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.