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.1
Then quickly they prepared to break their fast.2But 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 ἄριστον3 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.4That 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.