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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 expensive-ness 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 [p. 866] it, and sold it to the Carthaginians for a hundred 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.” [p. 867]
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