The Deipnosophists, or the Banquet of the Learned.1: Book I.—Epitome.
***The first two Books, and a portion of the third, as is known to the scholar, exist only in Epitome.
ATHENAEUS is the author of this book; and in it he is discoursing with Timocrates: and the name of the book is the Deipnosophists. In this work Laurentius is introduced, a Roman, a man of distinguished fortune, giving a banquet in his own house to men of the highest eminence for every kind of learning and accomplishment; and there is no sort of gentlemanly knowledge which he does not mention in the conversation which he attributes to them; for he has put down in his book, fish, and their uses, and the meaning of their names; and he has described divers kinds of vegetables, and animals of all sorts. He has introduced also men who have written histories, and poets, and, in short, clever men of all sorts; and he discusses musical instruments, and quotes ten thousand jokes: he talks of the different kinds of drinking cups, and of the riches of kings, and the size of ships, and numbers of other things which I cannot easily enumerate, and the day would fail me if I endeavoured to go through them separately. And the arrangement of the conversation is an imitation of a sumptuous banquet; and the plan of the book follows the arrangement of the conversation. This, then, is the delicious feast of words which this admirable master of the [p. 2] feast, Athenæus, has prepared for us; and gradually sur- passing himself, like the orator at Athens, as he warms with his subject, he bounds on towards the end of the book in noble strides.
And the Deipnosophists who were present at this banquet were, Masyrius, an expounder of the law, and one who had been no superficial student of every sort of learning; Magnus. . . . [Myrtilus] a poet, a man who in other branches of learning was inferior to no one, and who had devoted himself in no careless manner to the whole circle of arts and learning; for in everything which he discussed, he appeared as if that was the sole thing which he had studied; so great and so various was his learning from his childhood. And he was an iambic poet, inferior to no one who has ever lived since the time of Archilochus. There were present also Plutarchus, and Leonidas of Elis, and Aemilianus the Mauritanian, and Zöilus, all the most admirable of grammarians. And of philosophers there were present Pontianus and Democritus, both of Nicomedia; men superior to all their contemporaries in the extent and variety of their learning; and Philadelphus of Ptolemais, a man who had not only been bred up from his infancy in philosophical speculation, but who was also a man of the highest reputation in every part of his life. Of the Cynics, there was one whom he calls Cynulcus, who had not only two white dogs following him, as they did Telemachus when he went to the assembly, but a more numerous pack than even Actæon had. And of rhetoricians there was a whole troop, in no respect inferior to the Cynics. And these last, as well, indeed, as every one else who ever opened his mouth, were run down by Uppianus the Tyrian, who, on account of the everlasting questions which he keeps putting every hour in the streets, and walks, and booksellers' shops, and baths, has got a name by which he is better known than by his real one, Ceitouceitus. This man had a rule of his own, to eat nothing without saying κεῖται; ἢ οὐ κεῖται; In this way, “Can we say of the word ὥρα that it κεῖται, or is applicable to any part of the day? And is the word μέθυσος, or drunk, applicable to a man? Can the word μήτρα, or paunch, be applied to any eatable food? Is the name σύαγρος a compound word applicable to a boar?”—And of physicians there were present Daphnus [p. 3] the Ephesian, a man holy both in his art and by his manners, a man of no slight insight into the principles of the Academic school; and Galenus of Pergamos, who has published such numbers of philosophical and medical works as to surpass all those who preceded him, and who is inferior to none of the guests in the eloquence of his descriptions. And Rufinus of Mylæa.—And of musicians, Alcides of Alexandria, was present. So that the whole party was so numerous that the catalogue looks rather like a muster-roll of soldiers, than the list of a dinner party.
And Athenæus dramatises his dialogue in imitation of the manner of Plato. And thus he begins:— TIMOCRATES. ATHENAEUS. Tim. Were you, Athenæus, yourself present at that delightful party of the men whom they now call Deipnosophists; which has been so much talked of all over the city; or is it only from having heard an account of it from others that you spoke of it to your companions? Ath. I was there myself, Timocrates. Tim. I wish, then, that you would communicate to us also some of that agreeable conversation which you had over your cups;
Make your hand perfect by a third attempt,as the bard of Cyrene2 says somewhere or other; or must week some one else?
Then after a little while he proceeds to the praises of Laurentius, and says that he, being a man of a munificent spirit, and one who collected numbers of learned men about him, feasted them not only with other things, but also with conversation, at one time proposing questions deserving of investigation, and at another asking for information himself; not suggesting subjects without examination, or in any random manner, but as far as was possible with a critical and Socratic discernment; so that every one marvelled at the systematic character of his questions. And he says, too, that he was appointed superintendant of the temples and sacrifices by that best of all sovereigns Marcus;3 and that he was no less conversant with the literature of the Greeks than with that of [p. 4] his own countrymen. And he calls him a sort of Asteropæus,4 equally acquainted with both languages. And he says that he was well versed in all the religious ceremonies instituted by Romulus, who gave his name to the city, and by Numa Pompilius; and that he is learned in all the laws of politics; and that he has arrived at all this learning solely from the study of ancient decrees and resolutions; and from the collection of the laws which (as Eupolis, the comic writer, says of the poems of Pindar) are already reduced to silence by the disinclination of the multitude for elegant learning. He had also, says he, such a library of ancient Greek books, as to exceed in that respect all those who are remarkable for such collections; such as Polycrates of Samos, and Pisistratus who was tyrant of Athens, and Euclides who was himself also an Athenian, and Nicorrates the Samian, and even the kings of Pergamos, and Euripides the poet, and Aristotle the philosopher, and Nelius his librarian; from whom they say that our countryman Ptolemæus, surnamed Philadelphus, bought them all, and transported them with all those which he had collected at Athens and at Rhodes to his own beautiful Alexandria. So that a man may fairly quote the verses of Antiphanes and apply them to him:—
You court the heav'nly muse with ceaseless zeal,And as the Theban lyric poet5 says:—
And seek to open all the varied stores
Of high philosophy.
Nor less renown'd his hand essaysAnd when inviting people to his feasts, he causes Rome to be looked upon as the common country of all of them. For who can regret what he has left in his own country, while dwelling with a man who thus opens his house to all his friends. For as Apollodorus the comic poet says:—
To wake the muse's choicest lays,
Such as the social feast around
Full oft our tuneful band inspire.
Whene'er you cross the threshhold of a friend,
How welcome you may be needs no long time
To feel assured of; blithe the porter looks,
[p. 5] The house-dog wags his tail, and rubs his nose
Against your legs; and servants hasten quick,
Unbidden all, since their lord's secret wish
Is known full well, to place an easy chair
To rest your weary limbs.
It would be a good thing if other rich men were like him; since when a man acts in a different manner, people are apt to say to him, “Why are you so mean You tents are full of wine.”
Call the elders to the feast,Such as this was the magnanimity of the great Alexander. And Conon, after he had conquered the Lacedæmonians in the sea-fight off Cnidus, and fortified the Piræus, sacrificed a real hecatomb, which deserved the name, and feasted all the Athenians. And Alcibiades, who conquered in the chariot race at the Olympic games, getting the first, and second, and fourth prizes, (for which victories Euripides wrote a triumphal ode,) having sacrificed to Olympian Jupiter, feasted the whole assembly. And Leophron did the same at the Olympic games, Simonides of Ceos writing a triumphal ode for him. And Empedocles of Agrigentum, having gained the victory in the horse race at the Olympic games, as he was himself a Pythagorean, and as such one who abstained from meat, made an image of an ox of myrrh, and frankincense, and the most expensive spices, and distributed it among all who came to that festival. And Ion of Chios, having gained the tragic crown at Athens, gave a pot of Chian wine to every Athenian citizen. For Antiphanes says:—
Such a course befits you best.
For why should any man wealth desire,'And Xenophanes of Chalcedon, and Speusippus the Academic philosopher, and Aristotle, have all written drinking sons. And in the same manner Gellias of Agrigentum, being a very hospitable man, and very attentive to all his guests, gave a tunic and cloak to every one of five hundred horsemen who once came to him from Gela in the winter season. [p. 6]
And seek to pile his treasures higher,
If it were not to aid his friends in their need,
And to gain for himself love's and gratitude's meed?
For all can drink and all can eat,
And it is not only the richest meat,
Or the oldest wine in the well-chased bowl
Which can banish hunger and thirst from the soul.
The sophist uses the word Dinnerchaser, on which Clearchus says that Charmus the Syracusan adopted some little versicles and proverbs very neatly to whatever was put on the table. As on seeing a fish, he says:—
I come from the salt depths of Aegeus' sea.And when he saw some ceryces he said—
Hail holy heralds (κήρυκες), messengers of Jove.And on seeing tripe,
Crooked ways, and nothing sound.When a well-stuffed cuttlefish is served up,
Good morrow, fool.When he saw some pickled char,
O charming sight; hence with the vulgar crowd.And on beholding a skinned eel,
Beauty when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.Many such men then as these, he says, were present at Laurentius's supper; bringing books out of their bags, as their contribution to the picnic. And he says also that Charmus, having something ready for everything that was served up, as has been already said, appeared to the Massenians to be a most accomplished man; as also did Calliphanes, who was called the son of Parabrycon, who having copied out the beginnings of many poems and other writings, recollected three or four stanzas of each, aiming at a reputation for extensive learning, And many other men had in their mouths turbots caught in the Sicilian sea, and swimming eels, and the trail of the tunny-fish of Pachynum, and kids from Melos, and mullets from Symæthus. And, of dishes of less repute, there were cockles from Pelorum, anchovies from Lipara, turnips from Mantinea, rape from Thebes, and beetroot from the Ascræans. And Cleanthes the Tarentine, as Clearchus says, said everything while the drinking lasted, in metres. And so did Pamphilus the Sicilian, in this way:—
Give me a cup of sack, that partridge leg,Being, says he, men with fair means, and not forced to earn their dinner with their hands,—
Likewise a pot, or else at least a cheesecake.
Bringing baskets full of votes.[p. 7]
Archestratus the Syracusan or Geloan, in his work to which Chrysippus gives the title of Gastronomy, but Lynceus and Callimachus of Hedypathy, that is Pleasure, and which Clearchus calls Deipnology, and others Cookery, (but it is an epic poem, beginning,
Here to all Greece I open wisdom's store;)says,
A numerous party may sit round a table,But he does not know that at the feast recorded by Plato there were eight and twenty guests present.
But not more than three, four, or five on one sofa;
For else it would be a disorderly Babel,
Like the hireling piratical band of a rover.
How keenly they watch for a feast in the town,says Antiphanes; and he adds—
And, asked or not, they are sure to go down;
Such are the men the state at public costand always
Should gladly feed;
Treat them like flies at the Olympic games
And hang them up an ox to feast upon.
Winter produces this, that summer bears;says the bard of Syracuse.6 So that it is not easy to put all sorts of things on the table at one time; but it is easy to talk of all kinds of subjects at any time. Other men have written descriptions of feasts; and Tinachidas of Rhodes has done so in an epic poem of eleven books or more; and Numenius the Heraclean, the pupil of Dieuchas the physician; and Metreas of Pitane, the man who wrote parodies; and Hegemon of Thasos, surnamed Phacè, whom some men reckon among the writers of the Old Comedy. And Artemidorus, the false Aristophanes, collected a number of sayings relating to cookery. And Plato, the comic writer, mentions in his Phaon the banquet of Philoxenus the Leucadian.
A. But I have sought this tranquil solitude,And presently he says:—
To ponder deeply on this wondrous book.
B. I pray you, what's the nature of its treasures
A. “Sauce for the million,” by Philoxenus.
B. Oh, let me taste this wisdom. A. Listen then;
I start with onions, and with tunnies end."
[p. 8] B. With tunnies? Surely, then, he keeps the best
And choicest of his dishes for the last.
A. Listen. In ashes first your onions roast
Till they are brown as toast,
Then with sauce and gravy cover;
Eat them, you'll be strong all over.
So much for earth; now list to me,
While I speak of the sons of the sea.
A good large flat dish is not bad,And presently again:—
But a pan is better when 'tis to be had.
Never cut up a sardine
Or mackarel of silv'ry sheen,
Lest the gods should scorn a sinner—
Such as you, and spoil your dinner;
But dress them whole and serve them up,
And so you shall most richly sup.
Good sized polypus in season
Should be boil'd,—to roast them's treason;
But if early and not big,
Roast them; boil'd ain't worth a fig.
Mullets, though the taste is good,
Are by far too weakening food;
And the ills it brings to master
You will need a scorpion plaster.
And it is from this Philoxenus that the Philoxenean cheesecakes are named; and Chrysippus says of him, "I know an epicure, who carried his disregard of his neighbours to such an extent, that he would at the bath openly put in his hand to accustom it to the warm water, and who would rinse out his mouth with warm water, in order to be less affected by heat. And they said that he used to gain over the cooks to set very hot dishes before him, so that he might have them all to himself, as no one else could keep up with him. And they tell the same story about Philoxenus of Cythera, and about Archytas, and many more, one of whom is represented by Cromylus, the comic writer, as saying:
I've fingers Idæan7 to take up hot meat,[p. 9] But Clearchus says that Philoxenus would, after he had bathed, both when in his own country and in other cities, go round to men's houses, with his slaves following him, carrying oil, and wine, and pickle juice, and vinegar, and other condiments; and that so, going into other persons' houses he would season what was dressed for them, putting in whatever was requisite; and then, when he had finished his labours, he would join the banquet. He, having sailed to Ephesus, finding the market empty, asked the reason; and learning that everything had been bought up for a wedding feast, bathed, and without any invitation went to the bridegroom's house, and then after the banquet he sang a wedding song, which began—
And a throat to devour it too;
Curries and devils are my sweetest treat,
Not more like a man than a flue.
O Marriage, greatest of the gods,in such a manner as to delight every one, for he was a dithyrambic poet. And the bridegroom said, “Philoxenus, are you going to dine here to-morrow?” “Certainly,” said he, “if no one sells any meat in the market.”
But Theophilus says:—"We should not act like Philoxenus, the son of Eryxis; for he, blaming, as it seems, the niggardliness of nature, wished to have the neck of a crane for the purposes of enjoyment. But it would be better still to wish to be altogether a horse, or an ox, or a camel, or an elephant; for in the case of those animals the desires and pleasures are greater and more vehement; for they limit their enjoyments only by their power. And Clearchus says that Melanthius did pray in this way, saying, “Melanthius seems to have been wiser than Tithonus; for this last, having desired immortality, is hung up in a basket; being deprived of every sort of pleasure by old age. But Melanthius, being devoted to pleasure, prayed to have the neck of an ostrich, in order to dwell as long as possible on sweet things.” The same Clearchus says that Pithyllus, who was called Tenthes, not only had a covering to his tongue made o skin, but that he also wrapped up his tongue for the sake of luxury, and then that he rubbed it clean again with the skin of a fish. And he is the first of the epicures who is said to have eaten his meat with fingerstalls on, in order to convey it to his mouth as warm as possible. And others call Philoxenus Philicthus;8 but Aristotle simply calls him Philodeipnus,9 [p. 10] writing in this way:—“Those who make harangues to the multitude, spend the whole day in looking at jugglers and mountebanks, and men who arrive from the Phasis or the Borysthenes; having never read a book in their lives except The Banquet of Philoxenus, and not all of that.”
But Phanias says that Philoxenus of Cythera, a poet, being exceedingly fond of eating, once when he was supping with Dionysius, and saw a large mullet put before him and a small one before himself, took his up in his hands and put it to his ear; and, when Dionysius asked him why he did so, Philoxenus said that he was writing Galatea, and so he wished to ask the fish some of the news in the kingdom of Nereus; and that the fish which he was asking said that he knew nothing about it, as he had been caught young; but that the one which was set before Dionysius was older, and was well acquainted with everything which he wished to know. On which Dionysius laughed, and sent him the mullet which had been set before himself. And Dionysius was very fond of drinking with Philoxenus, but when he detected him in trying to seduce Galatea, whom he himself was in love with, he threw him into the stone quarries; and while there he wrote the Cyclops, constructing the fable with reference to what had happened to himself; representing Dionysius as the Cyclops, and the flute-player as Galatea, and himself as Ulysses.
About the time of Tiberius there lived a man named Apicius; very rich and luxurious; from whom several kinds of cheesecakes are called Apician. He spent myriads of drachms on his belly, living chiefly at Minturnæ, a city of Campania, eating very expensive crawfish, which are found in that place superior in size to those of Smyrna, or even to the crabs of Alexandria. Hearing too that they were very large in Africa, he sailed thither, without waiting a single day, and suffered exceedingly on his voyage. But when he came near the place, before he disembarked from the ship, (for his arrival made a great noise among the Africans,) the fishermen came alongside in their boats and brought him some very fine crawfish; and he, when he saw them, asked if they had any finer; and when they said that there were none finer than those which they brought, he, recollecting those at Minturnæ, ordered the master of the ship to sail back the same way into Italy, without going near the land. But Aristoxenus, [p. 11] the philosopher of Cyrene, a real devotee of the philosophy of his country, (from whom, hams cured in particular way are called Aristoxeni,) out of his prodigious luxury used to syringe the lettuces which grew in his garden with mead in the evening, and then, when he picked them in the morning, he would say that he was eating green cheesecakes, which were sent up to him by the Earth.
When the emperor Trajan was in Parthia, at a distance of many days' journey from the sea, Apicius sent him fresh oysters, which he had kept so by a clever contrivance of his own; real oysters, not like the sham anchovies which the cook of Nicomedes, king of the Bithynians, made in imitation of the real fish, and set before the king, when he expressed a wish for anchovies, (and he too at the time was a long way from the sea.) And in Euphron, the comic writer a cook says:—
A. I am a pupil of Soterides,
Who, when his king was distant from the sea
Full twelve days' journey, and in winter's depth,
Fed him with rich anchovies to his wish,
And made the guests to marvel.
B. How was that?
A. He took a female turnip, shred it fine
Into the figure of the delicate fish;
Then did he pour on oil and savoury salt
With careful hand in due proportion.
On that he strew'd twelve grains of poppy seed,
Food which the Scythians love; then boil'd it all.
And when the turnip touch'd the royal lips,
Thus spake the king to the admiring guests:
"A cook is quite as useful as a poet,
And quite as wise, and these anchovies show it."
Archilochus, the Parian poet, says of Pericles, that he would often come to a banquet without being invited, after the fashion of the Myconians. But it seems to me that the Myconians are calumniated as sordid and covetous because of their poverty, and because they live in a barren island. At all events Cratinus calls Ischomachus of Myconos sordid.
A. But how can you be generous, if the sonArchilochus says:—
Of old Ischomachus of Myconos?
B. I, a good man, may banquet with the good,
For friends should have all their delights in common.
You come and drink full cups of Chian wine,And Eũbulus, the comic writer, says somewhere:—
And yet give no return for them, nor wait
[p. 12] To be invited, as a friend would do.
Your belly is your god, and thus misleads
Your better sense to acts of shamelessness.
We have invited two unequaled men,Amphis, the comic writer, says:—
Philocrates and eke Philocrates.
For that one man I always count as two,
I don't know that I might not e'en say three.
They say that once when he was ask'd to dinner,
To come when first the dial gave a shade
Of twenty feet, he with the lark uprose,
Measuring the shadow of the morning sun,
Which gave a shade of twenty feet and two.
Off to his host he went, and pardon begg'd
For having been detain'd by business;
A man who came at daybreak to his dinner!
A man who comes late to a feast,And Chrysippus says:—
At which he has nothing to pay,
Will be sure if in battle he's press'd,
To run like a coward away.
Never shun a banquet gay,And Antiphanes says:—
Where the cost on others falls;
Let them, if they like it, pay
For your breakfasts, dinners, balls.
More blest than all the gods is he,And again:—
Whom every one is glad to see,
Who from all care and cost is free.
Happy am I, who never have causeI prepared all these quotations beforehand, and so came to the dinner, having studied beforehand in order to be able to pay my host a rent, as it were, for my entertainment.
To be anxious for meat to put in my jaws.
For bards make offerings which give no smoke.The ancients had a word, μονοφαγεῖν, applied to those who eat alone. And so Antiphanes says:—
But if you sulk, μονοφαγῶν,And Ameipsias says:—
Why must I, too, eat alone?
And if she's a μονοφάγος, plague take her,[p. 13]
I'd guard against her as a base housebreaker.
Dioscorides, with respect to the laws praised in Homer, says, "The poet, seeing that temperance was the most desirable virtue for young men, and also the first of all virtues, and one which was becoming to every one; and that which, as it were, was the guide to all other virtues, wishing to implant it from the very beginning in every one, in order that men might devote their leisure to and expend their energies on honourable pursuits, and might become inclined to do good to, and to share their good things with others; appointed a simple and independent mode of life to every one; considering that those desires and pleasures which had reference to eating and drinking were those of the greater power, and of the highest estimation, and moreover innate in all men; and that those men who continued orderly and temperate in respect of them, would also be temperate and well regulated in other matters. Accordingly, he laid down a simple mode of life for every one, and enjoined the same system indifferently to kings and private individuals, and young men and old, saying—
The tables in fair order spread,Their meat being all roasted, and chiefly beef; and he never sets before his heroes anything except such dishes as these, either at a sacred festival, or at a marriage feast, or at any other sort of convivial meeting. And this, too, though he often represents Agamemnon as feasting the chiefs. And Menelaus makes a feast on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter Hermione; and again on the occasion of the marriage of his son; and also when Telemachus comes to him—
They heap the glittering canisters with bread,
Viands of simple kinds allure the taste,
Of wholesome sort, a plentiful repast.10
The table groan'd beneath a chine of beef,For Homer never puts rissoles, or forcemeat, or cheeseakes, or omelettes before his princes, but meat such as was calculated to make them vigorous in body and mind. And so too Agamemnon feasted Ajax after his single combat with Hector, on a rumpsteak; and in the same way he gives Nestor, who was now of advanced age, and Phœnix too, a roast sirloin of [p. 14] beef. And Homer describes Alcinous, who was a man of a very luxurious way of life, as having the same dinner; wishing by these descriptions to turn us away from intemperate indulgence of our appetites. And when Nestor, who was also a king and had many subjects, sacrificed to Neptune on the sea-shore, on behalf of his own dearest and most valued friends, it was beef that he offered him. For that is the holiest and most acceptable sacrifice to the gods, which is offered to them by religious and well-disposed men. And Alcinous, when feasting the luxurious Phæacians, and when entertaining Ulysses, and displaying to him all the arrangements of his house and garden, and showing him the general tenor of his life, gives him just the same dinner. And in the same way the poet represents the suitors, though the most insolent of men and wholly devoted to luxury, neither eating fish, nor game, nor cheesecakes; but embracing as far as he could all culinary artifices, and all the most stimulating food, as Menander calls it, and especially such as are called amatory dishes, (as Chrysippus says in his Treatise on Honour and Pleasure,) the preparation of which is something laborious.
With which the hungry heroes quell'd their grief.11
Priam also, as the poet represents him, reproaches his sons for looking for unusual delicacies; and calls them
The wholesale murderers of lambs and kids.12Philochorus, too, relates that a prohibition was issued at Athens against any one tasting lamb which had not been shorn, on an occasion when the breed of sheep appeared to be failing. And Homer, though he speaks of the Hellespont as abounding in fish, and though he represents the Phæacians as especially addicted to navigation, and though he knew of many harbours in Ithaca, and many islands close to it, in which there were large flocks of fishes and of wild birds; and though he enumerates among the riches of the deep the fact of its producing fish, still never once represents either fish or game as being put on the table to eat. And in the same way he never represents fruit as set before any one, although there was abundance of it; and although he is fond of speaking of it, and although he speaks of it as being supplied without end. For he says, “Pears upon pears,” and so on. Moreover, he does not represent his heroes as crowned, or anointed, or using [p. 15] perfumes; but he portrays even his kings as scorning all such things, and devoting themselves to the maintenance of freedom and independence. In the same way he allots to the gods a very simple way of life, and plain food, namely, nectar and ambrsia; and he represents men as paying them honour with the materials of their feasts; making no mention of frankincens, or myrrh, or garlands, or luxury of this sort. And he does not describe them as indulging in even this plain food to an immoderate extent; but like the most skilful physicians he abhors satiety.
But when their thirst and hunger were appeased;13then, having satisfied their desires, they went forth to athletic exercises; amusing themselves with quoits and throwing of javelins, practising in their sport such arts as were capable of useful application. And they listened to harp players who celebrated the exploits of bygone heroes with poetry and song.
So that it is not at all wonderful that men who lived in such a way as they did were healthy and vigorous both in mind and body. And he, pointing out how wholesome and useful a thing moderation is, and how it contributes to the general good, has represented Nestor, the wisest of the Greeks, as bringing wine to Machaon the physician when wounded in the right shoulder, though wine is not at all good for inflammations; and that, too, was Pramnian wine, which we know to be very strong and nutritious. And he brings it to him too, not as a relief from thirst, but to drink of abundantly; (at all events, when he has drank a good draught of it, he recommends him to repeat it.)
Sit now, and drink your fill,says he; and then he cuts a slice of goat-milk cheese, and then an onion,
A shoeing-horn for further draughts of wine;14though in other places he does say that wine relaxes and enervates the strength. And in the case of Hector, Hecuba, thinking that then he will remain in the city all the rest of the day, invites him to drink and to pour libations, encouraging him to abandon himself to pleasure. But he, as he is going out to action, puts off the drinking. And she indeed, praises wine without ceasing; but he, when he comes in out [p. 16] of breath, will not have any. And she urges him to pour a libation and then to drink, but he, as he is all covered with blood, thinks it impiety. Homer knew also the use and advantages of wine, when he said that if a man drank it in too large draughts it did harm. And he was acquainted, too, with many different ways of mixing it. For else Achilles would not have bade his attendants to mix it for him with more wine than usual, if there had not been some settled proportion in which it was usually mixed. But perhaps he was not aware that wine was very digestible without any admixture of solid food, which is a thing known to the physicians by their art; and, therefore, in the case of people with heartburn they mix something to eat with the wine, in order to retain its power. But Homer gives Machaon meal and cheese with his wine; and represents Ulysses as connecting the advantages to be derived from food and wine with one another when he says—
Strengthen'd with wine and meat, a man goes forth:15and to the reveller gives sweet drink, saying—
There, too, were casks of old and luscious wine.16
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,17could 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.
As to the meals the heroes took in Homer, there was first of all breakfast, which he calls ἄριστον, which he mentions once in the Odyssey,
Ulysses and the swineherd, noble man,And once in the Iliad,
First lit the fire, and breakfast then began.18
Then quickly they prepared to break their fast.19But this was the morning meal, which we call ἀκρατισμὸς, because we soak crusts of bread in pure wine (ἄκρατος), and eat them, as Antiphanes says—
While the cook the ἄριστον prepares.And afterwards he says—
Then when you have done your business,And Cantharus says—
Come and share my ἀκρατισμός.
A. Shall we, then, take our ἀκρατισμὸς there?using the two words as synonymous. Aristomenes says—
B. No; at the Isthmus all the slaves prepare
The sweet ἄριστον,—
I'll stop awhile to breakfast, then I'll come,But Philemon says that the ancients took the following [p. 18] meals—ἀκράτισμα, ἄριστον, ἑσπέρισμα, or the afternoon meal, and δεῖπνον,, supper; calling the ἀκρατισμὸς breakfast, and ἄριστον20 luncheon, and δεῖπνον the meal which came after luncheon. And the same order of names occur in Aeschylus, where Palamedes is introduced, saying—
When I a slice or two of bread have eaten,
The different officers I then appointed,And of the fourth meal Homer speaks thus—
And bade them recollect the soldiers' meals,
In number three, first breakfast, and then dinner,
Supper the third.
And come thou δειελιήσας.21That which some call δειλινὸν is between what we call ἄριστον and δεῖπνον; and ἄριστον in Homer, that which is taken in the morning, δεῖπνον is what is taken at noon, which we call ἄριστον, and δόρπον is the name for the evening meal. Sometimes, then, ἄριστον is synonymous with δε̂ιπνον; for somewhere or other Homer says—
δε̂ιπνον they took, then arm'd them for the fray.For making their δεῖπνον immediately after sunrise, they then advance to battle.
In Homer they eat sitting down; but some think that a separate table was set before each of the feasters. At all events, they say a polished table was set before Mentes when he came to Telemachus, arriving after tables were already laid for the feast. However, this is not very clearly proved, for Minerva may have taken her food at Telemachus's table. But all along the banqueting-room full tables were laid out, as is even now the custom among many nations of the barbarians,
Laden with all dainty dishes,as Anacreon says. And then when the guests have departed, the handmaidens
Bore off the feast, and clear'd the lofty hall,[p. 19] The feast which he mentions as taking place in the palace of Menelaus is of a peculiar character; for there he represents the guests as conversing during the banquet and then they wash their hands and return to the board, ad proceed to supper after having indulged their grief. But the line in the last book of the Iliad, which is usually read,
Removed the goblets and the tables all.
He eat and drank, while still the table stood,should be read,
He eat and drank still, while the table stood,or else there would be blame implied for what Achilles was doing at the moment; for how could it be decent that a table should be laid before Achilles, as before a party of revellers, down the whole length of a banqueting-room? Bread, then, was placed on the table in baskets, and the rest of the meal consisted wholly of roast meat. But Homer never speaks of broth, Antiphanes says,
He never boil'd the legs or haunches,
But roasted brains and roasted paunches,
As did his sires of old.
And portions of the meat were then distributed among the guests; from which circumstances he speaks of “equal feasts,” because of their equal division. And he calls suppers δαῖτας, from the word δατέομαι, to divide, since not only was the meat distributed in that way, but the wine also.
Their hunger was appeased,And again,
And strength recruited by the equal feast.22
Come, then, Achilles, share this equal feast.23From these passages Zenodotus got the idea that δαῖτα ἐΐσην meant a good feast; for as food is a necessary good to men, he says that he, by extension of the meaning of the word, called it ἐΐσην. But men in the early times, as they had not food in sufficient abundance, the moment any appeared, rushed on it all at once, and tore it to pieces with violence, and even took it away from others who had it; and this disorderly behaviour gave rise to bloodshed. A d it is from this that very probably the word ἀτασθαλία originated, because it was in θάλιαι, another name for banquets, tat men first offended against one another. But when, by the bounty [p. 20] of Ceres, food became abundant, then they distributed an equal portion to each individual, and so banquets became orderly entertainments. Then came the invention of wine and of sweetmeats, which were also distributed equally: and cups, too, were given to men to drink out of, and these cups all held the same quantity. And as food was called δαὶς, from δαίεσθαι, that is, from being divided, so he who roasted the meat was called δαιτρὸς, because it was he who gave each guest an equal portion. We must remark that the poet uses the word δαὶς only of what is eaten by men, and never applies it to beasts; so that it was out of ignorance of the force of this word that Zenodotus, in his edition writes:— δαὶς, and the portion given to him is called μοῖρα. But the feasters mentioned in Homer did not carry home the fragments, but when they were satisfied they left them with the givers of the feast; and the housekeeper took them in order, if any stranger arrived, to have something to give him.
Now Homer represents the men of his time as eating fish and birds: at all events, in Sicily the companions of Ulysses catch
All fish and birds, and all that come to handBut as the hooks were not forged in Sicily, but were brought by them in their vessel; it is plain that they were fond of and skilful in catching fish. And again, the poet compares the companions of Ulysses, who were seized by Sylla, to fish caught with a long rod and thrown out of doors; and he speaks more accurately concerning this act than those who have written poems or treatises professedly on the subject. I refer to Cæcilius of Argos, and Numenius of Heraclea, and Pancrates the Arcadian, and Posidonius the Corinthian, and Oppianus the Cilician, who lived a short time ago; for we [p. 21] know of all those men as writers of heroic poems about fishing. And of prose essayists on the subject we have Seleucus of Tarsus, and Leonidas of Byzantium, and Agathocles of Atracia. But he never expressly mentions such food at his banquets, just as he also forbears to speak f the meat of young animals, as such food was hardly considered suitable to the dignity of heroes of reputation. However, they did eat not only fish, but oysters; though this sort of food is neither very wholesome nor very nice, but the oysters lie at the bottom of the sea, and one cannot get at them by any other means, except by diving to the bottom.
With barbed hooks.25
An active man is he, and dives with ease;26as he says of a man who could have collected enough to satisfy many men, while hunting for oysters.
Before each one of the guests in Homer is placed a separate cup. Demodocus has a basket and a table and a cup placed before him,
To drink whene'er his soul desired.27Again the goblets are crowned with drink; that is to say, they are filled so that the liquor stands above the brim, and the cups have a sort of crown of wine on them. Now the cupbearers filled them so for the sake of the omen; and then they pour out πᾶσιν referring not to the cups but to the men. Accordingly Alcinous says to Pontonous,
Let all around the due libation payand then he goes on,
To Jove, who guides the wanderer on his way;29
All drink the juice that glads the heart of man.And due honour is paid at those banquets to all the most eminent men. Accordingly, Tydides is honoured with great quantities of meat and wine; and Ajax receives the compliment of a whole chine of beef. And the kings are treated in the same way:—
A rump of beef they set before the king:30[p. 22] that is, before Menelaus. And in like manner he honours Idomeneus and Agamemnon
With ever brimming cups of rosy wine.31And Sarpedon, among the Lycians, receives the same respect, and has the highest seat, and the most meat. They had also a way of saluting in drinking one another's health; and so even the gods,
In golden goblets pledged each other's health;that is, they took one another by the right hand while drinking. And so some one δείδεκτ᾽ ᾿αχιλλέα, which is the same as if he had said ἐδεξιοῦτο, that is, took him by the right hand. He drank to him, proffering him the goblet in his right hand. They also gave some of their own portion to those to whom they wished to show attention; as, Ulysses having cut off a piece of chine of beef which was set before himself, sent it to Demodocus.
They also availed themselves at their banquets of the services of minstrels and dancers; as the suitors did, and in the palace of Menelaus
A band amid the joyous circle singsAnd though Homer uses μολπὴ, warbling, here, he is really speaking only of the exercise of the dance. But the race of bards in those days was modest and orderly, cultivating a disposition like that of philosophers. And accordingly Agamemnon leaves his bard as a guardian and counsellor to Clytæmnestra: who, first of all, going through all the virtues of women, endeavoured to inspire her with an ambition of excelling in virtuous and ladylike habits; and, after that, by supplying her with agreeable occupation, sought to prevent her inclinations from going astray after evil thoughts: so that Aegisthus could not seduce the woman till he had murdered the bard on a desert island. And the same is the character of that bard who sings under compulsion before the suitors; who bitterly reproached them for laying plots against Penelope. We find too that using one general [p. 23] term, Homer calls all bards objects of veneration among men.
High airs at tempered to the vocal strings;
While, warbling to the varied strain, advance
Two sprightly youths to form the bounding dance.32
Therefore the holy Muse their honour guardsAnd Demodocus the bard of the Phœacians sins of the intrigue between Mars and Venus; not because he approves of such behaviour, but for the purpose of dissuading his hearers from the indulgence of such passions, knowing that they have been brought up in a luxurious way, and therefore relating to them tales not inconsistent with their own manners, for the purpose of pointing out to them the evil of then, and persuading them to avoid such conduct. And Phemius sings to the suitors, in compliance with their desire, the tale of the return of the Greeks from Troy; and the sirens sing to Ulysses what they think will be most agreeable to him, saying what they think most akin to his own ambition and extensive learning. We know, say they,
In every land, and loves the race of bards.33
Whate'er beneath the sun's bright journey lies,
Oh stay and learn new wisdom from the wise.34
The dances spoken of in Homer are partly those of tumblers and partly those of ball-players; the invention of which last kind Agallis, the Corcyrean authoress, who wrote on grammar, attributes to Nausicaa, paying a compliment to her own countrywoman; but Dicæarchus attributes it to the Sicyonians. But Hippasus gives the credit of both this and gymnastic exercises to the Lacedæmonians. However, Nausicaa is the only one of his heroines whom Homer introduces playing at ball. Demoteles, the brother of Theognis the Chiansophist, was eminent for his skill in this game; and a man of the name of Chærephanes, who once kept following a debauched young man, and did not speak to him, but prevented him from misbehaving. And when he said, “Chærephanes, you may make your own terms with me, if you will only desist from following me;”“Do you think,” said he, “that I want to speak to you?” “If you do not,” said he, “why do you follow me” “I like to look at you,” he replied, “but I do not approve of your conduct.” The thing called φούλλικλον,, which appears to have been a kind of small ball, was invented by Atticus the Neapolitan, the tutor in gymnastics of the great Pompey. And n the [p. 24] game of ball the variation called ἁρπαστὸν used to be called φαινίνδα, and I think that the best of all the games of ball.
There is a great deal of exertion and labour in a game of ball, and it causes great straining of the neck and shoulders. Antiphanes says,
Wretch that I am, my neck's so stiff;and again Antiphanes describes the φαινίνδα thus:—
The player takes the ball elate,And it was called φαινίνδα from the rapid motion of those who played, or else because its inventor, as Juba the Mauritanian says, was Phænestius, a master of gymnastics. And Antiphanes,
And gives it safely to his mate,
Avoids the blows of th' other side,
And shouts to see them hitting wide;
List to the cries, “Hit here,” “hit there,” '
“Too far,” “too high,” “that is not fair,” —
See every man with ardour burns
To make good strokes and quick returns.
To play Phæninda at Ph$anestius' school.And those who played paid great attention to elegance of motion and attitude; and accordingly Demoxenus says:—
A youth I saw was playing ball,Ctesibius also of Chalcis, a philosopher, was no bad player. And there were many of the friends of Antigonus the king who used to take their coats off and play ball with him. Timocrates, too, the Lacedæmonian, wrote a book on playing ball.
Seventeen years of age and tall;
From Cos he came, and well I wot
The Gods look kindly on that spot.
For when he took the ball or threw it,
So pleased were all of us to view it,
We all cried out; so great his grace,
Such frank good humour in his face,
That every time he spoke or moved,
All felt as if that youth they loved.
Sure ne'er before had these eyes seen,
Nor ever since, so fair a mien;
Had I staid long most sad my plight
Had been to lose my wits outright,
And even now the recollection
Disturbs my senses' calm reflection.
But the Phæacians in Homer had a dance also uncon- [p. 25] nected with ball playing; and they danced very cleverly, alternating in figures with one another. That is what is meant by the expression,
In frequent interchanges,while others stood by and made a clapping noise with their fore-fingers, which is called ληκεῖν. The poet was acquainted also with the art of dancing so as to keep time with singing. And while Demodocus was singing, youths just entering on manhood were dancing; and in the book which is called the Manufacture of the Arms, a boy played the harp,
Danced round and sung in soft well measured tune.And in these passages the allusion is to that which is called the hyporchematic35 style, which flourished in the time of Xenodemus and Pindar. And this kind of dance is an imitation of actions which are explained by words, and is what the elegant Xenophon represents as having taken place, in his Anabasis, at the banquet given by Seuthes the Thracian. He says: "After libations were made, and the guests had sung a pæan, there rose up first the Thracians, and danced in arms to the music of a flute, and jumped up very high, with light jumps, and used their swords. And at last one of them strikes another, so that it seemed to every one that the man was wounded. And he fell down in a very clever manner, and all the bystanders raised an outcry. And he who struck him having stripped him of his arms, went out singing Sitalces. And others of the Thracians carried out his antagonist as if he were dead; but in reality, he was not hurt. After this some Aenianians and Magnesians rose up, who danced the dance called Carpæa, they too being in armour. And the fashion of that dance was like this: One man, having laid aside his arms, is sowing, and driving a yoke of oxen, constantly looking round as if he were afraid. Then three comes up a robber; but the sower, as soon as he sees him snatches up his arms and fights in defence of his team in regular time to the music of the flute. And at last the robber, having [p. 26] bound the man, carries off the team; but sometimes the sower conquers the robber, and then binding him alongside his oxen, he ties his hands behind him, and drives him forward. And one man," says he, “danced the Persian dance, and rattling one shield against another, fell down, and rose up again: and he did all this in time to the music of a flute. And the Arcadians rising up, all moved in time, being clothed in armour, the flute-players playing the tune suited to an armed march; and they sung the pæan, and danced.”
The heroes used also flutes and pipes. At all events Agamemnon hears “the voice of flutes and pipes,” which however he never introduced into banquets, except that in the Manufacture36 of Arms, he mentions the flute on the occasion of a marriage-feast. But flutes he attributes to the barbarians. Accordingly, the Trojans had “the voice of flutes and pipes,” and they made libations, when they got up from the feast, making them to Mercury, and not, as they did afterwards, to Jupiter the Finisher. For Mercury appears to be the patron of sleep: they drop libations to him also on their tongues when they depart from a banquet, and the tongues are especially allotted to him, as being the instruments of eloquence. Homer was acquainted also with a variety of meats. At all events he uses the expression “various meats,” and
Meats such as godlike kings rejoice to taste.He was acquainted, too, with everything that is thought luxurious even in our age. And accordingly the palace of Menelaus is the most splendid of houses. And Polybius describes the palace of one of the Spanish kings as being something similar in its appointments and splendour, saying that he was ambitious of imitating the luxury of the Phæacians, except as far as there stood in the middle of the palace huge silver and golden goblets full of wine made of barley. But Homer, when describing the situation and condition of Calypso's house, represents Mercury as astonished; and in his descriptions the life of the Phæacians is wholly devoted to pleasure:
We ever love the banquet rich,[p. 27] and so on. And
The music of the lyre,
How goodly seems it, etc. etc.lines which Eratosthenes says ought to stand thus:—
How goodly seems it ever to employWhen he says “far from all ills,” he means where folly is not allowed to exhibit itself; for it would be impossible for the Phæacians to be anything but wise, inasmuch as they are very dear to the gods, as Nausicaa says.
Far from all ills man's social days in joy,
The plenteous board high heap'd with cates divine
While tuneful songs bid flow the generous wine.37
In Homer, too, the suitors amused themselves in front of the doors of the palace with dice; not having learnt how to play at dice from Diodorus of Megalopolis, or from Theodorus, or from Leon of Mitylene, who was descended from Athenian ancestors: and was absolutely invincible at dice, as Phanias says. But Apion of Alexandria says that he had heard from Cteson of Ithaca what sort of game the game of dice, as played by the suitors, was. For the suitors being a hundred and eight in number, arranged their pieces opposite to one another in equal numbers, they themselves also being divided into two equal parties, so that there were on each side fifty-four; and between the men there was a small space left empty. And in this middle space they placed one man, which they called Penelope. And they made this the mark, to see if any one of them could hit it with his man; and then, when they had cast lots, he who drew the lot aimed at it. Then if any one hit it and drove Penelope forward out of her place, then he put down his own man in the place of that which had been hit and moved from its place. After which, standing up again, he shot his other man at Penelope in the place in which she was the second time. And if he hit her again without touching any one of the other men, he won the game, and had great hopes that he should be the man to marry her. He says too that Eurymachus gained the greatest number of victories in this game, and was very sanguine about his marriage. And in consequence of their luxury the suitors had such tender hands that they were not able to bend the bow; and even their servants were a very luxurious set. [p. 28] Homer, too, speaks of the smell of perfumes as something very admirable:—
Spirit divine! whose exhalation greetsHe speaks, too, of splendid beds; and such is the bed which Arete orders her handmaids to prepare for Ulysses. And Nestor makes it a boast to Telemachus that he is well provided with such things.
The sense of gods with more than mortal sweets.38
But some of the other poets have spoken of the habits of expense and indolence of their own time as existing also at the time of the Trojan war; and so Aeschylus very improperly introduces the Greeks as so drunk as to break their vessels about one another's heads; and he says—
This is the man who threw so wellAnd Sophocles says in his banquet of the Greeks,
The vessel with an evil smell,
And miss'd me not, but dash'd to shivers
The pot too full of steaming rivers
Against my head, which now, alas! sir,
Gives other smells besides macassar.
He in his anger threw too wellBut Eupolis attacks the man who first mentioned such a thing, saying—
The vessel with an evil smell
Against my head, and fill'd the room
With something not much like perfume;
So that I swear I nearly fainted
With the foul steam the vessel vented.
I hate the ways of Sparta's line,But in Homer the chiefs banquet in Agamemnon's tent in a very orderly manner; and if in the Odyssey Achilles and Ulysses dispute and Agamemnon exults, still their rivalry with one another is advantageous, since what they are discussing is whether Troy is to be taken by stratagem, or by open-hand fighting. And he does not represent even the [p. 29] suitors as drunk, nor has he ever made his heroes guilty of such disorderly conduct as Aeschylus and Sophocles have, though he does speak of the foot of an ox being thrown at Ulysses.
And would rather fry my dinner;
He who first invented wine
Made poor man a greater sinner,
And through him the greater need is
Of the arts of Palamedes.39
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,40 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.
And lately baths too have been introduced; things which formerly men would not have permitted to exist inside a city. And Antiphanes points out their injurious character:
Plague take the bath! just see the plight[p. 30] And Hermippus says,
In which the thing has left me;
It seems t' have boil'd me up, and quite
Of strength and nerve bereft me.
Don't touch me, curst was he who taught a
Man to soak in boiling water.
As to mischievous habits, if you ask my vote,But now the refinements of cooks and perfumers have increased so much, that Alexis says that even if a man could bathe in a bath of perfume he would not be content. And all the manufactories of sweetmeats are in great vigour, and such plans are devised for intercourse between people, that some have proposed even to stuff the sofas and chairs with sponge, as on the idea that that will make the occupiers more amorous. And Theophrastus says that some contrivances are of wondrous efficacy in such matters; and Phylarchus confirms him, by reference to some of the presents which Sandrocottus, the king of the Indians, sent to Seleucus; which were to act like charms in producing a wonderful degree of affection, while some, on the contrary, were to banish love. Music, too, has been cultivated now, in a way which is a great perversion of its legitimate use: and extravagance has descended even to our clothes and shoes.
I say there are two common kinds of self-slaughter,
One, constantly pouring strong wine down your throat,
T'other plunging in up to your throat in hot water.
But Homer, though he was well acquainted with the nature of perfume, has never introduced any of his heroes as perfumed except Paris; when he says, “glittering with beauty,” as in another place he says that Venus—
With every beauty every feature arms,Nor does he ever represent them as wearing crowns, although by some of his similes and metaphors he shows that he knew of garlands. At all events he speaks of
Bids her cheeks glow, and lights up all her charms.41
That lovely isle crown'd by the foaming waves,42And again he says—
For all around the crown of battle swells.43We must remark, too, that in the Odyssey he represents his characters as washing their hands before they partake of food. But in the Iliad there is no trace of such a custom. For the life described in the Odyssey is that of men living easily and luxuriously owing to the peace; on which account the men [p. 31] of that time indulged their bodies with baths and washings. And that is the reason why in that state of things they play at dice, and dance, and play ball. But Herodotus is mistaken when he says that those sports were invented in he time of Atys to amuse the people during the famine. For the heroic times are older than Atys. And the men living in the time of the Iliad are almost constantly crying out—
Raise the battle cry so clear,
Prelude to the warlike spear.
Now to go back to what we were saying before. The Athenians made Aristonicus the Carystian, who used to play at ball with Alexander the king, a freeman of their city on account of his skill, and they erected a statue to him. And even in later times the Greeks considered all handicraft trades of much less importance than inventions which had any reference to amusement. And the people of Histiæa, and of Oreum, erected in their theatre a brazen statue holding a die in its hand to Theodorus the juggler. And on the same principle the Milesians erected one to Archelaus the harp- player. But at Thebes there is no statue to Pindar, though there is one to Cleon the singer, on which there is the inscription—
Stranger, thou seest Pytheas' tuneful son,Polemo relates that when Alexander razed Thebes to the ground, one man who escaped hid some gold in the garments of this statue, as they were hollow; and then when the city was restored he returned and recovered his money after a lapse of thirty years. But Herodotus, the logomime as he was called, and Archelaus the dancer, according! to Hegesander, were more honoured by Antiochus the king than any others of his friends. And Antiochus his father made the sons of Sostratus the flute-player his body guards.
While living oft with victory's garlands crown'd,
Sweet singer, though on earth his race is run,
E'en the high heavens with his name resound.
And Matreas, the strolling player of Alexandria, was admired by both Greeks and Romans; and he said that he was cherishing a beast which was eating itself. So that even now it is disputed what that beast of Matreas's was. He used to propose ridiculous questions in parody of the doubt raised by Aristotle, and then he read them in public; as “Why is the [p. 32] sun said to set, and not to dive?” “why are sponges said to suck up, and not to drink?” and “why do we say of a tetra-drachm that it καταλλάττεται,44 when we never speak of its getting in a passion?” And the Athenians gave Pothimos the puppet-master the use of the very stage on which Euripides had exhibited his noble dramas. And they also erected a statue of Euripides in the theatre next to the statue of Aeschylus. Xenophon the conjuror, too, was very popular among them, who left behind him a pupil of the name of Cratisthenes, a citizen of Phlias; a man who used to make fire spout up of its own accord, and who contrived many other extraordinary sights, so as almost to make men discredit the evidence of their own senses. And Nymphodorus the conjuror was another such; a man who having quarrelled with the people of Rhegium, as Duris relates, was the first man who turned them into ridicule as cowards. And Eudicus the buffoon gained great credit by imitating wrestlers and boxers, as Aristoxenus relates. Straton of Tarentum, also, had many admirers; he was a mimic of the dithyrambic poets; and so had Aenonas the Italian, who mimicked the harp-players; and who gave representations of the Cyclops trying to sing, and of Ulysses when shipwrecked, speaking in a clownish fashion. And Diopeithes the Locrian, according to the account of Phanodemus, when he came to Thebes, fastened round his waist bladders full of wine and milk, and then, squeezing them, pretended that he was drawing up those liquids out of his mouth. And Noëmon gained a great reputation for the same sort of tricks. There were also in Alexander's court the following jugglers, who had all a great name. Scymnus of Tarentum, and Philistides of Syracuse, and Heraclitus of Mitylene. And there were too some strolling players of high repute, such as Cephisodorus and Pantaleon. And Xenophon makes mention also of Philip the buffoon.
Rome may fairly be called the nation of the world. And he will not be far out who pronounces the city of the Romans an epitome of the whole earth; for in it you may see every other city arranged collectively, and many also separately; for instance, there you may see the golden city of the Alex- [p. 33] andrians, the beautiful metropolis of Antioch, the surpassing beauty of Nicomedia; and besides all these that most glorious of all the cities which Jupiter has ever display d, I mean Athens. And not only one day, but all the days in an entire year, would be too short for a man who should attempt to enumerate all the cities which might be enumerated as discernible in that uranopolis of the Romans, the city of Rome; so numerous are they.—For indeed some entire nations are settled there, as the Cappadocians, the Scythians, the people of Pontus, and many others. And all these nations, being so to say the entire population of the world, called the dancer who was so famous in our time Memphis, comparing him, on account of the elegance of his movements, to the most royal and honourable of cities; a city of which Bacchylides sings—
Memphis, which winter dares not to assail,As for the Pythagorean philosophy, Athenæus explains that to us, and shows us everything in silence more intelligibly than others who undertake to teach the arts which require talking.
And lotus-crowned Nile.
Now of tragic dancing, as it was called, such as it existed in his time, Bathyllus of Alexandria was the first introducer; whom Seleucus describes as having been a legitimate dancer. This Bathyllus, according to the account of Aristonicus, and Pylades too, who has written a treatise on dancing, composed the Italian dance from the comic one which was called κόρδαξ, and from the tragic dance which was called ἐμμέλεια, and from the Satyric dance which was called σίκιννις, (from which also the Satyrs were called σικιννισταί,) the inventor of which was a barbarian named Sicinnus, though some say that Sicinnus was a Cretan. Now, the dance invented by Pylades was stately, pathetic, and laborious; but that of Bathyllus was in a merrier style; for he added to his a kind of ode to Apollo. But Sophocles, in addition to being eminent for personal beauty, was very accomplished in music and dancing, having been instructed in those arts while a boy by Lamprus, and after the naval victory of Salamis, he having no clothes on, but only being anointed with oil, danced round the trophy erected on that occasion to the music of the lyre, but some say that he had his tunic on; and when he exhibited his Thamyris he himself played the harp; and he also played at [p. 34] ball with great skill when he exhibited his Nausicaa. And Socrates the Wise was very fond of the dance Memphis; and as he was often caught dancing, as Xenophon relates, he said to his friends that dancing was a gymnastic exercise for every limb; for the ancients used the word ὀρχέομαι for every sort of motion and agitation. Anacreon says—
The fair-hair'd maids of mighty Joveand Ion has the expression—
Danced lightly in the mystic grove;
This strange occurrence makes my heart to dance.
And Hermippus says, that Theophrastus used to come to the walks at a regular hour, carefully and beautifully dressed; and that then he would sit down and enter upon an argument, indulging in every sort of motion and gesture imaginable; so that once while imitating an epicure he even put out his tongue and licked his lips. Those men were very careful to put on their clothes neatly; and they ridiculed those who did not do so. Plato, in the Theætetus, speaks of “a man who has capacity to manage everything cleverly and perfectly, but who has no idea how to put on even proper clothes like a gentleman, and who has no notion of the propriety of language, so as to be able to celebrate the life of gods and men in a becoming manner.” And Sappho jests upon Andromeda:—
Sure by some milkmaid you've been taughtAnd Philetærus says—
To dress, whose gown is all too short
To reach her sturdy ancles.
Don't let your gown fall down too low,And Hermippus says, that Theocritus of Chios used to blame the way in which Anaximenes used to wrap his cloak round him as a boorish style of dressing. And Callistratus the pupil of Aristophanes, in one of his writings, attacked Aristarchus severely for not being neatly dressed, on the ground, that attention to those minute is no trifling indication of a man's abilities and good sense. On which account Alexis says—
Nor pull it up too high to show
Your legs in clownish fashion.
'Tis a sure sign of a degraded nature,
To walk along the street in sloven's guise;
Having the means of neatness: which costs nothing;
[p. 35] Is subject to no tax; requires no change;
And creditable is to him who uses it,
And pleasant to all those who witness it.
Who then would ever disregard this rule,
That wishes to be thought a man of sense?
But Aeschylus was not only the inventor of becoming and dignified dress, which the hierophants and torch-bearers of the sacred festivals imitated; but he also invented many figures in dancing, and taught them to the dancers of the chorus. And Chamæleon states that he first arranged the choruses; not using the ordinary dancing-masters, but himself arranging the figures of the dancers for the chorus; and altogether that he took the whole arrangement of his tragedies on himself. And he himself acted in his own plays very fairly. And accord- ingly, Aristophanes (and we may well trust the comic writers in what they say of the tragedians) represents Aeschylus himself as saying—
I myself taught those dances to the chorus,And again, he says, “I recollect that when I saw ' The Phrygians,' when the men came on who were uniting with Priam in his petition for the ransom of his son, some danced in this way, some in that, all at random.” Telesis, or Telestes, (whichever was his right name,) the dancing-master, invented many figures, and taught men to use the action of their hands, so as to give expression to what they said. Phillis the Delian, a musician, says, that the ancient harp-players moved their countenances but little, but their feet very much, imitating the march of troops or the dancing of a chorus. Accordingly Aristotle says, that Telestes the director of Aeschylus's choruses was so great a master of his art, that in managing the choruses of the Seven Generals against Thebes, he made all the transactions plain by dancing. They say, too, that the old poets, Thespis, Pratinas, Carcinus, and Phrynichus, were called dancing poets, because they not only made their dramas depend upon the dancing of the chorus, but because, besides directing the exhibition of their own plays, they also taught dancing to all who wished to learn. But Aeschylus was often drunk when he wrote his tragedies, if we may trust Chamæleon: and accordingly Sophocles reproached him, saying, that even when he did what was right he did not know that he was ding so. [p. 36]
Which pleased so much when erst they danced before us.
Now the national dances are the following:—the Lace- dæmonian, the Trœzenian, the Epizephyrian, the Cretan, the Ionian, the Mantinean, which Aristoxenus considers as the best of all, on account of its movement of the hands. And dancing was considered so creditable an employment, and one requiring so much talent, that Pindar calls Apollo a dancer:—
Prince of dancers, prince of grace,And Homer too, or one of the Homeridæ, in one of the hymns to Apollo, says—
Hail, Phœbus of the silver quiver.
How deftly Phœbus strikes the golden lyre,and Eumelus, or Arctinus, the Corinthian, somewhere or other introduces Jupiter himself as dancing, saying—
While strength and grace each moving limb inspire!
And gracefully amid the dancing throng,But Theophrastus says that Andron of Catana, a flute-player, was the first person who invented motions of the body keeping time to music, while he played on the flute to the dancers; from whom dancing among the ancients was called Sicelizing. And that he was followed by Cleophantus of Thebes. Among the dancers of reputation there was Bulbus, mentioned by Cratinus and Callias; and Zeno the Cretan, who was in high favour with Artaxerxes, mentioned by Ctesias. Alexander also, in his letter to Philoxenus, mentions Theodorus and Chrysippus.
The sire of gods and mortals moved along.
The Temple of the Muses is called by Timon the Phliasian, the satiric writer, the basket, by which term he means to ridicule the philosophers who frequent it, as if they were fattened up in a hen-coop, like valuable birds:—
Aegypt has its mad recluses,. . . . till these table orators got cured of their diarrhea of words; a pack of men, who from their itch for talking appear to me to have forgotten the Pythian oracle, which Chameleon quotes—
In the hen-coop of the Muses
Keeping up their endless fights.
Three weeks ere Sirius burns up the wheat,[p. 37] And so Mnesitheus the Athenian says that the Pythia enjoined the Athenians to honour Bacchus the physician. But Alcæus, the Mitylenæan poet, says—
And three weeks after, seek the cool retreat
Of shady house, and better your condition
By taking Bacchus for your sole physician.
Steep your heart in rosy wine, for see, the dog star is in view;And in another place he says—
Lest by heat and thirst oppress'd you should the season's fury rue.
Fill me, boy, a sparkling cup;And Eupolis says that Callias was compelled to drink by Protagoras, in order that his lungs might not be melted away before the dogdays. But at such a time I not only feel my lungs dried up, but I may almost say my heart too. And Antiphanes says—
See, the dogstar's coming up.
A. Tell me, I pray you, how you life define.And so, says he, they, disputing about the dogstar, had plenty to drink. Thus the word βρέχω, to moisten or soak, is often applied to drinking. And so Antiphanes says—
B. To drink full goblets of rich Chian wine.
You see how tall and fine the forest grows
Through which a sacred river ceaseless flows;
While on dry soils the stately beech and oak
Die without waiting for the woodman's stroke.
Eating much may bring on choking,And Eubulus has—
Unless you take a turn at soaking.
A. I Sicon come with duly moisten'd clay.
B. What have you drunk then? A. That you well may say.
Now the verb ἀναπίπτω, meaning to fall back, has properly reference to the mind, meaning to despair, to be out of heart. Thucydides says in his first book, “When they are defeated they are least of all people inclined to ἀναπίπτειν.” And Cratinus uses the same expression of rowers—
Ply your oars and bend your backs.And Xenophon in his Œconomics says, “Why is it that rowers are not troublesome to one another, except because they sit in regular order, and bend forward in r gular order, and (ἀναπίπτουσιν) lean back in regular order?” —The word ἀνακεῖσθαι is properly applied to a statue, on which account they used to laugh at those who used the word of the guests at a feast, for whom the proper expression was κατακεῖμαι. [p. 38] Accordingly Diphilus puts into the mouth of a man at a feast—
I for a while sat down (ἀνεκείμην):and his friend, not approving of such an expression, says, ᾿ανάκεισο. And Philippides has—
I supped too ἀνακειμένος in his house.And then the other speaker rejoins—
What, was he giving a dinner to a statue?But the word κατακεῖσθαι is used, and also κατακεκλῖσθαι, of reclining at meals: as Xenophon and Plato prove in their essays called the Banquet. Alexis too says—
'Tis hard before one's supper to lie down,Not but what the word ἀνακεῖσθαι is used in this sense, though rarely. The satyr in Sophocles says—
For if one does one cannot go to sleep;
Nor give much heed to aught that may be said;
One's thoughts being fix'd on what there 'll be to eat.
If I catch fire I'll leap with a mightyAnd Aristotle says, when speaking of the laws of the Tyrrhenians, “But the Tyrrhenians sup, ἀνακειμένοι with the women under the same covering.” Theopompus also says—
Spring upon Hercules, as ἀνακεῖται.
Then we the goblets fill'd with mighty wine,And Philonides says—
On delicate couches κατακειμένος,
Singing in turn old songs of Telamon.
I have been here κατακειμένος a long time.And Euripides says in the Cyclops—
After that I bade her ἀναπεσεῖν by my side.
The ancients, too, used the word πάσασθαι for to taste. And so Phœnix says to Achilles, "You would not πάσασθαι anything in any one else's house. And in another place we find—
When they ἐπάσαντο the entrails:for they only taste the entrails, so that a great multitude [p. 39] might have a taste of what exists in but a small quantity. And Priam says to Achilles—-
Now I have tasted food, (πασάμην.）For it was natural for a man suffering under such calamities as his, only just to taste food, for his grief would not permit him to go so far as to satisfy his hunger. And therefore, he who did not touch food at all is called “fasting,” ἄπαστος. But the poet never uses the word πάσασθαι of those who eat their fill; but in their case he uses words which express satiety:—
But when their minds were pleased (τάρφθεν) with wholesome food;and,
When they had ceased to wish for meat and drink.But more modern writers use the word πάσασθαι for being satisfied. Callimachus says—
I should like to satiateand Eratosthenes—
（πάσασθαι) myself with thyme;
They roasted their game in the ashes and ate it,
（ἐπάσαντο) at least they all did who could get it.
We find in the Theban bard the expression, “glueing them together as one would glue one piece of wood to another.” Seleucus says that the expression so common in Homer, δαῖτα θάλειαν, is the same as δίαιτα by a slight alteration of the arrangement of the letters; for he thinks that is too violent a change to consider it as derived from δαίσασθαι. Carystius of Pergamos relates that the Corcyrean women sing to this day when playing at ball. And in Homer, it is not only men who play, but women also. And they used to play at quoits also, and at throwing the javelin, with some grace:—
They threw the quoit, and hurl'd the playful spear.For any amusement takes away the feeling of ennui. And young men prosecute hunting as a sort of practice against the dangers of war; and there is no sort of chase which they avoid; and the consequence is that they are more vigorous and healthy than they otherwise would be.
As when they stand firm as unshaken towers,[p. 40] The men of those times were acquainted with baths also of all sorts. as a relief from fatigue. Refreshing themselves after toil by bathing in the sea; which of all baths is the best for the sinews; and having relaxed the excessive strains of their muscles in the bath, they then anointed themselves with ointment, in order to prevent their bodies from becoming too rigid as the water evaporated. And so the men who returned from a reconnoissance,
And face the foe, and pour forth darts in showers.
Wash'd off their heat in Neptune's briny tides,And then—
And bathed their heads, and legs, and brawny sides.45
They to the polish'd marble baths repair,There was another way, too, of refreshing themselves and getting rid of their fatigue, by pouring water over the head:—
Anoint with fresh perfumes their flowing hair,
And seek the banquet hall.
Then o'er their heads and necks the cooling streamfor baths, in which the whole body is immersed, as the water surrounds all the pores on every side, prevents the escape of the perspiration, just as if a sieve were thrown into the water. For then nothing goes through the sieve, unless you lift it up out of the water, and so allow its pores, if one may call them so, to open, and make a passage through; as Aristotle says in his problems of natural philosophy, when he asks, “Why do men in a perspiration, when they come into warm or cold water no longer perspire, until they leave the bath again?”
The handmaids pour'd:46
Vegetables also were set before the ancient heroes when they supped. And that they were acquainted with the use of vegetables is plain from the expression,
He went down to the furthest bedAnd they used onions too, though they have a very disagreeable smell:—
In the well-order'd garden.
There was the onion, too, to season wine.Homer represents his heroes also as fond of the fruit of trees:—
Figs after figs grow old, pears after pears.[p. 41] On which account also he calls those trees which bear fruit beauteous:—
There many a beauteous tree appears—And those which are adapted for being cut down for timber he calls tall, distinguishing the epithets which h applies to each by their respective uses:—
Pomegranates, apples, figs, and pears.
There tall trees adorn the grove,And the use of these trees was older than the Trojan war. And Tantalus, even after he is dead, is not cured of his fancy for these fruits; as the god, to punish him, waves such before his eyes (just as men lead on irrational animals by holding branches in front of them), and then prevents him from enjoying them, the moment he begins to entertain a hope of doing so. And Ulysses reminds Laertes of what he gave him when he was a child: “You gave me thirteen pears” —and so on.
The ash, and pine that towers above.
And that they used to eat fish, Sarpedon proves plainly, when he compares the being taken prisoner to fish caught in a large net. Yet Eubulus, jesting in the way that the comic writers allow themselves, says—
I pray you, where in Homer is the chiefNor did those heroes allow the birds the free enjoyment of the air; setting traps and nets for thrushes and doves. And they practised the art of taking birds, and, suspending a dove by a small string to the mast of a ship, then shot arrows at it from a distance, as is shown in the book describing the funeral games. But Homer passed over the use of vegetables, and fish, and birds, lest to mention them should seem like praising gluttony, thinking besides there would be a want of decorum in dwelling on the preparation of such things, which he considered beneath the dignity of gods and heroes. But that they did in reality eat their meat boiled as well as roasted, he shows when he says—
Who e'er eat fish, or anything but beef?
And, though so much of liberty they boasted,
Their meat was never anything but roasted.
But as a caldron boils with melting fat[p. 42] and the foot of the ox which was thrown at Ulysses proves it too, for no one ever roasts oxen's feet. And the line too-
Of well-fed pig;
Then many a well-fill'd dish was duly setas this not only speaks of the variety of meats, such as birds, pigs, kids, and beef; but it also speaks of the way in which they were dressed as having varied, and not having been all of one kind, but carefully arranged. So that you may see here the origin of the Sicilian and Sybaritic and Italian ways of giving feasts, and the Chian fashion also. For the Chians are reported not to have been less studious than the other nations just mentioned in the art of dressing their meat. Timocles says—
On the full board, with every kind of meat;
The ChiansAnd in Homer, not only the young men, but the old men too, such as Phœnix and Nestor, sleep with the women; and Menelaus is the only man who has no woman allotted to him, inasmuch as he had collected the whole expedition for the sake of his wife, who had been carried away from him.
Are splendid hands at dressing viands.
Ancient wine and modern songs.And Eubulus says—
Inconsistent it seems for a fair one to praiseAnd Alexis says very nearly the same thing word for word; only using the word little instead of never. Though in reality old wine is not only more pleasant, but also better for health; for it aids digestion more; and being thinner it is itself more digestible; it also invigorates the body; and makes the blood red and fluid, and produces untroubled sleep. But Homer praises that wine most which will admit of a copious admixture of water; as the Maronean. And old wine will allow of more water being added to it, because its very age has added heat to it. And some men say, that the flight of Bacchus to the sea is emblematic of the making of wine, as it was practised long ago; because wine is very [p. 43] sweet when sea-water is poured into it. And Homer praising dark-coloured wine, often calls it αἴθοψ. For the dark-coloured wine is the strongest, and it remains in the system of the drinkers of it longer than any other. But Theopompus says, that black wine was first made among the Chians; and, that the Chians were the first people who imparted the knowledge of planting and tending vines to the rest of mankind, having learnt it from Œnopion the son of Bacchus, who was the original colonizer of their island. But white wine is weak and thin; but yellow wine is very digestible, being of a more drying nature.
Old wine, and to say that such never can cloy;
But bring her a man who has seen his best days,
And she'd rather put up with a whiskerless boy.
Respecting the Italian wines, Galen is represented by this sophist as saying, that the Falernian wine is fit to drink from the time that it is ten or fifteen years old, till it is twenty; but after that time it falls off, and is apt to give headaches, and affects the nervous system. There are two kinds of Falernian wine, the dry and the sweet. The sweet wine is made when the south wind blows through the vineyard; which also makes it darker in colour. But that which is not made at this time is dry and yellow. Of the Alban wine there are also two kinds, one sweet and one sour; and both are in their prime after they are fifteen years old. The wine of Surrentum begins to be drinkable when five-and-twenty years old; for as it has no oil of any sort in it, and is very thin, it is a long time ripening: and when it is old it is nearly the only wine that is wholesome to be drunk for a continuance. But the Rhegian wine, being richer than the Surrentine, may be used as soon as it is fifteen years old. The wine of Privernum too is very good, being thinner than the Rhegian wine, and one which does not take much effect on the head. And the Formian wine is like it; and is a wine which soon comes to its prime; it is, however, a richer wine than the other, But the Trifoline wine is slower ripening, and has a more earthy taste than the Surrentine. The Setine is a wine of the first class, like the Falernian wine, but lighter, and not so apt to make "a man drunk. The wine of Tibur is thin, and evaporates easily, being at its best as soon as it is ten years old. Still it is better as it gets older. The Labican wine is sweet and oily to the taste, being something between the Falerrian and the Alban: and you may drink that when it is ten years old. There is the Gauran wine too, a scarce and very fine wine, and [p. 44] likewise very powerful and oily; more so indeed than the wine of Præneste or of Tibur. The Marsic is a very dry wine; and very good for the stomach. Around Cumæ in Campania there is a wine made which is called Ulban, a light wine, fit to be drunk when five years old. The wine of Ancona is a fine wine, and rather oily. The Buxentine is like the Alban, as far as being rather sour; but it is a strong wine, and good for the stomach. The Veliternian wine is very sweet to drink and good for the stomach; but it has this peculiarity, that it does not taste like a pure wine, but always has an appearance as if some other was mixed with it. The Calenian wine is light, and better for the stomach than the Falernian. The Cæcuban is a noble wine, full of strength and easily affecting the head; but it does not come to its prime till after many years. The Fundan wine is strong, and nutritious, and affects the head and stomach, on which account it is not much used at banquets. But the Sabine wine is lighter than any of these, and is fit to be drunk from the time that it is seven years old till it is fifteen; and the Signine wine is available at six years old, but as it gets older it is far more valuable. The wine of Nomentum gets in season very early, and can be drunk as soon as it is five years old; it is not very sweet, and not very thin; but that of Spoletum is very sweet to the taste, and has a golden colour. The wine of Capua is in many respects like the Surrentine wine. The Barbine is very dry and continually improving. The Caucine too is a noble wine, and resembles the Falernian. The wine of Venafrum is good for the stomach, and light. The Trebellian wine, which is made round Naples, is of moderate strength, good for the stomach, and pleasant to the taste. The Erbulian wine is at first dark coloured, but in a few years it becomes white; and it is a very light and delicate wine. That of Marseilles is a fine wine, but it is scarce, and thick, with a good deal of body. The Tarentine, and all the other wines of that district, are delicate wines, without very much strength or body, sweet, and good for the stomach. The Mamertine is a foreign wine, made out of Italy. There is also another wine made in Sicily, and called Iotaline; it is a sweet wine and light, but there is some strength in it. Among the Indians a deity is worshipped, according to the [p. 45] account of Chares of Mitylene, who is called Soroadeus; which name, as interpreted in Greek, means Winemaker.
Antiphanes, that witty man, catalogues all the things which are peculiar to each city thus:—
Cooks come from Elis, pots from Argos,And Hermippus says,
Corinth blankets sends in barges,
Phlius wine, and Sicyon fish,
While cheese is a Sicilian dish.
Aegium sends flute-playing maids;
Perfumers ply their dainty trades
At Athens, under Pallas' eye;
Bœotia sends us eels to fry.
Tell me, ye Muses, who th' Olympic height
Cheer with your holy songs and presence bright;
Tell me what blessings Bacchus gave to man,
Since first his vessel o'er the waters ran.
Ox-hides from Libya's coasts, and juicy kail:
The narrow sea, still vocal with the wail
Of lost Leander's bride, the tunny sends,
And our first meal with kipper'd salmon mends.
Groats come from Italy, and ribs of beef;
While Thrace sends many a lie and many a thief.
Still do the Spartans scratch their sides in vain,
Mad with the itching of th' Odrysian pain.
Then Syracuse gives cheese and well-fed pigs;
Fair Athens olives sends, and luscious figs.
Cursed of all islands let Corcyra be,
Where no especial excellence we see.
Sails come from Egypt, and this paper too;
Incense from Syria; Crete upholds to view
The cypress tall; and, dear to mighty Jove,
In Paphlagonia grows the almond grove.
The elephant sends its teeth from Afric's sands;
Pears and fat sheep grow on Eubœa's lands;
Rhodes sends us raisins, and beguiles the night
With figs that make our dreams and slumbers light
From Phrygia slaves, allies from Area's land;
The Pagas$ean ports their hirelings brand;
Phœnicia sends us dates across the billows,
???nd Carthage, carpets rich, and well-stuft'd pillows.
Pindar too, in the Pythian ode addressed to Hiero, says,
Give me the noble Spartan houndCritias tells us—
With whose deep voice Eurotas' banks resound;
While the dark rocks
Of Scyrus give the choicest flocks
[p. 46] Of milky goats; and, prompt at war's alarms,
Brave Argos burnishes the well-proved arms,
The Sicels build the rapid car,
And the fierce Thebans urge the chariot to the war.47
Know ye the land of the fair Proserpine,
Where the cottabus splashes the ominous wine;
Where the lightest and handsomest cars . . .
And what can for tired limbs compareAnd indeed the pottery of Attica is deservedly praised. But Eubulus says, “Cnidian pots, Sicilian platters, and Megarian jars.” And Antiphanes enumerates “mustard, and also scammony juice from Cyprus; cardamums from Miletus; onions from Samothrace; cabbages, kail, and assafœtida from Carthage; thyme from Hymettus, and marjoram from Tenedos.”
With the soft and yielding Thessalian chair?
But no town with Miletus vies
In the bridal bed's rich canopies.
But none the golden bowl can chase,
Or give to brass such varied grace,
As that renowned hardy race
That dwells by Arno's tide;
Phœnicia, mother of the arts,
Letters to learned men imparts;
Thebes scaled the mountain's side,
Bade the tough ash its trunk to yield,
And fill'd with cars the battle-field;
While Carians, masters of the seas,
First launch'd the boat to woo the breeze.
Offspring of clay and furnace bright,
The choicest porcelain clear and light
Boasts, as its birth-place, of the towers
Which Neptune's and Minerva's powers
From ills and dangers shield;
Which beat back war's barbaric wave
When Mede and Persian found a grave
In Marathon's undying field.
The Persian king used to drink no other wine but that called the Chalybonian, which Posidonius says is made in Damascus of Syria, from vines which were planted there by the Persians; and at Issa, which is an island in the Adriatic, Agatharchides says that wine is made which is superior to every other wine whatever. The Chian and Thasian wines [p. 47] are mentioned by Epilycus; who says that “the Chian and the Thasian wine must be strained.” And also,—
For all the ills that men endure,Clearchus speaks of “Lesbian wine, which Maro himself appears to me to have been the maker of.” And Alexis says—
Thasian is a certain cure;
For any head or stomach ache,
Thasian wine I always take,
And think it, as I home am reeling,
A present from the God of healing.
All wise men thinkAnd again he says—
The Lesbian is the nicest wine to drink.
His whole thoughts every day inclineAnd again—
To drink what rich and rosy wine
From Thasos and from Lesbos comes,
And dainty cakes and sugarplums.
Hail, O Bacchus, ever dear,And Ephippus sings—
You who from Lesbos drove dull care
With sparkling rosy wine;
He who would give one glass away,
Too vile on cheerful earth to stay,
Shall be no friend of mine.
Oh how luscious, oh how fineAnd Antiphanes—
Is the Pramnian Lesbian wine!
All who 're brave, and all who're wise,
Much the wine of Lesbos prize.
There is good meat, and plenteous dainty cheer;And Eubulus—
And Thasian wine, perfumes, and garlands here;
Venus loves comfort; but where folks are poor,
The merry goddess ever shuns their door.
In Thasian wine or Chian soak your throttle,He speaks too of Psithian wine—
Or take of Lesbian an old cobwebb'd bottle.
Give me some Psithian nectar, rich and neat,And Anaxandrides mentions “a jar full of Psithian wine.” [p. 48]
To cool my thirst, and quench the burning heat.
Thesmophorius of Trœzene entitles the second θεσμοφοριάζουσαι of Aristophanes θεσμοφοριάσασαι.. In that play the poet speaks of Peparethian wine:—
Shun, my boy, the Pramnian cup,Elbulus says—
Nor Thasian drink, nor Chian sup;
Nor let your glass with Peparethian brighten—
For bachelors that liquor's too exciting.
As sweet asArchestratus, the author of “The Art of giving a Banquet,” says,—
Wine from Leucas or Miletus.
When a libation to the gods you make,
Let your wine worthy be, and ripe and old;
Whose hoary locks droop o'er his purple lake,
Such as in Lesbos' sea-girt isle is sold.
Phœnicia doth a generous liquor bear,
But still the Lesbian I would rather quaff;
For though through age the former rich appear,
You'll find its fragrance will with use go off.
But Lesbian is the true ambrosial juice,
And so the gods, whose home's Olympus, think it;
And if some rather the Phoenician choose,
Let them, as long as they don't make you drink it.
The Thasian isle, too, noble wine doth grow,
When passing years have made its flavour mellow,
And other places too; still all I know
Is that the Lesbian liquor has no fellow.
I need not stop to tell you all the names
Of towns which in the generous contest vie,
Each for itself the vict'ry hotly claims;
But still the Lesbian wine beats all, say I.
Ephippus, too, mentions the Phoenician wine, saying, “Nuts, pomegranates, dates, and other sweetmeats, and small casks of Phœnician wine.” And again,—
A cask of good Phœnician wine was tapp'd.Xenophon, too, mentions it in his Anabasis. The Mendæan wine is mentioned by Cratinus:—
When a man tastes Mendæan wine,And Hermippus somewhere introduces Bacchus as mentioning several different kinds of wine:— [p. 49]
How rich, says he, how sweet, how fine!
I wonder where it can be bought, or
What's the right quantity of water.
Mendæan wine such as the gods distil,And Phanias the Eresian poet says that the Mendæans are in the habit of syringing the grapes with opening medicine, even while still on the vine; and that this makes the wine soft.
And sweet Magnesian, cures for every ill,
And Thasian, redolent of mild perfume;
But of them all the most inviting bloom
Mantles above old Homer's Chian glass;
That wine doth all its rivals far surpass.
There is a wine, which Saprian they call,
Soon as the seals from whose rich hogshead fall,
Violets and roses mix their lovely scent,
And hyacinths, in one rich fragrance blent;
You might believe Jove's nectar sparkled there,
With such ambrosial odour reeks the air.
This is the wine I'll to my friends disclose;
The Peparethian trash may suit my foes.
Themistocles received from the king of Persia Lampsacus, to supply him with wine; Magnesia, for bread; Myus, for meat; and Percope and Palæscepsis were to provide him with bedclothes and garments. The king moreover enjoined him to wear a cloak such as is worn by the barbarians, as he had previously bade Demaratus do; and he gave him the same presents as he had formerly given to Demaratus, and added also a robe such as is worn by the sons-in-law of the king, on condition of his never reassuming the Greek attire. And Cyrus the Great gave Pytharchus of Cyzicus, being a friend of his, seven cities, as is related by Agathocles of Babylon; namely, Pedasus, and Olympius, and Cama, and Tium, and Sceptra, and Artypsus, and Tortyra. But he, being made insolent and having his head turned by this liberality, attempted to make himself tyrant of his country, and collected an army for that purpose. On which the people of Cyzicus went out to battle against him, and attacked him eagerly, and so preserved their liberties. Among the people of Lampsacus Priapus is held in high honour, being the same as Bacchus, and having this name Priapus only as an epithet, just as Thriambus and Dithyrambus are. The Mitylenæans have a sweet wine which they call πρόδρομος, and others call it πρότροπος.
The Icarian wine, too, is held in high estimation, as Amphis says:— [p. 50]
Thurium gives the olive juice,The Pramnian wine, too, according to Eparchides, is produced in Icarus. It is a peculiar kind of wine; and it is neither sweet nor thick, but dry and hard, and of extraordinary strength; and Aristophanes says that the Athenians did not like it, for that “the Athenian people did not like hard and sour poets, nor hard Pramnian wines, which contract the eyebrows and the stomach; but they prefer a fragrant wine, ripe, and flavoured like nectar.” For Semus says that there is in Icarus a rock called the Pramnian rock; and near it is a great mountain, from which the Pramnian wine has its name, and some call it a medicinal wine. Now Icarus used formerly to be called the Fishy Icarus, from the number of fish around it; just as the Echinades had their name from the sea-urchins, and the promontory Sepias from the number of cuttle-fish which are taken near it. And in like manner the Lagussæ islands are so called from λαγὼς, a hare, as being full of hares. And other islands are called Phycussæ, and Lopadussæ, for similar reasons. And according to Eparchides, the vine which produces the Icarian Pramnian wine, is called by the strangers the Holy vine, and by the people of Œnoe the Dionysiac vine. And Œnoe is a city in the island. But Didymus says that the Pramnian wine comes from a vine called Pramnian; and some say that the name means merely dark-coloured. But others affirm that it is a generic name for wine suitable for long keeping, as being παραμένιος, that is to say, such as can be kept. And some say that it is so called from πραΰνειν τὸ μένος, mollifying anger, because those who drink it become good-humoured.
Lentils Gela's fields produce;
Icarian wine well merits praise,
And figs which the Cimolians raise.
Amphis praises also the wine which comes from the city of Acanthus, saying,—
A. Whence do you come, friend? speak.[p. 51] And Alexis mentions Corinthian wine as a harsh wine—
B. From Acanthus I.
A. Acanthus? then I trow,
Since you're a countryman of wine so strong,
You must be fierce yourself;
Your country's name is thorny,48 but I hope
Your manners are not quite so rough and prickly.
And foreign wine was there; for that from CorinthHe speaks, too, of wine from Eubœa—
Is painful drinking.
Drinking deep draughts of harsh Eubœan wine.The Naxian wine is compared by Archilochus to nectar. And he says in some one of his poems—
My spear finds corn, my spear finds wine,But Strattis praises the wine of Sciathus—
From Ismarus; on my spear I dine,
And on it, when fatigued, recline.
The black Sciathian wine mix'd half and half,And Achæus praises the Bibline wine—
Invites the traveller to halt and quaff.
He pledged him in a cup of Bibline wine.While it has its name from some district which is called by a similar appellation. And Philyllius says,—
I'll give you Lesbian, Chian wine,But Epicharmus says that it is named from some mountains of a similar name. And Armenidas says that there is a district of Thrace called the Biblian, the same which was afterwards called Tisara, and Œsyma. And it was very natural for Thrace to be admired as a country producing fine wines; and indeed all the adjacent country deserves the same character.
Thasian, Mendæan, and Bibline;
Sweet wines, but none so strong and heady
As that you shall next day feel seedy.
Full of rich wine the ships from Lemnos came.But Hippias the Rhegian says that the wine called the creeper was also called Biblian; and that Pollis the Argive, who was king of Syracuse, was the first person who brought it to Syracuse from Italy. And if that be true, probably the sweet wine which among the Sicilians is called Pollian, is the same as the Bibline wine. There is an ancient oracle:—
Drink wine where lees abound, since Fate has not[p. 52] And there was a vine among the people of Trœzene, (as Aris- totle says, in his book on their polity,) called Anthedonian, and another called Hyperian; from men of the name of Anthus and Hyperus, just as the Althephian vine is named after a man of the name of Althephias, one of the descendants of Alpheus.
Placed you amid Anthedon's flowery plains,
Or in the streets of sacred Hypera,
Where purer wine abounds.
Aleman somewhere speaks of a wine as free from fire, and smelling of flowers, which is produced from the Five Hills, a place about seven furlongs from Sparta. And he mentions another wine which comes from Denthiades, a small fortress, and another from Œnus, and another from Onogle and Stathmi. And these places are all near Pitane. Accordingly, he says, “And wine from Œnus, or from Denthis, or from Carystus, or from Onoglæ, or from Stathmi.” The Carystian wine is that which comes from Carystus in Laconia, on the borders of Arcadia. And he calls it “free from fire” as not having been boiled; for they often used boiled wines. Polybius says that there was an admirable wine made at Capua; which was called ἀναδενδρίτης, to which no other wine was at all comparable. But Alciphron of the Mæander says, that there was a mountain village near the Ephesian territories, which was formerly called Latona's, but is now called Latorea, from Latorea the Amazon; and that there also Pramnian wine is made. Timachidas the Rhodian calls a wine made at Rhodes ὑπόχυτος, or the adulterated wine, being near akin to sweet wine. But that wine is called γλύξις which goes through no process of decoction. There is also a Rhodian wine, which Polyzelus calls αὐτίτης:49 and another which Plato the comic writer calls καπνίας;50 and this wine is made in the greatest perfection at Beneventum, a city in Italy. But the wine Amphis is spoken of as a very poor wine by Sosicrates. The ancients used also a certain wine made of spices, which they called τρίμμα. But Theophrastus, in his History of Plants, says, that a wine is made in Heræa in Arcadia which, when it is drunk, drives men out of their senses, and makes women inclined to preg- nancy: and that around Cerunia in Achaia there is a kind of vine, from which a wine is made which has a tendency to cause abortion in pregnant women; and if they eat the grapes too, says he, they miscarry;—and the Trœzenian wine, he says, makes those who drink it barren: and at Thasos, [p. 53] says he, they make a wine which produces sleep, and another which causes those who drink it to keep awake.
But concerning the manufacture of scented wine, Phanias of Eresus says, “There is infused into the wine one portion of sea-water to fifty of wine, and that becomes scented wine.” And again he says, “Scented wine is made stronger of young than of old vines;” and he subjoins, “Having trodden on the unripe grapes they put the wine away, and it becomes scented.” But Theophrastus says, that “the wine at Thasos, which is given in the prytaneum, is wonderfully delicious; for it is well seasoned; for they knead up dough with honey, and put that into the earthen jars; so that the wine receives fragrance from itself, and sweetness from the honey.” And he proceeds to say, “If any one mixes harsh wine which has no smell with soft and fragrant wine, such, for instance, as the Heraclean wine with that of Erythræ, softness is derived from the one, and wholesomeness from the other.” And the Myrtite or Myrrhine wine is spoken of by Posidippus:—
A tasteless, dry, and foolish wineHermes, too, is mentioned by Strattis as the name of a drink. And Chæreas says, that a wine is made in Babylon which is called nectar. The bard of Ceos says—
I consider the myrrhine.
'Tis not enough to mix your wine with taste,
Unless sweet converse seasons the repast;
And Bacchus' gifts well such regard deserve,
That we should e'en the stones of grapes preserve.
Now of wines some are white, some yellow, and some red. The white is the thinnest in its nature, diuretic, and warm; and being a promoter of digestion it causes a heat in the head; for it is a wine which has a tendency to move upwards. But of red wine that which is not sweet is very nutritious, and is astringent; but that which is sweet (as is the case with even white and yellow wine also) is the most nutrition of all: for it softens all the ducts and passages, and thickens the fluid parts of the body, and does not at all confuse the head. For in reality the nature of sweet wine lingers about the ribs, and engenders spittle, as Diodes and Praxagoras asset. But Mnesitheus the Athenian says, “Red wine is the mot nutritious; but white is the most diuretic and the thinnest; and the [p. 54] yellow is a dry wine, and that which most assists in the digestion of the food.” Now the wines which have been very carefully prepared with sea-water never cause headaches; and they open the bowels, and sometimes gripe the stomach, and produce flatulency, and assist in the digestion of food. Of this character is the Myndian wine, and that of Halicarnassus. And so Menippus the Cynic calls Myndus “brine-drinking.” The Coan wine too has a good deal of sea-water in it. The Rhodian has not so much sea-water; but a great deal of that wine is good for nothing. Wine made in the islands is very good to drink, and not at all ill-calculated for daily use. But Cnidian wine makes blood, is nutritious, and keeps the bowels in a healthy state; though if it is drunk in great quantities it relaxes the stomach. The Lesbian wine is less astringent, and more diuretic. But the Chian is a nicer wine; and of all the Chian wine, that called the Aryusian is the best. And of this there are three varieties: for there is a dry kind, and a sweet kind; and that the flavour of which is between the two is called autocratic, that is, self-mixed. Now the dry kind is pleasant to the taste, nutritious, and more diuretic than the others; but the sweet kind is nutritious, filling, and apt to soften the bowels. The autocratic wine in its effects also is something between the two. But, generally speaking, the Chian wine is digestible, nutritious, a producer of good blood, mild, and filling, inasmuch as it has a great deal of body. But the nicest of all wines are the Alban and Falernian wines of Italy; but these, if they have been kept a length of time and are old, acquire a medicinal effect, and rapidly produce a sensation of heaviness. But the wine called Adrian relieves any oppression of the breath, is very digestible, and wholly free from all unpleasant consequences; but these wines require to be made with rapidity, and then to be set in an open place, so as to allow the thicker portions of their body to evaporate. But the best wine to keep a length of time is the Corcyrean. The Zacynthian and Leucadian wines also are apt to be bad for the head, because they contain chalk. There is a wine from Cilicia, called Abates, which has no effect except that of relaxing the bowels. But hard water, such as that from springs, or from rain if it is filtered, and has stood some time, agrees very well with Coan and Myndian and Halicarnassian wine, [p. 55] and indeed with every wine which has plenty of salt-water in it. And accordingly these wines are of the greatest use at Athens and Sicyon, because the waters in these cities are harsh. But for those wines which have no sea-water, and which are of a more astringent nature, especially for the Chian and Lesbian wine, the purest water is the most suitable.
Oh thou my tongue, whom silence long hath bound,These are the words of Sophocles.
How wilt thou bear this tale of thine t' unfold?
Hard is their fate to whom compulsion stern
Leaves no alternative; which now compels thee
To open what thy lord would fain conceal.
The Mareotic wine, which comes from Alexandria, had its name from a fountain in the district of Alexandria called Marea; and from a town of the same name which was close to it; which was formerly a place of great importance, but is now reduced to a petty village. And the fountain and town derived their name from Maro, who was one of the companions of Bacchus in his expedition. And there are many vines in that country, which produce grapes very good to eat when raw, and the wine which is made from them is excellent. For it is white, and sweet, and good for the breath, and digestible, and then, it never produces any ill effect on the head, and is diuretic. And still better than this is the wine called Tæniqtic. The word ταινία means a riband; and there is in that district a long narrow riband of land, the wines produced from which are of a slightly green colour, with something oily in them, which is quickly dissolved when it is mixed with water; just as the Attic honey is dissolved by the same process. This Tæniotic wine, in addition to being sweet, has something aromatic in it, of a slightly astringent character. But there are vines near the Nile in great quantities as far as the river extends; and there are many peculiarities in those vines, both a to their colour and as to their use. However, the best of all the wines made in that district is that made near the city of Antylla (which is not far from Alexandria), the revenues fro which the kings of those ages, both the Egyptian and Persian kings, used to give to their wives for pin-money. But the wine which is made in the Thebais, especially that near the city Coptos, is light, and easy of digestion, and also so great an assistant in [p. 56] the digestion of the rest of one's food, that it is given to people in fevers without injury.
You praise yourself, as does Astydamas, woman!(Astydamas was a tragic poet.)
Theopompus the Chian says, that the vine is found at Olympia, near the Alpheus; and that there is a place about eight furlongs from Elis where the natives at the time of the Dionysian games close up three empty brazen vessels, and seal them in the presence of all the people round about; and at a subsequent time they open them and find them full of wine. But Hellanicus says, that the vine was first discovered in Plinthina, a city of Egypt; on which account Dion, the academic philosopher, calls the Egyptians fond of wine and fond of drinking: and also, that as subsidiary to wine, in the case of those who, on account of their poverty, could not get wine, there was introduced a custom of drinking beer made of barley; and moreover, that those who drank this beer were so pleased with it that they sung and danced, and did everything like men drunk with wine. Now Aristotle says, that men who are drunk with wine show it in their faces; but that those who have drunk too much beer fall back and go to sleep; for wine is stimulating, but beer has a tendency to stupefy.
Now that the Egyptians really are fond of wine this is a proof, that they are the only people among whom it is a custom at their feasts to eat boiled cabbages before all the rest of their food; and even to this very time they do so. And many people add cabbage seed to potions which they prepare as preventives against drunkenness. And wherever a vineyard has cabbages growing in it, there the wine is weaker. On which account the citizens of Sybaris also, as Timmeus says, used to eat cabbages before drinking. And so Alexis says—
Last evening you were drinking deep,And Eubulus says, somewhere or other—
So now your head aches. Go to sleep;
Take some boil'd cabbage when you wake;
And there's an end of your headache.
Wife, quick! some cabbage boil, of virtues healing,[p. 57] For the ancients used to call cabbage ῥάφανος. And so Apollodorus of Carystus expressly says—
That I may rid me of this seedy feeling.
If you butter and cabbage eat,And Nicochares says—
All distempers you will beat,
Driving off all headaches horrid,
And clouds which hover round your forehead.
Instead of cabbage, acorns boil to-morrow,And Amphis tells us—
Which equally rid you of all your sorrow.
When one's been drunk, the best relief I knowAnd Theophrastus also speaks of the effect which the cabbage produces, saying that the vine as long as it lives always turns away from the smell of cabbage.
Is stern misfortune's unexpected blow;
For that at once all languor will dispel,
As sure as cabbage.