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.1
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:2