previous next

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 son
Of old Ischomachus of Myconos?
B. I, a good man, may banquet with the good,
For friends should have all their delights in common.
Archilochus says:—
You come and drink full cups of Chian wine,
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.
And Eũbulus, the comic writer, says somewhere:—
We have invited two unequaled men,
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!
Amphis, the comic writer, says:—
A man who comes late to a feast,
At which he has nothing to pay,
Will be sure if in battle he's press'd,
To run like a coward away.
And Chrysippus says:—
Never shun a banquet gay,
Where the cost on others falls;
Let them, if they like it, pay
For your breakfasts, dinners, balls.
And Antiphanes says:—
More blest than all the gods is he,
Whom every one is glad to see,
Who from all care and cost is free.
And again:—
Happy am I, who never have cause
To be anxious for meat to put in my jaws.
I 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.

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,
Why must I, too, eat alone?
And Ameipsias says:—

And if she's a μονοφάγος, plague take her,
I'd guard against her as a base housebreaker.
[p. 13]

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Kaibel)
load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: