus and Alcibiades having sailed to the Hellespont, married at Abydus, both of them marrying one wife, Medontias of Abydus, and both cohabited with her. After this they had a daughter, and they said that they could not tell whose daughter she was; and when she was old enough to be married, they both cohabited with her too; and when Alcibiades came to her, he said that she was the daughter of Axiochus, and Axiochus in his turn said she was the daughter of Alcibiades." And he is ridiculed by Eupolis, after the fashion of the comic writers, as being very intemperate with regard to women; for Eupolis says in his Flatterers—

A. Let Alcibiades leave the women's rooms.
B. Why do you jest . . . .
Will you not now go home and try your hand
On your own wife?

And Pherecrates says—

For Alcibiades, who's no man (ἀνὴρ) at all,
Is, as it seems, now every woman's husband (ἀνήρ).

And when he was at Sparta he seduced Timæa, the wife of Agis the king. And when some people reproached him for so doing, he said, "that he did not intrigue with her out of incontinence, but in order that a son of his might be king at Sparta; and that the kings might no longer be said to be descended from Hercules, but from Alcibiades:" and when he was engaged in his military expeditions, he used to take about, with him Timandra, the mother of Lais the Corinthian, and Theodote, who was an Athenian courtesan.

[Pg 857]


49. But after his banishment, having made the Athenians masters of the Hellespont, and having taken more than five thousand Peloponnesians prisoners, he sent them to Athens; and after this, returning to his country, he crowned the Attic triremes with branches, and mitres, and fillets. And fastening to his own vessels a quantity of ships which he had taken, with their beaks broken off, to the number of two hundred, and conveying also transports full of Lacedæmonian and Peloponnesian spoils and arms, he sailed into the Piræus: and the trireme in which he himself was, ran up to the very bars of the Piræus with purple sails; and when it got inside the harbour, and when the rowers took their oars, Chrysogonus played on a flute the trieric air, clad in a Persian robe, and Callippides the tragedian, clad in a theatrical dress, gave the word to the rowers. On account of which some one said with great wit—"Sparta could never have endured two Lysanders, nor Athens two Alcibiadeses." But Alcibiades was imitating the Medism of Pausanias, and when he was staying with Pharnabazus, he put on a Persian robe, and learnt the Persian language, as Themistocles had done.

50. And Duris says, in the twenty-second book of his History,—"Pausanias, the king of Lacedæmon, having laid aside the national cloak of Lacedæmon, adopted the Persian dress. And Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, adopted a theatrical robe and a golden tragic crown with a clasp. And Alexander, when he became master of Asia, also adopted the Persian dress. But Demetrius outdid them all; for the very shoes which he wore he had made in a most costly manner; for in its form it was a kind of buskin, made of most expensive purple wool; and on this the makers wove a great deal of golden embroidery, both before and behind; and his cloak was of a brilliant tawny colour; and, in short, a representation of the heavens was woven into it, having the stars and twelve signs of the Zodiac all wrought in gold; and his head-band was spangled all over with gold, binding on a purple broad-brimmed hat in such a manner that the outer fringes hung down the back. And when the Demetrian festival was celebrated at Athens, Demetrius himself was painted on the proscenium, sitting on the world." And Nymphis of Heraclea, in the sixth book of his treatise on his Country, says—"Pausanias, who defeated Mardonius at Platæa, having [Pg 858] transgressed the laws of Sparta, and given himself up to pride, when staying near Byzantium, dared to put an inscription on the brazen goblet which is there consecrated to the gods, whose temple is at the entrance of the strait, (and the goblet is in existence to this day,) as if he had dedicated it himself; putting this inscription on it, forgetting himself through his luxury and arrogance—

Pausanias, the general of broad Greece,
Offered this goblet to the royal Neptune,
A fit memorial of his deathless valour,
Here in the Euxine sea. He was by birth
A Spartan, and Cleombrotus's son,
Sprung from the ancient race of Hercules."

51. "Pharax the Lacedæmonian also indulged himself in luxury," as Theopompus tells us in the fourteenth book of his History, "and he abandoned himself to pleasure in so dissolute and unrestrained a manner, that by reason of his intemperance he was much oftener taken for a Sicilian, than for a Spartan by reason of his country." And in his fifty-second book he says that "Archidamus the Lacedæmonian, having abandoned his national customs, adopted foreign and effeminate habits; so that he could not endure the way of life which existed in his own country, but was always, by reason of his intemperance, anxious to live in foreign countries. And when the Tarentines sent an embassy about an alliance, he was anxious to go out with them as an ally; and being there, and having been slain in the wars, he was not thought worthy even of a burial, although the Tarentines offered a great deal of money to the enemy to be allowed to take up his body."

And Phylarchus, in the tenth book of his Histories, says that Isanthes was the king of that tribe of Thracians called Crobyzi, and that he surpassed all the men of his time in luxury; and he was a rich man, and very handsome. And the same historian tells us, in his twenty-second book, that Ptolemy the Second, king of Egypt, the most admirable of all princes, and the most learned and accomplished of men, was so beguiled and debased in his mind by his unseasonable luxury, that he actually dreamed that he should live for ever, and said that he alone had found out how to become immortal. And once, after he had been afflicted by the gout for many days, when at last he got a little better, and saw through his window-blinds some Egyptians dining by the river side, and eating whatever it might be that they had, and lying at random on the sand, "O wretched man that I am," said he, "that I am not one of those men!"

[Pg 859]


52. Now Callias and his flatterers we have already sufficiently mentioned. But since Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasures, speaks of him, we will return to the subject and quote what he says:—"When first the Persians made an expedition against Greece, there was, as they say, an Eretrian of the name of Diomnestus, who became master of all the treasures of the general; for he happened to have pitched his tent in his field, and to have put his money away in some room of his house. But when the Persians were all destroyed, then Diomnestus took the money without any one being aware of it; but when the king of Persia sent an army into Eretria the second time, ordering his generals utterly to destroy the city, then, as was natural, all who were at all well off carried away their treasures. Accordingly those of the family of Diomnestus who were left, secretly removed their money to Athens, to the house of Hipponicus, the son of Callias, who was surnamed Ammon; and when all the Eretrians had been driven out of their city by the Persians, this family remained still in possession of their wealth, which was great. So Hipponicus, who was the son of that man who had originally received the deposit, begged the Athenians to grant him a place in the Acropolis, where he might construct a room to store up all this money in, saying that it was not safe for such vast sums to remain in a private house. And the Athenians did grant him such a place; but afterwards, he, being warned against such a step by his friends, changed his mind.

"Callias, therefore, became the master of all this money, and lived a life of pleasure, (for what limit was there to the flatterers who surrounded him, or to the troops of companions who were always about him? and what extravagance was there which he did not think nothing of?) However, his voluptuous life afterwards reduced him so low, that he was compelled to pass the rest of his life with one barbarian old woman for a servant, and he was in want of actual daily necessaries, and so he died.

"But who was it who got rid of the riches of Nicias of Pergasa, or of Ischomachus? was it not Autoclees and Epiclees, who preferred living with one another, and who considered everything second to pleasure? and after they had squandered all this wealth, they drank hemlock [Pg 860] together, and so perished."

53. But, concerning the luxury of Alexander the Great, Ephippus the Olynthian, in his treatise on the Deaths of Alexander and Hephæstion, says that "he had in his park a golden throne, and couches with silver feet, on which he used to sit and transact business with his companions." But Nicobule says, that "while he was at supper all the morris dancers and athletes studied to amuse the king; and at his very last banquet, Alexander, remembering an episode in the Andromeda of Euripides, recited it in a declamatory manner, and then drank a cup of unmixed wine with great eagerness, and compelled all the rest to do so too." And Ephippus tells us that "Alexander used to wear even the sacred vestments at his entertainments; and sometimes he would wear the purple robe, and cloven sandals, and horns of Ammon, as if he had been the god; and sometimes he would imitate Diana, whose dress he often wore while driving in his chariot; having on also a Persian robe, but displaying above his shoulders the bow and javelin of the goddess. Sometimes also he would appear in the guise of Mercury; at other times, and indeed almost every day, he would wear a purple cloak, and a tunic shot with white, and a cap which had a royal diadem attached to it. And when he was in private with his friends he wore the sandals of Mercury, and the petasus on his head, and held the caduceus in his hand. Often also he wore a lion's skin, and carried a club, like Hercules."


What wonder then is it, if in our time the emperor Commodus, when he drove abroad in his chariot, had the club of Hercules lying beside him, with a lion's skin spread at his feet, and liked to be called Hercules, when even Alexander, the pupil of Aristotle, represented himself as like so many gods, and even like Diana? And Alexander used to have the floor sprinkled with exquisite perfumes and with fragrant wine; and myrrh was burnt before him, and other kinds of incense; and all the bystanders kept silence, or spoke only words of good omen, out of fear. For he was a very violent man, with no regard for human life; for he appeared to be a man of a melancholic constitution. And on one occasion, at Ecbatana, when he was offering a sacrifice to Bacchus, and when everything was prepared in a most lavish manner [Pg 861] for the banquet,  .  .  . and Satrabates the satrap, feasted all the soldiers .  .  .  . "But when a great multitude was collected to see the spectacle," says Ephippus, "there were on a sudden some arrogant proclamations published, more insolent even than Persian arrogance was wont to dictate. For, as different people were publishing different proclamations, and proposing to make Alexander large presents, which they called crowns; one of the keepers of his armoury, going beyond all previous flattery, having previously arranged the matter with Alexander, ordered the herald to proclaim that Gorgos, the keeper of the armoury, presents Alexander, the son of Ammon, with three thousand pieces of gold; and will also present him, when he lays siege to Athens, with ten thousand complete suits of armour, and with an equal number of catapults and all weapons required for the war.

54. And Chares, in the tenth book of his History of Alexander, says—"When he took Darius prisoner, he celebrated a marriage-feast for himself and his companions, having had ninety-two bedchambers prepared in the same place. There was a house built capable of containing a hundred couches; and in it every couch was adorned with wedding paraphernalia to the value of twenty minæ, and was made of silver itself; but his own bed had golden feet. And he also invited to the banquet which he gave, all his own private friends, and those he arranged opposite to himself and the other bridegrooms; and his forces also belonging to the army and navy, and all the ambassadors which were present, and all the other strangers who were staying at his court. And the apartment was furnished in the most costly and magnificent manner, with sumptuous garments and cloths, and beneath them were other cloths of purple, and scarlet, and gold. And, for the sake of solidity, pillars supported the tent, each twenty cubits long, plated all over with gold and silver, and inlaid with precious stones; and all around these were spread costly curtains embroidered with figures of animals, and with gold, having gold and silver curtain-rods. And the circumference of the court was four stadia. And the banquet took place, beginning at the sound of a trumpet, at that marriage-feast, and on other occasions whenever the king offered a solemn sacrifice, so that all the army knew it.

[Pg 862]

And this marriage-feast lasted five days. And a great number both of barbarians and Greeks brought contributions to it; and also some of the Indian tribes did so. And there were present some wonderful conjurors—Scymnus of Tarentum, and Philistides of Syracuse, and Heraclitus of Mitylene; after whom also Alexis of Tarentum, the rhapsodist, exhibited his skill. There came also harp-players, who played without singing,—Cratinus of Methymne, and Aristonymus the Athenian, and Athenodorus the Teian. And Heraclitus the Tarentine played on the harp, accompanying himself with his voice, and so did Aristocrates the Theban. And of flute-players accompanied with song, there were present Dionysius of Heraclea, and Hyperbolus of Cyzicus. And of other flute-players there were the following, who first of all played the air called The Pythian, and afterwards played with the choruses,—Timotheus, Phrynichus, Caphesias, Diophantus, and also Evius the Chalcidian. And from this time forward, those who were formerly called Dionysio-colaces,[3] were called Alexandro-colaces, on account of the extravagant liberality of their presents, with which Alexander was pleased. And there were also tragedians who acted,—Thessalus, and Athenodorus, and Aristocritus; and of comic actors there were Lycon, and Phormion, and Ariston. There was also Phasimelus the harp-player. And the crowns sent by the ambassadors and by other people amounted in value to fifteen thousand talents.


55. But Polycletus of Larissa, in the eighth book of his History, says that Alexander used to sleep on a golden, couch, and that flute-playing men and women followed him to the camp, and that he used to drink till daybreak. And Clearchus, in his treatise on Lives, speaking of Darius who was dethroned by Alexander, says, "The king of the Persians offered prizes to those who could invent pleasures for him, and by this conduct allowed his whole empire and sovereignty to be subverted by pleasures. Nor was he aware that he was defeating himself till others had wrested his sceptre from him and had been proclaimed in his place." And Phylarchus, in the twenty-third book of his History, and Agatharchides of Cnidus, in the tenth book of his History of Asia, say that the companions also of Alexander gave way to the most extravagant [Pg 863] luxury. And one of them was a man named Agnon, who used to wear golden studs in his sandals and shoes. And Cleitus, who was surnamed The White, whenever he was about to transact business, used to converse with every one who came to him while walking about on a purple carpet. And Perdiccas and Craterus, who were fond of athletic exercises, had men follow them with hides fastened together so as to cover a place an entire stadium in extent; and then they selected a spot within the encampment which they had covered with these skins as an awning; and under this they practised their gymnastics.

They were followed also by numerous beasts of burden, which carried sand for the use of the palæstra. And Leonnatus and Menelaus, who were very fond of hunting, had curtains brought after them calculated to enclose a space a hundred stadia in circumference, with which they fenced in a large space and then practised hunting within it. And as for the golden plane-trees, and the golden vine—having on it bunches of grapes made of emeralds and Indian carbuncles, and all sorts of other stones of the most costly and magnificent description, under which the kings of Persia used often to sit when transacting business,—the expense of all this, says Phylarchus, was far less than the daily sums squandered by Alexander; for he had a tent capable of containing a hundred couches, and fifty golden pillars supported it. And over it were spread golden canopies wrought with the most superb and costly embroidery, to shade all the upper part of it. And first of all, five hundred Persian Melophori stood all round the inside of it, clad in robes of purple and apple-green; and besides them there were bowmen to the number of a thousand, some clad in garments of a fiery red, and others in purple; and many of them had blue cloaks. And in front of them stood five hundred Macedonian Argyraspides; and in the middle of the tent was placed a golden chair, on which Alexander used to sit and transact business, his body-guards standing all around. And on the outside, all round the tent, was a troop of elephants regularly equipped, and a thousand Macedonians, having Macedonian dresses; and then ten thousand Persians: and the number of those who wore purple amounted to five hundred, to whom Alexander gave this dress for them to wear. And though he had such a numerous retinue of friends and [Pg 864] servants, still no one dared to approach Alexander of his own accord; so great was his dignity and the veneration with which they regarded him. And at that time Alexander wrote letters to the cities in Ionia, and to the Chians first of all, to send him a quantity of purple; for he wished all his companions to wear purple robes. And when his letter was read among the Chians, Theocritus the philosopher being present, said—

He fell by purple[4] death and mighty fate.

56. And Posidonius, in the twenty-eighth book of his History, says that "Antiochus the king, who was surnamed Grypus, when he was celebrating the games at Daphne, gave a magnificent entertainment; at which, first of all, a distribution of entire joints took place, and after that another distribution of geese, and hares, and antelopes all alive. There were also," says he, "distributed golden crowns to the feasters, and a great quantity of silver plate, and of servants, and horses, and camels. And every one was expected to mount a camel, and drink; and after that he was presented with the camel, and with all that was on the camel, and the boy who stood by it." And in his fourteenth book, speaking of his namesake Antiochus, who made war upon Arsaces, and invaded Media, he says that "he made a feast for a great multitude every day; at which, besides the things which were consumed, and the heaps of fragments which were left, every one of the guests carried away with him entire joints of beasts, and birds, and fishes which had never been carved, all ready dressed, in sufficient quantities to fill a waggon. And after this they were presented with a quantity of sweetmeats, and chaplets, and crowns of myrrh and frankincense, with turbans as long as a man, made of strips of gold brocade."

57. But Clytus, the pupil of Aristotle, in his History of Miletus, says that "Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, collected everything that was worth speaking of everywhere to gratify his luxury, having assembled dogs from Epirus, and goats from Scyros, and sheep from Miletus, and swine from Sicily."

[Pg 865]


And Alexis, in the third book of his Samian Annals, says that "Samos was adorned by Polycrates with the productions of many other cities; as he imported Molossian and Lacedæmonian dogs, and goats from Scyros and Naxos, and sheep from Miletus and Attica. He also," says he, "sent for artists, promising them enormous wages. But before he became tyrant, having prepared a number of costly couches and goblets, he allowed any one the use of them who was preparing any marriage-feast or extraordinary entertainment." And after hearing all these particulars we may well admire the tyrant, because it was nowhere written that he had sent for any women or boys from any other countries, although he was of a very amorous constitution, and was a rival in love of Anacreon the poet; and once, in a fit of jealousy, he cut off all the hair of the object of his passion. And Polycrates was the first man who called the ships which he had built Samians, in honour of his country.

But Clearchus says that "Polycrates, the tyrant of the effeminate Samos, was ruined by the intemperance of his life, imitating the effeminate practices of the Lydians; on which account, in opposition to the place in Sardis called the beautiful Ancon, he prepared a place in the chief city of the Samians, called Laura; he made those famous Samian flowers in opposition to the Lydian. And the Samian Laura was a narrow street in the city, full of common women, and of all kinds of food calculated to gratify intemperance and to promote enjoyment, with which he actually filled Greece. But the flowers of the Samians are the preeminent beauty of the men and women, and indeed of the whole city, at its festivals and banquets." And these are the words of Clearchus. And I myself am acquainted with a narrow street in my native city of Alexandria, which to this very day is called the Happy Street, in which every apparatus of luxury used to be sold.

58. But Aristotle, in his treatise on Admirable and Wonderful Things, says that "Alcisthenes of Sybaris, out of luxury, had a garment prepared for him of such excessive expensiveness that he exhibited it at Lacinium, at the festival of Juno, at which all the Italians assemble, and that of all the things which were exhibited that was the most admired." And he says that "Dionysius the elder afterwards became master of it, and sold it to the Carthaginians for a hundred [Pg 866] and twenty talents." Polemo also speaks of it in his book entitled, A Treatise concerning the Sacred Garments at Carthage. But concerning Smindyrides of Sybaris, and his luxury, Herodotus has told us, in his sixth book, saying that he sailed from Sybaris to court Agariste, the daughter of Clisthenes the tyrant of Sicyon. "And," says he, "there came from Italy Smindyrides, the son of Hippocrates, a citizen of Sybaris; who carried his luxury to the greatest height that ever was heard of among men. At all events he was attended by a thousand cooks and bird-catchers." Timæus also mentions him in his seventh book. But of the luxury of Dionysius the younger, who was also tyrant of Sicily, an account is given by Satyrus the Peripatetic, in his Lives. For he says that he used to fill rooms holding thirty couches with feasters. And Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, writes as follows:—"But Dionysius, the son of Dionysius, the cruel oppressor of all Sicily, when he came to the city of the Locrians, which was his metropolis, (for Doris his mother was a Locrian woman by birth,) having strewed the floor of the largest house in the city with wild thyme and roses, sent for all the maidens of the Locrians in turn; and then rolled about naked, with them naked also, on this layer of flowers, omitting no circumstance of infamy. And so, not long afterwards, they who had been insulted in this manner having got his wife and children into their power, prostituted them in the public roads with great insult, sparing them no kind of degradation. And when they had wreaked their vengeance upon them, they thrust needles under the nails of their fingers, and put them to death with torture. And when they were dead, they pounded their bones in mortars, and having cut up and distributed the rest of their flesh, they imprecated curses on all who did not eat of it; and in accordance with this unholy imprecation, they put their flesh into the mills with the flour, that it might be eaten by all those who made bread. And all the other parts they sunk in the sea. But Dionysius himself, at last going about as a begging priest of Cybele, and beating the drum, ended his life very miserably. We, therefore, ought to guard against what is called luxury, which is the ruin of a man's life; and we ought to think insolence the destruction of everything."

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59. But Diodorus Siculus, in his books On the Library, says that "the citizens of Agrigentum prepared for Gelon a very costly swimming-bath, being seven stadia in circumference and twenty cubits deep; and water was introduced into it from the rivers and fountains, and it served for a great pond to breed fish in, and supplied great quantities of fish for the luxury and enjoyment of Gelon. A great number of swans also," as he relates, "flew into it; so that it was a very beautiful sight. But afterwards the lake was destroyed by becoming filled with mud." And Duris, in the tenth book of his History of Agathocles, says that near the city of Hipponium a grove is shown of extraordinary beauty, excellently well watered; in which there is also a place called the Horn of Amalthea; and that this grove was made by Gelon. But Silenus of Calatia, in the third book of his History of Sicily, says that near Syracuse there is a garden laid out in a most expensive manner, which is called Mythus, in which Hiero the king used to transact his business. And the whole country about Panormus,[5] in Sicily, is called The Garden, because it is full of highly-cultivated trees, as Callias tells us in the eighth book of his History of Agathocles.

And Posidonius, in the eighth book of his History, speaking of Damophilus the Sicilian, by whose means it was that the Servile war was stirred up, and saying that he was a slave to his luxury, writes as follows:—"He therefore was a slave to luxury and debauchery. And he used to drive through the country on a four-wheeled chariot, taking with him horses, and servants of great personal beauty, and a disorderly crowd of flatterers and military boys running around his chariot. And ultimately he, with his whole family, perished in a disgraceful manner, being treated with the most extreme violence and insult by his own slaves."

60. And Demetrius Phalereus, as Duris says in the sixteenth volume of his Histories, being possessed of a revenue of twelve hundred talents a-year, and spending a small portion of it on his soldiers, and on the necessary expenses of the state, squandered all the rest of it on gratifying his innate love of debauchery, having splendid banquets every day, and a great number of guests to feast with him. And in the prodigality of his expense in his entertainments, he outdid even [Pg 868] the Macedonians, and, at the same time, in the elegance of them, he surpassed the Cyprians and Phœnicians. And perfumes were sprinkled over the ground, and many of the floors in the men's apartments were inlaid with flowers, and were exquisitely wrought in other ways by the artists. There were also secret meetings with women, and other scenes more shameful still. And Demetrius, who gave laws to others, and who regulated the lives of others, exhibited in his own life an utter contempt of all law. He also paid great attention to his personal appearance, and dyed the hair of his head with a yellow colour, and anointed his face with rouge, and smeared himself over with other unguents also; for he was anxious to appear agreeable and beautiful in the eyes of all whom he met.

And in the procession of the Dionysia, which he celebrated when he was archon at Athens, a chorus sang an ode of Siromen the Solensian, addressed to him, in which he was called, Like the Sun:—

And above all the noble prince
Demetrius, like the sun in face,
Honours you, Bacchus, with a holy worship.

And Carystius of Pergamus, in the third book of his Commentaries, says—"Demetrius Phalereus, when his brother Himeræus was put to death by Antipater, was himself staying with Nicanor; and he was accused of having sacrificed the Epiphaneia in honour of his brother. And after he became a friend of Cassander, he was very powerful. And at first his dinner consisted of a kind of pickle, containing olives from all countries, and cheese from the islands; but when he became rich, he bought Moschion, the most skilful of all the cooks and confectioners of that age. And he had such vast quantities of food prepared for him every day, that, as he gave Moschion what was left each day, he (Moschion) in two years purchased three detached houses in the city; and insulted freeborn boys, and some of the wives of the most eminent of the citizens: and all the boys envied Theognis, with whom he was in love. And so important an honour was it considered to be allowed to come near Demetrius, that, as he one day had walked about after dinner near the Tripods, on all the following days all the most beautiful boys came together to that place, in the hopes of being seen by him."

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61. And Nicolaus the Peripatetic, in the tenth book of his History, and again in the twentieth book, says that Lucullus, when he came to Rome and celebrated his triumph, and gave an account of the war against Mithridates, ran into the most unbounded extravagance, after having previously been very moderate; and was altogether the first guide to luxury, and the first example of it, among the Romans, having become master of the riches of two kings, Mithridates and Tigranes. And Sittius, also, was a man very notorious among the Romans for his luxury and effeminacy, as Rutilius tells us; for as to Apicius, we have already spoken of him. And almost all historians relate that Pausanias and Lysander were very notorious for their luxury; on which account Agis said of Lysander, that Sparta had produced him as a second Pausanias. But Theopompus, in the tenth book of his History of the Affairs of Greece, gives exactly the contrary account of Lysander, saying that "he was a most laborious man, able to earn the goodwill of both private individuals and monarchs, being very moderate and temperate, and superior to all the allurements of pleasure; and accordingly, when he had become master of almost the whole of Greece, it will be found that he never in any city indulged in amatory excesses, or in unreasonable drinking parties and revels."

62. But luxury and extravagance were so very much practised among the ancients, that even Parrhasius the painter always wore a purple robe, and a golden crown on his head, as Clearchus relates, in his Lives: for he, being most immoderately luxurious, and also to a degree beyond what was becoming to a painter, laid claim, in words, to great virtue, and inscribed upon the works which were done by him—

Parrhasius, a most luxurious man,
And yet a follower of purest virtue,
Painted this work.

But some one else, being indignant at this inscription, wrote by the side of it, ῥαβδοδίαιτος (worthy of a stick). Parrhasius also put the following inscription on many of his works:—

Parrhasius, a most luxurious man,
And yet a follower of purest virtue,
Painted this work: a worthy citizen
Of noble Ephesus. His father's name
Evenor was, and he, his lawful son,
Was the first artist in the whole of Greece.

[Pg 870]

He also boasted, in a way which no one could be indignant at, in the following lines:—

This will I say, though strange it may appear,
That clear plain limits of this noble art
Have been discover'd by my hand, and proved.
And now the boundary which none can pass
Is well defined, though nought that men can do
Will ever wholly escape blame or envy.

And once, at Samos, when he was contending with a very inferior painter in a picture of Ajax, and was defeated, when his friends were sympathising with him and expressing their indignation, he said that he himself cared very little about it, but that he was sorry for Ajax, who was thus defeated a second time. And so great was his luxury, that he wore a purple robe, and a white turban on his head; and used to lean on a stick, ornamented all round with golden fretted work: and he used even to fasten the strings of his sandals with golden clasps. However, as regarded his art, he was not churlish or ill-tempered, but affable and good-humoured; so that he sang all the time that he was painting, as Theophrastus relates, in his treatise on Happiness.

But once he spoke in a marvellous strain, more like a quack, when he said, when he was painting the Hercules at Lindus, that the god had appeared to him in a dream, in that form and dress which was the best adapted for painting; on which account he inscribed on the picture—

Here you may see the god as oft he stood
Before Parrhasius in his sleep by night.

63. We find also whole schools of philosophers which have openly professed to have made choice of pleasure. And there is the school called the Cyrenaic, which derives its origin from Aristippus the pupil of Socrates: and he devoted himself to pleasure in such a way, that he said that it was the main end of life; and that happiness was founded on it, and that happiness was at best but short-lived. And he, like the most debauched of men, thought that he had nothing to do either with the recollection of past enjoyments, or with the hope of future ones; but he judged of all good by the present alone, and thought that having enjoyed, and being about to enjoy, did not at all concern him; since the one case had no longer any existence, and the other did not yet exist and was necessarily uncertain: acting in this respect like [Pg 871] thoroughly dissolute men, who are content with being prosperous at the present moment. And his life was quite consistent with his theory; for he spent the whole of it in all kinds of luxury and extravagance, both in perfumes, and dress, and women. Accordingly, he openly kept Lais as his mistress; and he delighted in all the extravagance of Dionysius, although he was often treated insultingly by him.

Accordingly, Hegesander says that once, when he was assigned a very mean place at a banquet by Dionysius, he endured it patiently; and when Dionysius asked him what he thought of his present place, in comparison of his yesterday's seat, he said, "That the one was much the same as the other; for that one," says he, "is a mean seat to-day, because it is deprived of me; but it was yesterday the most respectable seat in the room, owing to me: and this one to-day has become respectable, because of my presence in it; but yesterday it was an inglorious seat, as I was not present in it." And in another place Hegesander says—"Aristippus, being ducked with water by Dionysius's servants, and being ridiculed by Antiphon for bearing it patiently, said, 'But suppose I had been out fishing, and got wet, was I to have left my employment, and come away?'" And Aristippus sojourned a considerable time in Ægina, indulging in every kind of luxury; on which account Xenophon says in his Memorabilia, that Socrates often reproved him, and invented the apologue of Virtue and Pleasure to apply it to him. And Aristippus said, respecting Lais, "I have her, and I am not possessed by her." And when he was at the court of Dionysius, he once had a quarrel with some people about a choice of three women. And he used to wash with perfumes, and to say that—

E'en in the midst of Bacchanalian revels
A modest woman will not be corrupted.

And Alexis, turning him into ridicule in his Galatea, represents one of the slaves as speaking in the following manner of one of his disciples:—

For this my master once did turn his thoughts
To study, when he was a stripling young,
And set his mind to learn philosophy.
And then a Cyrenean, as he calls himself,
Named Aristippus, an ingenious sophist,
And far the first of all the men of his time,
[Pg 872]
But also far the most intemperate,
Was in the city. Him my master sought,
Giving a talent to become his pupil:
He did not learn, indeed, much skill or wisdom,
But got instead a sad complaint on his chest.

And Antiphanes, in his Antæus, speaking of the luxurious habits of the philosophers, says—

My friend, now do you know who this old man
Is called? By his look he seems to be a Greek.
His cloak is white, his tunic fawn-colour'd,
His hat is soft, his stick of moderate size,
His table scanty. Why need I say more,
I seem to see the genuine Academy.

64. And Aristoxenus the musician, in his Life of Archytas, represents ambassadors as having been sent by Dionysius the younger to the city of the Tarentines, among whom was Polyarchus, who was surnamed the Luxurious, a man wholly devoted to sensual pleasures, not only in deed, but in word and profession also. And he was a friend of Archytas, and not wholly unversed in philosophy; and so he used to come with him into the sacred precincts, and to walk with him and with his friends, listening to his lectures and arguments: and once, when there was a long dispute and discussion about the passions, and altogether about sensual pleasures, Polyarchus said—"I, indeed, my friends, have often considered the matter, and it has seemed to me that this system of the virtues is altogether a long way removed from nature; for nature, when it utters its own voice, orders one to follow pleasure, and says that this is the conduct of a wise man: but that to oppose it, and to bring one's appetites into a state of slavery, is neither the part of a wise man, nor of a fortunate man, nor indeed of one who has any accurate understanding of what the constitution of human nature really is. And it is a strong proof of this, that all men, when they have acquired any power worth speaking of, betake themselves to sensual pleasures, and think the power of indulging them the principal advantage to be gained from the possession of power, and everything else, so to say, as unimportant and superfluous. And we may adduce the example of the Persian king at present, and every other tyrant possessed of any power worth speaking of,—and in former times, the sovereigns of the Lydians and of the Medes,—and even in earlier times still, the tyrants of the [Pg 873] Syrians behaved in the same manner; for all these men left no kind of pleasure unexplored: and it is even said that rewards were offered by the Persians to any one who was able to invent a new pleasure. And it was a very wise offer to make; for the nature of man is soon satiated with long-continued pleasures, even if they be of a very exquisite nature. So that, since novelty has a very great effect in making a pleasure appear greater, we must not despise it, but rather pay great attention to it. And on this account it is that many different kinds of dishes have been invented, and many sorts of sweetmeats; and many discoveries have been made in the articles of incenses and perfumes, and clothes, and beds, and, above all, of cups and other articles of furniture. For all these things contribute some amount of pleasure, when the material which is admired by human nature is properly employed: and this appears to be the case with gold and silver, and with most things which are pleasing to the eye and also rare, and with all things which are elaborated to a high degree of perfection by manual arts and skill."

65. And having discussed after this all the attendance with which the king of the Persians is surrounded, and what a number of servants he has, and what their different offices are, and also about his amorous indulgences, and also about the sweet perfume of his skin, and his personal beauty, and the way in which he lives among his friends, and the pleasing sights or sounds which are sought out to gratify him, he said that he considered "the king of Persia the happiest of all men now alive. For there are pleasures prepared for him which are both most numerous and most perfect in their kind. And next to him," said he, "any one may fairly rank our sovereign, though he falls far short of the king of Persia. For this latter has all Asia to supply him with luxury, but the store which supplies Dionysius will seem very contemptible if compared with his. That, then, such a life as his is worth struggling for, is plain from what has happened. For the Medes, after encountering the greatest dangers, deprived the Syrians of the supremacy, for no other object except to possess themselves of the unrestrained licence of the Syrians. And the Persians overthrew the Medes for the same reason, namely, in order to have an unrestrained enjoyment of sensual pleasures. And the lawgivers who wish the whole race of men to be on an equality, and that no citizens shall [Pg 874] indulge in superfluous luxury, have made some species of virtue hold its head up. And they have written laws about contracts and other matters of the same kind, and whatever appeared to be necessary for political communion, and also with respect to dress, and to all the other circumstances of life, that they should be similar among all the citizens. And so, as all the lawgivers made war upon every kind of covetousness, then first the praises of justice began to be more thought of: and one of the poets spoke of—

The golden face of justice;

and in another passage some one speaks of—

The golden eye of justice.

And the very name of justice came to be accounted divine, so that in some countries there were altars erected and sacrifices instituted to Justice. And next to this they inculcated a respect for modesty and temperance, and called an excess in enjoyment covetousness; so that a man who obeyed the laws and was influenced by the common conversation of men in general, was necessarily moderate with respect to sensual pleasures."

66. And Duris says, in the twenty-third volume of his History, that in ancient times the nobles had a positive fondness for getting drunk. On which account Homer represents Achilles as reproaching Agamemnon, and saying—

O thou whose senses are all dimm'd with wine,[6] Thou dog in forehead.

And when he is describing the death of the king, he makes Agamemnon say—

E'en in my mirth, and at the friendly feast,
O'er the full bowl the traitor stabb'd his guest;[7]

pointing out that his death was partly caused by his fondness for drunkenness.

Speusippus also, the relation of Plato, and his successor in his school, was a man very fond of pleasure. At all events Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, in his letter to him blaming him for his fondness for pleasure, reproaches him also for his covetousness, and for his love of Lasthenea the Arcadian, who had been a pupil of Plato.

[Pg 875]


67. But not only did Aristippus and his followers embrace that pleasure which consists in motion, but also Epicurus and his followers did the same. And not to say anything of those sudden motions, and irritations, and titillations, and also those prickings and stimuli which Epicurus often brings forward, I will merely cite what he has said in his treatise on the End. For he says—"For I am not able to perceive any good, if I take away all the pleasures which arise from flavours, and if I leave out of the question all the pleasures arising from amorous indulgences, and all those which are caused by hearing sweet sounds, and all those motions which are excited by figures which are pleasant to the sight." And Metrodorus in his Epistles says—"My good natural philosopher Timocrates, reason which proceeds according to nature devotes its whole attention to the stomach." And Epicurus says—"The origin and root of all good is the pleasure of the stomach; and all excessive efforts of wisdom have reference to the stomach." And again, in his treatise concerning the End, he says—"You ought therefore to respect honour and the virtues, and all things of that sort, if they produce pleasure; but if they do not, then we may as well have nothing to do with them:" evidently in these words making virtue subordinate to pleasure, and performing as it were the part of a handmaid to it. And in another place he says—"I spit upon honour, and those who worship it in a foolish manner, when it produces no pleasure."

68. Well then did the Romans, who are in every respect the most admirable of men, banish Alcius and Philiscus the Epicureans out of their city, when Lucius Postumius was consul, on account of the pleasures which they sought to introduce into the city. And in the same manner the Messenians by a public decree banished the Epicureans. But Antiochus the king banished all the philosophers out of his kingdom, writing thus—"King Antiochus to Phanias: We have written to you before, that no philosopher is to remain in the city, nor in the country. But we hear that there is no small number of them, and that they do great injury to the young men, because you have done none of the things about which we wrote to you. As soon, therefore, as you receive this letter, order a proclamation to be made, that all the philosophers do at once depart from those places, and that as many [Pg 876] young men as are detected in going to them, shall be fastened to a pillar and flogged, and their fathers shall be held in great blame. And let not this order be transgressed."

But before Epicurus, Sophocles the poet was a great instigator to pleasure, speaking as follows in his Antigone[8]

For when men utterly forsake all pleasure,
I reckon such a man no longer living,
But look upon him as a breathing corpse.
He may have, if you like, great wealth at home,
And go in monarch's guise; but if his wealth
And power bring no pleasure to his mind,
I would not for a moment deem it all
Worthy a moment's thought compared with pleasure.

69. "And Lycon the Peripatetic," as Antigonus the Carystian says, "when as a young man he had come to Athens for the sake of his education, was most accurately informed about everything relating to banquets and drinking parties, and as to how much pay every courtesan required. But afterwards having become the chief man of the Peripatetic school, he used to entertain his friends at banquets with excessive arrogance and extravagance. For, besides the music which was provided at his entertainments, and the silver plate and coverlets which were exhibited, all the rest of the preparation and the superb character of the dishes was such, and the multitude of tables and cooks was so great, that many people were actually alarmed, and, though they wished to be admitted into his school, shrunk back, fearing to enter, as into a badly governed state, which was always burdening its citizens with liturgies and other expensive offices.


For men were compelled to undertake the regular office of chief of the Peripatetic school. And the duties of this office were, to superintend all the novices for thirty days, and see that they conducted themselves with regularity. And then, on the last day of the month, having received nine obols from each of the novices, he received at supper not only all those who contributed their share, but all those also whom Lycon might chance to invite, and also all those of the elders who were diligent in attending the school; so that the money which was collected was not sufficient even for providing sufficient unguents and garlands. He also was bound to perform the sacrifices, and to become an overseer of the Muses. All which [Pg 877] duties appeared to have but little connexion with reason or with philosophy, but to be more akin to luxury and parade. For if any people were admitted who were not able to spend money on these objects, they, setting out with a very scanty and ordinary choregia . . . . and the money was very much out of proportion . . . . For Plato and Speusippus had not established these entertainments, in order that people might dwell upon the pleasures of the table from daybreak, or for the sake of getting drunk; but in order that men might appear to honour the Deity, and to associate with one another in a natural manner; and chiefly with a view to natural relaxation and conversation; all which things afterwards became in their eyes second to the softness of their garments, and to their indulgence in their before-mentioned extravagance. Nor do I except the rest. For Lycon, to gratify his luxurious and insolent disposition, had a room large enough to hold twenty couches, in the most frequented part of the city, in Conon's house, which was well adapted for him to give parties in. And Lycon was a skilful and clever player at ball."

70. And of Anaxarchus, Clearchus the Solensian writes, in the fifth book of his Lives, in the following manner—"Anaxarchus, who was one of those who called themselves Eudæmonici, after he had become a rich man through the folly of those men who supplied him with means out of their abundance, used to have a naked full-grown damsel for his cup-bearer, who was superior in beauty to all her fellows; she, if one is to look at the real truth, thus exposing the intemperance of all those who employed her. And his baker used to knead the dough wearing gloves on his hands, and a cover on his mouth, to prevent any perspiration running off his hands, and also to prevent him from breathing on his cakes while he was kneading them." So that a man might fairly quote to this wise philosopher the verses of Anaxilas the lyric poet—

And anointing one's skin with a gold-colour'd ointment,
And wearing long cloaks reaching down to the ground,
And the thinnest of slippers, and eating rich truffles,
And the richest of cheese, and the newest of eggs;
And all sorts of shell-fish, and drinking strong wine
From the island of Chios, and having, besides,
A lot of Ephesian beautiful letters,
In carefully-sewn leather bags.

[Pg 878]

71. But how far superior to these men is Gorgias the Leontine; of whom the same Clearchus says, in the eighth book of his Lives, that because of the temperance of his life he lived nearly eighty years in the full possession of all his intellect and faculties. And when some one asked him what his system had been which had caused him to live with such comfort, and to retain such full possession of his senses, he said, "I have never done anything merely for the sake of pleasure." But Demetrius of Byzantium, in the fourth book of his treatise on Poems, says—"Gorgias the Leontine, being once asked by some one what was the cause of his living more than a hundred years, said that it was because he had never done anything to please any one else except himself." And Ochus, after he had had a long enjoyment of kingly power, and of all the other things which make life pleasant, being asked towards the close of his life by his eldest son, by what course of conduct he had preserved the kingly power for so many years, that he also might imitate it; replied, "By behaving justly towards all men and all gods." And Carystius of Pergamus, in his Historical Commentaries, says—"Cephisodorus the Theban relates that Polydorus the physician of Teos used to live with Antipater; and that the king had a common kind of coarse carpet worked in rings like a counterpane, on which he used to recline; and brazen bowls and only a small number of cups; for that he was a man fond of plain living and averse to luxury."


72. But the story which we have of Tithonus represents him as a person sleeping from daybreak to sunset, so that his appetites scarcely awakened him by evening. On which account he was said to sleep with Aurora, because he was so wholly enslaved by his appetites. And as he was at a later period of life prevented from indulging them by old age, and being wholly dependent on them.... And Melanthius, stretching out his neck, was choked by his enjoyments, being a greater glutton than the Melanthius of Ulysses. And many other men have destroyed their bodily strength entirely by their unreasonable indulgence; and some have become inordinately fat; and others have become stupid and insensible by reason of their inordinate luxury. Accordingly, Nymphis of Heraclea, in the second book of his History [Pg 879] of Heraclea, says—"Dionysius the son of Clearchus, who was the first tyrant of Heraclea, and who was himself afterwards tyrant of his country, grew enormously fat without perceiving it, owing to his luxury and to his daily gluttony; so that on account of his obesity he was constantly oppressed by a difficulty of breathing and a feeling of suffocation. On which account his physicians ordered thin needles of an exceedingly great length to be made, to be run into his sides and chest whenever he fell into a deeper sleep than usual. And up to a certain point his flesh was so callous by reason of the fat, that it never felt the needles; but if ever they touched a part that was not so overloaded, then he felt them, and was awakened by them. And he used to give answers to people who came to him, holding a chest in front of his body so as to conceal all the rest of his person, and leave only his face visible; and in this condition he conversed with those who came to him." And Menander also, who was a person as little given to evil-speaking as possible, mentions him in his Fishermen, introducing some exiles from Heraclea as saying—

For a fat pig was lying on his face;

and in another place he says—

He gave himself to luxury so wholly,
That he could not last long to practise it;

and again he says—

Forming desires for myself, this death
Does seem the only happy one,—to grow
Fat in my heart and stomach, and so lie
Flat on my back, and never say a word,
Drawing my breath high up, eating my fill,
And saying, "Here I waste away with pleasure."

And he died when he was fifty-five years of age, of which he had been tyrant thirty-three,—being superior to all the tyrants who had preceded him in gentleness and humanity.

73. And Ptolemy the Seventh, king of Egypt, was a man of this sort, the same who caused himself to be styled Euergetes,[9] but who was called Cacergetes by the Alexandrians. Accordingly, Posidonius the Stoic, who went with Scipio Africanus when he was sent to Alexandria, and who there saw this Ptolemy, writes thus, in the seventh book of his History,—"But owing to his luxury his whole body was eaten up with fat, and with the greatness of his belly, which [Pg 880] was so large that no one could put his arms all round it; and he wore over it a tunic which reached down to his feet, having sleeves which reached to his wrists, and he never by any chance walked out except on this occasion of Scipio's visit." And that this king was not averse to luxury, he tells us when he speaks of himself, relating, in the eighth book of his Commentaries, how he was priest of Apollo at Cyrene, and how he gave a banquet to those who had been priests before him; writing thus:—"The Artemitia is the great festival of Cyrene, on which occasion the priest of Apollo (and that office is one which lasts a year) gives a banquet to all those who have been his predecessors in the office; and he sets before each of them a separate dish. And this dish is an earthenware vessel, holding about twenty artabæ,[10] in which there are many kinds of game elaborately dressed, and many kinds of bread, and of tame birds, and of sea-fish, and also many species of foreign preserved meats and pickled fish. And very often some people also furnish them with a handsome youth as an attendant. But we ourselves omitted all this, and instead we furnished them with cups of solid silver, each being of as much value as all the things which we have just enumerated put together; and also we presented each man with a horse properly harnessed, and a groom, and gilt trappings; and we invited each man to mount his horse and ride him home."

His son Alexander also became exceedingly fat, the one, I mean, who put his mother to death who had been his partner in the kingdom. Accordingly Posidonius, in the forty-seventh book of his History, mentions him in the following terms:—"But the king of Egypt being detested by the multitude, but flattered by the people whom he had about him, and living in great luxury, was not able even to walk, unless he went leaning on two friends; but for all that he would, at his banquets, leap off from a high couch, and dance bare-foot with more vigour than even those who made dancing their profession."


74. And Agatharchides, in the sixteenth book of his History of Europe, says that Magas, who was king of Cyrene for fifty years, and who never had any wars, but spent all his time in luxury, became, towards the end of his life, so [Pg 881] immensely bulky and burdensome to himself, that he was at last actually choked by his fat, from the inactivity of his body, and the enormous quantity of food which he consumed. But among the Lacedæmonians, the same man relates, in his twenty-seventh book, that it is thought a proof of no ordinary infamy if any one is of an unmanly appearance, or if any one appears at all inclined to have a large belly; as the young men are exhibited naked before the ephori every ten days. And the ephori used every day to take notice both of the clothes and bedding of the young men; and very properly. For the cooks at Lacedæmon were employed solely on dressing meat plainly, and on nothing else. And in his twenty-seventh book, Agatharchides says that the Lacedæmonians brought Nauclides, the son of Polybiades, who was enormously fat in his body, and who had become of a vast size through luxury, into the middle of the assembly; and then, after Lysander had publicly reproached him as an effeminate voluptuary, they nearly banished him from the city, and threatened him that they would certainly do so if he did not reform his life; on which occasion Lysander said that Agesilaus also, when he was in the country near the Hellespont, making war against the barbarians, seeing the Asiatics very expensively clothed, but utterly useless in their bodies, ordered all who were taken prisoners, to be stripped naked and sold by the auctioneer; and after that he ordered their clothes to be sold without them; in order that the allies, knowing that they had to fight for a great prize, and against very contemptible men, might advance with greater spirit against their enemies. And Python the orator, of Byzantium, as Leon, his fellow-citizen, relates, was enormously fat; and once, when the Byzantians were divided against one another in seditious quarrels, he, exhorting his fellow-citizens to unanimity, said—"You see, my friends, what a size my body is; but I have a wife who is much fatter than I am; now, when we are both agreed, one small bed is large enough for both of us; but when we quarrel, the whole house is not big enough for us."

75. How much better, then, is it, my good friend Timocrates, to be poor and thinner than even those men whom Hermippus mentions in his Cercopes, than to be enormously rich, and like that whale of Tanagra, as the before-mentioned men were! But Hermippus uses the following language, addressing Bacchus on the present occasion—

[Pg 882]

For poor men now to sacrifice to you
But maim'd and crippled oxen; thinner far
Than e'en Thoumantis or Leotrophides.

And Aristophanes, in his Gerytades, gives a list of the following people as very thin, who, he says, were sent as ambassadors by the poets on earth down to hell to the poets there, and his words are—

A. And who is this who dares to pierce the gates
Of lurid darkness, and the realms o' the dead?
B. We're by unanimous agreement chosen,
(Making the choice in solemn convocation,)
One man from each department of our art,
Who were well known to be frequenters of the Shades,
As often voluntarily going thither.
A. Are there among you any men who thus
Frequent the realms of Pluto?
B. Aye, by Jove,
And plenty; just as there are men who go
To Thrace and then come back again. You know
The whole case now.
A. And what may be their names?
First, there's Sannyrion, the comic poet;
Then, of the tragic chori, Melitus;
And of the Cyclic bards, Cinesias.

And presently afterwards he says—

On what slight hopes did you then all rely!
For if a fit of diarrhœa came
Upon these men, they'd all be carried off.

And Strattis also mentions Sannyrion, in his Men fond of Cold, saying—

The leathern aid of wise Sannyrion.

And Sannyrion himself speaks of Melitus, in his play called Laughter, speaking as follows—

Melitus, that carcase from Lenæum rising.

76. And Cinesias was in reality an exceedingly tall and exceedingly thin man; on whom Strattis wrote an entire play, calling him the Phthian Achilles, because in his own poetry he was constantly using the word φθιῶτα. And accordingly, he, playing on his appearance, continually addresses him—

Φθιῶτ' Ἀχιλλεῦ. —

But others, as, for instance, Aristophanes, often call him φιλύρινος Κινησίας, because he took a plank of linden wood (φιλύρα), [Pg 883] and fastened it to his waist under his girdle, in order to avoid stooping, because of his great height and extreme thinness. But that Cinesias was a man of delicate health, and badly off in other respects, we are told by Lysias the orator, in his oration inscribed, "For Phanias accused of illegal Practices," in which he says that he, having abandoned his regular profession, had taken to trumping up false accusations against people, and to making money by such means. And that he means the poet here, and no one else, is plain from the fact that he shows also that he had been attacked by the comic poets for impiety. And he also, in the oration itself, shows that he was a person of that character. And the words of the orator are as follows:—"But I marvel that you are not indignant at such a man as Cinesias coming forward in aid of the laws, whom you all know to be the most impious of all men, and the greatest violater of the laws that has ever existed. Is not he the man who has committed such offences against the gods as all other men think it shameful even to speak of, though you hear the comic poets mention such actions of his every year? Did not Apollophanes, and Mystalides, and Lysitheus feast with him, selecting one of the days on which it was not lawful to hold a feast, giving themselves the name of Cacodæmonistæ,[11] instead of Numeniastæ, a name indeed appropriate enough to their fortunes? Nor, indeed, did it occur to them that they were really doing what that name denotes; but they acted in this manner to show their contempt for the gods and for our laws. And accordingly, each of those men perished, as it was reasonable to expect that such men should.

"But this man, with whom you are all acquainted, the gods have treated in such a manner, that his very enemies would rather that he should live than die, as an example to all other men, that they may see that the immortal Gods do not postpone the punishment due to men who behave insolently towards their Deity, so as to reserve it for their children; but that they destroy the men themselves in a miserable manner, inflicting on them greater and more terrible calamities and diseases than on any other men whatever. For to die, or to be afflicted with sickness in an ordinary manner, is the common lot of all of us; but [Pg 884] to be in such a condition as they are reduced to, and to remain a long time in such a state, and to be dying every day, and yet not be able to end one's life, is a punishment allotted to men who act as this man has acted, in defiance of all human and divine law." And this orator used this language respecting Cinesias.

77. Philetas also, the Coan poet, was a very thin man; so that, by reason of the leanness of his body, he used to wear balls made of lead fastened to his feet, to prevent himself from being blown over by the wind. And Polemo, surnamed Periegetes, in his treatise on Wonderful People and Things, says that Archestratus the soothsayer, being taken prisoner by the enemy, and being put into the scale, was found to weigh only one obol, so very thin was he. The same man also relates that Panaretus never had occasion to consult a physician, but that he used to be a pupil of Arcesilaus the philosopher; and that he was a companion of Ptolemy Euergetes, receiving from him a salary of twelve talents every year. And he was the thinnest of men, though he never had any illness all his life.

But Metrodorus the Scepsian, in the second book of his treatise on the Art of Training, says that Hipponax the poet was not only very diminutive in person, but also very thin; and that he, nevertheless, was so strong in his sinews, that, among other feats of strength, he could throw an empty oil cruise an extraordinary distance, although light bodies are not easy to be propelled violently, because they cannot cut the air so well. Philippides, also, was extremely thin, against whom there is an oration extant of Hyperides the orator, who says that he was one of those men who governed the state. And he was very insignificant in appearance by reason of his thinness, as Hyperides has related. And Alexis, in his Thesprotians, said—

O Mercury, sent by the gods above,
You who've obtained Philippides by lot;
And you, too, eye of darkly-robed night.

And Aristophon, in his play called Plato, says—

A. I will within these three days make this man
Thinner than e'en Philippides.
B. How so?
Can you kill men in such a very short time?

[Pg 885]


And Menander, in his Passion, says—

If hunger should attack your well-shaped person,
'Twould make you thinner than Philippides.

And the word πεφιλιππιδῶσθαι was used for being extremely thin, as we find in Alexis; who, in his Women taking Mandragora, says—

A. You must be ill. You are, by Jove, the very
Leanest of sparrows—a complete Philippides (πεφιλιππίδωσαι).
B. Don't tell me such strange things: I'm all but dead;
A. I pity your sad case.

At all events, it is much better to look like that, than to be like the man of whom Antiphanes in his Æolus says—

This man then, such a sot and glutton is he,
And so enormous is his size of body,
Is called by all his countrymen the Bladder.

And Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, says that Dinias the perfumer gave himself up to love because of his luxury, and spent a vast sum of money on it; and when, at last, he failed in his desires, out of grief he mutilated himself, his unbridled luxury bringing him into this trouble.

78. But it was the fashion at Athens to anoint even the feet of those men who were very luxurious with ointment, a custom which Cephisodorus alludes to in his Trophonius—

Then to anoint my body go and buy
Essence of lilies, and of roses too,
I beg you, Xanthias; and also buy
For my poor feet some baccaris.

And Eubulus, in his Sphingocarion, says—

*                  *                  *                  *
. . . . Lying full softly in a bed-chamber;
Around him were most delicate cloaks, well suited
For tender maidens, soft, voluptuous;
Such as those are, who well perfumed and fragrant
With amaracine oils, do rub my feet.

But the author of the Procris gives an account of what care ought to be taken of Procris's dog, speaking of a dog as if he were a man—

A. Strew, then, soft carpets underneath the dog,
And place beneath cloths of Milesian wool;
And put above them all a purple rug.
B. Phœbus Apollo!
A. Then in goose's milk
Soak him some groats.
B. O mighty Hercules!
A. And with Megallian oils anoint his feet.

[Pg 886]

And Antiphanes, in his Alcestis, represents some one as anointing his feet with oil; but in his Mendicant Priest of Cybele, he says—

He bade the damsel take some choice perfumes
From the altar of the goddess, and then, first,
Anoint his feet with it, and then his knees:
But the first moment that the girl did touch
His feet, he leaped up.

And in his Zacynthus he says—

Have I not, then, a right to be fond of women,
And to regard them all with tender love,
For is it not a sweet and noble thing
To be treated just as you are; and to have
One's feet anointed by fair delicate hands?

And in his Thoricians he says—

He bathes completely—but what is't he does?
He bathes his hands and feet, and well anoints them
With perfume from a gold and ample ewer.
And with a purple dye he smears his jaws
And bosom; and his arms with oil of thyme;
His eyebrows and his hair with marjoram;
His knees and neck with essence of wild ivy.

And Anaxandrides, in his Protesilaus, says—

Ointment from Peron, which this fellow sold
But yesterday to Melanopus here,
A costly bargain fresh from Egypt, which
Anoints to-day Callistratus's feet.

And Teleclides, in his Prytanes, alludes to the lives of the citizens, even in the time of Themistocles, as having been very much devoted to luxury. And Cratinus in his Chirones, speaking of the luxury of the former generations, says—

There was a scent of delicate thyme besides,
And roses too, and lilies by my ear;
And in my hands I held an apple, and
A staff, and thus I did harangue the people.

79. And Clearchus the Solensian, in his treatise on Love Matters, says—"Why is it that we carry in our hands flowers, and apples, and things of that sort? Is it that by our delight in these things nature points out those of us who have a desire for all kinds of beauty? Is it, therefore, as a kind of specimen of beauty that men carry beautiful things in their hands, and take delight in them? Or do they carry them about for two objects? For by these means the beginning of good fortune, and an indication of one's wishes, is to a [Pg 887] certain extent secured; to those who are asked for them, by their being addressed, and to those who give them, because they give an intimation beforehand, that they must give of their beauty in exchange. For a request for beautiful flowers and fruits, intimates that those who receive them are prepared to give in return the beauty of their persons. Perhaps also people are fond of those things, and carry them about them in order to comfort and mitigate the vexation which arises from the neglect or absence of those whom they love. For by the presence of these agreeable objects, the desire for those persons whom we love is blunted; unless, indeed, we may rather say that it is for the sake of personal ornament that people carry those things, and take delight in them, just as they wear anything else which tends to ornament. For not only those people who are crowned with flowers, but those also who carry them in their hands, find their whole appearance is improved by them. Perhaps also, people carry them simply because of their love for any beautiful object. For the love of beautiful objects shows that we are inclined to be fond of the productions of the seasons.

For the face of spring and autumn is really beautiful, when looked at in their flowers and fruits. And all persons who are in love, being made, as it were, luxurious by their passion, and inclined to admire beauty, are softened by the sight of beauty of any sort. For it is something natural that people who fancy that they themselves are beautiful and elegant, should be fond of flowers; on which account the companions of Proserpine are represented as gathering flowers. And Sappho says—

I saw a lovely maiden gathering flowers.

80. But in former times men were so devoted to luxury, that they dedicated a temple to Venus Callipyge on this account. A certain countryman had two beautiful daughters; and they once, contending with one another, went into the public roads, disputing as they went, which had the most beautiful buttocks. And as a young man was passing, who had an aged father, they showed themselves to him also. And he, when he had seen both, decided in favour of the elder; and falling in love with her, he returned into the city and fell ill, and took to his bed, and related what had happened to his brother, who was younger than he; and he also, going into the fields and seeing the damsels himself, [Pg 888] fell in love with the other. Accordingly, their father, when with all his exhortations he could not persuade his sons to think of a higher marriage, brings these damsels to them out of the fields, having persuaded their father to give them to him, and marries them to his sons. And they were always called the καλλίπνγοι; as Cercidas of Megalopolis says in his Iambics, in the following line—

There was a pair of καλλίπνγοι women
At Syracuse.

So they, having now become rich women, built a temple to Venus, calling the goddess καλλίπνγος, as Archelaus also relates in his Iambics.

And that the luxury of madness is exceedingly great is very pleasantly argued by Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, where he says—"Thrasylaus the Æxonensian, the son of Pythodorus, was once afflicted with such violent madness, that he thought that all the vessels which came to the Piræus belonged to him. And he entered them in his books as such; and sent them away, and regulated their affairs in his mind, and when they returned to port he received them with great joy, as a man might be expected to who was master of so much wealth. And when any were lost, he never inquired about them, but he rejoiced in all that arrived safe; and so he lived with great pleasure. But when his brother Crito returned from Sicily, and took him and put him into the hands of a doctor, and cured him of his madness, he himself related his madness, and said that he had never been happier in his life; for that he never felt any grief, but that the quantity of pleasure which he experienced was something unspeakable."


[1] This is a blunder of Athenæus. Mars does not say this, but it is the observation made by the gods to each other.

Ὧδε δέ τις εἴπεσκε ἰδὼν ἐς πλήσιον ἄλλον. Odys. viii. 328.

[2] From κείρω, to cut and dress the hair.

[3] Κόλαξ, a flatterer.

[4] Πορφύρεος is a common epithet of death in Homer. Liddell and Scott say—"The first notion of πορφύρεος was probably of the troubled sea, υ. πορφύρω,"—and refer the use of it in this passage to the colour of the blood, unless it be = μέλας θάνατος.

[5] The modern Palermo.

[6] Iliad. i. 225.

[7] Odyss. ii. 418.

[8] Soph. Ant. 1169.

[9] Εὐεργέτης, from εὖ, well; Κακεργέτης, from κακῶς, ill; and ἔργον, a work.

[10] The artabe was equivalent to the Greek medimnus, which was a measure holding about twelve gallons.

[11] Cacodæmonistæ, from κακὸς, bad, and δαίμων, a deity. Numeniastæ, from Νουμήνια, the Feast of the New Moon.



1. Antiphanes the comic writer, my friend Timocrates, when he was reading one of his own comedies to Alexander the king, and when it was plain that the king did not think much of it, said to him, "The fact is, O king, that a man who is to appreciate this play, ought to have often supped at picnic feasts, and must have often borne and inflicted [Pg 889] blows in the cause of courtesans," as Lycophron the Chalcidian relates in his treatise on Comedy. And accordingly we, who are now about to set out a discussion on amatory matters, (for there was a good deal of conversation about married women and about courtesans,) saying what we have to say to people who understand the subject, invoking the Muse Erato to be so good as to impress anew on our memory that amatory catalogue, will make our commencement from this point—

Come now, O Erato, and tell me truly

what it was that was said by the different guests about love and about amatory matters.

2. For our admirable host, praising the married women, said that Hermippus stated in his book about lawgivers, that at Lacedæmon all the damsels used to be shut up in a dark room, while a number of unmarried young men were shut up with them; and whichever girl each of the young men caught hold of he led away as his wife, without a dowry. On which account they punished Lysander, because he left his former wife, and wished to marry another who was by far more beautiful. But Clearchus the Solensian, in his treatise on Proverbs, says,—"In Lacedæmon the women, on a certain festival, drag the unmarried men to an altar, and then buffet them; in order that, for the purpose of avoiding the insult of such treatment, they may become more affectionate, and in due season may turn their thoughts to marriage. But at Athens, Cecrops was the first person who married a man to one wife only, when before his time connexions had taken place at random, and men had had their wives in common. On which account it was, as some people state, that Cecrops was called διφυὴς,[12] because before his time people did not know who their fathers were, by reason of the numbers of men who might have been so."

And beginning in this manner, one might fairly blame those who attributed to Socrates two wives, Xanthippe and Myrto, the daughter of Aristides; not of that Aristides who was surnamed the Just, (for the time does not agree,) but of his descendant in the third generation. And the men who made this statement are Callisthenes, and Demetrius Phalereus, and Satyrus the Peripatetic, and Aristoxenus; who were preceded in it by Aristotle, who relates the same story in his [Pg 890] treatise on Nobleness of Birth. Unless perhaps this licence was allowed by a decree at that time on account of the scarcity of men, so that any one who pleased might have two wives; to which it must be owing that the comic poets make no mention of this fact, though they very often mention Socrates. And Hieronymus of Rhodes has cited the decree about wives; which I will send to you, since I have the book. But Panætius the Rhodian has contradicted those who make this statement about the wives of Socrates.


3. But among the Persians the queen tolerates the king's having a number of concubines, because there the king rules his wife like her master; and also because the queen, as Dinon states in his history of Persia, receives a great deal of respect from the concubines. At all events they offer her adoration. And Priam, too, had a great many women, and Hecuba was not indignant. Accordingly, Priam says—

Yet what a race! ere Greece to Ilion came,
The pledge of many a loved and loving dame.
Nineteen one mother bore—dead, all are dead![13]

But among the Greeks, the mother of Phœnix does not tolerate the concubine of Amyntor. And Medea, although well acquainted with the fashion, as one well established among the barbarians, refuses to tolerate the marriage of Glauce, having been forsooth already initiated in better and Greek habits. And Clytæmnestra, being exceedingly indignant at a similar provocation, slays Cassandra with Agamemnon himself, whom the monarch brought with him into Greece, having given in to the fashion of barbarian marriages. "And a man may wonder," says Aristotle, "that Homer has nowhere in the Iliad represented any concubine as living with Menelaus, though he has given wives to every one else. And accordingly, in Homer, even old men sleep with women, such as Nestor and Phœnix. For these men were not worn out or disabled in the time of their youth, either by intoxication, or by too much indulgence in love; or by any weakness of digestion engendered by gluttony; so that it was natural for them to be still vigorous in old age. The king of Sparta, then, appears to have too much respect for his wedded wife Helena, on whose account he collected all the Grecian army; and on this account he keeps aloof from any [Pg 891] other connexion. But Agamemnon is reproached by Thersites, as a man with many wives—

'Tis thine, whate'er the warrior's breast inflames, The golden spoil, and thine the lovely dames; With all the wealth our wars and blood bestow, Thy tents are crowded and thy chests o'erflow.[14]

"But it is not natural," says Aristotle, "to suppose that all that multitude of female slaves were given to him as concubines, but only as prizes; since he also provided himself with a great quantity of wine,—but not for the purpose of getting drunk himself."

4. But Hercules is the man who appears to have had more wives than any one else, for he was very much addicted to women; and he had them in turn, like a soldier, and a man employed at different times in different countries. And by them he had also a great multitude of children. For, in one week, as Herodorus relates, he relieved the fifty daughters of Thestias of their virginity. Ægeus also was a man of many wives. For, first of all he married the daughter of Hoples, and after her he married one of the daughters of Chalcodous, and giving both of them to his friends, he cohabited with a great many without marriage. Afterwards he took Æthra, the daughter of Pittheus; after her he took Medea. And Theseus, having attempted to ravish Helen, after that carried off Ariadne. Accordingly Istrus, in the fourteenth book of his History of the Affairs of Athens, giving a catalogue of those women who became the wives of Theseus, says that some of them became so out of love, and that some were carried off by force, and some were married in legal marriage. Now by force were ravished Helen, Ariadne, Hippolyta, and the daughters of Cercyon and Sinis; and he legally married Melibœa, the mother of Ajax. And Hesiod says that he married also Hippe and Ægle; on account of whom he broke the oaths which he had sworn to Ariadne, as Cercops tells us. And Pherecydes adds Pherebœa. And before ravishing Helen he had also carried off Anaxo from Troy; and after Hippolyta he also had Phædra.

5. And Philip the Macedonian did not take any women with him to his wars, as Darius did, whose power was subverted by Alexander. For he [Pg 892] used to take about with him three hundred and fifty concubines in all his wars; as Dicæearchus relates in the third book of his Life in Greece. "But Philip," says he, "was always marrying new wives in war time. For, in the twenty-two years which he reigned, as Satyrus relates in his History of his Life, having married Audata the Illyrian, he had by her a daughter named Cynna; and he also married Phila, a sister of Derdas and Machatas. And wishing to conciliate the nation of the Thessalians, he had children by two Thessalian women; one of whom was Nicesipolis of Pheræ, who brought him a daughter named Thessalonica; and the other was Philenora of Larissa, by whom he had Aridæus. He also acquired the kingdom of the Molossi, when he married Olympias, by whom he had Alexander and Cleopatra. And when he subdued Thrace, there came to him Cithelas, the king of the Thracians, bringing with him Meda his daughter, and many presents: and having married her, he added her to Olympias. And after all these, being violently in love, he married Cleopatra, the sister of Hippostratus and niece of Attalus. And bringing her also home to Olympias, he made all his life unquiet and troubled. For, as soon as this marriage took place, Attalus said, 'Now, indeed, legitimate kings shall be born, and not bastards.' And Alexander having heard this, smote Attalus with a goblet which he had in his hand; and Attalus in return struck him with his cup. And after that Olympias fled to the Molossi; and Alexander fled to the Illyrians. And Cleopatra bore to Philip a daughter who was named Europa."

Euripides the poet, also, was much addicted to women: at all events Hieronymus in his Historical Commentaries speaks as follows,—"When some one told Sophocles that Euripides was a woman-hater, 'He may be,' said he, 'in his tragedies, but in his bed he is very fond of women.'"

6. But our married women are not such as Eubulus speaks of in his Female Garland-sellers—

By Jove, we are not painted with vermilion.
Nor with dark mulberry juice, as you are often:
And then, if in the summer you go out,
Two rivulets of dark discoloured hue
Flow from your eyes, and sweat drops from your jaws,
And makes a scarlet furrow down your neck;
And the light hair, which wantons o'er your face,
Seems grey, so thickly is it plastered over.

[Pg 893]


And Anaxilas, in his Neottis, says—

The man whoe'er has loved a courtesan,
Will say that no more lawless worthless race
Can anywhere be found: for what ferocious
Unsociable she-dragon, what Chimæra,
Though it breathe fire from its mouth, what Charybdis,
What three-headed Scylla, dog o' the sea,
Or hydra, sphinx, or raging lioness,
Or viper, or winged harpy (greedy race),
Could go beyond those most accursed harlots?
There is no monster greater. They alone
Surpass all other evils put together.
And let us now consider them in order:—
First there is Plangon; she, like a chimæra,
Scorches the wretched barbarians with fire;
One knight alone was found to rid the world of her,
Who, like a brave man, stole her furniture
And fled, and she despairing, disappear'd.
Then for Sinope's friends, may I not say
That 'tis a hydra they cohabit with?
For she is old: but near her age, and like her,
Greedy Gnathæna flaunts, a two-fold evil.
And as for Nannion, in what, I pray,
Does she from Scylla differ? Has she not
Already swallow'd up two lovers, and
Open'd her greedy jaws t' enfold a third?
But he with prosp'rous oar escaped the gulf.
Then does not Phryne beat Charybdis hollow?
Who swallows the sea-captains, ship and all.
Is not Theano a mere Siren pluck'd?
Their face and voice are woman's, but their legs
Are feather'd like a blackbird's. Take the lot,
'Tis not too much to call them Theban Sphinxes.
For they speak nothing plain, but only riddles;
And in enigmas tell their victims how
They love and dote, and long to be caress'd.
"Would that I had a quadruped," says one,
That may serve for a bed or easy chair
"Would that I had a tripod"—"Or a biped,"
That is, a handmaid. And the hapless fool
Who understands these hints, like Œdipus,
If saved at all is saved against his will.
But they who do believe they're really loved
Are much elated, and raise their heads to heaven.
And in a word, of all the beasts on earth
The direst and most treacherous is a harlot.

7. After Laurentius had said all this, Leonidas, finding fault with the name of wife (γαμετὴ), quoted these verses out of the Soothsayers of Alexis—

[Pg 894]

Oh wretched are we husbands, who have sold
All liberty of life, all luxury,
And live as slaves of women, not as freemen.
We say we have a dowry; do we not
Endure the penalty, full of female bile,
Compared to which the bile of man's pure honey?
For men, though injured, pardon: but the women
First injure us, and then reproach us more;
They rule those whom they should not; those they should
They constantly neglect. They falsely swear;
They have no single hardship, no disease;
And yet they are complaining without end.

And Xenarchus, in his Sleep, says—

Are then the grasshoppers not happy, say you?
When they have wives who cannot speak a word.

And Philetærus, in his Corinthiast, says—

O Jupiter, how soft and bland an eye
The lady has! 'Tis not for nothing we
Behold the temple of Hetæra here;
But there is not one temple to a wife
Throughout the whole of Greece.

And Amphis says in his Athamas—

Is not a courtesan much more good-humour'd
Than any wedded wife? No doubt she is,
And 'tis but natural; for she, by law,
Thinks she's a right to sulk and stay at home:
But well the other knows that 'tis her manners
By which alone she can retain her friends;
And if they fail, she must seek out some others.

8. And Eubulus, in his Chrysille, says—

May that man, fool as he is, who marries
A second wife, most miserably perish;
Him who weds one, I will not blame too much,
For he knew little of the ills he courted.
But well the widower had proved all
The ills which are in wedlock and in wives.

And a little further on he says—

O holy Jove, may I be quite undone,
If e'er I say a word against the women,
The choicest of all creatures. And suppose
Medea was a termagant,—what then?
Was not Penelope a noble creature?
If one should say, "Just think of Clytæmnestra,"
I meet him with Alcestis chaste and true.
Perhaps he'll turn and say no good of Phædra;
But think of virtuous . . . who? . . . Alas, alas!
I cannot recollect another good one,
Though I could still count bad ones up by scores.

[Pg 895]


And Aristophon, in his Callonides, says—

May he be quite undone, he well deserves it,
Who dares to marry any second wife;
A man who marries once may be excused;
Not knowing what misfortune he was seeking.
But he who, once escaped, then tries another,
With his eyes open seeks for misery.

And Antiphanes, in his Philopator, says—

A. He's married now.
B. How say you? do you mean
He's really gone and married—when I left him,
Alive and well, possess'd of all his senses?

And Menander, in his Woman carrying the Sacred Vessel of Minerva, or the Female Flute-player, says—

A. You will not marry if you're in your senses
When you have left this life. For I myself
Did marry; so I recommend you not to.
B. The matter is decided—the die is cast.
A. Go on then. I do wish you then well over it;
But you are taking arms, with no good reason,
Against a sea of troubles. In the waves
Of the deep Libyan or Ægean sea
Scarce three of thirty ships are lost or wreck'd;
But scarcely one poor husband 'scapes at all.

And in his Woman Burnt he says—

Oh, may the man be totally undone
Who was the first to venture on a wife;
And then the next who follow'd his example;
And then the third, and fourth, and all who follow'd.

And Carcinus the tragedian, in his Semele (which begins, "O nights"), says—

O Jupiter, why need one waste one's words
In speaking ill of women? for what worse
Can he add, when he once has call'd them women?

9. But, above all other cases, those who when advanced in years marry young wives, do not perceive that they are running voluntarily into danger, which every one else foresees plainly: and that, too, though the Megarian poet[15] has given them this warning:—

A young wife suits not with an aged husband;
For she will not obey the pilot's helm
Like a well-managed boat; nor can the anchor
Hold her securely in her port, but oft
[Pg 896]
She breaks her chains and cables in the night,
And headlong drives into another harbour.

And Theophilus, in his Neoptolemus, says—

A young wife does not suit an old man well;
For, like a crazy boat, she not at all
Answers the helm, but slips her cable off
By night, and in some other port is found.

10. And I do not think that any of you are ignorant, my friends, that the greatest wars have taken place on account of women:—the Trojan war on account of Helen; the plague which took place in it was on account of Chryseis; the anger of Achilles was excited about Briseis; and the war called the Sacred War, on account of another wife (as Duris relates in the second book of his History), who was a Theban by birth, by name Theano, and who was carried off by some Phocian. And this war also lasted ten years, and in the tenth year was brought to an end by the cooperation of Philip; for by his aid the Thebans took Phocis.

The war, also, which is called the Crissæan War (as Callisthenes tells us in his account of the Sacred War), when the Crissæans made war upon the Phocians, lasted ten years; and it was excited on this account,—because the Crissæans carried off Megisto, the daughter of Pelagon the Phocian, and the daughters of the Argives, as they were returning from the Pythian temple: and in the tenth year Crissa was taken. And whole families also have been ruined owing to women;—for instance, that of Philip, the father of Alexander, was ruined on account of his marriage with Cleopatra; and Hercules was ruined by his marriage with Iole, the daughter of Eurytus; and Theseus on account of his marriage with Phædra, the daughter of Minos; and Athamas on account of his marriage with Themisto, the daughter of Hypseus; and Jason on account of his marriage with Glauce, the daughter of Creon; and Agamemnon on account of Cassandra. And the expedition of Cambyses against Egypt (as Ctesias relates) took place on account of a woman; for Cambyses, having heard that Egyptian women were far more amorous than other women, sent to Amasis the king of the Egyptians, asking him for one of his daughters in marriage. But he did not give him one of his own daughters, thinking that she would not be honoured as a wife, but only treated as a concubine; but he sent him Nitetis, the daughter of Apries.

[Pg 897]


And Apries had been deposed from the sovereignty of Egypt, because of the defeats which had been received by him from the Cyreneans; and afterwards he had been put to death by Amasis. Accordingly, Cambyses, being much pleased with Nitetis, and being very violently in love with her, learns the whole circumstances of the case from her; and she entreated him to avenge the murder of Apries, and persuaded him to make war upon the Egyptians. But Dinon, in his History of Persia, and Lynceas of Naucratis, in the third book of his History of Egypt, say that it was Cyrus to whom Nitetis was sent by Amasis; and that she was the mother of Cambyses, who made this expedition against Egypt to avenge the wrongs of his mother and her family. But Duris the Samian says that the first war carried on by two women was that between Olympias and Eurydice; in which Olympias advanced something in the manner of a Bacchanalian, with drums beating; but Eurydice came forward armed like a Macedonian soldier, having been already accustomed to war and military habits at the court of Cynnane the Illyrian.

11. Now, after this conversation, it seemed good to the philosophers who were present to say something themselves about love and about beauty: and so a great many philosophical sentiments were uttered; among which, some quoted some of the songs of the dramatic philosopher, Euripides,—some of which were these:—

Love, who is wisdom's pupil gay,
To virtue often leads the way:
And this great god
Is of all others far the best for man;
For with his gentle nod
He bids them hope, and banishes all pain.
May I be ne'er mixed up with those who scorn
To own his power, and live forlorn,
Cherishing habits all uncouth.
I bid the youth
Of my dear country ne'er to flee from Love,
But welcome him, and willing subjects prove.[16]

And some one else quoted from Pindar—

Let it be my fate always to love,
And to obey Love's will in proper season.

[Pg 898]

And some one else added the following lines from Euripides—

But you, O mighty Love, of gods and men
The sovereign ruler, either bid what's fair
To seem no longer fair; or else bring aid
To hapless lovers whom you've caused to love,
And aid the labours you yourself have prompted.
If you do this, the gods will honour you;
But if you keep aloof, you will not even
Retain the gratitude which now they feel
For having learnt of you the way to love.[17]

12. And Pontianus said that Zeno the Cittiæan thought that Love was the God of Friendship and Liberty, and also that he was the great author of concord among men; but that he had no other office. On which account, he says in his Polity, that Love is a God, being one who cooperates in securing the safety of the city. And the philosophers, also, who preceded him considered Love a venerable Deity, removed from everything discreditable: and this is plain from their having set up holy statues in his honour in their Gymnasia, along with those of Mercury and Hercules—the one of whom is the patron of eloquence, and the other of valour. And when these are united, friendship and unanimity are engendered; by means of which the most perfect liberty is secured to those who excel in these practices. But the Athenians were so far from thinking that Love presided over the gratification of the mere sensual appetites, that, though the Academy was manifestly consecrated to Minerva, they yet erected in that place also a statue of Love, and sacrificed to it.


The Thespians also celebrate Erotidia, or festivals of Love, just as the Athenians do Athenæa, or festivals of Minerva, and as the Eleans celebrate the Olympian festivals, and the Rhodians the Halæan. And in the public sacrifices, everywhere almost, Love is honoured. And the Lacedæmonians offer sacrifices to Love before they go to battle, thinking that safety and victory depend on the friendship of those who stand side by side in the battle array. And the Cretans, in their line of battle, adorn the handsomest of their citizens, and employ them to offer sacrifices to Love on behalf of the state, as Sosicrates relates. And the regiment among the Thebans which is called the Sacred Band, is wholly composed of mutual lovers, indicating the majesty of the God, as these men prefer a glorious death to a shameful and discreditable life. But the Samians (as Erxias says, in his History of Colophon), having consecrated a gymnasium to Love, called the festival which was instituted in his honour the Eleutheria, or Feast of Liberty; and it was owing to this God, too, that the Athenians obtained their freedom. And the Pisistratidæ, after their banishment, were the first people who ever endeavoured to throw discredit on the events which took place through his influence.

13. After this had been said, Plutarch cited the following passage from the Phædrus of Alexis:—

As I was coming from Piræus lately,
In great perplexity and sad distress,
I fell to thoughts of deep philosophy.
And first I thought that all the painters seem
Ignorant of the real nature of Love;
And so do all the other artists too,
Whoe'er make statues of this deity:
For he is neither male nor female either;
Again, he is not God, nor yet is he man:
He is not foolish, nor yet is he wise;
But he's made up of all kinds of quality,
And underneath one form bears many natures.
His courage is a man's; his cowardice
A very woman's. Then his folly is
Pure madness, but his wisdom a philosopher's;
His vehemence is that of a wild beast,
But his endurance is like adamant;
His jealousy equals any other god's.
And I, indeed,—by all the gods I swear,—
Do not myself precisely understand him;
But still he much resembles my description,
Excepting in the name.

And Eubulus, or Ararus, in his Campylion, says—

What man was he, what modeller or painter,
Who first did represent young Love as wing'd?
He was a man fit only to draw swallows.
Quite ignorant of the character of the god.
For he's not light, nor easy for a man
Who's once by him been master'd, to shake off;
But he's a heavy and tenacious master.
How, then, can he be spoken of as wing'd?
The man's a fool who such a thing could say.

And Alexis, in his Man Lamenting, says—

For this opinion is by all the Sophists
Embraced, that Love is not a winged god;
[Pg 900]
But that the winged parties are the lovers,
And that he falsely bears this imputation:
So that it is out of pure ignorance
That painters clothe this deity with wings.

14. And Theophrastus, in his book on Love, says that Chæremon the tragedian said in one of his plays, that—

As wine adapts itself to the constitution
Of those who drink it, so likewise does Love
Who, when he's moderately worshipp'd,
Is mild and manageable; but if loosed
From moderation, then is fierce and troublesome.

On which account the same poet afterwards, distinguishing his powers with some felicity, says—

For he doth bend a double bow of beauty,
And sometimes men to fortune leads,
But sometimes overwhelms their lives
With trouble and confusion.[18]

But the same poet also, in his play entitled The Wounded Man, speaks of people in love in this manner:—

Who would not say that those who love alone
Deserve to be consider'd living men?
For first of all they must be skilful soldiers,
And able to endure great toil of body,
And to stick close to th' objects of their love:
They must be active, and inventive too,
Eager, and fertile in expedients,
And prompt to see their way in difficulties.

And Theophilus, in his Man fond of the Flute, says—

Who says that lovers are devoid of sense?
He is himself no better than a fool:
For if you take away from life its pleasures,
You leave it nothing but impending death.
And I myself am now indeed in love
With a fair maiden playing on the harp;
[Pg 901]
And tell me, pray, am I a fool for that?
She's fair, she's tall, she's skilful in her art;
And I'm more glad when I see her, than you
When you divide your salaries among you.

But Aristophon, in his Pythagorean, says—

Now, is not Love deservedly cast out
From his place among the twelve immortal gods?
For he did sow the seeds of great confusion,
And quarrels dire, among that heavenly band,
When he was one of them. And, as he was
Bold and impertinent, they clipp'd his wings,
That he might never soar again to heaven;
And then they banished him to us below;
And for the wings which he did boast before,
Them they did give to Victory, a spoil
Well won, and splendid, from her enemy.

Amphis, too, in his Dithyrambic, speaks thus of loving—

What say'st thou?—dost thou think that all your words
Could e'er persuade me that that man's a lover
Who falls in love with a girl's manners only,
And never thinks what kind of face she's got?
I call him mad; nor can I e'er believe
That a poor man, who often sees a rich one,
Forbears to covet some of his great riches.

But Alexis says in his Helena—

The man who falls in love with beauty's flower,
And taketh heed of nothing else, may be
A lover of pleasure, but not of his love;
And he does openly disparage Love,
And causes him to be suspect to others.

15. Myrtilus, having cited these lines of Alexis, and then looking round on the men who were partisans of the Stoic school, having first recited the following passage out of the lambics of Hermeas the Curian—

Listen, you Stoiclings, traffickers in nonsense,
Punners on words,—gluttons, who by yourselves
Eat up the whole of what is in the dishes,
And give no single bit to a philosopher.
Besides, you are most clearly proved to do
All that is contrary to those professions
Which you so pompously parade abroad,
Hunting for beauty;—

[Pg 902]

went on to say,—And in this point alone you are imitators of the master of your school, Zeno the Phœnician, who was always a slave to the most infamous passions (as Antigonus the Carystian relates, in his History of his Life); for you are always saying that "the proper object of love is not the body, but the mind;" you who say at the same time, that you ought to remain faithful to the objects of your love, till they are eight-and-twenty years of age. And Ariston of Ceos, the Peripatetic, appears to me to have said very well (in the second book of his treatise on Likenesses connected with Love), to some Athenian who was very tall for his age, and at the same time was boasting of his beauty, (and his name was Dorus,) "It seems to me that one may very well apply to you the line which Ulysses uttered when he met Dolon—

Great was thy aim, and mighty is the prize.[19]

16. But Hegesander, in his Commentaries, says that all men love seasoned dishes, but not plain meats, or plainly dressed fish. And accordingly, when seasoned dishes are wanting, no one willingly eats either meat or fish; nor does any one desire meat which is raw and unseasoned. For anciently men used to love boys (as Aristophon relates); on which account it came to pass that the objects of their love were called παιδικά. And it was with truth (as Clearchus says in the first book of his treatise on Love and the Affairs of Love) that Lycophronides said—

No boy, no maid with golden ornaments,
No woman with a deep and ample robe,
Is so much beautiful as modest; for
'Tis modesty that gives the bloom to beauty.

And Aristotle said that lovers look at no other part of the objects of their affection, but only at their eyes, in which modesty makes her abode. And Sophocles somewhere represents Hippodamia as speaking of the beauty of Pelops, and saying—

And in his eyes the charm which love compels
Shines forth a light, embellishing his face:
He glows himself, and he makes me glow too,
Measuring my eyes with his,—as any builder
Makes his work correspond to his careful rule.[20]

17. And Licymnius the Chian, saying that Somnus was in love with Endymion, represents him as refusing to close the eyes of the youth even when he is asleep; but the God sends his beloved object to sleep with his eyelids still open, so that he may not for a single moment [Pg 903] be deprived of the pleasure of contemplating them. And his words are these—

But Somnus much delighted
In the bright beams which shot from his eyes,
And lull'd the youth to sleep with unclosed lids.

And Sappho says to a man who was admired above all measure for his beauty, and who was accounted very handsome indeed—

Stand opposite, my love,
And open upon me
The beauteous grace which from your eyes doth flow.

And what says Anacreon?—

Oh, boy, as maiden fair,
I fix my heart on you;
But you despise my prayer,
And little care that you do hold the reins
Which my soul's course incessantly do guide.[21]

And the magnificent Pindar says—

The man who gazes on the brilliant rays
Which shoot from th' eyes
Of beautiful Theoxenus, and yet can feel his heart
Unmoved within his breast, nor yields to love,
Must have a heart
Black, and composed of adamant or iron.[22]

But the Cyclops of Philoxenus of Cythera, in love with Galatea, and praising her beauty, and prophesying, as it were, his own blindness, praises every part of her rather than mention her eyes, which he does not; speaking thus:—

O Galatea,
Nymph with the beauteous face and golden hair,
Whose voice the Graces tune,
True flower of love, my beauteous Galatea.

But this is but a blind panegyric, and not at all to be compared with the encomium of Ibycus:—

Beauteous Euryalus, of all the Graces
The choicest branch,—object of love to all
The fair-hair'd maidens,—sure the soft-eyed goddess,
The Cyprian queen, and soft Persuasion
Combin'd to nourish you on beds of roses.

And Phrynichus said of Troilus—

The light of love shines in his purple cheeks.

[Pg 904]

18. But you prefer having all the objects of your love shaved and hairless. And this custom of shaving the beard originated in the age of Alexander, as Chrysippus tells us in the fourth book of his treatise on The Beautiful and on Pleasure. And I think it will not be unseasonable if I quote what he says; for he is an author of whom I am very fond, on account of his great learning and his gentle good-humoured disposition. And this is the language of the philosopher:—"The custom of shaving the beard was introduced in the time of Alexander, for the people in earlier times did not practise it; and Timotheus the flute-player used to play on the flute having a very long beard. And at Athens they even now remember that the man who first shaved his chin, (and he is not a very ancient man indeed,) was given the surname of Κόρσης;[23] on which account Alexis says—

Do you see any man whose beard has been
Removed by sharp pitch-plasters or by razors?
In one of these two ways he may be spoken of:
Either he seems to me to think of war,
And so to be rehearsing acts of fierce
Hostility against his beard and chin;
Or else he's some complaint of wealthy men.
For how, I pray you, do your beards annoy you?—
Beards by which best you may be known as men?
Unless, indeed, you're planning now some deed
Unworthy of the character of men.

And Diogenes, when he saw some one once whose chin was smooth, said, 'I am afraid you think you have great ground to accuse nature, for having made you a man and not a woman.' And once, when he saw another man, riding a horse, who was shaved in the same manner, and perfumed all over, and clothed, too, in a fashion corresponding to those particulars, he said that he had often asked what a Ἱππόπορνος was; and now he had found out. And at Rhodes, though there is a law against shaving, still no one ever prosecutes another for doing so, as the whole population is shaved. And at Byzantium, though there is a penalty to which any barber is liable who is possessed of a razor, still every one uses a razor none the less for that law." And this is the statement of the admirable Chrysippus.


19. But that wise Zeno, as Antigonus the Carystian says, speaking, as it should seem, almost prophetically of the lives and professed [Pg 905] discipline of your sect, said that "those who misunderstood and failed rightly to enter into the spirit of his words, would become dirty and ungentlemanlike-looking; just as those who adopted Aristippus's sect, but perverted his precepts, became intemperate and shameless." And the greater portion of you are such as that, men with contracted brows, and dirty clothes, sordid not only in your dispositions, but also in your appearance. For, wishing to assume the character of independence and frugality, you are found at the gate of covetousness, living sordidly, clothed in scanty cloaks, filling the soles of your shoes with nails, and giving hard names to any one who uses the very smallest quantity of perfume, or who is dressed in apparel which is at all delicate. But men of your sect have no business to be attracted by money, or to lead about the objects of their love with their beards shaved and smooth, who follow you about the Lyceum—

Thin, starved philosophers, as dry as leather,

as Antiphanes calls them.

20. But I am a great admirer of beauty myself. For, in the contests [at Athens] for the prize of manliness, they select the handsomest, and give them the post of honour to bear the sacred vessels at the festivals of the gods. And at Elis there is a contest as to beauty, and the conqueror has the vessels of the goddess given to him to carry; and the next handsomest has the ox to lead, and the third places the sacrificial cakes on the head of the victim. But Heraclides Lembus relates that in Sparta the handsomest man and the handsomest woman have special honours conferred on them; and Sparta is famous for producing the handsomest women in the world. On which account they tell a story of king Archidamus, that when one wife was offered to him who was very handsome, and another who was ugly but rich, and he chose the rich one, the Ephori imposed a fine upon him, saying that he had preferred begetting kinglings rather than kings for the Spartans. And Euripides has said—

Her very mien is worthy of a kingdom.[24]

And in Homer, the old men among the people marvelling at the beauty of Helen, are represented as speaking thus to one another—

[Pg 906]

They cried, "No wonder such celestial charms
For nine long years have set the world in arms;—
What winning graces! what majestic mien!
She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen."[25]

And even Priam himself is moved at the beauty of the woman, though he is in great distress. And also he admires Agamemnon for his beauty, and uses the following language respecting him—

Say, what Greek is he
Around whose brow such martial graces shine,—
So tall, so awful, and almost divine?
Though some of larger stature tread the green,
None match his grandeur and exalted mien.[26]

And many nations have made the handsomest men their kings on that account. As even to this day that Æthiopian tribe called the Immortals does; as Bion relates in his History of the Affairs of Æthiopia. For, as it would seem, they consider beauty as the especial attribute of kings. And goddesses have contended with one another respecting beauty; and it was on account of his beauty that the gods carried off Ganymede to be their cup-bearer—

The matchless Ganymede, divinely fair,
Whom Heaven, enamour'd, snatch'd to upper air.[27]

And who are they whom the goddesses have carried off? are they not the handsomest of men? And they cohabit with them; as Aurora does with Cephalus and Clitus and Tithonus; and Ceres with Jason; and Venus with Anchises and Adonis. And it was for the sake of beauty also that the greatest of the gods entered through a roof under the form of gold, and became a bull, and often transformed himself into a winged eagle, as he did in the case of Ægina. And Socrates the philosopher, who despised everything, was, for all that, subdued by the beauty of Alcibiades; as also was the venerable Aristotle by the beauty of his pupil Phaselites. And do not we too, even in the case of inanimate things, prefer what is the most beautiful? The fashion, too, of Sparta is much praised, I mean that of displaying their virgins naked to their guests; and in the island of Chios it is a beautiful sight to go to the gymnasia and the race-courses, and to see the young men wrestling naked with the maidens, who are also naked.

[Pg 907]


21. And Cynulcus said:—And do you dare to talk in this way, you who are not "rosy-fingered," as Cratinus says, but who have one foot made of cow-dung? and do you bring up again the recollection of that poet your namesake, who spends all his time in cookshops and inns? although Isocrates the orator has said, in his Areopagitic Oration, "But not one of their servants ever would have ventured to eat or drink in a cookshop; for they studied to keep up the dignity of their appearance, and not to behave like buffoons." And Hyperides, in his oration against Patrocles, (if, at least, the speech is a genuine one,) says that they forbade a man who had dined at a cookshop from going up to the Areopagus. But you, you sophist, spend your time in cookshops, not with your friends (ἑταίρων), but with prostitutes (ἑταιρῶν), having a lot of pimps and procuresses about you, and always carrying about these books of Aristophanes, and Apollodorus, and Ammonius, and Antiphanes, and also of Gorgias the Athenian, who have all written about the prostitutes at Athens.

Oh, what a learned man you are! how far are you from imitating Theomandrus of Cyrene, who, as Theophrastus, in his treatise on Happiness, says, used to go about and profess that he gave lessons in prosperity. You, you teacher of love, are in no respect better than Amasis of Elis, whom Theophrastus, in his treatise on Love, says was extraordinarily addicted to amatory pursuits. And a man will not be much out who calls you a πορνογράφος, just as they call Aristides and Pausanias and Nicophanes ζωγράφοι. And Polemo mentions them, as painting the subjects which they did paint exceedingly well, in his treatise on the Pictures at Sicyon. Think, my friends, of the great and varied learning of this grammarian, who does not conceal what he means, but openly quotes the verses of Eubulus, in his Cercopes—

I came to Corinth; there I ate with pleasure
Some herb called basil (ocimum), and was ruin'd by it;
And also, trifling there, I lost my cloak.

And the Corinthian sophist is very fine here, explaining to his pupils that Ocimum is the name of a harlot. And a great many other plays also, you impudent fellow, derived their names from courtesans. There is the Thalassa of Diodes, the Corianno of Pherecrates, the Antea of Eunicus or Philyllus, the Thais, and the Phanion of Menander, the Opora of [Pg 908] Alexis, the Clepsydra of Eubulus—and the woman who bore this name, had it because she used to distribute her company by the hour-glass, and to dismiss her visitors when it had run down; as Asclepiades, the son of Areas, relates in his History of Demetrius Phalereus; and he says that her proper name was Meticha.

22. There is a courtesan .  .  .  .  .

(as Antiphanes says in his Clown)—

.  .  . who is a positive
Calamity and ruin to her keeper;
And yet he's glad at nourishing such a pest.

On which account, in the Neæra of Timocles, a man is represented as lamenting his fate, and saying—

But I, unhappy man, who first loved Phryne
When she was but a gatherer of capers,
And was not quite as rich as now she is,—
I who such sums of money spent upon her,
Am now excluded from her doors.

And in the play entitled Orestantoclides, the same Timocles says—

And round the wretched man old women sleep,
Nannium and Plangon, Lyca, Phryne too,
Gnathæna, Pythionica, Myrrhina,
Chrysis, Conallis, Hieroclea, and
Lapadium also.

And these courtesans are mentioned by Amphis, in his Curis, where he says—

Wealth truly seems to me to be quite blind,
Since he ne'er ventures near this woman's doors,
But haunts Sinope, Nannium, and Lyca,
And others like them, traps of men's existence,
And in their houses sits like one amazed,
And ne'er departs.

23. And Alexis, in the drama entitled Isostasium, thus describes the equipment of a courtesan, and the artifices which some women use to make themselves up—

For, first of all, to earn themselves much gain,
And better to plunder all the neighbouring men,
They use a heap of adventitious aids.—
They plot to take in every one. And when,
By subtle artifice, they've made some money,
They enlist fresh girls, and add recruits, who ne'er
Have tried the trade, unto their cunning troop,
[Pg 909]
And drill them so that they are very soon
Different in manners, and in look, and semblance
From all they were before. Suppose one's short—
They put cork soles within the heels of her shoes:
Is any one too tall—she wears a slipper
Of thinnest substance, and, with head depress'd
Between the shoulders, walks the public streets,
And so takes off from her superfluous height.
Is any one too lean about the flank—
They hoop her with a bustle, so that all
Who see her marvel at her fair proportions.
Has any one too prominent a stomach—
They crown it with false breasts, such as perchance
At times you may in comic actors see;
And what is still too prominent, they force
Back, ramming it as if with scaffolding.
Has any one red eyebrows—those they smear
With soot. Has any one a dark complexion—
White-lead will that correct. This girl's too fair—
They rub her well with rich vermilion.
Is she a splendid figure—then her charms
Are shown in naked beauty to the purchaser.
Has she good teeth—then she is forced to laugh,
That all the bystanders may see her mouth,
How beautiful it is; and if she be
But ill-inclined to laugh, then she is kept
Close within doors whole days, and all the things
Which cooks keep by them when they sell goats' heads,
Such as a stick of myrrh, she's forced to keep
Between her lips, till they have learnt the shape
Of the required grin. And by such arts
They make their charms and persons up for market.

24. And therefore I advise you, my Thessalian friend with the handsome chairs, to be content to embrace the women in the brothels, and not to spend the inheritance of your children on vanities. For, truly, the lame man gets on best at this sort of work; since your father, the boot-maker, did not lecture you and teach you any great deal, and did not confine you to looking at leather. Or do you not know those women, as we find them called in the Pannuchis of Eubulus—

Thrifty decoys, who gather in the money,—
Fillies well-train'd of Venus, standing naked
In long array, clad in transparent robes
Of thinnest web, like the fair damsels whom
Eridanus waters with his holy stream;
From whom, with safety and frugality,
You may buy pleasure at a moderate cost.

And in his Nannium, (the play under this name is the work of Eubulus, and not of Philippides)—

[Pg 910

For he who secretly goes hunting for
Illicit love, must surely of all men
Most miserable be; and yet he may
See in the light of the sun a willing row
Of naked damsels, standing all array'd
In robes transparent, like the damsels whom
Eridanus waters with his holy stream,
And buy some pleasure at a trifling rate,
Without pursuing joys he's bound to hide,
(There is no heavier calamity,)
Just out of wantonness and not for love.
I do bewail the fate of hapless Greece,
Which sent forth such an admiral as Cydias.

Xenarchus also, in his Pentathlum, reproaches those men who live as you do, and who fix their hearts on extravagant courtesans, and on freeborn women; in the following lines—

It is a terrible, yes a terrible and
Intolerable evil, what the young
Men do throughout this city. For although
There are most beauteous damsels in the brothels,
Which any man may see standing all willing
In the full light of day, with open bosoms,
Showing their naked charms, all of a row,
Marshall'd in order; and though they may choose
Without the slightest trouble, as they fancy,
Thin, stout, or round, tall, wrinkled, or smooth-faced,
Young, old, or middle-aged, or elderly,
So that they need not clamber up a ladder,
Nor steal through windows out of free men's houses,
Nor smuggle themselves in in bags of chaff;
For these gay girls will ravish you by force,
And drag you in to them; if old, they'll call you
Their dear papa; if young, their darling baby:
And these a man may fearlessly and cheaply
Amuse himself with, morning, noon, or night,
And any way he pleases; but the others
He dares not gaze on openly nor look at,
But, fearing, trembling, shivering, with his heart,
As men say, in his mouth, he creeps towards them.
And how can they, O sea-born mistress mine,
Immortal Venus! act as well they ought,
E'en when they have the opportunity,
If any thought of Draco's laws comes o'er them?

25. And Philemon, in his Brothers, relates that Solon at first, on account of the unbridled passions of the young, made a law that women might be brought to be prostituted at brothels; as Nicander of Colophon also states, in the third book of his History of the Affairs of [Pg 911] Colophon,—saying that he first erected a temple to the Public Venus with the money which was earned by the women who were prostituted at these brothels.

But Philemon speaks on this subject as follows:—

But you did well for every man, O Solon;
For they do say you were the first to see
The justice of a public-spirited measure,
The saviour of the state—(and it is fit
For me to utter this avowal, Solon);—
You, seeing that the state was full of men,
Young, and possess'd of all the natural appetites,
And wandering in their lusts where they'd no business,
Bought women, and in certain spots did place them,
Common to be, and ready for all comers.
They naked stand: look well at them, my youth,—
Do not deceive yourself; a'nt you well off?
You're ready, so are they: the door is open—
The price an obol: enter straight—there is
No nonsense here, no cheat or trickery;
But do just what you like, and how you like.
You're off: wish her good-bye; she's no more claim on you.

And Aspasia, the friend of Socrates, imported great numbers of beautiful women, and Greece was entirely filled with her courtesans; as that witty writer Aristophanes (in his Acharnenses[28]) relates,—saying, that the Peloponnesian war was excited by Pericles, on account of his love for Aspasia, and on account of the girls who had been carried away from her by the Megarians.

For some young men, drunk with the cottabus
Going to Megara, carry off by stealth
A harlot named Simætha. Then the citizens
Of Megara, full of grief and indignation,
Stole in return two of Aspasia's girls;
And this was the beginning of the war
Which devastated Greece, for three lewd women.

26. I therefore, my most learned grammarian, warn you to beware of the courtesans who want a high price, because

You may see other damsels play the flute,
All playing th' air of Phœbus, or of Jove;
But these play no air save the air of the hawk,

as Epicrates says in his Anti-Lais; in which play he also uses the following expressions concerning the celebrated Lais:—

But this fair Lais is both drunk and lazy,

And cares for nothing, save what she may eat

Pg 912]

And drink all day. And she, as I do think,
Has the same fate the eagles have; for they,
When they are young, down from the mountains stoop,
Ravage the flocks and eat the timid hares,
Bearing their prey aloft with fearful might.
But when they're old, on temple tops they perch,
Hungry and helpless; and the soothsayers
Turn such a sight into a prodigy.
And so might Lais well be thought an omen;
For when she was a maiden, young and fresh,
She was quite savage with her wondrous riches;
And you might easier get access to
The satrap Pharnabazus. But at present,
Now that she's more advanced in years, and age
Has meddled with her body's round proportions,
'Tis easy both to see her and to scorn her.
Now she runs everywhere to get some drink;
She'll take a stater—aye, or a triobolus;
She will admit you, young or old; and is
Become so tame, so utterly subdued,
That she will take the money from your hand.

Anaxandrides also, in his Old-Man's Madness, mentions Lais, and includes her with many other courtesans in a list which he gives in the following lines:—

A. You know Corinthian Lais?
B. To be sure;
My countrywoman.
A. Well, she had a friend,
By name Anthea.
B. Yes; I knew her well.
A. Well, in those days Lagisca was in beauty;
Theolyta, too, was wondrous fair to see,
And seemed likely to be fairer still;
And Ocimon was beautiful as any.

27. This, then, is the advice I want to give you, my friend Myrtilus; and, as we read in the Cynegis of Philetærus,—

Now you are old, reform those ways of yours;
Know you not that 'tis hardly well to die
In the embraces of a prostitute,
As men do say Phormisius perished?

Or do you think that delightful which Timocles speaks of in his Marathonian Women?—

How great the difference whether you pass the night
With a lawful wife or with a prostitute!
Bah! Where's the firmness of the flesh, the freshness
Of breath and of complexion? Oh, ye gods!
What appetite it gives one not to find
[Pg 913]
Everything waiting, but to be constrain'd
To struggle a little, and from tender hands
To bear soft blows and bullets; that, indeed,
Is really pleasure.

And as Cynulcus had still a good deal which he wished to say, and as Magnus was preparing to attack him for the sake of Myrtilus,—Myrtilus, being beforehand with him (for he hated the Syrian), said—

But our hopes were not so clean worn out,
As to need aid from bitter enemies;

as Callimachus says. For are not we, O Cynulcus, able to defend ourselves?

How rude you are, and boorish with your jokes!
Your tongue is all on the left side of your mouth;

as Ephippus says in his Philyra. For you seem to me to be one of those men

Who of the Muses learnt but ill-shaped letters,

as some one of the parody writers has it.

28. I therefore, my friends and messmates, have not, as is said in the Auræ of Metagenes, or in the Mammacythus of Aristagoras,

Told you of female dancers, courtesans
Who once were fair; and now I do not tell you
Of flute-playing girls, just reaching womanhood,
Who not unwillingly, for adequate pay,
Have borne the love of vulgar men;

but I have been speaking of regular professional Hetæræ—that is to say, of those who are able to preserve a friendship free from trickery; whom Cynulcus does not venture to speak ill of, and who of all women are the only ones who have derived their name from friendship, or from that goddess who is named by the Athenians Venus Hetæra: concerning whom Apollodorus the Athenian speaks, in his treatise on the Gods, in the following manner:—"And they worship Venus Hetæra, who brings together male and female companions (ἑταίρους καὶ ἑταίρας)—that is to say, mistresses." Accordingly, even to this day, freeborn women and maidens call their associates and friends their ἑταῖραι; as Sappho does, where she says—

And now with tuneful voice I'll sing
These pleasing songs to my companions (ἑταίραις).

And in another place she says—

Niobe and Latona were of old
Affectionate companions (ἑταῖραι) to each other.

[Pg 914]

They also call women who prostitute themselves for money, ἑταῖραι. And the verb which they use for prostituting oneself for money is ἑταιρέω, not regarding the etymology of the word, but applying a more decent term to the trade; as Menander, in his Deposit, distinguishing the ἑταῖροι from the ἑταῖραι, says—

You've done an act not suited to companions (ἑταίρωv),
But, by Jove, far more fit for courtesans (ἑταιρῶν),
These words, so near the same, do make the sense
Not always easily to be distinguished.

29. But concerning courtesans, Ephippus, in his Merchandise, speaks as follows:—

And then if, when we enter through their doors,
They see that we are out of sorts at all,
They flatter us and soothe us, kiss us gently,
Not pressing hard as though our lips were enemies,
But with soft open kisses like a sparrow;
They sing, and comfort us, and make us cheerful,
And straightway banish all our care and grief,
And make our faces bright again with smiles.

And Eubulus, in his Campylion, introducing a courtesan of modest deportment, says—

How modestly she sat the while at supper!
Not like the rest, who make great balls of leeks,
And stuff their cheeks with them, and loudly crunch
Within their jaws large lumps of greasy meat;
But delicately tasting of each dish,
In mouthfuls small, like a Milesian maiden.

And Antiphanes says in his Hydra—

But he, the man of whom I now was speaking,
Seeing a woman who lived near his house,
A courtesan, did fall at once in love with her;
She was a citizen, without a guardian
Or any near relations, and her manners
Pure, and on virtue's strictest model form'd,
A genuine mistress (ἑταῖρα); for the rest of the crew
Bring into disrepute, by their vile manners,
A name which in itself has nothing wrong.

And Anaxilas, in his Neottis, says—

A. But if a woman does at all times use
Fair, moderate language, giving her services
Favourable to all who stand in need of her,
She from her prompt companionship (ἑταιρίας) does earn
The title of companion (ἑταῖρα); and you,
[Pg 915]
As you say rightly, have not fall'n in love
With a vile harlot (πόρνη), but with a companion (ἑταῖρα).
Is she not one of pure and simple manners?
B. At all events, by Jove, she's beautiful.

30. But that systematic debaucher of youths of yours, is such a person as Alexis, or Antiphanes, represents him, in his Sleep—

On this account, that profligate, when supping
With us, will never eat an onion even,
Not to annoy the object of his love.

And Ephippus has spoken very well of people of that description in his Sappho, where he says—

For when one in the flower of his age
Learns to sneak into other men's abodes,
And shares of meals where he has not contributed,
He must some other mode of payment mean.

And Æschines the orator has said something of the same kind in his Speech against Timarchus.

31. But concerning courtesans, Philetærus, in his Huntress, has the following lines:—

'Tis not for nothing that where'er we go
We find a temple of Hetæra there,
But nowhere one to any wedded wife.

I know, too, that there is a festival called the Hetæridia, which is celebrated in Magnesia, not owing to the courtesans, but to another cause, which is mentioned by Hegesander in his Commentaries, who writes thus:—"The Magnesians celebrate a festival called Hetæridia; and they give this account of it: that originally Jason, the son of Æson, when he had collected the Argonauts, sacrificed to Jupiter Hetærias, and called the festival Hetæridia. And the Macedonian kings also celebrated the Hetæridia."

There is also a temple of Venus the Prostitute (πόρνη) at Abydus, as Pamphylus asserts:—"For when all the city was oppressed by slavery, the guards in the city, after a sacrifice on one occasion (as Cleanthus relates in his essays on Fables), having got intoxicated, took several courtesans; and one of these women, when she saw that the men were all fast asleep, taking the keys, got over the wall, and brought the news to the citizens of Abydus. And they, on this, immediately came in arms, and slew the guards, and made themselves masters of the walls, and recovered their freedom; and to show their gratitude to the prostitute they built a temple to Venus the Prostitute."

[Pg 916]

And Alexis the Samian, in the second book of his Samian Annals, says—"The Athenian prostitutes who followed Pericles when he laid siege to Samos, having made vast sums of money by their beauty, dedicated a statue of Venus at Samos, which some call Venus among the Reeds, and others Venus in the Marsh." And Eualces, in his History of the Affairs of Ephesus, says that there is at Ephesus also a temple to Venus the Courtesan (ἑταῖρα). And Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on Amatory Matters, says—"Gyges the king of the Lydians was very celebrated, not only on account of his mistress while she was alive, having submitted himself and his whole dominions to her power, but also after she was dead; inasmuch as he assembled all the Lydians in the whole country, and raised that mound which is even now called the tomb of the Lydian Courtesan; building it up to a great height, so that when he was travelling in the country, inside of Mount Tmolus, wherever he was, he could always see the tomb; and it was a conspicuous object to all the inhabitants of Lydia." And Demosthenes the orator, in his Speech against Neæra (if it is a genuine one, which Apollodorus says it is), says—"Now we have courtesans for the sake of pleasure, but concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation, and wives for the purpose of having children legitimately, and of having a faithful guardian of all our household affairs."

32. I will now mention to you, O Cynulcus, an Ionian story (spinning it out, as Æschylus says,) about courtesans, beginning with the beautiful Corinth, since you have reproached me with having been a schoolmaster in that city.

It is an ancient custom at Corinth (as Chamæleon of Heraclea relates, in his treatise on Pindar), whenever the city addresses any supplication to Venus, about any important matter, to employ as many courtesans as possible to join in the supplication; and they, too, pray to the goddess, and afterwards they are present at the sacrifices. And when the king of Persia was leading his army against Greece (as Theopompus also relates, and so does Timæus, in his seventh book), the Corinthian courtesans offered prayers for the safety of Greece, going to the temple of Venus. On which account, after the Corinthians had consecrated a picture to the goddess (which remains even to this day), and as in this picture they had painted the portraits of the courtesans who made this supplication at the time, and who were present afterwards, Simonides composed this epigram:—

[Pg 917]

These damsels, in behalf of Greece, and all
Their gallant countrymen, stood nobly forth,
Praying to Venus, the all-powerful goddess;
Nor was the queen of beauty willing ever
To leave the citadel of Greece to fall
Beneath the arrows of the unwarlike Persians.

And even private individuals sometimes vow to Venus, that if they succeed in the objects for which they are offering their vows, they will bring her a stated number of courtesans.

33. As this custom, then, exists with reference to this goddess, Xenophon the Corinthian, when going to Olympia, to the games, vowed that he, if he were victorious, would bring her some courtesans. And Pindar at first wrote a panegyric on him, which begins thus:—

Praising the house which in th' Olympic games
Has thrice borne off the victory.[29]

But afterwards he composed a scolium[30] on him, which was sung at the sacrificial feasts; in the exordium of which he turns at once to the courtesans who joined in the sacrifice to Venus, in the presence of Xenophon, while he was sacrificing to the goddess himself; on which account he says—

O queen of Cyprus' isle,
Come to this grove!
Lo, Xenophon, succeeding in his aim,
Brings you a band of willing maidens,
Dancing on a hundred feet.

And the opening lines of the song were these:—

O hospitable damsels, fairest train
Of soft Persuasion,—
Ornament of the wealthy Corinth,
Bearing in willing hands the golden drops
That from the frankincense distil, and flying
[Pg 918]
To the fair mother of the Loves,
Who dwelleth in the sky,
The lovely Venus,—you do bring to us
Comfort and hope in danger, that we may
Hereafter, in the delicate beds of Love,
Heap the long-wished-for fruits of joy,
Lovely and necessary to all mortal men.

And after having begun in this manner, he proceeds to say—

But now I marvel, and wait anxiously
To see what will my masters say of me,
Who thus begin
My scolium with this amatory preface,
Willing companion of these willing damsels.

And it is plain here that the poet, while addressing the courtesans in this way, was in some doubt as to the light in which it would appear to the Corinthians; but, trusting to his own genius, he proceeds with the following verse—

We teach pure gold on a well-tried lyre.

And Alexis, in his Loving Woman, tells us that the courtesans at Corinth celebrate a festival of their own, called Aphrodisia; where he says—

The city at the time was celebrating
The Aphrodisia of the courtesans:
This is a different festival from that
Which the free women solemnize: and then
It is the custom on those days that all
The courtesans should feast with us in common.

34. But at Lacedæmon (as Polemo Periegetes says, in his treatise on the Offerings at Lacedæmon,) there is a statue of a very celebrated courtesan, named Cottina, who, he tells us, consecrated a brazen cow; and Polemo's words are these:—"And the statue of Cottina the courtesan, on account of whose celebrity there is still a brothel which is called by her name, near the hill on which the temple of Bacchus stands, is a conspicuous object, well known to many of the citizens. And there is also a votive offering of hers besides that to Minerva Chalciœcos—a brazen cow, and also the before-mentioned image." And the handsome Alcibiades, of whom one of the comic poets said—

And then the delicate Alcibiades,
O earth and all the gods! whom Lacedæmon
Desires to catch in his adulteries,

though he was beloved by the wife of Agis, used to go and held his revels at the doors of the courtesans, leaving all the [Pg 919] Lacedæmonian and Athenian women. He also fell in love with Medontis of Abydos, from the mere report of her beauty; and sailing to the Hellespont with Axiochus, who was a lover of his on account of his beauty, (as Lysias the orator states, in his speech against him,) he allowed Axiochus to share her with him. Moreover, Alcibiades used always to carry about two other courtesans with him in all his expeditions, namely, Damasandra, the mother of the younger Lais, and Theodote; by whom, after he was dead, he was buried in Melissa, a village of Phrygia, after he had been overwhelmed by the treachery of Pharnabazus. And we ourselves saw the tomb of Alcibiades at Melissa, when we went from Synadæ to Metropolis; and at that tomb there is sacrificed an ox every year, by the command of that most excellent emperor Adrian, who also erected on the tomb a statue of Alcibiades in Parian marble.

35. And we must not wonder at people having on some occasions fallen in love with others from the mere report of their beauty, when Chares of Mitylene, in the tenth book of his History of Alexander, says that some people have even seen in dreams those whom they have never beheld before, and fallen in love with them so. And he writes as follows:—"Hystaspes had a younger brother whose name was Zariadres: and they were both men of great personal beauty. And the story told concerning them by the natives of the country is, that they were the offspring of Venus and Adonis. Now Hystaspes was sovereign of Media, and of the lower country adjoining it; and Zariadres was sovereign of the country above the Caspian gates as far as the river Tanais. Now the daughter of Omartes, the king of the Marathi, a tribe dwelling on the other side of the Tanais, was named Odatis. And concerning her it is written in the Histories, that she in her sleep beheld Zariadres, and fell in love with him; and that the very same thing happened to him with respect to her. And so for a long time they were in love with one another, simply on account of the visions which they had seen in their dreams. And Odatis was the most beautiful of all the women in Asia; and Zariadres also was very handsome. Accordingly, when Zariadres sent to Omartes and expressed a desire to marry the damsel, Omartes would not agree to it, because he was destitute of male offspring; for he wished [Pg 920] to give her to one of his own people about his court. And not long afterwards, Omartes having assembled all the chief men of his kingdom, and all his friends and relations, held a marriage-feast, without saying beforehand to whom he was going to give his daughter. And as the wine went round, her father summoned Odatis to the banquet, and said, in the hearing of all the guests,—'We, my daughter Odatis, are now celebrating your marriage-feast; so now do you look around, and survey all those who are present, and then take a golden goblet and fill it, and give it to the man to whom you like to be married; for you shall be called his wife.' And she, having looked round upon them all, went away weeping, being anxious to see Zariadres, for she had sent him word that her marriage-feast was about to be celebrated. But he, being encamped on the Tanais, and leaving the army encamped there without being perceived, crossed the river with his charioteer alone; and going by night in his chariot, passed through the city, having gone about eight hundred stadia without stopping. And when he got near the town in which the marriage festival was being celebrated, and leaving, in some place near, his chariot with the charioteer, he went forward by himself, clad in a Scythian robe. And when he arrived at the palace, and seeing Odatis standing in front of the side-board in tears, and filling the goblet very slowly, he stood near her and said, 'O Odatis, here I am come, as you requested me to,—I, Zariadres.' And she, perceiving a stranger, and a handsome man, and that he resembled the man whom she had beheld in her sleep, being exceedingly rejoiced, gave him the bowl. And he, seizing on her, led her away to his chariot, and fled away, having Odatis with him. And the servants and the handmaidens, knowing their love, said not a word. And when her father ordered them to summon her, they said that they did not know which way she was gone. And the story of this love is often told by the barbarians who dwell in Asia, and is exceedingly admired; and they have painted representations of the story in their temples and palaces, and also in their private houses. And a great many of the princes in those countries give their daughters the name of Odatis."


36. Aristotle also, in his Constitution of the Massilians, mentions a similar circumstance as having taken place, writing as follows:—"The [Pg 921] Phocæans in Ionia, having consulted the oracle, founded Marseilles. And Euxenus the Phocæan was connected by ties of hospitality with Nanus; this was the name of the king of that country. This Nanus was celebrating the marriage-feast of his daughter, and invited Euxenus, who happened to be in the neighbourhood, to the feast. And the marriage was to be conducted in this manner:—After the supper was over the damsel was to come in, and to give a goblet full of wine properly mixed to whichever of the suitors who were present she chose; and to whomsoever she gave it, he was to be the bridegroom. And the damsel coming in, whether it was by chance or whether it was for any other reason, gives the goblet to Euxenus. And the name of the maiden was Petta. And when the cup had been given in this way, and her father (thinking that she had been directed by the Deity in her giving of it) had consented that Euxenus should have her, he took her for his wife, and cohabited with her, changing her name to Aristoxena. And the family which is descended from that damsel remains in Marseilles to this day, and is known as the Protiadæ; for Protis was the name of the son of Euxenus and Aristoxena."

37. And did not Themistocles, as Idomeneus relates, harness a chariot full of courtesans and drive with them into the city when the market was full? And the courtesans were Lamia and Scione and Satyra and Nannium. And was not Themistocles himself the son of a courtesan, whose name was Abrotonum? as Amphicrates relates in his treatise on Illustrious Men—

Abrotonum was but a Thracian woman,
But for the weal of Greece
She was the mother of the great Themistocles.

But Neanthes of Cyzicus, in his third and fourth books of his History of Grecian Affairs, says that he was the son of Euterpe.

And when Cyrus the younger was making his expedition against his brother, did he not carry with him a courtesan of Phocæa, who was a very clever and very beautiful woman? and Zenophanes says that her name was originally Milto, but that it was afterwards changed to Aspasia. And a Milesian concubine also accompanied him. And did not the great Alexander keep Thais about him, who was an Athenian courtesan? And Clitarchus speaks of her as having been the [Pg 922] cause that the palace of Persepolis was burnt down. And this Thais, after the death of Alexander, married Ptolemy, who became the first king of Egypt, and she bore him sons, Leontiscus and Lagos, and a daughter named Irene, who was married to Eunostus, the king of Soli, a town of Cyprus. And the second king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus by name, as Ptolemy Euergetes relates in the third book of his Commentaries, had a great many mistresses,—namely, Didyma, who was a native of the country, and very beautiful; and Bilisticha; and, besides them, Agathoclea, and Stratonice, who had a great monument on the sea-shore, near Eleusis; and Myrtium, and a great many more; as he was a man excessively addicted to amatory pleasures. And Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his History, says that there are a great many statues of a woman named Clino, who was his cup-bearer, in Alexandria, clothed in a tunic only, and holding a cornucopia in her hand. "And are not," says he, "the finest houses called by the names of Myrtium, and Mnesis, and Pothina? and yet Mnesis was only a female flute-player, and so was Pothine, and Myrtium was one of the most notorious and common prostitutes in the city."

Was there not also Agathoclea the courtesan, who had great power over king Ptolemy Philopator? in fact, was it not she who was the ruin of his whole kingdom? And Eumachus the Neapolitan, in the second book of his History of Hannibal, says that Hieronymus, the tyrant of Syracuse, fell in love with one of the common prostitutes who followed her trade in a brothel, whose name was Pitho, and married her, and made her queen of Syracuse.


38. And Timotheus, who was general of the Athenians, with a very high reputation, was the son of a courtesan, a Thracian by birth, but, except that she was a courtesan, of very excellent character; for when women of this class do behave modestly, they are superior to those who give themselves airs on account of their virtue. But Timotheus being on one occasion reproached as being the son of a mother of that character, said,—"But I am much obliged to her, because it is owing to her that I am the son of Conon." And Carystius, in his Historic Commentaries, says that Philetærus the king of Pergamus, and of all that country which is now called the New Province, was the son of a woman named [Pg 923] Boa, who was a flute-player and a courtesan, a Paphlagonian by birth. And Aristophon the orator, who in the archonship of Euclides proposed a law, that every one who was not born of a woman who was a citizen should be accounted a bastard, was himself, convicted, by Calliades the comic poet, of having children by a courtesan named Choregis, as the same Carystius relates in the third book of his Commentaries.

Besides all these men, was not Demetrius Poliorcetes evidently in love with Lamia the flute-player, by whom he had a daughter named Phila? And Polemo, in his treatise on the colonnade called Pœcile at Sicyon, says that Lamia was the daughter of Cleanor an Athenian, and that she built the before-mentioned colonnade for the people of Sicyon. Demetrius was also in love with Leæna, and she was also an Athenian courtesan; and with a great many other women besides.

39. And Machon the comic poet, in his play entitled the Chriæ, speaks thus:—

But as Leæna was by nature form'd
To give her lovers most exceeding pleasure,
And was besides much favour'd by Demetrius,
They say that Lamia also gratified
The king; and when he praised her grace and quickness,
The damsel answer'd: And besides you can,
If you do wish, subdue a lioness (λέαιναν).

But Lamia was always very witty and prompt in repartee, as also was Gnathæna, whom we shall mention presently. And again Machon writes thus about Lamia:—

Demetrius the king was once displaying
Amid his cups a great variety
Of kinds of perfumes to his Lamia:
Now Lamia was a female flute-player,
With whom 'tis always said Demetrius
Was very much in love. But when she scoff'd
At all his perfumes, and, moreover, treated
The monarch with exceeding insolence,
He bade a slave bring some cheap unguent, and
He rubbed himself with that, and smear'd his fingers,
And said, "At least smell this, O Lamia,
And see how much this scent does beat all others."
She laughingly replied: "But know, O king,
That smell does seem to me the worst of all."
"But," said Demetrius, "I swear, by the gods,
That 'tis produced from a right royal nut."

40. But Ptolemy the son of Agesarchus, in his History of Philopator, [Pg 924] giving a list of the mistresses of the different kings, says—"Philip the Macedonian promoted Philinna, the dancing-woman, by whom he had Aridæus, who was king of Macedonia after Alexander. And Demetrius Poliorcetes, besides the women who have already been mentioned, had a mistress named Mania; and Antigonus had one named Demo, by whom he had a son named Alcyoneus; and Seleucus the younger had two, whose names were Mysta and Nysa." But Heraclides Lenebus, in the thirty-sixth book of his History, says that Demo was the mistress of Demetrius; and that his father Antigonus was also in love with her: and that he put to death Oxythemis as having sinned a good deal with Demetrius; and he also put to the torture and executed the maid-servants of Demo.

41. But concerning the name of Mania, which we have just mentioned, the same Machon says this:—

Some one perhaps of those who hear this now,
May fairly wonder how it came to pass
That an Athenian woman had a name,
Or e'en a nickname, such as Mania.
For 'tis disgraceful for a woman thus
To bear a Phrygian name; she being, too,
A courtesan from the very heart of Greece.
And how came she to sink the city of Athens,
By which all other nations are much sway'd?
The fact is that her name from early childhood
Was this—Melitta. And as she grew up
A trifle shorter than her playfellows,
But with a sweet voice and engaging manners,
And with such beauty and excellence of face
As made a deep impression upon all men,
She'd many lovers, foreigners and citizens.
So that when any conversation
Arose about this woman, each man said,
The fair Melitta was his madness (μανία). Aye,
And she herself contributed to this name;
For when she jested she would oft repeat
This word μανία; and when in sport she blamed
Or praised any one, she would bring in,
In either sentence, this word μανία.
So some one of her lovers, dwelling on
The word, appears to have nicknamed the girl
Mania; and this extra name prevailed
More than her real one. It seems, besides,
That Mania was afflicted with the stone.
*              *              *              *              *

[Pg 925]


42. And that Mania was also excellent in witty repartee, Machon tells us in these verses about her,—

There was a victor in the pancratium,
Named Leontiscus, who loved Mania,
And kept her with him as his lawful wife;
But finding afterwards that she did play
The harlot with Antenor, was indignant:
But she replied,—"My darling, never mind;
I only wanted just to feel and prove,
In a single night, how great the strength might be
Of two such athletes, victors at Olympia."
They say again that Mania once was ask'd,
By King Demetrius, for a perfect sight
Of all her beauties; and she, in return,
Demanded that he should grant her a favour.
When he agreed, she turned her back, and said,—
"O son of Agamemnon, now the Gods
Grant you to see what you so long have wish'd for."[31]
On one occasion, too, a foreigner,
Who a deserter was believed to be,
Had come by chance to Athens; and he sent
For Mania, and gave her all she ask'd.
It happen'd that he had procured for supper
Some of those table-jesters, common buffoons,
Who always raise a laugh to please their feeders;
And wishing to appear a witty man,
Used to politest conversation,
While Mania was sporting gracefully,
As was her wont, and often rising up
To reach a dish of hare, he tried to raise
A joke upon her, and thus spoke,—"My friends,
Tell me, I pray you by the Gods, what animal
You think runs fastest o'er the mountain-tops?"
"Why, my love, a deserter," answer'd Mania.
Another time, when Mania came to see him,
She laugh'd at the deserter, telling him,
That once in battle he had lost his shield.
But this brave soldier, looking somewhat fierce,
Sent her away. And as she was departing,
She said, "My love, don't be so much annoy'd;
For 'twas not you, who, when you ran away,
Did lose that shield, but he who lent it you."
Another time they say a man who was
A thorough profligate, did entertain
Mania at supper; and when he question'd her,
"Do you like being up or down the best?"
She laugh'd, and said, "I'd rather be up, my friend,
For I'm afraid, lest, if I lay me down,
You'd bite my plaited hair from off my head."

[Pg 926]

43. But Machon has also collected the witty sayings of other courtesans too; and it will not be unseasonable to enumerate some of them now. Accordingly he mentions Gnathæna thus:—

Diphilus once was drinking with Gnathæna.
Said he, "Your cup is somewhat cold, Gnathæna;"
And she replied, "'Tis no great wonder, Diphilus,
For we take care to put some of your Plays in it."
Diphilus was once invited to a banquet
At fair Gnathæna's house, as men do say,
On the holy day of Venus' festival—
(He being a man above her other lovers
Beloved by her, though she conceal'd her flame).
He came accordingly, and brought with him
Two jars of Chian wine, and four, quite full,
Of wine from Thasos; perfumes, too, and crowns;
Sweetmeats and venison; fillets for the head;
Fish, and a cook, and a female flute-player.
In the meantime a Syrian friend of hers
Sent her some snow, and one saperdes; she
Being ashamed lest any one should hear
She had received such gifts, and, above all men,
Fearing lest Diphilus should get at them,
And show her up in one of his Comedies,
She bade a slave to carry off at once
The salt-fish to the men who wanted salt,
As every one did know; the snow she told him
To mix with the wine unseen by any one.
And then she bade the boy to fill the cup
With ten full cyathi of wine, and bear it
At once to Diphilus. He eagerly
Received the cup, and drain'd it to the bottom,
And, marvelling at the delicious coolness,
Said—"By Minerva, and by all the gods,
You must, Gnathæna, be allow'd by all
To have a most deliciously cool well."
"Yes," said she, "for we carefully put in,
From day-to-day, the prologues of your plays."
A slave who had been flogg'd, whose back was mark'd
With heavy weals, was once, as it fell out,
Reposing with Gnathæna:—then, as she
Embraced him, she found out how rough all over
His back did feel. "Oh wretched man," said she,
"In what engagement did you get these wounds?"
He in a few words answer'd her, and said,
"That when a boy, once playing with his playmates,
He'd fallen backwards into the fire by accident."
"Well," said she, "if you were so wanton then,
You well deserved to be flogg'd, my friend."
[Pg 927]
Gnathæna once was supping with Dexithea,
Who was a courtesan as well as she;
And when Dexithea put aside with care
Nearly all the daintiest morsels for her mother,
She said, "I swear by Dian, had I known
How you went on, Dexithea, I would rather
Have gone to supper with your mother than you."
When this Gnathæna was advanced in years,
Hastening, as all might see, towards the grave,
They say she once went out into the market,
And look'd at all the fish, and ask'd the price
Of every article she saw. And seeing
A handsome butcher standing at his stall,
Just in the flower of youth,—"Oh, in God's name,
Tell me, my youth, what is your price (πῶς ἴστης) to-day?"
He laugh'd, and said, "Why, if I stoop, three obols."
"But who," said she, "did give you leave, you wretch,
To use your Carian weights in Attica?"
Stratocles once made all his friends a present
Of kids and shell-fish greatly salted, seeming
To have dress'd them carefully, so that his friends
Should the next morning be o'erwhelm'd with thirst,
And thus protract their drinking, so that he
Might draw from them some ample contributions.
Therefore Gnathæna said to one of her lovers,
Seeing him wavering about his offerings,
"After the kids[32]
Stratocles brings a storm."
Gnathæna, seeing once a thin young man,
Of black complexion, lean as any scarecrow,
Reeking with oil, and shorter than his fellows,
Called him in jest Adonis. When the youth
Answer'd her in a rude and violent manner,
She looking on her daughter who was with her,
Said, "Ah! it serves me right for my mistake."
They say that one fine day a youth from Pontus
Was sleeping with Gnathæna, and at morn
He ask'd her to display her beauties to him.
But she replied, "You have no time, for now
It is the hour to drive the pigs to feed."

44. He also mentions the following sayings of Gnathænium, who was the grand-daughter of Gnathæna:—

It happen'd once that a very aged satrap,
Full ninety years of age, had come to Athens,
And on the feast of Saturn he beheld
Gnathænium with Gnathæna going out
From a fair temple sacred to Aphrodite,
And noticing her form and grace of motion,
[Pg 928]
He just inquired "How much she ask'd a night?"
Gnathæna, looking on his purple robe,
And princely body-guard, said, "A thousand drachmæ."
He, as if smitten with a mortal wound,
Said, "I perceive, because of all these soldiers,
You look upon me as a captured enemy;
But take five minæ, and agree with me,
And let them get a bed prepared for us."
She, as the satrap seem'd a witty man,
Received his terms, and said, "Give what you like,
O father, for I know most certainly,
You'll give my daughter twice as much at night."
There was at Athens once a handsome smith,
When she, Gnathænium, had almost abandon'd
Her trade, and would no longer common be,
Moved by the love of the actor Andronicus;
(But at this moment he was gone away,
After she'd brought him a male child;) this smith
Then long besought the fair Gnathænium
To fix her price; and though she long refused,
By long entreaty and liberality,
At last he won her over to consent.
But being but a rude and ill-bred clown,
He, one day sitting with some friends of his
In a leather-cutter's shop, began to talk
About Gnathænium to divert their leisure,
Narrating all their fond love passages.
But after this, when Andronicus came
From Corinth back again, and heard the news,
He bitterly reproach'd her, and at supper
He said, with just complaint, unto Gnathænium,
That she had never granted him such liberties
As this flogg'd slave had had allow'd to him.
And then they say Gnathænium thus replied:
That she was her own mistress, and the smith
Was so begrimed with soot and dirt that she
Had no more than she could help to do with him.
One day they say Gnathænium, at supper,
Would not kiss Andronicus when he wish'd,
Though she had done so every day before;
But she was angry that he gave her nothing.
Said he, on this, "Gnathæna, don't you see
How haughtily your daughter's treating me?"
And she, indignant, said, "You wretched girl,
Take him and kiss him if he wishes it."
But she replied, "Why should I kiss him, mother,
Who does no good to any one in the house,
But seeks to have his Argos all for nothing?"
Once, on a day of festival, Gnathænium
Went down to the Piræus to a lover,
Who was a foreign merchant, riding cheaply
[Pg 929]
On a poor mule, and having after her
Three donkeys, three maid-servants, and one nurse.
Then, at a narrow spot in the road, they met
One of those knavish wrestlers, men who sell
Their battles, always taking care to lose them;
And as he could not pass by easily,
Being crowded up, he cried—"You wretched man,
You donkey-driver, if you get not quickly
Out of my way, I will upset these women,
And all the donkeys and the mule to boot."
But quick Gnathænium said, "My friend, I pray you,
Don't be so valiant now, when you have never
Done any feat of spirit or strength before."

45. And afterwards, Machon gives us the following anecdotes:—

They say that Lais the Corinthian,
Once when she saw Euripides in a garden,
Holding a tablet and a pen attach'd to it,
Cried out to him, "Now, answer me, my poet,
What was your meaning when you wrote in your play,
'Away, you shameless doer?'" And Euripides,
Amazed, and wondering at her audacity,
Said, "Why, you seem to me to be yourself
A shameless doer." And she, laughing, answer'd,
"How shameless, if my partners do not think so?"
Glycerium once received from some lover
A new Corinthian cloak with purple sleeves,
And gave it to a fuller. Afterwards,
When she thought he'd had time enough to clean it,
She sent her maidservant to fetch it back,
Giving her money, that she might pay for it.
But, said the fuller, "You must bring me first
Three measures full of oil, for want of that
Is what has hindered me from finishing."
The maid went back and told her mistress all.
"Wretch that I am!" Glycerium said, "for he
Is going to fry my cloak like any herring."
Demophoon once, the friend of Sophocles,
While a young man, fell furiously in love
With Nico, called the Goat, though she was old:
And she had earn'd this name of Goat, because
She quite devour'd once a mighty friend of hers,
Named Thallus,[33]
when he came to Attica
To buy some Chelidonian figs, and also
To export some honey from th' Hymettian hill.
And it is said this woman was fair to view.
And when Demophoon tried to win her over,
"A pretty thing," said she, "that all you get
From me you may present to Sophocles."
[Pg 930]
Callisto once, who was nicknamed the Sow,
Was fiercely quarrelling with her own mother,
Who also was nicknamed the Crow. Gnathæna
Appeased the quarrel, and when ask'd the cause of it,
Said, "What else could it be, but that one Crow
Was finding fault with the blackness of the other?"
Men say that Hippe once, the courtesan,
Had a lover named Theodotus, a man
Who at the time was prefect of the granaries
And she on one occasion late in th' evening
Came to a banquet of King Ptolemy,
And she'd been often used to drink with him
So, as she now was very late, she said,
"I'm very thirsty, papa Ptolemy,
So let the cup-bearer pour me four gills
Into a larger cup." The king replied,
"You must have it in a platter, for you seem
Already, Hippe,[34]
to have had plenty of hay."
A man named Morichus was courting Phryne,
The Thespian damsel. And, as she required
A mina, "'Tis a mighty sum," said Morichus,
"Did you not yesterday charge a foreigner
Two little pieces of gold?" "Wait till I want you,"
Said she, "and I will take the same from you."
'Tis said that Nico, who was call'd the Goat,
Once when a man named Pytho had deserted her,
And taken up with the great fat Euardis,
But after a time did send again for her,
Said to the slave who came to fetch her, "Now
That Pytho is well sated with his swine,
Does he desire to return to a goat?"

46. Up to this point we have been recapitulating the things mentioned by Macho. For our beautiful Athens has produced such a number of courtesans (of whom I will tell you as many anecdotes as I can) as no other populous city ever produced. At all events, Aristophanes the Byzantian counted up a hundred and thirty-five, and Apollodorus a still greater number; and Gorgias enumerated still more, saying that, among a great many more, these eminent ones had been omitted by Aristophanes—namely, one who was surnamed Paroinos, and Lampyris, and Euphrosyne: and this last was the daughter of a fuller. And, besides these, he has omitted Megisto, Agallis, Thaumarium, Theoclea (and she was nicknamed the Crow), Lenætocystos, Astra, Gnathæna, and her grand-daughter Gnathænium, and Sige, and Synoris (who was nicknamed the Candle), and Euclea, and [Pg 931] Grymæa, and Thryallis, and Chimæra, and Lampas. But Diphilus the comic poet was violently in love with Gnathæna, (as has been already stated, and as Lynceus the Samian relates in his Commentaries;) and so once, when on the stage he had acted very badly, and was turned out (ἠρμένος) of the theatre, and, for all that, came to Gnathæna as if nothing had happened; and when he, after he had arrived, begged Gnathæna to wash his feet, "Why do you want that?" said she; "were you not carried (ἠρμένος) hither?" And Gnathæna was very ready with her repartees. And there were other courtesans who had a great opinion of themselves, paying attention to education, and spending a part of their time on literature; so that they were very ready with their rejoinders and replies.

Accordingly, when on one occasion Stilpo, at a banquet, was accusing Glycera of seducing the young men of the city, (as Satyrus mentions in his Lives,) Glycera took him up and said, "You and I are accused of the same thing, O Stilpo; for they say that you corrupt all who come to you, by teaching them profitless and amorous sophistries; and they accuse me of the same thing: for if people waste their time, and are treated ill, it makes no difference whether they are living with a philosopher or with a harlot." For, according to Agathon,

It does not follow, because a woman's body
Is void of strength, that her mind, too, is weak.

47. And Lynceus has recorded many repartees of Gnathæna. There was a parasite who used to live upon an old woman, and kept himself in very good condition; and Gnathæna, seeing him, said, "My young friend, you appear to be in very good case." "What then do you think," said he, "that I should be if I slept by myself?" "Why, I think you would starve," said she. Once, when Pausanius, who was nicknamed Laccus,[35] was dancing, he fell into a cask. "The cellar," says Gnathæna, "has fallen into the cask." On one occasion, some one put a very little wine into a wine-cooler, and said that it was sixteen years old. "It is very little of its age," said she, "to be as old as that." Once at a drinking-party, some young men were fighting about her, and beating one [Pg 932] another, and she said to the one who was worsted, "Be of good cheer, my boy; for it is not a contest to be decided by crowns, but by guineas." There was a man who once gave her daughter a mina, and never brought her anything more, though he came to see her very often. "Do you think, my boy," said she, "that now you have once paid your mina, you are to come here for ever, as if you were going to Hippomachus the trainer?" On one occasion, when Phryne said to her, with some bitterness, "What would become of you if you had the stone?" "I would give it to you," said she, "to sharpen your wit upon." For it was said that Gnathæna was liable to the stone, while the other certainly wanted it as Gnathæna hinted. On one occasion, some men were drinking in her house, and were eating some lentils dressed with onions (βολβοφάκη); as the maidservant was clearing the table, and putting some of the lentils in her bosom (κόλπον), Gnathæna said, "She is thinking of making some κολποφάκη."

Once, when Andronicus the tragedian had been acting his part in the representation of the Epigoni with great applause, and was coming to a drinking-party at her house, and sent a boy forward to bid her make preparation to receive him, she said—

"O cursed boy, what word is this you've spoken?"

And once, when a chattering fellow was relating that he was just come from the Hellespont, "Why, then," said she, "did you not go to the first city in that country?" and when he asked what city, "To Sigeum,"[36] said she. Once, when a man came to see her, and saw some eggs on a dish, and said, "Are these raw, Gnathæna, or boiled?" "They are made of brass, my boy," said she. On one occasion, when Chærephon came to sup with her without an invitation, Gnathæna pledged him in a cup of wine. "Take it," said she, "you proud fellow." And he said, "I proud?" "Who can be more so," said she, "when you come without even being invited?" And Nico, who was nicknamed the Goat (as Lynceus tells us), once when she met a parasite, who was very thin in consequence of a long sickness, said to him, "How lean you are." "No wonder," says he; "for what do you think is all that I have had to eat these three days?" "Why, a leather bottle," says she, "or perhaps your shoes."

[Pg 933]


48. There was a courtesan named Metanira; and when Democles the parasite, who was nicknamed Lagynion, fell down in a lot of whitewash, she said, "Yes, for you have devoted yourself to a place where there are pebbles." And when he sprung upon a couch which was near him, "Take care," said she, "lest you get upset." These sayings are recorded by Hegesander. And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Laughable Records, says that Gnathæna was hired by two men, a soldier and a branded slave; and so when the soldier, in his rude manner, called her a cistern, "How can I be so?" said she; "is it because two rivers, Lycus and Eleutherus, fall into me?" On one occasion, when some poor lovers of the daughter of Gnathæna came to feast at her house, and threatened to throw it down, saying that they had brought spades and mattocks on purpose; "But," said Gnathæna, "if you had those implements, you should have pawned them, and brought some money with you." And Gnathæna was always very neat and witty in all she said; and she even compiled a code of laws for banquets, according to which lovers were to be admitted to her and to her daughters, in imitation of the philosophers, who had drawn up similar documents. And Callimachus has recorded this code of hers in the third Catalogue of Laws which he has given; and he has quoted the first words of it as follows:—"This law has been compiled, being fair and equitable; and it is written in three hundred and twenty-three verses."

49. But a slave who had been flogged hired Callistium, who was nicknamed Poor Helen; and as it was summer, and he was lying down naked, she, seeing the marks of the whip, said, "Where did you get this, you unhappy man?" and he said, "Some broth was spilt over me when I was a boy." And she said, "It must have been made of neats'-leather." And once, when Menander the poet had failed with one of his plays, and came to her house, Glycera brought him some milk, and recommended him to drink it. But he said he would rather not, for there was some γραῦς[37] on it. But she replied, "Blow it away, and take what there is beneath."

Thais said once to a boastful lover of hers, who had borrowed some goblets from a great many people, and said that he meant to break them up, and make others of them, "You will destroy what belongs to each private person." Leontium was once sitting at table with a lover of hers, when Glycera [Pg 934] came in to supper; and as the man began to pay more attention to Glycera, Leontium was much annoyed: and presently, when her friend turned round, and asked her what she was vexed at, she said, "Ἡ ὑστέρα[38] pains me."

A lover of hers once sent his seal to Lais the Corinthian, and desired her to come to him; but she said, "I cannot come; it is only clay." Thais was one day going to a lover of hers, who smelt like a goat; and when some one asked her whither she was going, she said—

To dwell with Ægeus,[39] great Pandion's son.

Phryne, too, was once supping with a man of the same description, and, lifting up the hide of a pig, she said, "Take it, and eat[40] it." And once, when one of her friends sent her some wine, which was very good, but the quantity was small; and when he told her that it was ten years old; "It is very little of its age," said she. And once, when the question was asked at a certain banquet, why it is that crowns are hung up about banqueting-rooms, she said, "Because they delight the mind."[41] And once, when a slave, who had been flogged, was giving himself airs as a young man towards her, and saying that he had been often entangled, she pretended to look vexed; and when he asked her the reason, "I am jealous of you," said she, "because you have been so often smitten."[42] Once a very covetous lover of hers was coaxing her, and saying to her, "You are the Venus of Praxiteles;" "And you," said she, "are the Cupid of Phidias."[43]


50. And as I am aware that some of those men who have been involved in the administration of affairs of state have mentioned courtesans, either accusing or excusing them, I will enumerate some instances of those who have done so. For Demosthenes, in his speech against Androtion, mentions Sinope and Phanostrate; and respecting Sinope, Herodicus the pupil of Crates says, in the sixth book of his treatise on People mentioned in the Comic Poets, that she was called Abydus, because she was an old woman. And Antiphanes [Pg 935] mentions her in his Arcadian, and in his Gardener, and in his Sempstress, and in his Female Fisher, and in his Neottis. And Alexis mentions her in his Cleobuline, and Callicrates speaks of her in his Moschion; and concerning Phanostrate, Apollodorus, in his treatise on the Courtesans at Athens, says that she was called Phtheiropyle, because she used to stand at the door (πύλη) and hunt for lice (φθεῖρες).

And in his oration against Aristagoras, Hyperides says—"And again you have named, in the same manner, the animals called aphyæ." Now, aphyæ, besides meaning anchovies, was also a nickname for some courtesans; concerning whom the before-mentioned Apollodorus says—"Stagonium and Amphis were two sisters, and they were called Aphyæ, because they were white, and thin, and had large eyes." And Antiphanes, in his book on Courtesans, says that Nicostratis was called Aphya for the same reason. And the same Hyperides, in his speech against Mantitheus, who was being prosecuted for an assault, speaks in the following manner respecting Glycera—"Bringing with him Glycera the daughter of Thalassis in a pair-horse chariot." But it is uncertain whether this is the same Glycera who was the mistress of Harpalus; concerning whom Theopompus speaks in his treatise on the Chian Epistle, saying that after the death of Pythionica, Harpalus sent for Glycera to come to him from Athens; and when she came, she lived in the palace which is at Tarsus, and was honoured with royal honours by the populace, and was called queen; and an edict was issued, forbidding any one to present Harpalus with a crown, without at the same time presenting Glycera with another. And at Rhossus, he went so far as to erect a brazen statue of her by the side of his own statue. And Clitarchus has given the same account in his History of Alexander. But the author of Agen, a satyric drama, (whoever he was, whether it was Python of Catana, or king Alexander himself,) says—

And now they say that Harpalus has sent them
Unnumber'd sacks of corn, no fewer than
Those sent by Agen, and is made a citizen:
But this was Glycera's corn, and it may be
Ruin to them, and not a harlot's earnest.

51. And Lysias, in his oration against Lais, if, indeed, the speech is a genuine one, mentions these circumstances—"Philyra abandoned the trade of a harlot when she was still quite young; and so did Scione, [Pg 936] and Hippaphesis, and Theoclea, and Psamathe, and Lagisca, and Anthea." But perhaps, instead of Anthea, we ought to read Antea. For I do not find any mention made by any one of a harlot named Anthea. But there is a whole play named after Antea, by either Eunicus or Philyllius. And the author of the oration against Neæra, whoever he was, also mentions her. But in the oration against Philonides, who was being prosecuted for an assault, Lysias, if at least it is a genuine speech of his, mentions also a courtesan called Nais. And in his speech against Medon, for perjury, he mentions one by the name of Anticyra; but this was only a nickname given to a woman, whose real name was Hoia, as Antiphanes informs us in his treatise on Courtesans, where he says that she was called Anticyra,[44] because she was in the habit of drinking with men who were crazy and mad; or else because she was at one time the mistress of Nicostratus the physician, and he, when he died, left her a great quantity of hellebore, and nothing else. Lycurgus, also, in his oration against Leocrates, mentions a courtesan named Irenis, as being the mistress of Leocrates. And Hyperides mentions Nico in his oration against Patrocles. And we have already mentioned that she used to be nicknamed the Goat, because she had ruined Thallus the innkeeper. And that the goats are very fond of the young shoots of the olive (θάλλοι), on which account the animal is never allowed to approach the Acropolis, and is also never sacrificed to Minerva, is a fact which we shall dilate upon hereafter. But Sophocles, in his play called The Shepherds, mentions that this animal does browse upon the young shoots, speaking as follows—

For early in the morning, ere a man
Of all the folks about the stable saw me,
As I was bringing to the goat a thallus
Fresh pluck'd, I saw the army marching on
By the projecting headland.

Alexis also mentions Nannium, in his Tarentines, thus—

But Nannium is mad for love of Bacchus,—

[Pg 937]

jesting upon her as addicted to intoxication. And Menander, in his false Hercules, says—

Did he not try to wheedle Nannium?

And Antiphanes, in his treatise on Courtesans, says—"Nannium was nicknamed the Proscenium, because she had a beautiful face, and used to wear very costly garments embroidered with gold, but when she was undressed she was a very bad figure. And Corone was Nannium's daughter, and she was nicknamed Tethe, from her exceedingly debauched habits." Hyperides, in his oration against Patrocles, also speaks of a female flute-player named Nemeas. And we may wonder how it was that the Athenians permitted a courtesan to have such a name, which was that of a most honourable and solemn festival. For not only those who prostituted themselves, but all other slaves also were forbidden to take such names as that, as Polemo tells us, in his treatise on the Acropolis.

52. The same Hyperides also mentions my Ocimum, as you call her, O Cynulcus, in his second oration against Aristagoras, speaking thus—"As Lais, who appears to have been superior in beauty to any woman who had ever been seen, and Ocimum, and Metanira." And Nicostratus, a poet of the middle comedy, mentions her also in his Pandrosus, where he says—

Then go the same way to Aerope,
And bid her send some clothes immediately,
And brazen vessels, to fair Ocimum.

And Menander, in his comedy called The Flatterer, gives the following catalogue of courtesans—

Chrysis, Corone, Ischas, and Anticyra,
And the most beautiful Nannarium,—
All these you had.

And Philetærus, in his Female Hunter, says—

Is not Cercope now extremely old,
Three thousand years at least? and is not Telesis,
Diopithes' ugly daughter, three times that?
And as for old Theolyte, no man
Alive can tell the date when she was born.
Then did not Lais persevere in her trade
Till the last day of her life? and Isthmias,
Neæra too, and Phila, grew quite rotten.
I need not mention all the Cossyphæ,
Galenæ, and Coronæ; nor will I
Say aught of Nais, as her teeth are gone.

[Pg 938]

And Theophilus, in his Amateur of the Flute, says—

Lest he should with disastrous shipwreck fall
Into Meconis, Lais, or Sisymbrion,
Or Barathrum, or Thallusa, or any other
With whom the panders bait their nets for youths,
Nannium, or Malthace.

53. Now when Myrtilus had uttered all this with extreme volubility, he added:—May no such disaster befal you, O philosophers, who even before the rise of the sect called Voluptuaries, yourselves broke down the wall of pleasure, as Eratosthenes somewhere or other expresses it. And indeed I have now quoted enough of the smart sayings of the courtesans, and I will pass on to another topic. And first of all, I will speak of that most devoted lover of truth, Epicurus, who, never having been initiated into the encyclic series of learning, used to say that those were well off who applied themselves to philosophy in the same way in which he did himself; and these were his words—"I praise and congratulate you, my young man, because you have come over to the study of philosophy unimbued with any system." On which account Timon styles him—

The most unletter'd schoolmaster alive.

Now, had not this very Epicurus Leontium for his mistress, her, I mean, who was so celebrated as a courtesan? But she did not cease to live as a prostitute when she began to learn philosophy, but still prostituted herself to the whole sect of Epicureans in the gardens, and to Epicurus himself, in the most open manner; so that this great philosopher was exceedingly fond of her, though he mentions this fact in his epistles to Hermarchus.


54. But as for Lais of Hyccara—(and Hyccara is a city in Sicily, from which place she came to Corinth, having been made a prisoner of war, as Polemo relates in the sixth book of his History, addressed to Timæus: and Aristippus was one of her lovers, and so was Demosthenes the orator, and Diogenes the Cynic: and it was also said that the Venus, which is at Corinth, and is called Melænis, appeared to her in a dream, intimating to her by such an appearance that she would be courted by many lovers of great wealth;)—Lais, I say, is mentioned by Hyperides, in the second of his speeches against Aristagoras. And Apelles the painter, having seen [Pg 939] Lais while she was still a maiden, drawing water at the fountain Pirene, and marvelling at her beauty, took her with him on one occasion to a banquet of his friends. And when his companions laughed at him because he had brought a maiden with him to the party, instead of a courtesan, he said—"Do not wonder, for I will show you that she is quite beautiful enough for future enjoyment within three years." And a prediction of this sort was made by Socrates also, respecting Theodote the Athenian, as Xenophon tells us in his Memorabilia, for he used to say—"That she was very beautiful, and had a bosom finely shaped beyond all description. And let us," said he, "go and see the woman; for people cannot judge of beauty by hearsay." But Lais was so beautiful, that painters used to come to her to copy her bosom and her breasts. And Lais was a rival of Phryne, and had an immense number of lovers, never caring whether they were rich or poor, and never treating them with any insolence.

55. And Aristippus every year used to spend whole days with her in Ægina, at the festival of Neptune. And once, being reproached by his servant, who said to him—"You give her such large sums of money, but she admits Diogenes the Cynic for nothing:" he answered, "I give Lais a great deal, that I myself may enjoy her, and not that no one else may." And when Diogenes said, "Since you, O Aristippus, cohabit with a common prostitute, either, therefore, become a Cynic yourself, as I am, or else abandon her;" Aristippus answered him—"Does it appear to you, O Diogenes, an absurd thing to live in a house where other men have lived before you?" "Not at all," said he. "Well, then, does it appear to you absurd to sail in a ship in which other men have sailed before you?" "By no means," said he. "Well, then," replied Aristippus, "it is not a bit more absurd to be in love with a woman with whom many men have been in love already."

And Nymphodorus the Syracusan, in his treatise on the People who have been admired and eminent in Sicily, says that Lais was a native of Hyccara, which he describes as a strong fortress in Sicily. But Strattis, in his play entitled The Macedonians or Pausanias, says that she was a Corinthian, in the following lines—

[Pg 940]

A. Where do these damsels come from, and who are they?
B. At present they are come from Megara,
But they by birth are all Corinthians:
This one is Lais, who is so well known.

And Timæus, in the thirteenth book of his History, says she came from Hyccara, (using the word in the plural number;) as Polemo has stated, where he says that she was murdered by some women in Thessaly, because she was beloved by a Thessalian of the name of Pausanias; and that she was beaten to death, out of envy and jealousy, by wooden footstools in the temple of Venus; and that from this circumstance that temple is called the temple of the impious Venus; and that her tomb is shown on the banks of the Peneus, having on it an emblem of a stone water-ewer, and this inscription—

This is the tomb of Lais, to whose beauty,
Equal to that of heavenly goddesses,
The glorious and unconquer'd Greece did bow;
Love was her father, Corinth was her home,
Now in the rich Thessalian plain she lies;—

so that those men talk nonsense who say that she was buried in Corinth, near the Craneum.

56. And did not Aristotle the Stagirite have a son named Nicomachus by a courtesan named Herpyllis? and did he not live with her till his death? as Hermippus informs us in the first book of his History of Aristotle, saying that great care was taken of her in the philosopher's will. And did not our admirable Plato love Archaianassa, a courtesan of Colophon? so that he even composed this song in her honour:—

My mistress is the fair Archaianassa
From Colophon, a damsel in whom Love
Sits on her very wrinkles irresistible.
Wretched are those, whom in the flower of youth,
When first she came across the sea, she met;
They must have been entirely consumed.

And did not Pericles the Olympian (as Clearchus tells us in the first book of his treatise on Amatory Matters) throw all Greece into confusion on account of Aspasia, not the younger one, but that one who associated with the wise Socrates; and that, too, though he was a man who had acquired such a vast reputation for wisdom and political sagacity? But, indeed, Pericles was always a man much addicted to amorous [Pg 941] indulgences; and he cohabited even with his own son's wife, as Stesimbrotus the Thasian informs us; and Stesimbrotus was a contemporary of his, and had seen him, as he tells us in his book entitled a Treatise on Themistocles, and Thucydides, and Pericles. And Antisthenes, the pupil of Socrates, tells us that Pericles, being in love with Aspasia, used to kiss her twice every day, once when he entered her house, and once when he left it. And when she was impeached for impiety, he himself spoke in her behalf, and shed more tears for her sake than he did when his own property and his own life were imperilled. Moreover, when Cimon had had an incestuous intrigue with Elpinice, his sister, who was afterwards given in marriage to Callias, and when he was banished, Pericles contrived his recall, exacting the favours of Elpinice as his recompense.

And Pythænetus, in the third book of his History of Ægina, says that Periander fell violently in love with Melissa, the daughter of Procles of Epidaurus, when he had seen her clothed in the Peloponnesian fashion (for she had on no cloak, but a single tunic only, and was acting as cup-bearer to the young men,) and he married her. And Tigris of Leucadia was the mistress of Pyrrhus king of Epirus, who was the third in descent from the Pyrrhus who invaded Italy; but Olympias, the young man's mother, took her off by poison.

57. And Ulpian, as if he had got some unexpected gain, while Myrtilus was still speaking, said:—Do we say ὁ τίγρις in the masculine gender? for I know that Philemon says this in his play called Neæra:—

A. Just as Seleucus sent the tiger (τὴν τίγριν) here,
Which we have seen, so we in turn ought now
To send Seleucus back a beast from here.
B. Let's send him a trigeranum;[45]
for that's
An animal not known much in those parts.

And Myrtilus said to him:—Since you interrupted us when we were making out a catalogue of women, not like the lists of Sosicrates the Phanagorite, or like the catalogue of women of Nilænetus the Samian or Abderitan (whichever was really his native country), I, digressing a little, will turn to your question, my old Phœnix. Learn, then, that [Pg 942] Alexis, in his Pyraunus, has said τὸν τίγριν, using the word in the masculine gender; and these are his words:

Come, open quick the door; I have been here,
Though all unseen, walking some time,—a statue,
A millstone, and a seahorse, and a wall,
The tiger (ὁ τίγρις) of Seleucus.

And I might quote other evidences of the fact, but I postpone them for the present, while I finish my catalogue, as far as it comprehends the beautiful women.

58. For Clearchus speaks thus concerning Epaminondas: "Epaminondas the Theban behaved with more dignity than these men did; but still there was a want of dignity in the way in which he was induced to waver in his sentiments in his association with women, as any one will admit who considers his conduct with the wife of Lacon." But Hyperides the orator, having driven his son Glaucippus out of his house, received into it that most extravagant courtesan Myrrhina, and kept her in the city; and he also kept Aristagora in the Piræus, and Phila at Eleusis, whom he bought for a very large sum, and then emancipated; and after that he made her his housekeeper, as Idomeneus relates. But, in his oration in defence of Phryne, Hyperides confesses that he is in love with the woman; and yet, before he had got cured of that love, he introduced the above-mentioned Myrrhina into his house.

59. Now Phryne was a native of Thespiæ; and being prosecuted by Euthias on a capital charge, she was acquitted: on which account Euthias was so indignant that he never instituted any prosecution afterwards, as Hermippus tells us. But Hyperides, when pleading Phryne's cause, as he did not succeed at all, but it was plain that the judges were about to condemn her, brought her forth into the middle of the court, and, tearing open her tunic and displaying her naked bosom, employed all the end of his speech, with the highest oratorical art, to excite the pity of her judges by the sight of her beauty, and inspired the judges with a superstitious fear, so that they were so moved by pity as not to be able to stand the idea of condemning to death "a prophetess and priestess of Venus." And when she was acquitted, a decree was drawn up in the following form: "That hereafter no orator should endeavour to excite pity on behalf of anyone, and that no man or woman, when impeached, shall have his or her case decided on while present."

[Pg 943]


But Phryne was a really beautiful woman, even in those parts of her person which were not generally seen: on which account it was not easy to see her naked; for she used to wear a tunic which covered her whole person, and she never used the public baths. But on the solemn assembly of the Eleusinian festival, and on the feast of the Posidonia, then she laid aside her garments in the sight of all the assembled Greeks, and having undone her hair, she went to bathe in the sea; and it was from her that Apelles took his picture of the Venus Anadyomene; and Praxiteles the statuary, who was a lover of hers, modelled the Cnidian Venus from her body; and on the pedestal of his statue of Cupid, which is placed below the stage in the theatre, he wrote the following inscription:—

Praxiteles has devoted earnest care
To representing all the love he felt,
Drawing his model from his inmost heart:
I gave myself to Phryne for her wages,
And now I no more charms employ, nor arrows,
Save those of earnest glances at my love.

And he gave Phryne the choice of his statues, whether she chose to take the Cupid, or the Satyrus which is in the street called the Tripods; and she, having chosen the Cupid, consecrated it in the temple at Thespiæ. And the people of her neighbourhood, having had a statue made of Phryne herself, of solid gold, consecrated it in the temple of Delphi, having had it placed on a pillar of Pentelican marble; and the statue was made by Praxiteles. And when Crates the Cynic saw it, he called it "a votive offering of the profligacy of Greece." And this statue stood in the middle between that of Archidamus, king of the Lacedæmonians, and that of Philip the son of Amyntas; and it bore this inscription—"Phryne of Thespiæ, the daughter of Epicles," as we are told by Alcetas, in the second book of his treatise on the Offerings at Delphi.

60. But Apollodorus, in his book on Courtesans, says that there were two women named Phryne, one of whom was nicknamed Clausigelos,[46] and the other Saperdium. But Herodicus, [Pg 944] in the sixth book of his Essay on People mentioned by the Comic Poets, says that the one who is mentioned by the orators was called Sestos, because she sifted (ἀποσήθω) and stripped bare all her lovers; and that the other was the native of Thespiæ. But Phryne was exceedingly rich, and she offered to build a wall round Thebes, if the Thebans would inscribe on the wall, "Alexander destroyed this wall, but Phryne the courtesan restored it;" as Callistratus states in his treatise on Courtesans. And Timocles the comic poet, in his Neæra, has mentioned her riches (the passage has been already cited); and so has Amphis, in his Curis. And Gryllion was a parasite of Phryne's, though he was one of the judges of the Areopagus; as also Satyrus, the Olynthian actor, was a parasite of Pamphila. But Aristogiton, in his book against Phryne, says that her proper name was Mnesarete; and I am aware that Diodorus Periegetes says that the oration against her which is ascribed to Euthias, is really the work of Anaximenes. But Posidippus the comic poet, in his Ephesian Women, speaks in the following manner concerning her:—

Before our time, the Thespian Phryne was
Far the most famous of all courtesans;
And even though you're later than her age,
Still you have heard of the trial which she stood.
She was accused on a capital charge
Before the Heliæa, being said
To have corrupted all the citizens;
But she besought the judges separately
With tears, and so just saved herself from judgment.

61. And I would have you all to know that Democles, the orator, became the father of Demeas, by a female flute-player who was a courtesan; and once when he, Demeas, was giving himself airs in the tribune, Hyperides stopped his mouth, saying, "Will not you be silent, young man? why, you make more puffing than your mother did." And also Bion of the Borysthenes, the philosopher, was the son of a Lacedæmonian courtesan named Olympia; as Nicias the Nicæan informs us in his treatise called the Successions of the Philosophers. And Sophocles the tragedian, when he was an old man, was a lover of Theoris the courtesan; and accordingly, supplicating the favour and assistance of Venus, he says—

[Pg 945]

Hear me now praying, goddess, nurse of youths,
And grant that this my love may scorn young men,
And their most feeble fancies and embraces;
And rather cling to grey-headed old men,
Whose minds are vigorous, though their limbs be weak.

And these verses are some of those which are at times attributed to Homer. But he mentions Theoris by name, speaking thus in one of his plain choruses:—

For dear to me Theoris is.

And towards the end of his life, as Hegesander says, he was a lover of the courtesan Archippa, and he left her the heiress of all his property; but as Archippa cohabited with Sophocles, though he was very old, Smicrines, her former lover, being asked by some one what Archippa was doing, said very wittily, "Why, like the owls, she is sitting on the tombs."

62. But Isocrates also, the most modest of all the orators, had a mistress named Metanira, who was very beautiful, as Lysias relates in his Letters. But Demosthenes, in his oration against Neæra, says that Metanira was the mistress of Lysias. And Lysias also was desperately in love with Lagis the courtesan, whose panegyric Cephalus the orator wrote, just as Alcidamas the Elæan, the pupil of Gorgias, himself wrote a panegyric on the courtesan Nais. And, in his oration against Philonides, who was under prosecution for an assault, (if, at least, the oration be a genuine one,) Lysias says that Nais was the mistress of Philonides, writing as follows:—"There is then a woman who is a courtesan, Nais by name, whose keeper is Archias; but your friend Philonides states himself to be in love with her." Aristophanes also mentions her in his Gerytades, and perhaps also in his Plutus, where he says—

Is it not owing to you the greedy Lais
Does love Philonides?

For perhaps here we ought to read Nais, and not Lais. But Hermippus, in his Essay on Isocrates, says that Isocrates, when he was advancing in years, took the courtesan Lagisca to his house, and had a daughter by her. And Strattis speaks of her in these lines:—

And while she still was in her bed, I saw
Isocrates' concubine, Lagisca,
Playing her tricks; and with her the flute-maker.

[Pg 946]

And Lysias, in his speech against Lais, (if, at least, the oration be a genuine one,) mentions her, giving a list of other courtesans also, in the following words:—"Philyra indeed abandoned the trade of a courtesan while she was still young; and Scione, and Hippaphesis, and Theoclea, and Psamathe, and Lagisca, and Anthea, and Aristoclea, all abandoned it also at an early age."

63. But it is reported that Demosthenes the orator had children by a courtesan; at all events he himself, in his speech about gold, introduced his children before the court, in order to obtain pity by their means, without their mother; although it was customary to bring forward the wives of those who were on their trial; however, he did this for shame's sake, hoping to avoid calumny. But this orator was exceedingly addicted to amorous indulgences, as Idomeneus tells us. Accordingly, being in love with a youth named Aristarchus, he once, when he was intoxicated, insulted Nicodemus on his account, and struck out his eyes. He is related also to have been very extravagant in his table, and his followers, and in women. Therefore, his secretary once said, "But what can any one say of Demosthenes? For everything that he has thought of for a whole year, is all thrown into confusion by one woman in one night." Accordingly, he is said to have received into his house a youth named Cnosion, although he had a wife; and she, being indignant at this, went herself and slept with Cnosion.


64. And Demetrius the king, the last of all Alexander's successors, had a mistress named Myrrhina, a Samian courtesan; and in every respect but the crown, he made her his partner in the kingdom, as Nicolaus of Damascus tells us. And Ptolemy the son of Ptolemy Philadelphus the king, who was governor of the garrison in Ephesus, had a mistress named Irene. And she, when plots were laid against Ptolemy by the Thracians at Ephesus, and when he fled to the temple of Diana, fled with him: and when the conspirators had murdered him, Irene seizing hold of the bars of the doors of the temple, sprinkled the altar with his blood till they slew her also. And Sophron the governor of Ephesus had a mistress, Danae, the daughter of Leontium the Epicurean, who was also a courtesan herself. And by her means he was saved when a plot was laid against him by Laodice, and Laodice was thrown [Pg 947] down a precipice, as Phylarchus relates in his twelfth book in these words: "Danae was a chosen companion of Laodice, and was trusted by her with all her secrets; and, being the daughter of that Leontium who had studied with Epicurus the natural philosopher, and having been herself formerly the mistress of Sophron, she, perceiving that Laodice was laying a plot to murder Sophron, revealed the plot to Sophron by a sign. And he, understanding the sign, and pretending to agree to what she was saying to him, asked two days to deliberate on what he should do. And, when she had agreed to that, he fled away by night to Ephesus. But Laodice, when she learnt what had been done by Danae, threw her down a precipice, discarding all recollection of their former friendship. And they say that Danae, when she perceived the danger which was impending over her, was interrogated by Laodice, and refused to give her any answer; but, when she was dragged to the precipice, then she said, that "many people justly despise the Deity, and they may justify themselves by my case, who having saved a man who was to me as my husband, am requited in this manner by the Deity. But Laodice, who murdered her husband, is thought worthy of such honour."

The same Phylarchus also speaks of Mysta, in his fourteenth book, in these terms: "Mysta was the mistress of Seleucus the king, and when Seleucus was defeated by the Galatæ, and was with difficulty able to save himself by flight, she put off the robes of a queen which she had been accustomed to wear, and assumed the garment of an ordinary servant; and being taken prisoner, was carried away with the rest of the captives. And being sold in the same manner as her handmaidens, she came to Rhodes; and there, when she had revealed who she was, she was sent back with great honour to Seleucus by the Rhodians."

65. But Demetrius Phalereus being in love with Lampito, a courtesan of Samos, was pleased when he himself was addressed as Lampito, as Diyllus tells us; and he also had himself called Charitoblepharos.[47] And Nicarete the courtesan was the mistress of Stephanus the orator; and [Pg 948] Metanira was the mistress of Lysias the sophist; and these women were the slaves of Casius the Elean, with many other such, as Antea, Stratola, Aristoclea, Phila, Isthmias, and Neæra. But Neæra was the mistress of Stratoclides, and also of Xenoclides the poet, and of Hipparchus the actor, and of Phrynion the Pæanian, who was the son of Demon and the nephew of Demochares. And Phrynichus and Stephanus the orator used to have Neæra in turn, each a day, since their friends had so arbitrated the matter for them; and the daughter of Neæra, whose name was Strymbela, and who was afterwards called Phano, Stephanus gave (as if she had been his own daughter) in marriage to Phrastor of Ægialea; as Demosthenes tells us in his oration against Neæra. And he also speaks in the following manner about Sinope the courtesan: "And you punished Archias the hierophant, when he was convicted before the regular tribunals of behaving with impiety, and offering sacrifices which were contrary to the laws of the nation. And he was accused also of other things, and among them of having sacrificed a victim on the festival of Ceres, which was offered by Sinope the courtesan, on the altar which is in the court of the temple at Eleusis, though it is against the law to sacrifice any victims on that day; and though, too, it was no part of his duty to sacrifice at all, but it belonged to the priestess to do so."

66. Plangon the Milesian was also a celebrated courtesan; and she, as she was most wonderfully beautiful, was beloved by a young man of Colophon, who had a mistress already whose name was Bacchis. Accordingly, when this young man began to address his solicitations to Plangon, she, having heard of the beauty of Bacchis, and wishing to make the young man abandon his love for her, when she was unable to effect that, she required as the price of her favours the necklace of Bacchis, which was very celebrated. And he, as he was exceedingly in love, entreated Bacchis not to see him totally overwhelmed with despair; and Bacchis, seeing the excited state of the young man, gave him the necklace. And Plangon, when she saw the freedom from jealousy which was exhibited by Bacchis, sent her back the necklace, but kept the young man: and ever after Plangon and Bacchis were friends, loving the young man in common; and the Ionians being amazed at this, as Menetor tells us in his treatise concerning Offerings, gave Plangon the name of Pasiphila.[48] And Archilochus mentions her in the following lines:—

[Pg 949]

As a fig-tree planted on a lofty rock
Feeds many crows and jackdaws, so Pasiphila's
A willing entertainer of all strangers.

That Menander the poet was a lover of Glycera, is notorious to everybody; but still he was not well pleased with her. For when Philemon was in love with a courtesan, and in one of his plays called her "Excellent," Menander, in one of his plays, said, in contradiction to this, that there was no courtesan who was good.

67. And Harpalus the Macedonian, who robbed Alexander of vast sums of money and then fled to Athens, being in love with Pythionica, spent an immense deal of money on her; and she was a courtesan. And when she died he erected a monument to her which cost him many talents. And as he was carrying her out to burial, as Posidonius tells us in the twenty-second book of his History, he had the body accompanied with a band of the most eminent artists of all kinds, and with all sorts of musical instruments and songs. And Dicæarchus, in his Essay on the Descent to the Cave of Trophonius, says,—"And that same sort of thing may happen to any one who goes to the city of the Athenians, and who proceeds by the road leading from Eleusis, which is called the Sacred Road; for, if he stops at that point from which he first gets a sight of Athens, and of the temple, and of the citadel, he will see a tomb built by the wayside, of such a size that there is none other near which can be compared with it for magnitude. And at first, as would be natural, he would pronounce it to be the tomb, beyond all question, of Miltiades, or Cimon, or Pericles, or of some other of the great men of Athens. And above all, he would feel sure that it had been erected by the city at the public expense; or at all events by some public decree; and then, again, when he heard it was the tomb of Pythionica the courtesan, what must be his feelings?"

And Theopompus also, in his letter to Alexander, speaking reproachfully of the profligacy of Harpalus, says,—"But just consider and listen to the truth, as you may hear from the people of Babylon, as to the manner in which he treated Pythionica when she was dead; who was originally [Pg 950] the slave of Bacchis, the female flute-player. And Bacchis herself had been the slave of Sinope the Thracian, who brought her establishment of harlots from Ægina to Athens; so that she was not only trebly a slave, but also trebly a harlot. He, however, erected two monuments to her at an expense exceeding two hundred talents. And every one marvelled that no one of all those who died in Cilicia, in defence of your dominions and of the freedom of the Greeks, had had any tomb adorned for them either by him or by any other of the governors of the state; but that a tomb should be erected to Pythionica the courtesan, both in Athens and in Babylon; and they have now stood a long time. For a man who ventured to call himself a friend to you, has dared to consecrate a temple and a spot of ground to a woman whom everybody knew to have been common to every one who chose at the same fixed price, and to call both the temple and the altar those of Pythionica Venus; and in so doing, he despised also the vengeance of the Gods, and endeavoured to insult the honours to which you are entitled." Philemon also mentions these circumstances, in his comedy called the Babylonian, where he says—

You shall be queen of Babylon if the Fates
Will but permit it. Sure you recollect
Pythionica and proud Harpalus.

Alexis also mentions her in his Lyciscus.


68. But after the death of Pythionica, Harpalus sent for Glycera, and she also was a courtesan, as Theopompus relates, when he says that Harpalus issued an edict that no one should present him with a crown, without at the same time paying a similar compliment to his prostitute; and adds,—"He has also erected a brazen statue to Glycera in Rhossus of Syria, where he intends to erect one of you, and another of himself. And he has permitted her to dwell in the palace in Tarsus, and he permits her to receive adoration from the people, and to bear the title of Queen, and to be complimented with other presents, which are only fit for your own mother and your own wife." And we have a testimony coinciding with this from the author of the Satyric drama called Agen, which was exhibited, on the occasion when the Dionysian festival was celebrated on the banks of the river Hydaspes, by the author, whether he was Pythen of Catana or Byzantium, or the king himself. And it was exhibited when Harpalus was [Pg 951] now flying to the sea-shore, after he had revolted; and it mentions Pythionica as already dead; and Glycera, as being with Harpalus, and as being the person who encouraged the Athenians to receive presents from Harpalus. And the verses of the play are as follows:—

A. There is a pinnacle, where never birds
Have made their nests, where the long reeds do grow;
And on the left is the illustrious temple
Raised to a courtesan, which Pallides
Erected, but repenting of the deed,
Condemn'd himself for it to banishment.
And when some magi of the barbarians
Saw him oppressed with the stings of conscience,
They made him trust that they could raise again
The soul of Pythionica.

And the author of the play calls Harpalus Pallides in this passage; but in what follows, he speaks of him by his real name, saying—

B. But I do wish to learn from you, since I
Dwell a long way from thence, what is the fate
At present of the land of Athens; and
How all its people fare?
A. Why, when they said
That they were slaves, they plenty had to eat,
But now they have raw vegetables only,
And fennel, and but little corn or meat.
B. I likewise hear that Harpalus has sent them
A quantity of corn no less than Agen,
And has been made a citizen of Athens.
That corn was Glycera's. But it is perhaps
To them a pledge of ruin, not of a courtesan.

69. Naucratis also has produced some very celebrated courtesans of exceeding beauty; for instance, Doricha, whom the beautiful Sappho, as she became the mistress of her brother Charaxus, who had gone to Naucratis on some mercantile business, accuses in her poetry of having stripped Charaxus of a great deal of his property. But Herodotus calls her Rhodopis, being evidently ignorant that Rhodopis and Doricha were two different people; and it was Rhodopis who dedicated those celebrated spits at Delphi, which Cratinus mentions in the following lines—

             *              *              *              *

Posidippus also made this epigram on Doricha, although he had often mentioned her in his Æthiopia, and this is the epigram—

[Pg 952]

Here, Doricha, your bones have long been laid,
Here is your hair, and your well-scented robe:
You who once loved the elegant Charaxus,
And quaff'd with him the morning bowl of wine.
But Sappho's pages live, and still shall live,
In which is many a mention of your name,
Which still your native Naucratis shall cherish,
As long as any ship sails down the Nile.

Archedice also was a native of Naucratis; and she was a courtesan of great beauty. "For some how or other," as Herodotus says, "Naucratis is in the habit of producing beautiful courtesans."

70. There was also a certain courtesan named Sappho, a native of Eresus, who was in love with the beautiful Phaon, and she was very celebrated, as Nymphis relates in his Voyage round Asia. But Nicarete of Megara, who was a courtesan, was not a woman of ignoble birth, but she was born of free parents, and was very well calculated to excite affection by reason of her accomplishments, and she was a pupil of Stilpon the philosopher.

There was also Bilisticha the Argive, who was a very celebrated courtesan, and who traced her descent back to the Atridæ, as those historians relate who have written the history of the affairs of Argolis. There was also a courtesan named Leæna, whose name is very celebrated, and she was the mistress of Harmodius, who slew the tyrant. And she, being tortured by command of Hippias the tyrant, died under the torture without having said a word. Stratocles the orator also had for his mistress a courtesan whose name was Leme,[49] and who was nicknamed Parorama, because she used to let whoever chose come to her for two drachmas, as Gorgias says in his treatise on Courtesans.


Now though Myrtilus appeared to be intending to say no more after this, he resumed his subject, and said:—But I was nearly forgetting, my friends, to tell you of the Lyda of Antimachus, and also of her namesake Lyda, who was also a courtesan and the mistress of Lamynthius the Milesian. For each of these poets, as Clearchus tells us in his Tales of Love, being inflamed with love for the barbarian Lyde, wrote Pg 953] poems, the one in elegiac, and the other in lyric verse, and they both entitled their poems "Lyde." I omitted also to mention the female flute-player Nanno, the mistress of Mimnermus, and Leontium, the mistress of Hermesianax of Colophon. For he inscribed with her name, as she was his mistress, three books of elegiac poetry, in the third of which he gives a catalogue of things relating to Love; speaking in the following manner:—

71.   You know, too, how Œager's much-loved son,
Skilfully playing on the Thracian harp,
Brought back from hell his dear Agriope,
And sail'd across th' inhospitable land
Where Charon drags down in his common boat
The souls of all the dead; and far resounds
The marshy stream slow creeping through the reeds
That line the death-like banks. But Orpheus dared
With fearless soul to pass that lonely wave,
Striking his harp with well-accustom'd hand.
And with his lay he moved the pitiless gods,
And various monsters of unfeeling hell.
He raised a placid smile beneath the brows
Of grim Cocytus; he subdued the glance
So pitiless of the fierce, implacable dog,
Who sharpen'd in the flames his fearful bark,
Whose eye did glare with fire, and whose heads
With triple brows struck fear on all who saw.
He sang, and moved these mighty sovereigns;
So that Agriope once again did breathe
The breath of life. Nor did the son of Mene,
Friend of the Graces, the sweet-voiced Musæus,
Leave his Antiope without due honour,
Who, amid the virgins sought by many suitors
In holiest Eleusis' sacred soil,
Sang the loud joyful song of secret oracles,
Priestess of Rharian[50]
Ceres, warning men.
And her renown to Pluto's realms extends.
Nor did these bards alone feel Cupid's sway;
The ancient bard, leaving Bœotia's halls,
Hesiod, the keeper of all kinds of learning,
Came to fair Ascra's Heliconian village,
Where long he sought Eoia's wayward love;
[Pg 954]
Much he endured, and many books he wrote,
The maid the inspiring subject of his song.
And that great poet whom Jove's Fate protects,
Sweetest of all the votaries of the muse,
Immortal Homer, sought the rocky isle
Of Ithaca, moved by love for all the virtue
And beauty of the chaste Penelope.
Much for her sake he suffer'd; then he sought
A barren isle far from his native land,
And wept the race of Icarus, and of Amyclus
And Sparta, moved by his own woes' remembrances.
Who has not heard of sweet Mimnermus' fame;
Parent of plaintive elegiac verses,
Which to his lyre in sweetest sounds he sang?
Much did he suffer, burning with the love
Of cruel Nanno; and full oft inflamed
With ardent passion, did he feast with her,
Breathing his love to his melodious pipe;
And to his hate of fierce Hermobius
And Pherecles, tuneful utterance he gave.
Antimachus, too, felt the flame inspired
By Lydian Lyde; and he sought the stream
Of golden-waved Pactolus, where he laid
His lost love underneath the tearless earth,
And weeping, went his way to Colophon;
And with his wailing thus sweet volumes fill'd,
Shunning all toil or other occupation.
How many festive parties frequent rang
With the fond love of Lesbian Alcæus,
Who sang the praises of the amorous Sappho,
And grieved his Teian[51]
rival, breathing songs
Such as the nightingale would gladly imitate;
For the divine Anacreon also sought
To win the heart of the sacred poetess,
Chief ornament of all the Lesbian bands;
And so he roved about, now leaving Samos,
Now parting from his own enslavèd land,
Parent of vines, to wine-producing Lesbos;
And often he beheld Cape Lectum there,
Across th' Æolian wave. But greatest of all,
The Attic bee[52]
oft left its rugged hill,
Singing in tragic choruses divine,
Bacchus and Love     *          *
*                  *                   *                   *
I tell, besides, how that too cautious man,
Who earn'd deserved hate from every woman,
Stricken by a random shot, did not escape
Nocturnal pangs of Love; but wander'd o'er
The Macedonian hills and valleys green,
[Pg 955]
Smitten with love for fair Argea, who
Kept Archelaus' house, till the angry god
Found a fit death for cold Euripides,
Striving with hungry hounds in vain for life.
Then there's the man whom, mid Cythera's rocks,
The Muses rear'd, a faithful worshipper
Of Bacchus and the flute, Philoxenus:
Well all men know by what fierce passion moved
He to this city came; for all have heard
His praise of Galatea, which he sang
Amid the sheepfolds. And you likewise know
The bard to whom the citizens of Cos
A brazen statue raised to do him honour,
And who oft sang the praises of his Battis,
Sitting beneath a plane-tree's shade, Philetas;
In verses that no time shall e'er destroy.
Nor do those men whose lot in life is hard,
Seeking the secret paths of high philosophy,
Or those whom logic's mazes hold in chains,
Or that laborious eloquence of words,
Shun the sharp struggle and sweet strife of Love;
But willing, follow his triumphant car.
Long did the charms of fair Theano bind
The Samian Pythagoras, who laid bare
The tortuous mysteries of geometry;
Who all the mazes of the sphere unfolded,
And knew the laws which regulate the world,
The atmosphere which doth surround the world,
And motions of the sun, and moon, and stars.
Nor did the wisest of all mortal men,
Great Socrates, escape the fierce contagion,
But yielded to the fiery might of Venus,
And to the fascinations of the sex,
Laying his cares down at Aspasia's feet;
And though all doubts of nature he could solve,
He found no refuge from the pursuit of Love.
Love, too, did draw within the narrow Isthmus
The Cyrenean sage: and winning Lais,
With her resistless charms, subdued and bound
Wise Aristippus, who philosophy
Deserted, and preferr'd a trifling life.

72. But in this Hermesianax is mistaken when he represents Sappho and Anacreon as contemporaries. For the one lived in the time of Cyrus and Polycrates; but Sappho lived in the reign of Alyattes, the father of Crœsus. But Chameleon, in his treatise on Sappho, does assert that some people say that these verses were made upon her by Anacreon—

Love, the golden-haired god,
Struck me with his purple ball,
[Pg 956]
And with his many wiles doth seize
And challenge me to sport with him.
But she—and she from Lesbos comes,
That populous and wealthy isle—
Laughs at my hair and calls it grey,
And will prefer a younger lover.

And he says, too, that Sappho says this to him—

You, O my golden-throned muse,
Did surely dictate that sweet hymn,
Which the noble Teian bard,
From the fair and fertile isle,
Chief muse of lovely womanhood,
Sang with his dulcet voice.

But it is plain enough in reality that this piece of poetry is not Sappho's. And I think myself that Hermesianax is joking concerning the love of Anacreon and Sappho. For Diphilus the comic poet, in his play called Sappho, has represented Archilochus and Hipponax as the lovers of Sappho.

Now it appears to me, my friends, that I have displayed some diligence in getting up this amorous catalogue for you, as I myself am not a person so mad about love as Cynulcus, with his calumnious spirit, has represented me. I confess, indeed, that I am amorous, but I do deny that I am frantic on the subject.

And why should I dilate upon my sorrows,
When I may hide them all in night and silence?

as Æschylus the Alexandrian has said in his Amphitryon. And this is the same Æschylus who composed the Messenian poems—a man entirely without any education.


73. Therefore I, considering that Love is a mighty and most powerful deity, and that the Golden Venus is so too, recollect the verses of Euripides on the subject, and say—

Dost thou not see how great a deity
Resistless Venus is? No tongue can tell,
No calculation can arrive at all
Her power, or her dominions' vast extent;
She nourishes you and me and all mankind,
And I can prove this, not in words alone,
But facts will show the might of this fair goddess.
The earth loves rain when the parch'd plains are dry,
And lose their glad fertility of yield
From want of moisture. Then the ample heaven,
When fill'd with rain, and moved by Venus' power,
Loves to descend to anxious earth's embrace;
[Pg 957]
Then when these two are join'd in tender love
They are the parents of all fruits to us,
They bring them forth, they cherish them; and so
The race of man both lives and flourishes.

And that most magnificent poet Æschylus, in his Danaides, introduces Venus herself speaking thus—

Then, too, the earth feels love, and longs for wedlock,
And rain, descending from the amorous air,
Impregnates his desiring mate; and she
Brings forth delicious food for mortal man,—
Herds of fat sheep, and corn, the gift of Ceres;
The trees love moisture, too, and rain descends
T' indulge their longings, I alone the cause.

74. And again, in the Hippolytus[53] of Euripides, Venus says—

And all who dwell to th' eastward of the sea,
And the Atlantic waves, all who behold
The beams of the rising and the setting sun,
Know that I favour those who honour me,
And crush all those who boast themselves against me.

And, therefore, in the case of a young man who had every other imaginable virtue, this one fault alone, that he did not honour Venus, was the cause of his destruction. And neither Diana, who loved him exceedingly, nor any other of the gods or demi-gods could defend him; and accordingly, in the words of the same poet,—

Whoe'er denies that Love's the only god,[54]
Is foolish, ignorant of all that's true,
And knows not him who is the greatest deity
Acknowledged by all nations.

And the wise Anacreon, who is in everybody's mouth, is always celebrating love. And, accordingly, the admirable Critias also speaks of him in the following manner:—

Teos brought forth, a source of pride to Greece,
The sweet Anacreon, who with sweet notes twined
A wreath of tuneful song in woman's praise,
The choicest ornament of revelling feasts,
The most seductive charm; a match for flutes'
Or pipes' shrill aid, or softly moving lyre:
O Teian bard, your fame shall never die;
Age shall not touch it; while the willing slave
[Pg 958]
Mingles the wine and water in the bowl,
And fills the welcome goblet for the guests;
While female hands, with many twinkling feet,
Lead their glad nightly dance; while many drops,
Daughters of these glad cups, great Bacchus' juice,
Fall with good omen on the cottabus dish.

75. But Archytas the Harmonist, as Chamæleon calls him, says that Alcman was the original poet of amatory songs, and that he was the first poet to introduce melodies inciting to lawless indulgence, ... being, with respect to women.... On which account he says in one of his odes—

But Love again, so Venus wills,
Descends into my heart,
And with his gentle dew refreshes me.

He says also that he was in a moderate degree in love with Megalostrate, who was a poetess, and who was able to allure lovers to her by the charms of her conversation. And he speaks thus concerning her—

This gift, by the sweet Muse inspired,
That lovely damsel gave,
The golden-hair'd Megalostrate.

And Stesichorus, who was in no moderate degree given to amorous pursuits, composed many poems of this kind; which in ancient times were called παιδιὰ and παιδικά. And, in fact, there was such emulation about composing poems of this sort, and so far was any one from thinking lightly of the amatory poets, that Æschylus, who was a very great poet, and Sophocles, too, introduced the subject of the loves of men on the stage in their tragedies: the one describing the love of Achilles for Patroclus, and the other, in his Niobe, the mutual love of her sons (on which account some men have given an ill name to that tragedy); and all such passages as those are very agreeable to the spectators.

76. Ibycus, too, of Rhegium, speaks loudly as follows—

In early spring the gold Cydonian apples,
Water'd by streams from ever-flowing rivers,
Where the pure garden of the Virgins is,
And the young grapes, growing beneath the shade
Of ample branches, flourish and increase:
But Love, who never rests, gives me no shade,
Nor any recruiting dew; but like the wind,
Fierce rushing from the north, with rapid fire,
Urged on by Venus, with its maddening drought
Burns up my heart, and from my earliest youth,
Rules o'er my soul with fierce dominion.

[Pg 959]


And Pindar, who was of an exceedingly amorous disposition, says—

Oh may it ever be to me to love,
And to indulge my love, remote from fear;
And do not thou, my mind, pursue a chase
Beyond the present number of your years.

On which account Timon, in his Silli, says—

There is a time to love, a time to wed,
A time to leave off loving;

and adds that it is not well to wait until some one else shall say, in the words of this same philosopher—

When this man ought to set (δύνειν) he now begins
To follow pleasure (ἡδίνεσθαι).

Pindar also mentions Theoxenus of Tenedos, who was much beloved by him; and what does he say about him?—

And now (for seasonable is the time)
You ought, my soul, to pluck the flowers of love,
Which suit your age.
And he who, looking on the brilliant light that beams
From the sweet countenance of Theoxenus,
Is not subdued by love,
Must have a dark discolour'd heart,
Of adamant or iron made,
And harden'd long in the smith's glowing furnace.
That man is scorn'd by bright-eyed Venus.
Or else he's poor, and care doth fill his breast;
Or else beneath some female insolence
He withers, and so drags on an anxious life:
But I, like comb of wily bees,
Melt under Venus's warm rays,
And waste away while I behold
The budding graces of the youth I love.
Surely at Tenedos, persuasion soft,
And every grace,
Abides in the lovely son of wise Agesilas.

77. And many men used to be as fond of having boys for their favourites as women for their mistresses. And this was a frequent fashion in many very well regulated cities of Greece. Accordingly, the Cretans, as I have said before, and the Chalcidians in Eubœa, were very much addicted to the custom of having boy-favourites. Therefore Echemenes, in his History of Crete, says that it was not Jupiter who carried off Ganymede, but Minos. But the before-mentioned Chalcidians say that [Pg 960] Ganymede was carried off from them by Jupiter; and they show the spot, which they call Harpagius;[55] and it is a place which produces extraordinary myrtles. And Minos abandoned his enmity to the Athenians, (although it had originated in consequence of the death of his son, out of his love for Theseus: and he gave his daughter Phædra to him for his wife,) as Zenis, or Zeneus, the Chian, tells us in his treatise on Country.

78. But Hieronymus the Peripatetic says that the ancients were anxious to encourage the practice of having boy-favourites, because the vigorous disposition of youths, and the confidence engendered by their association with each other, has often led to the overthrow of tyrannies. For in the presence of his favourite, a man would choose to do anything rather than to get the character of a coward. And this was proved in practice in the case of the Sacred Band, as it was called, which was established at Thebes by Epaminondas. And the death of the Pisistratidæ was brought about by Harmodius and Aristogiton; and at Agrigentum in Sicily, the mutual love of Chariton and Melanippus produced a similar result, as we are told by Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Amatory Matters. For Melanippus and Chariton, being informed against as plotting against Phalaris, and being put to the torture in order to compel them to reveal their accomplices, not only did not betray them, but even made Phalaris himself pity them, on account of the tortures which they had undergone, so that he dismissed them with great praise. On which account Apollo, being pleased at this conduct, gave Phalaris a respite from death; declaring this to the men who consulted the Pythian priestess as to how they might best attack him. He also gave them an oracle respecting Chariton, putting the Pentameter before the Hexameter, in the same way as afterwards Dionysius the Athenian did, who was nicknamed the Brazen, in his Elegies; and the oracle runs as follows—

Happy were Chariton and Melanippus,
Authors of heavenly love to many men.

The circumstances, too, that happened to Cratinus the Athenian, are very notorious. For he, being a very beautiful boy, at the time when Epimenides was purifying Attica by human sacrifices, on account of some old pollution, as Neanthes of Cyzicus relates in the second book of his treatise on [Pg 961] Sacrifices, willingly gave himself up to secure the safety of the woman who had brought him up. And after his death, Apollodorus, his friend, also devoted himself to death, and so the calamities of the country were terminated. And owing to favouritism of this kind, the tyrants (for friendships of this sort were very adverse to their interests) altogether forbad the fashion of making favourites of boys, and wholly abolished it. And some of them even burnt down and rased to the ground the palæstræ, considering them as fortresses hostile to their own citadels; as, for instance, Polycrates the tyrant of Samos did.

79. But among the Spartans, as Agnon the Academic philosopher tells us, girls and boys are all treated in the same way before marriage: for the great lawgiver Solon has said—

Admiring pretty legs and rosy lips;—

as Æschylus and Sophocles have openly made similar statements; the one saying, in the Myrmidons—

You paid not due respect to modesty,
Led by your passion for too frequent kisses;—

and the other, in his Colchian Women, speaking of Ganymede, says—

Inflaming with his beauty mighty Jove.

But I am not ignorant that the stories which are told about Cratinus and Aristodemus are stated by Polemo Periegetes, in his Replies to Neanthes, to be all mere inventions. But you, O Cynulcus, believe that all these stories are true, let them be ever so false. And you take the greatest pleasure in all such poems as turn on boys and favourites of that kind; while the fashion of making favourites of boys was first introduced among the Grecians from Crete, as Timæus informs us. But others say that Laius was the originator of this custom, when he was received in hospitality by Pelops; and that he took a great fancy to his son, Chrysippus, whom he put into his chariot and carried off, and fled with to Thebes. But Praxilla the Sicyonian says that Chrysippus was carried off by Jupiter. And the Celtæ, too, although they have the most beautiful women of all the barbarians, still make great favourites of boys.... And the Persians, according to the statement of Herodotus, learnt from the Greeks to adopt this fashion.

[Pg 962]

80. Alexander the king was also very much in the habit of giving in to this fashion. Accordingly, Dicæarchus, in his treatise on the Sacrifice at Troy, says that he was so much under the influence of Bagoas the eunuch, that he embraced him in the sight of the whole theatre; and that when the whole theatre shouted in approval of the action, he repeated it. And Carystius, in his Historic Commentaries, says,—"Charon the Chalcidian had a boy of great beauty, who was a great favourite of his: but when Alexander, on one occasion, at a great entertainment given by Craterus, praised this boy very much, Charon bade the boy go and salute Alexander: and he said, 'Not so, for he will not please me so much as he will vex you.' For though the king was of a very amorous disposition, still he was at all times sufficiently master of himself to have a due regard to decorum, and to the preservation of appearances. And in the same spirit, when he had taken as prisoners the daughters of Darius, and his wife, who was of extraordinary beauty, he not only abstained from offering them any insult, but he took care never to let them feel that they were prisoners at all; but ordered them to be treated in every respect, and to be supplied with everything, just as if Darius had still been in his palace; on which account, Darius, when he heard of this conduct, raised his hands to the Sun and prayed that either he might be king, or Alexander."

But Ibycus states that Talus was a great favourite of Rhadamanthus the Just. And Diotimus, in his Heraclea, says that Eurystheus was a great favourite of Hercules, on which account he willingly endured all his labours for his sake. And it is said that Argynnus was a favourite of Agamemnon; and that they first became acquainted from Agamemnon seeing Argynnus bathing in the Cephisus. And afterwards, when he was drowned in this river, (for he was continually bathing in it,) Agamemnon buried him, and raised a temple on the spot to Venus Argynnis. But Licymnius of Chios, in his Dithyrambics, says that it was Hymenæus of whom Argynnus was a favourite. And Aristocles the harp-player was a favourite of King Antigonus: and Antigonus the Carystian, in his Life of Zeno, writes of him in the following terms:—"Antigonus the king used often to go to sup with Zeno; and once, as he was returning by daylight from some entertainment, he went to Zeno's house, and persuaded him to go with him to sup with Aristocles the harp-player, who was an excessive favourite of the king's."

[Pg 963]


81. Sophocles, too, had a great fancy for having boy-favourites, equal to the addiction of Euripides for women. And accordingly, Ion the poet, in his book on the Arrival of Illustrious Men in the Island of Chios, writes thus:—"I met Sophocles the poet in Chios, when he was sailing to Lesbos as the general: he was a man very pleasant over his wine, and very witty. And when Hermesilaus, who was connected with him by ancient ties of hospitality, and who was also the proxenus[56] of the Athenians, entertained him, the boy who was mixing the wine was standing by the fire, being a boy of a very beautiful complexion, but made red by the fire: so Sophocles called him and said, 'Do you wish me to drink with pleasure?' and when he said that he did, he said, 'Well, then, bring me the cup, and take it away again in a leisurely manner.' And as the boy blushed all the more at this, Sophocles said to the guest who was sitting next to him, 'How well did Phrynichus speak when he said—

The light of love doth shine in purple cheeks.

[Pg 964]

And a man from Eretria, or from Erythræ, who was a schoolmaster, answered him,—'You are a great man in poetry, O Sophocles; but still Phrynichus did not say well when he called purple cheeks a mark of beauty. For if a painter were to cover the cheeks of this boy with purple paint he would not be beautiful at all. And so it is not well to compare what is beautiful with what is not so.' And on this Sophocles, laughing at the Eretrian, said,—'Then, my friend, I suppose you are not pleased with the line in Simonides which is generally considered among the Greeks to be a beautiful one—

The maid pour'd forth a gentle voice
From out her purple mouth.[57]

And you do not either like the poet who spoke of the golden-haired Apollo; for if a painter were to represent the hair of the god as actually golden, and not black, the picture would be all the worse. Nor do you approve of the poet who spoke of rosy-fingered.[58] For if any one were to dip his fingers in rosy-coloured paint he would make his hands like those of a purple-dyer, and not of a pretty woman.' And when they all laughed at this, the Eretrian was checked by the reproof; and Sophocles again turned to pursue the conversation with the boy; for he asked him, as he was brushing away the straws from the cup with his little finger, whether he saw any straws: and when he said that he did, he said, 'Blow them away, then, that you may not dirty your fingers.' And when he brought his face near the cup he held the cup nearer to his own mouth, so as to bring his own head nearer to the head of the boy. And when he was very near he took him by the hand and kissed him. And when all clapped their hands, laughing and shouting out, to see how well he had taken the boy in, he said, 'I, my friends, am meditating on the art of generalship, since Pericles has said that I know how to compose poetry, but not how to be a general; now has not this stratagem of mine succeeded perfectly?' And he both said and did many things of this kind in a witty manner, drinking and giving himself up to mirth: but as to political affairs he was not able nor energetic in them, but behaved as any other virtuous Athenian might have done.

[Pg 965]


82. And Hieronymus of Rhodes, in his Historic Commentaries, says that Sophocles was not always so moderate, but that he at times committed greater excesses, and gave Euripides a handle to reproach him, as bringing himself into disrepute by his excessive intemperance.

83. And Theopompus, in his treatise on the Treasures of which the Temple at Delphi was plundered, says that "Asopichus, being a favourite of Epaminondas, had the trophy of Leuctra represented in relief on his shield, and that he encountered danger with extraordinary gallantry; and that this shield is consecrated at Delphi, in the portico." And in the same treatise, Theopompus further alleges that "Phayllus, the tyrant of Phocis, was extremely addicted to women; but that Onomarchus used to select boys as his favourites: and that he had a favourite, the son of Pythodorus the Sicyonian, to whom, when he came to Delphi to devote his hair to the god (and he was a youth of great beauty), Onomarchus gave the offerings of the Sybarites—four golden combs. And Phayllus gave to the daughter of Diniades, who was a female flute-player, a Bromiadian,[59] a silver goblet of the Phocæans, and a golden crown of ivy-leaves, the offering of the Peparethians. And," he says, "she was about to play the flute at the Pythian games, if she had not been hindered by the populace.

"Onomarchus also gave," as he says, "to his favourite Lycolas, and to Physcidas the son of Tricholaus (who was very handsome), a crown of laurel, the offering of the Ephesians. This boy was brought also to Philip by his father, but was dismissed without any favour. Onomarchus also gave to Damippus, the son of Epilycus of Amphipolis, who was a youth of great beauty, a present which had been consecrated to the god by Plisthenes.

"And Philomelus gave to Pharsalia, a dancing-woman from Thessaly, a golden crown of laurel-leaves, which had been offered by the Lampsacenes. But Pharsalia herself was afterwards torn to pieces at Metapontum, by the soothsayers, in the market-place, on the occasion of a voice coming forth out of the brazen laurel which the people of Metapontum had set up at the time when Aristeas of Proconnesus was [Pg 966] sojourning among them, on his return, as he stated, from the Hyperboreans, the first moment that she was seen entering the market-place. And when men afterwards inquired into the reason for this violence, she was found to have been put to death on account of this crown which belonged to the god."

84. Now I warn you, O philosophers, who indulge in unnatural passions, and who treat the great goddess Venus with impiety, to beware, lest you be destroyed in the same manner. For boys are only handsome, as Glycera the courtesan said, while they are like women: at least, this is the saying attributed to her by Clearchus. But my opinion is that the conduct of Cleonymus the Spartan was in strict conformity with nature, who was the first man to take such hostages as he took from the Metapontines—namely, two hundred of their most respectable and beautiful virgins; as is related by Duris the Samian, in the third book of his History of Agathocles. And I too, as is said by Epicrates in his Antilais,

Have learnt by heart completely all the songs
Breathing of love which sweetest Sappho sang,
Or the Lamynthian Cleomenes.

But you, my philosophical friends, even when you are in love with women  .  .  . as Clearchus says. For a bull was excited by the sight of the brazen cow at Pirene: and in a picture that existed of a bitch, and a pigeon, and a goose; and a gander came up to the goose, and a dog to the bitch, and a male pigeon to the pigeon, and not one of them discovered the deception till they got close to them; but when they got near enough to touch them, they desisted; just as Clisophus the Salymbrian did. For he fell in love with a statue of Parian marble that then was at Samos, and shut himself up in the temple to gratify his affection; but when he found that he could make no impression on the coldness and unimpressibility of the stone, then he discarded his passion. And Alexis the poet mentions this circumstance in his drama entitled The Picture, where he says—

And such another circumstance, they say,
Took place in Samos: there a man did fall
In love with a fair maiden wrought in marble,
And shut himself up with her in the temple.

And Philemon mentions the same fact, and says—

But once a man, 'tis said, did fall, at Samos,
In love with a marble woman; and he went
And shut himself up with her in the temple.

[Pg 967]


But the statue spoken of is the work of Ctesicles; as Adæus of Mitylene tells us in his treatise on Statuaries. And Polemo, or whoever the author of the book called Helladicus is, says—"At Delphi, in the museum of the pictures, there are two boys wrought in marble; one of which, the Delphians say, was so fallen in love with by some one who came to see it, that he made love to it, and shut himself up with it, and presented it with a crown; but when he was detected, the god ordered the Delphians, who consulted his oracle with reference to the subject, to dismiss him freely, for that he had given him a handsome reward.

85. And even brute beasts have fallen in love with men: for there was a cock who took a fancy to a man of the name of Secundus, a cup-bearer of the king; and the cock was nicknamed the Centaur. But this Secundus was a slave of Nicomedes the king of Bithynia; as Nicander informs us in the sixth book of his essay on the Revolutions of Fortune. And, at Ægium, a goose took a fancy to a boy; as Clearchus relates in the first book of his Amatory Anecdotes. And Theophrastus, in his essay on Love, says that the name of this boy was Amphilochus, and that he was a native of Olenus. And Hermeas the son of Hermodorus, who was a Samian by birth, says that a goose also took a fancy to Lacydes the philosopher. And in Leucadia (according to a story told by Clearchus), a peacock fell so in love with a maiden there, that when she died, the bird died too. There is a story also that, at Iasus, a dolphin took a fancy to a boy (and this story is told by Duris, in the ninth book of his History); and the subject of that book is the history of Alexander, and the historian's words are these: "He likewise sent for the boy from Iasus. For near Iasus there was a boy whose name was Dionysius, and he once, when leaving the palæstra with the rest of the boys, went down to the sea and bathed; and a dolphin came forward out of the deep water to meet him, and taking him on his back, swam away with him a considerable distance into the open sea, and then brought him back again to land." But the dolphin is an animal which is very fond of men, and very intelligent, and one very susceptible of gratitude. Accordingly Phylarchus, in his twelfth book, says—"Coiranus the Milesian, when he [Pg 968] saw some fishermen who had caught a dolphin in a net, and who were about to cut it up, gave them some money and bought the fish, and took it down and put it back in the sea again. And after this it happened to him to be shipwrecked near Myconos, and while every one else perished, Coiranus alone was saved by a dolphin. And when, at last, he died of old age in his native country, as it so happened that his funeral procession passed along the sea-shore close to Miletus, a great shoal of dolphins appeared on that day in the harbour, keeping only a very little distance from those who were attending the funeral of Coiranus, as if they also were joining in the procession and sharing in their grief."

The same Phylarchus also relates, in the twentieth book of his History, the great affection which was once displayed by an elephant for a boy. And his words are these: "But there was a female elephant kept with this elephant, and the name of the female elephant was Nicæa; and to her the wife of the king of India, when dying, entrusted her child, which was just a month old. And when the woman did die, the affection for the child displayed by the beast was most extraordinary; for it could not endure the child to be away; and whenever it did not see him, it was out of spirits. And so, whenever the nurse fed the infant with milk, she placed it in its cradle between the feet of the beast; and if she had not done so, the elephant would not take any food; and after this, it would take whatever reeds and grass there were near, and, while the child was sleeping, beat away the flies with the bundle. And whenever the child wept, it would rock the cradle with its trunk, and lull it to sleep. And very often the male elephant did the same."


86. But you, O philosophers, are far fiercer than dolphins and elephants, and are also much more untameable; although Persæus the Cittiæan, in his Recollections of Banquets, says loudly,—"It is a very consistent subject of conversation at drinking parties for men to talk of amatory matters; for we are naturally inclined to such topics after drinking. And at those times we should praise those who indulge in that kind of conversation to a moderate and temperate degree, but blame those who go to excess in it, and behave in a beastly manner. But if logicians, when assembled in a social party, were to talk about syllogisms, then a man might very fairly think that they were acting very unseasonably. And a respectable and [Pg 969] virtuous man will at times get drunk; but they who wish to appear extraordinarily temperate, keep up this character amid their cups for a certain time, but afterwards, as the wine begins to take effect on them, they descend to every kind of impropriety and indecency. And this was the case very lately with the ambassadors who came to Antigonus from Arcadia; for they sat at dinner with great severity of countenance, and with great propriety, as they thought,—not only not looking at any one of us, but not even looking at one another. But as the wine went round, and music of different kinds was introduced, and when the Thessalian dancing-women, as their fashion is, came in, and danced quite naked, except that they had girdles round their waists, then the men could not restrain themselves any longer, but jumped up off the couches, and shouted as if they were beholding a most gratifying sight; and they congratulated the king because he had it in his power to indulge in such pastimes; and they did and said a great many more vulgar things of the same kind.

"And one of the philosophers who was once drinking with us, when a flute-playing girl came in, and when there was plenty of room near him, when the girl wished to sit down near him, would not allow her, but drew himself up and looked grave. And then afterwards, when the girl was put up to auction, as is often the fashion at such entertainments, he was exceedingly eager to buy her, and quarrelled with the man who sold her, on the ground that he had knocked her down too speedily to some one else; and he said that the auctioneer had not fairly sold her. And at last this grave philosopher, he who at first would not permit the girl even to sit near him, came to blows about her." And perhaps this very philosopher, who came to blows about the flute-playing girl, may have been Persæus himself; for Antigonus the Carystian, in his treatise on Zeno, makes the following statement:—"Zeno the Cittiæan, when once Perseus at a drinking-party bought a flute-playing girl, and after that was afraid to bring her home, because he lived in the same house with Zeno, becoming acquainted with the circumstance, brought the girl home himself, and shut her up with Persæus." I know, also, that Polystratus the Athenian, who was a pupil of Theophrastus, and who was surnamed the Tyrrhenian, used often to put on the garments of the female flute-players.

[Pg 970]

87. Kings, too, have shown great anxiety about musical women; as Parmenion tells us in his Letter to Alexander, which he sent to that monarch after he had taken Damascus, and after he had become master of all the baggage of Darius. Accordingly, having enumerated all the things which he had taken, he writes as follows:—"I found three hundred and twenty-nine concubines of the king, all skilled in music; and forty-six men who were skilful in making garlands, and two hundred and seventy-seven confectioners, and twenty-nine boilers of pots, and thirteen cooks skilful in preparing milk, and seventeen artists who mixed drinks, and seventy slaves who strain wine, and forty preparers of perfumes." And I say to you, O my companions, that there is no sight which has a greater tendency to gladden the eyes than the beauty of a woman. Accordingly Œneus, in the play of Chæremon the tragedian, speaking of some maidens whom he had seen, says, in the play called Œneus,—

And one did lie with garment well thrown back,
Showing her snow-white bosom to the moon:
Another, as she lightly danced, display'd
The fair proportions of her lefthand side,
Naked—a lovely picture for the air
To wanton with; and her complexion white
Strove with the darkening shades. Another bared
Her lovely arms and taper fingers all:
Another, with her robe high round her neck,
Conceal'd her bosom, but a rent below
Show'd all her shapely thighs. The Graces smiled,
And love, not without hope, did lead me on.
Then on th' inviting asphodel they fell,
Plucking the dark leaves of the violet flower,
And crocus, which, with purple petals rising,
Copies the golden rays of the early sun.
There, too, the Persian sweetly-smelling marjoram
Stretch'd out its neck along the laughing meadow.

88. And the same poet, being passionately fond of flowers, says also in his Alphesibœa—

The glorious beauty of her dazzling body
Shone brilliant, a sweet sight to every eye;
And modesty, a tender blush exciting,
Tinted her gentle cheeks with delicate rose:
Her waxy hair, in gracefully modell'd curls,
Falling as though arranged by sculptor's hand,
Waved in the wanton breeze luxuriant.

[Pg 971]


And in his Io he calls the flowers children of spring, where he says—

Strewing around sweet children of the spring.

And in his Centaur, which is a drama composed in many metres of various kinds, he calls them children of the meadow—

There, too, they did invade the countless host
Of all the new-born flowers that deck the fields,
Hunting with joy the offspring of the meadows.

And in his Bacchus he says—

The ivy, lover of the dance,
Child of the mirthful year.

And in his Ulysses he speaks thus of roses:—

And in their hair the Hours' choicest gifts
They wore, the flowering, fragrant rose,
The loveliest foster-child of spring.

And in his Thyestes he says—

The brilliant rose, and modest snow-white lily.

And in his Minyæ he says—

There was full many a store of Venus to view,
Dark in the rich flowers in due season ripe.

89. Now there have been many women celebrated for their beauty (for, as Euripides says—

E'en an old bard may sing of memory)

There was, for instance, Thargelia the Milesian, who was married to fourteen different husbands, so very beautiful and accomplished was she, as Hippias the Sophist says, in his book which is entitled Synagoge. But Dinon, in the fifth book of his History of Persia, and in the first part of it, says that the wife of Bagazus, who was a sister of Xerxes by the same father, (and her name was Anytis,) was the most beautiful and the most licentious of all the women in Asia. And Phylarchus, in his nineteenth book, says that Timosa, the concubine of Oxyartes, surpassed all women in beauty, and that the king of Egypt had originally sent her as a present to Statira, the wife of the king.

And Theopompus, in the fifty-sixth book of his History, speaks of Xenopithea, the mother of Lysandrides, as the most beautiful of all the women in Peloponnesus. And the Lacedæmonians put her to death, and her sister Chryse also, when Agesilaus the king, having raised a seditious tumult in the city, procured Lysandrides, who was his enemy, to be banished by the Lacedæmonians. Pantica of Cyprus was also a [Pg 972] very beautiful woman; and she is mentioned by Phylarchus, in the tenth book of his History, where he says that when she was with Olympias, the mother of Alexander, Monimus, the son of Pythion, asked her in marriage. And, as she was a very licentious woman, Olympias said to him—"O wretched man, you are marrying with your eyes, and not with your understanding." They also say that the woman who brought back Pisistratus to assume the tyranny, clad in the semblance of Minerva the Saviour, was very beautiful, as indeed she ought to have been, seeing that she assumed the appearance of a goddess. And she was a seller of garlands; and Pisistratus afterwards gave her in marriage to Hipparchus his son, as Clidemus relates in the eighth book of his Returns, where he says—"And he also gave the woman, by name Phya, who had been in the chariot with him, in marriage to his son Hipparchus. And she was the daughter of a man named Socrates. And he took for Hippias, who succeeded him in the tyranny, the daughter of Charmus the polemarch, who was extraordinarily beautiful."

And it happened, as it is said, that Charmus was a great admirer of Hippias, and that he was the man who first erected a statue of Love in the Academy, on which there is the following inscription—

O wily Love, Charmus this altar raised
At the well-shaded bounds of her Gymnasium.

Hesiod, also, in the third book of his Melampodia, calls Chalcis in Eubœa,

Land of fair women;—

for the women there are very beautiful, as Theophrastus also asserts. And Nymphodorus, in his Voyage round Asia, says that there are nowhere more beautiful women than those in Tenedos, an island close to Troy.


90. I am aware, too, that on one occasion there was a contest of beauty instituted among women. And Nicias, speaking of it in his History of Arcadia, says that Cypselus instituted it, having built a city in the plain which is watered by the Alpheus; in which he established some Parrhasians, and consecrated a plot of sacred ground and an altar to Ceres of Eleusis, in whose festival it was that he had instituted this contest of beauty. And he says that the woman who gained the victory in this contest was Herodice. [Pg 973] And even to this day this contest is continued; and the women who contend in it are called Goldbearing. And Theophrastus says that there is also a contest of beauty which takes place among the Eleans, and that the decision is come to with great care and deliberation; and that those who gain the victory receive arms as their prize, which Dionysius of Leuctra says are offered up to Minerva. And he says, too, that the victor is adorned with fillets by his friends, and goes in procession to the temple; and that a crown of myrtle is given to him (at least this is the statement of Myrsilus, in his Historical Paradoxes). "But in some places," says the same Theophrastus, "there are contests between the women in respect of modesty and good management, as there are among the barbarians; and at other places also there are contests about beauty, on the ground that this also is entitled to honour, as for instance, there are in Tenedos and Lesbos. But they say that this is the gift of chance, or of nature; but that the honour paid to modesty ought to be one of a greater degree. For that it is in consequence of modesty that beauty is beautiful; for without modesty it is apt to be subdued by intemperance."

91. Now, when Myrtilus had said all this in a connected statement; and when all were marvelling at his memory, Cynulcus said—

Your multifarious learning I do wonder at—
Though there is not a thing more vain and useless,

says Hippon the Atheist. But the divine Heraclitus also says—"A great variety of information does not usually give wisdom." And Timon said—

There is great ostentation and parade
Of multifarious learning, than which nothing
Can be more vain or useless.

For what is the use of so many names, my good grammarian, which are more calculated to overwhelm the hearers than to do them any good? And if any one were to inquire of you, who they were who were shut up in the wooden horse, you would perhaps be able to tell the names of one or two; and even this you would not do out of the verses of Stesichorus, (for that could hardly be,) but out of the Storming of Troy, by Sacadas the Argive; for he has given a catalogue of a great number of names. Nor indeed could you properly give a list of the companions of [Pg 974] Ulysses, and say who they were who were devoured by the Cyclops, or by the Læstrygonians, and whether they were really devoured or not. And you do not even know this, in spite of your frequent mention of Phylarchus, that in the cities of the Ceans it is not possible to see either courtesans or female flute-players. And Myrtilus said,—But where has Phylarchus stated this? For I have read through all his history. And when he said,—In the twenty-third book; Myrtilus said—

92. Do I not then deservedly detest all you philosophers, since you are all haters of philology,—men whom not only did Lysimachus the king banish from his own dominions, as Carystius tells us in his Historic Reminiscences, but the Athenians did so too. At all events, Alexis, in his Horse, says—

Is this the Academy; is this Xenocrates?
May the gods greatly bless Demetrius
And all the lawgivers; for, as men say,
They've driven out of Attica with disgrace
All those who do profess to teach the youth
Learning and science.

And a certain man named Sophocles, passed a decree to banish all the philosophers from Attica. And Philo, the friend of Aristotle, wrote an oration against him; and Demochares, on the other hand, who was the cousin of Demosthenes, composed a defence for Sophocles. And the Romans, who are in every respect the best of men, banished all the sophists from Rome, on the ground of their corrupting the youth of the city, though, at a subsequent time, somehow or other, they admitted them. And Anaxippus the comic poet declares your folly in his Man struck by Lightning, speaking thus—

Alas, you're a philosopher; but I
Do think philosophers are only wise
In quibbling about words; in deeds they are,
As far as I can see, completely foolish.

It is, therefore, with good reason that many cities, and especially the city of the Lacedæmonians, as Chamæleon says in his book on Simonides, will not admit either rhetoric or philosophy, on account of the jealousy, and strife, and profitless discussions to which they give rise; owing to which it was that Socrates was put to death; he, who argued [Pg 975] against the judges who were given him by lot, discoursing of justice to them when they were a pack of most corrupt men. And it is owing to this, too, that Theodorus the Atheist was put to death, and that Diagoras was banished; and this latter, sailing away when he was banished, was wrecked. But Theotimus, who wrote the books against Epicurus, was accused by Zeno the Epicurean, and put to death; as is related by Demetrius the Magnesian, in his treatise on People and Things which go by the same Name.

93. And, in short, according to Clearchus the Solensian, you do not adopt a manly system of life, but you do really aim at a system which might become a dog; but although this animal has four excellent qualities, you select none but the worst of his qualities for your imitation. For a dog is a wonderful animal as to his power of smelling and of distinguishing what belongs to his own family and what does not; and the way in which he associates with man, and the manner in which he watches over and protects the houses of all those who are kind to him, is extraordinary. But you who imitate the dogs, do neither of these things. For you do not associate with men, nor do you distinguish between those with whom you are acquainted; and being very deficient in sensibility, you live in an indolent and indifferent manner. But while the dog is also a snarling and greedy animal, and also hard in his way of living, and naked; these habits of his you practise, being abusive and gluttonous, and, besides all this, living without a home or a hearth. The result of all which circumstances is, that you are destitute of virtue, and quite unserviceable for any useful purpose in life. For there is nothing less philosophical than those persons who are called philosophers. For whoever supposed that Æschines, the pupil of Socrates, would have been such a man in his manners as Lysias the orator, in his speeches on the Contracts, represents him to have been; when, out of the dialogues which are extant, and generally represented to be his work, we are inclined to admire him as an equitable and moderate man? unless, indeed, those writings are in reality the work of the wise Socrates, and were given to Æschines by Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, after his death, which Idomeneus asserts to be the case.

94. But Lysias, in the oration which bears this title—

[Pg 976]

"Against Æschines, the Pupil of Socrates, for Debt," (for I will recite the passage, even though it be a rather long one, on account of your excessive arrogance, O philosophers,)—begins in the following manner—"I never should have imagined, O judges, that Æschines would have dared to come into court on a trial which is so discreditable to him. For a more disgracefully false accusation than the one which he has brought forward, I do not believe it to be easy to find. For he, O judges, owing a sum of money with a covenanted interest of three drachmæ to Sosinomus the banker and Aristogiton, came to me, and besought me not to allow him to be wholly stripped of his own property, in consequence of this high interest. 'And I,' said he, 'am at this moment carrying on the trade of a perfumer; but I want capital to go on with, and I will pay you nine[60] obols a month interest.'" A fine end to the happiness of this philosopher was the trade of a perfumer, and admirably harmonizing with the philosophy of Socrates, a man who utterly rejected the use of all perfumes and unguents! And moreover, Solon the lawgiver expressly forbade a man to devote himself to any such business: on which account Pherecrates, in his Oven, or Woman sitting up all Night, says—

Why should he practise a perfumer's trade,
Sitting beneath a high umbrella there,
Preparing for himself a seat on which
To gossip with the youths the whole day long?

And presently afterwards he says—

And no one ever saw a female cook
Or any fishwoman; for every class
Should practise arts which are best suited to it.

And after what I have already quoted, the orator proceeds to say—"And I was persuaded by this speech of his, considering also that this Æschines had been the pupil of Socrates, and was a man who uttered fine sentiments about [Pg 977] virtue and justice, and who would never attempt nor venture on the actions practised by dishonest and unjust men."

95. And after this again, after he had run through the accusation of Æschines, and had explained how he had borrowed the money, and how he never paid either interest or principal, and how, when an action was brought against him, he had allowed judgment to go by default, and how a branded slave of his had been put forward by him as security; and after he had brought a good many more charges of the same kind against him, he thus proceeded:—"But, O judges, I am not the only person to whom he behaves in this manner, but he treats every one who has any dealings with him in the same manner. Are not even all the wine-sellers who live near him, from whom he gets wine for his entertainments and never pays for it, bringing actions against him, having already closed their shops against him? And his neighbours are ill-treated by him to such a degree that they leave their own houses, and go and rent others which are at a distance from him. And with respect to all the contributions which he collects, he never himself puts down the remaining share which is due from him, but all the money which ever gets into this pedlar's hands is lost as if it were utterly destroyed. And such a number of men come to his house daily at dawn, to ask for their money which he owes them, that passers-by suppose he must be dead, and that such a crowd can only be collected to attend his funeral.

"And those men who live in the Piræus have such an opinion of him, that they think it a far less perilous business to sail to the Adriatic than to deal with him; for he thinks that all that he can borrow is much more actually his own than what his father left him. Has he not got possession of the property of Hermæus the perfumer, after having seduced his wife, though she was seventy years old? whom he pretended to be in love with, and then treated in such a manner that she reduced her husband and her sons to beggary, and made him a perfumer instead of a pedlar! in so amorous a manner did he handle the damsel, enjoying the fruit of her youth, when it would have been less trouble to him to count her teeth than the fingers of her hand, they were so much fewer. And now come forward, you witnesses, who will prove these facts.—This, then, is the life of this sophist."

[Pg 978]

These, O Cynulcus, are the words of Lysias. But I, in the words of Aristarchus the tragic poet,

Saying no more, but this in self-defence,

will now cease my attack upon you and the rest of the Cynics.


[12] διφυὴς meaning, "of double nature."

[13] Iliad, xxiv. 489.

[14] Iliad, ii. 220.

[15] Theognis.

[16] It is not known from what play this fragment comes. It is given in the Variorum Edition of Euripides, Inc. Fragm. 165.

[17] From the Andromeda.

[18] This is a blunder of Athenæus; for the passage alluded to is evidently that in the Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides. The lines as quoted in the text here are—

Δίδυμα γὰρ τόξα αὐτὸν
Ἐντείνεσθαι χαρίτων
Τὸ μὲν ἐπ' εἰαίωνι τύχα
Τὸ δ' ἐπὶ συγχύσει βιοτᾶς.

The passage in Euripides is—

Δίδυμ' Ἕρως ὁ χρυσοκόμας
Τόξ' ἐντείνεται χαρίτων
Τὸ μὲν ἐπ' εὐαίωνι πότμῳ
Τὸ δ' ἐπὶ συγχύσει βιοτᾶω.—Iph. in Aul. 552.

[19] Iliad, x. 401.

[20] This fragment is from the Hippodamia.

[21] Ode 67.

[22] This is not from any one of the odes, which we have entire; but is only a fragment.

[23] From κείρω, to cut the hair.

[24] From the Æolus.

[25] Iliad, iii. 156.

[26] Ib. iii. 170.

[27] Ib. xx. 234.

[28] Ach. 524.

[29] Pind. Ol. 13.

[30] A σκολιὸν was a song which went round at banquets, sung to the lyre by the guests, one after another, said to have been introduced by Terpander; but the word is first found in Pind. Fr. lxxxvii. 9; Aristoph. Ach. 532. The name is of uncertain origin: some refer it to the character of the music, νόμος σκολιὸς, as opposed to νόμος ὔρθιος; others to the ῥυθμὸς σκολιὸς, or amphibrachic rhythm recognised in many scolia; but most, after Dicæarchus and Plutarch, from the irregular zigzag way it went round the table, each guest who sung holding a myrtle-branch, which he passed on to any one he chose.—Lid. & Scott, Gr. Lex. in voc.

[31] These are the second and third lines of the Electra of Sophocles.

[32] The Kids was a constellation rising about the beginning of October, and supposed by the ancients to bring storms. Theocritus says—

χὤταν ἐφ' ἑσπερίοις ἐρίφοις νότος ὑγρὰ διώκῃ κύματα.—vii. 53.

[33] Θάλλος means "a young twig."

[34] There is a pun here on her name,—Ἵππη meaning a mare.

[35] Λάκκος, a cistern; a cellar.

[36] This is a pun on the similarity of the name Σίγειον to σιγὴ, silence.

[37] Γραῦς means both an old woman, and the scum on boiled milk.

[38] Ὑστέρα means both "the womb," and "the new comer."

[39] Punning on the similarity of the name Αἰγεὺς to αἲξ, a goat.

[40] Punning on the similarity of κατατράγω, to eat, and τράγος, a goat.

[41] The Greek word is ψυχαγωγοῦσι, which might perhaps also mean to bring coolness, from ψῦχος, coolness.

[42] The young man says πολλαῖς συμπέπλεχθαι (γύναιξι scil.), but Phryne chooses to suppose that he meant to say πολλαῖς πληγαῖς, blows.

[43] This is a pun on the name Φειδίας, as if from φείδω, to be stingy.

[44] Anticyra was the name of three islands celebrated as producing a great quantity of hellebore. Horace, speaking of a madman, says:

Si tribus Anticyris caput insanabile nunquam
Tonsori Licino commiserit.—A. P. 300.

[45] This probably means a large crane.

[46] From κλαίω, to weep, and γέλως, laughter.

[47] That is, With beautiful Eyelids; from χάρις, grace, and βλέφαρον, an eyelid.

[48] The universal Friend.

[49] Λήμη literally means the matter which gathers in the corner of the eyes; λήμαι, sore eyes. Παρόραμα means an oversight, a defect in sight; but there is supposed to be some corruption in this latter word.

[50] Rharia was a name of Ceres, from the Rharian plain near Eleusis, where corn was first sown by Triptolemus, the son of Rharus. It is mentioned by Homer:—

ἐς δ' ἄρα Ῥάριον ἷξε, φερέσβιον οὖθαρ ἀρούρης
τὸ πρίν, ἄταρ τότε γ' οὔτι φερέσβιον, ἀλλὰ ἕκηλον
εἱστήκι πανάφυλλον, ἔκευθε δ' ἄρα κρῖ λευκὸν
μήδεσι Δήμητρος καλλισφύρου.—Od. in Cerer. 450.

[51] Anacreon.

[52] Sophocles.

[53] V. 3.

[54] This is not from the Hippolytus, but is a fragment from the Auge.

[55] From ἁρπάζω, to carry off.

[56] "Of far greater importance was the public hospitality (προξενία) which existed between two states, or between an individual or a family on the one hand, and a whole state on the other.... When two states established public hospitality, it was necessary that in each state persons should be appointed to show hospitality to, and watch over the interests of all persons who came from the state connected by hospitality. The persons who were appointed to this office, as the recognised agents of the state for which they acted, were called πρόξενοι....

"The office of πρόξενοσ, which bears great resemblance to that of a modern consul, or minister resident, was in some cases hereditary in a particular family. When a state appointed a proxenus, it either sent out one of its own citizens to reside in the other state, or it selected one of the citizens of the other, and conferred on him the honour of proxenus.... This custom seems in later times to have been universally adopted by the Greeks....

"The principal duties of a proxenus were to receive those persons, especially ambassadors, who came from the state which he represented; to procure for them admission to the assembly, and seats in the theatre; to act as the patron of the strangers, and to mediate between the two states, if any dispute arose. If a stranger died in the state, the proxenus of his country had to take care of the property of the deceased. The proxenus usually enjoyed exemption from taxes; and their persons were inviolable both by sea and land."—Smith, Dict. Ant. v. Hospitium, p. 491.

[57] Pindar, Ol. vi. 71.

[58] Homer gives this epithet to Aurora, Iliad, i. 477, and in many other places.

[59] Schweighauser says this word is to him totally unintelligible.

[60] This would have been 18 per cent. Three drachmæ were about 36 per cent. The former appears to have been the usual rate of interest at Athens in the time of Lysias; for we find in Demosthenes that interest ἐπὶ δραχμῇ , that is to say, a drachma a month interest for each mina lent, was considered low. It was exceedingly common, however, among the money-lenders, to exact an exorbitant rate of interest, going even as high as a drachma every four days.—See Smith's Dict. Ant. v. Interest, p. 524.


1. Most people, my friend Timocrates, call Bacchus frantic, because those who drink too much unmixed wine become violent.

To copious wine this insolence we owe,
And much thy betters wine can overthrow
The great Eurytion, when this frenzy stung,
Pirithous' roofs with frantic riot rung:
Boundless the Centaur raged, till one and all
The heroes lose and dragg'd him from the hall;
His nose they shorten'd, and his ears they slit,
And sent him sober'd home with better wit.[61]

For when the wine has penetrated down into the body, as Herodotus says, bad and furious language is apt to rise to the surface. And Clearchus the comic poet says in his Corinthians—

If all the men who to get drunk are apt,
Had every day a headache ere they drank
The wine, there is not one would drink a drop:
But as we now get all the pleasure first,
And then the drink, we lose the whole delight
In the sharp pain which follows.

And Xenophon represents Agesilaus as insisting that a man ought to shun drunkenness equally with madness, and immoderate gluttony as much as idleness. But we, as we are not of the class who drink to excess, nor of the number of those who are in the habit of being intoxicated by midday, have come rather to this literary entertainment; for Ulpian, who is always finding fault, reproved some one just now who said, I am not drunk (ἔξοινος), saying,—Where do you find that word ἔξοινος? But he rejoined,—Why, in Alexis, who, in his play called the New Settler, says—

He did all this when drunk (ἔξοινος).

[Pg 979]


2. But as, after the discussion by us of the new topics which arise, our liberal entertainer Laurentius is every day constantly introducing different kinds of music, and also jesters and buffoons, let us have a little talk about them. Although I am aware that Anacharsis the Scythian, when on one occasion jesters were introduced in his company, remained without moving a muscle of his countenance; but afterwards, when a monkey was brought in, he burst out laughing, and said, "Now this fellow is laughable by his nature, but man is only so through practice." And Euripides, in his Melanippe in Chains, has said—

But many men, from the wish to raise a laugh,
Practise sharp sayings; but those sorry jesters
I hate who let loose their unbridled tongues
Against the wise and good; nor do I class them
As men at all, but only as jokes and playthings.
Meantime they live at ease, and gather up
Good store of wealth to keep within their houses.

And Parmeniscus of Metapontum, as Semus tells us in the fifth book of his Delias, a man of the highest consideration both as to family and in respect of his riches, having gone down to the cave of Trophonius, after he had come up again, was not able to laugh at all. And when he consulted the oracle on this subject, the Pythian priestess replied to him—

You're asking me, you laughless man,
About the power to laugh again;
Your mother 'll give it you at home,
If you with reverence to her come.

So, on this, he hoped that when he returned to his country he should be able to laugh again; but when he found that he could laugh no more now than he could before, he considered that he had been deceived; till, by some chance, he came to Delos; and as he was admiring everything he saw in the island, he came into the temple of Latona, expecting to see some very superb statue of the mother of Apollo; but when he saw only a wooden shapeless figure, he unexpectedly burst out laughing. And then, comparing what had happened with the oracle of the god, and being cured of his infirmity, he honoured the goddess greatly.

3. Now Anaxandrides, in his Old-Man's Madness, says that it was Rhadamanthus and Palamedes who invented the fashion of jesters; and his words are these:—

[Pg 980]

And yet we labour much.
But Palamedes first, and Rhadamanthus,
Sought those who bring no other contribution,
But say amusing things.

Xenophon also, in his Banquet, mentions jesters; introducing Philip, of whom he speaks in the following manner:—"But Philip the jester, having knocked at the door, told the boy who answered, to tell the guests who he was, and that he was desirous to be admitted; and he said that he came provided with everything which could qualify him for supping at other people's expense. And he said, too, that his boy was in a good deal of distress because he had brought nothing, and because he had had no dinner." And Hippolochus the Macedonian, in his epistle to Lynceus, mentions the jesters Mandrogenes and Strato the Athenian. And at Athens there was a great deal of this kind of cleverness. Accordingly, in the Heracleum at Diomea[62] they assembled to the number of sixty, and they were always spoken of in the city as amounting to that number, in such expressions as—"The sixty said this," and, "I am come from the sixty." And among them were Callimedon, nicknamed the Crab, and Dinias, and also Mnasigeiton and Menæchmus, as Telephanes tells us in his treatise on the City. And their reputation for amusing qualities was so great, that Philip the Macedonian heard of it, and sent them a talent to engage them to write out their witticisms and send them to him. And the fact of this king having been a man who was very fond of jokes is testified to us by Demosthenes the orator in his Philippics.


Demetrius Poliorcetes was a man very eager for anything which could make him laugh, as Phylarchus tells us in the sixth book of his History. And he it was who said, "that the palace of Lysimachus was in no respect different from a comic theatre; for that there was no one there bigger than a dissyllable;"[63] (meaning to laugh at Bithys and Paris, who had more influence than anybody with Lysimachus, and at some others of his friends;) "but that his friends were [Pg 981] Peucesteses, and Menelauses, and Oxythemises." But when Lysimachus heard this, he said,—"I, however, never saw a prostitute on the stage in a tragedy;" referring to Lamia the female flute-player. And when this was reported to Demetrius, he rejoined,—"But the prostitute who is with me, lives in a more modest manner than the Penelope who is with him."

4. And we have mentioned before this that Sylla, the general of the Romans, was very fond of anything laughable. And Lucius Anicius, who was also a general of the Romans, after he had subdued the Illyrians, and brought with him Genthius the king of the Illyrians as his prisoner, with all his children, when he was celebrating his triumphal games at Rome, did many things of the most laughable character possible, as Polybius relates in his thirtieth book:—"For having sent for the most eminent artists from Greece, and having erected a very large theatre in the circus, he first of all introduced all the flute-players. And these were Theodorus the Bœotian, and Theopompus, and Hermippus, surnamed Lysimachus, who were the most eminent men in their profession. And having brought these men in front of the stage after the chorus was over, he ordered them all to play the flute. And as they accompanied their music with appropriate gestures, he sent to them and said that they were not playing well, and desired them to be more vehement. And while they were in perplexity, one of the lictors told them that what Anicius wished was that they should turn round so as to advance towards each other, and give a representation of a battle. And then the flute-players, taking this hint, and adopting a movement not unsuited to their habitual wantonness, caused a great tumult and confusion; and turning the middle of the chorus towards the extremities, the flute-players, all blowing unpremeditated notes, and letting their flutes be all out of tune, rushed upon one another in turn: and at the same time the choruses, all making a noise to correspond to them, and coming on the stage at the same time, rushed also upon one another, and then again retreated, advancing and retreating alternately. But when one of the chorus-dancers tucked up his garment, and suddenly turned round and raised his hands against the flute-player who was coming towards him, as if he was going to box [Pg 982] with him, then there arose an extraordinary clapping and shouting on the part of the spectators. And while all these men were fighting as if in regular battle, two dancers were introduced into the orchestra with a symphony, and four boxers mounted the stage, with trumpeters and horn-players: and when all these men were striving together, the spectacle was quite indescribable: and as for the tragedians," says Polybius, "if I were to attempt to describe what took place with respect to them, I should be thought by some people to be jesting."

5. Now when Ulpian had said thus much, and when all were laughing at the idea of this exhibition of Anicius, a discussion arose about the men who are called πλάνοι. And the question was asked, Whether there was any mention of these men in any of the ancient authors? for of the jugglers (θαυματοποιοὶ) we have already spoken: and Magnus said,—Dionysius of Sinope, the comic poet, in his play entitled the Namesakes, mentions Cephisodorus the πλάνος in the following terms:—

They say that once there was a man at Athens,
A πλάνος, named Cephisodorus, who
Devoted all his life to this pursuit;
And he, whenever to a hill he came,
Ran straight up to the top; but then descending
Came slowly down, and leaning on a stick.

And Nicostratus also mentions him in his Syrian—

They say the πλάνος Cephisodorus once
Most wittily station'd in a narrow lane
A crowd of men with bundles of large faggots,
So that no one else could pass that way at all.

There was also a man named Pantaleon, who is mentioned, by Theognetus, in his Slave devoted to his Master—

Pantaleon himself did none deceive (ἐπλάνα)
Save only foreigners, and those, too, such
As ne'er had heard of him: and often he,
After a drunken revel, would pour forth
All sorts of jokes, striving to raise a laugh
By his unceasing chattering.

And Chrysippus the philosopher, in the fifth book of his treatise on Honour and Pleasure, writes thus of Pantaleon:—"But Pantaleon the πλάνος, when he was at the point of death, deceived every one of his sons separately, telling each of them that he was the only one to whom he was revealing the place where he had buried his gold; so that they afterwards [Pg 983] went and dug together to no purpose, and then found out that they had been all deceived."

6. And our party was not deficient in men fond of raising a laugh by bitter speeches. And respecting a man of this kind, Chrysippus subsequently, in the same book, writes as follows:—"Once when a man fond of saying bitter things was about to be put to death by the executioner, he said that he wished to die like the swan, singing a song; and when he gave him leave, he ridiculed him." And Myrtilus having had a good many jokes cut on him by people of this sort, got angry, and said that Lysimachus the king had done a very sensible thing; for he, hearing Telesphorus, one of his lieutenants, at an entertainment, ridiculing Arsinoe (and she was the wife of Lysimachus), as being a woman in the habit of vomiting, in the following line—

You begin ill, introducing τηνδεμουσαν,[64]

ordered him to be put in a cage (γαλεάγρα) and carried about like a wild beast, and fed; and he punished him in this way till he died. But if you, O Ulpian, raise a question about the word γαλεάγρα, it occurs in Hyperides the orator; and the passage you may find out for yourself.

And Tachaos the king of Egypt ridiculed Agesilaus king of Lacedæmon, when he came to him as an ally (for he was a very short man), and lost his kingdom in consequence, as Agesilaus abandoned his alliance. And the expression of Tachaos was as follows:—

The mountain was in labour; Jupiter
Was greatly frighten'd: lo! a mouse was born.

And Agesilaus hearing of this, and being indignant at it, said, "I will prove a lion to you." So afterwards, when the Egyptians revolted (as Theopompus relates, and Lyceas of Naucratis confirms the statement in his History of Egypt), Agesilaus refused to cooperate with him, and, in consequence, Tachaos lost his kingdom, and fled to the Persians.

7. So as there was a great deal of music introduced, and not always the same instruments, and as there was a good deal of discussion and conversation about them, (without always giving the names of those who took part in it,) I will enumerate the chief things which were said. [Pg 984] For concerning flutes, somebody said that Melanippides, in his Marsyas, disparaging the art of playing the flute, had said very cleverly about Minerva:—

Minerva cast away those instruments
Down from her sacred hand; and said, in scorn,
"Away, you shameful things—you stains of the body!
Shall I now yield myself to such malpractices?"

And some one, replying to him, said,—But Telestes of Selinus, in opposition to Melanippides, says in his Argo (and it is of Minerva that he too is speaking):—

It seems to me a scarcely credible thing
That the wise Pallas, holiest of goddesses,
Should in the mountain groves have taken up
That clever instrument, and then again
Thrown it away, fearing to draw her mouth
Into an unseemly shape, to be a glory
To the nymph-born, noisy monster Marsyas.
For how should chaste Minerva be so anxious
About her beauty, when the Fates had given her
A childless, husbandless virginity?

intimating his belief that she, as she was and always was to continue a maid, could not be alarmed at the idea of disfiguring her beauty. And in a subsequent passage he says—

But this report, spread by vain-speaking men,
Hostile to every chorus, flew most causelessly
Through Greece, to raise an envy and reproach
Against the wise and sacred art of music.

And after this, in an express panegyric on the art of flute-playing, he says—

And so the happy breath of the holy goddess
Bestow'd this art divine on Bromius,
With the quick motion of the nimble fingers.

And very neatly, in his Æsculapius, has Telestes vindicated the use of the flute, where he says—

And that wise Phrygian king who first poured forth
The notes from sweetly-sounding sacred flutes,
Rivalling the music of the Doric Muse,
Embracing with his well-join'd reeds the breath
Which fills the flute with tuneful modulation.

8. And Pratinas the Phliasian says, that when some hired flute-players and chorus-dancers were occupying the orchestra, some people were indignant because the flute-players did not play in tune to the choruses, as was the national custom, but the choruses instead sang, keeping time to the flutes. And [Pg 985] what his opinion and feelings were towards those who did this, Pratinas declares in the following hyporchema:—

What noise is this?
What mean these songs of dancers now?
What new unseemly fashion
Has seized upon this stage to Bacchus sacred,
Now echoing with various noise?
Bromius is mine! is mine!
I am the man who ought to sing,
I am the man who ought to raise the strain,
Hastening o'er the hills,
In swift inspired dance among the Naiades;
Blending a song of varied strain,
Like the sweet dying swan.
You, O Pierian Muse, the sceptre sway
Of holy song:
And after you let the shrill flute resound;
For that is but the handmaid
Of revels, where men combat at the doors,
And fight with heavy fists.[65]
*              *              *              *             *
And is the leader fierce of bloody quarrel.
Descend, O Bacchus, on the son of Phrynæus,
The leader of the changing choir,—
Chattering, untimely, leading on
The rhythm of the changing song.
*              *              *              *             *
King of the loud triumphal dithyrambic,
Whose brow the ivy crowns,
Hear this my Doric song.

9. And of the union of flutes with the lyre (for that concert has often been a great delight to us ourselves), Ephippus, in his Traffic, speaks as follows:—

Clearly, O youth, the music of the flute,
And that which from the lyre comes, does suit
Well with our pastimes; for when each resound
In unison with the feelings of those present,
Then is the greatest pleasure felt by all.

And the exact meaning of the word συναυλία is shown by Semus the Delian, in the fifth book of his Delias, where he writes—"But as the term 'concert' (συναυλία) is not understood by many people, we must speak of it. It is when there is a union of the flute and of rhythm in alternation, without any words accompanying the melody." And Antiphanes explains it very neatly in his Flute-player, where he says—

[Pg 986]

Tell me, I pray you, what this concert (ἡ συναυλία αὕτη) was
Which he did give you. For you know; but they
Having well learnt, still played[66]
.  .  .  .
*              *              *              *             *
A concert of sweet sounds, apart from words,
Is pleasant, and not destitute of meaning.

But the poets frequently call the flute "the Libyan flute," as Duris remarks in the second book of his History of Agathocles, because Seirites, who appears to have been the first inventor of the art of flute-playing, was a Libyan, of one of the Nomad tribes; and he was the first person who played airs on the flute in the festival of Cybele. And the different kinds of airs which can be played on the flute (as Tryphon tells us in the second book of his treatise on Names) have the following names:—the Comus, the Bucoliasmus, the Gingras, the Tetracomus, the Epiphallus, the Choreus, the Callinicus, the Martial, the Hedycomus, the Sicynnotyrbe, the Thyrocopicum, which is the same as the Crousithyrum (or Door-knocker), the Cnismus, the Mothon. And all these airs on the flute, when played, were accompanied with dancing.

10. Tryphon also gives a list of the different names of songs, as follows. He says—"There is the Himæus, which is also called the Millstone song, which men used to sing while grinding corn, perhaps from the word ἱμαλίς. But ἱμαλὶς is a Dorian word, signifying a return, and also the quantity of corn which the millers gave into the bargain. Then there is the Elinus, which is the song of the men who worked at the loom; as Epicharmus shows us in his Atalantas. There is also the Ioulos, sung by the women who spin. And Semus the Delian, in his treatise on Pæans, says—"They used to call the handfuls of barley taken separately, ἀμάλαι; but when they were collected so that a great many were made into one sheaf, then they were called οὔλοι and ἴουλοι. And Ceres herself was called sometimes Chloe, and sometimes Ioulo; and, as being the inventions of this goddess, both the fruits of the ground and also the songs addressed to the goddess were called οὖλοι and ἴουλοι: and so, too, we have the words δημήτρουλοι and καλλίουλοι, and the line—

πλεῖστον οὖλον οὖλον ἵει, ἴουλον ἵει.

But others say that the Ioulis is the song of the workers in [Pg 987] wool. There are also the songs of nurses, which are called καταβαυκαλήσεις. There was also a song used at the feast of Swings,[67] in honour of Erigone, which is called Aletis. At all events, Aristotle says, in his treatise on the Constitution of the Colophonians—"Theodoras also himself died afterwards by a violent death. And he is said to have been a very luxurious man, as is evident from his poetry; for even now the women sing his songs on the festival of the Swing."

There was also a reaper's song called Lityerses; and another song sung by hired servants when going to the fields, as Teleclides tells us in his Amphictyons. There were songs, too, of bathing men, as we learn from Crates in his Deeds of Daring; and a song of women baking, as Aristophanes intimates in his Thesmophoriazusæ, and Nicochares in his Hercules Choregus. And another song in use among those who drove herds, and this was called the Bucoliasmus. And the man who first invented this species of song was Diomus, a Sicilian cowherd; and it is mentioned by Epicharmus in his Halcyon, and in his Ulysses Shipwrecked. The song used at deaths and in mourning is called Olophyrmus; and the songs called Iouli are used in honour of Ceres and Proserpine. The song sung in honour of Apollo is called Philhelias, as we learn from Telesilla; and those addressed to Diana are called Upingi.

There were also laws composed by Charondas, which were sung at Athens at drinking parties; as Hermippus tells us in the sixth book of his treatise on Lawgivers. And Aristophanes, in his catalogue of Attic Expressions, says—"The Himæus is the song of people grinding; the Hymenæus is the song used at marriage-feasts; and that employed in lamentation is called Ialemus. But the Linus and the Ælinus are not confined to occasions of mourning, but are in use also in good fortune, as we may gather from Euripides."

11. But Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on matters relating to Love, says that there was a kind of song called Nomium, derived from Eriphanis; and his words are these:—"Eriphanis was a lyric poetess, the mistress of Menalcas the hunter; and she, pursuing him with her passions, hunted too. For often frequenting the mountains, [Pg 988] and wandering over them, she came to the different groves, equalling in her wanderings the celebrated journeys of Io; so that not only those men who were most remarkable for their deficiency in the tender passion, but even the fiercest beasts, joined in weeping for her misfortunes, perceiving the lengths to which her passionate hopes carried her. Therefore she wrote poems; and when she had composed them, as it is said, she roamed about the desert, shouting and singing the kind of song called Nomium, in which the burden of the song is—

The lofty oaks, Menalcas."

And Aristoxenus, in the fourth book of his treatise on Music, says—"Anciently the women used to sing a kind of song called Calyca. Now, this was a poem of Stesichorus, in which a damsel of the name of Calyca, being in love with a young man named Euathlus, prays in a modest manner to Venus to aid her in becoming his wife. But when the young man scorned her, she threw herself down a precipice. And this disaster took place near Leucas. And the poet has represented the disposition of the maiden as very modest; so that she was not willing to live with the youth on his own terms, but prayed that, if possible, she might become the wedded wife of Euathlus; and if that were not possible, that she might be released from life." But, in his Brief Memoranda, Aristoxenus says—"Iphiclus despised Harpalyce, who was in love with him; but she died, and there has been a contest established among the virgins of songs in her honour, and the contest is called from her, Harpalyce." And Nymphis, in the first book of his History of Heraclea, speaking of the Maryandyni, says—"And in the same way it is well to notice some songs which, in compliance with a national custom, they sing, in which they invoke some ancient person, whom they address as Bormus. And they say that he was the son of an illustrious and wealthy man, and that he was far superior to all his fellows in beauty and in the vigour of youth; and as he was superintending the cultivation of some of his own lands, and wishing to give his reapers something to drink, he went to fetch some water, and disappeared. Accordingly, they say that on this the natives of the country sought him with a kind of dirge and invocation set to music, which even to this day they are in the habit of using frequently. And a [Pg 989] similar kind of song is that which is in use among the Egyptians, and is called Maneros."


12. Moreover, there were rhapsodists also present at our entertainments: for Laurentius delighted in the reciters of Homer to an extraordinary degree; so that one might call Cassander the king of Macedonia a trifler in comparison of him; concerning whom Carystius, in his Historic Recollections, tells us that he was so devoted to Homer, that he could say the greater part of his poems by heart; and he had a copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey written out with his own hand. And that these reciters of Homer were called Homeristæ also, Aristocles has told us in his treatise on Choruses. But those who are now called Homeristæ were first introduced on the stage by Demetrius Phalereus.

Now Chamæleon, in his essay on Stesichorus, says that not only the poems of Homer, but those also of Hesiod and Archilochus, and also of Mimnermus and Phocylides, were often recited to the accompaniment of music; and Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on Pictures, says—"Simonides of Zacynthus used to sit in the theatres on a lofty chair reciting the verses of Archilochus." And Lysanias, in the first book of his treatise on Iambic Poets, says that Mnasion the rhapsodist used in his public recitations to deliver some of the Iambics of Simonides. And Cleomenes the rhapsodist, at the Olympic games, recited the Purification of Empedocles, as is asserted by Dicæarchus in his history of Olympia. And Jason, in the third book of his treatise on the Temples of Alexander, says that Hegesias, the comic actor, recited the works of Herodotus in the great theatre, and that Hermophantus recited the poems of Homer.

13. And the men called Hilarodists (whom some people at the present day call Simodists, as Aristocles tells us in his first book on Choruses, because Simus the Magnesian was the most celebrated of all the poets of joyous songs,) frequently come under our notice. And Aristocles also gives a regular list of them in his treatise on Music, where he speaks in the following manner:—"The Magodist—but he is the same as the Lysiodist." But Aristoxenus says that Magodus is the name given to an actor who acts both male and female characters;[68] but that he who acts a woman's part in combination with a man's is called a Lysiodist. And they both sing the same songs, and in other respects they are similar.

[Pg 990]

The Ionic dialect also supplies us with poems of Sotades, and with what before his time were called Ionic poems, such as those of Alexander the Ætolian, and Pyres the Milesian, and Alexas, and other poets of the same kind; and Sotades is called κιναιδόλογος. And Sotades the Maronite was very notorious for this kind of poetry, as Carystius of Pergamus says in his essay on Sotades; and so was the son of Sotades, Apollonius: and this latter also wrote an essay on his father's poetry, from which one may easily see the unbridled licence of language which Sotades allowed himself,—abusing Lysimachus the king in Alexandria,—and, when at the court of Lysimachus, abusing Ptolemy Philadelphus,—and in different cities speaking ill of different sovereigns; on which account, at last, he met with the punishment that he deserved: for when he had sailed from Alexandria (as Hegesander, in his Reminiscences, relates), and thought that he had escaped all danger, (for he had said many bitter things against Ptolemy the king, and especially this, after he had heard that he had married his sister Arsinoe,—

He pierced forbidden fruit with deadly sting,)

Patrocles, the general of Ptolemy, caught him in the island of Caunus, and shut him up in a leaden vessel, and carried him into the open sea and drowned him. And his poetry is of this kind: Philenus was the father of Theodorus the flute-player, on whom he wrote these lines:—

And he, opening the door which leads from the back-street,
Sent forth vain thunder from a leafy cave,
Such as a mighty ploughing ox might utter.

14. But the Hilarodus, as he is called, is a more respectable kind of poet than these men are; for he is never effeminate or indecorous, but he wears a white manly robe, and he is crowned with a golden crown: and in former times he used to wear sandals, as Aristocles tells us; but at the present day he wears only slippers. And some man or woman sings an accompaniment to him, as to a person who sings to the flute. And a crown is given to a Hilarodus, as well as to a person who sings to the flute; but such honours are not allowed to a player on the harp or on the flute. But the man who is called a Magodus has drums and cymbals, and wears all kinds [Pg 991] of woman's attire; and he behaves in an effeminate manner, and does every sort of indecorous, indecent thing,—imitating at one time a woman, at another an adulterer or a pimp: or sometimes he represents a drunken man, or even a serenade offered by a reveller to his mistress. And Aristoxenus says that the business of singing joyous songs is a respectable one, and somewhat akin to tragedy; but that the business of a Magodus is more like comedy. And very often it happens that the Magodi, taking the argument of some comedy, represent it according to their own fashion and manner. And the word μαγῳδία was derived from the fact that those who addicted themselves to the practice, uttered things like magical incantations, and often declared the power of various drugs.

15. But there was among the Lacedæmonians an ancient kind of comic diversion, as Sosibius says, not very important or serious, since Sparta aimed at plainness even in pastimes. And the way was, that some one, using very plain, unadorned language, imitated persons stealing fruit, or else some foreign physician speaking in this way, as Alexis, in his Woman who has taken Mandragora, represents one: and he says—

If any surgeon of the country says,
"Give him at early dawn a platter full
Of barley-broth," we shall at once despise him;
But if he says the same with foreign accent,
We marvel and admire him. If he call
The beet-root σεύτλιον, we disregard him;
But if he style it τεύτλιον, we listen,
And straightway, with attention fix'd, obey;
As if there were such difference between
σεύτλιον and τεύτλιον.

And those who practised this kind of sport were called among the Lacedæmonians δικηλισταὶ, which is a term equivalent to σκευοποιοὶ or μιμηταί.[69] There are, however, many names, varying in different places, for this class of δικηλισταί; for the Sicyonians call them φαλλοφόροι, and others call them αὐτοκάβδαλοι, and some call them φλύακες, as the Italians do; but people in general call them Sophists: and the Thebans, who are very much in the habit of giving peculiar names to many things, call them ἐθελονταί. But that the Thebans do introduce all kinds of innovations with respect to words, Strattis shows us in the Phœnissæ, where he says—

[Pg 992]

You, you whole body of Theban citizens,
Know absolutely nothing; for I hear
You call the cuttle-fish not σηπία,
But ὀπισθότιλα. Then, too, you term
A cock not ἀλεκτρύων, but ὀρτάλιχος:
A physician is no longer in your mouths
ἰατρὺς—no, but σακτάς. For a bridge,
You turn γέφυρα into βλέφυρα.
Figs are not σῦκα now, but τῦκα : swallows,
κωτιλάδες, not χελιδόνες. A mouthful
With you is ἄκολος; to laugh, ἐκριδδέμεν.
A new-soled shoe you call νεοσπάτωτον.

16. Semos the Delian says in his book about Pæans—"The men who were called αὑτοκάβδαλοι used to wear crowns of ivy, and they would go through long poems slowly. But at a later time both they and their poems were called Iambics. And those," he proceeds, "who are called Ithyphalli, wear a mask representing the face of a drunken man, and wear crowns, having gloves embroidered with flowers. And they wear tunics shot with white; and they wear a Tarentine robe, which covers them down to their ancles: and they enter at the stage entrance silently, and when they have reached the middle of the orchestra, they turn towards the spectators, and say—

Out of the way; a clear space leave
For the great mighty god:
For the god, to his ancles clad,
Will pass along the centre of the crowd.

And the Phallophori," says he, "wear no masks; but they put on a sort of veil of wild thyme, and on that they put acanthi, and an untrimmed garland of violets and ivy; and they clothe themselves in Caunacæ, and so come on the stage, some at the side, and others through the centre entrance, walking in exact musical time, and saying—

For you, O Bacchus, do we now set forth
This tuneful song; uttering in various melody
This simple rhythm.
It is a song unsuited to a virgin;
Nor are we now addressing you with hymns
Made long ago, but this our offering
Is fresh unutter'd praise.

And then, advancing, they used to ridicule with their jests whoever they chose; and they did this standing still, but the Phallophorus himself marched straight on, covered with soot and dirt."

[Pg 993]


17. And since we are on this subject, it is as well not to omit what happened to Amœbeus, a harp-player of our time, and a man of great science and skill in everything that related to music. He once came late to one of our banquets, and when he heard from one of the servants that we had all finished supper, he doubted what to do himself, until Sophon the cook came to him, and with a loud voice, so that every one might hear, recited to him these lines out of the Auge of Eubulus:—

O wretched man, why stand you at the doors?
Why don't you enter? Long ago the geese
Have all been deftly carvèd limb from limb;
Long the hot pork has had the meat cut off
From the long backbone, and the stuffing, which
Lay in the middle of his stomach, has
Been served around; and all his pettitoes,
The dainty slices of fat, well-season'd sausages,
Have all been eaten. The well-roasted cuttle-fish
Is swallow'd long ago; and nine or ten
Casks of rich wine are drain'd to the very dregs.
So if you'd like some fragments of the feast,
Hasten and enter. Don't, like hungry wolf,
Losing this feast, then run about at random.

For as that delightful writer Antiphanes says, in his Friend of the Thebans,—

A. We now are well supplied with everything;
For she, the namesake of the dame within,
The rich Bœotian eel, carved in the depths
Of the ample dish, is warm, and swells, and boils,
And bubbles up, and smokes; so that a man,
E'en though equipp'd with brazen nostrils, scarcely
Could bear to leave a banquet such as this,—
So rich a fragrance does it yield his senses.
B. Say you the cook is living?
A. There is near
A cestreus, all unfed both night and day,
Scaled, wash'd, and stain'd with cochineal, and turn'd;
And as he nears his last and final turn
He cracks and hisses; while the servant bastes
The fish with vinegar: then there's Libyan silphium,
Dried in the genial rays of midday sun:—
B. Yet there are people found who dare to say
That sorcerers possess no sacred power;
For now I see three men their bellies filling
While you are turning this.
A. And the comrade squid
Bearing the form of the humpback'd cuttle-fish,
Dreadful with armed claws and sharpen'd talons,
Changing its brilliant snow-white nature under
[Pg 994]
The fiery blasts of glowing coal, adorns
Its back with golden splendour; well exciting
Hunger, the best forerunner of a feast.

So, come in—

Do not delay, but enter: when we've dined
We then can best endure what must be borne.

And so he, meeting him in this appropriate manner, replies with these lines out of the Harper of Clearchus:—

Sup on white congers, and whatever else
Can boast a sticky nature; for by such food
The breath is strengthen'd, and the voice of man
Is render'd rich and powerful.

And as there was great applause on this, and as every one with one accord called to him to come in, he went in and drank, and taking the lyre, sang to us in such a manner that we all marvelled at his skill on the harp, and at the rapidity of his execution, and at the tunefulness of his voice; for he appeared to me to be not at all inferior to that ancient Amœbeus, whom Aristeas, in his History of Harp-players, speaks of as living at Athens, and dwelling near the theatre, and receiving an Attic talent a-day every time he went out singing.

18. And while some were discussing music in this manner, and others of the guests saying different things every day, but all praising the pastime, Masurius, who excelled in everything, and was a man of universal wisdom, (for as an interpreter of the laws he was inferior to no one, and he was always devoting some of his attention to music, for indeed he was able himself to play on some musical instruments,) said,—My good friends, Eupolis the comic poet says—

And music is a deep and subtle science,
And always finding out some novelty
For those who're capable of comprehending it;

on which account Anaxilas, in his Hyacinthus, says—

For, by the gods I swear, music, like Libya,
Brings forth each year some novel prodigy;

for, my dear fellows, "Music," as the Harp-player of Theophilus says, "is a great and lasting treasure to all who have learnt it and know anything about it;" for it ameliorates the disposition, and softens those who are passionate and quarrelsome in their tempers. Accordingly, "Clinias the Pythagorean," as Chamæleon of Pontus relates, "who was a most unimpeachable man [Pg 995] both in his actual conduct and also in his disposition, if ever it happened to him to get out of temper or indignant at anything, would take up his lyre, and play upon it. And when people asked him the reason of this conduct, he used to say, 'I am pacifying myself.' And so, too, the Achilles of Homer was mollified by the music of the harp, which is all that Homer allots to him out of the spoils of Eetion,[70] as being able to check his fiery temper. And he is the only hero in the whole Iliad who indulges in this music."

Now, that music can heal diseases, Theophrastus asserts in his treatise on Enthusiasm, where he says that men with diseases in the loins become free from pain if any one plays a Phrygian air opposite to the part affected. And the Phrygians are the first people who invented and employed the harmony which goes by their name; owing to which circumstance it is that the flute-players among the Greeks have usually Phrygian and servile-sounding names, such as Sambas in Alcman, and Adon, and Telus. And in Hipponax we find Cion, and Codalus, and Babys, from whom the proverb arose about men who play worse and worse,—"He plays worse than Babys." But Aristoxenus ascribes the invention of this harmony to Hyagnis the Phrygian.

19. But Heraclides of Pontus, in the third book of his treatise on Music, says—"Now that harmony ought not to be called Phrygian, just as it has no right either to be called Lydian. For there are three harmonies; as there are also three different races of Greeks—Dorians, Æolians, and Ionians: and accordingly there is no little difference between their manners. The Lacedæmonians are of all the Dorians the most strict in maintaining their national customs; and the Thessalians [Pg 996] (and these are they who were the origin of the Æolian race) have preserved at all times very nearly the same customs and institutions; but the population of the Ionians has been a great deal changed, and has gone through many transitions, because they have at all times resembled whatever nations of barbarians have from time to time been their masters. Accordingly, that species of melody which the Dorians composed they called the Dorian harmony, and that which the Æolians used to sing they named the Æolian harmony, and the third they called the Ionian, because they heard the Ionians sing it.

"Now the Dorian harmony is a manly and high-sounding strain, having nothing relaxed or merry in it, but, rather, it is stern and vehement, not admitting any great variations or any sudden changes. The character of the Æolian harmony is pompous and inflated, and full of a sort of pride; and these characteristics are very much in keeping with the fondness for breeding horses and for entertaining strangers which the people itself exhibits. There is nothing mean in it, but the style is elevated and fearless; and therefore we see that a fondness for banquets and for amorous indulgences is common to the whole nation, and they indulge in every sort of relaxation: on which account they cherish the style of the Sub-Dorian harmony; for that which they call the Æolian is, says Heraclides, a sort of modification of the Dorian, and is called ὑποδώριος. And we may collect the character of this Æolian harmony also from what Lasus of Hermione says in his hymn to the Ceres in Hermione, where he speaks as follows:—

I sing the praise of Ceres and of Proserpine,
The sacred wife of Clymenus, Melibœa;
Raising the heavy-sounding harmony
Of hymns Æolian.

But these Sub-Dorian songs, as they are called, are sung by nearly everybody. Since, then, there is a Sub-Dorian melody, it is with great propriety that Lasus speaks of Æolian harmony. Pratinas, too, somewhere or other says—

Aim not at too sustain'd a style, nor yet
At the relax'd Ionian harmony;
But draw a middle furrow through your ground,
And follow the Æolian muse in preference.

And in what comes afterwards he speaks more plainly—

But to all men who wish to raise their voices,
The Æolian harmony's most suitable.

[Pg 997]


"Now formerly, as I have said, they used to call this the Æolian harmony, but afterwards they gave it the name of the Sub-Dorian, thinking, as some people say, that it was pitched lower on the flute than the Dorian. But it appears to me that those who gave it this name, seeing its inflated style, and the pretence to valour and virtue which was put forth in the style of the harmony, thought it not exactly the Dorian harmony, but to a certain extent like it: on which account they called it ὑποδώριον, just as they call what is nearly white ὑπόλευκον: and what is not absolutely sweet, but something near it, we call ὑπόγλυκυ; so, too, we call what is not thoroughly Dorian ὑπόδωριον.

20. "Next in order let us consider the character of the Milesians, which the Ionians display, being very proud of the goodly appearance of their persons; and full of spirit, hard to be reconciled to their enemies, quarrelsome, displaying no philanthropic or cheerful qualities, but rather a want of affection and friendship, and a great moroseness of disposition: on which account the Ionian style of harmony also is not flowery nor mirthful, but austere and harsh, and having a sort of gravity in it, which, however, is not ignoble-looking; on which account that tragedy has a sort of affection for that harmony. But the manners of the Ionians of the present day are more luxurious, and the character of their present music is very far removed from the Ionian harmony we have been speaking of. And men say that Pythermus the Teian wrote songs such as are called Scolia in this kind of harmony; and that it was because he was an Ionian poet that the harmony got the name of Ionian. This is that Pythermus whom Ananius or Hipponax mentions in his Iambics in this way:—

Pythermus speaks of gold as though all else were nought.

And Pythermus's own words are as follows:—

All other things but gold are good for nothing.

Therefore, according to this statement, it is probable that Pythermus, as coming from those parts, adapted the character of his melodies to the disposition of the Ionians; on which account I suppose that his was not actually the Ionian harmony, but that it was a harmony adapted in some admirable manner to the purpose required. And those are [Pg 998] contemptible people who are unable to distinguish the characteristic differences of these separate harmonies; but who are led away by the sharpness or flatness of the sounds, so as to describe one harmony as ὑμερμιξολύδιος, and then again to give a definition of some further sort, refining on this: for I do not think that even that which is called the ὑπερφρύγιος has a distinct character of its own, although some people do say that they have invented a new harmony which they call Sub-Phrygian (ὑποφρύγιος). Now every kind of harmony ought to have some distinct species of character or of passion; as the Locrian has, for this was a harmony used by some of those who lived in the time of Simonides and Pindar, but subsequently it fell into contempt.

21. "There are, then, as we have already said, three kinds of harmony, as there are three nations of the Greek people. But the Phrygian and Lydian harmonies, being barbaric, became known to the Greeks by means of the Phrygians and Lydians who came over to Peloponnesus with Pelops. For many Lydians accompanied and followed him, because Sipylus was a town of Lydia; and many Phrygians did so too, not because they border on the Lydians, but because their king also was Tantalus—(and you may see all over Peloponnesus, and most especially in Lacedæmon, great mounds, which the people there call the tombs of the Phrygians who came over with Pelops)—and from them the Greeks learnt these harmonies: on which account Telestes of Selinus says—

First of all, Greeks, the comrades brave of Pelops,
Sang o'er their wine, in Phrygian melody,
The praises of the mighty Mountain Mother;
But others, striking the shrill strings of the lyre,
Gave forth a Lydian hymn."

22. "But we must not admit," says Polybius of Megalopolis, "that music, as Ephorus asserts, was introduced among men for the purposes of fraud and trickery. Nor must we think that the ancient Cretans and Lacedæmonians used flutes and songs at random to excite their military ardour, instead of trumpets. Nor are we to imagine that the earliest Arcadians had no reason whatever for doing so, when they introduced music into every department of their management of the republic; so that, though the nation in every other respect was most austere in its manner of life, they nevertheless [Pg 999] compelled music to be the constant companion, not only of their boys, but even of their youths up to thirty years of age. For the Arcadians are the only people among whom the boys are trained from infancy to sing hymns and pæans to regular airs, in which indeed every city celebrates their national heroes and gods with such songs, in obedience to ancient custom.

"But after this, learning the airs of Timotheus and Philoxenus, they every year, at the festival of Bacchus, dance in their theatres to the music of flute-players; the boys dancing in the choruses of boys, and the youths in those of men. And throughout the whole duration of their lives they are addicted to music at their common entertainments; not so much, however, employing musicians as singing in turn: and to admit themselves ignorant of any other accomplishment is not at all reckoned discreditable to them; but to refuse to sing is accounted a most disgraceful thing. And they, practising marches so as to march in order to the sound of the flute, and studying their dances also, exhibit every year in the theatres, under public regulations and at the public expense. These, then, are the customs which they have derived from the ancients, not for the sake of luxury and superfluity, but from a consideration of the austerity which each individual practised in his private life, and of the severity of their characters, which they contract from the cold and gloomy nature of the climate which prevails in the greater part of their country. And it is the nature of all men to be in some degree influenced by the climate, so as to get some resemblance to it themselves; and it is owing to this that we find different races of men, varying in character and figure and complexion, in proportion as they are more or less distant from one another.

"In addition to this, they instituted public banquets and public sacrifices, in which the men and women join; and also dances of the maidens and boys together; endeavouring to mollify and civilize the harshness of their natural character by the influence of education and habit. And as the people of Cynætha neglected this system (although they occupy by far the most inclement district of Arcadia, both as respects the soil and the climate), they, never meeting one another except for the purpose of giving offence and quarrelling, became at [Pg 1000] last so utterly savage, that the very greatest impieties prevailed among them alone of all the people of Arcadia; and at the time when they made the great massacre, whatever Arcadian cities their emissaries came to in their passage, the citizens of all the other cities at once ordered them to depart by public proclamation; and the Mantineans even made a public purification of their city after their departure, leading victims all round their entire district."

23. Agias, the musician, said that "the styrax, which at the Dionysiac festivals is burnt in the orchestras, presented a Phrygian odour to those who were within reach of it." Now, formerly music was an exhortation to courage; and accordingly Alcæus the poet, one of the greatest musicians that ever lived, places valour and manliness before skill in music and poetry, being himself a man warlike even beyond what was necessary. On which account, in such verses as these, he speaks in high-toned language, and says—

My lofty house is bright with brass,
And all my dwelling is adorn'd, in honour
Of mighty Mars, with shining helms,
O'er which white horse-hair crests superbly wave,
Choice ornament for manly brows;
And brazen greaves, on mighty pegs suspended,
Hang round the hall; fit to repel
The heavy javelin or the long-headed spear.
There, too, are breastplates of new linen,
And many a hollow shield, thrown basely down
By coward enemies in flight:
There, too, are sharp Chalcidic swords, and belts,
Short military cloaks besides,
And all things suitable for fearless war;
Which I may ne'er forget,
Since first I girt myself for the adventurous work—

although it would have been more suitable for him to have had his house well stored with musical instruments. But the ancients considered manly courage the greatest of all civil virtues, and they attributed the greatest importance to that, to the exclusion of other good qualities. Archilochus accordingly, who was a distinguished poet, boasted in the first place of being able to partake in all political undertakings, and in the second place he mentioned the credit he had gained by his poetical efforts, saying,—

[Pg 1001]

But I'm a willing servant of great Mars,
Skill'd also in the Muses' lovely art.

And, in the same spirit, Æschylus, though a man who had acquired such great renown by his poetry, nevertheless preferred having his valour recorded on his tomb, and composed an inscription for it, of which the following lines are a part:—

The grove of Marathon, and the long-hair'd Medes,
Who felt his courage, well may speak of it.

24. And it is on this account that the Lacedæmonians, who are a most valiant nation, go to war to the music of the flute, and the Cretans to the strains of the lyre, and the Lydians to the sound of pipes and flutes, as Herodotus relates. And, moreover, many of the barbarians make all their public proclamations to the accompaniment of flutes and harps, softening the souls of their enemies by these means. And Theopompus, in the forty-sixth book of his History, says—"The Getæ make all their proclamations while holding harps in their hands and playing on them." And it is perhaps on this account that Homer, having due regard to the ancient institutions and customs of the Greeks, says—

I hear, what graces every feast, the lyre;[71]

as if this art of music were welcome also to men feasting.

Now it was, as it should seem, a regular custom to introduce music, in the first place in order that every one who might be too eager for drunkenness or gluttony might have music as a sort of physician and healer of his insolence and indecorum, and also because music softens moroseness of temper; for it dissipates sadness, and produces affability and a sort of gentlemanlike joy. From which consideration, Homer has also, in the first book of the Iliad, represented the gods as using music after their dissensions on the subject of Achilles; for they continued for some time listening to it—

Thus the blest gods the genial day prolong
In feasts ambrosial and celestial song:
Apollo tuned the lyre,—the Muses round,
With voice alternate, aid the silver sound.[72]

For it was desirable that they should leave off their quarrels and dissensions, as we have said. And most people seem to attribute the practice of this art to banquets for the sake of setting things right, and of the general mutual advantage. And, besides these other occasions, the ancients also established by customs and laws that at feasts all men should sing hymns to the gods, in order by these means to preserve [Pg 1002] order and decency among us; for as all songs proceed according to harmony, the consideration of the gods being added to this harmony, elevates the feelings of each individual. And Philochorus says that the ancients, when making their libations, did not always use dithyrambic hymns, but "when they pour libations, they celebrate Bacchus with wine and drunkenness, but Apollo with tranquillity and good order." Accordingly Archilochus says—

I, all excited in my mind with wine,
Am skilful in the dithyrambic, knowing
The noble melodies of the sovereign Bacchus.

And Epicharmus, in his Philoctetes, says—

A water-drinker knows no dithyrambics.

So, that it was not merely with a view to superficial and vulgar pleasure, as some assert, that music was originally introduced into entertainments, is plain from what has been said above. But the Lacedæmonians do not assert that they used to learn music as a science, but they do profess to be able to judge well of what is done in the art; and they say that they have already three times preserved it when it was in danger of being lost.


25. Music also contributes to the proper exercising of the body and to sharpening the intellect; on which account, every Grecian people, and every barbarian nation too, that we are acquainted with, practise it. And it was a good saying of Damon the Athenian, that songs and dances must inevitably exist where the mind was excited in any manner; and liberal, and gentlemanly, and honourable feelings of the mind produce corresponding kinds of music, and the opposite feelings likewise produce the opposite kinds of music. On which account, that saying of Clisthenes the tyrant of Sicyon was a witty one, and a sign of a well-educated intellect. For when he saw, as it is related,[73] one of the suitors for his daughter dancing in an unseemly manner (it was Hippoclides the Athenian), he told him that he had danced away his marriage, thinking, as it should seem, that the mind of the man corresponded to the dance which he had exhibited; for in dancing and walking decorum and good order are honourable, and disorder and vulgarity are discreditable. And it is on this principle that the poets originally arranged dances for [Pg 1003] freeborn men, and employed figures only to be emblems of what was being sung, always preserving the principles of nobleness and manliness in them; on which account it was that they gave them the name of ὑπορχήματα (accompaniment to the dance). And if any one, while dancing, indulged in unseemly postures or figures, and did nothing at all corresponding to the songs sung, he was considered blameworthy; on which account, Aristophanes or Plato, in his Preparations (as Chamæleon quotes the play), spoke thus:—

So that if any one danced well, the sight
Was pleasing; but they now do nothing rightly,
But stand as if amazed, and roar at random.

For the kind of dancing which was at that time used in the choruses was decorous and magnificent, and to a certain extent imitated the motions of men under arms; on which account Socrates in his Poems says that those men who dance best are the best in warlike exploits; and thus he writes:—

But they who in the dance most suitably
Do honour to the Gods, are likewise best
In all the deeds of war.

For the dance is very nearly an armed exercise, and is a display not only of good discipline in other respects, but also of the care which the dancers bestow on their persons.

26. And Amphion the Thespiæan, in the second book of his treatise on the Temple of the Muses on Mount Helicon, says that in Helicon there are dances of boys, got up with great care, quoting this ancient epigram:—

I both did dance, and taught the citizens
The art of music, and my flute-player
Was Anacus the Phialensian;
My name was Bacchides of Sicyon;
And this my duty to the gods perform'd
Was honourable to my country Sicyon.

And it was a good answer which was made by Caphesias the flute-player, when one of his pupils began to play on the flute very loudly, and was endeavouring to play as loudly as he could; on which he struck him, and said, "Goodness does not consist in greatness, but greatness in goodness." There are also relics and traces of the ancient dancing in some statues which we have, which were made by ancient statuaries; on which account men at that time paid more attention to moving [Pg 1004] their hands with graceful gestures; for in this particular also they aimed at graceful and gentlemanlike motions, comprehending what was great in what was well done. And from these motions of the hands they transferred some figures to the dances, and from the dances to the palæstra; for they sought to improve their manliness by music and by paying attention to their persons. And they practised to the accompaniment of song with reference to their movements when under arms; and it was from this practice that the dance called the Pyrrhic dance originated, and every other dance of this kind, and all the others which have the same name or any similar one with a slight change: such as the Cretan dances called ὀρσίτης and ἐπικρήδιος; and that dance, too, which is named ἀπόκινος, (and it is mentioned under this name by Cratinus in his Nemesis, and by Cephisodorus in his Amazons, and by Aristophanes in his Centaur, and by several other poets,) though afterwards it came to be called μακτρισμός; and many women used to dance it, who, I am aware, were afterwards called μαρκτύπιαι.

27. But the more sedate kinds of dance, both the more varied kinds and those too whose figures are more simple, are the following:—The Dactylus, the Iambic, the Molossian, the Emmelea, the Cordax, the Sicinnis, the Persian, the Phrygian, the Nibatismus, the Thracian, the Calabrismus, the Telesias (and this is a Macedonian dance which Ptolemy was practising when he slew Alexander the brother of Philip, as Marsyas relates in the third book of his History of Macedon). The following dances are of a frantic kind:—The Cernophorus, and the Mongas, and the Thermaustris. There was also a kind of dance in use among private individuals, called the ἄνθεμα, and they used to dance this while repeating the following form of words with a sort of mimicking gesture, saying—

Where are my roses, and where are my violets?
Where is my beautiful parsley?
Are these then my roses, are these then my violets?
And is this my beautiful parsley?

Among the Syracusans there was a kind of dance called the Chitoneas, sacred to Diana, and it is a peculiar kind of dance, accompanied with the flute. There was also an Ionian kind of dance practised at drinking parties. They also practised the dance called ἀγγελικὴ at their drinking parties. And there is another kind of dance called the Burning of the [Pg 1005] World, which Menippus the Cynic mentions in his Banquet. There are also some dances of a ridiculous character:—the Igdis, the Mactrismus, the Apocinus, and the Sobas; and besides these, the Morphasmus, and the Owl, and the Lion, and the Pouring out of Meal, and the Abolition of Debts, and the Elements, and the Pyrrhic dance. And they also danced to the accompaniment of the flute a dance which they called the Dance of the Master of the Ship, and the Platter Dance.

The figures used in dances are the Xiphismus, the Calathismus, the Callabides, the Scops, and the Scopeuma. And the Scops was a figure intended to represent people looking out from a distance, making an arch over their brows with their hand so as to shade their eyes. And it is mentioned by Æschylus in his Spectators:—

And all these old σκωπεύματα of yours.

And Eupolis, in his Flatterers, mentions the Callabides, when he says—

He walks as though he were dancing the Callabides.

Other figures are the Thermastris, the Hecaterides,[74] the Scopus, the Hand-down, the Hand-up, the Dipodismus, the Taking-hold of Wood, the Epanconismus, the Calathiscus, the Strobilus. There is also a dance called the Telesias; and this is a martial kind of dance, deriving its title from a man of the name of Telesias, who was the first person who ever danced it, holding arms in his hands, as Hippagoras tells us in the first book of his treatise on the Constitution of the Carthaginians.

28. There is also a kind of satyric dance called the Sicinnis, as Aristocles says in the eighth book of his treatise on Dances; and the Satyrs are called Sicinnistæ. But some say that a barbarian of the name of Sicinnus was the inventor of it, though others say that Sicinnus was a Cretan by birth; and certainly the Cretans are dancers, as is mentioned by Aristoxenus. But Scamon, in the first book of his treatise on Inventions, says that this dance is called Sicinnis, from being shaken (ἀπὸ τοῦ σείεσθαι), and that Thersippus was the first person who danced the Sicinnis. Now in dancing, the motion of the feet was adopted long before any motion of the hands was considered requisite; for the ancients exercised their feet more than their hands in games and in hunting; and the Cretans are [Pg 1006] greatly addicted to hunting, owing to which they are swift of foot. But there are people to be found who assert that Sicinnis is a word formed poetically from κινησις,[75] because in dancing it the Satyrs use most rapid movements; for this kind of dance gives no scope for a display of the passions, on which account also it is never slow.

Now all satyric poetry formerly consisted of choruses, as also did tragedy, such as it existed at the same time; and that was the chief reason why tragedy had no regular actors. And there are three kinds of dance appropriate to dramatic poetry,—the tragic, the comic, and the satyric; and in like manner, there are three kinds of lyric dancing,—the pyrrhic, the gymnopædic, and the hyporchematic. And the pyrrhic dance resembles the satyric; for they both consist of rapid movements; but the pyrrhic appears to be a warlike kind of dance, for it is danced by armed boys. And men in war have need of swiftness to pursue their enemies, and also, when defeated,

To flee, and not like madmen to stand firm,
Nor be afraid to seem a short time cowards.

But the dance called Gymnopædica is like the dance in tragedy which is called Emmelea; for in each there is seen a degree of gravity and solemnity. But the hyporchematic dance is very nearly identical with the comic one which is called Cordax. And they are both a sportive kind of figure.

29. But Aristoxenus says that the Pyrrhic dance derives its name from Pyrrhichus, who was a Lacedæmonian by birth; and that even to this day Pyrrhichus is a Lacedæmonian name. And the dance itself, being of a warlike character, shows that it is the invention of some Lacedæmonian; for the Lacedæmonians are a martial race, and their sons learn military marches which they call ἐνόπλια. And the Lacedæmonians themselves in their wars recite the poems of Tyrtæus, and move in time to those airs. But Philochorus asserts that the Lacedæmonians, when owing to the generalship of Tyrtæus they had subdued the Messenians, introduced a regular custom, in their expeditions, that whenever they were at supper, and had sung the pæan, they should also sing one of Tyrtæus's hymns as a solo, one after another; and that the polemarch should be the judge, and should give a piece of meat as a prize to him who sang best. But the Pyrrhic dance is not [Pg 1007] preserved now among any other people of Greece; and since that has fallen into disuse, their wars also have been brought to a conclusion; but it continues in use among the Lacedæmonians alone, being a sort of prelude preparatory to war: and all who are more than five years old in Sparta learn to dance the Pyrrhic dance.


But the Pyrrhic dance as it exists in our time, appears to be a sort of Bacchic dance, and a little more pacific than the old one; for the dancers carry thyrsi instead of spears, and they point and dart canes at one another, and carry torches. And they dance in figures having reference to Bacchus, and to the Indians, and to the story of Pentheus: and they require for the Pyrrhic dance the most beautiful airs, and what are called the "stirring" tunes.

30. But the Gymnopædica resembles the dance which by the ancients used to be called Anapale; for all the boys dance naked, performing some kind of movement in regular time, and with gestures of the hand like those used by wrestlers: so that the dancers exhibit a sort of spectacle akin to the palæstra and to the pancratium, moving their feet in regular time. And the different modes of dancing it are called the Oschophoricus,[76] and the Bacchic, so that this kind of dance, too, has some reference to Bacchus. But Aristoxenus says that the ancients, after they had exercised themselves in the Gymnopædica, turned to the Pyrrhic dance before they entered the theatre: and the Pyrrhic dance is also called the Cheironomia. But the Hyporchematic dance is that in which the chorus dances while singing. Accordingly Bacchylides says—

There's no room now for sitting down,
There's no room for delay.

And Pindar says—

The Lacedæmonian troop of maidens fair.

And the Lacedæmonians dance this dance in Pindar. And the Hyporchematica is a dance of men and women. Now the best modes are those which combine dancing with the singing; and they are these—the Prosodiacal, the Apostolical (which last is also called παρθένιος), and others of the same kind. And some danced to the hymn and some did not; and some danced in accompaniment to hymns to Venus and Bacchus, and to the Pæan, dancing at one time and resting at another. And [Pg 1008] among the barbarians as well as among the Greeks there are respectable dances and also indecorous ones. Now the Cordax among the Greeks is an indecorous dance, but the Emmelea is a respectable one: as is among the Arcadians the Cidaris, and among the Sicyonians the Aleter; and it is called Aleter also in Ithaca, as Aristoxenus relates in the first book of his History of Sicyon. And this appears enough to say at present on the subject of dances.

31. Now formerly decorum was carefully attended to in music, and everything in this art had its suitable and appropriate ornament: on which account there were separate flutes for each separate kind of harmony; and every flute-player had flutes adapted to each kind of harmony in their contests. But Pronomus the Theban was the first man who played the three different kinds of harmony already mentioned on the same flute. But now people meddle with music in a random and inconsiderate manner. And formerly, to be popular with the vulgar was reckoned a certain sign of a want of real skill: on which account Asopodorus the Phliasian, when some flute-player was once being much applauded while he himself was remaining in the hyposcenium,[77] said—"What is all this? the man has evidently committed some great blunder:"—as else he could not possibly have been so much approved of by the mob. But I am aware that some people tell this story as if it were Antigenides who said this. But in our days artists make the objects of their art to be the gaining the applause of the spectators in the theatre; on which account Aristoxenus, in his book entitled Promiscuous Banquets, says—"We act in a manner similar to the people of Pæstum who dwell in the Tyrrhenian Gulf; for it happened to them, though they were originally Greeks, to have become at last completely barbarised, becoming Tyrrhenians or Romans, and to have changed their language, and all the rest of their national habits. But one Greek festival they do celebrate even to the present day, in which they meet and recollect all their ancient names and customs, and bewail their loss to one another, and then, when they have wept for them, they go home. And so," says he, "we also, since the theatres have become completely barbarised, and since music has become entirely ruined and vulgar, we, being but a few, will recall to [Pg 1009] our minds, sitting by ourselves, what music once was." And this was the discourse of Aristoxenus.


32. Wherefore it seems to me that we ought to have a philosophical conversation about music: for Pythagoras the Samian, who had such a high reputation as a philosopher, is well known, from many circumstances, to have been a man who had no slight or superficial knowledge of music; for he indeed lays it down that the whole universe is put and kept together by music. And altogether the ancient philosophy of the Greeks appears to have been very much addicted to music; and on this account they judged Apollo to have been the most musical and the wisest of the gods, and Orpheus of the demi-gods. And they called every one who devoted himself to the study of this art a sophist, as Æschylus does in the verse where he says—

And then the sophist sweetly struck the lyre.

And that the ancients were excessively devoted to the study of music is plain from Homer, who, because all his own poetry was adapted to music, makes, from want of care, so many verses which are headless, and weak, and imperfect in the tail. But Xenophanes, and Solon, and Theognis, and Phocylides, and besides them Periander of Corinth, an elegiac poet, and the rest of those who did not set melodies to their poems, compose their verses with reference to number and to the arrangement of the metres, and take great care that none of their verses shall be liable to the charge of any of the irregularities which we just now imputed to Homer. Now when we call a verse headless (ἀκέφαλος), we mean such as have a mutilation or lameness at the beginning, such as—

Ἐπειδὴ νῆάς τε καὶ Ἑλλήσποντον ἵκοντο.[78]
Ἐπίτονος τετάνυστο βοὸς ἶφι κταμένοιο.[79]

Those we call weak (λαγαρὸς) which are defective in the middle, as—

Αἶψα δ' ἄρ' Αἰνείαν υἱὸν φίλον Ἀγχίσαο.[80]
Τῶν δ' αὖθ' ἡγείσθην Ἀσκληπιοῦ δύο παῖδες.

[Pg 1010]

Those again are μείουροι, which are imperfect in the tail or end, as—

Τρῶες δ' ἐῤῥίγησαν ὅπως ἴδον αἴολον ὄφιν.[81]
Καλὴ Κασσιέπεια θεοῖς δέμας ἐοικυῖα.[82]
Τοῦ φέρον ἔμπλησας ἀσκὸν μέγαν, ἐν δὲ καὶ ἤϊα.[83]

33. But of all the Greeks, the Lacedæmonians were those who preserved the art of music most strictly, as they applied themselves to the practice a great deal: and there were a great many lyric poets among them. And even to this day they preserve their ancient songs carefully, being possessed of very varied and very accurate learning on the subject; on which account Pratinas says—

The Lacedæmonian grasshopper sweetly sings,
Well suited to the chorus.

And on this account the poets also continually styled their odes—

President of sweetest hymns:


The honey-wing'd melodies of the Muse.

For owing to the general moderation and austerity of their lives, they betook themselves gladly to music, which has a sort of power of soothing the understanding; so that it was natural enough that people who hear it should be delighted. And the people whom they called Choregi, were not, as Demetrius of Byzantium tells us in the fourth book of his treatise on Poetry, those who have that name now, the people, that is to say, who hire the choruses, but those who actually led the choruses, as the name intimates: and so it happened, that the Lacedæmonians were good musicians, and did not violate the ancient laws of music.


Now in ancient times all the Greeks were fond of music; but when in subsequent ages disorders arose, when nearly all the ancient customs had got out of fashion and had become obsolete, this fondness for music also wore out, and bad styles of music were introduced, which led all the composers to aim at effeminacy rather than delicacy, and at an enervated and dissolute rather than a modest style. And [Pg 1011] perhaps this will still exist hereafter in a greater degree, and will extend still further, unless some one again draws forth the national music to the light. For formerly the subjects of their songs used to be the exploits of heroes, and the praises of the Gods; and accordingly Homer says of Achilles—

With this he soothes his lofty soul, and sings
Th' immortal deeds of heroes and of kings.[84]

And of Phemius he says—

Phemius, let acts of gods and heroes old,
What ancient bards in hall and bower have told,
Attemper'd to the lyre your voice employ,
Such the pleased ear will drink with silent joy.[85]

And this custom was preserved among the barbarians, as Dinon tells us in his history of Persia. Accordingly, the poets used to celebrate the valour of the elder Cyrus, and they foresaw the war which was going to be waged against Astyages. "For when," says he, "Cyrus had begun his march against the Persians, (and he had previously been the commander of the guards, and afterwards of the heavy-armed troops there, and then he left;) and while Astyages was sitting at a banquet with his friends, then a man, whose name was Angares, (and he was the most illustrious of his minstrels,) being called in, sang other things, such as were customary, and at last he said that—

A mighty monster is let loose at last
Into the marsh, fiercer than wildest boar;
And when once master of the neighbouring ground
It soon will fight with ease 'gainst numerous hosts.

And when Astyages asked him what monster he meant, he said—'Cyrus the Persian.' And so the king, thinking that his suspicions were well founded, sent people to recal Cyrus, but did not succeed in doing so."

34. But I, though I could still say a good deal about music, yet, as I hear the noise of flutes, I will check my desire for talking, and only quote you the lines out of the Amateur of the Flute, by Philetærus—

O Jove, it were a happy thing to die
While playing on the flute. For flute-players
Are th' only men who in the shades below
Feel the soft power and taste the bliss of Venus.
But those whose coarser minds know nought of music,
Pour water always into bottomless casks.

[Pg 1012]

After this there arose a discussion about the sambuca. And Masurius said that the sambuca was a musical instrument, very shrill, and that it was mentioned by Euphorion (who is also an Epic poet), in his book on the Isthmian Games; for he says that it was used by the Parthians and by the Troglodytæ, and that it had four strings. He said also that it was mentioned by Pythagoras, in his treatise on the Red Sea. The sambuca is also a name given to an engine used in sieges, the form and mechanism of which is explained by Biton, in his book addressed to Attalus on the subject of Military Engines. And Andreas of Panormus, in the thirty-third book of his History of Sicily, detailed city by city, says that it is borne against the walls of the enemy on two cranes. And it is called sambuca because when it is raised up it gives a sort of appearance of a ship and ladder joined together, and resembles the shape of the musical instrument of the same name. But Moschus, in the first book of his treatise on Mechanics, says that the sambuca is originally a Roman engine, and that Heraclides of Pontus was the original inventor of it. But Polybius, in the eighth book of his History, says,—"Marcellus, having been a great deal inconvenienced at that siege of Syracuse by the contrivances of Archimedes, used to say that Archimedes had given his ships drink out of the sea; but that his sambucæ had been buffeted and driven from the entertainment in disgrace."

35. And when, after this, Æmilianus said,—But, my good friend Masurius, I myself, often, being a lover of music, turn my thoughts to the instrument which is called the magadis, and cannot decide whether I am to think that it was a species of flute or some kind of harp. For that sweetest of poets, Anacreon, says somewhere or other—

I hold my magadis and sing,
Striking loud the twentieth string,
Leucaspis, as the rapid hour
Leads you to youth's and beauty's flower.

But Ion of Chios, in his Omphale, speaks of it as if it were a species of flute, in the following words—

And let the Lydian flute, the magadis,
Breathe its sweet sounds, and lead the tuneful song.

[Pg 1013]


And Aristarchus the grammarian, (a man whom Panætius the Rhodian philosopher used to call the Prophet, because he could so easily divine the meanings of poems,) when explaining this verse, affirms that the magadis was a kind of flute: though Aristoxenus does not say so either in his treatise on the Flute-players or in that on Flutes and other Musical Instruments; nor does Archestratus either,—and he also wrote two books on Flute-players; nor has Pyrrhander said so in his work on Flute-players; nor Phillis the Delian,—for he also wrote a treatise on Flute-players, and so did Euphranor. But Tryphon, in the second book of his essay on Names, speaks thus—"The flute called magadis." And in another place he says—"The magadis gives a shrill and deep tone at the same time, as Anaxandrides intimates in his Man fighting in heavy Armour, where we find the line—

I will speak to you like a magadis,
In soft and powerful sounds at the same time.

And, my dear Masurius, there is no one else except you who can solve this difficulty for me.

36. And Masurius replied—Didymus the grammarian, in his work entitled Interpretations of the Plays of Ion different from the Interpretations of others, says, my good friend Æmilianus, that by the term μάγαδις αὐλὸς he understands the instrument which is also called κιθαριστήριος; which is mentioned by Aristoxenus in the first book of his treatise on the Boring of Flutes; for there he says that there are five kinds of flutes; the parthenius, the pædicus, the citharisterius, the perfect, and the superperfect. And he says that Ion has omitted the conjunction τε improperly, so that we are to understand by μάγαδις αὐλὸς the flute which accompanies the magadis; for the magadis is a stringed (ψαλτικὸν) instrument, as Anacreon tells us, and it was invented by the Lydians, on which account Ion, in his Omphale, calls the Lydian women ψάλτριαι, as playing on stringed instruments, in the following lines—

But come, ye Lydian ψάλτριαι, and singing
Your ancient hymns, do honour to this stranger.

But Theophilus the comic poet, in his Neoptolemus, calls playing on the magadis μαγαδίζειν, saying—

It may be that a worthless son may sing
[Pg 1014]
His father or his mother on the magadis (μαγαδίζειν),
Sitting upon the wheel; but none of us
Shall ever play such music now as theirs.

And Euphorion, in his treatise on the Isthmian Games, says, that the magadis is an ancient instrument, but that in latter times it was altered, and had the name also changed to that of the sambuca. And, that this instrument was very much used at Mitylene, so that one of the Muses was represented by an old statuary, whose name was Lesbothemis, as holding one in her hand. But Menæchmus, in his treatise on Artists, says that the πηκτὶς , which he calls identical with the magadis, was invented by Sappho. And Aristoxenus says that the magadis and the pectis were both played with the fingers without any plectrum; on which account Pindar, in his Scolium addressed to Hiero, having named the magadis, calls it a responsive harping (ψαλμὸν ἀντίφθογγον), because its music is accompanied in all its keys by two kinds of singers, namely, men and boys. And Phrynichus, in his Phœnician Women, has said—

Singing responsive songs on tuneful harps.

And Sophocles, in his Mysians, says—

There sounded too the Phrygian triangle,
With oft-repeated notes; to which responded
The well-struck strings of the soft Lydian pectis.

37. But some people raise a question how, as the magadis did not exist in the time of Anacreon (for instruments with many strings were never seen till after his time), Anacreon can possibly mention it, as he does when he says—

I hold my magadis and sing,
Striking loud the twentieth string,

But Posidonius asserts that Anacreon mentions three kinds of melodies, the Phrygian, the Dorian, and the Lydian; for that these were the only melodies with which he was acquainted. And as every one of these is executed on seven strings, he says that it was very nearly correct of Anacreon to speak of twenty strings, as he only omits one for the sake of speaking in round numbers. But Posidonius is ignorant that the magadis is an ancient instrument, though Pindar says plainly enough that Terpander invented the barbitos to correspond to, and answer the pectis in use among the Lydians—

[Pg 1015]

The sweet responsive lyre
Which long ago the Lesbian bard,
Terpander, did invent, sweet ornament
To the luxurious Lydian feasts, when he
Heard the high-toned pectis.

Now the pectis and the magadis are the same instrument, as Aristoxenus tells us, and Menæchmus the Sicyonian too, in his treatise on Artists. And this last author says that Sappho, who is more ancient than Anacreon, was the first person to use the pectis. Now, that Terpander is more ancient than Anacreon, is evident from the following considerations:—Terpander was the first man who ever got the victory at the Carnean[86] games, as Hellanicus tells us in the verses in which he has celebrated the victors at the Carnea, and also in the formal catalogue which he gives us of them. But the first establishment of the Carnea took place in the twenty-sixth Olympiad, as Sosibius tells us in his essay on Dates. But Hieronymus, in his treatise on Harp-players, which is the subject of the fifth of his Treatises on Poets, says that Terpander was a contemporary of Lycurgus the lawgiver, who, it is agreed by all men, was, with Iphitus of Elis, the author of that establishment of the Olympic games from which the first Olympiad is reckoned. But Euphorion, in his treatise on the Isthmian Games, says that the instruments with many strings are altered only in their names; but that the use of them is very ancient.

38. However, Diogenes the tragic poet represents the pectis as differing from the magadis; for in the Semele he says—

And now I hear the turban-wearing women,
Votaries of th' Asiatic Cybele,
The wealthy Phrygians' daughters, loudly sounding
With drums, and rhombs, and brazen-clashing cymbals,
Their hands in concert striking on each other,
Pour forth a wise and healing hymn to the gods.
Likewise the Lydian and the Bactrian maids
Who dwell beside the Halys, loudly worship
[Pg 1016]
The Tmolian goddess Artemis, who loves
The laurel shade of the thick leafy grove,
Striking the clear three-corner'd pectis, and
Raising responsive airs upon the magadis,
While flutes in Persian manner neatly join'd
Accompany the chorus.

And Phillis the Delian, in the second book of his treatise on Music, also asserts that the pectis is different from the magadis. And his words are these—"There are the phœnices, the pectides, the magadides, the sambucæ, the iambycæ, the triangles, the clepsiambi, the scindapsi, the nine-string." For, he says that "the lyre to which they sang iambics, they called the iambyca, and the instrument to which they sang them in such a manner as to vary the metre a little, they called the clepsiambus,[87] while the magadis was an instrument uttering a diapason sound, and equally in tune for every portion of the singers. And besides these there were instruments of other kinds also; for there was the barbitos, or barmus, and many others, some with strings, and some with sounding-boards."

39. There were also some instruments besides those which were blown into, and those which were used with different strings, which gave forth only sounds of a simple nature, such as the castanets (κρέμβαλα), which are mentioned by Dicæarchus, in his essay on the Manners and Customs of Greece, where he says, that formerly certain instruments were in very frequent use, in order to accompany women while dancing and singing; and when any one touched these instruments with their fingers they uttered a shrill sound. And he says that this is plainly shown in the hymn to Diana, which begins thus—

Diana, now my mind will have me utter
A pleasing song in honour of your deity,
While this my comrade strikes with nimble hand
The well-gilt brazen-sounding castanets.

And Hermippus, in his play called The Gods, gives the word for rattling the castanets, κρεμβαλίζειν, saying—

And beating down the limpets from the rocks,
They make a noise like castanets (κρεμβαλίζουσι).

But Didymus says, that some people, instead of the lyre, are in the habit of striking oyster-shells and cockle-shells against [Pg 1017] one another, and by these means contrive to play a tune in time to the dancers, as Aristophanes also intimates in his Frogs.[88]

40. But Artemon, in the first book of his treatise on the Dionysian System, as he calls it, says that Timotheus the Milesian appears to many men to have used an instrument of more strings than were necessary, namely, the magadis, on which account he was chastised by the Lacedæmonians as having corrupted the ancient music. And when some one was going to cut away the superfluous strings from his lyre, he showed them a little statue of Apollo which they had, which held in its hand a lyre with an equal number of strings, and which was tuned in the same manner; and so he was acquitted. But Douris, in his treatise on Tragedy, says that the magadis was named after Magodis, who was a Thracian by birth. But Apollodorus, in his Reply to the Letter of Aristocles, says—"That which we now call ψαλτήριον is the same instrument which was formerly called magadis; but that which used to be called the clepsiambus, and the triangle, and the elymus, and the nine-string, have fallen into comparative disuse." And Alcman says—

And put away the magadis.

And Sophocles, in his Thamyras, says—

And well-compacted lyres and magadides,
And other highly-polish'd instruments,
From which the Greeks do wake the sweetest sounds.

But Telestes, in his dithyrambic poem, called Hymenæus, says that the magadis was an instrument with five strings, using the following expressions—

And each a different strain awakens,—
One struck the loud horn-sounding magadis,
And in the fivefold number of tight strings
Moved his hand to and fro most rapidly.

I am acquainted, too, with another instrument which the Thracian kings use in their banquets, as Nicomedes tells us in his essay on Orpheus. Now Ephorus and Scamon, in their treatise on Inventions, say that the [Pg 1018] instrument called the Phœnix derives its name from having been invented by the Phœnicians. But Semus of Delos, in the first book of the Delias, says that it is so called because its ribs are made of the palm-tree which grows in Delos. The same writer, Semus, says that the first person who used the sambuca was Sibylla, and that the instrument derives its name from having been invented by a man named Sambyx.

41. And concerning the instrument called the tripod (this also is a musical instrument) the before-mentioned Artemo writes as follows—"And that is how it is that there are many instruments, as to which it is even uncertain whether they ever existed; as, for instance, the tripod of Pythagoras of Zacynthus. For as it was in fashion but a very short time, and as, either because the fingering of it appeared exceedingly difficult, or for some other reason, it was very soon disused, it has escaped the notice of most writers altogether. But the instrument was in form very like the Delphian tripod, and it derived its name from it; but it was used like a triple harp. For its feet stood on some pedestal which admitted of being easily turned round, just as the legs of movable chairs are made; and along the three intermediate spaces between the feet, strings were stretched; an arm being placed above each, and tuning-pegs, to which the strings were attached, below. And on the top there was the usual ornament of the vase, and of some other ornaments which were attached to it; all which gave it a very elegant appearance; and it emitted a very powerful sound. And Pythagoras divided the three harmonies with reference to three countries,—the Dorian, the Lydian, and Phrygian. And he himself sitting on a chair made on the same principles and after the same pattern, putting out his left hand so as to take hold of the instrument, and using the plectrum in his other hand, moved the pedestal with his foot very easily, so as to use whichever side of the instrument he chose to begin with; and then again turning to the other side he went on playing, and then he changed to the third side. And so rapidly did the easy movement of the pedestal, when touched by the foot, bring the various sides under his hand, and so very rapid was his fingering and execution, that if a person had not seen what was being done, but had judged only by his ear, he would have fancied that he was listening to three harp-players [Pg 1019] all playing on different instruments. But this instrument, though it was so greatly admired, after his death rapidly fell into disuse."


42. Now the system of playing the harp without any vocal accompaniment, was, as Menæchmus informs us, first introduced by Aristonicus the Argive, who was a contemporary of Archilochus, and lived in Corcyra. But Philochorus, in the third hook of his Atthis, says—"Lysander the Sicyonian harp-player was the first person who ever changed the art of pure instrumental performance, dwelling on the long tones, and producing a very rich sound, and adding also to the harp the music of the flute; and this last addition was first introduced by Epigonus; and taking away the jejuneness which existed in the music of those who played the harp alone without any vocal accompaniment, he first introduced various beautiful modifications[89] on that instrument; and he played on the different kinds of harp called iambus and magadis, which is also called συριγμός. And he was the first person who ever attempted to change his instrument while playing. And afterwards, adding dignity to the business, he was the first person to institute a chorus. And Menæchmus says that Dion of Chius was the first person who ever played on the harp an ode such as is used at libations to the honour of Bacchus. But Timomachus, in his History of Cyprus, says that Stesander the Samian added further improvements to his art, and was the first person who at Delphi sang to his lyre the battles narrated in Homer, beginning with the Odyssey. But others say that the first person who ever played amatory strains on his harp was Amiton the Eleuthernæan, who did so in his own city, whose descendants are all called Amitores.

But Aristoxenus says that just as some men have composed parodies on hexameter verses, for the sake of exciting a [Pg 1020] laugh; so, too, others have parodied the verses which were sung to the harp, in which pastime Œnopas led the way. And he was imitated by Polyeuctus the Achæan, and by Diocles of Cynætha. There have also been poets who have composed a low kind of poems, concerning whom Phænias the Eresian speaks in his writings addressed to the Sophists; where he writes thus:—"Telenicus the Byzantian, and also Argas, being both authors of low poems, were men who, as far as that kind of poetry could go, were accounted clever. But they never even attempted to rival the songs of Terpander or Phrynis." And Alexis mentions Argas, in his Man Disembarked, thus—

A. Here is a poet who has gained the prize
In choruses.
B. What is his style of poetry?
A. A noble kind.
B. How will he stand comparison
With Argas?
A. He's a whole days journey better.

And Anaxandrides, in his Hercules, says—

For he appears a really clever man.
How gracefully he takes the instrument,
Then plays at once  .  .  .  .
When I have eaten my fill, I then incline
To send you off to sing a match with Argas,
That you, my friend, may thus the sophists conquer.

43. But the author of the play called the Beggars, which is attributed to Chionides, mentions a certain man of the name of Gnesippus as a composer of ludicrous verses, and also of merry songs; and he says—

I swear that neither now Gnesippus, nor
Cleomenes with all his nine-string'd lyre,
Could e'er have made this song endurable.

And the author of the Helots says—

He is a man who sings the ancient songs
Of Alcman, and Stesichorus, and Simonides;

(he means to say Gnesippus):

He likewise has composed songs for the night,
Well suited to adulterers, with which
They charm the women from their doors, while striking
The shrill iambyca or the triangle.

And Cratinus, in his Effeminate Persons, says—

Who, O Gnesippus, e'er saw me in love?
I am indignant; for I do think nothing
Can be so vain or foolish as a lover.

[Pg 1021]


.  .  .  .  .  .  .   and he ridicules him for his poems; and in his Herdsmen he says—

A man who would not give to Sophocles
A chorus when he asked one; though he granted
That favour to Cleomachus, whom I
Should scarce think worthy of so great an honour,
At the Adonia.

And in his Hours he says—

Farewell to that great tragedian
Cleomachus, with his chorus of hair-pullers,
Plucking vile melodies in the Lydian fashion.

But Teleclides, in his Rigid Men, says that he was greatly addicted to adultery. And Clearchus, in the second book of his Amatory Anecdotes, says that the love-songs, and those, too, which are called the Locrian songs, do not differ in the least from the compositions of Sappho and Anacreon. Moreover, the poems of Archilochus, and that on fieldfares, attributed to Homer, relate to some division or other of this passion, describing it in metrical poetry. But the writings of Asopodorus about love, and the whole body of amorous epistles, are a sort of amatory poetry out of metre.

44. When Masurius had said this, the second course, as it is called, was served up to us; which, indeed, was very often offered to us, not only on the days of the festival of Saturn,[90] when it is the custom of the Romans to feast their slaves, while they themselves discharge the offices of their slaves. But this is in reality a Grecian custom. At all events, in Crete, at the festival of Mercury, a similar thing takes place, as Carystius tells us in his Historic Reminiscences; for then, while the slaves are feasting, the masters wait upon them as if they were the servants: and so they do at Trœzen in the month Geræstius. For then there is a festival which lasts for many days, on one of which the slaves play at dice in common with the citizens, and the masters give a banquet to the slaves, as Carystius himself tells us. And Berosus, in the first book of his History of Babylon, says that on the sixteenth day of the month Lous, [Pg 1022] there is a great festival celebrated in Babylon, which is called Sakeas; and it lasts five days: and during those days it is the custom for the masters to be under the orders of their slaves; and one of the slaves puts on a robe like the king's, which is called a zoganes, and is master of the house. And Ctesias also mentions this festival in the second book of his History of Persia. But the Coans act in an exactly contrary manner, as Macareus tells us in the third book of his History of Cos. For when they sacrifice to Juno, the slaves do not come to the entertainment; on which account Phylarchus says—

Among the Sourii, the freemen only
Assist at the holy sacrifice; none else
The temples or the altars dare approach;
And no slave may come near the sacred precincts.

45. But Baton of Sinope, the orator, in his treatise on Thessaly and Hæmonica, distinctly asserts that the Roman Saturnalia are originally a very Greek festival, saying that among the Thessalians it is called Peloria. And these are his words:—"When a common festival was being celebrated by all the Pelasgi, a man whose name was Pelorus brought news to Pelasgus that there had been some violent earthquakes in Hæmonia, by which the mountains called Tempe had been rent asunder, and that the water of the lake had burst through the rent, and was all falling into the stream of the Peneus; and that all the country which had formerly been covered by the lake was now laid open, and that, as the waters were now drained off, there were plains visible of wondrous size and beauty. Accordingly, Pelasgus, on hearing this statement, had a table loaded with every delicacy set before Pelorus; and every one else received him with great cordiality, and brought whatever they had that was best, and placed it on the table before the man who had brought this news; and Pelasgus himself waited on him with great cheerfulness, and all the rest of the nobles obeyed him as his servants as often as any opportunity offered. On which account, they say that after the Pelasgi occupied the district, they instituted a festival as a sort of imitation of the feast which took place on that occasion; and, sacrificing to Jupiter Pelor, they serve up tables admirably furnished, and hold a very cordial and friendly assembly, so as to receive every foreigner at the banquet, and to set free all the prisoners, and to make their servants sit down and feast with [Pg 1023] every sort of liberty and licence, while their masters wait on them. And, in short, even to this day the Thessalians celebrate this as their chief festival, and call it Peloria."


46. Very often, then, as I have said, when such a dessert as this is set before us, some one of the guests who were present would say—

Certainly, second thoughts are much the best;
For what now can the table want? or what
Is there with which it is not amply loaded?
'Tis full of fish fresh from the sea, besides
Here's tender veal, and dainty dishes of goose,
Tartlets, and cheesecakes steep'd most thoroughly
In the rich honey of the golden bee;

as Euripides says in his Cretan Women: and, as Eubulus said in his Rich Woman—

And in the same way everything is sold
Together at Athens; figs and constables,
Grapes, turnips, pears and apples, witnesses,
Roses and medlars, cheesecakes, honeycombs,
Vetches and law-suits; bee-strings of all kinds,
And myrtle-berries, and lots for offices,
Hyacinths, and lambs, and hour-glasses too,
And laws and prosecutions.

Accordingly, when Pontianus was about to say something about each of the dishes of the second course,—We will not, said Ulpian, hear you discuss these things until you have spoken about the sweetmeats (ἐπιδορπίσματα). And Pontianus replied:—Cratinus says that Philippides has given this name to the τραγήματα, in his Miser, where he says—

Cheesecakes, ἐπιδορπίσματα, and eggs,
And sesame; and were I to endeavour
To count up every dish, the day would fail me.

And Diphilus, in his Telesias, says—

Τράγημα, myrtle-berries, cheesecakes too,
And almonds; so that with the greatest pleasure
I eat the second course (ἐπιδορπίζομαι).

And Sophilus, in his Deposit, says—

'Tis always pleasant supping with the Greeks;
They manage well; with them no one cries out—
Here, bring a stronger draught; for I must feast
With the Tanagrian; that there, lying down,
*              *              *              *              *

And Plato, in his Atlanticus, calls these sweetmeats μεταδόρπια; saying—"And at that time the earth used to produce all sorts of sweet-smelling things for its inhabitants; and a great deal [Pg 1024] of cultivated fruit, and a great variety of nuts; and all the μεταδόρπια which give pleasure when eaten."

47. But Tryphon says that formerly before the guests entered the supper-room, each person's share was placed on the table, and that afterwards a great many dishes of various kinds were served up in addition; and that on this account these latter dishes were called ἐπιφορήματα. But Philyllius, in his Well-digger, speaking of the second course, says—

Almonds, and nuts, and ἐπιφορήματα.

And Archippus, in his Hercules, and Herodotus, in the first book of his History, have both used the verb ἐπιδορπίζομαι for eating after supper. And Archippus also, in his Hercules Marrying, uses the word ἐπιφορήματα; where he says—

The board was loaded with rich honey-cakes
And other ἐπιφορήματα.

And Herodotus, in the first book of his History, says—"They do not eat a great deal of meat, but a great many ἐπιφορήματα." But as for the proverbial saying, "The ἐπιφόρημα of Abydos," that is a kind of tax and harbour-due; as is explained by Aristides in the third book of his treatise on Proverbs. But Dionysius, the son of Tryphon, says—"Formerly, before the guests came into the banqueting-room, the portion for each individual was placed on the table, and afterwards a great many other things were served up in addition (ἐπιφέρεσθαι); from which custom they were called ἐπιφορήματα." And Philyllius, in his Well-digger, speaks of what is brought in after the main part of the banquet is over, saying—

Almonds, and nuts, and ἐπιτραπεζώματα.

But Plato the comic poet, in the Menelaus, calls them ἐπιτραπέζαις, as being for eatables placed on the table (ἐμὶ ταῖς τραπέζαις), saying—

A. Come, tell me now,
Why are so few of the ἐπιτραπεζώματα
B. That man hated by the gods
Ate them all up.

And Aristotle, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says that sweetmeats (τραγήματα) used to be called by the ancients τρωγάλια; for that they come in as a sort of second course. But it is Pindar who said—

And τρώγαλον is nice when supper's over,
And when the guests have eaten plentifully.

[Pg 1025]


And he was quite right. For Euripides says, when one looks on what is served up before one, one may really say—

You see how happily life passes when
A man has always a well-appointed table.

48. And that among the ancients the second course used to have a great deal of expense and pains bestowed on it, we may learn from what Pindar says in his Olympic Odes, where he speaks of the flesh of Pelops being served up for food:—

And in the second course they carved
Your miserable limbs, and feasted on them;
But far from me shall be the thought profane,
That in foul feast celestials could delight.[91]

And the ancients often called this second course simply τράπεζαι, as, for instance, Achæus in his Vulcan, which is a satyric drama, who says,—

A. First we will gratify you with a feast;
Lo! here it is.
B. But after that what means
Of pleasure will you offer me?
A. We'll anoint you
All over with a richly-smelling perfume.
B. Will you not give me first a jug of water
To wash my hands with?
A. Surely; the dessert (τράπεζα)
Is now being clear'd away.

And Aristophanes, in his Wasps, says—

Bring water for the hands; clear the dessert.[92]

And Aristotle, in his treatise on Drunkenness, uses the term δεύτεραι τράπεζαι, much as we do now; saying,—"We must therefore bear in mind that there is a difference between τράγημα and βρῶμα, as there is also between ἒδεσμα and τρωγάλιον. For this is a national name in use in every part of Greece, since there is food (βρῶμα) in sweetmeats (ἐν τραγήμασι), from which consideration the man who first used the expression δευτέρα τράπεζα, appears to have spoken with sufficient correctness. For the eating of sweetmeats (τραγηματισμὸς) is really an eating after supper (ἐπιδορπισμὸς); and the sweetmeats are served up as a second supper." But Dicæarchus, in the first book of his Descent to the Cave of Trophonius, speaks thus: "There was also the δευτέρα τράπεζα, which was a very expensive part of a banquet, and there were also garlands, and perfumes, and burnt frankincense, and all the other necessary accompaniments of these things."

[Pg 1026]

49. Eggs too often formed a part of the second course, as did hares and thrushes, which were served up with the honey-cakes; as we find mentioned by Antiphanes in the Leptiniscus, where he says,—

A. Would you drink Thasian wine?
B. No doubt, if any one
Fills me a goblet with it.
A. Then what think you
Of almonds?
B. I feel very friendly to them,
They mingle well with honey.
A. If a man
Should bring you honied cheesecakes?
B. I should eat them,
And swallow down an egg or two besides.

And in his Things resembling one another, he says,—

Then he introduced a dance, and after that he served up
A second course, provided well with every kind of dainty.

And Amphis,in his Gynæcomania, says,—

A. Did you e'er hear of what they call a ground [93] life?
.     .      .     .     .     .      .     .     .     .      .   'tis clearly
Cheesecakes, sweet wine, eggs, cakes of sesame,
Perfumes, and crowns, and female flute-players.
B. Castor and Pollux! why you have gone through
The names of all the dozen gods at once.

Anaxandrides, in his Clowns, says,—

And when I had my garland on my head,
They brought in the dessert (ἡ τράπεζα), in which there were
So many dishes, that, by all the gods,
And goddesses too, I hadn't the least idea
There were so many different things i' th' house;
And never did I live so well as then.

Clearchus says in his Pandrosus,—

A. Have water for your hands:
B. By no means, thank you;
I'm very comfortable as I am.
A. Pray have some;
You'll be no worse at all events. Boy, water!
And put some nuts and sweetmeats on the table.

And Eubulus, in his Campylion, says,—

A. Now is your table loaded well with sweetmeats.
B. I am not always very fond of sweetmeats.

Alexis, too, says in his Polyclea, (Polyclea was the name of a courtesan,)—

[Pg 1027]

He was a clever man who first invented
The use of sweetmeats; for he added thus
A pleasant lengthening to the feast, and saved men
From unfill'd mouths and idle jaws unoccupied.

And in his Female Likeness (but this same play is attributed also to Antidotus) he says,—

A. I am not one, by Æsculapius!
To care excessively about my supper;
I'm fonder of dessert.
B. 'Tis very well.
A. For I do hear that sweetmeats are in fashion,
For suitors when they're following  .  .  .  .
B. Their brides,—
A. To give them cheesecakes, hares, and thrushes too,
These are the things I like; but pickled fish
And soups and sauces I can't bear, ye gods!

But Apion and Diodorus, as Pamphilus tells us, assert that the sweetmeats brought in after supper are also called ἐπαίκλεια.

50. Ephippus, in his Ephebi, enumerating the different dishes in fashion for dessert, says,—

Then there were brought some groats, some rich perfumes
From Egypt, and a cask of rich palm wine
Was broach'd. Then cakes and other kinds of sweetmeats,
Cheesecakes of every sort and every name;
And a whole hecatomb of eggs. These things
We ate, and clear'd the table vigorously,
For we did e'en devour some parasites.

And in his Cydon he says,—

And after supper they served up some kernels,
Vetches, and beans, and groats, and cheese, and honey,
Sweetmeats of various kinds, and cakes of sesame,
And pyramidical rolls of wheat, and apples,
Nuts, milk, hempseed too, and shell-fish,
Syrup, the brains of Jove.

Alexis too, in his Philiscus, says,—

Now is the time to clear the table, and
To bring each guest some water for his hands,
And garlands, perfumes, and libations,
Frankincense, and a chafing-dish. Now give
Some sweetmeats, and let all some cheesecakes have.

And as Philoxenus of Cythera, in his Banquet, where he mentions the second course, has spoken by name of many of the dishes which are served up to us, we may as well cite his words:—

"And the beautiful vessels which come in first, were brought in [Pg 1028] again full of every kind of delicacy, which mortals call τράπεζαι, but the Gods call them the Horn of Amalthea. And in the middle was placed that great delight of mortals, white marrow dressed sweet; covering its face with a thin membrane, like a spider's web, out of modesty, that one might not see .  .  .  .  . in the dry nets of Aristæus .  .  .  .  And its name was amyllus  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  which they call Jupiter's sweetmeats. .  .  . Then he distributed plates of .  .  .  . very delicious .  .  .  .  .  . and a cheesecake compounded of cheese, and milk, and honey .  .  .  .  .   almonds with soft rind .  .  .  . and nuts, which boys are very fond of; and everything else which could be expected in plentiful and costly entertainment. And drinking went on, and playing at the cottabus, and conversation.  .  .  .  .  .  .  . It was pronounced a very magnificent entertainment, and every one admired and praised it."

This, then, is the description given by Philoxenus of Cythera, whom Antiphanes praises in his Third-rate Performer, where he says—

Philoxenus now does surpass by far
All other poets. First of all he everywhere
Uses new words peculiar to himself;
And then how cleverly doth he mix his melodies
With every kind of change and modification!
Surely he is a god among weak men,
And a most thorough judge of music too.
But poets of the present day patch up
Phrases of ivy and fountains into verse,
And borrow old expressions, talking of
Melodies flying on the wings of flowers,
And interweave them with their own poor stuff.

51. There are many writers who have given lists of the different kinds of cheesecakes, and as far as I can recollect, I will mention them, and what they have said. I know, too, that Callimachus, in his List of Various Books, mentions the treatises on the Art of Making Cheesecakes, written by Ægimius, and Hegesippus, and Metrobius, and also by Phætus. But I will communicate to you the names of cheesecakes which I myself have been able to find to put down, not treating you as Socrates was treated in the matter of the cheesecake which was sent to him by Alcibiades; for Xanthippe took it and trampled upon it, on which Socrates laughed, and said, "At all events you will not have any of it yourself." (This story is related by Antipater, in the first book of his essay on Passion.) But I, as I am fond of cheesecakes, should have been very sorry to see that divine cheesecake so [Pg 1029] injuriously treated. Accordingly, Plato the comic poet mentions cheesecakes in his play called The Poet, where he says—

Am I alone to sacrifice without
Having a taste allow'd me of the entrails,
Without a cheesecake, without frankincense?

Nor do I forget that there is a village, which Demetrius the Scepsian, in the twelfth book of his Trojan Array, tells us bears the name of Πλακοῦς (cheesecake); and he says that it is six stadia from Hypoplacian Thebes.[94]

Now, the word πλακοῦς ought to have a circumflex in the nominative case; for it is contracted from πλακόεις, as τυροῦς is from τυρόεις, and σησαμούς from σησαμόεις. And it is used as a substantive, the word ἄρτος (bread) being understood.

Those who have lived in the place assure us that there are capital cheesecakes to be got at Parium on the Hellespont; for it is a blunder of Alexis, when he speaks of them as coming from the island of Paros. And this is what he says in his play called Archilochus:—

Happy old man, who in the sea-girt isle
Of happy Paros dwell'st—a land which bears
Two things in high perfection; marble white,
Fit decoration for th' immortal gods,
And cheesecakes, dainty food for mortal men.

And Sopater the farce-writer, in his Suitors of Bacchis, testifies that the cheesecakes of Samos are extraordinarily good; saying,—

The cheesecake-making island named Samos.

52. Menander, in his False Hercules, speaks of cheesecakes made in a mould:—

It is not now a question about candyli,
Or all the other things which you are used
To mix together in one dish—eggs, honey,
And similago; for all these things now
Are out of place. The cook at present's making
Baked cheesecakes in a mould; and boiling groats,
To serve up after the salt-fish,—and grapes,
And forced-meat wrapp'd in fig-leaves. And the maid,
Who makes the sweetmeats and the common cheesecakes,
Is roasting joints of meat and plates of thrushes.

And Evangelus, in his Newly-married Woman, says—

A. Four tables did I mention to you of women,
And six of men; a supper, too, complete—
In no one single thing deficient;
[Pg 1030]
Wishing the marriage-feast to be a splendid one.
B. Ask no one else; I will myself go round,
Provide for everything, and report to you.
.  .  .  .  .  As many kinds of olives as you please;
For meat, you've veal, and sucking-pig, and pork,
And hares—
A. Hear how this cursed fellow boasts!
B. Forced-meat in fig-leaves, cheese, cheesecakes in moulds—
A. Here, Dromo!
B. Candyli, eggs, cakes of meal.
And then the table is three cubits high;
So that all those who sit around must rise
Whene'er they wish to help themselves to anything.

There was a kind of cheesecake called ἄμης. Antiphanes enumerates

ἄμητες, ἄμυλοι;

and Menander, in his Supposititious Son, says—

You would be glad were any one to dress
A cheesecake (ἄμητα) for you.

But the Ionians, as Seleucus tells us in his Dialects, make the accusative case ἄμην; and they call small cheesecakes of the same kind ἀμητίσκοι. Teleclides says—

Thrushes flew of their own accord
Right down my throat with savoury ἀμητίσκοι.

53. There was also a kind called διακόνιον:—

He was so greedy that he ate a whole
Diaconium up, besides an amphiphon.

But the ἀμφιφῶν was a kind of cheesecake consecrated to Diana, having figures of lighted torches round it. Philemon, in his Beggar, or Woman of Rhodes, says—

Diana, mistress dear, I bring you now
This amphiphon, and these libations holy.

Diphilus also mentions it in his Hecate. Philochorus also mentions the fact of its being called ἀμφιφῶν, and of its being brought into the temples of Diana, and also to the places where three roads meet, on the day when the moon is overtaken at its setting by the rising of the sun; and so the heaven is ἀμφιφῶς, or all over light.

There is the basynias too. Semus, in the second book of the Deliad, says—"In the island of Hecate, the Delians sacrifice to Iris, offering her the cheesecakes called basyniæ; and this is a cake of wheat-flour, and suet, and honey, boiled up together: and what is called κόκκωρα consists of a fig and three nuts."

[Pg 1031]


There are also cheesecakes called strepti and neëlata. Both these kinds are mentioned by Demosthenes the orator, in his Speech in Defence of Ctesiphon concerning the Crown.

There are also epichyta. Nicochares, in his Handicraftsmen, says—

I've loaves, and barley-cakes, and bran, and flour,
And rolls, obelias, and honey'd cheesecakes,
Epichyti, ptisan, and common cheesecakes,
Dendalides, and fried bread.

But Pamphilus says that the ἐπίχυτος is the same kind of cheesecake as that which is called ἀττανίτης. And Hipponax mentions the ἀττανίτης in the following lines:—

Not eating hares or woodcocks,
Nor mingling small fried loaves with cakes of sesame,
Nor dipping attanitæ in honeycombs.

There is also the creïum. This is a kind of cheesecake which, at Argos, is brought to the bridegroom from the bride; and it is roasted on the coals, and the friends of the bridegroom are invited to eat it; and it is served up with honey, as Philetas tells us in his Miscellanies.

There is also the glycinas: this is a cheesecake in fashion among the Cretans, made, with sweet wine and oil, as Seleucus tells us in his Dialects.

There is also the empeptas. The same author speaks of this as a cheesecake made of wheat, hollow and well-shaped, like those which are called κρηπῖδες; being rather a kind of paste into which they put those cheesecakes which are really made with cheese.

54. There are cakes, also, called ἐγκρίδες. These are cakes boiled in oil, and after that seasoned with honey; and they are mentioned by Stesichorus in the following lines:—

Groats and encrides,
And other cakes, and fresh sweet honey.

Epicharmus, too, mentions them; and so does Nicophon, in his Handicraftsmen. And Aristophanes, in his Danaides, speaks of a man who made them in the following words:—

And not be a seller of encrides (ἐγκριδοπώλης).

And Pherecrates, in his Crapatalli, says—

Let him take this, and then along the road
Let him seize some encrides.

There is the ἐπικύκλιος, too. This is a kind of cheesecake in use among the Syracusans, under this name; and it is mentioned by Epicharmus, in his Earth and Sea.

[Pg 1032]

There is also the γοῦρος; and that this, too, is a kind of cheesecake we learn from what Solon says in his Iambics:—

Some spend their time in drinking, and eating cakes,
And some eat bread, and others feast on γοῦροι
Mingled with lentils; and there is no kind
Of dainty wanting there, but all the fruits
Which the rich earth brings forth as food for men
Are present in abundance.

There are also cribanæ; and κριβάνης is a name given by Alcman to some cheesecakes, as Apollodorus tells us. And Sosibius asserts the same thing, in the third book of his Essay on Alcman; and he says they are in shape like a breast, and that the Lacedæmonians use them at the banquets of women, and that the female friends of the bride, who follow her in a chorus, carry them about when they are going to sing an encomium which has been prepared in her honour.

There is also the crimnites, which is a kind of cheesecake made of a coarser sort of barley-meal (κρίμνον), as Iatrocles tells us in his treatise on Cheesecakes.

55. Then there is the staitites; and this, too, is a species of cheesecake made of wheaten-flour and honey. Epicharmus mentions it in his Hebe's Wedding; but the wheaten-flour is wetted, and then put into a frying-pan; and after that honey is sprinkled over it, and sesame, and cheese; as Iatrocles tells us.

There is also the charisius. This is mentioned by Aristophanes in his Daitaleis, where he says—

But I will send them in the evening
A charisian cheesecake.

And Eubulus, in his Ancylion, speaks of it as if it were plain bread:—

I only just leapt out,
While baking the charisius.

Then there is the ἐπίδαιτρον, which is a barley-cake, made like a cheesecake, to be eaten after supper; as Philemon tells us in his treatise on Attic Names.

There is also the nanus, which is a loaf made like a cheesecake, prepared with cheese and oil.

There are also ψώθια, which are likewise called ψαθύρια. Pherecrates, in the Crapatalli, says—

And in the shades below you'll get for threepence
A crapatallus, and some ψώθια.

But Apollodorus the Athenian, and Theodorus, in his treatise [Pg 1033] on the Attic Dialect, say that the crumbs which are knocked off from a loaf are called ψώθια, which some people also call ἀττάραγοι.

Then there is the ἴτριον. This is a thin cake, made of sesame and honey; and it is mentioned by Anacreon thus:—

I broke my fast, taking a little slice
Of an ἴτριον; but I drank a cask of wine.

And Aristophanes, in his Acharnians, says—

Cheesecakes, and cakes of sesame, and ἴτρια.

And Sophocles, in his Contention, says—

But I, being hungry, look back at the ἴτρια.

There is mention made also of ἄμοραι. Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says that cakes of honey are called ἄμοραι; and they are made by a regular baker.

There is the ταγηνίτης, too; which is a cheesecake fried in oil. Magnes, or whoever it was that wrote the comedies which are attributed to him, says in the second edition of his Bacchus—

Have you ne'er seen the fresh ταγήνιαι hissing,
When you pour honey over them?

And Cratinus, in his Laws, says—

The fresh ταγηνίας, dropping morning dew.

Then there is the ἔλαφος. This is a cheesecake made on the festival of Elaphebolia, of wheat-flour, and honey, and sesame.

The ναστὸς is a kind of cheesecake, having stuffing inside it.

56. Χόρια are cakes made up with honey and milk.

The ἀμορβίτης is a species of cheesecake in fashion among the Sicilians. But some people call it παισά. And among the Coans it is called πλακούντιον, as we are informed by Iatrocles.

Then there are the σησαμίδες, which are cakes made of honey, and roasted sesame, and oil, of a round shape. Eupolis, in his Flatterers, says—

He is all grace, he steps like a callabis-dancer,
And breathes sesamides, and smells of apples.

And Antiphanes, in his Deucalion, says—

Sesamides, or honey-cheesecakes,
Or any other dainty of the kind.

And Ephippus, in his Cydon, also mentions them in a passage which has been already quoted.

[Pg 1034]

Then there are μύλλοι. Heraclides the Syracusan, in his treatise on Laws, says, that in Syracuse, on the principal day of the Thesmophorian festival, cakes of a peculiar shape are made of sesame and honey, which are called μύλλοι throughout all Sicily, and are carried about as offerings to the goddesses. There is also the echinus. Lynceus the Samian, in his epistle to Diagoras, comparing the things which are considered dainties in Attica with those which are in esteem at Rhodes, writes thus: "They have for the second course a rival to the fame of the ἄμης in a new antagonist called the ἐχινος, concerning which I will speak briefly; but when you come and see me, and eat one which shall be prepared for you in the Rhodian manner, then I will endeavour to say more about it."

There are also cheesecakes named κοτυλίσκοι. Heracleon of Ephesus tells us that those cheesecakes have this name which are made of the third part of a chœnix of wheat.

There are others called χοιρίναι, which are mentioned by Iatrocles in his treatise on Cheesecakes; and he speaks also of that which is called πυραμοῦς, which he says differs from the πυραμίς, inasmuch as this latter is made of bruised wheat which has been softened with honey. And these cheesecakes are in nightly festivals given as prizes to the man who has kept awake all night.

57. But Chrysippus of Tyana, in his book called the Art of Making Bread, enumerates the following species and genera of cheesecakes:—"The terentinum, the crassianum, the tutianum, the sabellicum, the clustron, the julianum, the apicianum, the canopicum, the pelucidum, the cappadocium, the hedybium, the maryptum, the plicium, the guttatum, the montianum. This last," he says, "you will soften with sour wine, and if you have a little cheese you may mash the montianum up half with wine and half with cheese, and so it will be more palatable. Then there is the clustrum curianum, the clustrum tuttatum, and the clustrum tabonianum. There are also mustacia made with mead, mustacia made with sesame, crustum purium, gosgloanium, and paulianum.


"The following cakes resembling cheesecakes," he says, "are really made with cheese:—the enchytus, the scriblites, the subityllus. There is also another kind of subityllus made of groats. Then there is the spira; this, too, is made with cheese.

There are, too, the lucuntli, the argyrotryphema, the libos, the [Pg 1035] cercus, the æxaphas, the clustroplacous. There is also," says Chrysippus, "a cheesecake made of rye. The phthois is made thus:—Take some cheese and pound it, then put it into a brazen sieve and strain it; then put in honey and a hemina[95] of flour made from spring wheat, and beat the whole together into one mass.

"There is another cake, which is called by the Romans catillus ornatus, and which is made thus:—Wash some lettuces and scrape them; then put some wine into a mortar and pound the lettuces in it; then, squeezing out the juice, mix up some flour from spring wheat in it, and allowing it to settle, after a little while pound it again, adding a little pig's fat and pepper; then pound it again, draw it out into a cake, smoothe it, and cut it again, and cut it into shape, and boil it in hot oil, putting all the fragments which you have cut off into a strainer.

"Other kinds of cheesecakes are the following:—the ostracites, the attanites, the amylum, the tyrocoscinum. Make this last thus:—Pound some cheese (τῦρον) carefully, and put it into a vessel; then place above it a brazen sieve (κόσκινον) and strain the cheese through it. And when you are going to serve it up, then put in above it a sufficient quantity of honey. The cheesecakes called ὑποτυρίδες are made thus:—Put some honey into some milk, pound them, and put them into a vessel, and let them coagulate; then, if you have some little sieves at hand, put what is in the vessel into them, and let the whey run off; and when it appears to you to have coagulated thoroughly, then take up the vessel in which it is, and transfer it to a silver dish, and the coat, or crust, will be uppermost. But if you have no such sieves, then use some new fans, such as those which are used to blow the fire; for they will serve the same purpose. Then there is the coptoplacous. And also," says he, "in Crete they make a kind of cheesecake which they call gastris. And it is made thus:—Take some Thasian and Pontic nuts and some almonds, and also a poppy. Roast this last with great care, and then take the seed and pound it in a clean mortar; then, adding the fruits which I have mentioned above, beat them up with boiled honey, putting in plenty of pepper, and make the whole into a soft mass, (but it will be of a black colour because of the [Pg 1036] poppy;) flatten it and make it into a square shape; then, having pounded some white sesame, soften that too with boiled honey, and draw it out into two cakes, placing one beneath and the other above, so as to have the black surface in the middle, and make it into a neat shape." These are the recipes of that clever writer on confectionary, Chrysippus.

58. But Harpocration the Mendesian, in his treatise on Cheesecakes, speaks of a dish which the Alexandrians call παγκαρπία. Now this dish consists of a number of cakes mashed up together and boiled with honey. And after they are boiled, they are made up into round balls, and fastened round with a thin string of byblus in order to keep them together. There is also a dish called πόλτος, which Alcman mentions in the following terms—

And then we'll give you poltos made of beans (πυάνιος),
And snow-white wheaten groats from unripe corn,
And fruit of wax.

But the substantive πυάνιον, as Sosibius tells us, means a collection of all kinds of seeds boiled up in sweet wine. And χῖδρος means boiled grains of wheat. And when he speaks here of waxy fruit, he means honey. And Epicharmus, in his Earth and Sea, speaks thus—

To boil some morning πόλτος.

And Pherecrates mentions the cakes called μελικηρίδων in his Deserters, speaking as follows—

As one man smells like goats, but others
Breathe from their mouths unalloy'd μελικήρας.

59. And when all this had been said, the wise Ulpian said,—Whence, my most learned grammarians, and out of what library, have these respectable writers, Chrysippus and Harpocration, been extracted, men who bring the names of illustrious philosophers into disrepute by being their namesakes? And what Greek has ever used the word ἡμίνα; or who has ever mentioned the ἄμυλος?" And when Laurentius answered him, and said,—Whoever the authors of the poems attributed to Epicharmus were, they were acquainted with the ἡπίνα. And we find the following expressions in the play entitled Chiron—

And to drink twice the quantity of cool water,—
Two full heminas.

And these spurious poems, attributed to Epicharmus, were, at all events, written by eminent men. For it was Chrysogonus [Pg 1037] the flute-player, as Aristoxenus tells us in the eighth book of his Political Laws, who wrote the poem entitled Polity. And Philochorus, in his treatise on Divination, says that it was a man of the name of Axiopistos, (whether he was a Locrian or a Sicyonian is uncertain,) who was the author of the Canon and the Sentences. And Apollodorus tells us the same thing. And Teleclides mentions the ἄμυλος in his Rigid Men, speaking thus—

Hot cheesecakes now are things I'm fond of,
Wild pears I do not care about;
I also like rich bits of hare
Placed on an ἄμυλος.

60. When Ulpian had heard this, he said—But, since you have also a cake which you call κοπτὴ, and I see that there is one served up for each of you on the table, tell us now, you epicures, what writer of authority ever mentions this word κοπτὴ? And Democritus replied—Dionysius of Utica, in the seventh book of his Georgics, says that the sea leek is called κοπτὴ. And as for the honey-cake which is now served up before each of us, Clearchus the Solensian, in his treatise on Riddles, mentions that, saying—"If any one were to order a number of vessels to be mentioned which resemble one another, he might say,

A tripod, a bowl, a candlestick, a marble mortar,
A bench, a sponge, a caldron, a boat, a metal mortar,
An oil-cruse, a basket, a knife, a ladle,
A goblet, and a needle.

And after that he gives a list of the names of different dishes, thus—

Soup, lentils, salted meat, and fish, and turnips,
Garlic, fresh meat, and tunny-roe, pickles, onions,
Olives, and artichokes, capers, truffles, mushrooms.

And in the same way he gives a catalogue of cakes, and sweetmeats, thus—

Ames, placous, entiltos, itrium,[96]
Pomegranates, eggs, vetches, and sesame;
Coptè and grapes, dried figs, and pears and peaches,
Apples and almonds."

These are the words of Clearchus. But Sopater the farce-writer, in his drama entitled Pylæ, says—

Who was it who invented first black cakes (κοπταὶ)
Of the uncounted poppy-seed? who mix'd
The yellow compounds of delicious sweetmeats?

[Pg 1038]

Here my excellent cross-examiner, Ulpian, you have authorities for κοπτή; and so now I advise you ἀπεσθίειν some. And he, without any delay, took and ate some. And when they all laughed, Democritus said;—But, my fine word-catcher, I did not desire you to eat, but not to eat; for the word ἀπεσθίω is used in the sense of abstaining from eating by Theopompus the comic poet, in his Phineus, where he says—

Cease gambling with the dice, my boy, and now
Feed for the future more on herbs. Your stomach
Is hard with indigestion; give up eating (ἀπέσθιε)
Those fish that cling to the rocks; the lees of wine
Will make your head and senses clear, and thus
You'll find your health, and your estate too, better.

Men do, however, use ἀπεσθίω for to eat a portion of anything, as Hermippus does, in his Soldiers—

Alas! alas! he bites me now, he bites,
And quite devours (ἀπεσθίει) my ears.

61. The Syrian being convicted by these arguments, and being a good deal annoyed, said—But I see here on the table some pistachio nuts (ψιττάκια); and if you can tell me what author has ever spoken of them, I will give you, not ten golden staters, as that Pontic trifler has it, but this goblet. And as Democritus made no reply, he said, But since you cannot answer me, I will tell you; Nicander of Colophon, in his Theriacans, mentions them, and says—

Pistachio nuts (ψιττάκια) upon the highest branches,
Like almonds to the sight.

The word is also written βιστάκια, in the line—

And almond-looking βιστάκια were there.

And Posidonius the Stoic, in the third book of his History, writes thus: "But both Arabia and Syria produce the peach, and the nut which is called βιστάκιον; which bears a fruit in bunches like bunches of grapes, of a sort of tawny white, long shaped, like tears, and the nuts lie on one another like berries. But the kernel is of a light green, and it is less juicy than the pine-cone, but it has a more pleasant smell. And the brothers who together composed the Georgics, write thus, in the third book—"There is also the ash, and the turpentine tree, which the Syrians call πιστάκια." And these people spell the word πιστάκια with a π, but Nicander writes it φιττάκια, and Posidonius βιστάκια.

[Pg 1039]


62. And when he had said this, looking round on all those who were present, and being praised by them, he said,—But I mean also to discuss every other dish that there is on the table, in order to make you admire my varied learning. And first of all I will speak of those which the Alexandrians call κόνναρα and παλίουροι. And they are mentioned also by Agathocles of Cyzicus, in the third book of his History of his Country; where, he says: "But after the thunderbolt had struck the tomb, there sprung up from the monument a tree which they call κόνναρον. And this tree is not at all inferior in size to the elm or the fir. And it has great numbers of branches, of great length and rather thorny; but its leaf is tender and green, and of a round shape. And it bears fruit twice a-year, in spring and autumn. And the fruit is very sweet, and of the size of a phaulian olive, which it resembles both in its flesh and in its stone; but it is superior in the good flavour of its juice. And the fruit is eaten while still green; and when it has become dry they make it into paste, and eat it without either bruising it or softening it with water, but taking it in very nearly its natural state. And Euripides, in the Cyclops, speaks of—

A branch of paliurus.[97]

But Theopompus, in the twenty-first book of his History of Philip, mentions them, and Diphilus, the physician of Siphnus, also speaks of them, in his treatise on What may be eaten by People in Health, and by Invalids. But I have mentioned these things first, my good friends, not because they are before us at this moment, but because in the beautiful city of Alexandria, I have often eaten them as part of the second course, and as I have often heard the question as to their names raised there, I happened to fall in with a book here in which I read what I have now recounted to you.

63. And I will now take the pears (ἄπιον), which I see before me, and speak of them, since it is from them that the Peloponnesus was called Ἀπία,[98] [Pg 1040] because plants of the peartree were abundant in the country, as Ister tells us, in his treatise on the History of Greece. And that it was customary to bring up pears in water at entertainments, we learn from the Breutias of Alexis, where we read these lines—

A. Have you ne'er seen pears floating in deep water
Served up before some hungry men at dinner?
B. Indeed I have, and often; what of that?
A. Does not each guest choose for himself, and eat
The ripest of the fruit that swims before him?
B. No doubt he does.

But the fruit called ἁμαμηλίδες are not the same as pears, as some people have fancied, but they are a different thing, sweeter, and they have no kernel. Aristomenes, in his Bacchus, says—

Know you not how the Chian garden grows
Fine medlars?

And Æschylides too, in the third book of his Georgics, shows us that it is a different fruit from the pear, and sweeter. For he is speaking of the island Ceos, and he expresses himself thus,—"The island produces the very finest pears, equal to that fruit which in Ionia is called hamamelis; for they are free from kernels, and sweet, and delicious." But Aethlius, in the fifth book of his Samian Annals, if the book be genuine, calls them homomelides. And Pamphilus, in his treatise on Dialects and Names, says, "The epimelis is a species of pear." Antipho, in his treatise on Agriculture, says that the phocides are also a kind of pear.

64. Then there are pomegranates. And of pomegranates some kinds are said to be destitute of kernels, and some to have hard ones. And those without kernels are mentioned by Aristophanes in his Farmers; and in his Anagyrus he says—

Except wheat-flour and pomegranates.

He also speaks of them in the Gerytades; and Hermippus, in his Cercopes, says—

Have you e'er seen the pomegranate's kernel in snow?

And we find the diminutive form ῥοίδιον, like βοίδιον.

Antiphanes also mentions the pomegranates with the hard kernels in his Bœotia—

I bade him bring me from the farm pomegranates
Of the hard-kernell'd sort.

And Epilycus, in his Phoraliscus, says—

You are speaking of apples and pomegranates.

[Pg 1041]


Alexis also, in his Suitors, has the line—

He took the rich pomegranates from their hands.

But Agatharchides, in the nineteenth book of his History of Europe, tells us that the Bœotians call pomegranates not ῥοιαὶ but σίδαι, speaking thus:—"As the Athenians were disputing with the Bœotians about a district which they called Sidæ, Epaminondas, while engaged in upholding the claims of the Bœotians, suddenly lifted up in his left hand a pomegranate which he had concealed, and showed it to the Athenians, asking them what they called it, and when they said ῥοιὰ, 'But we,' said he, 'call it σίδη.' And the district bears the pomegranate-tree in great abundance, from which it originally derived its name. And Epaminondas prevailed." And Menander, in his Heauton-Timorumenos, called them ῥοίδια, in the following lines—

And after dinner I did set before them
Almonds, and after that we ate pomegranates.

There is, however, another plant called sida, which is something like the pomegranate, and which grows in the lake Orchomenus, in the water itself; and the sheep eat its leaves, and the pigs feed on the young shoots, as Theophrastus tells us, in the fourth book of his treatise on Plants; where he says that there is another plant like it in the Nile, which grows without any roots.

65. The next thing to be mentioned are dates. Xenophon, in the second book of his Anabasis, says—"And there was in the district a great deal of corn, and wine made of the dates, and also vinegar, which was extracted from them; but the berries themselves of the date when like what we see in Greece, were set apart for the slaves. But those which were destined for the masters were all carefully selected, being of a wonderful size and beauty, and their colour was like amber. And some they dry and serve up as sweetmeats; and the wine made from the date is sweet, but it produces headache." And Herodotus, in his first book, speaking of Babylon, says,—"There are palm-trees there growing over the whole plain, most of them being very fruitful; and they make bread, and wine, and honey of them. And they manage the tree in the same way as the fig-tree. For those palm-trees which they call the males they take, and bind their fruit to the other palm-trees which bear dates, in order that the insect which lives in the fruit of the male palm may get into the date and ripen it, [Pg 1042] and so prevent the fruit of the date-bearing palm from being spoilt. For the male palm has an insect in each of its fruits, as the wild fig has." And Polybius of Megalopolis, who speaks with the authority of an eye-witness, gives very nearly the same account of the lotus, as it is called, in Libya, that Herodotus here gives of the palm-tree; for he speaks thus of it: "And the lotus is a tree of no great size, but rough and thorny, and its leaf is green like that of the rhamnus, but a little thicker and broader. And the fruit at first resembles both in colour and size the berries of the white myrtle when full grown; but as it increases in size it becomes of a scarlet colour, and in size about equal to the round olives; and it has an exceedingly small stone. But when it is ripe they gather it. And some they store for the use of the servants, bruising it and mixing it with groats, and packing it into vessels. And that which is preserved for freemen is treated in the same way, only that the stones are taken out, and then they pack that fruit also in jars, and eat it when they please. And it is a food very like the fig, and also like the palm-date, but superior in fragrance. And when it is moistened and pounded with water, a wine is made of it, very sweet and enjoyable to the taste, and like fine mead; and they drink it without water; but it will not keep more than ten days, on which account they only make it in small quantities as they want it. They also make vinegar of the same fruit."

66. And Melanippides the Melian, in his Danaides, calls the fruit of the palm-tree by the name of φοίνιξ, mentioning them in this manner:—"They had the appearance of inhabitants of the shades below, not of human beings; nor had they voices like women; but they drove about in chariots with seats, through the woods and groves, just as wild beasts do, holding in their hands the sacred frankincense, and the fragrant dates (φοίνικας), and cassia, and the delicate perfumes of Syria."[99]


And Aristotle, in his treatise on Plants, speaks thus:—"The dates (φοίνικες) without stones, which some call eunuchs and others ἀπύρηνοι." Hellanicus has also called the fruit φοίνιξ, in his Journey to the Temple of Ammon, if at least the book be a genuine one; and so has Phormus the comic poet, in his Atalantæ.

[Pg 1043]

But concerning those that are called the Nicolaan dates, which are imported from Syria, I can give you this information; that they received this name from Augustus the emperor, because he was exceedingly fond of the fruit, and because Nicolaus of Damascus, who was his friend, was constantly sending him presents of it. And this Nicolaus was a philosopher of the Peripatetic School, and wrote a very voluminous history.

67. Now with respect to dried figs. Those which came from Attica were always considered a great deal the best. Accordingly Dinon, in his History of Persia, says—"And they used to serve up at the royal table all the fruits which the earth produces as far as the king's dominions extend, being brought to him from every district as a sort of first-fruits. And the first king did not think it becoming for the kings either to eat or drink anything which came from any foreign country; and this idea gradually acquired the force of a law. For once, when one of the eunuchs brought the king, among the rest of the dishes at dessert, some Athenian dried figs, the king asked where they came from. And when he heard that they came from Athens, he forbade those who had bought them to buy them for him any more, until it should be in his power to take them whenever he chose, and not to buy them. And it is said that the eunuch did this on purpose, with a view to remind him of the expedition against Attica." And Alexis, in his Pilot, says—

Then came in figs, the emblem of fair Athens,
And bunches of sweet thyme.

And Lynceus, in his epistle to the comic poet, Posidippus, says—"In the delineation of the tragic passions, I do not think that Euripides is at all superior to Sophocles, but in dried figs, I do think that Attica is superior to every other country on earth." And in his letter to Diagoras, he writes thus:—"But this country opposes to the Chelidonian dried figs those which are called Brigindaridæ, which in their name indeed are barbarous, but which in delicious flavour are not at all less Attic than the others. And Phœnicides, in his Hated Woman, says—

They celebrate the praise of myrtle-berries,
Of honey, of the Propylæa, and of figs;
Now these I tasted when I first arrived,
And saw the Propylæa; yet have I found nothing
Which to a woodcock can for taste compare.

In which lines we must take notice of the mention of the woodcock. [Pg 1044] But Philemon, in his treatise on Attic Names, says that "the most excellent dried figs are those called Ægilides; and that Ægila is the name of a borough in Attica, which derives its name from a hero called Ægilus; but that the dried figs of a reddish black colour are called Chelidonians." Theopompus also, in the Peace, praising the Tithrasian figs, speaks thus—

Barley-cakes, cheesecakes, and Tithrasian figs.

But dried figs were so very much sought after by all men, (for really, as Aristophanes says—

There's really nothing nicer than dried figs;)

that even Amitrochates, the king of the Indians, wrote to Antiochus, entreating him (it is Hegesander who tells this story) to buy and send him some sweet wine, and some dried figs, and a sophist; and that Antiochus wrote to him in answer, "The dried figs and the sweet wine we will send you; but it is not lawful for a sophist to be sold in Greece. The Greeks were also in the habit of eating dried figs roasted, as Pherecrates proves by what he says in the Corianno, where we find—

But pick me out some of those roasted figs.

And a few lines later he says—

Will you not bring me here some black dried figs?
Dost understand? Among the Mariandyni,
That barbarous tribe, they call these black dried figs
Their dishes.

I am aware, too, that Pamphilus has mentioned a kind of dried figs, which he calls προκνίδες.

68. That the word βότρυς is common for a bunch of grapes is known to every one; and Crates, in the second book of his Attic Dialect, uses the word σταφυλὴ, although it appears to be a word of Asiatic origin; saying that in some of the ancient hymns the word σταφυλὴ is used for βότρυς, as in the following line:—

Thick hanging with the dusky grapes (σταφυλῆσι) themselves.

And that the word σταφυλὴ is used by Homer is known to every one. But Plato, in the eighth book of his Laws, uses both βότρυς and σταφυλὴ, where he says—"Whoever tastes wild fruit, whether it be grapes (βοτρύων) or figs, before the time of the vintage arrives, which falls at the time of the rising of Arcturus, whether it be on his own farm, or on any one else's land, shall be fined fifty sacred drachmas to be paid to Bacchus, if he plucked them off his own land; but a mina [Pg 1045] if he gather them on a neighbour's estate; but if he take them from any other place, two-thirds of a mina. But whoever chooses to gather the grapes (τὴν σταφυλὴν), which are now called the noble grapes, or the figs called the noble figs, if he gather them from his own trees, let him gather them as he pleases, and when he pleases; but if he gathers them from the trees of any one else without having obtained the leave of the owner, then, in accordance with the law which forbids any one to move what he has not placed, he shall be invariably punished." These are the words of the divine Plato; but I ask now what is this noble grape (γενναῖα), and this noble fig that he speaks of? And you may all consider this point while I am discussing the other dishes which are on the table. And Masurius said—

But let us not postpone this till to-morrow,
Still less till the day after.

When the philosopher says γενναῖα, he means εἰγενῆ, generous, as Archilochus also uses the word—

Come hither, you are generous (γενναῖος);

or, perhaps, he means ἐπιγεγενημένα; that is to say, grafted. For Aristotle speaks of grafted pears, and calls them ἑπεμβολάδες. And Demosthenes, in his speech in defence of Ctesiphon, has the sentence, "gathering figs, and grapes (βότρυς), and olives." And Xenophon, in his Œconomics, says, "that grapes (τὰς σταφυλὰς) are ripened by the sun." And our ancestors also have been acquainted with the practice of steeping grapes in wine. Accordingly Eubulus, in his Catacollomenos, says—

But take these grapes (βότρυς), and in neat wine pound them,
And pour upon them many cups of water.
Then make him eat them when well steep'd in wine.

And the poet, who is the author of the Chiron, which is generally attributed to Pherecrates, says—

Almonds and apples, and the arbutus first,
And myrtle-berries, pastry, too, and grapes
Well steep'd in wine; and marrow.

And that every sort of autumn fruit was always plentiful at Athens, Aristophanes testifies in his Horæ. Why, then, should that appear strange which Aethlius the Samian asserts in the fifth book of his Samian Annals, where he says, "The fig, and the grape, and the medlar, and the apple, and the rose grow twice a-year?" And Lynceus, in his [Pg 1046] letter to Diagoras, praising the Nicostratian grape, which grows in Attica, and comparing it to the Rhodiacan, says, "As rivals of the Nicostratian grapes they grow the Hipponian grape; which after the month Hecatombæon (like a good servant) has constantly the same good disposition towards its masters."

69. But as you have had frequent discussions about meats, and birds, and pigeons, I also will tell you all that I, after a great deal of reading, have been able to find out in addition to what has been previously stated. Now the word περιστέριον (pigeon), may be found used by Menander in his Concubine, where he says—

He waits a little while, and then runs up
And says—"I've bought some pigeons (περιστέρια) for you."

And so Nicostratus, in his Delicate Woman, says—

These are the things I want,—a little bird,
And then a pigeon (περιστέριον) and a paunch.

And Anaxandrides, in his Reciprocal Lover, has the line—

For bringing in some pigeons (περιστέρια) and some sparrows.

And Phrynichus, in his Tragedians, says—

Bring him a pigeon (περιστέριον) for a threepenny piece.

Now with respect to the pheasant, Ptolemy the king, in the twelfth book of his Memorabilia, speaking of the palace which there is at Alexandria, and of the animals which are kept in it, says, "They have also pheasants, which they call τέταροι, which they not only used to send for from Media, but they also used to put the eggs under broody hens, by which means they raised a number, so as to have enough for food; for they call it very excellent eating." Now this is the expression of a most magnificent monarch, who confesses that he himself has never tasted a pheasant, but who used to keep these birds as a sort of treasure. But if he had ever seen such a sight as this, when, in addition to all those which have been already eaten, a pheasant is also placed before each individual, he would have added another book to the existing twenty-four of that celebrated history, which he calls his Memorabilia. And Aristotle or Theophrastus, in his Commentaries, says, "In pheasants, the male is not only as much superior to the female as is usually the case, but he is so in an infinitely greater degree."


70. But if the before-mentioned king had seen the number of peacocks also which exists at Rome, he would have fled to his sacred Senate, as though he had a second time been [Pg 1047] driven out of his kingdom by his brother. For the multitude of these birds is so great at Rome, that Antiphanes the comic poet, in his Soldier or Tychon, may seem to have been inspired by the spirit of prophecy, when he said—

When the first man imported to this city
A pair of peacocks, they were thought a rarity,
But now they are more numerous than quails;
So, if by searching you find one good man,
He will be sure to have five worthless sons.

And Alexis, in his Lamp, says—

That he should have devour'd so vast a sum!
Why if (by earth I swear) I fed on hares' milk
And peacocks, I could never spend so much.

And that they used to keep them tame in their houses, we learn from Strattis, in his Pausanias, where he says—

Of equal value with your many trifles,
And peacocks, which you breed up for their feathers.

And Anaxandrides, in his Melilotus, says—

Is't not a mad idea to breed up peacocks,
When every one can buy his private ornaments?

And Anaxilaus, in his Bird Feeders, says—

Besides all this, tame peacocks, loudly croaking.

Menodotus the Samian also, in his treatise on the Treasures in the Temple of the Samian Juno, says: "The peacocks are sacred to Juno; and perhaps Samos may be the place where they were first produced and reared, and from thence it was that they were scattered abroad over foreign countries, in the same way as cocks were originally produced in Persia, and the birds called guinea-fowl (μελεαγρίδες) in Ætolia." On which account Antiphanes, in his Brothers by the same Father, says—

They say that in the city of the Sun
The phœnix is produced; the owl in Athens;
Cyprus breeds doves of admirable beauty:
But Juno, queen of Samos, does, they say,
Rear there a golden race of wondrous birds,
The brilliant, beautiful, conspicuous peacock.

On which account the peacock occurs on the coins of the Samians.

71. But since Menodotus has mentioned the guinea-fowl, we ourselves also will say something on that subject. Clytus the Milesian, a pupil of Aristotle, in the first book of his History of Miletus, writes [Pg 1048] thus concerning them—"All around the temple of the Virgin Goddess at Leros, there are birds called guinea-fowls. And the ground where they are bred is marshy. And this bird is very devoid of affection towards its young, and wholly disregards its offspring, so that the priests are forced to take care of them. And it is about the size of a very fine fowl of the common poultry, its head is small in proportion to its body, having but few feathers, but on the top it has a fleshy crest, hard and round, sticking up above the head like a peg, and of a wooden colour. And over the jaws, instead of a beard, they have a long piece of flesh, beginning at the mouth, redder than that of the common poultry; but of that which exists in the common poultry on the top of the beak, which some people call the beard, they are wholly destitute; so that their beak is mutilated in this respect. But its beak is sharper and larger than that of the common fowl; its neck is black, thicker and shorter than that of common poultry. And its whole body is spotted all over, the general colour being black, studded in every part with thick white spots something larger than lentil seeds. And these spots are ring-shaped, in the middle of patches of a darker hue than the rest of the plumage: so that these patches present a variegated kind of appearance, the black part having a sort of white tinge, and the white seeming a good deal darkened. And their wings are all over variegated with white, in serrated,[100] wavy lines, parallel to each other. And their legs are destitute of spurs like those of the common hen. And the females are very like the males, on which account the sex of the guinea-fowls is hard to distinguish." Now this is the account given of guinea-fowls by the Peripatetic philosopher.

72. Roasted sucking-pigs are a dish mentioned by Epicrates in his Merchant—

On this condition I will be the cook;
Nor shall all Sicily boast that even she
Produced so great an artist as to fish,
Nor Elis either, where I've seen the flesh
Of dainty sucking-pigs well brown'd before
A rapid fire.

And Alexis, in his Wicked Woman, says—

A delicate slice of tender sucking-pig,
Bought for three obols, hot, and very juicy,
When it is set before us.

[Pg 1049]


"But the Athenians," as Philochorus tells us, "when they sacrifice to the Seasons, do not roast, but boil their meat, entreating the goddesses to defend them from all excessive droughts, and heats, and to give increase to their crops by means of moderate warmth and seasonable rains. For they argue that roasting is a kind of cookery which does less good to the meat, while boiling not only removes all its crudities, but has the power also of softening the hard parts, and of making all the rest digestible. And it makes the food more tender and wholesome, on which account they say also, that when meat has been once boiled, it ought not to be warmed up again by either roasting or boiling it; for any second process removes the good done by the first dressing, as Aristotle tells us. And roast meat is more crude and dry than boiled meat." But roast meat is called φλογίδες. Accordingly Strattis in his Callippides says, with reference to Hercules—

Immediately he caught up some large slices (φλογίδες)
Of smoking roasted boar, and swallow'd them.

And Archippus, in his Hercules Marrying, says—

The pettitoes of little pigs, well cook'd
In various fashion; slices, too, of bulls
With sharpen'd horns, and great long steaks of boar,
All roasted (φλογίδες).

73. But why need I say anything of partridges, when so much has already been said by you? However, I will not omit what is related by Hegesander in his Commentaries. For he says that the Samians, when sailing to Sybaris, having touched at the district called Siritis, were so alarmed at the noise made by partridges which rose up and flew away, that they fled, and embarked on board their ships, and sailed away.

Concerning hares also Chamæleon says, in his treatise on Simonides, that Simonides once, when supping with king Hiero, as there was no hare set on the table in front of him as there was before all the other guests, but as Hiero afterwards helped him to some, made this extempore verse—

Nor, e'en though large, could he reach all this way.

But Simonides was, in fact, a very covetous man, addicted to disgraceful gain, as we are told by Chamæleon. And accordingly in Syracuse, as Hiero used to send him everything necessary for his daily subsistence in great abundance, Simonides used to sell the greater part [Pg 1050] of what was sent to him by the king, and reserve only a small portion for his own use. And when some one asked him the reason of his doing so, he said—"In order that both the liberality of Hiero and my economy may be visible to every one."

The dish called udder is mentioned by Teleclides, in his Rigid Men, in the following lines—

Being a woman, 'tis but reasonable
That I should bring an udder.

But Antidotus uses not the word οὖθαρ, but ὑπογάστριον, in his Querulous Man.

74. Matron, in his Parodies, speaks of animals being fattened for food, and birds also, in these lines—

Thus spake the hero, and the servants smiled,
And after brought, on silver dishes piled,
Fine fatten'd birds, clean singed around with flame,
Like cheesecakes on the back, their age the same.

And Sopater the farce-writer speaks of fattened sucking-pigs in his Marriage of Bacchis, saying this—

If there was anywhere an oven, there
The well-fed sucking-pig did crackle, roasting.

But Æschines uses the form δελφάκιον for δέλφαξ in his Alcibiades, saying, "Just as the women at the cookshops breed sucking-pigs (δελφάκια)." And Antiphanes, in his Physiognomist, says—

Those women take the sucking-pigs (δελφάκια),
And fatten them by force;

And in his Persuasive Man he says—

To be fed up instead of pigs (δελφακίων).

Plato, however, has used the word δέλφαξ in the masculine gender in his Poet, where he says—

Leanest of pigs (δέλφακα ῥαιότατον).

And Sophocles, in his play called Insolence, says—

Wishing to eat τὸν δέλφακα.

And Cratinus, in his Ulysses, has the expression—

Large pigs (δέλφακας μεγάλους).

But Nicochares uses the word as feminine, saying—

A pregnant sow (κύουσαν δέλφακα);

And Eupolis, in his Golden Age, says—

Did he not serve up at the feast a sucking-pig (δέλφακα),
Whose teeth were not yet grown, a beautiful beast (καλήν)?

And Plato, in his Io, says—

Bring hither now the head of the sucking-pig (τῆς δέλφακος).

[Pg 1051]


Theopompus, too, in his Penelope, says—

And they do sacrifice our sacred pig (τὴν ίερὰν δέλφακα).

Theopompus also speaks of fatted geese and fatted calves in the thirteenth book of his History of Philip, and in the eleventh book of his Affairs of Greece, where he is speaking of the temperance of the Lacedæmonians in respect of eating, writing thus—"And the Thasians sent to Agesilaus, when he arrived, all sorts of sheep and well-fed oxen; and beside this, every kind of confectionery and sweetmeat. But Agesilaus took the sheep and the oxen, but as for the confectionery and sweetmeats, at first he did not know what they meant, for they were covered up; but when he saw what they were, he ordered the slaves to take them away, saying that it was not the custom of the Lacedæmonians to eat such food as that. But as the Thasians pressed him to take them, he said, Carry them to those men (pointing to the Helots) and give them to them; saying that it was much better for those Helots to injure their health by eating them, than for himself and the Lacedæmonians whom he had with him." And that the Lacedæmonians were in the habit of treating the Helots with great insolence, is related also by Myron of Priene, in the second book of his History of Messene, where he says—"They impose every kind of insulting employment on the Helots, such as brings with it the most extreme dishonour; for they compel them to wear caps of dogskin, and cloaks also of skins; and every year they scourge them without their having committed any offence, in order to prevent their ever thinking of emancipating themselves from slavery. And besides all this, if any of them ever appear too handsome or distinguished-looking for slaves, they impose death as the penalty, and their masters also are fined for not checking them in their growth and fine appearances. And they give them each a certain piece of land, and fix a portion which they shall invariably bring them in from it."

The verb χηνίξω, to cackle like a goose (χὴν), is used and applied to those who play on the flute. Diphilus says in his Synoris—

Ἐχήνισας,—this noise is always made
By all the pupils of Timotheus.

75. And since there is a portion of a fore-quarter of pork which is called πέρνα placed before each of us, let us say something about it, if any one remembers having seen the word used anywhere. [Pg 1052] For the best πέρναι are those from Cisalpine Gaul: those from Cibyra in Asia are not much inferior to them, nor are those from Lycia. And Strabo mentions them in the third book of his Geography, (and he is not a very modern author). And he says also, in the seventh[101] book of the same treatise, that he was acquainted with Posidonius the Stoic philosopher, of whom we have often spoken as a friend of Scipio who took Carthage. And these are the words of Strabo—"In Spain, in the province of Aquitania, is the city Pompelo, which one may consider equivalent to Pompeiopolis, where admirable πέρναι are cured, equal to the Cantabrian hams."

The comic poet Aristomenes, in his Bacchus, speaks of meat cured by being sprinkled with salt, saying—

I put before you now this salted meat.

And in his Jugglers he says—

The servant always ate some salted crab.

76. But since we have here "fresh cheese (τρόφαλις), the glory of fair Sicily," let us, my friends, also say something about cheese (τυρός). For Philemon, in his play entitled The Sicilian, says—

I once did think that Sicily could make
This one especial thing, good-flavour'd cheese;
But now I've heard this good of it besides,
That not only is the cheese of Sicily good,
But all its pigeons too: and if one speaks
Of richly-broider'd robes, they are Sicilian;
And so I think that island now supplies
All sorts of dainties and of furniture.

The Tromilican[102] cheese also has a high character, respecting which Demetrius the Scepsian writes thus in his second book of the Trojan Array—"Tromilea is a city of Achaia, near which a delicious cheese is made of goat's milk, not to be compared with any other kind, and it is called Tromilican. And Simonides mentions it in his Iambic poem, which begins thus—

You're taking wondrous trouble beforehand,

and in this poem he says—

And there is the fine Achaian cheese,
Called the Tromilican, which I've brought with me.

[Pg 1053]


And Euripides, in his Cyclops, speaks of a harsh-tasted cheese, which he calls ὀπίας τυρὸς, being curdled by the juice ὀπὸς of the fig-tree—

There is, too, τυρὸς ὀπίας, and Jove's milk.[103]

But since, by speaking in this way of all the things which are now put on the table before us, I am making the Tromilican cheese into the remains of the dessert, I will not continue this topic. For Eupolis calls the relics of sweetmeats (τραγημάτων) and confectionery ἀποτραγήματα. And ridiculing a man of the name of Didymias, he calls him the ἀποτράγημα of a fox, either because he was little in person, or as being cunning and mischievous, as Dorotheus of Ascalon says. There are also thin broad cheeses, which the Cretans call females, as Seleucus tells us, which they offer up at certain sacrifices. And Philippides, in his play called the Flutes, speaks of some called πυρίεφθαι (and this is a name given to those made of cream), when he says—

Having these πυρίεφθαι, and these herbs.

And perhaps all such things are included in this Macedonian term ἐπιδειπνίδες. For all these things are provocatives to drinking.

77. Now, while Ulpian was continuing the conversation in this way, one of the cooks, who made some pretence to learning, came in, and proclaimed μύμα. And when many of us were perplexed at this proclamation, (for the rascal did not show what it was that he had,) he said;—You seem to me, O guests, to be ignorant that Cadmus, the grandfather of Bacchus, was a cook. And, as no one made any reply to this, he said; Euhemerus the Coan, in the third book of his Sacred History, relates that the Sidonians give this account, that Cadmus was the cook of the king, and that he, having taken Harmonia, who was a female flute-player and also a slave of the king, fled away with her.—

But shall I flee, who am a freeman born?

For no one can find any mention in any comedy of a cook being a slave, except in a play of Posidippus. But the introduction of slaves as cooks took place among the Macedonians first, who adopted this custom either out of insolence, or on account of the misfortunes of some cities which [Pg 1054] had been reduced to slavery. And the ancients used to call a cook who was a native of the country, Mæson; but if he was a foreigner, they called him Tettix. And Chrysippus the philosopher thinks the name Μαίσων is derived from the verb μασάομαι, to eat; a cook being an ignorant man, and the slave of his appetite; not knowing that Mæson was a comic actor, a Megarian by birth, who invented the mask which was called Μαίσων, from him; as Aristophanes of Byzantium tells us, in his treatise on Masks, where he says that he invented a mask for a slave and also one for a cook. So that it is a deserved compliment to him to call the jests which suit those characters μαισωνικά.

For cooks are very frequently represented on the stage as jesting characters; as, for instance, in the Men selecting an Arbitrator, of Menander. And Philemon in one of his plays says—

'Tis a male sphinx, it seems, and not a cook,
That I've brought home; for, by the gods I swear,
I do not understand one single word
Of all he says; so well provided is he
With every kind of new expression.

But Polemo says, in his writings which are addressed to Timæus, that Mæson was indeed a Megarian, but from Megara in Sicily, and not from Nisæa. And Posidippus speaks of slaves as cooks, in his Woman Shut out, where he says—

Thus have these matters happen'd: but just now,
While waiting on my master, a good joke
Occurr'd to me; I never will be caught
Stealing his meat.

And, in his Foster Brothers, he says—

A. Did you go out of doors, you who were cook?
B. If I remain'd within I lost my supper.
A. Let me then first  .  .  .  .
B. Let me alone, I say;
I'm going to the forum to sacrifice:
A friend of mine, a comrade too in art,
Has hired me.

78. And there was nothing extraordinary in the ancient cooks being experienced in sacrifices. At all events, they usually managed all marriage-feasts and sacrifices. On which account Menander, in his Flatterer, introduces a cook, who on the fourth day of the month had been ministering in the festival of Aphrodite Pandemus, using the following language—

Now a libation. Boy, distribute round
The entrails. Whither are you looking now?
[Pg 1055]
Now a libation—quick! you Sosia, quick!
Quick! a libation. That will do; now pour.
First let us pray to the Olympian gods,
And now to all the Olympian goddesses:
Meantime address them; pray them all to give
Us safety, health, and all good things in future,
And full enjoyment of all present happiness.
Such shall be now our prayers.

And another cook, in Simonides, says—

And how I roasted, how I carved the meat,
You know: what is there that I can't do well?

And the letter of Olympias to Alexander mentions the great experience of cooks in these matters. For, his mother having been entreated by him to buy him a cook who had experience in sacrifices, proceeds to say, "Accept the cook Pelignas from your mother; for he is thoroughly acquainted with the manner in which all your ancestral sacrifices, and all the mysterious rites, and all the sacred mysteries connected with the worship of Bacchus are performed, and every other sacrifice which Olympias practises he knows. Do not then disregard him, but accept him, and send him back again to me at as early a period as possible."

79. And that in those days the cook's profession was a respectable one, we may learn from the Heralds at Athens. "For these men used to perform the duties of cooks and also of sacrifices of victims," as Clidemus tells us, in the first book of his Protogony; and Homer uses the verb ῥέζω, as we use θύω; but he uses θύω as we do θυμιάω, for burning cakes and incense after supper. And the ancients used also to employ the verb δράω for to sacrifice; accordingly Clidemus says, "The heralds used to sacrifice (ἔδρων) for a long time, slaying the oxen, and preparing them, and cutting them up, and pouring wine over them. And they were called κήρυκες from the hero Ceryx; and there is nowhere any record of any reward being given to a cook, but only to a herald." For Agamemnon in Homer, although he is king, performs sacrifices himself; for the poet says—

With that the chief the tender victims slew,
And in the dust their bleeding bodies threw;
The vital spirit issued at the wound,
And left the members quivering on the ground.[104]

And Thrasymedes the son of Nestor, having taken an axe, slays the ox which was to be sacrificed, because Nestor himself was not able to do [Pg 1056] so, by reason of his old age; and his other brothers assisted him; so respectable and important was the office of a cook in those days. And among the Romans, the Censors,—and that was the highest office in the whole state,—clad in a purple robe, and wearing crowns, used to strike down the victims with an axe. Nor is it a random assertion of Homer, when he represents the heralds as bringing in the victims, and whatever else had any bearing on the ratification of oaths, as this was a very ancient duty of theirs, and one which was especially a part of their office—

Two heralds now, despatch'd to Troy, invite
The Phrygian monarch to the peaceful rite;

and again—

Talthybius hastens to the fleet, to bring
The lamb for Jove, th' inviolable king.[105]

And, in another passage, he says—

A splendid scene! Then Agamemnon rose;
The boar Talthybius held; the Grecian lord
Drew the broad cutlass, sheath'd beside his sword.[106]

80. And in the first book of the History of Attica, Clidemus says, that there was a tribe of cooks, who were entitled to public honours; and that it was their business to see that the sacrifices were performed with due regularity. And it is no violation of probability in Athenion, in his Samothracians, as Juba says, when he introduces a cook arguing philosophically about the nature of things and men, and saying—

A. Dost thou not know that the cook's art contributes
More than all others to true piety?
B. Is it indeed so useful?
A. Troth it is,
You ignorant barbarian: it releases
Men from a brutal and perfidious life,
And cannibal devouring of each other,
And leads us to some order; teaching us
The regular decorum of the life
Which now we practise.
B. How is that?
A. Just listen.
Once men indulged in wicked cannibal habits,
And numerous other vices; when a man
Of better genius arose, who first
Sacrificed victims, and did roast their flesh;
And, as the meat surpass'd the flesh of man,
They then ate men no longer, but did slay
The herds and flocks, and roasted them and ate them.
And when they once had got experience
Of this most dainty pleasure, they increased
In their devotion to the cook's employment;
[Pg 1057]
So that e'en now, remembering former days,
They roast the entrails of their victims all
Unto the gods, and put no salt thereon,
For at the first beginning they knew not
The use of salt as seasoning; but now
They have found out its virtue, so they use it
At their own meals, but in their holy offerings
They keep their ancient customs; such as were
At first the origin of safety to us:
That love of art, and various seasoning,
Which carries to perfection the cook's skill.
B. Why here we have a new Palæphatus.
A. And after this, as time advanced, a paunch,
A well-stuff'd paunch was introduced  .  .  .  .
*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *       *
Then they wrapp'd up a fish, and quite conceal'd it
In herbs, and costly sauce, and groats, and honey;
And as, persuaded by these dainty joys
Which now I mention, every one gave up
His practice vile of feeding on dead men,
Men now began to live in company,
Gathering in crowds; cities were built and settled;
All owing, as I said before, to cooks.
B. Hail, friend! you are well suited to my master.
A. We cooks are now beginning our grand rites;
We're sacrificing, and libations offering,
Because the gods are most attentive to us,
Pleased that we have found out so many things,
Tending to make men live in peace and happiness.
B. Well, say no more about your piety—
A. I beg your pardon—
B. But come, eat with me,
And dress with skill whate'er is in the house.

81. And Alexis, in his Caldron, shows plainly that cookery is an art practised by freeborn men; for a cook is represented in that play as a citizen of no mean reputation; and those who have written cookery books, such as Heraclides and Glaucus the Locrian, say that the art of cookery is one in which it is not even every freeborn man who can become eminent. And the younger Cratinus, in his play called the Giants, extols this art highly, saying—

A. Consider, now, how sweet the earth doth smell,
How fragrantly the smoke ascends to heaven:
There lives, I fancy, here within this cave
Some perfume-seller, or Sicilian cook.
B. The scent of both is equally delicious.

And Antiphanes, in his Slave hard to Sell, praises the Sicilian cooks, and says—

And at the feast, delicious cakes,
Well season'd by Sicilian art.

[Pg 1058]

And Menander, in his Spectre, says—

Do ye applaud,
If the meat's dress'd with rich and varied skill.

But Posidippus, in his Man recovering his Sight, says—

I, having had one cook, have thoroughly learnt
All the bad tricks of cooks, while they compete
With one another in their trade. One said
His rival had no nose to judge of soup
With critical taste; that other had
A vicious palate; while a third could never
(If you'd believe the rest) restrain his appetite,
Without devouring half the meat he dress'd.
This one loved salt too much, and that one vinegar;
One burnt his meat; one gorged; one could not stand
The smoke; a sixth could never bear the fire.
At last they came to blows; and one of them,
Shunning the sword, fell straight into the fire.

And Antiphanes, in his Philotis, displaying the cleverness of the cooks, says—

A. Is not this, then, an owl?
B. Aye, such as I
Say should be dress'd in brine.
A. Well; and this pike?
B. Why roast him whole.
A. This shark?
B. Boil him in sauce.
A. This eel?
B. Take salt, and marjoram, and water.
A. This conger?
B. The same sauce will do for him.
A. This ray?
B. Strew him with herbs.
A. Here is a slice
Of tunny.
B. Roast it.
A. And some venison.
B. Roast it.
A. Then here's a lot more meat.
B. Boil all the rest.
A. Here's a spleen.
B. Stuff it.
A. And a nestis. B. Bah!
This man will kill me.

And Baton, in his Benefactors, gives a catalogue of celebrated cooks and confectioners, thus—

A. Well, O Sibynna, we ne'er sleep at nights,
Nor waste our time in laziness: our lamp
Is always burning; in our hands a book;
And long we meditate on what is left us
B. Whom?
A. By that great Actides of Chios,
Or Tyndaricus, that pride of Sicyon,
Or e'en by Zopyrinus.
B. Find you anything?
A. Aye, most important things.
B. But what? The dead  .  .  .  .

82. And such a food now is the μύμα, which I, my friends, am bringing you; concerning which Artemidorus, the pupil of Aristophanes, speaks in his Dictionary of Cookery, saying that it is prepared with meat and blood, with the addition also of a great deal of seasoning. And Epænetus, in his treatise on Cookery, speaks as follows:—"One must make μύμα of every kind of animal and bird, cutting up the tender parts of the meat into small pieces, and the bowels and [Pg 1059] entrails, and pounding the blood, and seasoning it with vinegar, and roasted cheese, and assafœtida, and cummin-seed, and thyme (both green and dry), and savory, and coriander-seed (both green and dry), and leeks, and onions (cleaned and toasted), and poppy-seed, and grapes, and honey, and the pips of an unripe pomegranate. You may also make this μύμα of fish."

83. And when this man had thus hammered on not only this dish but our ears also, another slave came in, bringing in a dish called ματτύη. And when a discussion arose about this, and when Ulpian had quoted a statement out of the Dictionary of Cookery by the before-mentioned Artemidorus relating to it, Æmilianus said that a book had been published by Dorotheus of Ascalon, entitled, On Antiphanes, and on the dish called Mattya by the Poets of the New Comedy, which he says is a Thessalian invention, and that it became naturalized at Athens during the supremacy of the Macedonians. And the Thessalians are admitted to be the most extravagant of all the Greeks in their manner of dressing and living; and this was the reason why they brought the Persians down upon the Greeks, because they were desirous to imitate their luxury and extravagance. And Cratinus speaks of their extravagant habits in his treatise on the Thessalian Constitution. But the dish was called ματτύη (as Apollodorus the Athenian affirms in the first book of his treatise on Etymologies), from the verb μασάομαι (to eat); as also are the words μαστίχη (mastich) and μάζα (barley-cake). But our own opinion is that the word is derived from μάττω, and that this is the verb from which μάζα itself is derived, and also the cheese-pudding called by the Cyprians μαγίς; and from this, too, comes the verb ὑπερμαζάω, meaning to be extravagantly luxurious. Originally they used to call this common ordinary food made of barley-meal μάζα, and preparing it they called μάττω. And afterwards, varying the necessary food in a luxurious and superfluous manner, they derived a word with a slight change from the form μάζα, and called every very costly kind of dish ματτύη; and preparing such dishes they called ματτυάζω, whether it were fish, or poultry, or herbs, or beasts, or sweetmeats. And this is plain from the testimony of Alexis, quoted by Artemidorus; for Alexis, wishing to show the great luxuriousness of the way in which this dish was prepared, added the verb λέπομαι. And the whole extract runs thus, being out of a corrected edition of a play which is entitled [Pg 1060] Demetrius:—

Take, then, this meat which thus is sent to you;
Dress it, and feast, and drink the cheerful healths,
λέπεσθε, ματτυάζετε.

But the Athenians use the verb λέπομαι for wanton and unseemly indulgence of the sensual appetites.

84. And Artemidorus, in his Dictionary of Cookery, explains ματτύη as a common name for all kinds of costly seasonings; writing thus—"There is also a ματτύης (he uses the word in the masculine gender) made of birds. Let the bird be killed by thrusting a knife into the head at the mouth; then let it be kept till the next day, like a partridge. And if you choose, you can leave it as it is, the wings on and with its body plucked." Then, having explained the way in which it is to be seasoned and boiled, he proceeds to say—"Boil a fat hen of the common poultry kind, and some young cocks just beginning to crow, if you wish to make a dish fit to be eaten with your wine. Then taking some vegetables, put them in a dish, and place upon them some of the meat of the fowl, and serve it up. But in summer, instead of vinegar, put some unripe grapes into the sauce, just as they are picked from the vine; and when it is all boiled, then take it out before the stones fall from the grapes, and shred in some vegetables. And this is the most delicious ματτύης that there is."

Now, that ματτύη, or ματτύης, really is a common name for all costly dishes is plain; and that the same name was also given to a banquet composed of dishes of this sort, we gather from what Philemon says in his Man carried off:—

Put now a guard on me, while naked, and
Amid my cups the ματτύης shall delight me.

And in his Homicide he says—

Let some one pour us now some wine to drink,
And make some ματτύη quick.

But Alexis, in his Pyraunus, has used the word in an obscure sense:—

But when I found them all immersed in business,
I cried,—Will no one give us now a ματτύη?

as if he meant a feast here, though you might fairly refer the word merely to a single dish. Now Machon the Sicyonian is one of the comic poets who were contemporaries of Apollodorus of Carystus, but he did not exhibit his comedies at [Pg 1061] Athens, but in Alexandria; and he was an excellent poet, if ever there was one, next to those seven[107] of the first class. On which account, Aristophanes the grammarian, when he was a very young man, was very anxious to be much with him. And he wrote the following lines in his play entitled Ignorance:—

There's nothing that I'm fonder of than ματτύη;
But whether 'twas the Macedonians
Who first did teach it us, or all the gods,
I know not; but it must have been a person
Of most exalted genius.

85. And that it used to be served up after all the rest of the banquet was over, is plainly stated by Nicostratus, in his Man expelled. And it is a cook who is relating how beautiful and well arranged the banquet was which he prepared; and having first of all related what the dinner and supper were composed of, and then mentioning the third meal, proceeds to say—

Well done, my men,—extremely well! but now
I will arrange the rest, and then the ματτύη;
So that I think the man himself will never
Find fault with us again.

And in his Cook he says—

Thrium and candylus he never saw,
Or any of the things which make a ματτύη.

And some one else says—

They brought, instead of a ματτύη, some paunch,
And tender pettitoes, and tripe, perhaps.

But Dionysius, in his Man shot at with Javelins (and it is a cook who is represented speaking), says—

So that sometimes, when I a ματτύη
Was making for them, in haste would bring
(More haste worse speed)....[108]

Philemon, also, in his Poor Woman—

When one can lay aside one's load, all day
Making and serving out rich μάττυαι.

But Molpis the Lacedæmonian says that what the Spartans call ἐπαίκλεια, that is to say, the second course, which is served up when [Pg 1062] the main part of the supper is over, is called μάττυαι by other tribes of Greece. And Menippus the Cynic, in his book called Arcesilaus, writes thus:—"There was a drinking-party formed by a certain number of revellers, and a Lacedæmonian woman ordered the ματτύη to be served up; and immediately some little partridges were brought in, and some roasted geese, and some delicious cheesecakes."

But such a course as this the Athenians used to call ἐπιδόρπισμα, and the Dorians ἐπάϊκλον; but most of the Greeks called it τὰ ἐπίδειπνα .

And when all this discussion about the ματτύη was over, they thought it time to depart; for it was already evening. And so we parted.


[61] Odyss. xxi. 293.

[62] Diomea was a small village in Attica, where there was a celebrated temple of Hercules, and where a festival was kept in his honour: Aristophanes says—

Ὅποθ' Ἡράκλεια τὰ 'ν Διομείοισ γίγνεται.—Ranæ, 651.

[63] Because slaves (and the actors were usually slaves) had only names of one, or at most two syllables, such as Davus, Geta, Dromo, Mus.

[64] Τήνδε μοῦσαν, this Muse; τήνδ' ἐμοῦσαν, this woman vomiting.

[65] The text here is corrupt and hopeless.—Schweig.

[66] This passage, again, is hopelessly corrupt. "Merum Augeæ stabulum."—Casaub.

[67] There is no account of what this feast of Swings was. The Greek is ἔωραι. Some have fancied it may have had some connexion with the images of Bacchus (oscilla) hung up in the trees. See Virg. G. ii. 389.

[68] There is probably some corruption in this passage: it is clearly unintelligible as it stands.

[69] Σκευοποιὸς, a maker of masks, etc. for the stage; μιμητὴς, an actor.

[70] See Iliad, ix. 186.

Τὸν δ' εὗρον φρένα τερπόμενον φόρμιγγι λιγείῃ,
καλῇ, δαιδαλέῃ, ἐπὶ δ' ἀργύρεος ζύγος ἤεν
τὴν ἄρετ' ἐξ ἐνάρων πτόλιν Ἠετίωνος ὀλέσσας
Τῃ ὅγε θυμὸν ἔτερπεν, ἄειδε δ' ἄρα κλέα ἀνδρῶν.

Which is translated by Pope:—

Amused at ease the godlike man they found,
Pleased with the solemn harp's harmonious sound,
(The well-wrought harp from conquer'd Thebæ came,
Of polish'd silver was its costly frame.)
With this he soothes his angry soul, and sings
Th' immortal deeds of heroes and of kings.—Iliad, ix. 245.

[71] Odyss. xvii. 262.

[72] Iliad, i. 603.

[73] This story is related by Herodotus, vi. 126.

[74] See Herodotus, i. 55.

[75] Κίνησις, motion.

[76] From ὄσχη, a vine-branch with grapes on it, and φέρω, to bear.

[77] It is not known what part of the theatre this was.

[78] Iliad, xxiii. 2.

[79] Odyss. xii. 423.

[80] "This passage perplexes me on two accounts; first of all because I have not been able to find such a line in Homer; and secondly because I do not see what is faulty or weak in it; and it cannot be because it is a spondaic verse, for of that kind there are full six hundred in Homer. The other line comes from Iliad, ii. 731."—Schweigh.

[81] Iliad, xii. 208.

[82] There is a difficulty again here, for there is no such line found in Homer; the line most like it is—

Καλὴ Καστιάνειρα, δέμας εἰκυῖα θεῆσι.—Iliad, viii. 305.

In which, however, there is no incorrectness or defect at all.

[83] Odyss. ix. 212.

[84] Iliad, ix. 157.

[85] Odyss. i. 237.

[86] The Κάρνεια were a great national festival, celebrated by the Spartans in honour of Apollo Carneius, under which name he was worshipped in several places in Peloponnesus, especially at Amyclæ, even before the return of the Heraclidæ. It was a warlike festival, like the Attic Boedromia. The Carnea were celebrated also at Cyrene, Messene, Sybaris, Sicyon, and other towns.—See Smith's Dict. Ant. in voc.

[87] From κλέπτω, to steal,—to injure privily.


καίτοι τί δεῖ
λύρας ἐπι τοῦτον, ποῦ 'στιν ἡ τοῖς ὀστράκοις
αὔτη κροτοῦσα; δεῦρο Μοῦσ' Εὐμιπίδου.—Ar. Ranæ, 1305.

[89] The Greek word is χρώματα: "As a technical term in Greek music, χρῶμα was a modification of the simplest or diatonic music; but there were also χρώματα as further modifications of all the three common kinds (diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic)." Liddell and Scott, in voc. Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant. v. Music, p. 625 a, calls them χρόαι, and says there were six of them; one in the enharmonic genus, often called simply ἁρμονία; two in the diatonic, 1st, διάτονον σίντονον, or simply διάτονον, the same as the genus; 2d, διάτονον μαλακόν: and three in the chromatic, 1st,χρῶμα τονιαῖον, or simply χρῶμα, the same as the genus; 2d, χρῶμα ἡμιόλιον; 3d, χρῶμα μαλακόν. V. loc.

[90] The Saturnalia originally took place on the 19th of December; in the time of Augustus, on the 17th, 18th, and 19th: but the merrymaking in reality appears to have lasted seven days. Horace speaks of the licence then permitted to the slaves:—

"Age, libertate Decembri,
Quando ita majores voluerunt, utere—narra."—Sat. ii. 7. 4.
Vide Smith, Gr. Lat. Ant.

[91] Pind. Ol. i. 80.

[92] Ar. Vespæ, 1216.

[93] Βίος ἀληλεσμένος, a civilised life, in which one uses ground corn, and not raw fruits.—Liddell and Scott in voc. ἀλέω.

[94] This was a Thebes in Asia, so called by Homer (Iliad, vi. 397), as being at the foot of a mountain called Placia, or Placos.

[95] The ἡμίνα was equal to a κοτύλη, and held about half a pint.

[96] These are all names of different kinds of cheesecakes which cannot be distinguished from one another in an English translation.

[97] Eur. Cycl. 393.

[98] This is the name given to the Peloponnesus by Homer,—

ἐξ Ἀπίης γαίης—II. iii. 49,—

where Damm says the name is derived from some ancient king named Apis; but he adds that the name Ἀπία is also used merely as meaning distant (γῆν ἀπὸ ἀφεστῶσαν καὶ ἀλλοδάπην), as is plain from what Ulysses says of himself to the Phæacians—

καὶ γὰρ ἔγω ξεῖνος ταλαπείριος ἔνθαδ' ἱκάνω
τηλόθεν ἐξ ἀπίης γαίης.—Odyss. vii. 25.

[99] This fragment is full of corruptions. I have adopted the reading and interpretation of Casaubon.

[100] There is probably some corruption here.

[101] There is probably some great corruption here; for Posidonius was a contemporary of Cicero.

[102] There is a dispute whether this word ought to be written Tromilican or Stromilican. The city of Tromilea is mentioned nowhere else.

[103] Eur. Cycl. 136.

[104] Homer, Iliad, iii. 292.

[105] Homer, Iliad, iii, 116.

[106] Homer, Iliad, xix. 250.

[107] Who these seven first-class authors were, whether tragedians or comic poets, or both, or whether there was one selection of tragic and another of comic poets, each classed as a sort of "Pleias Ptolemæi Philadelphi ætate nobilitata," is quite uncertain.

[108] This passage is abandoned as corrupt by Schweighauser.



E'en should the Phrygian God enrich my tongue
With honey'd eloquence, such as erst did fall
From Nestor's or Antenor's lips,[109]

as the all-accomplished Euripides says, my good Timocrates—

I never should be able

to recapitulate to you the numerous things which were said in those most admirable banquets, on account of the varied nature of the topics introduced, and the novel mode in which they were continually treated. For there were frequent discussions about the order in which the dishes were served up, and about the things which are done after the chief part of the supper is over, such as I can hardly recollect; and some one of the guests quoted the following iambics from The Lacedæmonians of Plato—

Now nearly all the men have done their supper;
'Tis well.—Why don't you run and clear the tables?
But I will go and straight some water get
For the guests' hands; and have the floor well swept;
And then, when I have offer'd due libations,
I'll introduce the cottabus. This girl
Ought now to have her flutes all well prepared,
Ready to play them. Quick now, slave, and bring
Egyptian ointment, extract of lilies too,
[Pg 1063]
And sprinkle it around; and I myself
Will bring a garland to each guest, and give it;
Let some one mix the wine.—Lo! now it's mix'd
Put in the frankincense, and say aloud,
"Now the libation is perform'd."[110]
The guests
Have deeply drunk already; and the scolium
Is sung; the cottabus, that merry sport,
Is taken out of doors: a female slave
Plays on the flute a cheerful strain, well pleasing
To the delighted guests; another strikes
The clear triangle, and, with well-tuned voice,
Accompanies it with an Ionian song.

2. And after this quotation there arose, I think, a discussion about the cottabus and cottabus-players. Now by the term ἀποκοτταβίζοντες, one of the physicians who were present thought those people were meant, who, after the bath, for the sake of purging their stomach, drink a full draught of wine and then throw it up again; and he said that this was not an ancient custom, and that he was not aware of any ancient author who had alluded to this mode of purging. On which account Erasistratus of Julia, in his treatise on Universal Medicine, reproves those who act in this way, pointing out that it is a practice very injurious to the eyes, and having a very astringent effect on the stomach. And Ulpian addressed him thus—

Arise, Machaon, great Charoneus calls.[111]

For it was wittily said by one of our companions, that if there were no physicians there would be nothing more stupid than grammarians. For who is there of us who does not know that this kind of ἀποκοτταβισμὸς was not that of the ancients? unless you think that the cottabus-players of Ameipsias vomited. Since, then, you are ignorant of what this is which is the subject of our present discussion, learn from me, in the first place, that the cottabus is a sport of Sicilian invention, the Sicilians having been the original contrivers of it, as Critias the son of Callæschrus tells us in his Elegies, where he says—

The cottabus comes from Sicilian lands,
And a glorious invention I think it,
Where we put up a target to shoot at with drops
From our wine-cup whenever we drink it.

And Dicæarchus the Messenian, the pupil of Aristotle, in his [Pg 1064] treatise on Alcæus, says that the word λατάγη is also a Sicilian noun. But λατάγη means the drops which are left in the bottom after the cup is drained, and which the players used to throw with inverted hand into the κοτταβεῖον. But Clitarchus, in his treatise on Words, says that the Thessalians and Rhodians both call the κότταβος itself, or splash made by the cups, λατάγη.

3. The prize also which was proposed for those who gained the victory in drinking was called κότταβος, as Euripides shows us in his Œneus, where he says—

And then with many a dart of Bacchus' juice,
They struck the old man's head. And I was set
To crown the victor with deserved reward,
And give the cottabus to such.

The vessel, too, into which they threw the drops was also called κότταβος, as Cratinus shows in his Nemesis. But Plato the comic poet, in his Jupiter Ill-treated, makes out that the cottabus was a sort of drunken game, in which those who were defeated yielded up their tools[112] to the victor. And these are his words—

A. I wish you all to play at cottabus
While I am here preparing you your supper.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Bring, too, some balls to play with, quick,—some balls,
And draw some water, and bring round some cups.
B. Now let us play for kisses.[113]
A. No; such games
I never suffer  .  .  .  .
I challenge you all to play the cottabus,
And for the prizes, here are these new slippers
Which she doth wear, and this your cotylus.
B. A mighty game! This is a greater contest
Than e'en the Isthmian festival can furnish.

4. There was a kind of cottabus also which they used to call κάτακτος, that is, when lamps are lifted up and then let down again. Eubulus, in his Bellerophon, says—

Who now will take hold of my leg below?
For I am lifted up like a κοτταβεῖον.

And Antiphanes, in his Birthday of Venus, says—

A. This now is what I mean; don't you perceive
This lamp's the cottabus: attend awhile;
The eggs, and sweetmeats, and confectionery
Are the prize of victory.
[Pg 1065]
B. Sure you will play
For a most laughable prize. How shall you do?
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,[114]
and there'll be great noise.
B. Does manes, then, watch o'er the cottabus,
As if he were a slave?

And in a subsequent passage he says—

B. Just take the cup and show me how 'tis done.
A. Now bend your fingers like a flute-player,
Pour in a little wine, and not too much,
Then throw it.
B. How?
A. Look here; throw it like this.
B. O mighty Neptune, what a height he throws it!
A. Now do the same.
B. Not even with a sling
Could I throw such a distance.
A. Well, but learn.

5. For a man must curve his hand excessively before he can throw the cottabus elegantly, as Dicæarchus says; and Plato intimates as much in his Jupiter Ill-treated, where some one calls out to Hercules not to hold his hand too stiff, when he is going to play the cottabus. They also called the very act of throwing the cottabus ἀπ' ἀγκύλης, because they curved (ἀπαγκυλόω) the right hand in throwing it. Though some say that ἀγκύλη, in this phrase, means a kind of cup. And Bacchylides, in his Love Poems, says—

And when she throws ἀπ' ἀγκύλης,
Displaying to the youths her snow-white arm.

And Æschylus, in his Bone Gatherers, speaks of ἀγκυλητοὶ κότταβοι, saying—

Eurymachus, and no one else, did heap
No slighter insults, undeserved, upon me:
For my head always was his mark at which
To throw his cottabus .  .  .  .  [115]

Now, that he who succeeded in throwing the cottabus properly received a prize, Antiphanes has shown us in a passage already quoted. And the prize consisted of eggs, sweetmeats, and confectionery. And [Pg 1066] Cephisodorus, in his Trophonius, and Callias or Diocles, in the Cyclopes, (whichever of the two is the author,) and Eupolis, and Hermippus, in his Iambics, prove the same thing.

Now what is called the κατακτὸς cottabus was something of this kind. There is a high lamp, having on it what is called the Manes, on which the dish, when thrown down, ought to fall; and from thence it falls into the platter which lies below, and which is struck by the cottabus. And there was room for very great dexterity in throwing the cottabus. And Nicochares speaks of the Manes in his Lacedæmonians.

6. There is also another way of playing this game with a platter. This platter is filled with water, and in it there are floating some empty saucers, at which the players throw their drops out of their cups, and endeavour to sink them. And he who has succeeded in sinking the greatest number gains the victory. Ameipsias, in his play entitled The Men playing at the Cottabus or Mania, says—

Bring here the cruets and the cups at once,
The foot-pan, too, but first pour in some water.

And Cratinus, in his Nemesis, says—

Now in the cottabus I challenge you,
(As is my country's mode,) to aim your blows
At the empty cruets; and he who sinks the most
Shall, in my judgment, bear the palm of victory.

And Aristophanes, in his Feasters, says—

I mean to erect a brazen figure,
That is, a cottabeum, and myrtle-berries.

And Hermippus, in his Fates, says—

Now soft cloaks are thrown away,
Every one clasps on his breastplate,
And binds his greaves around his legs,
No one for snow-white slippers cares;
Now you may see the cottabus staff
Thrown carelessly among the chaff;
The manes hears no falling drops;
And you the πλάστιγξ sad may see
Thrown on the dunghill at the garden door.

And Achæus, in his Linus, speaking of the Satyrs, says—

Throwing, and dropping, breaking, too, and naming (λέγοντες),
O Hercules, the well-thrown drop of wine!

And the poet uses λέγοντες here, because they used to utter the names of their sweethearts as they threw the cottabi on the saucers. On which account Sophocles, in his Inachus, called the drops which were thrown, sacred to Venus—

[Pg 1067]

The golden-colour'd drop of Venus
Descends on all the houses.

And Euripides, in his Pleisthenes, says—

And the loud noise o' the frequent cottabus
Awakens melodies akin to Venus
In every house.

And Callimachus says—

Many hard drinkers, lovers of Acontius,
Throw on the ground the wine-drops (λατάγας) from their cups.

7. There was also another kind of way of playing at the cottabus, in the feasts which lasted all night, which is mentioned by Callippus in his Festival lasting all Night, where he says—

And he who keeps awake all night shall have
A cheesecake for his prize of victory,
And kiss whoe'er he pleases of the girls
Who are at hand.

There were also sweetmeats at these nocturnal festivals, in which the men continued awake an extraordinary time dancing. And these sweetmeats used to be called at that time χαρίσιοι, from the joy (χαρὰ) of those who received them. And Eubulus, in his Ancylion, mentions them, speaking as follows—

For he has long been cooking prizes for
The victors in the cottabus.

And presently afterwards he says—

I then sprang out to cook the χαρίσιος.

But that kisses were also given as the prize Eubulus tells us in a subsequent passage—

Come now, ye women, come and dance all night,
This is the tenth day since my son was born;
And I will give three fillets for the prize,
And five fine apples, and nine kisses too.

But that the cottabus was a sport to which the Sicilians were greatly addicted, is plain from the fact that they had rooms built adapted to the game; which Dicæarchus, in his treatise on Alcæus, states to have been the case. So that it was not without reason that Callimachus affixed the epithet of Sicilian to λάταξ. And Dionysius, who was surnamed the Brazen, mentions both the λάταγες and the κότταβοι in his Elegies, where he says—

Here we, unhappy in our loves, establish
This third addition to the games of Bacchus,
[Pg 1068]
That the glad cottabus shall now be play'd
In honour of you, a most noble quintain—
All you who here are present twine your hands,
Holding the ball-shaped portion of your cups,
And, ere you let it go, let your eyes scan
The heaven that bends above you; watching well
How great a space your λάταγες may cover.

8. After this, Ulpian demanded a larger goblet to drink out of, quoting these lines out of the same collection of Elegies—

Pouring forth hymns to you and me propitious,
Let us now send your ancient friend from far,
With the swift rowing of our tongues and praises,
To lofty glory while this banquet lasts;
And the quick genius of Phæacian eloquence
Commands the Muses' crew to man the benches.

For let us be guided by the younger Cratinus, who says in his Omphale—

It suits a happy man to stay at home
And drink, let others wars and labours love.

In answer to whom Cynulcus, who was always ready for a tilt at the Syrian, and who never let the quarrel drop which he had against him, now that there was a sort of tumult in the party, said—What is this chorus of Syrbenians?[116] And I myself also recollect some lines of this poetry, which I will quote, that Ulpian may not give himself airs as being the only one who was able to extract anything about the cottabus out of those old stores of the Homeridæ—

Come now and hear this my auspicious message,
And end the quarrels which your cups engender;
Turn your attention to these words of mine,
And learn these lessons....

which have a clear reference to the present discussion. For I see the servants now bringing us garlands and perfumes. Why now are those who are crowned said to be in love when their crowns are broken? For when I was a boy, and when I used to read the Epigrams of Callimachus, in which this is one of the topics dilated on, I was anxious to understand this point. For the poet of Cyrene says—

And all the roses, when the leaves fell off
From the man's garlands, on the ground were thrown.

So now it is your business, you most accomplished man, to explain this difficulty which has occupied me these thousand [Pg 1069] years, O Democritus, and to tell me why lovers crown the doors of their mistresses.

9. And Democritus replied—But that I may quote some of the verses of this Brazen poet and orator Dionysius, (and he was called Brazen because he advised the Athenians to adopt a brazen coinage; and Callimachus mentions the oration in his list of Oratorical Performances,) I myself will cite some lines out of his Elegies. And do you, O Theodorus, for this is your proper name—

Receive these first-fruits of my poetry,
Given you as a pledge; and as an omen
Of happy fortune I send first to you
This offering of the Graces, deeply studied,—
Take it, requiting me with tuneful verse,
Fit ornament of feasts, and emblem of your happiness.

You ask, then, why, if the garlands of men who have been crowned are pulled to pieces, they are said to be in love. "Is it, since love takes away the strict regularity of manners in the case of lovers, that on this account they think the loss of a conspicuous ornament, a sort of beacon (as Clearchus says, in the first book of his Art of Love) and signal, that they to whom this has happened have lost the strict decorum of their manners? Or do men interpret this circumstance also by divination, as they do many other things? For the ornament of a crown, as there is nothing lasting in it, is a sort of emblem of a passion which does not endure, but assumes a specious appearance for a while: and such a passion is love. For no people are more careful to study appearance than those who are in love. Unless, perhaps, nature, as a sort of god, administering everything with justice and equity, thinks that lovers ought not to be crowned till they have subdued their love; that is to say, till, having prevailed upon the object of their love, they are released from their desire. And accordingly, the loss of their crown we make the token of their being still occupied in the fields of love. Or perhaps Love himself, not permitting any one to be crowned in opposition to, or to be proclaimed as victor over himself, takes their crowns from these men, and gives the perception of this to others, indicating that these men are subdued by him: on which account all the rest say that these men are in love. Or is it because that cannot be loosed which has never been bound, but love is the chain of some [Pg 1070] who wear crowns, (for no one else who is bound is more anxious about being crowned than a lover,) that men consider that the loosing of the garland is a sign of love, and therefore say that these men are in love? Or is it because very often lovers, when they have been crowned, often out of agitation as it should seem, allow their crowns to fall to pieces, and so we argue backwards, and attribute this passion to all whom we see in this predicament; thinking that their crown never would have come to pieces, if they had not been in love? Or is it because these loosings happen only in the case of men bound or men in love; and so, men thinking that the loosing of the garland is the loosing also of those who are bound, consider that such men are in love? For those in love are bound, unless you would rather say that, because those who are in love are crowned with love, therefore their crown is not of a lasting kind; for it is difficult to put a small and ordinary kind of crown on a large and divine one. Men also crown the doors of the houses of the objects of their love, either with a view to do them honour, as they adorn with crowns the vestibule of some god to do him honour: or perhaps the offering of the crowns is made, not to the beloved objects, but to the god Love. For thinking the beloved object the statue, as it were, of Love, and his house the temple of Love, they, under this idea, adorn with crowns the vestibules of those whom they love. And for the same reason some people even sacrifice at the doors of those whom they love. Or shall we rather say that people who fancy that they are deprived, or who really have been deprived of the ornament of their soul, consecrate to those who have deprived them of it, the ornament also of their body, being bewildered by their passion, and despoiling themselves in order to do so? And every one who is in love does this when the object of his love is present, but when he is not present, then he makes this offering in the public roads. On which account Lycophronides has represented that goatherd in love, as saying—

I consecrate this rose to you,
A beautiful idea;
This cap, and eke these sandals too,
And this good hunting-spear:
For now my mind is gone astray,
Wandering another way,
Towards that girl of lovely face,
Favourite of ev'ry Grace."

[Pg 1071]


10. Moreover, that most divine writer Plato, in the seventh book of his Laws, proposes a problem having reference to crowns, which it is worth while to solve; and these are the words of the philosopher:—"Let there be distributions of apples and crowns to a greater and a lesser number of people, in such a way that the numbers shall always be equal." These are the words of Plato. But what he means is something of this sort. He wishes to find one number of such a nature that, if divided among all who come in to the very last, it shall give an equal number of apples or crowns to every one. I say, then, that the number sixty will fulfil these conditions of equality in the case of six fellow-feasters; for I am aware that at the beginning we said that a supper party ought not to consist of more than five. But we are as numerous as the sand of the sea. Accordingly the number sixty, when the party is completed to the number of six guests, will begin to be divided in this manner. The first man came into the banqueting-room, and received sixty garlands. He gives to the second who comes in half of them; and then each of them have thirty. Then when a third comes in they divide the whole sixty, so that each of them may have twenty. Again, they divide them again in like manner at the entrance of a fourth guest, so that each has fifteen; and when a fifth comes in they all have twelve a-piece. And when the sixth guest arrives, they divide them again, and each individual has ten. And in this way the equal division of the garlands is accomplished.

11. When Democritus had said this, Ulpian, looking towards Cynulcus, said—

To what a great philosopher has Fate
Now join'd me here!

As Theognetus the comic poet says, in his Apparition,—

You wretched man, you've learnt left-handed letters,
Your reading has perverted your whole life;
Philosophising thus with earth and heaven,
Though neither care a bit for all your speeches.

For where was it that you got that idea of the Chorus of the Syrbenians? What author worth speaking of mentions that musical chorus? And he replied:—My good friend, I will not teach you, unless I first receive adequate pay from you; for I do not read to pick out all the thorns out of my books as you do, but I select only what is most useful and best worth hearing. [Pg 1072] And at this Ulpian got indignant, and roared out these lines out of the Suspicion of Alexis—

These things are shameful, e'en to the Triballi;
Where they do say a man who sacrifices,
Displays the feast to the invited guests,
And then next day, when they are hungry all,
Sells them what he'd invited them to see.

And the same iambics occur in the Sleep of Antiphanes. And Cynulcus said:—Since there have already been discussions about garlands, tell us, my good Ulpian, what is the meaning of the expression, "The garland of Naucratis," in the beautiful poet Anacreon. For that sweet minstrel says—

And each man three garlands had:
Two of roses fairly twined,
And the third a Naucratite.

And why also does the same poet represent some people as crowned with osiers? for in the second book of his Odes, he says—

But now full twice five months are gone
Since kind Megisthes wore a crown
Of pliant osier, drinking wine
Whose colour did like rubies shine.

For to suppose that these crowns were really made of osiers is absurd, for the osier is fit only for plaiting and binding. So now tell us about these things, my friend, for they are worth understanding correctly, and do not keep us quibbling about words.


12. But as he made no reply, and pretended to be considering the matter, Democritus said:—Aristarchus the grammarian, my friend, when interpreting this passage, said that the ancients used to wear crowns of willow. But Tenarus says that the willow or osier is the rustics' crown. And other interpreters have said many irrelevant things on the subject. But I, having met with a book of Menodotus of Samos, which is entitled, A Record of the things worth noting at Samos, found there what I was looking for; for he says that "Admete, the wife of Eurystheus, after she had fled from Argos, came to Samos, and there, when a vision of Juno had appeared to her, she wishing to give the goddess a reward because she had arrived in Samos from her own home in safety, undertook the care of the temple, which exists even to this day, and which had been originally built by the Leleges and the Nymphs. But the Argives hearing [Pg 1073] of this, and being indignant at it, persuaded the Tyrrhenians by a promise of money, to employ piratical force and to carry off the statue,—the Argives believing that if this were done Admete would be treated with every possible severity by the inhabitants of Samos. Accordingly the Tyrrhenians came to the port of Juno, and having disembarked, immediately applied themselves to the performance of their undertaking. And as the temple was at that time without any doors, they quickly carried off the statue, and bore it down to the seaside, and put it on board their vessel. And when they had loosed their cables and weighed anchor, they rowed as fast as they could, but were unable to make any progress. And then, thinking that this was owing to divine interposition, they took the statue out of the ship again and put it on the shore; and having made some sacrificial cakes, and offered them to it, they departed in great fear. But when, the first thing in the morning, Admete gave notice that the statue had disappeared, and a search was made for it, those who were seeking it found it on the shore. And they, like Carian barbarians, as they were, thinking that the statue had run away of its own accord, bound it to a fence made of osiers, and took all the longest branches on each side and twined them round the body of the statue, so as to envelop it all round. But Admete released the statue from these bonds, and purified it, and placed it again on its pedestal, as it had stood before. And on this account once every year, since that time, the statue is carried down to the shore and hidden, and cakes are offered to it: and the festival is called Τονεὺς, because it happened that the statue was bound tightly (συντόνως) by those who made the first search for it.

13. "But they relate that about that time the Carians, being overwhelmed with superstitious fears, came to the oracle of the god at Hybla, and consulted him with reference to these occurrences; and that Apollo told them that they must give a voluntary satisfaction to the god of their own accord, to escape a more serious calamity,—such as in former times Jupiter had inflicted upon Prometheus, because of his theft of the fire, after he had released him from a most terrible captivity. And as he was inclined to give a satisfaction which should not cause him severe pain, this was what the god imposed upon him. [Pg 1074] And from this circumstance the use of this kind of crown which had been shown to Prometheus got common among the rest of mankind who had been benefited by him by his gift of fire: on which account the god enjoined the Carians also to adopt a similar custom,—to use osiers as a garland, and bind their heads with the branches with which they themselves had bound the goddess. And he ordered them also to abandon the use of every other kind of garland except that made of the bay-tree: and that tree he said he gave as a gift to those alone who are employed in the service of the goddess. And he told them that, if they obeyed the injunctions given them by the oracle, and if in their banquets they paid the goddess the satisfaction to which she was entitled, they should be protected from injury: on which account the Carians, wishing to obey the commands laid on them by the oracle, abolished the use of those garlands which they had previously been accustomed to wear, but permitted all those who were employed in the service of the goddess still to wear the garland of bay-tree, which remains in use even to this day.

14. "Nicænetus also, the epic poet, appears to make some allusion to the fashion of wearing garlands of osier in his Epigrams. And this poet was a native of Samos, and a man who in numberless passages shows his fondness for mentioning points connected with the history of his country. And these are his words:—

I am not oft, O Philotherus, fond
Of feasting in the city, but prefer
The country, where the open breeze of zephyr
Freshens my heart; a simple bed
Beneath my body is enough for me,
Made of the branches of the native willow (πρόμαλος),
And osier (λύγος), ancient garland of the Carians,—
But let good wine be brought, and the sweet lyre,
Chief ornament of the Pierian sisters,
That we may drink our fill, and sing the praise
Of the all-glorious bride of mighty Jove,
The great protecting queen of this our isle.

But in the selines Nicænetus speaks ambiguously, for it is not quite plain whether he means that the osier is to make his bed or his garland; though afterwards, when he calls it the ancient garland of the Carians, he alludes clearly enough to what we are now discussing. And this use of osiers to [Pg 1075] make into garlands, lasted in that island down to the time of Polycrates, as we may conjecture. At all events Anacreon says—

But now full twice five months are gone
Since kind Megisthes wore a crown
Of pliant osier, drinking wine
Whose colour did like rubies shine."

15. And the Gods know that I first found all this out in the beautiful city of Alexandria, having got possession of the treatise of Menodotus, in which I showed to many people the passage in Anacreon which is the subject of discussion. But Hephæstion, who is always charging every one else with thefts, took this solution of mine, and claimed it as his own, and published an essay, to which he gave this title, "Concerning the Osier Garland mentioned by Anacreon." And a copy of this essay we lately found at Rome in the possession of the antiquary Demetrius. And this compiler Hephæstion behaved in the same way to our excellent friend Adrantus. For after he had published a treatise in five books, Concerning those Matters in Theophrastus in his books on Manners, which are open to any Dispute, either as to their Facts, or the Style in which they are mentioned; and had added a sixth book Concerning the Disputable Points in the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle; and in these books had entered into a long dissertation on the mention of Plexippus by Antipho the tragic poet, and had also said a good deal about Antipho himself; Hephæstion, I say, appropriated all these books to himself, and wrote another book, Concerning the Mention of Antipho in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, not having added a single discovery or original observation of his own, any more than he had in the discussion on the Osier Garland. For the only thing he said that was new, was that Phylarchus, in the seventh book of his Histories, mentioned this story about the osier, and knew nothing of the passage of Nicænetus, nor of that of Anacreon; and he showed that he differed in some respects from the account that had been given by Menodotus.

But one may explain this fact of the osier garlands more simply, by saying that Megisthes wore a garland of osier because there was a great quantity of those trees in the place where he was feasting; and therefore he used it to bind his temples. For the Lacedæmonians at the [Pg 1076] festival of the Promachia, wear garlands of reeds, as Sosibius tells us in his treatise on the Sacrificial Festivals at Lacedæmon, where he writes thus: "On this festival the natives of the country all wear garlands of reeds, or tiaras, but the boys who have been brought up in the public school follow without any garland at all."

16. But Aristotle, in the second book of his treatise on Love Affairs, and Ariston the Peripatetic, who was a native of Ceos, in the second book of his Amatory Resemblances, say that "The ancients, on account of the headaches which were produced by their wine-drinking, adopted the practice of wearing garlands made of anything which came to hand, as the binding the head tight appeared to be of service to them. But men in later times added also some ornaments to their temples, which had a kind of reference to their employment of drinking, and so they invented garlands in the present fashion. But it is more reasonable to suppose that it was because the head is the seat of all sensation that men wore crowns upon it, than that they did so because it was desirable to have their temples shaded and bound as a remedy against the headaches produced by wine."

They also wore garlands over their foreheads, as the sweet Anacreon says—

And placing on our brows fresh parsley crowns,
Let's honour Bacchus with a jovial feast.

They also wore garlands on their breasts, and anointed them with perfume, because that is the seat of the heart. And they call the garlands which they put round their necks ὑποθυμιάδες, as Alcæus does in these lines—

Let every one twine round his neck
Wreathed ὑποθυμιάδες of anise.

And Sappho says—

And wreathed ὑποθυμιάδες
In numbers round their tender throats.

And Anacreon says—

They placed upon their bosoms lotus flowers
Entwined in fragrant ὑποθυμιάδες.

Æschylus also, in his Prometheus Unbound, says distinctly—

And therefore we, in honour of Prometheus,
Place garlands on our heads, a poor atonement
For the sad chains with which his limbs were bound.

[Pg 1077]


And again, in the play entitled the Sphinx, he says—

Give the stranger a στέφανος (garland), the ancient στέφος,—
This is the best of chains, as we may judge
From great Prometheus.

But Sappho gives a more simple reason for our wearing garlands, speaking as follows—

But place those garlands on thy lovely hair,
Twining the tender sprouts of anise green
With skilful hand; for offerings of flowers
Are pleasing to the gods, who hate all those
Who come before them with uncrownèd heads.

In which lines she enjoins all who offer sacrifice to wear garlands on their heads, as they are beautiful things, and acceptable to the Gods. Aristotle also, in his Banquet, says, "We never offer any mutilated gift to the Gods, but only such as are perfect and entire; and what is full is entire, and crowning anything indicates filling it in some sort. So Homer says—

The slaves the goblets crown'd with rosy wine;[117]

And in another place he says—

But God plain forms with eloquence does crown.[118]

That is to say, eloquence in speaking makes up in the case of some men for their personal ugliness. Now this is what the στέφανος seems intended to do, on which account, in times of mourning, we do exactly the contrary. For wishing to testify our sympathy for the dead, we mutilate ourselves by cutting our hair, and by putting aside our garlands."

17. Now Philonides the physician, in his treatise on Ointments and Garlands, says, "After the vine was introduced into Greece from the Red Sea, and when most people had become addicted to intemperate enjoyment, and had learnt to drink unmixed wine, some of them became quite frantic and out of their minds, while others got so stupified as to resemble the dead. And once, when some men were drinking on the sea-shore, a violent shower came on, and broke up the party, and filled the goblet, which had a little wine left in it, with water. But when it became fine again, the men returned to the same spot, and tasting the new mixture, found that their enjoyment was now not only exquisite, but free from any subsequent pain. And on this account, the Greeks [Pg 1078] invoke the good Deity at the cup of unmixed wine, which is served round to them at dinner, paying honour to the Deity who invented wine; and that was Bacchus. But when the first cup of mixed wine is handed round after dinner, they then invoke Jupiter the Saviour, thinking him the cause of this mixture of wine which is so unattended with pain, as being the author of rain. Now, those who suffered in their heads after drinking, certainly stood in need of some remedy; and so the binding their heads was what most readily occurred to them, as Nature herself led them to this remedy. For a certain man having a headache, as Andreas says, pressed his head, and found relief, and so invented a ligature as a remedy for headache.

Accordingly, men using these ligatures as assistants in drinking, used to bind their heads with whatever came in their way. And first of all, they took garlands of ivy, which offered itself, as it were, of its own accord, and was very plentiful, and grew everywhere, and was pleasant to look upon, shading the forehead with its green leaves and bunches of berries, and bearing a good deal of tension, so as to admit of being bound tight across the brow, and imparting also a certain degree of coolness without any stupifying smell accompanying it. And it seems to me that this is the reason why men have agreed to consider the garland of ivy sacred to Bacchus, implying by this that the inventor of wine is also the defender of men from all the inconveniences which arise from the use of it. And from thence, regarding chiefly pleasure, and considering utility and the comfort of the relief from the effects of drunkenness of less importance, they were influenced chiefly by what was agreeable to the sight or to the smell. And therefore they adopted crowns of myrtle, which has exciting properties, and which also represses any rising of the fumes of wine; and garlands of roses, which to a certain extent relieve headache, and also impart some degree of coolness; and garlands also of bay leaves, which they think are not wholly unconnected with drinking parties. But garlands of white lilies, which have an effect on the head, and wreaths of amaracus, or of any other flower or herb which has any tendency to produce heaviness or torpid feelings in the head, must be avoided."


And Apollodorus, in his treatise on Perfumes and Garlands, [Pg 1079] has said the same thing in the very same words. And this, my friends, is enough to say on this subject.

18. But concerning the Naucratite Crown, and what kind of flowers that is made of, I made many investigations, and inquired a great deal without learning anything, till at last I fell in with a book of Polycharmus of Naucratis, entitled On Venus, in which I found the following passage:—"But in the twenty-third Olympiad Herostratus, a fellow-countryman of mine, who was a merchant, and as such had sailed to a great many different countries, coming by chance to Paphos, in Cyprus, bought an image of Venus, a span high, of very ancient workmanship, and came away meaning to bring it to Naucratis. And as he was sailing near the Egyptian coast, a violent storm suddenly overtook him, and the sailors could not tell where they were, and so they all had recourse to this image of Venus, entreating her to save them. And the goddess, for she was kindly disposed towards the men of Naucratis, on a sudden filled all the space near her with branches of green myrtle, and diffused a most delicious odour over the whole ship, when all the sailors had previously despaired of safety from their violent sea-sickness. And after they had been all very sick, the sun shone out, and they, seeing the landmarks, came in safety into Naucratis. And Herostratus having disembarked from the ship with his image, and carrying with him also the green branches of myrtle which had so suddenly appeared to him, consecrated it and them in the temple of Venus. And having sacrificed to the goddess, and having consecrated the image to Venus, and invited all his relations and most intimate friends to a banquet in the temple, he gave every one of them a garland of these branches of myrtle, to which garlands he then gave the name of Naucratite." This is the account given by Polycharmus; and I myself believe the statement, and believe that the Naucratite garland is no other than one made of myrtle, especially as in Anacreon it is represented as worn with one made of roses. And Philonides has said that the garland made of myrtle acts as a check upon the fumes of wine, and that the one made of roses, in addition to its cooking qualities, is to a certain extent a remedy for headache. And, therefore, those men are only to be laughed at, who say that the Naucratite garland is the wreath made of what is called by the [Pg 1080] Egyptians biblus, quoting the statement of Theopompus, in the third book of his History of Greece, where he says, "That when Agesilaus the Lacedæmonian arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians sent him many presents, and among them the papyrus, which is used for making garlands." But I do not know what pleasure or advantage there could be in having a crown made of biblus with roses, unless people who are enamoured of such a wreath as this should also take a fancy to wear crowns of garlic and roses together. But I know that a great many people say that the garland made of the sampsychon or amaracus is the Naucratite garland; and this plant is very plentiful in Egypt, but the myrtle in Egypt is superior in sweetness to that which is found in any other country, as Theophrastus relates in another place.

19. While this discussion was going on, some slaves came in bringing garlands made of such flowers as were in bloom at the time; and Myrtilus said;—Tell me, my good friend Ulpian, the different names of garlands. For these servants, as is said in the Centaur of Chærephon—

Make ready garlands which they give the gods,
Praying they may be heralds of good omen.

And the same poet says, in his play entitled Bacchus—

Cutting sweet garlands, messengers of good omen.

Do not, however, quote to me passages out of the Crowns of Ælius Asclepiades, as if I were unacquainted with that work; but say something now besides what you find there. For you cannot show me that any one has ever spoken separately of a garland of roses, and a garland of violets. For as for the expression in Cratinus—

ναρκισσίνους ὀλίσβους,

that is said in a joke.

And he, laughing, replied,—The word στέφανος was first used among the Greeks, as Semos the Delian tells us in the fourth book of his Delias, in the same sense as the word στέφος is used by us, which, however, by some people is called στέμμα. On which account, being first crowned with this στέφανος, afterwards we put on a garland of bay leaves; and the word στέφανος itself is derived from the verb στέφω, to crown. But do you, you loquacious Thessalian, think, says he, that I am going to repeat any of those old and hacknied stories? But [Pg 1081] because of your tongue (γλῶσσα), I will mention the ὑπογλωττὶς, which Plato speaks of in his Jupiter Ill-treated—

But you wear leather tongues within your shoes,
And crown yourselves with ίπογλωττίδες,
Whenever you're engaged in drinking parties.
And when you sacrifice you speak only words
Of happy omen.

And Theodorus, in his Attic Words, as Pamphilus says in his treatise on Names, says, that the ὑπογλωττὶς is a species of plaited crown. Take this then from me; for, as Euripides says,

'Tis no hard work to argue on either side,
If a man's only an adept at speaking.

20. There is the Isthmiacum also, and there was a kind of crown bearing this name, which Aristophanes has thought worthy of mention in his Fryers, where he speaks thus—

What then are we to do? We should have taken
A white cloak each of us; and then entwining
Isthmiaca on our brows, like choruses,
Come let us sing the eulogy of our master.

But Silenus, in his Dialects, says, "The Isthmian garland." And Philetas says, "Στέφανος. There is an ambiguity here as to whether it refers to the head or to the main world.[119] We also use the word ἴσθμιον, as applied to a well, or to a dagger." But Timachidas and Simmias, who are both Rhodians, explain one word by the other. They say, ἴσθμιον, στέφανον: and this word is also mentioned by Callixenus, who is himself also a Rhodian, in his History of Alexandria, where he writes as follows—

*              *              *              *              *              *

21. But since I have mentioned Alexandria, I know that in that beautiful city there is a garland called the garland of Antinous, which is made of the lotus, which grows in those parts. And this lotus grows in the marshes in the summer season; and it bears flowers of two colours; one like that of the rose, and it is the garlands woven of the flowers of this colour which are properly called the garlands of Antinous; but the other kind is called the lotus garland, being of a dark colour. And a man of the name of Pancrates, a native poet, with whom we ourselves were acquainted, made a great parade of showing a rose-coloured lotus to Adrian the emperor, when he was staying at Alexandria, saying, that [Pg 1082] he ought to give this flower the name of the Flower of Antinous, as having sprung from the ground where it drank in the blood of the Mauritanian lion, which Hadrian killed when he was out hunting in that part of Africa, near Alexandria; a monstrous beast which had ravaged all Libya for a long time, so as to make a very great part of the district desolate. Accordingly, Hadrian being delighted with the utility of the invention, and also with its novelty, granted to the poet that he should be maintained for the future in the Museum at the public expense; and Cratinus the comic poet, in his Ulysseses, has called the lotus στεφάνωμα, because all plants which are full of leaf, are called στεφανώματα by the Athenians. But Pancrates said, with a good deal of neatness, in his poem—

The crisp ground thyme, the snow-white lily too,
The purple hyacinth, and the modest leaves
Of the white celandine, and the fragrant rose,
Whose petals open to the vernal zephyrs;
For that fair flower which bears Antinous' name
The earth had not yet borne.

22. There is the word πυλέων. And this is the name given to the garland which the Lacedæmonians place on the head of Juno, as Pamphilus relates.

I am aware, also, that there is a kind of garland, which is called Ἰάκχας by the Sicyonians, as Timachidas mentions in his treatise on Dialects. And Philetas writes as follows:—"Ἰάκχα —this is a name given to a fragrant garland in the district of Sicyon—

She stood by her sire, and in her fragrant hair
She wore the beautiful Iacchian garland."

Seleucus also, in his treatise on Dialects, says, that there is a kind of garland made of myrtle, which is called Ἐλλωτὶς, being twenty cubits in circumference, and that it is carried in procession on the festival of the Ellotia. And he says, that in this garland the bones of Europa, whom they call Ellotis, are carried. And this festival of the Ellotia is celebrated in Corinth.


There is also the Θυρεατικός. This also is a name given to a species of garland by the Lacedæmonians, as Sosibius tells us in his treatise on Sacrifices, where he says, that now it is called ψίλινος, being made of branches of the palm-tree. And he says that they are worn, as a memorial of the victory which they gained, in Thyrea,[120] by the leaders of the choruses, [Pg 1083] which are employed in that festival when they celebrate the Gymnopædiæ.[121] And there are choruses, some of handsome boys, and others of full-grown men of distinguished bravery, who all dance naked, and who sing the songs of Thaletas and Alcman, and the pæans of Dionysodotus the Lacedæmonian.

There are also garlands called μελιλώτινοι, which are mentioned by Alexis in his Crateva, or the Apothecary, in the following line—

And many μελιλώτινοι garlands hanging.

There is the word too, ἐπιθυμίδες, which Seleucus explains by "every sort of garland." But Timachidas says, "Garlands of every kind which are worn by women are called ἐπιθυμίδες."

There are also the words ὑποθυμὶς and ὑποθυμιὰς, which are names given to garlands by the Æolians and Ionians, and they wear such around their necks, as one may clearly collect from the poetry of Alcæus and Anacreon. But Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says, that the Lesbians call a branch of myrtle ὑποθυμὶς, around which they twine violets and other flowers.

The ὑπογλωττὶς also is a species of garland. But Theodorus, in his Attic Words, says, that it is a particular kind of garland, and is used in that sense by Plato the comic poet, in his Jupiter Ill-treated.

23. I find also, in the comic poets, mention made of a kind of garland called κυλιστὸς, and I find that Archippus mentions it in his Rhinon, in these lines—

He went away unhurt to his own house,
Having laid aside his cloak, but having on
His ἐκκύλιστος garland.

And Alexis, in his Agonis, or The Colt, says—

This third man has a κυλιστὸς garland
Of fig-leaves; but while living he delighted
In similar ornaments:

and in his Sciron he says—

Like a κυλιστὸς garland in suspense.

[Pg 1084]

Antiphanes also mentions it in his Man in Love with Himself. And Eubulus, in his Œnomaus, or Pelops, saying—

Brought into circular shape,
Like a κυλιστὸς garland.

What, then, is this κυλιστός? For I am aware that Nicander of Thyatira, in his Attic Nouns, speaks as follows,—"Ἐκκυλίσιοι στέφανοι, and especially those made of roses." And now I ask what species of garland this was, O Cynulcus; and do not tell me that I am to understand the word as meaning merely large. For you are a man who are fond of not only picking things little known out of books, but of even digging out such matters; like the philosophers in the Joint Deceiver of Baton the comic poet; men whom Sophocles also mentions in his Fellow Feasters, and who resemble you,—

You should not wear a beard thus well perfumed,
And 'tis a shame for you, of such high birth,
To be reproachèd as the son of your belly,
When you might rather be call'd your father's son.

Since, then, you are sated not only with the heads of glaucus, but also with that evergreen herb, which that Anthedonian Deity[122] ate, and became immortal, give us an answer now about the subject of discussion, that we may not think that when you are dead, you will be metamorphosed, as the divine Plato has described in his treatise on the Soul. For he says that those who are addicted to gluttony, and insolence, and drunkenness, and who are restrained by no modesty, may naturally become transformed into the race of asses, and similar animals.

24. And as he still appeared to be in doubt;—Let us now, said Ulpian, go on to another kind of garland, which is called the στρούθιος; which Asclepiades mentions when he quotes the following passage, out of the Female Garland-Sellers of Eubulus—

O happy woman, in your little house
To have a στρούθιος  .  .  .  .   [123]

And this garland is made of the flower called στρούθιον (soap-wort), which is mentioned by Theophrastus, in the sixth [Pg 1085] book of his Natural History, in these words—"The iris also blooms in the summer, and so does the flower called στρούθιον, which is a very pretty flower to the eye, but destitute of scent." Galene of Smyrna also speaks of the same flower, under the name of στρύθιον.

There is also the πόθος. There is a certain kind of garland with this name, as Nicander the Colophonian tells us in his treatise on Words. And this, too, perhaps is so named as being made of the flower called πόθος, which the same Theophrastus mentions in the sixth book of his Natural History, where he writes thus—"There are other flowers which bloom chiefly in the summer,—the lychnis, the flower of Jove, the lily, the iphyum, the Phrygian amaracus, and also the plant called pothus, of which there are two kinds, one bearing a flower like the hyacinth, but the other produces a colourless blossom nearly white, which men use to strew on tombs.

Eubulus also gives a list of other names of garlands—

Ægidion, carry now this garland for me,
Ingeniously wrought of divers flowers,
Most tempting, and most beautiful, by Jove!
For who'd not wish to kiss the maid who bears it?

And then in the subsequent lines he says—

A. Perhaps you want some garlands. Will you have them
Of ground thyme, or of myrtle, or of flowers
Such as I show you here in bloom.
B. I'll have
These myrtle ones. You may sell all the others,
But always keep the myrtle wreaths for me.

25. There is the philyrinus also. Xenarchus, in his Soldier, says—

For the boy wore a garland on his brow
Of delicate leafy linden (φιλύρα).

Some garlands also are called ἑλικτοὶ, as they are even to this day among the Alexandrians. And Chæremon the tragic poet mentions them in his Bacchus, saying—

The triple folds of the ἑλικτοὶ garlands,
Made up of ivy and narcissus.

But concerning the evergreen garlands in Egypt, Hellanicus, in his History of Egypt, writes as follows—"There is a city on the banks of the river, named Tindium. This is a place where many gods are assembled, and in the middle of the city there is a sacred temple of great size made of marble, and the doors are marble. And within the temple there are white and black thorns, on which garlands were placed [Pg 1086] made of the flower of the acanthus, and also of the blossoms of the pomegranate, and of vine-leaves. And these keep green for ever. These garlands were placed by the gods themselves in Egypt when they heard that Babys was king, (and he is the same who is also called Typhon.)" But Demetrius, in his History of the Things to be seen in Egypt, says that these thorns grow about the city of Abydos, and he writes thus—"But the lower district has a tree called the thorn, which bears a round fruit on some round-shaped branches. And this tree blooms at a certain season; and the flower is very beautiful and brilliant in colour. And there is a story told by the Egyptians, that the Æthiopians who had been sent as allies to Troy by Tithonus, when they heard that Memnon was slain, threw down on the spot all their garlands on the thorns. And the branches themselves on which the flower grows resemble garlands." And the before-mentioned Hellanicus mentions also that Amasis, who was king of Egypt, was originally a private individual of the class of the common people; and that it was owing to the present of a garland, which he made of the most beautiful flowers that were in season, and sent to Patarmis, who was king of Egypt, at the time when he was celebrating the festival of his birthday, that he afterwards became king himself. For Patarmis, being delighted at the beauty of the garland, invited Amasis to supper, and after this treated him as one of his friends; and on one occasion sent him out as his general, when the Egyptians were making war upon him. And he was made king by these Egyptians out of their hatred to Patarmis.

26. There are also garlands called συνθηματιαῖοι, which people make and furnish by contract. Aristophanes, in his Thesmophoriazusæ, says—

To make up twenty συνθηματιαῖοι garlands.[124]

We find also the word χορωνόν. Apion, in his treatise on the Roman Dialect, says that formerly a garland was called χορωνόν, from the fact of the members of the chorus in the theatres using it; and that they wore garlands and contended for garlands. And one may see this name given to garlands in the Epigrams of Simonides—

[Pg 1087]

Phœbus doth teach that song to the Tyndaridæ,
Which tuneless grasshoppers have crown'd with a χορωνός.

There are ἀκίνιοι too. There are some garlands made of the basil thyme (ἄκινος) which are called by this name, as we are told by Andron the physician, whose words are quoted by Parthenius the pupil of Dionysius, in the first book of his treatise on the Words which occur in the Historians.

27. Now Theophrastus gives the following list of flowers as suitable to be made into garlands—"The violet, the flower of Jupiter, the iphyum, the wallflower, the hemerocalles, or yellow lily. But he says the earliest blooming flower is the white violet; and about the same time that which is called the wild wallflower appears, and after them the narcissus and the lily; and of mountain flowers, that kind of anemone which is called the mountain anemone, and the head of the bulb-plant. For some people twine these flowers into garlands. And next to these there comes the œnanthe and the purple violet. And of wild flowers, there are the helichryse, and that species of anemone called the meadow anemone, and the gladiolus, and the hyacinth. But the rose is the latest blooming flower of all; and it is the latest to appear and the first to go off. But the chief summer flowers are the lychnis, and the flower of Jupiter, and the lily, and the iphyum, and the Phrygian amaracus, and also the flower called the pothus." And in his ninth book the same Theophrastus says, if any one wears a garland made of the flower of the helichryse, he is praised if he sprinkle it with ointment. And Alcman mentions it in these lines—

And I pray to you, and bring
This chaplet of the helichryse,
And of the holy cypirus.

And Ibycus says—

Myrtle-berries with violets mix'd,
And helichryse, and apple blossoms,
And roses, and the tender daphne.

And Cratinus, in his Effeminate People, says—

With ground thyme and with crocuses,
And hyacinths, and helichryse.

But the helichryse is a flower like the lotus. And Themistagoras the Ephesian, in his book entitled The Golden Book, says that the flower derives its name from the nymph who first picked it, who was called [Pg 1088] Helichrysa. There are also, says Theophrastus, such flowers as purple lilies. But Philinus says that the lily, which he calls κρίνον, is by some people called λείριον, and by others ἴον. The Corinthians also call this flower ambrosia, as Nicander says in his Dictionary. And Diocles, in his treatise on Deadly Poisons, says—"The amaracus, which some people call the sampsychus."

28. Cratinus also speaks of the hyacinth by the name of κοσμοσάνδαλον in his Effeminate People, where he says—

I crown my head with flowers, λείρια,
Roses, and κρίνα, and κοσμοσάνδαλα.

And Clearchus, in the second book of his Lives, says—"You may remark the Lacedæmonians who, having invented garlands of cosmosandalum, trampled under foot the most ancient system of polity in the world, and utterly ruined themselves; on which account Antiphanes the comic poet very cleverly says of them, in his Harp-player—

Did not the Lacedæmonians boast of old
As though they were invincible? but now
They wear effeminate purple head-dresses.

And Hicesius, in the second book of his treatise on Matter, says—"The white violet is of moderately astringent properties, and has a most delicious fragrance, and is very delightful, but only for a short time; and the purple violet is of the same appearance, but it is far more fragrant." And Apollodorus, in his treatise on Beasts, says—"There is the chamæpitys, or ground pine, which some call olocyrum, but the Athenians call it Ionia, and the Eubœans sideritis." And Nicander, in the second book of his Georgics, (the words themselves I will quote hereafter, when I thoroughly discuss all the flowers fit for making into garlands,) says—"The violet (ἴον) was originally given by some Ionian nymphs to Ion."


And in the sixth book of his History of Plants, Theophrastus says that the narcissus is also called λείριον; but in a subsequent passage he speaks of the narcissus and λείριον as different plants. And Eumachus the Corcyrean, in his treatise on Cutting Roots, says that the narcissus is also called acacallis, and likewise crotalum. But the flower called hemerocalles, or day-beauty, which fades at night but blooms [Pg 1089] at sunrise, is mentioned by Cratinus in his Effeminate People, where he says—

And the dear hemerocalles.

Concerning the ground thyme, Theophrastus says—"The people gather the wild ground thyme on the mountains and plant it around Sicyon, and the Athenians gather it on Hymettus; and other nations too have mountains full of this flower, as the Thracians for instance." But Philinus says that it is called zygis. And Amerias the Macedonian, speaking of the lychnis in his treatise on Cutting up Roots, says that "it sprang from the baths of Venus, when Venus bathed after having been sleeping with Vulcan. And it is found in the greatest perfection in Cyprus and Lemnos, and also in Stromboli and near mount Eryx, and at Cythera."

"But the iris," says Theophrastus, "blooms in the summer, and is the only one of all the European flowers which has a sweet scent. And it is in the highest beauty in those parts of Illyricum which are at a distance from the sea." But Philinus says that the flowers of the iris are called λύκοι, because they resemble the lips of the wolf (λύκος). And Nicolaus of Damascus, in the hundred and eighth book of his History, says that there is a lake near the Alps, many stadia in circumference, round which there grow every year the most fragrant and beautiful flowers, like those which are called calchæ. Alcman also mentions the calchæ in these lines:—

Having a golden-colour'd necklace on
Of the bright calchæ, with their tender petals.

And Epicharmus, too, speaks of them in his Rustic.

29. Of roses, says Theophrastus in his sixth book, there are many varieties. For most of them consist only of five leaves, but some have twelve leaves; and some, near Philippi, have even as many as a hundred leaves. For men take up the plants from Mount Pangæum, (and they are very numerous there,) and plant them near the city. And the inner petals are very small; for the fashion in which the flowers put out their petals is, that some form the outer rows and some the inner ones: but they have not much smell, nor are they of any great size. And those with only five leaves are the most fragrant, and their lower parts are very thorny. But the most fragrant roses are in Cyrene: on which account the perfumes made there are the sweetest. And in this [Pg 1090] country, too, the perfume of the violets, and of all other flowers, is most pure and heavenly; and above all, the fragrance of the crocus is most delicious in those parts." And Timachidas, in his Banquets, says that the Arcadians call the rose εὐόμφαλον, meaning εὔοσμον, or fragrant. And Apollodorus, in the fourth book of his History of Parthia, speaks of a flower called philadelphum, as growing in the country of the Parthians, and describes it thus:—"And there are many kinds of myrtle,—the milax, and that which is called the philadelphum, which has received a name corresponding to its natural character; for when branches, which are at a distance from one another, meet together of their own accord, they cohere with a vigorous embrace, and become united as if they came from one root, and then growing on, they produce fresh shoots: on which account they often make hedges of them in well-cultivated farms; for they take the thinnest of the shoots, and plait them in a net-like manner, and plant them all round their gardens, and then these plants, when plaited together all round, make a fence which it is difficult to pass through."

30. The author, too, of the Cyprian Poems gives lists of the flowers which are suitable to be made into garlands, whether he was Hegesias, or Stasinus, or any one else; for Demodamas, who was either a Halicarnassian or Milesian, in his History of Halicarnassus, says that the Cyprian Poems were the work of a citizen of Halicarnassus: however, the author, whoever he was, in his eleventh book, speaks thus:—

Then did the Graces, and the smiling Hours,
Make themselves garments rich with various hues,
And dyed them in the varied flowers that Spring
And the sweet Seasons in their bosom bear.
In crocus, hyacinth, and blooming violet,
And the sweet petals of the peerless rose,
So fragrant, so divine; nor did they scorn
The dewy cups of the ambrosial flower
That boasts Narcissus' name. Such robes, perfumed
With the rich treasures of revolving seasons,
The golden Venus wears.

And this poet appears also to have been acquainted with the use of garlands, when he says—

And when the smiling Venus with her train
Had woven fragrant garlands of the treasures
[Pg 1091]
The flowery earth puts forth, the goddesses
All crown'd their heads with their queen's precious work,—
The Nymphs and Graces, and the golden Venus,—
And raised a tuneful song round Ida's springs.

31. Nicander also, in the second book of his Georgics, gives a regular list of the flowers suitable to be made into garlands, and speaks as follows concerning the Ionian nymphs and concerning roses:—

And many other flowers you may plant,
Fragrant and beauteous, of Ionian growth;
Two sorts of violets are there,—pallid one,
And like the colour of the virgin gold,
Such as th' Ionian nymphs to Ion gave,
When in the meadows of the holy Pisa
They met and loved and crown'd the modest youth.
For he had cheer'd his hounds and slain the boar,
And in the clear Alpheus bathed his limbs,
Before he visited those friendly nymphs.
Cut then the shoots from off the thorny rose,
And plant them in the trenches, leaving space
Between, two spans in width. The poets tell
That Midas first, when Asia's realms he left,
Brought roses from th' Odonian hills of Thrace,
And cultivated them in th' Emathian lands,
Blooming and fragrant with their sixty petals.
Next to th' Emathian roses those are praised
Which the Megarian Nisæa displays:
Nor is Phaselis, nor the land which worships
The chaste Diana,[125] to be lightly praised,
Made verdant by the sweet Lethæan stream.
In other trenches place the ivy cuttings,
And often e'en a branch with berries loaded
May be entrusted to the grateful ground;
*              *              *              *              *[126]
Or with well-sharpen'd knife cut off the shoots,
And plait them into baskets,
*              *              *              *              *
High on the top the calyx full of seed
Grows with white leaves, tinged in the heart with gold,
Which some call crina, others liria,
Others ambrosia, but those who love
The fittest name, do call them Venus' joy;
[Pg 1092]
For in their colour they do vie with Venus,
Though far inferior to her decent form.
The iris in its roots is like th' agallis,
Or hyacinth fresh sprung from Ajax' blood;
It rises high with swallow-shaped flowers,
Blooming when summer brings the swallows back.
Thick are the leaves they from their bosom pour,
And the fresh flowers constantly succeeding,
Shine in their stooping mouths.
*              *              *              *              *
Nor is the lychnis, nor the lofty rush,
Nor the fair anthemis in light esteem,
Nor the boanthemum with towering stem,
Nor phlox whose brilliancy scarce seems to yield
To the bright splendour of the midday sun.
Plant the ground thyme where the more fertile ground
Is moisten'd by fresh-welling springs beneath,
That with long creeping branches it may spread,
Or droop in quest of some transparent spring,
The wood-nymphs' chosen draught. Throw far away
The poppy's leaves, and keep the head entire,
A sure protection from the teasing gnats;
For every kind of insect makes its seat
Upon the opening leaves; and on the head,
Like freshening dews, they feed, and much rejoice
In the rich latent honey that it bears;
But when the leaves (θρῖα) are off, the mighty flame
Soon scatters them  .  .  .  .

(but by the word θρῖα he does not here mean the leaves of fig-trees, but of the poppy).

Nor can they place their feet
With steady hold, nor juicy food extract;
And oft they slip, and fall upon their heads.
Swift is the growth, and early the perfection
Of the sampsychum, and of rosemary,
And of the others which the gardens
Supply to diligent men for well-earn'd garlands.
Such are the feathery fern, the boy's-love sweet,
(Like the tall poplar); such the golden crocus,
Fair flower of early spring; the gopher white,
And fragrant thyme, and all the unsown beauty
Which in moist grounds the verdant meadows bear;
The ox-eye, the sweet-smelling flower of Jove,
The chalca, and the much sung hyacinth,
And the low-growing violet, to which
Dark Proserpine a darker hue has given;
The tall panosmium, and the varied colours
Which the gladiolus puts forth in vain
To decorate the early tombs of maidens.
Then too the ever-flourishing anemones,
Tempting afar with their most vivid dyes.

[Pg 1093]


(But for ἐφελκόμεναι χροιῇσιν some copies have ἐφελκόμεναι φιλοχροιαῖς).

And above all remember to select
The elecampane and the aster bright,
And place them in the temples of the gods,
By roadside built, or hang them on their statues,
Which first do catch the eye of the visitor.
These are propitious gifts, whether you pluck
The many-hued chrysanthemum, or lilies
Which wither sadly o'er the much-wept tomb,
Or gay old-man, or long-stalk'd cyclamen,
Or rank nasturtium, whose scarlet flowers
Grim Pluto chooses for his royal garland.

32. From these lines it is plain that the chelidonium is a different flower from the anemone (for some people have called them the same). But Theophrastus says that there are some plants, the flowers of which constantly follow the stars, such as the one called the heliotrope, and the chelidonium; and this last plant is named so from its coming into bloom at the same time as the swallows arrive. There is also a flower spoken of under the name of ambrosia by Carystius, in his Historical Commentaries, where he says—"Nicander says that the plant named ambrosia grows at Cos, on the head of the statue of Alexander." But I have already spoken of it, and mentioned that some people give this name to the lily. And Timachidas, in the fourth book of his Banquet, speaks also of a flower called theseum,—

The soft theseum, like the apple blossom,
The sacred blossom of Leucerea,[127]
Which the fair goddess loves above all others.

And he says that the garland of Ariadne was made of this flower.

Pherecrates also, or whoever the poet was who wrote the play of the Persians, mentions some flowers as fit for garlands, and says—

O you who sigh like mallows soft,
Whose breath like hyacinths smells,
Who like the melilotus speak,
And smile as doth the rose,
Whose kisses are as marjoram sweet,
Whose action crisp as parsley,
*              *              *              *              *
[Pg 1094]
Whose gait like cosmosandalum.
Pour rosy wine, and with loud voice
Raise the glad pæan's song,
As laws of God and man enjoin
On holy festival.

And the author of the Miners, whoever he was, (and that poem is attributed to the same Pherecrates,) says—

Treading on soft aspalathi
Beneath the shady trees,
In lotus-bearing meadows green,
And on the dewy cypirus;
And on the fresh anthryscum, and
The modest tender violet,
And green trefoil  .  .  .  .

But here I want to know what this trefoil is; for there is a poem attributed to Demarete, which is called The Trefoil. And also, in the poem which is entitled The Good Men, Pherecrates or Strattis, whichever is the author, says—

And having bathed before the heat of day,
Some crown their head and some anoint their bodies.

And he speaks of thyme, and of cosmosandalum. And Cratinus, in his Effeminate Persons, says—

Joyful now I crown my head
With every kind of flower;
Λείρια, roses, κρίνα too,
And cosmosandala,
And violets, and fragrant thyme,
And spring anemones,
Ground thyme, crocus, hyacinths,
And buds of helichryse,
Shoots of the vine, anthryscum too,
And lovely hemerocalles.
*              *              *              *              *
My head is likewise shaded
With evergreen melilotus;
And of its own accord there comes
The flowery cytisus.

33. Formerly the entrance of garlands and perfumes into the banqueting rooms, used to herald the approach of the second course, as we may learn from Nicostratus in his Pseudostigmatias, where, in the following lines, he says—

And you too,
Be sure and have the second course quite neat;
Adorn it with all kinds of rich confections,
Perfumes, and garlands, aye, and frankincense,
And girls to play the flute.

[Pg 1095]


But Philoxenus the Dithyrambic poet, in his poem entitled The Banquet, represents the garland as entering into the commencement of the banquet, using the following language:

Then water was brought in to wash the hands,
Which a delicate youth bore in a silver ewer,
Ministering to the guests; and after that
He brought us garlands of the tender myrtle,
Close woven with young richly-colour'd shoots.

And Eubulus, in his Nurses, says—

For when the old men came into the house,
At once they sate them down. Immediately
Garlands were handed round; a well-fill'd board
Was placed before them, and (how good for th' eyes!)
A closely-kneaded loaf of barley bread.

And this was the fashion also among the Egyptians, as Nicostratus says in his Usurer; for, representing the usurer as an Egyptian, he says—

A. We caught the pimp and two of his companions,
When they had just had water for their hands,
And garlands.
B. Sure the time, O Chærophon,
Was most propitious.

But you may go on gorging yourself, O Cynulcus; and when you have done, tell us why Cratinus has called the melilotus "the ever-watching melilotus." However, as I see you are already a little tipsy (ἔξοινον)—for that is the word Alexis has used for a man thoroughly drunk (μεθύσην), in his Settler—I won't go on teasing you; but I will bid the slaves, as Sophocles says in his Fellow Feasters,

Come, quick! let some one make the barley-cakes,
And fill the goblets deep; for this man now,
Just like a farmer's ox, can't work a bit
Till he has fill'd his belly with good food.

And there is a man of the same kind mentioned by Aristias of Phlius; for he, too, in his play entitled The Fates, says—

The guest is either a boatman or a parasite,
A hanger-on of hell, with hungry belly,
Which nought can satisfy.

However, as he gives no answer whatever to all these things which have been said, I order him (as it is said in the Twins of Alexis) to be carried out of the party, crowned with χύδαιοι garlands. But the comic poet, alluding to χύδαιοι garlands, says—

These garlands all promiscuously (χύδην) woven.

[Pg 1096]

But, after this, I will not carry on this conversation any further to-day; but will leave the discussion about perfumes to those who choose to continue it: and only desire the boy, on account of this lecture of mine about garlands, as Antiphanes....

To bring now hither two good garlands,
And a good lamp, with good fire brightly burning;

for then I shall wind up my speech like the conclusion of a play.

And not many days after this, as if he had been prophesying a silence for himself [which should be eternal], he died, happily, without suffering under any long illness, to the great affliction of us his companions.


34. And while the slaves were bringing round perfumes in alabaster boxes, and in other vessels made of gold, some one, seeing Cynulcus, anointed his face with a great deal of ointment. But he, being awakened by it, when he recollected himself, said;—What is this? O Hercules, will not some one come with a sponge and wipe my face, which is thus polluted with a lot of dirt? And do not you all know that that exquisite writer Xenophon, in his Banquet, represents Socrates as speaking thus:—"'By Jupiter! O Callias, you entertain us superbly; for you have not only given us a most faultless feast, but you have furnished us also with delicious food for our eyes and ears.'—'Well, then,' said he, 'suppose any one were to bring us perfumes, in order that we might also banquet on sweet smells?'—'By no means,' said Socrates; 'for as there is one sort of dress fit for women and another for men, so there is one kind of smell fit for women and another for men. And no man is ever anointed with perfume for the sake of men; and as to women, especially when they are brides,—as, for instance, the bride of this Niceratus here, and the bride of Critobulus,—how can they want perfumes in their husbands, when they themselves are redolent of it? But the smell of the oil in the gymnasia, when it is present, is sweeter than perfume to women; and when it is absent, they long more for it. For if a slave and a freeman be anointed with perfume, they both smell alike in a moment; but those smells which are derived from free labours, require both virtuous habits and a good deal of time if they are to be agreeable and in character with a freeman.'" And [Pg 1097] that admirable writer Chrysippus says that perfumes (μύρα) derive their name from being prepared with great toil (μόρος) and useless labour. The Lacedæmonians even expel from Sparta those who make perfumes, as being wasters of oil; and those who dye wool, as being destroyers of the whiteness of the wool. And Solon the philosopher, in his laws, forbade men to be sellers of perfumes.

35. "But now, not only scents," as Clearchus says in the third book of his Lives, "but also dyes, being full of luxury, tend to make those men effeminate who have anything to do with them. And do you think that effeminacy without virtue has anything desirable in it? But even Sappho, a thorough woman, and a poetess into the bargain, was ashamed to separate honour from elegance; and speaks thus—

But elegance I truly love;
And this my love of life has brilliancy,
And honour, too, attached to it:

making it evident to everybody that the desire of life that she confessed had respectability and honour in it; and these things especially belong to virtue. But Parrhasius the painter, although he was a man beyond all measure arrogant about his art, and though he got the credit of a liberal profession by some mere pencils and pallets, still in words set up a claim to virtue, and put this inscription on all his works that are at Lindus:—

This is Parrhasius' the painter's work,
A most luxurious (ἁβροδίαιτος) and virtuous man.

And a wit being indignant at this, because, I suppose, he seemed to be a disgrace to the delicacy and beauty of virtue, having perverted the gifts which fortune had bestowed upon him to luxury, proposed to change the inscription into ῥαβδοδίαιτος ἀνήρ: Still, said he, the man must be endured, since he says that he honours virtue." These are the words of Clearchus. But Sophocles the poet, in his play called The Judgment, represents Venus, being a sort of Goddess of Pleasure, as anointed with perfumes, and looking in a glass; but Minerva, as being a sort of Goddess of Intellect and Mind, and also of Virtue, as using oil and gymnastic exercises.

36. In reply to this, Masurius said;—But, my most excellent friend, are you not aware that it is in our brain that our senses are soothed, and indeed reinvigorated, by sweet smells? as Alexis says in his Wicked Woman, where he speaks thus—

[Pg 1098]

The best recipe for health
Is to apply sweet scents unto the brain.

And that most valiant, and indeed warlike poet, Alcæus, says—

He shed a sweet perfume all o'er my breast.

And the wise Anacreon says somewhere—

Why fly away, now that you've well anointed
Your breast, more hollow than a flute, with unguents?

for he recommends anointing the breast with unguent, as being the seat of the heart, and considering it an admitted point that that is soothed with fragrant smells. And the ancients used to act thus, not only because scents do of their own nature ascend upwards from the breast to the seat of smelling, but also because they thought that the soul had its abode in the heart; as Praxagoras, and Philotimus the physician taught; and Homer, too, says—

He struck his breast, and thus reproved his heart.[128]

And again he says—

His heart within his breast did rage.[129]

And in the Iliad he says—

But Hector's heart within his bosom shook.[130]

And this they consider a proof that the most important portion of the soul is situated in the heart; for it is as evident as possible that the heart quivers when under the agitation of fear. And Agamemnon, in Homer, says—

Scarce can my knees these trembling limbs sustain,
And scarce my heart support its load of pain;
With fears distracted, with no fix'd design,
And all my people's miseries are mine.[131]

And Sophocles has represented women released from fear as saying—

Now Fear's dark daughter does no more exult
Within my heart.[132]

But Anaxandrides makes a man who is struggling with fear say—

O my wretched heart!
How you alone of all my limbs or senses
Rejoice in evil; for you leap and dance
The moment that you see your lord alarm'd.

[Pg 1099]


And Plato says, "that the great Architect of the universe has placed the lungs close to the heart, by nature soft and destitute of blood, and having cavities penetrable like sponge, that so the heart, when it quivers, from fear of adversity or disaster, may vibrate against a soft and yielding substance." But the garlands with which men bind their bosoms are called ὑποθυμιάδες by the poets, from the exhalations (ἀναθυμίασις) of the flowers, and not because the soul (ψυχὴ) is called θυμὸς, as some people think.

37. Archilochus is the earliest author who uses the word μύρον (perfume), where he says—

She being old would spare her perfumes (μύρα).

And in another place he says—

Displaying hair and breast perfumed (ἐσμυρισμένον);
So that a man, though old, might fall in love with her.

And the word μύρον is derived from μύῤῥα, which is the Æolic form of σμύρνα (myrrh); for the greater portion of unguents are made up with myrrh, and that which is called στακτὴ is wholly composed of it. Not but what Homer was acquainted with the fashion of using unguents and perfumes, but he calls them ἔλαια, with the addition of some distinctive epithet, as—

Himself anointing them with dewy oil
(δροσόεντι ἐλαίῳ).[133]

And in another place he speaks of an oil as perfumed[134] (τεθυωμένον). And in his poems also, Venus anoints the dead body of Hector with ambrosial rosy oil; and this is made of flowers. But with respect to that which is made of spices, which they called θυώματα, he says, speaking of Juno,—

Here first she bathes, and round her body pours
Soft oils of fragrance and ambrosial showers:
The winds perfumed, the balmy gale convey
Through heaven, through earth, and all the aërial way.
Spirit divine! whose exhalation greets
The sense of gods with more than mortal sweets.[135]

38. But the choicest unguents are made in particular places, as Apollonius of Herophila says in his treatise on Perfumes, where he writes—"The iris is best in Elis, and at Cyzicus; the perfume made from roses is most excellent at Phaselis, and that made at Naples and Capua is also very fine. That made from crocuses is in the highest perfection at [Pg 1100] Soli in Cilicia, and at Rhodes. The essence of spikenard is best at Tarsus; and the extract of vine-leaves is made best in Cyprus and at Adramyttium. The best perfume from marjoram and from apples comes from Cos. Egypt bears the palm for its essence of cypirus; and the next best is the Cyprian, and Phœnician, and after them comes the Sidonian. The perfume called Panathenaicum is made at Athens; and those called Metopian and Mendesian are prepared with the greatest skill in Egypt. But the Metopian is made of oil which is extracted from bitter almonds. Still, the superior excellence of each perfume is owing to the purveyors and the materials and the artists, and not to the place itself; for Ephesus formerly, as men say, had a high reputation for the excellence of its perfumes, and especially of its megallium, but now it has none. At one time, too, the unguents made in Alexandria were brought to high perfection, on account of the wealth of the city, and the attention that Arsinoe and Berenice paid to such matters; and the finest extract of roses in the world was made at Cyrene while the great Berenice was alive. Again, in ancient times, the extract of vine-leaves made at Adramyttium was but poor; but afterwards it became first-rate, owing to Stratonice, the wife of Eumenes. Formerly, too, Syria used to make every sort of unguent admirably, especially that extracted from fenugreek; but the case is quite altered now. And long ago there used to be a most delicious unguent extracted from frankincense at Pergamus, owing to the invention of a certain perfumer of that city, for no one else had ever made it before him; but now none is made there.

"Now, when a valuable unguent is poured on the top of one that is inferior, it remains on the surface; but when good honey is poured on the top of that which is inferior, it works its way to the bottom, for it compels that which is worse to rise above it."

39. Achæus mentions Egyptian perfumes in his Prizes; and says—

They'll give you Cyprian stones, and ointments choice
From dainty Egypt, worth their weight in silver.

"And perhaps," says Didymus, "he means in this passage that which is called στακτὴ, on account of the myrrh which is brought to Egypt, and from thence imported into Greece."

[Pg 1101]


And Hicesius says, in the second book of his treatise on Matter,—"Of perfumes, some are rubbed on, and some are poured on. Now, the perfume made from roses is suitable for drinking parties, and so is that made from myrtles and from apples; and this last is good for the stomach, and useful for lethargic people. That made from vine-leaves is good for the stomach, and has also the effect of keeping the mind clear. Those extracted from sampsychum and ground thyme are also well suited to drinking parties; and so is that extract of crocus which is not mixed with any great quantity of myrrh. The στακτὴ, also, is well suited for drinking parties; and so is the spikenard: that made from fenugreek is sweet and tender; while that which comes from white violets is fragrant, and very good for the digestion."

Theophrastus, also, in his treatise on Scents, says, "that some perfumes are made of flowers; as, for instance, from roses, and white violets, and lilies, which last is called σούσινον. There are also those which are extracted from mint and ground thyme, and gopper, and the crocus; of which the best is procured in Ægina and Cilicia. Some, again, are made of leaves, as those made from myrrh and the œnanthe; and the wild vine grows in Cyprus, on the mountains, and is very plentiful; but no perfume is made of that which is found in Greece, because that has no scent. Some perfumes, again, are extracted from roots; as is that made from the iris, and from spikenard, and from marjoram, and from zedoary."

40. Now, that the ancients were very much addicted to the use of perfumes, is plain from their knowing to which of our limbs each unguent was most suitable. Accordingly, Antiphanes, in his Thoricians, or The Digger, says—

A. He really bathes—
B. What then?
A. In a large gilded tub, and steeps his feet
And legs in rich Egyptian unguents;
His jaws and breasts he rubs with thick palm-oil,
And both his arms with extract sweet of mint;
His eyebrows and his hair with marjoram,
His knees and neck with essence of ground thyme.

And Cephisodorus, in his Trophonius, says—

A. And now that I may well anoint my body,
Buy me some unguents, I beseech you, Xanthias,
Of roses made and irises. Buy, too,
[Pg 1102]
Some oil of baccaris for my legs and feet.
B. You stupid wretch! Shall I buy baccaris,
And waste it on your worthless feet?

Anaxandrides, too, in his Protesilaus, says—

Unguents from Peron, which but yesterday
He sold to Melanopus,—very costly,
Fresh come from Egypt; which he uses now
To anoint the feet of vile Callistratus.

And Theopompus also mentions this perfumer, Peron, in his Admetus, and in the Hedychares. Antiphanes, too, says in his Antea—

I left the man in Peron's shop, just now,
Dealing for ointments; when he has agreed,
He'll bring you cinnamon and spikenard essence.

41. Now, there is a sort of ointment called βάκκαρις by many of the comic poets; and Hipponax uses this name in the following line:—

I then my nose with baccaris anointed,
Redolent of crocus.

And Achæus, in his Æthon, a satyric drama, says—

Anointed o'er with baccaris, and dressing
All his front hair with cooling fans of feathers.

But Ion, in his Omphale, says—

'Tis better far to know the use of μύρα,
And βάκκαρις, and Sardian ornaments,
Than all the fashions in the Peloponnesus.

And when he speaks of Sardian ornaments, he means to include perfumes; since the Lydians were very notorious for their luxury. And so Anacreon uses the word Λυδοπαθὴς (Lydian-like) as equivalent to ἡδυπαθὴς (luxurious). Sophocles also uses the word βάκκαρις; and Magnes, in his Lydians, says—

A man should bathe, and then with baccaris
Anoint himself.

Perhaps, however, μύρον and βάκκαρις were not exactly the same thing; for Æschylus, in his Amymone, makes a distinction between them, and says—

Your βακκάρεις and your μύρα.

And Simonides says—

And then with μύρον, and rich spices too,
And βάκκαρις, did I anoint myself.

And Aristophanes, in his Thesmophoriazusæ, says—

[Pg 1103]

O venerable Jove! with what a scent
Did that vile bag, the moment it was open'd,
O'erwhelm me, full of βάκκαρις and μύρον![136]

42. Pherecrates mentions an unguent, which he calls βρένθιον, in his Trifles, saying—

I stood, and order'd him to pour upon us
Some brenthian unguent, that he also might
Pour it on those departing.

And Crates mentions what he calls royal unguent, in his Neighbours; speaking as follows:—

He smelt deliciously of royal unguent.

But Sappho mentions the royal and the brenthian unguent together, as if they were one and the same thing; saying—

βρενθεΐῳ βασιληΐῳ,

Aristophanes speaks of an unguent which he calls ψάγδης, in his Daitaleis; saying—

Come, let me see what unguent I can give you:
Do you like ψάγδης?

And Eupolis, in his Marica, says—

All his breath smells of ψάγδης.

Eubulus, in his Female Garland-seller's, says—

She thrice anointed with Egyptian psagdas (ψάγδανι).

Polemo, in his writings addressed to Adæus, says that there is an unguent in use among the Eleans called plangonium, from having been invented by a man named Plangon. And Sosibius says the same in his Similitudes; adding, that the unguent called megallium is so named for a similar reason: for that that was invented by a Sicilian whose name was Megallus. But some say that Megallus was an Athenian: and Aristophanes mentions him in his Telmissians, and so does Pherecrates in his Petale; and Strattis, in his Medea, speaks thus:—

And say that you are bringing her such unguents,
As old Megallus never did compound,
Nor Dinias, that great Egyptian, see,
Much less possess.

Amphis also, in his Ulysses, mentions the Megallian unguent in the following passage—

A. Adorn the walls all round with hangings rich,
Milesian work; and then anoint them o'er
[Pg 1104]
With sweet megallium, and also burn
The royal mindax.
B. Where did you, O master,
E'er hear the name of such a spice as that?

Anaxandrides, too, in his Tereus, says—

And like the illustrious bride, great Basilis,
She rubs her body with megallian unguent.

Menander speaks of an unguent made of spikenard, in his Cecryphalus, and says—

A. This unguent, boy, is really excellent.
B. Of course it is, 'tis spikenard.

43. And anointing oneself with an unguent of this description, Alcæus calls μυρίσασθαι, in his Palæstræ, speaking thus—

Having anointed her (μυρίσασα), she shut her up
In her own stead most secretly.

But Aristophanes uses not μυρίσματα, but μυρώματα, in his Ecclesiazusæ, saying—

I who 'm anointed (μεμύρισμαι) o'er my head with unguents

There was also an unguent called sagda, which is mentioned by Eupolis in his Coraliscus, where he writes—

And baccaris, and sagda too.

And it is spoken of likewise by Aristophanes, in his Daitaleis; and Eupolis in his Marica says—

And all his breath is redolent of sagda:

which expression Nicander of Thyatira understands to be meant as an attack upon a man who is too much devoted to luxury. But Theodoras says, that sagda is a species of spice used in fumigation.

44. Now a cotyla of unguent used to be sold for a high price at Athens, even, as Hipparchus says in his Nocturnal Festival, for as much as five minæ; but as Menander, in his Misogynist, states, for ten. And Antiphanes, in his Phrearrus, where he is speaking of the unguent called stacte, says—

The stacte at two minæ's not worth having.

Now the citizens of Sardis were not the only people addicted to the use of unguents, as Alexis says in his Maker of Goblets—

The whole Sardian people is of unguents fond;

but the Athenians also, who have always been the leaders of every refinement and luxury in human life, used them very [Pg 1105] much; so that among them, as has been already mentioned, they used to fetch an enormous price; but, nevertheless, they did not abstain from the use of them on that account; just as we now do not deny ourselves scents which are so expensive and exquisite that those things are mere trifles which are spoken of in the Settler of Alexis—

For he did use no alabaster box
From which t'anoint himself; for this is but
An ordinary, and quite old-fashion'd thing.
But he let loose four doves all dipp'd in unguents,
Not of one kind, but each in a different sort;
And then they flew around, and hovering o'er us,
Besprinkled all our clothes and tablecloths.
Envy me not, ye noble chiefs of Greece;
For thus, while sacrificing, I myself
Was sprinkled o'er with unguent of the iris.

45. Just think, in God's name, my friends, what luxury, or I should rather say, what profuse waste it was to have one's garments sprinkled in this manner, when a man might have taken up a little unguent in his hands, as we do now, and in that manner have anointed his whole body, and especially his head. For Myronides says, in his treatise on Unguents and Garlands, that "the fashion of anointing the head at banquets arose from this:—that those men whose heads are naturally dry, find the humours which are engendered by what they eat, rise up into their heads; and on this account, as their bodies are inflamed by fevers, they bedew their heads with lotions, so as to prevent the neighbouring humours from rising into a part which is dry, and which also has a considerable vacuum in it. And so at their banquets, having consideration for this fact, and being afraid of the strength of the wine rising into their heads, men have introduced the fashion of anointing their heads, and by these means the wine, they think, will have less effect upon them, if they make their head thoroughly wet first. And as men are never content with what is merely useful, but are always desirous to add to that whatever tends to pleasure and enjoyment; in that way they have been led to adopt the use of unguents."

We ought, therefore, my good cynic Theodorus, to use at banquets those unguents which have the least tendency to produce heaviness, and to employ those which have astringent [Pg 1106] or cooling properties very sparingly. But Aristotle, that man of most varied learning, raises the question, "Why men who use unguents are more grey than others? Is it because unguents have drying properties by reason of the spices used in their composition, so that they who use them become dry, and the dryness produces greyness? For whether greyness arises from a drying of the hair, or from a want of natural heat, at all events dryness has a withering effect. And it is on this account too that the use of hats makes men grey more quickly; for by them the moisture which ought to nourish the hair is taken away."

46. But when I was reading the twenty-eighth book of the History of Posidonius, I observed, my friends, a very pleasant thing which was said about unguents, and which is not at all foreign to our present discussion. For the philosopher says—"In Syria, at the royal banquets, when the garlands are given to the guests, some slaves come in, having little bladders full of Babylonian perfumes, and going round the room at a little distance from the guests, they bedew their garlands with the perfumes, sprinkling nothing else." And since the discussion has brought us to this point, I will add

A verse to Love,

as the bard of Cythera says, telling you that Janus, who is worshipped as a great god by us, and whom we call Janus Pater, was the original inventor of garlands. And Dracon of Corcyra tells us this in his treatise on Precious Stones, where his words are—"But it is said that Janus had two faces, the one looking forwards and the other backwards; and that it is from him that the mountain Janus and the river Janus are both named, because he used to live on the mountain. And they say that he was the first inventor of garlands, and boats, and ships; and was also the first person who coined brazen money. And on this account many cities in Greece, and many in Italy and Sicily, place on their coins a head with two faces, and on the obverse a boat, or a garland, or a ship. And they say that he married his sister Camise, and had a son named Æthax, and a daughter Olistene. And he, aiming at a more extended power and renown, sailed over to Italy, and settled on a mountain near Rome, which was called Janiculum from his name."


47. This, now, is what was said about perfumes and some unguents. And after this most of them asked for wine, [Pg 1107] some demanding the Cup of the Good Deity, others that of Health, and different people invoking different deities; and so they all fell to quoting the words of those poets who had mentioned libations to these different deities; and I will now recapitulate what they said, for they quoted Antiphanes, who, in his Clowns, says—

Harmodius was invoked, the pæan sung,
Each drank a mighty cup to Jove the Saviour.

And Alexis, in his Usurer, or The Liar, says—

A. Fill now the cup with the libation due
To Jove the Saviour; for he surely is
Of all the gods most useful to mankind.
B. Your Jove the Saviour, if I were to burst,
Would nothing do for me.
A. Just drink, and trust him.

And Nicostratus, in his Pandrosos, says—

And so I will, my dear;
But fill him now a parting cup to Health;
Here, pour a due libation out to Health.
Another to Good Fortune. Fortune manages
All the affairs of men; but as for Prudence,—
That is a blind irregular deity.

And in the same play he mentions mixing a cup in honour of the Good Deity, as do nearly all the poets of the old comedy; but Nicostratus speaks thus—

Fill a cup quickly now to the Good Deity,
And take away this table from before me;
For I have eaten quite enough;—I pledge
This cup to the Good Deity;—here, quick, I say,
And take away this table from before me.

Xenarchus, too, in his Twins, says—

And now when I begin to nod my head,
The cup to the Good Deity  *  *              *              *              *              *
That cup, when I had drain'd it, near upset me;
And then the next libation duly quaff'd
To Jove the Saviour, wholly wreck'd my boat,
And overwhelm'd me as you see.

And Eriphus, in his Melibœa, says—

Before he'd drunk a cup to the Good Deity,
Or to great Jove the Saviour.

48. And Theophrastus, in his essay on Drunkenness, says—"The unmixed wine which is given at a banquet, which they call the pledge-cup in honour of the Good Deity, they offer in small quantities, as if reminding the guests of its strength, [Pg 1108] and of the liberality of the god, by the mere taste. And they hand it round when men are already full, in order that there may be as little as possible drunk out of it. And having paid adoration three times, they take it from the table, as if they were entreating of the gods that nothing may be done unbecomingly, and that they may not indulge in immoderate desires for this kind of drink, and that they may derive only what is honourable and useful from it." And Philochorus, in the second book of his Atthis, says—"And a law was made at that time, that after the solid food is removed, a taste of the unmixed wine should be served round as a sort of sample of the power of the Good Deity, but that all the rest of the wine should be previously mixed; on which account the Nymphs had the name given them of Nurses of Bacchus." And that when the pledge-cup to the Good Deity was handed round, it was customary to remove the tables, is made plain by the wicked action of Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily. For there was a table of gold placed before the statue of Æsculapius at Syracuse; and so Dionysius, standing before it, and chinking a pledge-cup to the Good Deity, ordered the table to be removed.

But among the Greeks, those who sacrifice to the Sun, as Phylarchus tells us in the twelfth book of his History, make their libations of honey, as they never bring wine to the altars of the gods; saying that it is proper that the god who keeps the whole universe in order, and regulates everything, and is always going round and superintending the whole, should in no respect be connected with drunkenness.

49. Most writers have mentioned the Attic Scolia; and they are worthy also of being mentioned by me to you, on account of the antiquity and simple style of composition of the authors, and of those especially who gained a high reputation for that description of poetry, Alcæus and Anacreon; as Aristophanes says in his Daitaleis, where we find this line—

Come, then, a scolium sing to me,
Of old Alcæus or Anacreon.

Praxilla, the Sicyonian poetess, was also celebrated for the composition of scolia. Now they are called scolia, not because of the character of the verse in which they are written, as if it were σκολιὸς (crooked); for men call also [Pg 1109] those poems written in a laxer kind of metre σκολιά. But, "as there are three kinds of songs" (as Artemo of Cassandra says in the second book of his treatise on the Use of Books), "one or other of which comprehends everything which is sung at banquets; the first kind is that which it was usual for the whole party to sing; the second is that which the whole party indeed sang, not, however, together, but going round according to some kind of succession; the third is that which is ranked lowest of all, which was not sung by all the guests, but only by those who seemed to understand what was to be done, wherever they might happen to be sitting; on which account, as having some irregularity in it beyond what the other kinds had, in not being sung by all the guests, either together or in any definite kind of succession, but just as it might happen, it was called σκολιόν. And songs of this kind were sung when the ordinary songs, and those in which every one was bound to join, had come to an end. For then they invited all the more intelligent of the guests to sing some song worth listening to. And what they thought worth listening to were such songs as contained some exhortations and sentiments which seemed useful for the purposes of life."

50. And of these Deipnosophists, one quoted one scolium, and one another. And these were those which were recited—


O thou Tritonian Pallas, who from heaven above
Look'st with protecting eye
On this holy city and land,
Deign our protectress now to prove
From loss in war, from dread sedition's band.
And death's untimely blow, thou and thy father Jove.


I sing at this glad season, of the Queen,
Mother of Plutus, heavenly Ceres;
May you be ever near us,
You and your daughter Proserpine,
And ever as a friend
This citadel defend.


Latona once in Delos, as they say,
Did two great children bear,
Apollo with the golden hair,
Bright Phœbus, god of day.
And Dian, mighty huntress, virgin chaste.
On whom all women's trust is placed.

[Pg 1110]


Raise the loud shout to Pan, Arcadia's king;
Praise to the Nymphs' loved comrade sing!
Come, O Pan, and raise with me
The song in joyful ecstasy.


We have conquer'd as we would,
The gods reward us as they should,
And victory bring from Pandrosos[138]
to Pallas.


Oh, would the gods such grace bestow,
That opening each man's breast,
One might survey his heart, and know
How true the friendship that could stand that test.


Health's the best gift to mortal given;
Beauty is next; the third great prize
Is to grow rich, free both from sin and vice;
The fourth, to pass one's youth with friends beloved by heaven.

And when this had been sung, and everybody had been delighted with it; and when it had been mentioned that even the incomparable Plato had spoken of this scolium as one most admirably written, Myrtilus said, that Anaxandrides the comic poet had turned it into ridicule in his Treasure, speaking thus of it—

The man who wrote this song, whoe'er he was,
When he call'd health the best of all possessions,
Spoke well enough. But when the second place
He gave to beauty, and the third to riches,
He certainly was downright mad; for surely
Riches must be the next best thing to health,
For who would care to be a starving beauty?

After that, these other scolia were sung—


'Tis well to stand upon the shore,
And look on others on the sea;
But when you once have dipp'd your oar,
By the present wind you must guided be.


A crab caught a snake in his claw,
And thus he triumphantly spake,—
"My friends must be guided by law,
Nor love crooked counsels to take."

[Pg 1111]



I'll wreathe my sword in myrtle-bough,
The sword that laid the tyrant low,
When patriots, burning to be free,
To Athens gave equality.[139]


Harmodius, hail! though reft of breath,
Thou ne'er shalt feel the stroke of death.
The happy heroes' isles shall be
The bright abode allotted thee.


I'll wreathe the sword in myrtle-bough,
The sword that laid Hipparchus low,
When at Minerva's adverse fane
He knelt, and never rose again.


While Freedom's name is understood,
You shall delight the wise and good;
You dared to set your country free,
And gave her laws equality.


Learn, my friend, from Admetus' story,
All worthy friends and brave to cherish;
But cowards shun when danger comes,
For they will leave you alone to perish,


Ajax of the ponderous spear, mighty son of Telamon,
They call you bravest of the Greeks, next to the great Achilles,
Telamon came first, and of the Greeks the second man
Was Ajax, and with him there came invincible Achilles.


Would that I were an ivory lyre,
Struck by fair boys to great Iacchus' taste;
Or golden trinket pure from fire,
Worn by a lady fair, of spirit chaste.


Drink with me, and sport with me,
Love with me, wear crowns with me,
Be mad with me when I am moved with rage,
And modest when I yield to counsels sage.


A scorpion 'neath every stone doth lie,
And secrets usually hide treachery.

[Pg 1112]


A sow one acorn has, and wants its brother;
And I have one fair maid, and seek another.


A wanton and a bath-keeper both cherish the same fashion,
Giving the worthless and the good the self-same bath to wash in.


Give Cedon wine, O slave, and fill it up,
If you must give each worthy man a cup.


Alas! Leipsydrium, you betray
A host of gallant men,
Who for their country many a day
Have fought, and would again.
And even when they fell, their race
In their great actions you may trace.[140]


The man who never will betray his friend,
Earns fame of which nor earth nor heaven shall see the end.

Some also call that a scolium which was composed by Hybrias the Cretan; and it runs thus—


I have great wealth, a sword, and spear,
And trusty shield beside me here;
With these I plough, and from the vine
Squeeze out the heart-delighting wine;
They make me lord of everything.
But they who dread the sword and spear,
And ever trusty shield to bear,
Shall fall before me on their knees,
And worship me whene'er I please,
And call me mighty lord and king.

51. After this, Democritus said;—But the song which was composed by that most learned writer, Aristotle, and addressed to Hermias[141] of Atarneus, is not a pæan, as was asserted by Demophilus, who instituted a prosecution against the philosopher, on the ground of impiety (having been suborned to act [Pg 1113] the part of accuser by Eurymedon, who was ashamed to appear himself in the business). And he rested the charge of impiety on the fact of his having been accustomed to sing at banquets a pæan addressed to Hermias. But that this song has no characteristic whatever of a pæan, but is a species of scolium, I will show you plainly from its own language—

O virtue, never but by labour to be won,
First object of all human life,
For such a prize as thee
There is no toil, there is no strife,
Nor even death which any Greek would shun;
Such is the guerdon fair and free,
And lasting too, with which thou dost thy followers grace,—
Better than gold,
Better than sleep, or e'en the glories old
Of high descent and noble race.
For you Jove's mighty son, great Hercules,
Forsook a life of ease;
For you the Spartan brothers twain
Sought toil and danger, following your behests
With fearless and unwearied breasts.
Your love it was that fired and gave
To early grave
Achilles and the giant son
Of Salaminian Telamon.
And now for you Atarneus' pride,
Trusting in others' faith, has nobly died;
But yet his name
Shall never die, the Muses' holy train
Shall bear him to the skies with deathless fame,
Honouring Jove, the hospitable god,
And honest hearts, proved friendship's blest abode.

52. Now I don't know whether any one can detect in this any resemblance to a pæan, when the author expressly states in it that Hermias is dead, when he says—

And now for you Atarneus' pride,
Trusting in others' faith, has nobly died.

Nor has the song the burden, which all pæans have, of Io Pæan, as that song written on Lysander the Spartan, which really is a pæan, has; a song which Duris, in his book entitled The Annals of the Samians, says is sung in Samos. That also was a pæan which was written in honour of Craterus the Macedonian, of which Alexinus the logician was the author, as Hermippus the pupil of Callimachus says in the first book of his Essay on Aristotle. And this song is sung at Delphi, with a boy playing the lyre as an accompaniment [Pg 1114] to it. The song, too, addressed to Agemon of Corinth, the father of Alcyone, which the Corinthians sang, contains the burden of the pæan. And this burden, too, is even added by Polemo Periegetes to his letter addressed to Aranthius. The song also which the Rhodians sing, addressed to Ptolemy the first king of Egypt, is a pæan: for it contains the burden Io Pæan, as Georgus tells us in his essay on the Sacrifices at Rhodes. And Philochorus says that the Athenians sing pæans in honour of Antigonus and Demetrius, which were composed by Hermippus of Cyzicus, on an occasion when a great many poets had a contest as to which could compose the finest pæan, and the victory was adjudged to Hermippus. And, indeed, Aristotle himself, in his Defence of himself from this accusation of impiety, (unless the speech is a spurious one,) says—"For if I had wished to offer sacrifice to Hermias as an immortal being, I should never have built him a tomb as a mortal; nor if I had wished to make him out to be a god, should I have honoured him with funeral obsequies like a man."

53. When Democritus had said this, Cynulcus said;—Why do you remind me of those cyclic poems, to use the words of your friend Philo, when you never ought to say anything serious or important in the presence of this glutton Ulpian? For he prefers lascivious songs to dignified ones; such, for instance, as those which are called Locrian songs, which are of a debauched sort of character, such as—

Do you not feel some pleasure now?
Do not betray me, I entreat you.
Rise up before the man comes back,
Lest he should ill-treat you and me.
'Tis morning now, dost thou not see
The daylight through the windows?

And all Phœnicia is full of songs of this kind; and he himself, when there, used to go about playing on the flute with the men who sing colabri.[142] And there is good authority, Ulpian, for this word κόλαβροι. For Demetrius the Scepsian, in the tenth book of his Trojan Array, speaks thus:—"Ctesiphon the Athenian, who was a composer of the songs called κόλαβροι, was made by Attalus, who succeeded Philetærus as king of Pergamus, judge of all his subjects in the [Pg 1115] Æolian district." And the same writer, in the nineteenth book of the same work, says that Seleucus the composer of merry songs was the son of Mnesiptolemus, who was an historian, and who had great interest with that Antiochus who was surnamed the Great. And it was very much the fashion to sing this song of his—

I will choose a single life,
That is better than a wife;
Friends in war a man stand by,
While the wife stays at home to cry.

54. And after this, looking towards Ulpian, he said;—But since you are out of humour with me, I will explain to you what the Syrbenæan chorus is. And Ulpian said;—Do you think, you wretch, that I am angry at what you say, or even that I pay the least attention to it, you shameless hound? But since you profess to teach me something, I will make a truce with you, not for thirty, but for a hundred years; only tell me what the Syrbenæan chorus is. Then, said he, Clearchus, my good friend, in the second book of his treatise on Education, writes thus—"There remains the Syrbenæan chorus, in which every one is bound to sing whatever he pleases, without paying the least attention to the man who sits in the post of honour and leads the chorus. And indeed he is only a more noisy spectator." And in the words of Matron the parodist—

For all thoe men who heroes were of old,
Eubæus, and Hermogenes, and Philip,
Are dead, and settlers in dark Pluto's realms;
But Cleonicus has a life secure
From all th' attacks of age; he's deeply skill'd
In all that bards or theatres concerns;
And even now he's dead, great Proserpine
Allows his voice still to be heard on earth.

But you, even while you are alive, ask questions about everything, but never give information on any subject yourself. And he replied, who  .  .  .  .  ? while the truce between us lasts.

55. And Cynulcus said;—There have been many poets who have applied themselves to the composition of parodies, my good friend; of whom the most celebrated was Eubœus of Paros, who lived in the time of Philip; and he is the man who attacked the Athenians a great deal. And four books of his Parodies are preserved. And Timon also mentions him, in [Pg 1116] the first book of his Silli. But Polemo, in the twelfth book of his Argument against Timæus, speaking of the men who have written parodies, writes thus—"And I should call Bœotus and Eubœus, who wrote parodies, men of great reputation, on account of their cleverness in sportive composition, and I consider that they surpass those ancient poets whose followers they were. Now, the invention of this kind of poetry we must attribute to Hipponax the Iambic poet. For he writes thus, in his Hexameters,—

Muse, sing me now the praises of Eurymedon,
That great Charybdis of the sea, who holds
A sword within his stomach, never weary
With eating. Tell me how the votes may pass
Condemning him to death, by public judgment,
On the loud-sounding shore of the barren sea.

Epicharmus of Syracuse also uses the same kind of poetry, in a small degree, in some of his plays; and so does Cratinus, a poet of the old Comedy, in his Eunidæ, and so also does his contemporary, Hegemon of Thasos, whom they used to call Lentil. For he writes thus—

And when I Thasos reach'd they took up filth,
And pelted me therewith, by which aroused
Thus a bystander spoke with pitiless heart:—
O most accursed of men, who e'er advised you
To put such dirty feet in such fine slippers?
And quickly I did this brief answer make:—
'Twas gain that moved me, though against my will,
(But I am old;) and bitter penury;
Which many Thasians also drives on shipboard,
Ill-manner'd youths, and long-ruin'd old men:
Who now sing worthless songs about the place.
Those men I join'd when fit for nothing else;
But I will not depart again for gain,
But doing nothing wrong, I'll here deposit
My lovely money among the Thasians:
Lest any of the Grecian dames at home
Should be enraged when they behold my wife
Making Greek bread, a poor and scanty meal.
Or if they see a cheesecake small, should say,—
"Philion, who sang the 'Fierce Attack' at Athens,
Got fifty drachmas, and yet this is all
That you sent home."—While I was thinking thus,
And in my mind revolving all these things,
Pallas Minerva at my side appear'd,
And touch'd me with her golden sceptre, saying,
"O miserable and ill-treated man,
Poor Lentil, haste thee to the sacred games."
Then I took heart, and sang a louder strain.

[Pg 1117]


56. "Hermippus also, the poet of the old Comedy, composed parodies. But the first writer of this kind who ever descended into the arena of theatrical contests was Hegemon, and he gained the prize at Athens for several parodies; and among them, for his Battle of the Giants. He also wrote a comedy in the ancient fashion, which is called Philinna. Eubœus also was a man who exhibited a good deal of wit in his poems; as, for instance, speaking about the Battle of the Baths, he said—

They one another smote with brazen ἐγχείῃσι,

[as if ἐγχεία, instead of meaning a spear, were derived from ἐγχέω, to pour in.] And speaking of a barber who was being abused by a potter on account of some woman, he said—

But seize not, valiant barber, on this prize,
Nor thou Achilles....[143]

And that these men were held in high estimation among the Sicilians, we learn from Alexander the Ætolian, a composer of tragedies, who, in an elegy, speaks as follows:—

The man whom fierce Agathocles did drive
An exile from his land, was nobly born
Of an old line of famous ancestors,
And from his early youth he lived among
The foreign visitors; and thoroughly learnt
The dulcet music of Mimnermus' lyre,
And follow'd his example;—and he wrote,
In imitation of great Homer's verse,
The deeds of cobblers, and base shameless thieves,
Jesting with highly-praised felicity,
Loved by the citizens of fair Syracuse.
But he who once has heard Bœotus' song,
Will find but little pleasure in Eubœus."

57. After all this discussion had been entered into on many occasions, once when evening overtook us, one of us said,—Boy, bring a light (λύχνειον). But some one else used the word λυχνεὼς, and a third called it λοφνίας, saying that that was the proper name for a torch made of bark; another called it πανός; and another φανός.—This one used the word λυχνοῦχος, and that one λύχνος. Some one else again said ἐλάνη, and another said ἕλαναι, insisting on it that that was the proper name for a lamp, being derived from ἔλη, brightness; [Pg 1118] and urging that Neanthes used this word in the first book of his History of Attalus. Others, again, of the party made use of whatever other words they fancied; so that there was no ordinary noise; while all were vying with one another in adducing every sort of argument which bore upon the question. For one man said that Silenus, the dictionary-maker, mentioned that the Athenians call lamps φανοί. But Timachidas of Rhodes asserts that for φανὸς, the word more properly used is δέλετρον, being a sort of lantern which young men use when out at night, and which they themselves call ἕλαναι. But Amerias for φανὸς uses the word γράβιον. And this word is thus explained by Seleucus:—"Γράβιον is a stick of ilex or common oak, which, being pounded and split, is set on fire, and used to give light to travellers. Accordingly Theodoridas of Syracuse, in his Centaurs, which is a dithyrambic poem, says—

The pitch dropp'd down beneath the γράβια,
As if from torches.

Strattis also, mentions the γράβια in his Phœnician Women."

58. But that what are now called φανοὶ used to be called λυχνοῦχοι, we learn from Aristophanes, in his Æolosicon—

I see the light shining all o'er his cloak,
As from a new λυχνοῦχος.

And, in the second edition of the Niobus, having already used the word λυχνοῦχος, he writes—

Alas, unhappy man! my λύχνιον's lost;

after which, he adds—

*              *              *              *              *

And, in his play called The Dramas, he calls the same thing λυχνίδιον, in the following lines—

But you all lie
Fast as a candle in a candlestick (λυχνίδιον).

Plato also, in his Long Night, says—

The undertakers sure will have λυχνοῦχοι.

And Pherecrates, in his Slave Teacher, writes—

Make haste and go, for now the night descends,
And bring a lantern (λυχνοῦχον) with a candle furnish'd.

Alexis too, in his Forbidden Thing, says—

So taking out the candle from the lantern (λύχνιον),
He very nearly set himself on fire,
Carrying the light beneath his arm much nearer
His clothes than any need at all required.

[Pg 1119]


And Eumelus, in his Murdered Man  .  .  .  having said first—

A. Take now a pitchfork and a lantern (λυχνοῦχον),


B. But I now in my right hand hold this fork,
An iron weapon 'gainst the monsters of the sea;
And this light too, a well-lit horn lantern (λὑχνου).

And Alexis says, in his Midon—

The man who first invented the idea
Of walking out by night with such a lantern (λυχνούχου),
Was very careful not to hurt his fingers.

59. But the same Alexis says, in his Fanatic—

I think that some of those I meet will blame
For being drunk so early in the day;
But yet I pray you where's a lantern (φανὸς) equal
To the sweet light of the eternal sun?

And Anaxandrides, in his Insolence, says—

Will you take your lantern (φανόν) now, and quickly
Light me a candle (λύχνον)?

But others assert that it is a lamp which is properly called φανὸς. And others assert that φανὸς means a bundle of matches made of split wood. Menander says, in his Cousins—

This φανὸς is quite full of water now,
I must not shake (σείω) it, but throw it away

And Nicostratus, in his Fellow-Countrymen, says—

For when this vintner in our neighbourhood
Sells any one some wine, or e'en a φανὸς,
Or vinegar, he always gives him water.

And Philippides, in his Women Sailing together, says—

A. The φανὸς did not give a bit of light.
B. Well, then, you wretched man, could not you blow it?

60. Pherecrates, in his Crapatalli, calls what we now call λυχνία, λυχνεῖον in this line—

A. Where were these λυχνεῖα made?
B.In Etruria.

For there were a great many manufactories in Etruria, as the Etrurians were exceedingly fond of works of art. Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—

Binding three long straight darts together,
We use them for a torch (λυχνείῳ).

And Diphilus, in his Ignorance, says—

We lit a candle (λύχνον), and then sought a candlestick (λυχνεῖον).

And Euphorion, in his Historic Commentaries, says that the young Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily dedicated, in the Prytaneum at Tarentum, a candlestick capable of containing as great a number of candles as [Pg 1120] there are days in a year. And Hermippus the comic poet, in his Iambics, speaks of—

A military candlestick well put together.

And, in his play called The Grooms, he says—

Here, lamp (λυχνίδιον), show me my road on the right hand.

Now, πανὸς was a name given to wood cut into splinters and bound together, which they used for a torch: Menander, in his Cousins, says—

He enter'd, and cried out,
"Πανὸν, λύχνον, λυχνοῦχον any light—"
Making one into many.

And Diphilus, in his Soldier, says—

But now this πανὸς is quite full of water.

And before them Æschylus, in his Agamemnon, had used the word πανός—

*              *              *              *              *[144]

61. Alexis, too, uses the word ξυλολυχνούχου, and perhaps this is the same thing as that which is called by Theopompus ὀβελισκολύχνιον. But Philyllius calls λαμπάδες, δᾷδε. But the λύχνος, or candle, is not an ancient invention; for the ancients used the light of torches and other things made of wood. Phrynichus, however, says—

Put out the λύχνον,
*              *              *              *              *

Plato too, in his Long Night, says—

And then upon the top he'll have a candle,
Bright with two wicks.

And these candles with two wicks are mentioned also by Metagenes, in his Man fond of Sacrificing; and by Philonides in his Buskins. But Clitarchus, in his Dictionary, says that the Rhodians give the name of λοφνὶς to a torch made of the bark of the vine. But Homer calls torches δεταί—

The darts fly round him from an hundred hands,
And the red terrors of the blazing brands (δεταὶ),
Till late, reluctant, at the dawn of day,
Sour he departs, and quits th' untasted prey.[145]

[Pg 1121]


A torch was also called ἑλάνη, as Amerias tells us; but Nicander of Colophon says that ἑλάνη means a bundle of rushes. Herodotus uses the word in the neuter plural, λύχνα, in the second book of his History.

Cephisodorus, in his Pig, uses the word λυχναψία, for what most people call λυχνοκαυτία, the lighting of candles.

And Cynulcus, who was always attacking Ulpian, said;—But now, my fine supper-giver, buy me some candles for a penny, that, like the good Agathon, I may quote this line of the admirable Aristophanes—

Bring now, as Agathon says, the shining torches (πεύκας);

and when he had said this—

Putting his tail between his lion's feet,

he left the party, being very sleepy.

62. Then, when many of the guests cried out Io Pæan, Pontianus said;—I wish, my friends, to learn from you whether Io Pæan is a proverb, or the burden of a song, or what else it is. And Democritus replied;—Clearchus the Solensian, inferior to none of the pupils of the wise Aristotle, in the first book of his treatise on Proverbs, says that "Latona, when she was taking Apollo and Diana from Chalcis in Eubœa to Delphi, came to the cave which was called the cave of the Python. And when the Python attacked them, Latona, holding one of her children in her arms, got upon the stone which even now lies at the foot of the brazen statue of Latona, which is dedicated as a representation of what then took place near the Plane-tree at Delphi, and cried out Ἵε, παῖ; (and Apollo happened to have his bow in hand;) and this is the same as if she had said Ἄφιε,Ἵε, παῖ, or Βάλε, παῖ, Shoot, boy. And from this day Ἵε, παῖ and Ἵε, παιὼν arose. But some people, slightly altering the word, use it as a sort of proverbial exclamation to avert evils, and say ἰη παιὼν, instead of Ἵε, παῖ. And many also, when they have completed any undertaking, say, as a sort of proverb, ἰὴ παιὼν; but since it is an expression that is familiar to us it is forgotten that it is a proverb, and they who use it are not aware that they are uttering a proverb."

But as for what Heraclides of Pontus says, that is clearly a mistake, "That the god himself, while offering a libation, thrice cried out ἱη παιὰν, ἵη παιών." From a belief in which statement he refers the trimeter verse, as it is called, to the god, saying "that each of these metres belongs to the god; because when the first two [Pg 1122] syllables are made long, ἵη παιὰν, it becomes a heroic verse, but when they are pronounced short it is an iambic, and thus it is plain that we must attribute the iambic to him. And as the rest are short, if any one makes the last two syllables of the verse long, that makes a Hipponactean iambic.

63. And after this, when we also were about to leave the party, the slaves came in bringing, one an incense burner, and another  .  .  .  . For it was the custom for the guests to rise up and offer a libation, and then to give the rest of the unmixed wine to the boy, who brought it to them to drink.

Ariphron the Sicyonian composed this Pæan to Health—

O holiest Health, all other gods excelling,
May I be ever blest
With thy kind favour, and for all the rest
Of life I pray thee ne'er desert my dwelling;
For if riches pleasure bring,
Or the power of a king,
Or children smiling round the board,
Or partner honour'd and adored,
Or any other joy
Which the all-bounteous gods employ
To raise the hearts of men,
Consoling them for long laborious pain;
All their chief brightness owe, kind Health, to you;
You are the Graces' spring,
'Tis you the only real bliss can bring,
And no man's blest when you are not in view,
*              *              *              *             

64. They know.—For Sopater the farce-writer, in his play entitled The Lentil, speaks thus—

I can both carve and drink Etruscan wine,
In due proportion mix'd.

These things, my good Timocrates, are not, as Plato says, the sportive conversations of Socrates in his youth and beauty, but the serious discussions of the Deipnosophists; for, as Dionysius the Brazen says,—

What, whether you begin or end a work,
Is better than the thing you most require?
*              *              *              *              *


[109] This is one of the fragments of unknown plays of Euripides.

[110] The original text here is very corrupt, and the meaning uncertain.

[111] This is parodied from Homer, Iliad, iv. 204,—

Ὄρσ', Ἀσκληπιάδη, καλέει κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων.

[112] Casaubon says these tools (σκευάρια) were the κρηπῖδες (boots) and κότυλος (small cup) mentioned in the following iambics.

[113] This line, and one or two others in this fragment, are hopelessly corrupt.

[114] The manes was a small brazen figure.

[115] The text here is corrupt, and is printed by Schweighauser—

Τοῦ δ' ἀγκυλητοῦ κόσσαβός ἐστι σκοπὸς
Ἐκτεμὼν ἡβῶσα χεὶρ ἀφίετο,

which is wholly unintelligible; but Schweighauser gives an emended reading, which is that translated above.

[116] See below, c. 54.

[117] Iliad, i. 470.

[118] Odyss. viii. 170.

[119] Schweighauser confesses himself unable to guess what is meant by these words.

[120] See the account of this battle, Herod, i. 82.

[121] The Gymnopædiæ, or "Festival of naked Youths," was celebrated at Sparta every year in honour of Apollo Pythæus, Diana, and Latona. And the Spartan youths danced around the statues of these deities in the forum. The festival seems to have been connected with the victory gained over the Argives at Thyrea, and the Spartans who had fallen in the battle were always praised in songs on the occasion.—V. Smith, Dict. Gr. Lat. Ant. in voc.

[122] Glaucus.

[123] The rest of this extract is so utterly corrupt, that Schweighauser says he despairs of it so utterly that he has not even attempted to give a Latin version of it.

[124] Ar. Thesm. 458.

[125] Phaselis is a town in Lycia. The land which worships Diana is the country about Ephesus and Magnesia, which last town is built where the Lethæus falls into the Mæander; and it appears that Diana was worshipped by the women of this district under the name of Leucophrys, from λευκὸς, white, and ὄφρυς, an eyebrow.

[126] The text here is hopelessly corrupt, and indeed is full of corruption for the next seven lines: I have followed the Latin version of Dalecampius.

[127] There is some corruption in this name.

[128] Hom. Odyss. xx. 17.

[129] Ibid. 13.

[130] Hom. Iliad, vii. 216.

[131] Iliad, x. 96.

[132] This is not from any extant play.

[133] Hom. Iliad, xxiii. 186.

[134] Ibid. xiv. 172.

[135] Ibid. xiv. 170.

[136] In the Thesmophoriazusæ Secundæ that is, which has not come down to us.

[137] Aristoph. Eccl. 1117.

[138] Pandrosos, according to Athenian mythology, was a daughter of Cecrops and Agraulos. She was worshipped at Athens, and had a temple near that of Minerva Polias.—Smith, Diet. Gr. and Rom. Biog.

[139] It is hardly necessary to say that this beautiful translation is by Lord Denman. It is given also at p. 176 of the translation of the Greek Anthology in this series.

[140] This refers to the Alcmæonidæ, who, flying from the tyranny of Hippias, after the death of Hipparchus, seized on and fortified the town Leipsydrium, on Mount Parnes, and were defeated and taken by the Pisistratidæ.—See Herod, v. 62.

[141] Hermias was tyrant of Atarneus and Assos, having been originally the minister of Eubulus, whom he succeeded. He entertained Aristotle at his court for many years. As he endeavoured to maintain his kingdom in independence of Persia, they sent Mentor against him, who decoyed him to an interview by a promise of safe conduct, and then seized him and sent him to Artaxerxes, by whom he was put to death.

[142] Colabri were a sort of song to which the armed dance called κολαβρισμὸς was danced.

[143] This is a parody on Iliad, i. 275,— Μήτε σὺ τόνδ' ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν, ἀποαίρεο κούρην, where Eubœus changes κούρην, maiden, into κουρεῖ, barber.

[144] There is a hiatus here in the text of Athenæus, but he refers to Ag. 284,—

πέγαν δὲ πανὸν ἐκ νήσου τρίτον
ἄθωον αἶπος Ζηνὸς ἐξεδέξατο,

where Clytæmnestra is speaking of the beacon fires, which had conveyed to her the intelligence of the fall of Troy.

[145] Iliad, xvii. 663.

[Pg 1123]




Apollodorus. (Book i. § 4, p. 4.)

There is a certain hospitable air
In a friend's house, that tells me I am welcome:
The porter opens to me with a smile;
The yard dog wags his tail, the servant runs,
Beats up the cushion, spreads the couch, and says—
"Sit down, good Sir!" e'er I can say I'm weary.—Cumberland.

Archestratus. (Book i. § 7, p. 7.)

I write these precepts for immortal Greece,
That round a table delicately spread,
Or three, or four, may sit in choice repast,
Or five at most. Who otherwise shall dine,
Are like a troop marauding for their prey.—D'Israeli.

Archilochus. (Book i. § 14, p. 11.)

Faith! but you quaff
The grape's pure juice to a most merry tune,
And cram your hungry maw most rav'nously.
And pay for't—not a doit. But mark me, Sirrah!
You come not here invited, as a friend.
Your appetite is gross;—your god's your belly;—
Your mind, your very, soul, incorpsed with gluttony,
Till you have lost all shame.—J. Bailey.

[Pg 1124]

Aristophanes. (Book i. § 55, p. 50.)

For the Athenian people neither love
Harsh crabbed bards, nor crabbed Pramnian wines,
Which pinch the face up and the belly too;
But mild, sweet-smelling, nectar-dropping cups.—Walsh.

Diphilus. (Book ii. § 2, p. 58.)

Oh! friend to the wise, to the children of song,
Take me with thee, thou wisest and sweetest, along;
To the humble, the lowly, proud thoughts dost thou bring,
For the wretch who has thee is as blythe as a king:
From the brows of the sage, in thy humorous play,
Thou dost smooth every furrow, every wrinkle away;
To the weak thou giv'st strength, to the mendicant gold,
And a slave warm'd by thee as a lion is bold.—J. A. St. John.

Eubulus. (Book ii. § 3, p. 59.)

Three cups of wine a prudent man may take;
The first of these for constitution's sake;
The second to the girl he loves the best;
The third and last to lull him to his rest,
Then home to bed! but if a fourth he pours,
That is the cup of folly, and not ours;
Loud noisy talking on the fifth attends;
The sixth breeds feuds and falling-out of friends;
Seven beget blows and faces stain'd with gore;
Eight, and the watch-patrole breaks ope the door;
Mad with the ninth, another cup goes round,
And the swill'd sot drops senseless to the ground.—Cumberland.

Epicharmus. (Book ii. § 3, p. 59.)

A. After sacrifice, then came feasting.
B. Beautiful, by Jupiter!
A. After feasting drink we merrily.
B. Charming! I do truly think.
[Pg 1125]
A. After drinking, follow'd revelry: after revelry, the whole hog:
After the whole hog, the justice: after that the sentence dire:
After which, chains, fetters, fines,—all that, and all that, and all that.—J. Bailey.

Bacchylides. (Book ii. § 10, p. 65.)

The goblet's sweet compulsion moves
The soften'd mind to melting loves.
The hope of Venus warms the soul,
Mingling in Bacchus' gifted bowl;
And buoyant lifts in lightest air
The soaring thoughts of human care.
Who sips the grape, with single blow
Lays the city's rampire low;
Flush'd with the vision of his mind
He acts the monarch o'er mankind.
His bright'ning roofs now gleam on high,
All burnish'd gold and ivory:
Corn-freighted ships from Egypt's shore
Waft to his feet the golden ore:
Thus, while the frenzying draught he sips,
His heart is bounding to his lips.—Elton.

The same.

Thirsty comrade! wouldst thou know
All the raptures that do flow
From those sweet compulsive rules
Of our ancient drinking schools—
First, the precious draught shall raise
Amorous thoughts in giddy maze,
Mingling Bacchus' present treasure
With the hopes of higher pleasure.
Next, shall chase through empty air
All th' intolerant host of Care;
Give thee conquest, riches, power;
Bid thee scale the guarded tower;
Bid thee reign o'er land and sea
With unquestion'd sov'reignty.
[Pg 1126]
Thou thy palace shalt behold,
Bright with ivory and gold;
While each ship that ploughs the main,
Fill'd with Egypt's choicest grain,
Shall unload her pon'drous store,
Thirsty comrade! at thy door.

Ephippos. (Book ii. § 30, p. 79.)

How I delight
To spring upon the dainty coverlets;
Breathing the perfume of the rose, and steep'd
In tears of myrrh!—J. A. St. John.

Alexis. (Book ii. § 44, p. 90.)

Mean my husband is, and poor,
And my blooming days are o'er.
Children have we two,—a boy,
Papa's pet and mamma's joy;
And a girl, so tight and small,
With her nurse;—that's five in all:
Yet, alas! alas! have we
Belly timber but for three!
Two must, therefore, often make
Scanty meal on barley-cake;
And sometimes, when nought appears
On the board, we sup on tears.
My good man, once so strong and hale,
On this fare grows very pale;
For our best and daintiest cheer,
Through the bright half of the year,
Is but acorns, onions, peas,
Ochros, lupines, radishes,
Vetches, wild pears nine or ten,
With a locust now and then.
As to figs, the Phrygian treat,
Fit for Jove's own guests to eat,
They, when happier moments shine,—
They, the Attic figs, are mine. —J. A. St. John.

[Pg 1127]

Epicrates. (Book ii. § 54, p. 98.)

A. I pray, you, Sir, (for I perceive you learn'd
In these grave matters,) let my ignorance suck
Some profit from your courtesy, and tell me
What are your wise philosophers engaged in,
Your Plato, Menedemus and Speusippus?
What mighty mysteries have they in projection?
What new discoveries may the world expect
From their profound researches? I conjure you,
By Earth, our common mother, to impart them!
B. Sir, you shall know at our great festival
I was myself their hearer, and so much
As I there heard will presently disclose,
So you will give it ears, for I must speak
Of things perchance surpassing your belief,
So strange they will appear; but so it happen'd,
That these most sage Academicians sate
In solemn consultation—on a cabbage.
A. A cabbage! what did they discover there?
B. Oh, Sir, your cabbage hath its sex and gender,
Its provinces, prerogatives and ranks,
And, nicely handled, breeds as many questions
As it does maggots. All the younger fry
Stood dumb with expectation and respect,
Wond'ring what this same cabbage should bring forth:
The Lecturer eyed them round, whereat a youth
Took heart, and breaking first the awful silence,
Humbly craved leave to think—that it was round:
The cause was now at issue, and a second
Opined it was an herb.—A third conceived
With due submission it might be a plant.
The difference methought was such, that each
Might keep his own opinion and be right;
But soon a bolder voice broke up the council,
And, stepping forward, a Sicilian quack
Told them their question was abuse of time,—
It was a cabbage, neither more nor less,
And they were fools to prate so much about it.
Insolent wretch! amazement seized the troop,
[Pg 1128]
Clamour and wrath and tumult raged amain,
Till Plato, trembling for his own philosophy,
And calmly praying patience of the court,
Took up the cabbage and adjourn'd the cause. —Cumberland.

Euripides. (Book ii. § 57, p. 101.)

Bright wanderer through the eternal way,
Has sight so sad as that which now
Bedims the splendour of thy ray,
E'er bid the streams of sorrow flow?
Here, side by side, in death are laid
Two darling boys, their mother's care;
And here their sister, youthful maid,
Near her who nursed and thought them fair. —J. A. St. John.

Menander. (Book ii. § 86, p. 119.)

A bore it is to take pot-luck, with welcome frank and hearty,
All at the board round which is placed a downright family-party.
Old daddy seizes first the cup, and so begins his story,
And lectures on, with saws and jokes—a Mentor in his glory.
The mother next, and grandam too, confound you with their babble;
And worse and worse, the grandam's sire will mump, and grunt, and
His daughter with her toothless gums, lisps out, "The dear old
And round and round the dotard nods, as fast as he grows mellow.— Anon.

The same.

From family repasts,
Where all the guests claim kin,—nephews and uncles,
And aunts and cousins to the fifth remove!
First you've the sire, a goblet in his hand,
And he deals out his dole of admonition;—
Then comes my lady-mother, a mere homily
[Pg 1129]
Reproof and exhortation!—at her heels
The aunt slips in a word of pious precept.
The grandsire last—a bass voice among trebles,
Thunder succeeding whispers, fires away.
Each pause between, his aged partner fills
With "lack-a-day!" "good sooth!" and "dearest dear!"
The dotard's head meantime for ever nods,
Encouraging her drivelling.—Anon.

Aristophanes. (Book iii. § 7, p. 126.)

There is no kind of fig, Whether little or big,
Save the Spartan, which here does not grow;
But this, though quite small,
Swells with hatred and gall,
A stern foe to the Demos, I trow.—J. A. St. John.

Stesichorus. (Book iii. § 21, p. 136.)

Many a yellow quince was there
Piled upon the regal chair,
Many a verdant myrtle-bough,
Many a rose-crown featly wreathed,
With twisted violets that grow
Where the breath of spring has breathed. —J. A. St. John.

Antigonus. (Book iii. § 22, p. 137.)

O where is the maiden, sweeter far
Than the ruddy fruits of Ephyrè are,
When the winds of summer have o'er them blown,
And their cheeks with autumn's gold have been strown! —J. A. St. John.

Antiphanes. (Book iii. § 27, p. 140.)

A. 'Twould be absurd to speak of what's to eat,
As if you thought of such things; but, fair maid,
Take of these apples.
B. Oh, how beautiful!
[Pg 1130]
A. They are, indeed, since hither they but lately
Have come from the great king.
B. By Phosphoros!
I could have thought them from the Hesperian bowers,
Where th' apples are of gold.
A. There are but three.
B. The beautiful is nowhere plentiful. —J. A. St. John.

Aristophanes. (Book iii. § 33, p. 145.)

Then every soul of them sat open-mouth'd,
Like roasted oysters gaping in a row. —J. H. Frere.

Archestratus. (Book iii. § 44, p. 154.)

For mussels you must go to Ænos; oysters
You'll find best at Abydos. Parion
Rejoices in its urchins; but if cockles
Gigantic and sweet-tasted you would eat,
A voyage must be made to Mitylene,
Or the Ambracian Gulf, where they abound
With many other dainties. At Messina,
Near to the Faro, are pelorian conchs,
Nor are those bad you find near Ephesos;
For Tethyan oysters, go to Chalcedon;
But for the Heralds, may Zeus overwhelm them
Both in the sea and in the agora!
Aye, all except my old friend Agathon,
Who in the midst of Lesbian vineyards dwells. —J. A. St. John.

Damoxenus. (Book iii. § 60, p. 170.)

Master Cook. Behold in me a pupil of the school
Of the sage Epicurus.
Friend. Thou a sage!
M. C. Ay! Epicurus too was sure a cook,
And knew the sovereign good. Nature his study,
While practice perfected his theory.
[Pg 1131]
Divine philosophy alone can teach
The difference which the fish Glociscus shows
In winter and in summer: how to learn
Which fish to choose, when set the Pleiades,
And at the solstice. 'Tis change of seasons
Which threats mankind, and shakes their changeful frame.
This dost thou comprehend? Know, what we use
In season, is most seasonably good!
Friend. Most learned cook, who can observe these canons?
M. C. And therefore phlegm and colics make a man
A most indecent guest. The aliment
Dress'd in my kitchen is true aliment;
Light of digestion easily it passes;
The chyle soft-blending from the juicy food
Repairs the solids.
Friend. Ah! the chyle! the solids!
Thou new Democritus! thou sage of medicine!
Versed in the mysteries of the Iatric art!
M. C. Now mark the blunders of our vulgar cooks.
See them prepare a dish of various fish,
Showering profuse the pounded Indian grain,
An overpowering vapour, gallimaufry,
A multitude confused of pothering odours!
But, know, the genius of the art consists
To make the nostrils feel each scent distinct;
And not in washing plates to free from smoke.
I never enter in my kitchen, I!
But sit apart, and in the cool direct,
Observant of what passes, scullions' toil.
Friend. What dost thou there?
M. C. I guide the mighty whole;
Explore the causes, prophesy the dish.
'Tis thus I speak: "Leave, leave that ponderous ham;
Keep up the fire, and lively play the flame
Beneath those lobster patties; patient here,
Fix'd as a statue, skim, incessant skim.
Steep well this small Glociscus in its sauce,
And boil that sea-dog in a cullender;
This eel requires more salt and marjoram;
Roast well that piece of kid on either side
Equal; that sweetbread boil not over much."
'Tis thus, my friend, I make the concert play.
[Pg 1132]
Friend. O man of science! 'tis thy babble kills!
M. C. And then no useless dish my table crowds;
Harmonious ranged, and consonantly just.
Friend. Ha! what means this?
M. C. Divinest music all!
As in a concert instruments resound,
My order'd dishes in their courses chime.
So Epicurus dictated the art
Of sweet voluptuousness, and ate in order,
Musing delighted o'er the sovereign good!
Let raving Stoics in a labyrinth
Run after virtue; they shall find no end.
Thou, what is foreign to mankind, abjure.—D'Israeli.

Bato.[146] (Book iii. § 61, p. 171.)

Father. Thou hast destroy'd the morals of my son,
And turn'd his mind, not so disposed, to vice,
Unholy pedagogue! With morning drams,
A filthy custom, which he caught from thee,
Clean from his former practice, now he saps
His youthful vigour. Is it thus you school him?
Sophist. And if I did, what harms him? Why complain you?
He does but follow what the wise prescribe,
The great voluptuous law of Epicurus,
Pleasure, the best of all good things on earth;
And how but thus can pleasure be obtained?
Father. Virtue will give it him.
Sophist. And what but virtue
Is our philosophy? When have you met
One of our sect flush'd and disguised with wine?
Or one, but one of those you tax so roundly,
On whom to fix a fault?
Father. Not one, but all,
All, who march forth with supercilious brow
High arch'd with pride, beating the city-rounds,
Like constables in quest of rogues and outlaws,
To find that prodigy in human nature,
A wise and perfect man! What is your science
[Pg 1133]
But kitchen-science? wisely to descant
Upon the choice bits of a savoury carp,
And prove by logic that his summum bonum
Lies in his head; there you can lecture well,
And, whilst your grey-beards wag, the gaping guest
Sits wondering with a foolish face of praise. —Cumberland.

Antiphanes. (Book iii. § 62, p. 172.)

O, what a fool is he,
Who dreams about stability, or thinks,
Good easy dolt! that aught in life's secure!
Security!—either a loan is ask'd;
Then house and all that it contains are gone
At one fell sweep—or you've a suit to meet,
And Law and Ruin ever are twin-brothers.—
Art named to a general's post? fines, penalties,
And debts upon the heels of office follow.
Do the stage-charges fall upon you? good:
The chorus must go clad in spangled robes,
Yourself may pace in rags. Far happier he
Who's named a trierarch:—he buys a halter
And wisely balks at once th' expensive office.—
Sleeping or waking, on the sea or land,
Among your menials or before your foes,
Danger and Insecurity are with you.
The very table, charged with viands, is
Mere mock'ry oft;—gives promise to the eye,
And breaks it to the lip. Is there nought safe then?
Yes, by the gods,—that which has pass'd the teeth,
And is in a state of deglutition: reckon
Yourself secure of that, and that alone:
All else is fleet, precarious, insecure. —Mitchell.

Alexis. (Book iii. § 86, p. 194.)

A. I must have all accounted for:
Item by item, charge by charge; or look ye:—
There's not a stiver to be had from me.
[Pg 1134]
B. 'Tis but a fair demand.
A. What hoa! within there!  [Calls to his servant.]
My style and tablets.      (Style and tablets are brought.)
Now, Sir, to your reckoning.
B. To salt a herring—price—two farthings—
A. Good.  [Writes.]
B. To mussels—three—
A. No villany as yet.      [Writes.]
B. Item, to eels—one obol—
A. Still you're guiltless.  [Writes.]
B. Next came the radishes; yourselves allow'd—
A. And we retract not—they were delicate
And good.
B. For these I touch two obols.
A. [Aside.] Tush!
The praise is in the bill—better our palates
Had been less riotous—onward.
B. To a rand
Of tunny-fish—this charge will break a sixpence.
A. Dealst on the square? no filching?—no purloining?—
B. No, not a doit—thou'rt green, good fellow, green;
And a mere novice yet in market-prices.
Why, man, the palmer-worms have fix'd their teeth
Upon the kitchen-herbs.
A. Ergo, salt fish
Bears twice its usual price—call you that logic?
B. Nay, if you've doubts—to the fishmonger straight,—
He lives and will resolve them.—To a conger-eel—
Ten obols.
A. I have nothing to object:
B. Item, broil'd fish—a drachma.
A. Fie on't!—
I was a man, and here's the fever come
With double force.
B. There's wine too in the bill,
Bought when my masters were well half-seas over—
Three pitchers, at ten obols to the pitcher.—Mitchell.

[Pg 1135]

Matron.[147] (Book iv. § 13, p. 220.)

The feast, for cookery's various cates renown'd,
By Attic host bestow'd, O Muse! resound.
There too I went, with hunger in my train,
And saw the loaves by hundreds pour'd amain,
Beauteous to view, and vast beyond compare,
Whiter than snow, and sweet as wheaten fare.
*             *              *              *              *              *
Then all to pot-herbs stretch'd their hands in haste,
But various viands lured my nicer taste;
Choice bulbs, asparagus, and, daintier yet,
Fat oysters help my appetite to whet.
*             *              *              *              *              *
Like Thetis' self, the silver-footed dame—
Great Nereus' daughter, curly cuttle came;
Illustrious fish! that sole amid the brine
With equal ease can black and white divine;
There too I saw the Tityus of the main,
Huge conger—countless plates his bulk sustain.
And o'er nine boards he rolls his cumbrous train!
*             *              *              *              *              *
Right up stairs, down stairs, over high and low,
The cook, with shoulder'd dishes marches slow,
And forty sable pots behind him go.
*             *              *              *              *              *
With these appear'd the Salaminian bands,
Thirteen fat ducklings borne by servile hands;
Proudly the cook led on the long array,
And placed them where the Athenian squadrons lay.
*             *              *              *              *              *
When now the rage of hunger was represt,
And the pure lymph had sprinkled every guest,
Sweet lilied unguents brought one blooming slave,
And one from left to right fresh garlands gave;
With Lesbian wine the bowl was quick supplied,
Man vied with man to drain the racy tide;
[Pg 1136]
Then groan'd the second tables laden high,
Where grapes and cool pomegranates please the eye,
The lusty apple, and the juicy pear—
Yet nought I touch'd, supinely lounging there;
But when the huge round cake of golden hue,
Ceres best offspring, met my raptured view,
No more these hands their eager grasp restrain,
How should such gift celestial tempt in vain? —D. K. Sandford.

Alexis. (Book iv. § 58, p. 264.)

How fertile in new tricks is Chærephon,
To sup scot-free and everywhere find welcome!
Spies he a broker's door with pots to let?
There from the earliest dawn he takes his stand,
To see whose cook arrives; from him he learns
Who 'tis that gives the feast,—flies to the house,
Watches his time, and, when the yawning door
Gapes for the guests, glides in among the first. —J. A. St. John.

Anaxippus. (Book iv. § 68, p. 271.)

Soup-ladle, flesh-hook, mortar, spit,
Bucket and haft, with tool to fit,
Such knives as oxen's hides explore,
Add dishes, be they three or more. —Mitchell.

Timocles. (Book vi. § 2, p. 354.)

Nay, my good friend, but hear me! I confess
Man is the child of sorrow, and this world,
In which we breathe, hath cares enough to plague us;
But it hath means withal to soothe these cares,
And he, who meditates on other's woes,
Shall in that meditation lose his own:
Call then the tragic poet to your aid,
Hear him, and take instruction from the stage:
Let Telephus appear; behold a prince,
[Pg 1137]
A spectacle of poverty and pain,
Wretched in both.—And what if you are poor?
Are you a demi-god? are you the son
Of Hercules? begone! complain no more.
Doth your mind struggle with distracting thoughts?
Do your wits wander? are you mad? Alas!
So was Alcmæon, whilst the world adored
His father as their God. Your eyes are dim;
What then? the eyes of Œdipus were dark,
Totally dark. You mourn a son; he's dead;
Turn to the tale of Niobe for comfort,
And match your loss with hers. You're lame of foot;
Compare it with the foot of Philoctetes,
And make no more complaint. But you are old,
Old and unfortunate; consult Oëneus;
Hear what a king endured, and learn content.
Sum up your miseries, number up your sighs,
The tragic stage shall give you tear for tear,
And wash out all afflictions but its own.—Cumberland.

From the same. (Book vi. § 3, p. 355.)

Bid me say anything rather than this;
But on this theme Demosthenes himself
Shall sooner check the torrent of his speech
Than I—Demosthenes! that angry orator,
That bold Briareus, whose tremendous throat,
Charged to the teeth with battering-rams and spears,
Beats down opposers; brief in speech was he,
But, crost in argument, his threat'ning eyes
Flash'd fire, whilst thunder vollied from his lips. —Cumberland.

Antiphanes. (Book vi. § 3, p. 355.)

I once believed the Gorgons fabulous:
But in the agora quickly changed my creed,
And turn'd almost to stone, the pests beholding
Standing behind the fish stalls. Forced I am
To look another way when I accost them,
Lest if I saw the fish they ask so much for,
I should at once grow marble. —J. A. St. John.

[Pg 1138]

The same.

I must confess that hitherto I deem'd
The Gorgons a mere fable, but just now
I stepp'd into the fish-market, and there
I saw, at once, the dread reality;
And I was petrified, indeed, so much,
That, to converse with them, I turn'd my back
For fear of being turn'd to stone; they ask'd
A price so high and so extravagant
For a poor despicable paltry fish.—Anon.

Amphis. (Book vi. § 5, p. 356.)

The general of an army is at least
A thousand times more easy of access,
And you may get an answer quicker too
Than from these cursed fishmongers: ask them
The price of their commodity, they hold
A wilful silence, and look down with shame,
Like Telephus; with reason good; for they
Are, one and all, without exception,
A set of precious scoundrels. Speak to one,
He'll measure you from top to toe, then look
Upon his fish, but still no answer give.
Turn o'er a polypus, and ask another
The price, he soon begins to swell and chafe,
And mutters out half-words between his teeth,
But nothing so distinct that you may learn
His real meaning—so many oboli;
But then the number you are still to guess,
The syllable is wilfully suppress'd,
Or left half utter'd. This you must endure,
And more, if you attend the fish-market. —Anon.

The same.

Ten thousand times more easy 'tis to gain
Admission to a haughty general's tent,
And have discourse of him, than in the market
Audience to get of a cursed fishmonger.
If you draw near and say, How much, my friend,
[Pg 1139]
Costs this or that?—No answer. Deaf you think
The rogue must be, or stupid; for he heeds not
A syllable you say, but o'er his fish
Bends silently, like Telephos (and with good reason,
For his whole race he knows are cut-throats all).
Another minding not, or else not hearing,
Pulls by the legs a polypus. A third
With saucy carelessness replies: "Four oboli,
That's just the price. For this no less than eight.
Take it or leave it!" —J. A. St. John.

Alexis. (Book vi. § 5, p. 356.)

When our victorious gen'rals knit their brows,
Assume a higher tone and loftier gait
Than common men, it scarcely moves my wonder—
Indeed 'tis natural that the commonwealth
Should give to public virtue just rewards—
They who have risk'd their lives to serve the state
Deserve its highest honours in return,
Place and precedence too above their fellows:
But I am choked with rage when I behold
These saucy fishmongers assume such airs,
Now throw their eyes disdainful down, and now
Lift their arch'd brows and wrinkle up their fronts—
"Say, at what price you sell this brace of mullets?"
"Ten oboli," they answer. "Sure you joke;
Ten oboli indeed! will you take eight?"
"Yes, if you choose but one."—"Come, come, be serious,
Nor trifle with your betters thus."—"Pass on,
And take your custom elsewhere." 'Tis enough
To move our bile to hear such insolence.—Anon.

The same.

However, this is still endurable.
But when a paltry fishfag will look big,
Cast down his eyes affectedly, or bend
His eyebrows upwards like a full-strain'd bow,
I burst with rage. Demand what price he asks
For—say two mullets; and he answers straight
[Pg 1140]
"Ten obols."—"Ten? That's dear: will you take eight?"
"Yes, if one fish will serve you."—"Friend, no jokes;
I am no subject for your mirth."—"Pass on, Sir!
And buy elsewhere."—Now tell me, is not this
Bitterer than gall?—J. A. St. John.

Diphilus. (Book vi. §6, p. 356.)

I once believed the fishmongers at Athens
Were rogues beyond all others. 'Tis not so;
The tribe are all the same, go where you will,
Deceitful, avaricious, plotting knaves,
And rav'nous as wild-beasts. But we have one
Exceeds the rest in baseness, and the wretch
Pretends that he has let his hair grow long
In rev'rence to the gods. The varlet lies.
He bears the marks of justice on his forehead,
Which his locks hide, and therefore they are long.
Accost him thus—"What ask you for that pike?"
"Ten oboli," he answers—not a word
About the currency—put down the cash,
He then objects, and tells you that he meant
The money of Ægina. If there's left
A balance in his hands, he'll pay you down
In Attic oboli, and thus secures
A double profit by the exchange of both.—Anon.

The same.

Troth, in my greener days I had some notion
That here at Athens only, rogues sold fish;
But everywhere, it seems, like wolf or fox
The race is treacherous by nature found.
However, we have one scamp in the agora
Who beats all others hollow. On his head
A most portentous fell of hair nods thick
And shades his brow. Observing your surprise,
He has his reasons pat; it grows forsooth
To form, when shorn, an offering to some god!
But that's a feint; 'tis but to hide the scars
[Pg 1141]
Left by the branding-iron upon his forehead.
But, passing that, you ask perchance the price
Of a sea-wolf—"Ten oboli"—very good.
You count the money. "Oh, not those," he cries,
"Æginetan I meant." Still you comply.
But if you trust him with a larger piece,
And there be change to give; mark how the knave
Now counts in Attic coin, and thus achieves
A two-fold robbery in the same transaction! —J. A. St. John.

Xenarchus. (Book vi. § 6, p. 357.)

Poets indeed! I should be glad to know
Of what they have to boast. Invention—no!
They invent nothing, but they pilfer much,
Change and invert the order, and pretend
To pass it off for new. But fishmongers
Are fertile in resources, they excel
All our philosophers in ready wit
And sterling impudence. The law forbids,
And strictly too, to water their stale fish—
How do they manage to evade the fine?
Why thus—when one of them perceives the board
Begins to be offensive, and the fish
Look dry and change their colour, he begins
A preconcerted quarrel with his neighbour.
They come to blows;—he soon affects to be
Most desperately beaten, and falls down,
As if unable to support himself,
Gasping for breath;—another, who the while
(Knowing the secret) was prepared to act,
Seizes a jar of water, aptly placed,
And scatters a few drops upon his friend,
Then empties the whole vessel on the fish,
Which makes them look so fresh that you would swear
They were just taken from the sea, —Anon.

The same.

Commend me for invention to the rogue
Who sells fish in the agora. He knows,—
[Pg 1142]
In fact there's no mistaking,—that the law
Clearly and formally forbids the trick
Of reconciling stale fish to the nose
By constant watering. But if some poor wight
Detect him in the fact, forthwith he picks
A quarrel, and provokes his man to blows.
He wheels meanwhile about his fish, looks sharp
To catch the nick of time, reels, feigns a hurt:
And prostrate falls, just in the right position.
A friend placed there on purpose, snatches up
A pot of water, sprinkles a drop or two,
For form's sake, on his face, but by mistake,
As you must sure believe, pours all the rest
Full on the fish, so that almost you might
Consider them fresh caught.—J. A. St. John.

Antiphanes. (Book vi. § 7, p. 357.)

What miserable wretched things are fish!
They are not only doom'd to death, to be
Devour'd, and buried in the greedy maw
Of some voracious glutton, but the knaves
Who sell them leave them on their board to rot,
And perish by degrees, till having found
Some purblind customer, they pass to him
Their dead and putrid carcases; but he,
Returning home, begins to nose his bargain,
And soon disgusted, casts them out with scorn.—Anon.

Alexis. (Book vi. § 8, p. 358.)

The rich Aristonicus was a wise
And prudent governor; he made a law
To this intent, that every fishmonger,
Having once fix'd his price, if after that
He varied, or took less, he was at once
Thrown into prison, that the punishment
Due to his crimes, still hanging o'er his head,
Might be a check on his rapacity,
[Pg 1143]
And make him ask a just and honest price,
And carry home his stale commodities.
This was a prudent law, and so enforced,
That youth or age might safely go to market
And bring home what was good at a fair price. —Anon.

Alexis. (Book VI. § 10, p. 359.)

I still maintain that fish do hold with men,
Living or dead, perpetual enmity.
For instance, now, a ship is overset,
As sometimes it may happen,—the poor wretches
Who might escape the dangers of the sea
Are swallow'd quick by some voracious fish.
If, on the other hand, the fishermen
Enclose the fish, and bring them safe to shore,
Dead as they are they ruin those who buy them,
For they are sold for such enormous sums
That our whole fortune hangs upon the purchase,
And he who pays the price becomes a beggar.—Anon.

From the same. (Book vi. § 12, p. 359.)

If one that's poor, and scarcely has withal
To clothe and feed him, shall at once buy fish,
And pay the money down upon the board,
Be sure that fellow is a rogue, and lives
By depredation and nocturnal plunder.
Let him who has been robb'd by night, attend
The fish-market at early dawn, and when
He sees a young and needy wretch appear,
Bargain with Micion for the choicest eels,
And pay the money, seize the caitiff straight,
And drag him to the prison without fear.—Anon.

The same.

Mark you a fellow who, however scant
In all things else, hath still wherewith to purchase
Cod, eel, or anchovies, be sure i' the dark
[Pg 1144]
He lies about the road in wait for travellers.
If therefore you've been robb'd o'ernight, just go
At peep of dawn to th' agora and seize
The first athletic, ragged vagabond
Who cheapens eels of Mikion. He, be sure,
And none but he's the thief: to prison with him! —J. A. St. John.

Diphilus. (Book vi. § 12, p. 360.)

We have a notable good law at Corinth,
Where, if an idle fellow outruns reason,
Feasting and junketing at furious cost,
The sumptuary proctor calls upon him,
And thus begins to sift him:—You live well,
But have you well to live? You squander freely,
Have you the wherewithal? Have you the fund
For these out-goings? If you have, go on!
If you have not, we'll stop you in good time,
Before you outrun honesty; for he,
Who lives we know not how, must live by plunder;
Either he picks a purse, or robs a house,
Or is accomplice with some knavish gang,
Or thrusts himself in crowds to play th' Informer,
And put his perjured evidence to sale:
This a well-order'd city will not suffer:
Such vermin we expel.—And you do wisely:
But what is this to me?—Why, this it is:
Here we behold you every day at work,
Living forsooth! not as your neighbours live,
But richly, royally, ye gods!—Why, man,
We cannot get a fish for love or money,
You swallow the whole produce of the sea:
You've driven our citizens to browze on cabbage:
A sprig of parsley sets them all a-fighting,
As at the Isthmian games: if hare or partridge,
Or but a simple thrush comes to the market,
Quick at the word you snap him. By the gods!
Hunt Athens through, you shall not find a feather
But in your kitchen; and for wine, 'tis gold—
Not to be purchased: we may drink the ditches. —Cumberland.

[Pg 1145]

The same.

Wee have in Corinth this good Law in use;
If wee see any person keepe great cheere,
We make inquirie, Whether he doe worke,
Or if he have Revenues coming in?
If either, then we say no more of him.
But if the Charge exceed his Gaine or Rents,
He is forbidden to run on his course:
If he continue it, he pays a fine:
If he want wherewithal, he is at last
Taken by Sergeants and in prison cast.
For to spend much, and never to get ought,
Is cause of much disorder in the world.
One in the night-time filcheth from the flocks;
Another breaks a house or else a shop;
A third man gets a share his mouth to stop.
To beare a part in this good fellowship,
One feignes a suit his neighbor to molest,
Another must false witness beare with him:
But such a crue we utterly detest,
And banish from our citie like the pest. —Molle.

The same.

Believe me, my good friend, such is the law
Long held at Corinth; when we see a man
Spending large sums upon the daintiest fish,
And living at a great expense, we ask
The means by which he can maintain the splendour.
If it appears that his possessions yield
A fund proportion'd to this costly charge,
'Tis well, he's not molested, and proceeds
T' enjoy that kind of life which he approves.
But if we find that he exceeds his means,
We first admonish him; if he persists,
We then proceed to punishment by fine.
If one who has no fortune to supply
E'en common wants, lives thus expensively,
Him we deliver to the common beadle
For corporal punishment.—Anon.

[Pg 1146]

The same.

We cannot get the smallest fish for money;
And for a bunch of parsley we must fight,
As 'twere the Isthmian games: then, should a hare
Make its appearance, 'tis at once caught up;
A partridge or a lark, by Jupiter!
We can't so much as see them on the wing,
And all on your account: then as for wine,
You've raised the price so high we cannot taste it. —Anon.

Philippides. (Book vi. § 17, p. 363.)

It grieves me much to see the world so changed,
And men of worth, ingenious and well-born,
Reduced to poverty, while cunning knaves;
The very scum of the people, eat their fish,
Bought for two oboli, on plates of silver,
Weighing at least a mina; a few capers,
Not worth three pieces of brass-money, served
In lordly silver-dish, that weighs, at least,
As much as fifteen drachmas. In times past
A little cup presented to the Gods
Was thought a splendid offering; but such gifts
Are now but seldom seen,—and reason good,
For 'tis no sooner on the altar placed,
Than rogues are watching to purloin it thence. —Anon.

Alexis. (Book vi. § 28, p. 372.)

I'm ready, at the slightest call, to sup
With those who may think proper to invite me.
If there's a wedding in the neighbourhood,
I smell it out, nor scruple to be there
Sans invitation; then, indeed, I shine,
And make a full display of all my wit,
'Till the guests shake with laughter; I take care
To tickle well the master of the feast;
Should any strive to thwart my purpose, I
At once take fire, and load him with reproach
[Pg 1147]
And bitter sarcasm; 'till at length, well fed,
And having drunk my fill, I stagger home.
No nimble link-boy guides my giddy steps,
But "through the palpable obscure, I grope
My uncouth way;" and if by chance I meet,
In their nocturnal rounds, the watch, I hail them
With soft and gentle speech; then thank the gods
That I've escaped so well, nor felt the weight
Of their hard fists, or their still harder staves.
At length, unhurt, I find myself at home,
And creep to my poor bed, where gentle sleep,
And pleasant dreams, inspired by generous wine,
Lock up my senses.—Anon.

Diphilus. (Book vi. § 29, p. 372.)

When I'm invited to a great man's board,
I do not feast my eyes by looking at
The costly hangings, painted ceiling, or
The rich Corinthian vases, but survey,
And watch with curious eye, the curling smoke
That rises from the kitchen. If it comes
In a strong current, straight, direct, and full,
I chuckle at the sight, and shake myself
For very joy; but if, oblique and small,
It rises slowly in a scanty volume,
I then exclaim, Sad meagre fare for me!
A lenten supper, and a bloodless meal.—Anon.

The same.

Makes some rich squire
A banquet, and am I among the guests?
Mark me: I cast no idle eye of observation
On mouldings or on fretted roof: I deign not
With laudatory breath to ask, if hands
From Corinth form'd and fashion'd the wine-coolers:
These trouble not my cap.—I watch and note
(And with most deep intensity of vision),
What smoke the cook sends up: mounts it me full
And with alacrity and perpendicular?
[Pg 1148]
All joy and transport I: I crow and clap
My wings for very ecstasy of heart!
Does it come sidelong, making wayward angles,
Embodied into no consistency?
I know the mournful signal well, and straight
Prepare me for a bloodless feast of herbs.—Mitchell.

Eupolis. (Book vi. § 30, p. 373.)

Mark now, and learn of me the thriving arts
By which we parasites contrive to live:
Fine rogues we are, my friend, (of that be sure,)
And daintily we gull mankind.—Observe!
First I provide myself a nimble thing
To be my page, a varlet of all crafts;
Next two new suits for feasts and gala-days,
Which I promote by turns, when I walk forth
To sun myself upon the public square:
There, if perchance I spy some rich dull knave,
Straight I accost him, do him reverence,
And, saunt'ring up and down, with idle chat
Hold him awhile in play; at every word
Which his wise worship utters, I stop short
And bless myself for wonder; if he ventures
On some vile joke, I blow it to the skies,
And hold my sides for laughter.—Then to supper,
With others of our brotherhood to mess
In some night-cellar on our barley-cakes,
And club invention for the next day's shift.—Cumberland.

The same.

Of how we live, a sketch I'll give,
If you'll attentive be;
Of parasites, (we're thieves by rights,)
The flower and chief are we.
Now first we've all a page at call,
Of whom we're not the owners,
But who's a slave to some young brave,
Whom we flatter to be donors.
[Pg 1149]
Two gala dresses each possesses,
And puts them on in turn;
As oft as he goes forth to see
Where he his meal can earn.
The Forum I choose, my nets to let loose,
It's there that I fish for my dinner;
The wealthy young fools I use as my tools,
Like a jolly good harden'd old sinner.
Whenever I see a fool suited for me,
In a trice at his side I appear,
And ne'er loose my hold, till by feeding or gold,
He has paid for my wants rather dear.
If he chance aught to speak, though stupid and weak,
Straightway it is praised to the skies;
His wit I applaud, treat him as my lord,
Win his heart by a good set of lies.
Ere comes our meal, my way I feel,
My patron's mind I study:
And as each knows, we choose all those
Whose brains are rather muddy.
We understand our host's command,
To make the table merry;
By witty jokes, satiric pokes,
To aid the juicy berry.
If we're not able, straight from the table
We're sent, elsewhere to dine;
You know poor Acastor incurr'd this disaster,
By being too free o'er his wine.
A dreadful joke scarce from him broke,
When for the slave each roars,
To come and fetch th' unhappy wretch,
And turn him out of doors.
On him was put, like any brute,
Round his throat an iron necklace;
And he was handed, to be branded,
To Œneus rough and reckless.—L. S.

[Pg 1150]

Alexis. (Book vi. § 31, p. 374.)

A. There are two sorts of parasites; the one
Of middle station, like ourselves, who are
Much noticed by the comic poets——
B. Ay,
But then the other sort, say, what of them?
A. They are of higher rank, and proud pretensions,
Provincial governors, who claim respect
By sober and grave conduct; and though sprung
From th' very dregs o' th' people, keep aloof,
Affect authority and state and rule,
And pride themselves on manners more severe
Than others, on whose beetling brow there sits
An awful frown, as if they would command
At least a thousand talents—all their boast!
These Nausinicus, you have seen, and judge
My meaning rightly.
B. I confess I do.
A. Yet they all move about one common centre;
Their occupations and their ends the same,
The sole contention, which shall flatter most.
But, as in human life, some are depress'd,
Whilst others stand erect on Fortune's wheel,
So fares it with these men; while some are raised
To splendid affluence, and wallow in
Luxurious indolence, their fellows starve,
Or live on scraps, and beg a scanty pittance,
To save their wretched lives.—Anon.

Timocles. (Book vi. § 32, p. 374.)

Think you that I can hear the parasite
Abused? believe me, no; I know of none
Of greater worth, more useful to the state.
Whatever act is grateful to a friend,
Who is more ready to stand forth than he?
Are you in love, he'll stretch a point to serve you.
Whate'er you do, he's ready at your call,
To aid and to assist, as 'tis but just,
[Pg 1151]
He thinks, to do such grateful service for
The patron who provides his daily meal.
And then he speaks so warmly of his friend!
You say for this he eats, and drinks scot-free;
Well, and what then? what hero or what god
Would disapprove a friend on such conditions?
But why thus linger out the day, to prove
That parasites are honour'd and esteem'd?
Is't not enough, they claim the same reward
That crowns the victor at the Olympic games,
To be supported at the public charge?
For wheresoe'er they diet at free cost,
That may be justly call'd the Prytaneum.—Anon.

Antiphanes. (Book vi. § 33, p. 375.)

If duly weigh'd, this will, I think, be found
The parasite's true state and character,
The ready sharer of your life and fortunes.
It is against his nature to rejoice
At the misfortunes of his friends—his wish
Is to see all successful, and at ease;
He envies not the rich and the luxurious,
But kindly would partake of their excess,
And help them to enjoy their better fortune.
Ever a steady and a candid friend,
Not quarrelsome, morose, or petulant,
And knows to keep his passions in due bounds.
If you are cheerful, he wil