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And his heroes sit at their banquets, and do not lie down. And this was sometimes the case at the feasts of Alexander the king, as Dures says. For he once, when giving a feast to his captains to the number of six thousand, made them sit upon silver chairs and couches, having covered them with purple covers. And Hegesander says that it was not the custom in Macedonia for any one to lie down at a banquet, unless he had slain a boar which had escaped beyond the line of nets; but with that exception, every one sat at supper. And so Cassander, when he was thirty-five years of age, supped with his father in a sitting posture, not being able to perform the above-mentioned exploit, though he was of man's estate, and a gallant hunter. But Homer, who has always an eye to propriety, has not introduced his heroes feasting on anything except meat, and that too they dressed for themselves. For it caused neither ridicule nor shame to see them preparing and cooking their own food: for they studied to be able to wait upon themselves; and they prided themselves, says Chrysippus, on their dexterity in such matters. And accordingly Ulysses boasts of being a better hand than any one else at making a fire and cutting up meat. And in the book of the Iliad called The Prayers,1 Patroclus acts as cupbearer, and Achilles prepares the supper. And when Menelaus celebrates a marriage feast, Megapenthes the bridegroom acts as cupbearer. But now we have come to such a pitch of effeminacy as to lie down while at our meals.
1 The Ninth Book.
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