Homer, too, represents the virgins and women washing the strangers, knowing that men who have been brought up in right principles will not give way to undue warmth or violence; and accordingly the women are treated with proper respect. And this was a custom of the ancients; and so too the daughters of Cocalus wash Minos on his arrival in Sicily, as if it was a usual thing to do. On the other hand, the poet, wishing to disparage drunkenness, represents the Cyclops, great as he was, destroyed through inebriety by a man of small stature, and also Eurytian the Centaur. And he relates how the men at Circe's court were transformed into lions and wolves, from a too eager pursuit of pleasure. But Ulysses was saved from following the advice of Mercury, by means of which he comes off unhurt. But he makes Elpenor, a man given to drinking and luxury, fall down a precipice. And Antinous, though he says to Ulysses—
Luscious wine will be your bane,1could not himself abstain from drinking, owing to which he was wounded and slain while still having hold of the goblet. [p. 17] He represents the Greeks also as drinking hard when sailing away from Troy, and on that account quarrelling with one another, and in consequence perishing. And he relates that Aeneas, the most eminent of the Trojans for wisdom , was led away by the manner in which he had talked, and bragged, and made promises to the Trojans, while engaged in drinking, so as to encounter the mighty Achilles, and was nearly killed. And Agamemnon says somewhere about drunkennes—
Disastrous folly led me thus astray,placing madness and drunkenness in the same boat. And Dioscorides, too, the pupil of Isocrates, quoted these verses with the same object, saying, "And Achilles, when reproaching Agamemnon, addresses him—
Or wine's excess, or madness sent from Jove:
Tyrant, with sense and courage quell'd by wine."This was the way in which the sophist of Thessalia argued, from whence came the term, a Sicilian proverb, and Athenæus is, perhaps, playing on the proverb.