But a wise poet should behaveThese, my good friend Timocrates, are the words of Astydamas the tragedian, in his satyric drama of Hercules. Come, let us now proceed to mention what is consistent with what we have said before, to show how great an eater Hercules was. And this is a point in his character mentioned by nearly all poets and historians. Epicharmus, in his Busiris, says—
Like one who gives a splendid feast;
And so if he is wise should he
Seek the spectators to delight,
So that each one, when he departs,
May think that he has drunk and eaten
Exactly what he'd most have wish'd;
Not that there should have been but one
Dish for all sorts of appetites,
Or but one kind of writing for all tastes.
For if you were to see him eat, you wouldAnd Ion, in his Omphale, having mentioned his voracity, adds—
Be frighten'd e'en to death; his jaws do creak,
His throat with long deep-sounding thunder rolls,
His large teeth rattle, and his dog-teeth crash,
His nostrils hiss, his ears with hunger tremble.
And then, excited by th' applause, he rose[p. 649] But Ion borrowed all this from Pindar, who said— * * * * * And they say that he was a man of such excessive voracity, that they gave him the cormorant, amongst birds which should be sacred to him, which is called the ox-eater, on account of its voracity.
And swallow'd all the logs and burning coals.
And Hercules is represented as having entered into a contest with Lepreus in respect of their mutual powers of eating, Lepreus having been the challenger: however, Hercules gained the victory. But Zenodotus, in the second book of his Epitomes, says that Lepreus was the son of Caucon, who was the son of Neptune and Astydamia; and that he ordered Hercules to be thrown into prison, when he demanded of Augeas the reward which was due to him for his labours. But Hercules, when he had completed his labours, came to the house of Caucon, and at the entreaty of Astydamia, he became reconciled to Lepreus. And after this Lepreus contended with Hercules in throwing the quoit, and in drawing water, and also as to which would eat a bull with the greatest rapidity; and in all these things he was defeated. And after that he armed himself, and challenged Hercules to single combat, and was slain in the battle. But Matris, in his panegyric on Hercules, says, that Hercules was also challenged by Lepreus to a contest as to who could drink most, and that Lepreus was again defeated. And the Chian orator, Caucalus, the brother of Theopompus the historian, relates the same story in his panegyric on Hercules.
Homer, too, represents Ulysses as a great eater, and a very voracious man, when he says—
What histories of toil I could declare,For in these lines his gluttony appears prodigious, when it induces him on so unseasonable an occasion to utter apophthegms about his stomach. For he ought, if he had been ever so hungry, to have endured it, or at all events to have [p. 650] been moderate in his food. But this last passage shows the extreme voracity and gluttony of the man—
But still long-wearied nature wants repair.1
Spent with fatigue and shrunk with pining fast,
My craving bowels still require repast;
Howe'er the noble suffering mind may grieve
Its load of anguish, and disdain to live,
Necessity demands our daily bread;
Hunger is insolent and will be fed.
For all my mind is overwhelm'd with care,For even the notorious Sardanapalus would hardly have ventured to give utterance to such sentiments as those. Moreover, when Ulysses was an old man—
But hunger is the worst of griefs to bear;
Still does my stomach bid me eat and drink,
Lest on my sorrows I too deeply think.
Food makes me all my sufferings forget,
And fear not those which may surround me yet.
Voraciously he endless dishes ate,
And quaff'd unceasing cups of wine. . .
But Theagenes of Thasos, the athlete, ate a bull single-handed, as Posidippus tells us in his Epigrams.
And as I'd undertaken, I did eatAnd Milo of Crotona, as Theodorus of Hierapolis tells us in his book upon Games, ate twenty minæ2 weight of meat, and an equal quantity of bread, and drank three choes3 of wine. And once at Olympia he took a four year old bull on his shoulders, and carried it all round the course, and after that he killed it and cut it up, and ate it all up by himself in one day. And Titormus the Aetolian had a contest with him as to which could eat an ox with the greatest speed, as Alexander the Aetolian relates. But Phylarchus, in the third book of his Histories, says that Milo, while lying down before the altar of Jupiter, ate a bull, on which account Dorieus the poet made the following epigram on him:—
A Thracian bull. My own poor native land
Of Thasos could not have purvey'd a meal
Sufficient for the hunger of Theagenes.
I ate all I could get, then ask'd for more.
And, therefore, here you see, I stand in brass,
Holding my right hand forth; put something in it.
Milo could lift enormous weights from earth,But Astydamas the Milesian, having gained the victory at Olympia three times in the pancratium, being once invited to supper by Ariobarzanes the Persian, when he had come, offered to eat everything that had been prepared for the whole party, and did eat it. And when, Theodorus relates, the Persian entreated him to do something suitable to his enormous strength, he broke off a large brazen ornament in the shape of a lentil from the couch and crushed it in his hand. And when he died, and when his body was burnt, one urn would not contain his bones, and scarcely two could do so. And they say that the dinner which he ate by himself at Ariobarzanes's table had been prepared for nine persons.
A heifer four years old, at Jove's high feast,
And on his shoulders the huge beast he bore,
As it had been a young and little lamb,
All round the wondering crowd of standers by.
But he did still a greater feat than this,
[p. 651] Before the altar of Olympian Jove;
For there he bore aloft an untamed bull
In the procession, then he cut it up,
And by himself ate every bit of it.
And there is nothing unnatural in such men as those being very voracious; for all the men who practise athletic exercises, learn with these gymnastic exercises also to eat a great deal. On which account Euripides says, in the first edition of his Autolycus—
For when there are ten thousand ills in Greece,
There's none that's worse than the whole race of athletes.
For, first of all, they learn not to live well,
Nor could they do so; for could any man
Being a slave to his own jaws and appetite
Acquire wealth beyond his father's riches
How could a man like that increase his substance?
Nor yet can they put up with poverty,
Or e'er accommodate themselves to fortune;
And so being unaccustom'd to good habits,
They quickly fall into severe distress.—
In youth they walk about in fine attire,
And think themselves a credit to the city;
But when old age in all its bitterness
O'ertakes their steps, they roam about the streets,
Like ragged cloaks whose nap is all worn off.
And much I blame the present fashions, too,
Which now in Greece prevail; where many a feast
Is made to pay great honour to such men,
And to show false respect to vain amusements.
For though a man may wrestle well, or run,
Or throw a quoit, or strike a heavy blow,
Still where's the good his country can expect
From all his victories and crowns and prizes?
Will they fight with their country's enemies
[p. 652] With quoit in hand? Or will their speed assist
To make the hostile bands retreat before them?
When men stand face to face with th' hostile sword
They think no more of all these fooleries.
'Twere better to adorn good men and wise
With these victorious wreaths; they are the due
Of those who govern states with wisdom sound,
And practise justice, faith, and temperance;
Who by their prudent language ward off evils,
Banishing wars and factions. These are the men,
Who're not alone a grace and ornament
To their own land, but to the whole of Greece.
Now Euripides took all this from the Elegies of Xenophanes the Colophonian, who has spoken in this way—
But if a man, in speed of foot victorious,And Xenophanes contends at great length, and with great earnestness and variety of argument, in favour of the superior advantage of his own wisdom, running down athletic exercises as useless and unprofitable. And Achæus the Eretrian, speaking of the good constitution of the athletes, says— [p. 653]
Or in the contests of the pentathlum,
Where is the sacred grove of Jupiter,
Near to the sacred streamlets of Olympia;
Or as a wrestler, or exchanging blows
And painful struggles as a hardy boxer,
Or in the terrible pancratium,
He surely is a noble citizen,
And well he does deserve the honours due
Of a front seat at games and festivals,
And at the public cost to be maintain'd;
And to receive a public gift of honour,
Which shall become an heirloom to his children.
And such shall be his honours, even if
He wins by horses, not by his own strength.
And still I think he does not equal me;
For wisdom far exceeds in real value
The bodily strength of man, or horses' speed;
But the mob judges of such things at random;
Though 'tis not right to prefer strength to sense:
For though a man may a good boxer be,
Or pentathlete, or never-conquer'd wrestler,
Or if he vanquish all in speed of foot—
Which is the most important of all contests—
Still for all this his city will enjoy
No better laws through his great strength or speed;
And 'tis small cause for any lasting joy,
That one of all her citizens should gain
A prize on Pisa's banks: for such achievements
Fill not the country's granaries with corn.
For naked they did wave their glistening arms,
And move along exulting in their youth,
Their valiant shoulders swelling in their prime
Of health and strength; while they anoint with oil
Their chests and feet and limbs abundantly,
As being used to luxury at home.
But Heraclitus, in his Entertainer of Stangers, says that there was a woman named Helena, who ate more than any other woman ever did. And Posidippus, in his Epigrams, says that Phuromachus was a great eater, on whom he wrote this epigram:—
This lowly ditch now holds Phuromachus,But Amarantus of Alexandria, in his treatise on the Stage, says that Herodorus, the Megarian trumpeter, was a man three cubits and a half in height; and that he had great strength in his chest, and that he could eat six choenixes4 of bread, and twenty litræ of meat, of whatever sort was pro- vided for him, and that he could drink two choes of wine; and that he could play on two trumpets at once; and that it was his habit to sleep on only a lion's skin, and when playing on the trumpet he made a vast noise. Accordingly, when Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, was besieging Argos, and when his troops could not bring the helepolis against the walls on account of its weight, he, giving the signal with his two trumpets at once, by the great volume of so and which he poured forth, instigated the soldiers to move forward the engine with great zeal and earnestness; and he gained the prize in all the games ten times; and he used to eat sitting down, as Nestor tells us in his Theatrical Reminisce aces. And there was a woman, too, who played on the trumpet, whose [p. 654] name was Aglais, the daughter of Megacles, who, in the first great procession which took place in Alexandria, played a processional piece of music; having a head-dress of false hair on, and a crest upon her head, as Posidippus proves by his epigrams on her. And she, too, could eat twelve litræ of meat and four chœnixes of bread, and drink a choeus of wine, at one sitting.
Who used to swallow everything he saw,
Like a fierce carrion crow who roams all night.
Now here he lies wrapp'd in a ragged cloak.
But, O Athenian, whoe'er you are,
Anoint this tomb and crown it with a wreath,
If ever in old times he feasted with you.
At last he came sans teeth, with eyes worn out,
And livid swollen eyelids; clothed in skins,
With but one single cruse, and that scarce full;
For from the gay Lenæan games he came,
Descending humbly to Calliope.
There was, besides, a man of the name of Lityerses, a bastard son of Midas, the king of Celænæ in Phrygia, a man of a savage and fierce aspect, and an enormous glutton; and he is mentioned by Sositheus the tragic poet, in his play called Daphnis or Lityersa; where he says—
He'll eat three asses' panniers, freight and all,And the man mentioned by Pherecrates, or Strattis, whichever was the author of the play called The Good Men, was much such another the author says—
Three times in one brief day; and what he calls
A measure of wine is a ten-amphoræ cask;
And this he drinks all at a single draught.
A. I scarcely in one day, unless I'm forced,And Xanthus, in his Account of Lydia, says that Cambles, who was the king of the Lydians, was a great eater and drinker, and also an exceeding epicure; and accordingly, that he one night cut up his own wife into joints and ate her; and then, in the morning, finding the hand of his wife still sticking in his mouth, he slew himself, as his act began to get notorious. And we have already mentioned Thys, the king of the Paphlagonians, saying that he too was a man of vast appetite, quoting Theopompus, who speaks of him in the thirty-fifth book of his History; and Archilochus, in his Te- trameters, has accused Charilas of the same fault, as the comic poets have attacked Cleonymus and Pisander. And Phœni- cides mentions Chærippus in his Phylarchus in the following terms—
Can eat two bushels and a half of food.
B. A most unhappy man! how have you lost
Your appetite, so as now to be content
With the scant rations of one ship of war?
And next to them I place Chærippus third;[p. 655]
He, as you know, will without ceasing eat
As long as any one will give him food,
Or till he bursts,—such stowage vast has he,
Like any house.
And Nicolaus the Peripatetic, in the hundred and third book of his History, says that Mithridates, the king of Pontus, once proposed a contest in great eating and great drinking (and the prize was a talent of silver), and that he himself gained the victory in both; but he yielded the prize to the man who was judged to be second to him, namely, Calomodrys, the athlete of Cyzicus. And Timocreon te Rhodian a poet, and an athlete who had gained the vcitory in the pentathlum, ate and drank a great deal, as the epigram on his tomb shows—
Much did I eat, much did I drink, and muchAnd Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, in one his Prefaces, says that Timocreon came to the great king of Persia, and being entertained by him, did eat an immense quantity of food; and when the king asked him, What he would do on the strength of it? he said that he would beat a great many Persians; and the next day, having vanquished a great many, one after another, taking them one by one, after this, he beat the air with his hands; and when they asked him what he wanted, he said that he had all those blows left in him if any one was inclined to come on. And Clearchus, in the fifth book of his Lives, says, that Cantibaris the Persian, whenever his jaws were weary with eating, had his slaves to pour food into his mouth, which he kept open as if they were pouring it into an empty vessel. But Hellanicus, in the first book of his Deucalionea, says that Erysichthon, the son of Myrmidon, being a man perfectly insatiable in respect of food, was called Aethon. And Polemo, in the first book of his Treatise addressed to Timæus, says that among the Sicilians there was a temple consecrated to gluttony, and an image of Ceres Sito;5 near which, also, there was a statue of Himalis,6 as there is at Delphi one of Hermuchus,7 and as at Scolum, in Bœotia, there a e statues of Megalartus8 and Megalomazus. [p. 656]
Did I abuse all men; now here I lie;—
My name Timocreon, my country Rhodes.
And Alcman the poet records himself to have been a great eater, in his third book of Odes, when he says—
And presently I will bestowAnd in his fifth book he also displays his love of eating, speaking thus—
On you a large round dish well fill'd;
And even now 'tis on the fire,
Full of pulse-broth, which e'en the glutton
Alcman would like to feast on warm,
After the wintry solstice sets in;
For he for dainties does not care,
But loves the common people's dishes,
As long as they are full enough.
God has bestow'd on man three various seasons,And Anaxilas the comic poet, speaking in his play called Chrysochous of a man named Ctesias, says—
The summer, and the winter, and the autumn;
And a fourth too, the spring, when men can dance,
But scarce are able to get much to eat.
You now have nearly all things, save the artAnd in his Rich Men he says—
Of Ctesias himself; for wise men say,
That he does recognise nought but the beginning
Of a rich banquet, and denies the end.
A. Others may also burst when fed too wellAnd in his play called The Graces he includes a man called Cranaus in his list of great eaters; saying—
Not Ctesias alone.-
B. What should hinder it?
A. For he, as wise men say, loves the beginning
Of any feast, but ne'er can make an end of it.
Men do not come and ask at random now,And Philetærus, in his Atalante, says—
Does Cranaus eat less than Ctesias?
Or do they both keep constantly devouring?
If it were needful, I could run more stadiaAnd Anaxippus, in his Thunderbolt, says—
Than e'er were run by Sotades; I surpass
E'en Taureas himself in these my labours;
And out-run Ctesias himself in eating.
A. For now I see Damippus here approachingAnd in these lines the comic poet shows that it was from this man that he had given his play the title of The Thunderbolt. And Theophilus, in his Epidaurus, says—
From the palaestra.
B. What! that man of stone?
[p. 657] Him whom your friends e'en now, from his great strength,
Surname the Thunderbolt?
A. Most probably;
For I think he will overturn all tables
Which he once strikes with his consuming jaw.
There was a Mantinean centurion,And, in his Pancratiast, he introduces the athlete as eating a great deal, where he says—
Atrestides his name; who of all men
That ever lived could eat the greatest quantity.
A. Of boil'd meat about three mine weight.
B. Now mention something else.
A. A fine pig's face;
A ham; four pettitoes;—
B. Oh, Hercules!
A. Three calves' feet, and one hen.
B. Oh, Phœbus, oh!
A. Two minæ weight of figs: that's all.
B. And how much did you drink?
A. Twelve measures only
Of unmix'd wine.
B. Oh, Bacchus! oh, Sabazius!
And whole nations also have been ridiculed by the comic poets for their gluttony; as the Bœotians, for instance. Accordingly, Eubulus says, in his Antiopa—
We are courageous men to toil and eat,And in his Europa he says—
And to endure sharp pain; the Attic race
Is quick and eloquent, and they eat little;
But the Bœotians eat enormously.
Go now and build up the Bœotian city,'And in his Ionian he says—
Where the men eat all day and never tire.
He is so thorough a BœotianAnd in his Cercopes he says—
In all his manners, that, like them, 'tis said
He's never tired nor content with eating.
And after that I came to Thebes, where menAnd in his Mysians he represents some one as making the following speech to Hercules—
Spend the whole night in feasts and revelry;
And each man has a privy at his doors,
Which is a great boon to an o'er-fed man;
[p. 658] For men who have got a long way to go,
And who eat much and bite their weary lips,
Are some of the most ludicrous of sights.
You leaving, as you say, the Theban plain,Diphilus in his Bœotian, says—
Where valiant men sit eating all the day,
Being all throat, and close beside the privy.
That man can eat, beginning before dawn,Mnesimachus, in his Busiris, says—
Or come again and eat till the following day.
. . . . . . . For I am a Bœotian,Alexis, in his Trophonius, says—
Who do not eat much else, except these things.
And now that you may not be found out thus,And Achæus, in his Contests, says—
And spoken of as men of Bœotia,
By those whose wont it is to run you down,
As men unequali'd in creating noise,
And knowing nothing else save how to eat
And drink unceasingly the whole night long;
Strip yourselves quick, and all prepare for action.
A. Are you now speaking to the spectators here,And very likely it is because of all this that Eratosthenes, in his Epistles, says, that Pempelus, when he was asked, “What sort of people the Bœotians appeared to him?” answered, “That they only spoke just as vessels might be expected to speak, if they had a voice, of how much each of them could hold.” And Polybius of Megalopolis, in the twentieth book of his Histories, says that the Bœotians, having gained great glory at the battle of Leuctra, after that relaxed their courage again, and turned to feasting and drunkenness, and to making parties for eating among friends; and many of them, even of those who had children, spent the greater part of their substance on their feasts so that there were a great number of Bœotians who had more invitations to supper than there were days in the month. On which account the Megarians, hating [p. 659] such a system as that, abandoned their alliance, and joined themselves to the Achæans.
Or to the body of competitors?
B. To those who eat much, as men training do.
A. Whence do the strangers come from?
B. They're Bœotians.
The people of Pharsalus also are ridiculed by the comic poets as being enormous eaters; accordingly Mnesimachus, in his Philip, says—
A. Has any man of the Pharsalians come,And that it was a general imputation on all the Thessalians, that they were great eaters, Crates tells us in his Lamia, saying—
That he may eat up e'en our very tables?
B. There's no one come at all.
A. So much the better;
Perhaps they have all gone somewhere else to eat
Some city of Achaīa ready roasted.
Great words three cubits long,and he by this alludes to the Thessalians as cutting their meat into overgrown pieces. And Philetærus, in his Lampbearers, says also—
Cut into huge Thessalian slices thus:—
And a huge piece of pork, enough to breakThey used to speak also of a Thessalian mouthful, as something enormous. Hermippus says in his Fates—
One's arm, cut in the coarse Thessalian fashion.
But Jupiter, considering nought of this,And such great bits of meat Aristophanes, in his Men Frying, calls Capanic, saying—
Wink'd, and made up a huge Thessalian mouthful.
What is all thisAnd presently he says—
To the great Lydian and Thessalian banquets?
More splendid (καπανικώτερα) far than the Thessalian;meaning big enough to load a wagon. For the Thessalians use the word καπάνη as equivalent to ἀπήνη. Xenarchus, in his Scythians, says—
A. They kept to seven Capanæ for the games
B. What do you mean?
A. In Thessaly
They call their carts Capanæ.
B. I understand.
And Hecatæus says that the Egyptians were great bread-eaters, eating loaves of rye, called κυλλήστιες, and [p. 660] bruising barley to extract a drink from it; and on this account Alexis, in his treatise on Contentment, says that Bocchoris and his father Neochabis were contented with a moderate quantity of food; as Lycon of Iasus relates in his treatise on Pythagoras. But he did not abstain from animal food, as Aristoxenus tells us; and Apollodorus the Arithmetician says, that he even sacrificed a hecatomb when he found out that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the side subtending the right angle is equal to the squares of the two sides containing it—
When the illustrious PythagorasBut Pythagoras was a very sparing drinker, and lived in a most frugal manner, so that he often contented himself with honey by itself. And nearly the same thing is told us of Aristides, and of Epaminondas, and of Phocion, and of Phormio, the generals. But Manius Curius, the Roman general, lived on turnips all his life; and once, when the Sabines sent him a large sum of gold, he said he had no need of gold while he ate such food as that. And this story is recorded by Megacles in his treatise on Illustrious Men.
Discover'd that renowned problem which
He celebrated with a hecatomb.
And there are many people who approve of moderate meals, as Alexis tells us in his Woman in Love—
But I am content with what is necessary,And in his Liar he says—
And hate superfluous things; for in excess
There is not pleasure, but extravagance.
I hate excess; for those who practise itAnd in his Foster Brothers he says—
Have only more expense, but not more pleasure.
How sweet all kinds of moderation are!And Ariston the philosopher, in the second book of his Amatory Similitudes, says that Polemo, the Academic philosopher, used to exhort those who were going to a supper, to consider how they might make their party pleasant, not only for the present evening, but also for the morrow. And Timotheus, the son of Conon, being once taken by Plato from [p. 661] a very sumptuous and princely entertainment to one held at the Academy, and being there feasted in a simple and scholar- like manner, said that those who supped with Plato would be well the next day also. But Hegesander, in his Commentaries, says that on the next day Timotheus, meting with Plato, said, “You, O Plato, sup well, more with reference to the next day than to the present one!” But Pyrrho the Elean, when on one occasion one of his acquaintances received him with a very sumptuous entertainment, as he himself relates, said, “I will for the future not come to you if you receive me in this manner; that I may avoid being grieved by seeing you go to a great expense for which there is no necessity, and that you, too, may not come to distress by being overwhelmed by such expenses; for it is much better for us to delight one another by our mutual companionship and conversation, than by the great variety of dishes which we set before one another, of which our servants consume the greater part.”
I now am going away, not empty, but
In a most comfortable state,—for wise
Mnesitheus tells us that 'tis always right'
T' avoid extravagance in everything.
But Antigonus of Carystus, in his Life of Menedemus, relating the way in which the banquets of that philosopher are managed, says, that he used to dine with one or two companions at most; and that all the rest of his guests used to come after they had supped. For in fact, Menedemus's supper and dinner were only one meal, and after that was over they called in all who chose to come; and if any of them, as would be the case, came before the time, they would walk up and down before the doors, and inquire of the servants who came out what was being now served up, and how far on the dinner had proceeded. And if they heard that it was only the vegetables or the cured fish that was being served up, they went away; but if they were told that the meat was put on the table, then they went into the room which had been prepared for that purpose. And in the summer a rush mat was spread over each couch, and in the winter a fleece. But every one was expected to bring his own pillow; and the cup, which was brought round to each person, did not hold more than one cotyla. And the dessert was lupins or beans as a general rule; but sometimes some fruits, such as ere in season, were brought in; in summer, pears or pomegranates; and in spring, pulse; and in winter, figs. And we have a witness as to these things, Lycophron the Chalcidian, who [p. 662] wrote a satyric drama entitled Menedemus, in which Silenus says to the satyrs—
O cursed sons of a most excellent father,And a little further on, he says—
I, as you see, have quite a fancy for you:
For, by the gods I swear, that not in Caria,
Nor in fair Rhodes, nor royal Lydia,
Have I e'er eaten so superb a supper;
Phœbus Apollo! what a feast it was.
And the boy brought us round a scanty cupAnd presently afterwards, he says that philosophical disqui- sitions were carried on during the entertainment—
Of wine that might be worth five pence a bottle-
Awfully flat; and then that cursed thing,
That hang-dog lupin, danced upon the board,
A fitting meal for parasites and beggars.
And for dessert,It is also related that those who met in this way very often kept on conversing to such a time that “the bird which calls the morn still caught them talking, and they were not yet satisfied.”
We had some learned conversation.
But Arcesilaus, when giving a supper to some people, when the bread fell short, and his slave made him a sign that there were no loaves left, burst out laughing, and clapped his hands; and said, “What a feast we have here, my friends! We forgot to buy loaves enough; run now, my boy:” —and this he said, laughing; and all the guests who were present burst out laughing, and great amusement and entertainment were excited, so that the very want of bread was a great seasoning to the feast. And at another time, Arcesilaus ordered Apelles, one of his friends, to strain some wine; and when he, not being used to doing so, shook some of the wine and spilt some, so that the wine appeared much thicker than usual, he laughed, and said, “But I told a man to strain the wine who has never seen anything good any more than I myself have; so do you now get up, Aridices; and do you go away and tap the casks that are outside.” And this good-humour of his so pleased and excited the mirth of those present, that they were all filled with joy.
But those of the present day who give entertainments, especially the inhabitants of the beautiful Alexandria, cry out, [p. 663] and make a noise, and curse the cup-bearer, the steward, and cook; and the slaves are all crying, being beaten with fists and driven about in every direction. And not only do the guests who are invited sup with great discomfort and annoyance, but even if there is any sacrifice going on, the god himself would veil his face and go away, leaving not only the house, but even the entire city, in which such things take place. For it is absurd for a man, proclaiming that people should all confine themselves to words of good omen, to curse his wife and his children; and such a man as that would say to the guests—
And now then let us hasten to the feast,for such a man's house—
That we may plan the movements of the war;—
Is redolent of frankincense,Now, when all this had been said, one of the guests who were present said,—We ought, then, when we consider these things, to guard against indulging our appetites too much;
And pæans too, and groans at the same time.
For a frugal supper breeds no drunkenness,as Amphis says, in his Pan: nor does it produce insolence or insulting conduct; as Alexis testifies in his Ulysses Weaving, where he says—
For many a banquet which endures too long,
And many and daily feasts, are wont t' engender
Insult and mockery; and those kind of jests
Give far more pain than they do raise amusement.
For such are the first ground of evil-speaking;
And if you once begin t' attack your neighbour,
You quickly do receive back all you bring,
And then abuse and quarrels surely follow;
Then blows and drunken riot. For this is
The natural course of things, and needs no prophet.
And Mnesimachus, in his Philip, on account of the immoderate indulgence in suppers of people of his time, introduces an entertainment which professes to be a preparation for war, and which really is what that admirable writer Xenophon calls a workshop of war. And he speaks thus—
Know you now with what men you must fight?And Phœnix the Colophonian says—
With us, who sup upon well-sharpen'd swords,
And swallow lighted firebrands for dainties:
And then, for our dessert, our slaves bring in,
After the first course, Cretan bows and arrows;
[p. 664] And, 'stead of vetches, broken heads of spears,
And fragments of well-batter'd shields and breastplates;
And at our feet lie slings, and stones, and bows,
And on our heads are wreaths of catapults.
A cask of wine shall be our sword-a cupAnd in the Parasite, Alexis, speaking of some very voracious person, says—
Shall be our spear-our hair shall arrows be;
Goblets shall be our enemies-wine our horses-
Ointments and perfumes our war-cry fierce.
And all the younger men do call him parasite,And Diphilus, in his Hercules, speaking of some similar kind of person, says—
Using a gentler name; but he cares not.
And Telephus in speechless silence sits,
Making but signs to those who ask him questions;
So that the inviter often offers prayers
To the great Samothracian gods o' the sea,
To cease their blowing, and to grant a calm;
For that young man's a storm to all his friends.
Do you not now behold me drunk and merry,On which account, Bion of the Borysthenes said, cleverly enough, that “A man ought not to derive his pleasures from the table, but from meditation;” and Euripides says—
Well fill'd with wine, and all inflamed with anger?
Have not I just devour'd a dozen cakes,
Every one larger than a good-sized shield?
I pleased my palate with a frugal meal;signifying that the pleasure derived from eating and drinking is chiefly limited to the mouth. And Aeschylus, in his Phineus, says—
And many a most deceitful meal they snatch'dAnd in his Sthenebœa, Euripides speaks of frugality thus—
Away from hungry jaws, in haste t' enjoy
The first delight of the too eager palate.
A life at sea is a much troubled life,
Not reinforced with pleasures of the table,
But like a stable on the shore. The sea itself
Is a moist mother, not a nurse on land;
'Tis her we plough; from this our food, procured
With nets and traps, comes daily home to us.
For the belly is a great evil to man; concerning which Alexis speaks, in his Men Dying together— [p. 665]
And hence you well may see how great an evilAnd Diphilus, in his Parasite, says—
The belly is to man; what lessons strange
It teaches, and what deeds it forces on us.
If there were any power which could take
This part alone from out our bodies, then
No one would any more do injury
Or insult to his neighbour. But from this
Flow all the ills that harass human life.
Well did that wise Euripides oft speak,And Crates the Cynic, as Sosicrates tells us in his Successions, reproached Demetrius Phalereus for sending him a wallet of bread with a flagon of wine. “I wish,” said he, “that the fountains bore bread.” And Stilpo did not think himself guilty of intemperance when, having eaten garlic, he went to sleep in the temple of the Mother of the Gods; but all who eat of that food were forbidden even to enter into it. But when the goddess appeared to him in his sleep, and said, “O Stilpo, do you, though you are a philosopher, transgress the Law?” he thought that he made answer to her (still being asleep), “Do you give me something better to eat, and I will not eat garlic.”
And this does seem his wisest word of all—
“But want compels me and my wretched belly;”
For there is nought more wretched than the belly:
And into that you pour whate'er you have,
Which you do not in any other vessel.
Loaves you perhaps may in a wallet carry,—
Not soup, or else you'll spoil it. So again,
You put cakes in a basket, but not pulse;
And wine into a bladder, but not crabs:
But into this accursed belly, men
Put every sort of inconsistent thing.
I add no more; since it is plain enough
That all men's errors are produced by it.'
After this, Ulpian said,—Since we have feasted (δεδείπναμεν） . . . .And Alexis, in his Curis, has used this expression, where he says—
Since we have long since supp'd (δεδείπναμεν);and so has Eubulus, in his Procris—
But we have not yet supp'd (δεδείπναμεν);and in another passage he says—
A man who ought long since to have had supper (δεδειπναναι).[p. 666] And Antiphanes, in his Leonidas, says—
He will be here before we've finish'd supper (δεδειπνάναι).And Aristophanes, in his Proagon, says—
It's time for me to go now to my master,And in his Danaides he says—
For by this time I think they all have supp'd (δεδειπνάναι).
You now are insulting me in a drunken mannerAnd Plato, in his Sophist, and Epicrates of Ambracia (and this last is a poet of the middle comedy), in his Amazons, says—
Before you've supp'd (δεδειπνάναι).
For these men seem to me to have had their supper (δεδειπνάναι）And, on the same principle, Aristophanes has given us the form ἠρίσταμεν, in his Men Frying—
In capital season.
We've drank our fill, my men, and well have dined (ἠπίσταμεν).And Hermippus, in his Soldiers, says—
To dine (ἀριστάναι), and come to this man's house.And Theopompus, in his Callæschrus, says—
We've dined (ἠρίσταμεν);—for I must this discourse cut short.But, in his Politician, Antipho has used the word καταριστᾶν, saying—
When any one has all consumed in dinners (κατηρίστηκεν）And Amphis has used the word παραδεδειπνημένος, in his Vagabond, saying—
His own estate, and that of all his family.
The boys who long ago have lost their dinner (παραδεδειπνημένοι).
“Let us, then, now,” as Plato says in his Philebus, “pray to the gods, and pour libations to them, whether it be Bacchus, or Vulcan, or whoever else of the gods it may be, who has had the honour of having our cups mixed for his sake. For there are two fountains by us, as if we were cupbearers to mix the wine: and a person might compare a fountain of pleasure to honey; but the fountain of wisdom, which is a sober and wine-eschewing spring, to that of some hard but wholesome water, which we must be very earnest to mix as well as possible.” It is, then, time for us now to drink wine; and let some one of the slaves bring us goblets from the sideboard, for I see here a great variety of beautiful and variously-ornamented drinking-cups. Accordingly, when a [p. 667] large cup had been given to him, he said,—But, O boy, draw out and pour into my cup a liquor with not quite so much water in it; not like the man in the comic poet Antiphanes, who, in the Twins, says—
He took and brought me an enormous cup,So do you now, O boy, pour me out something stronger; for I do not prescribe to you the exact number of cyathi.9 But I will show you that the words κύαθος and ἀκρατέστερον (wine with less water in it) are both used: and then, too, I will give you a lecture about cupbearers.
And I pour'd into it unmixed wine,
Not to the honour of a boy, but all
My cups, and they were numberless, I quaff'd
To all the gods and goddesses of heaven.
Then, after them, I drank twice as much more
To the great goddess and the noble king.
But, first of all, I will speak about the habit of drinking strong drinks, with reference to which we find the word ζωρότερον. Antiphanes, in his Milanion, says—
I think this man does drink the cup of health,And in his Lampon he says—
Making his cupbearer shun too much water (ζωροτέρῳ χρώμενον οἰνοχόῳ).
My friend Iapyx, mix it somewhat stronger (εὐζωρέστερον).And Ephippus, in his Ephebi, says—
He gave him in each hand a brimming flagon,And you find some people say that the expression in Homer— ζωρὸς is derived from [p. 668] ζωτικὸς (giving life), and from ζέσις (boiling);—for that, as there were companions present, it would have been absurd to begin mixing the cups of wine over again. But some say that the word is to be understood as equivalent to εὔκρατον (well-mixed); just as we find the form δεξιτερὸν used instead of δεξιόν. And some say that, since the year is called ὧρος, and since the particle ζα indicates magnitude or number, ζῶρος means merely what has been made many years. And Diphilus, in his Pederastæ, says—
Mixing in strong wine (ζωρότερον), in Homer's fashion.
Pour me now out a cup of wine to drink;And Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drinking, says that ζωρότερον means mixed; quoting the following lines of Empedocles;—
Give it, by Jove! εὐζωρότερον than that;
For wat'ry things are ruinous to the stomach.
And soon the things which formerly they learnt
Immortal were, did mortal now become,
And things unmix'd before became now mix'd (ζωρὰ,）
Changing their previous ways and habits all.
And Plato has used the word κύαθος in the sense of a ladle, in his Phaon, where he says—
Taking up thus the ladle (κύαθος) in their mouths.And in his Ambassadors he says—
He stole the ladles (κύαθοι) every time he could.And Archippus, in his Fishes, says—
I bought a ladle (κύαθος) there from Dæsias.And there is a similar use of the word in the Peace of Aristophanes:—
All having fought till they had got black eyes,for black eyes are reduced by having κύαθοι (cupping glasses) applied to them. Xenophon also speaks of the κύαθος in the first book of his Cyropædia; and so does Cratinus; and, besides, so does Aristophanes in many places, and Eubulus in his Orthanna; and Pherecrates, in his Triflers, has spoken of a κύαθος made of silver. But Timon, in the second book of his History of the Silli, has called κύαθοι, ἀρύσαναι; speaking thus:—
Lying all on the ground around the κύαθοι;
And ἀρύσαναι, hard to fill with wine;naming them so from the verb ἀρύομαι, to draw. And they are called also ἀρυστῆρες and ἀρίστιχοι. Simonides says— [p. 669]
And no one gave me even one ἀρυστὴρAnd Aristophanes, in his Wasps, says—
Of the mere dregs and lees.
For I had these ἀρύστιχοι near me.And Phrynichus, in his Weeding Women, says— ἀρύταινα. They also called this vessel ἔφηβος, as Xenophanes did in his Relationship; and Polybius, in the ninth book of his Histories, says that there is a certain river called the Cyathus, near Arsinoe, a city in Aetolia.
But the word ἀκρατέστερον, meaning the same as ζωρότερον, is used by Hyperides in his oration against Demosthenes; where he writes thus—“If any one drank any wine of much strength (ἀκρατέστερον), it grieved you.” And a similar form is ἀνιαρέστερον, and also the expression in the Heliades of Aeschylus— εὐωνέστερον (cheaper); and Hyperides, in his Oration against Demades, has used the expression— κεραννύω (to mix), that is used by Plato in his Philebus—“Let us, O Protarchus, pray to the gods, and mingle cups (κεραννύωμεν) to pour libations to them.” And Alcæus, in his Sacred Marriage, says—
They mix the cups (κεραννύουσιν) and drink them.And Hyperides, in his Delian Oration, says—“And the Greeks mix (κεραννύουσι) the Panionian goblet all together.” And among the ancients they were the most nobly born youths who acted as cupbearers; as, for instance, the son of Menelaus:—
And the king's noble son pour'd out the wine.And Euripides the poet, when he was a boy, acted s cupbearer. Accordingly, Theophrastus, in his treatise on Drinking, says—“But I hear that Euripides the poet also acted as a cupbearer at Athens, among those who are called the dancers.: and these men were they who used to dance around the temple of the Delian Apollo, being some of the noblest of the Athenians, and they were clothed in garments [p. 670] of the Theræans. And this is that Apollo in whose honour they celebrate the Thargelian festival; and a writing concerning them is kept at Phylæ, in the Daphnephorium.” And Hieronymus the Rhodian gives the same account, who was a disciple of Aristotle, and that too in a book of his entitled a Treatise on Drunkenness. And the beautiful Sappho often praises her brother Larichus, as having acted as cupbearer to the Mitylenæans in the Prytaneum. And among the Romans, the most nobly born of the youths perform this office in the public sacrifices, imitating the Aeolians in everything, as even in the tones of their voices.
And so great was the luxury of the ancients in respect of their sumptuous meals, that they not only had cupbearers, but also men whom they called œnoptæ (inspectors of wines). At all events, the office of œnoptæ is a regular office among the Athenians; and it is mentioned by Eupolis, in his play called The Cities, in the following lines—
And men whom heretofore you'd not have thoughtAnd these œnoptæ superintended the arrangement of banquets, taking care that the guests should drink on equal terms. But it was an office of no great dignity, as Philinus the orator tells us, in his debate on the Croconidæ. And he tells us, too, that the œnoptæ were three in number, and that they also provided the guests with lamps and wicks. And some. people called them “eyes;” but among the Ephesians, the youths who acted as cupbearers at the festival of Neptune were called “bulls,” as Amerias tells us. And the people of the Hellespont call the cupbearer ἐπεγχύτης, or the pourer out; and they call carving, which we call κρεωνομία, κρεωδαισία, as Demetrius of Scepsis tells us, in the twenty-sixth book of his Arrangement of the Trojan Forces. And some say that the nymph Harmonia acted as cupbearer to the gods; as Capito the epic poet relates (and he was a native of Alexandria by birth), in the second book of his Love Poems. But Alcæus also represents Mercury as their cupbearer; as also does Sappho, who says—
Fit e'en to make œnoptæ of, we now
See made commanders. But oh, city, city!
How much your fortune does outrun your sense.
And with ambrosia was a goblet mix'd,[p. 671]
And Mercury pour'd it out to all the gods.
But the ancients used to call the men who discharged this office, heralds (κήρυκες). Homer says—
Meanwhile the heralds through the crowded townAnd a few lines further on he says—
Bring the rich wine and destined victims down.
Idæus's arms the golden goblets prest,
Who thus the venerable king addrest.
On either side a sacred herald stands;But Clidemus says that the cooks used to be called heralds. And some people have represented Hebe as acting as cupbearer to the gods, perhaps because their banquets were called Hebeteria. And Ptolemy, the son of Agesarchus, speaks of a damsel named Cleino as the cupbearer of Ptolemy the king, who was surnamed Philadelphus, mentioning her in the third book of his History of Philopator. But Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his History, adds that there are statues of her in Alexandria, in many parts of the city, clad in a tunic alone, holding a cup in her hand.
The wine they mix, and on each monarch's hands
Pour the full urn.
And so, after this conversation, Ulpian drinking a goblet of wine, said—
I drink this cup, a pledge of friendship dear,And while he was still drinking, one of those who were present quoted the rest of the passage—
To all my kinsmen, naming them.
When I have drunk, I'll sayAnd Ulpian, when he had drunk it up, said,—Clearchus has these lines in his Harp Player; but I, as is said in the Wool-spinners of Amphis, recommend—
The rest; for I am choked: but now drink this.
Let the boy wait on all with frequent goblets.And again—
You fill for me, and I will give you drink;as Xenarchus says, in his Twins. And accordingly, where some of the guests asked for more wine, and others wished to have it mixed half-and-half, and when some one mentioned that Archippus, in the second edition of his Amphitryon, said—
So shall the almond with the almond play:
Wretch, who has mix'd for you this half-and-half?[p. 672] and that Cratinus had said—
Giving him half-and-half; but I'm undone;every one seemed to agree to speak of the way of mixing wine among the ancients.
And when some one mentioned that Menander, in his Hero, said—
Here is a measure of well-temper'd wine;Democritus said—Hesiod, my friends, recommends men
Take it, and drink it up;—
To pour three parts of water in the cup,And, perhaps, it was on account of Hesiod that Anaxilas said, in his Nereus,—
And let the fourth part be the vinous juice.
And this is much more pleasant; for I'd neverAnd Alexis, in his Nurse, recommends even a more moderate mixture than this—
Have drunk one part of wine to three of water.
See, here is wine. Shall I, then, give to CritonAnd Diocles, in his Bees, says—
Equal proportions? This is better far,
One part of wine to four of limpid water:
Perhaps you'll call that weak; but still, when you
Have drunk your fill of this, you'll find your head
Clear for discussion,—and the drink lasts longer.
A. In what proportions should the wine be mix'd?And this mixture, as it is not that in ordinary use, put the questioner in mind of the well-known proverb,—
B. Four parts of water to two parts of wine.
Drink waters three or five; but never four.That they mean is, You had better take two parts wine with five of water, or one of wine to three of water. But, concerning this mixture, Ion the poet, in his book on Chios, says that Palamedes the soothsayer discovered and prophesied to the Greeks, that they would have a favourable voyage if they drank one portion of wine to three of water. But they, applying themselves to their drink very vigorously, took two pints of wine to five of water;—accordingly Nicochares in his Amymone, playing on the name, says—
Here, you Œnornaus,—here. you two and five,—And he said nearly the same in his Lemnian Women: and Ameipsias, in his Men Playing the Cottabus, says— [p. 673]
Let you and I now have a drink together.
But I (it is Bacchus who is represented as speaking) am five and two to all of you.And Eupolis says, in his Goats,—
Hail, my friend Bacchus, are you two to five?And Hermippus says, in his Gods,—
A. Then, when we drink, or when we thirsty are,
We pray our wine may be in due proportion.
B. I do not bring it from a roguish wine-vault,
Meaning to mock you: this which I do bring
Is, as before, the proper two and five.
But in Anacreon we find one measure of wine to two of water spoken of—
Come, my boy, and bring to meAnd going on presently, he calls the drinking of unmixed wine, a Scythian draught—
Such a cup as I may drink
At one easy draught: pour in
Ten cyathi of water pure,
And five of richest Chian wine;
That I may drink, from fear removed,
And free from drunken insolence.
Come hither, now, and let us notAnd the Lacedæmonians, according to the statement of Herodotus, in his sixth book, say that Cleomenes the king, having lived among the Scythians, and got the habit of drinking unmixed wine, became perfectly mad from his habit of drunkenness. And the Lacedæmonians themselves, when they take it into their heads to drink hard, say that they are Episcythising. Accordingly, Chamæleon of Heraclea, in his book on Drunkenness, writes thus concerning them:—“Since the Lacedæmonians say also, that Cleomenes the Spartan became ma d from having lived among the Scythians, and there learnt to drink unmixed wine; on which account, when they take a fancy to drink unmixed wine they desire their slaves to pour out in the Scythian fashion.” And Achæus, in his Aethon, a satyric drama, represents the Satyrs as indignant at being compelled to drink their wine watered, and as saying—
Give way to vulgar shouts and noise,
Indulging in the Scythian draughts
While o'er our wine; but let us drink,
Singing well-omen'd, pious hymns.
Was the whole Achelous in this wine?[p. 674]
But even then this race would not cease drinking,
For this is all a Scythian's happiness.
But the habit of pouring libations of pure wine, as Theophrastus says, in his treatise on Drinking, was not ancient; but originally libations were what is given to the Gods, and the cottabus, what was devoted to the object of one's love. For men practised throwing the cottabus with great care, it being originally a Sicilian sport, as Anacreon - the Teian says—
Throwing, with his well-bent armOn which account those songs of the ancient poets, which are called scolia, are full of mention of the cottabus.10 I mean, for instance, such a scolion as Pindar composed—
The Sicilian cottabus.
And rightly I adore the Graces,And they also consecrated to those of their friends who were dead, all that portion of their victuals which fell from their tables. On which account Euripides says of Sthenoboea, when she thinks that Bellerophon is dead—
Nymphs of Venus and of Love,
While drinking with a loving heart
This sounding cottabus I pour
To Agathon, my heart's delight.
Nothing escaped her from her hand which fell,
But in a moment she did couple it
With the loved name of the Corinthian stranger.
But the ancients were not in the habit of getting drunk. But Pittacus recommended Periander of Priene not to get drunk, nor to become too much addicted to feasting, “so that,” says he, “it may not be discovered what sort of a [p. 675] person you really are, and that you are not what you pretend to be.” —
For brass may be a mirror for the face,—On which account they were wise men who invited the proverb, “Wine has no rudder.” Accordingly, Xenophon the son of Gryllus, (when once at the table of Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily, the cupbearer was compelling the guests to drink,) addressed the tyrant himself by name, and said, “Why, O Dionysius, does not also the confectioner, who is a skilful man in his way, and one who understands a great many different recipes for dressing things, compel us also, when we are at a banquet, to eat even when we do not wish to; but why, on the contrary, does he spread the table for us in an orderly manner, in silence?” And Sophocles, in one of his Satyric dramas, says—
Wine for the mind.
To be compell'd to drink is quite as hardFrom which also is derived the saying—
As to be forced to bear with thirst.
Wine makes an old man dance against his will.And Sthenelus the poet said very well—
Wine can bring e'en the wise to acts of folly.And Phocylides says—
It should be a rule for all wine-bibbing peopleand to this day this custom prevails among some of the Greeks. But since they have begun to be luxurious and have got effeminate they have given up their chairs and taken to couches; and having taken indolence and laziness for their allies, they have indulged in drinking in an immoderate and disorderly manner; the very way in which the tables were laid contributing, as I imagine, to luxury.
Not to let the jug limp round the board like a cripple,
But gaily to chat while enjoying their tipple:
And it is on this account that Hesiod, in his Eoæ, has said—
What joys and also what exceeding pains[p. 676] And Theognis says—
Has Bacchus given to mortal men who drink,
Indulging in excess: for to such men
Wine is an insolent master, binding fast'
Their feet and hands, their tongues and intellects,
With chains unspeakable, unnoticeable;
And tender sleep loves on their eyes to fall.
I come like wine, the sweetest drink of men,—But Anacharsis the philosopher, wishing to exhibit the power of the vine to the king of the Scythians, and showing him some of its branches, said that if the Greeks did not prune it every year it would by this time have reached to Scythia.
I am not sober, nor yet very drunk;
But he who goes to great excess in drink
Is no more master of his mind or senses;
Then he talks unintelligible nonsense,
Which seems to sober men a shameful thing;
But he, when drunk, is not ashamed of anything,
E'en though at other times a modest man
And gentle-minded. Mind you this, my friend,
And don't indulge in drinking to excess,
But rise from table ere the wine begins
To take effect; nor let your appetite
Reduce you to become its daily slave.
But those men do not act wisely who represent and describe Bacchus in their statues or pictures, and who also lead him through the middle of the market-place on a waggon, as if he were drunk; for, by so doing, they show the beholders that wine is stronger than the god. And I do not think that even a good and wise man could stand this. And if they have represented him in this state because he first showed us the use of wine, it is plain that for the same reason they should always represent Ceres as reaping corn or eating bread. And I should say that Aeschylus himself erred in this particular; for he was the first person (and not Euripides, as some people say,) who introduced the appearance of drunken people into a tragedy. For in his Cabiri he introduces Jason drunk. But the fact is, that the practices which the tragedian himself used to indulge in, he attributed to his heroes: at all events he used to write his tragedies when he was drunk; on which account Sophocles used to reproach him, and say to him, “O Aeschylus,11 [p. 677] even if you do what you ought, at all events you do so without knowing it;” as Chamæleon tells us, in his treatise on Aeschylus. And they are ignorant people who say that Epiharmus was the first person who introduced a drunken man on the stage, and after him Crates, in his Neighbours. And Alcæus the lyric poet, and Aristophanes the comic poet, used o write their poems when they were drunk. And many other men have fought with great gallantry in war when they were drunk. But among the Epizephyrian Locrians, if any one drank untempered wine, except by the express command of his physician for the sake of his health, he was liable to be punished with death, in accordance with a law to that effect passed by Zalericus. And among the people of Massilia there was a law that the women should drink water only. And Theophrastus says, that to this day that is the law at Miletus. And among the Romans no slave ever drank wine, nor any free woman, nor any youth born of free parents till he was thirty years of age. And Anacreon is very ridiculous for having referred all his poems to the subject of drunkenness; for, owing to this, he is found fault with as having in his poems wholly abandoned himself to effeminacy and luxury, as the multitude are not aware that while he wrote he was a sober and virtuous man, who pretended to be a drunkard, when there was no necessity at all for his doing so.
And men who are ignorant of the power of wine, say that Bacchus is the cause of madness to men; in saying which they abuse wine in a very senseless manner. On which account Melanippides says—
All men have detested waterAnd Aristotle, in his treatise on Drinking, says, “If the wine be moderately boiled, then when it is drunk, it is less pt to intoxicate; for, as some of its power has been boiled away, it has become weaker.” And he also says, "Old men become drunk more quickly on account of the small quantity of natural warmth which there is in them, and also of the weak [p. 678] ness of what there is. And again, those who are very young get drunk very quickly, on account of the great quantity of natural warmth that there is in them; for, in consequence, they are easily subdued by the warmth proceeding from the wine which is added to their natural warmth. And some of the brute beasts are also capable of becoming intoxicated; such as pigs when they are filled with the husks of pressed grapes; and the whole race of crows, and of dogs, when they have eaten of the herb called cenussa: and the monkey and the elephant get intoxicated if they drink wine; on which account they hunt monkeys and crows when the former have been made drunk with wine, and the latter with œnussa.
Who did not before have wine;
And though some have enjoy'd their cups,
Others have turn'd to ravings wild.
But to drink unceasingly—as Crobylus says, in his Woman who deserted her Husband—
Can haveAnd Alexis, in the revised edition of his Phrygian, says—
No pleasure in it, surely; how should it,
When it deprives a living man of power
To think as he should think? and yet is thought
The greatest blessing that is given to man.
If now men only did their headaches getAnd Aristotle says, that the wine called the Samagorean wine was so strong that more than forty men were made drunk with a pint and a half of it after it had been mixed with water.
Before they get so drunk, I'm sure that no one
Would ever drink more than a moderate quantity:
But now we hope t' escape the penalty
Of our intemperance, and so discard
Restraint, and drink unmixed cups of wine.
Democritus having said this, and having drunk, said,— Now if any one can gainsay any of these statements let him come forward: and then he shall be told, as Evenus says—
That may be your opinion; this is mine.But I, since I have now made this digression about the mix- tures of the ancients, will resume the thread of my original discourse where I let it drop; considering what was said by Alcæus the lyric poet. For he speaks, somewhere or other, in this way—
Pour out, in just proportion, one and two.For in these words some people do not think that he is alluding to the mixture of wine and water at all; but that, being a moderate and temperate man, he would not drink [p. 679] more than one cyathus of pure wine, or perhaps, at the most, two. And this is the interpretation given to the passage by Chameleon of Pontus, who was ignorant how fond of wine Alcæus had been. For this poet will be found to have been in the habit of drinking at every season and in every imaginable condition of affairs. In winter he speaks thus—
Now the storm begins to lower,And in summer, he writes—
And Jove descends in heavy snow,
And streams of water stand congeal'd
In cruel ice: let's drive away
The wintry cold, and heap up fire,
And mingle with unsparing hand
The honied cup, and wreathe our brows
With fragrant garlands of the season.
Now it behoves a man to soak his lungsAnd in spring he says—
In most cool wine; for the fierce dogstar rages,
And all things thirst with the excessive heat.
Now does the flowery spring return,and he continues—
And shed its gifts all o'er the land;
Come then, my boy, and quickly pourAnd in his misfortunes he sings—
A cup of luscious Lesbian wine.
One must not give one's thoughts up whollyAnd in his hours of joy he says—
To evil fortune; for by grieving
We shall not do ourselves much good.
Come to me, Bacchus; you are ever
The best of remedies, who bring
Us wine and joyous drunkenness.
Now is the time to get well drunk,And, giving some general advice, he says—
Now e'en in spite of self to drink,
Since Myrsilus is dead at last.
Never plant any tree before the vine.How, then, could a man who was so very devoted to drinking be a sober man, and be content with one or two cups of wine? At all events, his very poem, says Seleucus, testifies against those people who receive the line in this sense. For he says, in the whole passage—
Let us now drink,—why put we out the light?In which words he plainly enough intimates that his meaning is, that one cup of wine is to be mixed with two of water.
Our day is but a finger: bring large cups,
[p. 680] Fili'd with the purple juice of various grapes;
For the great son of Semele and Jove
Gave wine to men to drive away their cares.
Pour on, in just proportion, one and two,
And let one goblet chase another quickly
Out of my head.
But Anacreon likes his liquors stronger still; as is shown by the verses in which he says—
Let the cup well be clean'd, then let it holdAnd Philetærus, in his Tereus, speaks of two measures of water to three of wine. And he speaks thus,—
Five measures water, three of rosy wine.
I seem to have drunk two measures now of water,And Pherecrates, in his Corianno, speaks even of two measures of water to four of wine, and says—
And only three of wine.
A. Throw that away, my dear; the fellow hasAnd Ephippus, in his Circe, says—
Given you such a watery mixture.
B. Nay rather, 'tis mere water and nought else.
A. What have you done?—in what proportions,
You cursed man, have you this goblet mix'd?
B. I've put two waters only in, my mother.
A. And how much wine?
B. Four parts of wine, I swear.
A. You're fit to serve as cupbearer to the frogs.
A. You will find it a much more prudent mixture,
To take three parts of one, and four of th' other.
B. That's but a watery mixture, three to four.
A. Would you, then, quite unmix'd your wine prefer?
B. How say you?
And Timocles speaks of half and half in his Conisalus,—
And I'll attack you straight with half and half,And Alexis, in his Dorcis, or the Caressing Woman, says—
And make you tell me all the truth at once.
I drink now cups brimming with love to you,And Xenarchus, or Timocles, in his Purple, says—
Mixed in fair proportions, half and half.
By Bacchus, how you drink down half and half!And Sophilus, in his Dagger, says,—
And wine was given in unceasing flow,[p. 681] And Alexis, in his play entitled The Usurer, or Liar, says—
Mix'd half and half; and yet, unsatisfied,
They ask'd for larger and for stronger cups.
A. Don't give him wine quite drown'd in water, now;—And again, in his Supposititious Son, he says—
Dost understand me? Half and half, or nearly:
B. A noble drink: where was the land
That raised this noble Bacchus by its flavour,
I think he came from Thasos.
A. Sure 'tis just
That foreigners should foreign wines enjoy,
And that the natives should drink native produce.
He drank and never drew his breath, as oneAnd Menander, in his Brethren—
Would quaff rich wine, mix'd half and half with care.
Some one cried out to mingle eight and twelve,And the verb κατασείω was especially used of those who fell down from drinking, taking its metaphor from the shaking down fruit from the tree. And Alexis, in his Man cut off, says—
Till he with rivalry subdued the other (κατέσεισε).
He was no master of the feast at all,
But a mere hangman, Chæreas his name;
And when he'd drunk full twenty cups of wine,
Mix'd half and half, he ask'd for more, and stronger.
And Diodorus of Sinope, in his Female Flute-player, says—
When any one, O Crito, drinks ten cups,And it was not without some wit that Lysander the Spartan, as Hegesander relates in his Commentaries, when some vintners sold wine which had been much watered in hi camp, ordered some one to supply it properly tempered, that his men might buy it with less water in it. And Alexis has said something which comes to nearly the same thing, in his Aesop; thus—
Consider, I do beg you, whether he
Who never once allows the wine to pass
Is in a fit state for discussion.
A. That is a good idea of yours, O Solon,
And cleverly imagined, which you have
Adopted in your city.
S. What is that?
A. You don't let men drink neat wine at their feasts.
S. Why, if I did, 'twould not be very easy
For men to get it, when the innkeepers
[p. 682] Water it ere it comes out of the waggon.
No doubt they do not do so to make money,
But only out of prudent care for those
Who buy the liquor; so that they may have
Their heads from every pang of headache free.
This now is, as you see, a Grecian drink;
So that men, drinking cups of moderate strength,
May chat and gossip cheerfully with each other:
For too much water is more like a bath
Than like a wine-cup; and the wine-cooler
Mix'd with the cask, my friend, is death itself.
“But to drink to the degree of drunkenness,” says Plato, in his sixth book of the Laws, is neither becoming any- Where—except perhaps in the days of festival of the god who gave men wine for their banquets,—nor is it wholesome: and, above all, a man ought to guard against such a thing who has any thoughts of marriage; for at such a time, above all other times, both bride and bridegroom ought to be in full possession of their faculties; when they are entering upon what is no small change in the circumstances of their life; and also they ought to be influenced by anxiety that their offspring shall be the offspring of parents in the fullest possible possession of all their faculties; for it is very uncertain what day or what night will be the originating cause of it. “And in the first book of his Laws he says—” But respecting drunkenness it may be a question, whether we ought to give way to it as the Lydians do, and the Persians, and the Carthaginians, and the Celtæ, and the Spaniards, and the Thracians, and other nations like them; or whether like you, O Lacedæmonians, one ought wholly to abstain from it. But the Scythians and the Thracians, who indulge altogether in drinking unmixed wine, both the women and all the men, and who spill it all over their clothes, think that they are maintaining a very honourable practice, and one that tends to their happiness. And the Persians indulge to a great extent in other modes of luxury which you reject; but still they practise them with more moderation than the Scythians and Thracians.
And a great many of the guests were drinking, and putting lumps of meal into their wine, a custom which Hegesander of Delphi mentions. Accordingly Epinicus, when Mnesiptolemus had given a recitation of his history, in which it was written how Seleucus had used meal in his [p. 683] wine, having written a drama entitled Mnesiptolemus, and having turned him into ridicule, as the comic poets do, and using his own words about that sort of drink, represents him as saying:—
Once I beheld the noble king Seleucus,And the same writer tells us that in the Therades islands men mash lentils and pease into meal, instead of ordinary corn, and put that into the wine, and that this drink is said to be better than that in which the meal is mixed.
One summer's day, drinking with mighty pleasure
Some wine with meal steep'd in it. (So I took
A note of it, and show'd it to a crowd,
Although it was an unimportant thing,
Yet still my genius could make it serious.)
He took some fine old Thasian wine, and eke
Some of the liquor which the Attic bee
Distils who culls the sweets from every flower;
And that he mingled in a marble cup,
And mix'd the liquor with fair Ceres' corn,
And took the draught, a respite from the heat.
Now it was not the fashion among the Lacedæmonians to practise the system of pledging healths at their banquets, nor to salute one another with mutual greetings and caresses at their feasts. And Critias shows us this in his Elegies:—
And this is an old fashion, well establish'd,And presently afterwards he goes on—
And sanction'd by the laws of noble Sparta,
That all should drink from one well-fill'd cup;
And that no healths should then be drunk to anyone,
Naming the tender object: also that
The cup should not go round towards the right.
The Lydian goblets . . . .
* * * *
And to drink healths with skill and well-turn'd phrase,
Naming the person whom one means to pledge.
For, after draughts like this, the tongue gets loose,
And turns to most unseemly conversation;
They make the body weak; they throw a mist
Over the eyes; and make forgetfulness
Eat recollection out of the full heart.
The mind no longer stands on solid ground;
The slaves are all corrupted by licentiousness,
And sad extravagance eats up the house.
But those wise youths whom Lacedæmon breeds
Drink only what may stimulate their souls
To deeds of daring in th' adventurous war,
And rouse the tongue to wit and moderate mirth.
Such draughts are wholesome both for mind and body,
[p. 684] And not injurious to the pocket either:
Good, too, for deeds of love; authors of sleep,
That wholesome harbour after toil and care:
Good, too, for health-that best of goddesses
Who mortal man befriend: and likewise good
For piety's best neigbour temperance.
For fierce, immoderate draughts of heady wine
Give momentary pleasure, but engender
A long-enduring pain which follows it.
But men at Sparta love a mode of life
Which is more equal; they but eat and drink
That which is wholesome, so that they may be
Fit to endure hard pains, and do great deeds.
Nor have they stated days in all the year
When it is lawful to indulge too much.
And a man who is always ready for wine is called φίλοινος.. But he is called φιλοπότης who is always ready to drink anything; and he is called φιλοκωθωνιστὴς who drinks to the degree of drunkenness. And of all heroes, the greatest drinker is Nestor, who lived three times as long as other men; for he evidently used to stick to his wine more closely than other people, and even than Agamemnon himself, whom Achilles upbraids as a man given to much drinking. But Nestor, even when a most important battle was impending, could not keep away from drinking. Accordingly Homer says—
But not the genial feast or flowing bowlAnd he is the only hero whose drinking-cup he has described, as he has the shield of Achilles; for he went to the war with his goblet just as he did with that shield, the fame of which Hector says had reached to heaven. And a man would not be very wrong who called that cup of his the Goblet of Mars, like the Cæneus of Antiphanes, in which it is said—
Could charm the cares of Nestor's watchful soul.
The hero stood and brandish'd Mars's cup,And indeed it was on account of his fondness for drinking that Nestor, in the games instituted in honour of Patroclus, received a drinking-cup as a present from Achilles; not but what Achilles also gave a cup to the competitor who was defeated: for victory does not commonly attend hard drinkers, on account of their usual inactivity; or perhaps it is owing to their thirst that boxers usually fail, from being [p. 685] fatigued with holding out their hands too long. But Eumelus receives a breastplate after having run a course with great danger, and having been torn, the breastplate being a serviceable piece of defensive armour.
Like great Timotheus, and his polish'd spear.
But there is nothing more covetous than thirst; on which account the poet has called Argos thirsty, or rather causing great thirst, as having been much desired on account of the length of time the person of whom he is speaking had been absent from it. For thirst engenders in all men a violent desire for abundant enjoyment; on which account Sophocles says—
Though you were to unfold unnumber'd treasuresAnd Archilochus says—
Of wisdom to a thirsty man, you'd find
You pleased him less than if you gave him drink.
I wish to fight with you, as much as e'erAnd one of the tragic poets has said—
A thirsty man desired to quench his thirst.
I bid you check your hand which thirsts for blood.And Anacreon says—
For you are kind to every stranger,And Xenophon, in the third book of his Cyropædia, represents Cyrus as speaking in this manner:—“I thirst to gratify you.” And Plato, in his Polity, says—“But if, as I imagine, any city which is governed by a democracy, thirsting for its liberty, should have evil-disposed cupbearers to wait upon it, and should be intoxicated to an improper degree with unmixed wine . . . .”
So let me drink and quench my thirst.
Proteas the Macedonian was also a very great drinker, as Ephippus tells us in his treatise on the Funeral of Alexander and Hephæstion: and he had an admirable constitution, and he had practised drinking to a great degree. Accordingly, Alexander, having once asked for a cup containing two choes, and having drank from it, pledged Proteas; and he, having taken it, and having sung the praises of the king a great deal, drank it in such a manner as to be applauded by every one. And presently Proteas asked for the same cup again, and again he drank and pledged the king. And Alexander, having taken the cup, drank it off in a princely manner, but he could not stand it, but leaned back on the [p. 686] pillow, letting the cup fall from his hands; and after this he fell sick and died, Bacchus, as it is said, being angry with him because he had besieged his native city of Thebes. And Alexander drank a great deal too, so that he once, after a drunken bout, slept without interruption two days and two nights. And this is shown in his Journals, which were compiled by Eumenes the Cardian, and Diodotus the Erythræan. But Menander, in his Flatterer, says—
A. My good friend, Struthias, I thrice have drunkBut Nicobule, or whoever it was who wrote the books attributed to her, says that “Alexander, once supping with Medeus the Thessalian, when there were twenty people present at the party, pledged every one of the guests, receiving a similar pledge from all of them, and then, rising up from the party, he presently went off to sleep.” And Callisthenes the Sophist, as Lynceus the Samian says in his Commentaries, and Aristobulus and Chares in their Histories, when in a banquet given by Alexander, a cup of unmixed wine came to him, rejected it; and when some one said to him, Why do you not drink? I do not wish, said he, after having drunk the cup of Alexander, to stand in need of the cup of Aesculapius."
A golden cup in Cappadocia,
Containing ten full cotylæ of wine.
St. Why, then you drank more than king Alexander.
A. At all events not less, I swear by Pallas.
St. A wondrous feat.
But Darius, who destroyed the Magi, had an inscription written on his tomb,—“I was able to drink a great deal of wine, and to bear it well.” And Ctesias says, that among the Indians it is not lawful for the king to get drunk; but among the Persians it is permitted to the king to get drunk one day in the year,—the day, namely, on which they sacrifice to Mithras. And Duris writes thus, with respect to this circumstance, in the seventh book of his Histories:—"The king gets drunk and dances the Persian dance on that festival only which is celebrated by the Persians in honour of Mithras; but no one else does so in all Asia; but all abstain during this day from dancing at all. For the Persians learn to dance as they learn to ride; and they think that the motion originated by this sort of exercise contains in it a good kind of practice tending to the strength of the body. [p. 687] But Alexander used to get so drunk, as Carystius of Pergamus relates in his Historic Commentaries, that he used even to celebrate banquets in a chariot drawn by asses; and the Persian kings too, says he, did the same thing. And perhaps it was owing to this that he had so little inclination for amatory pleasures; for Aristotle, in his Problems of Natural History, says, that the powers of men who drink to any great excess are much weakened. And Hieronymus, in his Letters, says, that Theophrastus says, that Alexander was not much of a man for women; and accordingly, when Olympias had given him Callixene, a Thessalian courtesan, for a mistress, who was a most beautiful woman, (and all this was done with the consent of Philip, for they were afraid that he was quite impotent,) she was constantly obliged to ask him herself to do his duty by her.
And Philip, the father of Alexander, was a man very fond of drinking, as Theopompus relates in the twenty-sixth book of his History. And in another part of his History he writes, “Philip was a man of violent temper and fond of courting dangers, partly by nature, and partly too from drinking; for he was a very hard drinker, and very often he would attack the enemy while he was drunk.” And in his fifty-third book, speaking of the things that took place at Chæronea, and relating how he invited to supper the ambassadors of the Athenians who were present there, he says, "But Philip, when they had gone away, immediately sent for some of his companions, and bade the slaves summon the female flute-players, and Aristonicus the harp-player, and Durion the flute-player, and all the rest who were accustomed to drink with him; for Philip always took people of that sort about with him, and he had also invented for himself many instruments for banquets and drinking parties; for being very fond of drinking and a man intemperate in his manners, he used to keep a good many buffoons an musicians and professed jesters about him. And when he had spent the whole night in drinking, and had got very drunk and violent, he then dismissed all the rest, and when it was day-break proceeded in a riotous manner to the ambssadors of the Athenians. And Carystius in his Historical Commentaries says, that Philip, when he intended to get drunk, spoke in this way: “Now we may drink; for it is quite sufficient if Antipater is sober.” And once, when he was playing [p. 688] at dice, and some one told him that Antipater was coming, he hesitated a moment, and then thrust the board under the couch.
And Theopompus gives a regular catalogue of men fond of drinking and addicted to drunkenness; and among them he mentions the younger Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, whose eyes were a good deal injured by wine. And Aristotle, in his Polity of the Syracusans, says that he sometimes was drunk for three months at a time together, owing to which he had got somewhat weak in the eyes. And Theophrastus says that his companions also, who were flatterers of the supreme power, pretended not to see well, and to be led by the hand by Dionysius, and not to be able to see the meat that was served up before them, nor the cups of wine, on which account they got the name of Dionysiocolaces, or flatterers of Dionysius Nysæus also, who was tyrant of Syracuse, drank a great deal, and so did Apollocrates; and these men were the sons of the former Dionysius, as Theopompus tells us in the fortieth and forty-first books of his History; and he writes thus about Nysæus: “Nysæus, who was afterwards tyrant of Syracuse, when he was taken for the purpose of being put to death, and knew that he had only a few months to live, spent them wholly in eating and drinking.” And in his thirty-ninth book he says: “Apollocrates, the son of Dionysius the tyrant, was an intemperate man, and addicted to drinking; and some of his flatterers worked upon him so as to alienate him as much as possible from his father.” And he says that Hipparinus, the son of Dionysius, who behaved like a tyrant when drunk, was put to death. And about Nyssus he writes as follows: “Nysæus, the son of the elder Dionysius, having made himself master of Syracuse, got a four-horse chariot, and put on an embroidered robe, and devoted himself to gluttony and hard drinking, and to insulting boys and ravishing women, and to all other acts which are consistent with such conduct. And he passed his life in this manner.” And in his forty-fifth book the same historian, speaking of Timolaus the Theban, says: “For though there have been a great many men who have been intemperate in their daily life, and in their drinking, I do not believe that there has ever been any one who was concerned in state affairs, more intemperate, or a greater glutton, or a more complete slave to his pleasures than Timolaus, whom I [p. 689] have mentioned.” And in his twenty-third book, speaking of Charidemus of Oreum, whom the Athenians made a citizen, he says: “For it was notorious that he spent every day in the greatest intemperance, and in such a manner that he was always drinking and getting drunk, and endeavoring to seduce free-born women; and he carried his intemperance to such a height that he ventured to beg a young boy, who was very beautiful and elegant, from the senate of the Olynthians, who had happened to be taken prisoner in the company of Derdas the Macedonian.”
A man of the name of Arcadion, too, was a very great drinker, (but it is uncertain whether this is the same man who was at enmity with Philip,) as the epigram shows which Polemo has preserved in his treatise on the Inscriptions existing in different Cities—
This is the monument of that great drinker,And the inscription over some man of the name of Erasixenus says that he also drank a great deal.
Arcadion; and his two loving sons,
Dorcon and Charmylus, have placed it here,
At this the entrance of his native city:
And know, traveller, the man did die
From drinking strong wine in too large a cup.
Twice was this cup, full of the strongest wine,Alcetas the Macedonian also used to drink a great deal, as Aristos the Salaminian relates; and so did Diotimus the Athenian: and he was the man who was surnamed the Funnel. For he put a funnel into his mouth, and would then drink without ceasing while the wine was being poured into it, according to the account of Polemo. And it has been already mentioned that Cleomenes the Lacedæmonian was a great drinker of unmixed wine; and that in consequence of his drunkenness he cut himself to pieces with a sword, is related by Herodotus. And Alcæus the poet also was very fond of drinking, as I have already mentioned. And Baton of Sinope, in his essay on Ion the poet, says that Ion was a man fond of drinking and amorous to excess; and he himself, too, in his Elegies, confesses that he loved Chrysilla the Corinthian, the daughter of Teleas, with whom Teleclides, in his Hesiods, says that the Olympian12 Pericles also was in love. And Xenarchus the [p. 690] Rhodian, on account of the excessive way in which he used to drink, was surnamed “The Nine-gallon Cask;” and Euphorion the Epic poet mentions him in his Chiliades.
Drain'd by the thirsty Erasixenus,
And then in turn it carried him away.
And Chares the Mitylenæan, in his History of Alexander, speaking of Calanus the Indian philosopher, and saying that he threw himself on a funeral pile that had been raised, and so died, says also that Alexander instituted some gymnastic games at his tomb, and also a musical contest of panegyrics on him.—“And he instituted,” says Chares, “because of the great fondness of the Indians for wine, a contest as to who should drink the greatest quantity of unmixed wine; and the prize was a talent for the first, and thirty mince for the second, and ten mince for the third. And of those who entered for the prize and drank the wine, thirty-five died at once by reason of the cold; and a little afterwards six more died in their tents. And he who drank the greatest quantity and won the prize, drank four choes of unmixed wine, and received the talent; and he lived four days after it; and he was called the Champion.” And Timæus says that “Dionysius the tyrant gave, at the festival of the Choes, to the first man who should drink a choeus, a golden crown as a prize:” and he says also that “Xenocrates the philosopher was the first person who drank it; and that he, taking the golden crown, and departing, offered it up to the Mercury who was placed in his vestibule, on which statue he was always accustomed on every occasion to offer up the garlands of flowers which he had, every evening as he returned home; and he was much admired for this conduct.” And Phanodemus says, that the festival of the Choes was established at Athens by Demophoon the king, when he was desirous to receive Orestes in hospitality on his arrival at Athens. And that, as he did not like him to come to the temples, or to share in the libations offered to the gods, before his trial was decided, he ordered all the temples to be shut, and a choeus of wine to be set before everybody, saying that a cheesecake should be given as a prize to the first person who drank it up. And he bade them, when they had finished drinking, not to offer up the garlands, with which they had been crowned, in the temples, because they had been under the same roof with Orestes; but he desired each man to place his garland round his own cup, and so to bring them to the priestess at the temple which is in the Marshes, and [p. 691] after that to perform the rest of the sacred ceremonies in the temple. And from thence it was that this festival got the name of the Choes. But on the day of the festival of the Choes, it is customary for the Athenians to send presents and pay to the sophists, who also themselves invite their acquaintances to a banquet, as Eubulides the dialectician shows us in his drama entitled the Revellers, where he says—
You're acting like a sophist now, you wretch,
And long for the pay-giving feast of Choes.
But Antigonus the Carystian, in his essay on the Life of Dionysius of Heraclea, who was called the Turncoat, says that Dionysius, when he was feasting with his slaves at the festival of the Choes, and was not able, by reason of his old age, to avail himself of the courtesan whom they brought him, turned round and said to those who were feasting with him—
I cannot now, so let another take her.But Dionysius, as Nicias of Nicæa tells us in his Successions, had been from the time he was a boy very furious in the indulgence of his amorous propensities; and he used to go to all the common women promiscuously. And once, when walking with some of his acquaintances, when he came near the house where the girls are kept, and where, having been there the day before, he had left some money owing, as he happened to have some with him then, he put out his hand and paid it in the presence of all of them. And Anacharsis the Scythian, when a prize for drinking was proposed at the table of Periander, demanded the prize, because he was the first man to be drunk of all the guests who were present; as if to get to the end were the goal to be aimed at and the victory to be achieved in drinking as in running a race. But Lacydes and Timon the philosophers, being invited to an entertainment which was to last two days, by one of their friends, and wishing to adapt themselves to the rest of the guests, drank with great eagerness. And accordingly, in the first day, Lacydes went away first, as soon as he was quite satiated with drink. And Timon, seeing him as he was departing, said—
Now have we gain'd immortal praise and fame,But on the next day Timon went away first because he could [p. 692] not drink up the goblet in which he had been pledged, and Lacydes seeing him departing, said—
Since we have slain great Hector.
Wretched are they who dare encounter me.
And Herodotus, in his second book, relates that Myce- rinus the Egyptian, having been told by the soothsayers that he was fated to live but a short time, used to light a great number of lamps when night arrived, and spend all his time in drinking and luxury, relaxing neither by day nor by night; and when he withdrew into the marshes and into the groves, or wherever he heard that there were meetings of young people to amuse themselves, he always got drunk. And Herodotus tells us that Amasis also, who was another of the Egyptian kings, was a very hard drinker indeed. And Hermeas the Methymnæan, in the third book of his History of Sicily, says that Nicoteles the Corinthian was a man greatly addicted to drinking. And Phænias the Eresian, in the book entitled, The Slaying of Tyrants out of Revenge, says that Scopas the son of Creon, and the grandson of the former Scopas, was throughout his whole life very fond of drinking; and that he used to return from banquets at which he had been present, sitting on a throne, and carried by four palanquin-bearers, and in that way he used to enter his house. And Phylarchus, in the sixth book of his Histories, says that Antiochus the king was a man very fond of wine; and that he used to get drunk, and then go to sleep for a long time, and then, as evening came on, he would wake up, and drink again. And it was very seldom, says he, that he transacted the affairs of his kingdom when he was sober, but much more frequently when he was drunk; on which account there were two men about him who managed all the real business of the state as they pleased, namely Aristos and Themiso, Cyprians by birth, and brothers; and they were both on terms of the greatest intimacy with Antiochus.
And Antiochus the king, who was surnamed Epiphanes, was also a great drinker,—the one, I mean, who had been a hostage among the Romans, whom Ptolemy Euergetes mentions in the third book of his Commentaries, and also in the fifth; saying that he turned to Indian revellings and drunkenness, and spent a vast quantity of money in those practices; and for the rest of the money which he had at hand, he spent [p. 693] a part of it in his daily revels, and the rest he would scatter about, standing in the public streets, and saying, “Let whoever chance gives it to, take it:” and then, throwing the money about, he would depart. And very often, having a plaited garland of roses on his head, and wearing a golden embroidered robe, he would walk about alone, having stones under his arm, which he would throw at those of his friends who were following him. And he used to bathe also in the public baths, anointed all over with perfumes; and, on one occasion, some private individual, seeing him, said, “You are a happy man, O king; you smell in a most costly manner:” and he, being much pleased, said, “I will give you as much as you can desire of this perfume.” And so he ordered an ewer containing more than two choes of thick perfumed unguent to be poured over his head; so that the multitude of the poorer people who were about all collected to gather up what was spilt; and, as the place was made very slippery by it, Antiochus himself slipped and fell, laughing a great deal, and most of the bathers did the same. But Polybius, in the twenty-sixth book of his Histories, calls this man Epimanes (mad), and not Epiphanes (illustrious), on account of his actions. “For he not only used to go to entertainments of the common citizens, but he also would drink with any strangers who happened to be sojourning in the city, and even with those of the meanest class. And if,” says Polybius, “he heard that any of the younger men were making a feast anywhere whatever, he would come with an earthen bowl, and with music, so that the greater part of the feasters fled away alarmed at his unexpected appearance. And very often he would put off his royal robes, and take a common cloak, and in that dress go round the market.”
And in the thirty-first book of his Histories, the same Polybius tells us “that when Antiochus was celebrating some public games at Antioch, he invited all the Greeks and any of the multitude who chose to come to the spectacle. And when a great many people came, he anointed them all in the gymnasia with ointment of saffron, and cinnamon, and nard, and amaracus, and lilies, out of golden vessels: and then, inviting them all to a feast, he filled sometimes a thousand and sometimes fifteen hundred triclinia with the most [p. 694] expensive preparations; and he himself personally attended to waiting on the guests. For, standing at the entrance, he introduced some, and others he placed upon the couches; and he himself marshalled the servants who brought in the different courses; and, walking about among the guests, at times he sat down in one place, and at times he lay down in another. And sometimes he would put down what he was eating, and at other times he would lay down his cup, and jump up, and change his place, and go all round the party, standing up himself, and pledging different people at different times; and then, mingling with the musicians, he would be brought in by the actors, entirely covered up, and laid down on the ground, as if he had been one of the actors himself; and then, when the music gave the signal, the king would leap up, and dance and sport among the actors, so that they were all ashamed. To such absurdities does a want of education, when joined with drunkenness, reduce miserable men.” And his namesake, the Antiochus who carried on war in Media against Arsaces, was very fond of drinking; as Posidonius of Apamea relates in the sixteenth book of his History. Accordingly, when he was slain, he says that Arsaces, when he buried him, said—Your courage and your drunkenness have ruined you, O Antiochus; for you hoped that, in your great cups, you would be able to drink up the kingdom of Arsaces."
But the Antiochus who was surnamed the Great, who was subdued by the Romans (as Polybius relates in his twentieth book), having arrived at Chalcis, in Euboea, celebrated a marriage when he was fifty years of age; and after he had undertaken two most enormous and important affairs, namely, the liberation of the Greeks (as he himself professed) and the war against the Romans. At all events, he, being smitten with love for a damsel of Chalcis, was very anxious to marry her at the very time that he was engaged in this war, being a man very fond of drinking and delighting in drunkenness. And she was the daughter of Cleophanes, one of the nobles, and superior to all the maidens of her country in beauty. Accordingly, he celebrated his marriage in Chalcis, and remained there all the winter, not once giving the smallest thought to the important affairs which he had in hand. And he gave the damsel the name of Eubœa. Accordingly, being defeated [p. 695] in the war, he fled to Ephesus, with his newly-married bride. And in the second book, the same Polybius relates that Agron, the king of the Illyrians, being delighted at having gained a victory over the haughty Aetolians, being a man much addicted to drinking, and to drunkenness, and banqueting, fell ill of a pleurisy, and died. And the same historian says, in his twenty-ninth book, that Genthion, the king of the Illyrians, on account of his great fondness for drinking, did a great many intemperate things during his life, being incessantly drunk, both night and day; and having murdered Pleuratus, his brother, who was about to marry the daughter of Menunius, he married the damsel himself, and treated his subjects with great cruelty. And he says, in the thirty-third book of his History, that Demetrius, when he fled after having been a hostage at Rome, and became king of the Syrians, became a great drinker, and was drunk the greater part of the day. And he also, in his thirty-second book, says that Orophernes, who was for a short time king of Cappadocia, disregarded all the customs of his country, and introduced the artificial luxury of the Ionians.
On which account, that divinest of writers, Plato, lays down admirable laws in his second book—“That boys, till they are eighteen years of age, should absolutely never taste wine at all; for that it is not well to heap fire on fire: that men up to thirty years of age may drink wine in moderation; and that the young man should wholly abstain from much wine and from drunkenness. But that a man, when he arrives at forty years of age, may feast in large banquets, and invoke the other gods, and especially Bacchus, to the feasts and amusements of the older men; since he it is who has given men this means of indulgence, as an ally against the austerity of old age, for which wine was the best medicine; so that, owing to it, we grow young again, and forget our moroseness.” And then he proceeds to say—“But there is a report and story told that this god was once deprived of his mind and senses by his mother-in-law, Juno; on which account he sent Bacchic frenzy, and all sorts of frantic rage, among men, out of revenge for the treatment which he had experienced; on which account also he gave wine to men.”
But Phalæcus, in his Epigrams, makes mention of a woman, whose name was Cleo, as having been a very hard drinker— [p. 696]
Cleo bestow'd this splendid gift on Bacchus,And it is a well-known fact that all the race of women is fond of drinking. And it was not without some wit that Xenarchus introduces, in his Pentathlum, a woman swearing this most horrible oath:—
The tunic, fringed with gold and saffron hues,
Which long she wore herself; so great she was
At feasts and revelry: there was no man
Who could at all contend with her in drinking.
May it be granted me to pass from lifeBut among the Romans, as Polybius says, in his sixth book, it was forbidden to women to drink wine at all. However, they drink what is called Passum; and that is made of raisins, and when drank is very like the sweet Aegosthenite and Cretan wine, on which account men use it when oppressed by excessive thirst. And it is impossible for a woman to drink wine without being detected: for, first of all, she has not the key of the cellar; and, in the next place, she is bound to kiss her relations, and those of her husband, down to cousins, and to do this every day when she first sees them; and besides this, she is forced to be on her best behaviour, as it is quite uncertain whom she may chance to meet; for if she has merely tasted wine, it needs no informer, but is sure to betray itself." And Alcimus the Sicilian, in that book of his which is entitled the Italian History, says that all the women in Italy avoid drinking wine on this account: “When Hercules was in the district of the Crotoniatæ, he one day was very thirsty, and came to a certain house by the wayside and asked for something to drink; and it happened that the wife of the master of the house had privily opened a cask of wine, and therefore she said to her husband that it would be a shameful thing for him to open this cask for a stranger; and so she bade him give Hercules some water. But Hercules, who was standing at the door, and heard all this, praised her husband very much, but advised him to go indoors himself and look at the cask. And when he had gone in, he found that the cask had become petrified. And this fact is proved by the conduct of the women of the country, among whom it is reckoned disgraceful, to this day, to drink wine, on account of the above-mentioned reason.” [p. 697]
Drinking abundant draughts of wine, while you,
My darling daughter, live and prosper here.
And what sort of women those among the Greeks are who get drunk, Antiphanes tells us, in his Female Darter; where he says—
There is a certain neighbouring victualler,And, in his Woman Initiated, (and it is women who are conversing,) he writes—
And he, whenever I arrive, being thirsty,
Is th' only man who knows the proper way
In which to mix my wine; and makes it not
Too full of water, nor too strong and heady:
I recollect that once when I was drinking . . . .
A. Would you now like, my dearest friend, to drink?And Alexis, in his Female Dancer, says—
B. No doubt I should.
A. Well come, then, take a cup;
For they do say the first three cups one takes
All tend to th' honour of the heavenly gods.
A. But women are quite sure to be contentAnd so on. And, in his Jupiter the Mourner, he mentions a certain woman named Zopyra, and says—
If they have only wine enough to drink.
B. But, by the heavenly twins, we now shall have
As much as we can wish; and it shall be
Sweet, and not griping,—rich, well-season'd wine,
A. I like this aged sphinx;
For hear how now she talks to me in riddles.
Zopyra, that wine-cask.Antiphanes, in his Female Bacchanalians— But since this now is not the case, I'm sure He is a wretched man who ever marries Except among the Scythians; for their country Is the sole land which does not bear the vine. And Xenarchus, in his Pentathlum, says—
I write a woman's oath in mighty wine.
Plato, in his Phaon, relating how many things happen to women because of wine, says—
Come now, ye women, long ago have IAnd Axionicus says, in his Philinna—
Pray'd that this wine may thus become your folly;
For you don't think, as the old proverb goes,
That there is any wisdom at a vintner's.
For if you now desire to see Phaon,
You first must all these solemn rites perform.
First, as the nurse of youths, I must receive
A vigorous cheesecake, and a pregnant mealcake,
And sixteen thrushes whole, well smear'd with honey,
[p. 698] Twelve hares, all taken when the moon was full;
But all the other things may be got cheaply.
Now listen. Three half-measures of fine onions;
These for Orthanna. For Conisalus
And his two mates, a plate of myrtleberries,
Pluck'd with the hand: for the great Gods above
Dislike the smell of lamps . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . for the dogs and huntsmen.
A drachma for Lordon; for Cybdasus,
Three obols; for the mighty hero Celes,
Some hides and incense. Now if you bring
These things, you'll certainly obtain admittance;
But if you don't, you'll knock in vain, and long
In vain to enter, and get nothing by it.
Just trust a woman to drink only water.
And whole nations are mentioned as addicted to drunkenness. Accordingly, Bæton, the measurer of distances for Alexander, in his book which is entitled Stations of the March of Alexander, and Amyntas also, in his Stations, says that the nation of the Tapyri is so fond of wine that they never use any other unguent than that. And Ctesias tells the same story, in his book Concerning the Revenues in Asia. And he says that they are a most just people. And Harmodius of Lepreum, in his treatise on the Laws in force among the people of Phigalea, says that the Phigaleans are addicted to drinking, being neighbours of the Messenians, and being also a people much accustomed to travelling. And Phylarchus, in his sixth book, says that the Byzantians are so exceedingly fond of wine, that they live in the wine-shops and let out their own houses and their wives also to strangers: and that they cannot bear to hear the sound of a trumpet even in their sleep. On which account once, when they were attacked by the enemy, and could not endure the labour of defending their walls, Leonidas, their general, ordered the innkeepers' booths to be erected as tents upon the walls, and even then it was with difficulty that they were stopped from deserting, as Damon tells us, in his book on Byzantium. But Menander, in his play called the Woman carrying the Mysterious sacred Vessels of Minerva, or the Female Flute-player, says—
Byzantium makes all the merchants drunk.[p. 699] And the Argives too are ridiculed by the comic poets as addicted to drunkenness; and so are the Tirynthians by Ephippus, in his Busiris. And he introduces Hercules as saying—
On your account we drank the whole night long,
And right strong wine too, as it seems to me,—
At least I got up with four heads, I think.
A. For how in the name of all the gods at once,And Eubulus, in his Man Glued, says that the Milesians are very insolent when they are drunk. And Polemo, in his treatise on the Inscriptions to be found in Cities, speaking of the Eleans, produces this epigram:—
Do you not know me, the Tirynthian Argive?
That race fights all its battles when 'tis drunk.
B. And that is why they always run away.
Elis is always drunk, and always lying:
As is each single house, so is the city.
And Theopompus, in his twenty-second book, speaking of the Chalcidians in Thrace, says: "For they disregarded all the most excellent habits, rushing readily with great eagerness to drinking and laziness, and every sort of intemperance. And all the Thracians are addicted to drinking; on which account Callimachus says—
For he could hardly bear the Thracian wayAnd, in his fiftieth book, Theopompus makes this statement about the Methymnæans: “And they live on the more sumptuous kind of food, lying down and drinking—and never doing anything at all worthy of the expense that they went to. So Cleomenes the tyrant stopped all this; he who also ordered the female pimps, who were accustomed to seduce free-born women, and also three or four of the most nobly born of those who had been induced to prostitute themselves, to be sewn in sacks and thrown into the sea.” And Hermippus, in his account of the Seven Wise Men, says Periander did the same thing. But in the second book of his History of the Exploits of Philip he says, “The Illyrians both eat and drink in a sitting posture; and they take their wives to their entertainments; and it is reckoned a decorous custom for the women to pledge the guests who are present. And they lead home their husbands from their drinking parties; and they all live plainly, and when they drink, they girdle their s stomach with broad girdles, and at first they do so moderately; but when they drink more vehemently, then they keep contracting [p. 700] their belt. And the Ariæans,” says he, “have three hundred thousand slaves whom they call prospelatæ, and who correspond to the Helots; and they get drunk every day, and make large entertainments, and are very intemperate in their eating and drinking. On which account the Celtæ when making war upon them, knowing their intemperance, ordered all the soldiers to prepare as superb a feast as possible in the tent, and to put in the food some medicinal herbs which had the power to gripe and purge the bowels exceedingly. And when this had been done . . . .And so some of them were taken by the Celtæ and put to death, and some threw themselves into the rivers, being unable to endure the pains which they were suffering in their stomachs.”
Of drinking monstrous goblets at one draught;
And always did prefer a smaller cup."
Now, after Democritus had uttered all this long uninterrupted discourse, Pontianus said that wine was the metropolis of all these evils; and it was owing to this that drunkenness, and madness, and all sorts of debauchery took place; and that those people who were too much addicted to it were not unappropriately called rowers of cups, by that Dionysius who is surnamed the Brazen, in his Elegies, where he says—
And those who bring their wine in Bacchus' rowing,And concerning this class of men, (for it is not extinct,) Alexis, in his Curia, speaking of some one who drunk to excess, says—
Sailors through feasts, and rowers of large cups.
This then my son is such in dispositionSo getting drunk is a bad thing, my good friends; and the same Alexis says, with great cleverness, to those who swallow wine in this way, in his Opora, (and the play is called after a courtesan of that name,)—
As you have just beheld him. An Œnopion,
Or Maron, or Capelus, or Timoclees,
For he's a drunkard, nothing more nor less.
And for the other, what can I call him?
A lump of earth, a plough, an earth-born man.
Are you then full of such a quantityAnd in his Ring he says—
Of unmix'd wine, and yet avoid to vomit?
Is not, then, drunkenness the greatest evil,[p. 701] And in his Steward he says—
And most injurious to the human race?
For much wine is the cause of many crimes.And Crobylus, in his Female Deserter, says—
What pleasure, prithee tell me, can there beTherefore it is not right to get drunk; for “A city which has been governed by a democracy,” says Plato, in the eighth book of his Polity, “when it has thirsted for freedom, if it meets with bad cupbearers to help it, and if, drinking of the desired draught too deeply, it becomes intoxicated, then punishes its magistrates if they are not very gentle indeed, and if they do not allow it a great deal of licence, blaming them as wicked and oligarchical; and those people who obey the magistrates it insults.” And, in the sixth book of his Laws, he says—“A city ought to be like a well-mixed goblet, in which the wine which is poured in rages; but being restrained by the opposite and sober deity, enters into a good partnership with it, and so produces a good and moderate drink.”
In getting always drunk? in, while still living,
Yourself depriving thus of all your senses;
The greatest good which nature e'er has given?
For profligate debauchery is engendered by drunkenness. On which account Antiphanes, in his Arcadia, says—
For it, O father, never can becomeAnd, in his Aeolus, mentioning with indignation the evil deeds which those who are great drinkers do, he says—
A sober man to seek debauchery,
Nor yet to serious cares to give his mind,
When it is rather time to drink and feast.
But he that cherishes superhuman thoughts,
Trusting to small and miserable riches,
Shall at some future time himself discover
That he is only like his fellow-men,
If he looks, like a doctor, at the tokens,
And sees which way his veins go, up or down,
On which the life of mortal man depends.
Macareus, when smitten with unholy love[p. 702] And well, therefore, did Aristophanes term wine the milk of Venus, saying—
For one of his own sisters, for a while
Repress'd the evil thought, and check'd himself;
But after some short time he wine admitted
To be his general, under whose sole lead
Audacity takes the place of prudent counsel,
And so by night his purpose he accomplish'd.
And wine, the milk of Venus, sweet to drink;because men, after having drunk too much of it, have often conceived a desire for illicit amours.
But Hegesander the Delphian speaks of some men as ἔξοινοι; by which term he means, overtaken with wine; speaking thus:—“Comeon and Rhodophon being two of the ministers who managed the affairs of Rhodes, were both drunk; and Comeon attacking Rhodophon as a gambler, said—
O you old man, the crew of youthful gamblersAnd Rhodophon reproached him with his passion for women, and with his incontinence, abstaining from no sort of abuse.” And Theopompus, in the sixteenth book of his Histories, speaking of another Rhodian, says—“When Hegesilochus had become perfectly useless, partly from drunkenness and gambling, and when he had utterly lost all credit among the Rhodians, and when instead his whole course of life was found fault with by his own companions and by the rest of the citizens.” . . . .Then he goes on to speak of the oligarchy which he established with his friends, saying—“And they violated a great number of nobly-born women, wives of the first men in the state; and they corrupted no small number of boys and young men; and they carried their profligacy to such a height that they even ventured to play with one another at dice for the free-born women, and they made a bargain which of the nobly-born matrons he who threw the lowest number on the dice should bring to the winner for the purpose of being ravished; allowing no exception at all; but the loser was bound to bring her to the place appointed, in whatever way he could, using persuasion, or even force if that was necessary. And some of the other Rhodians also played at dice in this fashion; but the most frequent and open of all the players in this way was Hegesilochus, who aspired to become the governor of the city.” And Antheas the Lindian, who claimed to be considered a relation of Cleobulus the philosopher, as Philodemus reports, in his treatise on the Sminthians in Rhodes, being an oldish man, and very rich, and being also an accomplished poet, [p. 703] celebrated the festivals in honour of Bacchus all his life, wearing a dress such as is worn by the votaries of Bacchus, and maintaining a troop of fellow-revellers. An he was constantly leading revels both day and night; and he was the first man who invented that. kind of poetry which depends upon compound words, which Asopodorus the Phliasian afterwards employed in his conversational Iambics. And he too used to write comedies and many other pieces in the same style of poetry, which he used to recite to his phallus-bearers.
Beyond a doubt are pressing hard upon you.
When Ulpian had heard all this he said,—Tell me, my good Pontianus, says he, in what author does the word πάροινος occur? And he replied—
You will undo me with your questions..(as the excellent Agatho says)—
. . . . and your new fashion,But since it is decided that we are to be responsible to you for every word, Antiphanes, in his Lydian, has said—
Always talking at an unseasonable time.
A Colchian man drunken and quarrelsome (πάροινος).But you are not yet satisfied about your πάροινοι, and drunkards; nor do you consider that Eumenes the king of Pergamus, the nephew of Philetærus, who had formerly been king of Pergamus, died of drunkenness, as Ctesicles relates, in the third book of his Times. But, however, Perseus, whose power was put down by the Romans, did not die in that way; for he did not imitate his father Philip in anything; for he was not eager about women, nor was he fond of wine; but when at a feast he was not only moderate himself, but all his friends who were with him were so too, as Polybius relates, in his twenty-sixth book. But you, O Ulpian, are a most immoderate drinker yourself (ἀῤῥυθμοπότης), as Timon te Phliasian calls it. For so he called those men who drink a great quantity of unmixed wine, in the second book of his Silli—
Or that great ox-goad, harder than Lycurgus's,For I do not call you simply ποτικὸς, or fond of drinking; and this last is a word which Alæus has used, in his Ganymede. And that a habit of getting drunk deceives our eyesight, Anacharsis has shown plainly enough, in what he says here he shows that mistaken opinions are taken up by drunken men. [p. 704] For a fellow-drinker of his once, seeing his wife at a banquet, said, “Anacharsis, you have married an ugly woman.” And he replied, “Indeed I think so too, but however now, give me, O boy, a cup of stronger wine, that I may make her out beautiful.”
Who smote the ἀῤῥυθμόποται of Bacchus,
And threw their cups and brimming ladles down.
After this Ulpian, pledging one of his companions, said,—But, my dear friend, according to Antiphanes, who says, in his Countryman—
A. Shut now your eyes, and drink it all at once.Drink then, my friend; and—
B. 'Tis a great undertaking.
A. Not for one
Who has experience in mighty draughts.
A. Let us not always drink(as the same Antiphanes says, in his Wounded Man,)
Full cups, but let some reason and discussionAnd he said,—But who has ever used this form πῖθι̣ And Ulpian replied,—Why, you are all in the dark, my friend, from having drunk such a quantity of wine. You have it in Cratinus, in his Ulysseses,—
Come in between, and some short pretty songs;
Let some sweet strophes sound. There is no work,
Or only one at least, I tell you true,
In which some variation is not pleasant.
B. Give me, then, now at once, I beg you, wine,
Strengthening the limbs (ἀρκεσίγυιον), as says Euripides—
A. Aye, did Euripides use such a word?
B. No doubt—who else?
A. It may have been Philoxenus,
'Tis all the same; my friend, you now convict me,
Or seek to do so, for one syllable.
Take now this cup, and when you've taken, drink it (πῖθι),And Antiphanes, in his Mystic, says—
And then ask me my name.
A. Still drink (πῖθι), I bid you.And Diphilus, in his Bath, says— [p. 705]
B. I'll obey you, then,
For certainly a goblet's figure is
A most seductive shape, and fairly worthy
The glory of a festival. We have—
Have not we? (for it is not long ago)—
Drunk out of cruets of vile earthenware.
May the Gods now, my child, give happiness
And all good fortune to the clever workman
For the fair shape that he bestow'd on thee.
Fill the cup full, and hide the mortal part,And Ameipsias, in his Sling, says—
The goblet made by man, with godlike wine:
Drink (πῖθι); these are gifts, my father, given us
By the good Jove, who thus protects companionship.
When you have stirr'd the sea-hare, take and drink (πῖθι).And Menander, in his Female Flute-player, says—
Away with you; have you ne'er drunk, O Sosilas?
Drink (πῖθι) now, I beg, for you are wondrous mad.
And in the future tense of πίνω, we should not read πιοῦμαι, but πιόμαι without the υ, lengthening the ι. And this is the way the future is formed in that line of Homer—
He ne'er shall drink (πίεται) of the same cup with me:and in another place he says—
Thou shalt this day drink (πίει) the most bitter wine;though this might, perhaps, come from πιοῦμαι. Sometimes, however, they shorten the ι, as Plato does, in his Women Returning from Sacrifice—
Nor he who drinks up (ἐκπίεται) all her property:and in his Syrphax he says— And ye shall drink (πίεσθε) much water. And Menander uses the word πῖε as a dissyllable, in his Dagger— τῆ πίε, take and drink, and πῖνε, drink. So do you, my friend, drink; and as Alexis says, in his Twins,—
Pledge you (πρόπιθι) this man, that he may pledge another.And let it be a cup of comradeship, which Anaceron calls ἐπίστιος. For that great lyric poet says—
And do not chatter like the waveBut the name which we give it is ἀνίσων.
Of the loud brawling sea, with that
Drinking the cup ἐπίστιος.
But do not you be afraid to drink; nor will you be in [p. 706] any danger of falling on your hinder parts; for the people who drink what Simonides calls—
Wine, the brave router of all melancholy,can never suffer such a mischance as that. But as Aristotle says, in his book on Drunkenness, they who have drunk beer, which they call πῖνος, fall on their backs. For he says, “But there is a peculiarity in the effects of the drink made from barley, which they call πῖνος, for they who get drunk on other intoxicating liquors fall on all parts of their body; they fall on the left side, on the right side, on their faces, and on their backs. But it is only those who get drunk on beer who fall on their backs, and lie with their faces upwards.” But the wine which is made of barley is by some called βρύτος, as Sophocles says, in his Triptolemus—
And not to drink the earthy beer (βρύτον).And Archilochus says—
And she did vomit wine as any ThracianAnd Aeschylus, also, mentions this drink, in his Lycurgus—
Might vomit beer (βρύτον), and played the wanton stooping.
And after this he drank his beer (βρύτον), and muchBut Hellanicus, in his Origins, says that beer is made also out of roots, and he writes thus:—“But they drink beer (βρύτον) made of roots, as the Thracians drink it made of barley.” And Hecatæus, in the second book of his Description of the World, speaking of the Egyptians, and saying that they are great bread-eaters, adds, “They bruise barley so as to make a drink of it.” And, in his Voyage round Europe, he says that “the Pæonians drink beer made of barley, and a liquor called παραβίη, made of millet and conyza. And they anoint themselves,” adds he, “with oil made of milk.” And this is enough to say on these topics.
And loudly bragg'd in that most valiant house.
But in our time dear to the thyrsus-bearersAs Ion the Chian says, in his Elegies—
Is rosy wine, and greatest of all gods
For this is pretext fit for many a song;[p. 707]
The great assemblies of th' united Greeks,
The feasts of kings, do from this gift proceed,
Since first the vine, with hoary bunches laden,
Push'd from beneath the ground its fertile shoots,
Clasping the poplar in its firm embrace,
And from its buds burst forth a numerous race,
Crashing, as one upon the other press'd;But Amphis, in his Philadelphi, praising the life of those who are fond of drinking, says:—
But when the noise has ceased they yield their juice,
Divinest nectar, which to mortal men
Is ever the sole remedy for care,
And common cause of joy and cheerfulness.
Parent of feasts, and laughter, and the dance,
Wine shows the disposition of the good,
And strengthens all their noble qualities.
Hail! then, O Bacchus, president of feasts,
Dear to all men who love the wreathed flowers;
Give us, kind God, an age of happiness,
To drink, and play, and cherish just designs.
For many causes do I think our life,
The life of those who drink, a happy one;
And happier far than yours, whose wisdom all
Lies in a stern and solemn-looking brow.
For that slow prudence which is always busy
In settling small affairs, which with minuteness,
And vain solicitude, keeps hunting trifles,
Fears boldly to advance in things of weight;
But our mind, not too fond of scrutinising
Th' exact result of every trifling measure,
Is ever for prompt deeds of spirit ready.
And when Ulpian was about to add something to this Aemilianus said,—It is time for us, my friends, to inquire in some degree about γρῖφοι, that we may leave our cups for a little while, not indeed in the spirit of that work which is entitled the Grammatical Tragedy of Callias the Athenian: but let us first inquire what is the definition of what we call a γρῖφος. . . . And we may omit what Cleobulina of Lindus has proposed in her Epigrams; for our companion, Diotimus of Olympia, has discussed that point sufficiently; but we must consider how the comic poets have mentioned it, and what punishment those who have failed to solve it have undergone. And Laurentius said,—Clearchus the Solensian defines the word thus: “γρῖφος,” says he, “is a sportive problem, in which we are bidden to seek out, by the exertion of our intellect and powers of investigation, what i proposed to us, which has been uttered for the sake of some honour or some penalty.” And in his discussion on these griphi, the same Clearchus asserts that “there are seven kinds of griphi. In the letter, when we say that there is a certain name of a fish or plant, beginning with a. And similarly, [p. 708] when he who proposes the griphus desires us to mention some name in which some particular letter is or is not. Such are those which are called sigma-less griphi; on which account Pindar has composed an ode on the ς, as if some griphus had been proposed to him as a subject for a lyric poem. Then griphi are said to be in the syllable, when we are desired to recite some verse which begins with the syllable βα, as with βασιλεὺς, for instance, or which ends with ναξ, as καλλιάναξ, or some in which the syllables λεων take the lead, as λεωνίδης, or on the other hand close the sentence, as θρασυλέωϝ. They are in the name, when we utter simple or compound names of two syllables, by which some tragic figure, or on the other hand some humble one, is indicated; or some names which have no connexion with anything divine, as κλεώνυμος, or which have some such connexion, as διονύσιος: and this, too, whether the connexion be with one God or with more, as ῾ερμαφρόδιτος; or whether the name begins with Jupiter, as διοκλῆς, or with Mercury, as ῾ερμόδωρος; or whether it ends, as it perhaps may, with νῖκος. And then they who were desired to say such and such things, and could not, had to drain the cup.” And Clearchus defined the word in this way. And now you, my good friend Ulpian, may inquire what the cup to be drained is.
But concerning these griphi, Antiphanes says, in his Cnœthis, or the Pot-bellied Man—
A. I thought before that those who while at mealsAnd in his Aphrodisian he says—
Bade me solve griphi, were the silliest triflers,
Talking mere nonsense. And when any one
Was bade to say what a man bore and bore not,
I laugh'd and thought it utter childishness;
And did not think that truth did lie beneath,
But reckon'd them as traps for the unwary.
But now, indeed, I see there is some truth in them;
For we, ten men, contribute now for supper,
But no one of them all bears what he brings,
So here's a case where he who bears bears not,
And this is just the meaning of a griphus.
So surely this may fairly be excused;
But others play tricks with the things themselves,
Paying no money, as, for instance, Philip.
B. A wise and fortunate man, by Jove, is he.
A. Suppose I want to say now “dish” to you,
Shall I say “dish,” or shall I rather say,
[p. 709] A hollow-bodied vessel, made of earth,
Form'd by the potter's wheel in rapid swing,
Baked in another mansion of its mother,
Which holds within its net the tender milk-fed
Offspring of new-born flocks untimely choked?
B. By Hercules, you'll kill me straight if you
Do not in plain words say a “dish of meat.”
A. 'Tis well. And shall I speak to you of drops
Flowing from bleating goats, and well compounded
With streams proceeding from the yellow bee,
Sitting on a broad receptacle provided
By the chaste virgin born of holy Ceres,
And now luxuriating beneath a host
Of countless finely-wrought integuments;
Or shall I say “a cheesecake?”
B. Prithee say
A. Shall I speak of rosy sweat
From Bacchic spring?
B. I'd rather you'd say wine.
A. Or shall I speak of dusky dewy drops?
B. No such long paraphrase,—say plainly, water.
A. Or shall I praise the cassia-breathing fragrance
That scents the air
B. No, call it myrrh,—forbear
Those sad long-winded sentences, those long
And roundabout periphrases; it seems
To me by far too great a labour thus
To dwell on matters which are small themselves,
And only great in such immense descriptions.
And Alexis, in his Sleep, proposes a griphus of this kind—
A. It is not mortal, nor immortal eitherAnd Eubulus, in his Sphingocarion, proposes grip i of this kind, himself afterwards giving the solution of there—
But as it were compounded of the two,
So that it neither lives the life of man,
Nor yet of God, but is incessantly
New born again, and then again deprived
Of this its present life; invisible,
Yet it is known and recognised by all.
B. You always do delight, O lady, in riddles.
A. No, I am speaking plain and simple things.
B. What child then is there which has such a nature!
A. 'Tis sleep, my girl, victor of human toils.
A. There is a thing which speaks, yet has no tongueAgain:—
A female of the same name as the male;
The steward of the winds, which it holds fast;
Rough, and yet sometimes smooth; full of dark voices
[p. 710] Scarce to be understood by learned men;
Producing harmony after harmony;
'Tis one thing, and yet many; e'en if wounded
'Tis still invulnerable and unhurt.
B. What can that be?
A. Why, don't you know, Callistratus?
It is a bellows.
B. You are joking now.
A. No; don't it speak, although it has no tongue?
Has it not but one name with many people?
Is't not unhurt, though with a wound i' the centre?
Is it not sometimes rough, and sometimes smooth?
Is it not, too, a guardian of much wind?
There is an animal with a locust's eye,('Tis the Egyptian ichneumon.) For he does seize upon the crocodile's eggs, And, ere the latent offspring is quite form'd, Breaks and destroys them: he's a double head, For he can sting with one end, and bite with th' other. Again:—
With a sharp mouth, and double deathful head;
A mighty warrior, who slays a race
Of unborn children.
I know a thing which, while it's young, is heavy,This is thistledown. For it—
But when it's old, though void of wings, can fly
With lightest motion, out of sight o' th' earth.
While it is young, stands solid in its seed,Listen, now, to this one—
But when it loses that, is light and flies,
Blown about every way by playful children.
There is an image all whose upper partAnd you yourselves may decide here, that he means the box into which the votes are thrown, so that we may not borrow everything from Eubulus.
Is its foundation, while the lower part
Is open; bored all through from head to feet;
'Tis sharp, and brings forth men in threefold way,
Some of whom gain the lot of life, some lose it:
All have it; but I bid them all beware.
And Antiphanes, in his Problem, says—
A. A man who threw his net o'er many fish,
Though full of hope, after much toil and cost,
Caught only one small perch. And 'twas a cestreus,
Deceived itself, who brought this perch within,
[p. 711] For the perch followeth the blacktail gladly.
B. A cestreus, blacktail, perch, and man, and net,—
I don't know what you mean; there's no sense in it.
A. Wait while I clearly now explain myself:
There is a man who giving all he has,
When giving it, knows not to whom he gives it,
Nor knows he has the things he does not need.
B. Giving, not giving, having, and not having,—
I do not understand one word of this.
A. These were the very words of this same griphus.
For what you know you do not just now know,
What you have given, or what you have instead.
This was the meaning.
B. Well, I should be glad
To give you too a griphus.
A. Well, let's have it.
B. A pinna and a mullet, two fish, both
Endued with voices, had a conversation,
And talk'd of many things; but did not say
What they were talking of, nor whom they thought
They were addressing; for they both did fail
In seeing who it was to whom they talk'd.
And so, while they kept talking to each other,
The goddess Ceres came and both destroy'd.
And in his play called Sappho, Antiphanes represents the poetess herself as proposing griphi, which we may call riddles, in this manner: and then some one else is represented as solving them. For she says—
S. There is a female thing which holds her youngAnd some one, solving this riddle, says—
Safely beneath her bosom; they, though mute,
Cease not to utter a loud sounding voice
Across the swelling sea, and o'er the land,
Speaking to every mortal that they choose;
But those who present are can nothing hear,
Still they have some sensation of faint sound.
B.The female thing you speak of is a city;[p. 712] And so then he introduces Sappho herself solving the riddle, thus—
The children whom it nourishes, orators;
They, crying out, bring from across the sea,
From Asia and from Thrace, all sorts of presents
The people still is near them while they feed on
And pour reproaches ceaselessly around,
While it nor hears nor sees aught that they do.
S. But how, my father, tell me, in God's name,
Can you e'er say an orator is mute,
Unless, indeed, he's been three times convicted?
B. And yet I thought that I did understand
The riddle rightly. Tell me then yourself.
S. The female thing you speak of is a letter,
The young she bears about her is the writing:
They're mute themselves, yet speak to those afar off
Whene'er they please. And yet a bystander,
However near he may be, hears no sound
From him who has received and reads the letter.
And Diphilus, in his Theseus, says that there were once three Samian damsels, who, on the day of the festival of Adonis, used to delight themselves in solving riddles at their feasts. And that when some one had proposed to them this riddle, “What is the strongest of all things?” one said iron, and alleged the following reasons for her opinion, because that is the instrument with which men dig and cut, and that is the material which they use for all purposes. And when she had been applauded, the second damsel said that a blacksmith exerted much greater strength, for that he, when he was at work, bent this strong iron, and softened it, and used it for whatever purposes he chose. And the third said, they were both wrong, and that love was the strongest thing of all, for that love could subdue a blacksmith. And Achæus the Eretrian, though he is usually a very clear poet as respects the structure of his poems, sometimes makes his language obscure, and says many things in an enigmatical style; as, for instance, in his Iris, which is a satyric play. For he says, “A cruet of litharge full of ointment was suspended from a Spartan tablet, written upon and twisted on a double stick;” meaning to say a white strap, from which a silver cruet was suspended; and he has spoken of a Spartan written tablet when he merely meant the Spartan scytale. And that the Lacedæmonians put a white strap, on which they wrote whatever they wished, around the scytale, we are told plainly enough by Apollonius Rhodius, in his Treatise on Archilochus. And Stesichorus, in his Helen, speaks of a footpan of litharge; and Ion, in his Phœnix or Cæneus, calls the birdlime the sweat of the oak, saying—
The sweat of oaks, and a long leafy branch
Cut from a bush supports me, and a thread
Drawn from Egyptian linen, clever snare
To catch the flying birds.
And Hermippus says, that Theodectes of Phaselus, in [p. 713] his book on the Pupils of Isocrates, was a wonderfully clever man at discovering any riddles that might be proposed to him, and that he too could propose riddles to others with great acuteness. As that riddle about shade, for instance;— for he said that there was a nature which is greatest at its birth and at its decease, and least when at its height. And he speaks thus:—
Of all the things the genial earth produces,And in the Œdipus, which is a tragedy, he speaks of night and day in the following riddle:—
Or the deep sea, there is no single one,
Nor any man or other animal
Whose growth at all can correspond to this:
For when it first is born its size is greatest;
At middle age 'tis scarcely visible,
So small it's grown; but when 'tis old and hastens
Nigh to its end, it then becomes again
Greater than all the objects that surround it.
There are two sisters, one of whom brings forthAnd Callisthenes, in his Greek History, tells the following story, that “when the Arcadians were besieging Cromnus, (and that is a small town near Megalopolis,) Hippodamus the Lacedæmonian, being one of the besieged persons, gave a message to the herald who came to them from the Lacedæmonians, showing the condition in which they were by a riddle, and he bade him tell his mother-'to be sure and release within the next ten days the little woman who was bound in the temple of Apollo; as it would not be possible to release her if they let those days elapse.' And by this message he plainly enough intimated what he was desirous to have understood; for the little woman meant is Famine, of which there was a picture in the temple of Apollo, near the throne of Apollo, and it was represented under a woman's form; so it was evident to every one that those who were besieged could hold out only ten days more because of famine. So the Lacedæmonians, understanding the meaning of that had been said, brought succour with great speed to the men in Cromnus.”
The other, and in turn becomes its daughter.
There are also many other riddles, such as this:—
I saw a man who by the means of fire[p. 714] And this expression means the application of a cupping- glass. And a similar one is that of Panarces, mentioned by Clearchus, in his Essay on Griphi, that “A man who is not a man, with a stone which was not a stone, struck a bird which was not a bird, sitting on a tree which was not a tree.” For the things alluded to here are a eunuch, a piece of pumice-stone, a bat, and a narthex13. And Plato, in the fifth book of his Laws,14 alludes to this riddle, where he says, that those philosophers who occupy themselves about minute arts, are like those who, at banquets, doubt what to eat, and resemble too the boys' riddle about the stone thrown by the eunuch, and about the bat, and about the place from which they say that the eunuch struck down the bat, and the engine with which he did it.
Was glueing brass unto another man
So closely that they two became like brothers.
And of this sort also are those enigmatical sayings of Pythagoras, as Demetrius of Byzantium says, in the fourth book of his treatise on Poets, where, for instance, he says, “A man should not eat his heart;” meaning, “a man should cultivate cheerfulness.”“One should not stir the fire with a sword;” meaning, “One should not provoke an angry man;” for anger is fire, and quarrelsomeness is a sword. “One should not step over a yoke” meaning, “one should avoid and hate all kinds of covetousness, but seek equality.”“One should not travel along the high road;” meaning, One should not follow the opinions of the multitude, (for the common people approve of whatever they take in their heads without any fixed principle,) but one should rather go on the straight road, using sense as one's guide." “One should not sit down upon a bushel;” meaning, “one should not be content with merely considering what is sufficient for the present day, but one should always have an eye to the future” * * * * * * 15“For death is the boundary and limit of life;” and this saying is meant to forbid us approaching the subject with anxiety and grief.
And Dromeas the Coan used to play at riddles in [p. 715] much the same way as Theodectes, according to the state- ment of Clearchus: and so did Aristonymus, the player on the harp, without any vocal accompaniment: and so did that Cleon who was surnamed Mimaulus, who was the best actor of Italian mimes that ever appeared on the stage without a mask. For in the style of play which I have mentioned already, he was superior even to Nymphodors. And Ischomachus the herald was an imitator of his, who used to give his representations in the middle of a crowd, and after he had become celebrated, he altered his style and used to act mimes at the jugglers16 shows. And the riddles which these men used to propose were of the following kind:—A clown once had eaten too much, and was very unwell, and when the physician asked him whether he had eaten to vomit, No, said he, but I ate to my stomach. And another was,— A poor woman had a pain in her stomach, and when the physician asked her whether she had anything in her stomach, How should I, said she, when I have eaten nothing for three days? And the writings of Aristonymus were full of pompous ex- pressions: and Sosiphanes the poet said to Cephisocles the actor, reproaching him as a man fond of long words, “I would throw a stone at your loins, if I were not afraid of wetting the bystanders.” But the logical griphus is the oldest kind, and the one most suited to the natural character of such enigmatical language. “What do we all teach when We do not know it ourselves” and, “What is the same nowhere and everywhere?” and also, “What is the same in the heavens and on the earth and in the sea?” But this is a riddle arising from an identity of name; for there is a bear, and a serpent, and an eagle, and a dog, both in the heavens and on the earth and in the sea. And the other riddle means Time; for that is the same to all people and everywhere, because it has not its nature depending on one place. And the first riddle means “How to live:” for though no one knows this himself he teaches his neighbour.
And Callias the Athenian, whom we were discussing just now, and who was a little before Strattis in point of time, wrote a play which he called Grammatical Science; and the plot of it was as follows. The prologue consists of the [p. 716] elements, and the actor should recite it, dividing it into para- graphs, and making the termination in the manner of a dramatic catastrophe, into “Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, eta, theta. For ει is sacred to the God; iota, cappa, lambda, mu, nu, xu, the diphthong ou, pi, rho, sigma, tau, the present u, phi, chi, which is next to psi, all down to omega.” And the chorus consisted of women, in pairs, made of two elements taken together, composed in metre and lyrical odes in this fashion —“Beta alpha ba, beta ei be, beta eta be, beta iota bi, beta ou bo, beta upsilon bu, beta omega bo.” And then, again, in the antistrophe of the ode and of the metre, “Gamma alpha, gamma ei, gamma eta, gamma iota, gamma omicron, gamma upsilon, gamma omega.” And in the same way he dealt with all other syllables—all which have the same melody and the same metre in the antistrophes. So that people not only suspect that Euripides drew all his Medea from this drama, but they think that it is perfectly plain that he drew the system of his choruses from it. And they say that Sophocles, after he had heard this drama, endeavoured to divide his poem in respect of the metre, and did it thus, in the Œdipus,—
I shall not grieve myself nor you,On which account, all the rest admitted the system of antistrophes from his example, as it should seem, into their tragedies. Then, after this chorus, Callias introduces another speech of vowels, in this manner: (and this also the reciter must divide into paragraphs in the same way as the previous portions, in order that that delivery may be preserved which the author originally intended)—
Being convicted of this action.
Alpha alone, O woman; then one should
Say ει alone in the second place: next,
Still by itself you will say, thirdly, Eta;
Fourth, still alone, Iota; fifthly, Ou.
In the sixth place, Upsilon by itself.
The last of all the seven vowels is
The slow-paced Omega. The seven vowels
In seven verses; and when you've recited
All these, then go and ponder by yourself.
Callias was also the first man who taught the elements of learning by iambics, in a licentious sort of language, described in the following manner— [p. 717]
For I'm in labour, ladies; but from shame,And afterwards, following this example, as any one may suspect, Mæandrius the prose writer, turning away a little from the usual pronunciation in his descriptions, wrote those things which are found in his Precepts, in a less polished style than the above-mentioned Callias. And Euripides appears to have followed the same model when he composed those verses, in his Theseus, in which the elements of writing are described. But the character is an illiterate shepherd, who is showing that the name of Theseus is inscribed in the place in this way—
I will, my dear, in separate lines and letters,
Tell you the name of the child. There is a line
Upright and long; and from the middle of it
There juts forth on each side a little one,
With upward look: and next a circle comes,
On two short feet supported.
For I indeed do nothing know of letters,[So as to make θ η ς ε υ ς.] And Agathon the tragic poet has composed a similar passage, in his Telephus; for there also some illiterate man explains the way of spelling Theseus thus:—
But I will tell you all their shapes, and give
Clear indications by which you may judge.
There is a circle, round as though 't had been
Work'd in a lathe, and in its centre space
It has a visible sign. Then the second
Has first of all two lines, and these are parted
By one which cuts them both across the middle.
The third's a curly figure, wreathed round.
The fourth contains one line which mounts right up,
And in a transverse course three others hang
From its right side. The letter which cones fifth
Admits of no such easy explanation;
For there are two diverging lines above,
Which meet in one united line below.
The letter which comes last is like the third.
The letter which comes first is like a circle,And Theodectes of Phaselus introduces an illiterate clown, who also represents the name of Theseus in his own way— [p. 718]
Divided by a navel in the middle;
Then come two upright lines well-join'd together;
The third is something like a Scythian bow:
Next comes a trident placed upon its side;
And two lines branching from one lower stem:
The last again the same is as the third.
The letter which comes first a circle is,And Sophocles has said something like this, in his Amphiaraus, which is a satyric drama, where he introduces an actor dancing in unison with his explanation of the letters.
With one soft eye; then come two upright lines
Of equal and exact proportions,
United by one middle transverse line;
The third is like a wreathed curl of hair;
The next a trident lying on its side;
The fifth two lines of equal length above,
Which below join together in one base;
The sixth, as I have said before, a curl.
But Neoptolemus the Parian, in his treatise on Inscriptions, says that this inscription is engraved on the tomb of Thrasymachus the sophist at Chalcedon—
My name is Theta, ro, alpha, and san,And there is a poem of this kind upon Pan, by Castorion the Solensian, as Clearchus says: every foot17 consists of one entire word, and so every line has its feet in pairs, so that they may either precede or follow each other; as for instance—
Upsilon, mu, alpha, chi, ou, san again:
Chalcedon was my home, wisdom my trade.
σὲ τὸν βόλοις νιφοκτύποις δυσχείμερον[Which may be translated thus—
ναίονθ᾽ ἕδος, θηρονόμε πὰν, χθόν᾽ ᾿αρκάδων,
κλήσω γραφῇ τῇδ᾽ ἐν σοφῇ, πάγκψειτ᾽ ἔπη
συνθεὶς, ἄναξ, δύσγνωστα μὴ σοφοῖς κλύειν,
μουσοπόλε θὴρ, κηρόχυτον ὅς μείλιγμ᾽ ἱεῖς.
O thou that dwellest on the lofty plain,And so on in the same manner. And in whatever order you place each of these pairs of feet it will give the same metre; as you may, for instance, transpose the first line, and instead of— [p. 719] You may also remark that each pair of feet consists of ten18 letters; and you may produce the same effect not in this way, but in a different one, so as to have many ways of putting one line; for instead you may read—
Stormy with deep loud-sounding falls of snow,
Th' Arcadian land,—lord of the forest kinds,
Thee, mighty Pan, will I invoke in this
Sagacious writing, carefully compounding
Words difficult for ignorant men to know,
Or rightly understand. Hail, friend o' the Muse,
Who pourest forth sweet sounds from waxen flute.]
But Pindar, with reference to the ode which was composed without a ς in it, as the same Clearchus tells us, as if some griphus had been proposed to him to be expressed in a lyric ode,—as many were offended because they considered it impossible to abstain from the ς, and because they did not approve of the way in which the idea was executed, uttered this sentence—
Before long series of songs were heard,And we may make use of this observation in opposition to those who pronounce the sigma-less ode of Lasus of Hermione to be spurious, which is entitled The Centaurs. And the ode which was composed by Lasus to the Ceres in Hermione, has not a ς in it, as Heraclides of Pontus says, in the third book of his treatise on Music, which begins—
And the ill-sounding san from out men's mouths.
I sing of Ceres and her daughter fair,
The bride of Clymenus.
And there are great numbers of other griphi. Here is one—
In a conspicuous land I had my birth,By the conspicuous land (φανερὰ) he means Delos (as δῆλος is synonymous with φανερὸς), and that is an island surrounded by the sea. And the mother meant is Latona, who is the daughter of Coius, and the Macedonians use κοῖος as synonymous with ἀριθμός. And the one on barley-water (πτυσάνη）—
The briny ocean girds my country round,
My mother is the daughter fair of Number.
Mix the juice of peel'd barley, and then drink it.And the name πτισάνη is derived from the verbs πτίσσω, to [p. 720] pound, and ἄνω, to bruise. There is also the one on the snail, which is quoted in the Definitions of Teucer—
An animal destitute of feet and spineAnd Antiphanes, in the Man who admires himself, says—
And bone, whose back is clad with horny shell,
With long, projecting, and retreating eyes.
Coagulated, tender-bodied milk.And Anaxandrides, in his Ugly Woman, says—
lost understand me not? I mean new cheese.
He's lately cut it up; then he confinedAnd Timocles, in his Heroes, says—
The long, unbroken portions of the body
In earthen vases, wrought in crackling fire,—
A phrase, my men, invented by Timotheus,
Who meant to say in dishes.
A. And when the nurse of life was taken away,And Plato, in his Adonis, saying that an oracle was given to Cinyras concerning his son Adonis, reports it in these words—
Fierce hunger's foe, sweet friendship's guardian,
Physician of voracious hunger, which
Men call the table . . .
B. How you tire yourself,
When you might say “the table” in a word.
O Cinyras, king of hairy Cyprians,He means Venus and Bacchus; for both of them loved Adonis. And the enigma of the Sphinx is reported by Asclepiades, in his essay on the Subjects on which Tragedies have been written, to have been such as this—
Your son is far the fairest of all men,
And the most admirable: but two deities
Lay hands upon him; one is driven on
By secret courses, and the other drives.
There is upon the earth an animal
With two feet, and with four, and eke with three,
And with one voice; and it alone, of all
The things which move on earth, or in the heavens,
Or o'er the boundless sea, doth change its nature;
But when its feet are of the greatest number,
Then is its speed the slowest, and strength least.
And there are also some sayings partaking of the character of griphi, composed by Simonides, as is reported by Chamæleon of Heraclea, in his treatise on the Life and Writings of Simonides— [p. 721]
The father of a kid which roves for food,But some say that these verses were inscribed on some one of the ancient offerings which were dedicated at Chalcis; and that on it were represented the figures of a goat and a dolphin; to which animals allusion is made in the above lines. And others say that a dolphin and a goat were embossed in that part of a psaltery where the strings are put in, and that they are what is meant here; and that the bull-slaying servant of Bacchus is the dithyrambic. And others say that the ox which is sacrificed to Bacchus in the town of Iulis is struck with an axe by some one of the young men: and that the festival being near, the axe had been sent to a forge, and Simonides, being then a young man, went to the smith to fetch it; and that when he found the man asleep, and his bellows and his tongs lying loosely about with their fore parts touching one another, he then came back, and told the before-mentioned problem to his friends. For the father of a kid he called the bellows, and the sad fish the tongs (which is called καρκῖνος, or the crab). The son of Night is sleep, and the bull-slaying servant of Bacchus is the axe. And Simonides composed also another epigram which causes perplexity to those who are ignorant of history—
And a sad fish, had their heads near together;
And when they had received beneath their eyelids
The son of Night, they did not choose to cherish
The bull-slaying servant of the sovereign Bacchus.
I say that he who does not like to winAnd it is said, that when he was sojourning at Carthea he used to train choruses; and that the place where these exercises took place was in the upper part of the city, near the temple of Apollo, a long way from the sea; so that all the rest of the citizens, and Simonides himself, went down to get water, to a place where there was a fountain; an that an ass, whose name was Epeus, used to carry the water up for them; and they gave him this name, because there was a fable that Epeus himself used to do this; and there was also represented in a picture, in the temple of Apollo, th Trojan fable, in which Epeus is represented as drawing water for the Atridæ; as Stesichorus also relates—
The grasshopper's prize, will give a mighty feast
To the Panopeiadean Epeus.
For the great daughter of Jove pitied him[p. 722] And as this was the case, they say that it was a burden imposed on every member of the choruses who was not present at the appointed time, that he should give the ass a chœnix of barley; and that this is stated by the same poet; and that what is meant by not liking to win the grasshopper's prize, is not liking to sing; and that by Panopeiadean is meant the ass, and the mighty feast is the chœnix of barley.
Bearing incessant water for the kings.
And of the same kind is the epigram of Theognis the poet,—
For a sea-corpse has call'd me now back home,Where he means the cockle. And we may consider of the same character those sentences in which we use words which resemble men's names, as—
Which, though dead, speaketh with a living mouth.
λαβὼν ἀριστόνικον ἐν μάχῃ κράτος:where ἀριστόνικος sounds like the name of a man, Aristonicus. And there is also that riddle which is so frequently repeated—
He gain'd in battle a glorious victory;
Five men came to one place in vessels ten,
And fought with stones, but might not lift a stone,
And died of thirst while water reach'd their chins.
And what punishment had the Athenians who could not solve this riddle when proposed to them, if it was only to drink a bowl of mixed wine, as Clearchus has stated in his Definition? And, in the first book of his treatise on Proverbs, he writes thus—“The investigation of riddles is not unconnected with philosophy; for the ancients used to make a display of their erudition by such things; for they used at their entertainments to ask questions, not such as the men of the present day ask one another, as to what sort of amorous enjoyment is the most delicious, or what kind of fish is nicest, or what is most in season at the moment; or again, what fish is best to eat at the time of Arcturus, or what after the rising of the Pleiades, or of the Dogstar. And then they offer kisses as prizes for those who gain the victory in such questions; such as are hateful to men of liberal sentiments; and as a punishment for those who are defeated they enjoin them to drink sheer wine; which they drink more willingly than the cup of health. For these things are well adapted to any one who has devoted his attention to the writings of Philænis and Archestratus, or who has studied the books called Gastro- [p. 723] logies. They preferred such plays as these;—when the first person had recited a verse, the others were bound to quote the verse following; or if any one had quoted a sentence from some poet, the rest were bound to produce a sentence from some other poet expressing the same sentiments. After that, every one was bound to repeat an iambic. And then, each person was to repeat a line of such and such a number of syllables precisely; and so on with everything that related to any acquaintance with letters and syllables. And in a similar manner they would be bound to repeat the names of all the commanders in the army which attacked Troy, or of all the Trojan leaders: or to tell the name of some city in Asia beginning with a given letter; and then the next person was to tell the name of a city in Europe: and then they were to go through the rest according as they were desired to give the names of Grecian or barbarian cities; so that this sport, not being an inconsiderate one, was a sort of exhibition of the ability and learning of each individual. And the prizes given were a garland and applause, things by which love for one another is especially sweetened.”
This, then, was what Clearchus said; and the things which he says one ought to propose, are, I imagine, such as these. For one person to quote a line in Homer beginning with Alpha, and ending with the same letter, such as—
᾿αγχοῦ δ᾽ ἱσταμένη ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα.And, again, they quoted iambics on a similar principle— ε, as— η, as— [p. 724] Lines in Homer beginning and ending with ι, as— ς, as— ω, as—
᾿αλλ᾽ ἄγε νῦν μάστιγα καὶ ἡνία σιγαλόεντα.
῾ασπίδας εὐκύκλους λαισήαϊ τε πτερόεντα.
῎αιας δ᾽ ἐκ σαλαμῖνος ἄγεν δύο καὶ δεκα νῆας:There are also other lines in Homer expressing the names of vessels from the first and last syllable, such as— ῞ολμος, a mortar; μύλος, a millstone; λύρη, a lyre. And other lines, the first and last syllables of which give some eatable, as— ἄρτος, bread; μῆλα, apples.
φυλείδης ὃν τίκτε διῒ φίλος ἵπποτα φυλευς.
᾿ιητὴρ δ᾽ ἀγαθὸς ποδαλείριος ἠδὲ μάχαων.
And since we have made a pretty long digression about griphi, we must now say what punishment those people underwent who failed to solve the griphus which was proposed to them. They drank brine mingled with their drink, and were bound to drink the whole cup up at one draught; as Antiphanes shows in his Ganymede, where he says— [p. 725]
A. Alas me! what perplexing things you say,So when the Deipnosophists had said all this about the griphi, since it has taken us till evening to recollect all they said, we will put off the discussion about cups till to-morrow. For as Metagenes says in his Philothytes—
O master, and what numerous things you ask me.
B. But now I will speak plainly: if you know
One circumstance about the rape of the child,
You must reveal it quick, before you're hang'd.
A. Are you then asking me a riddle, master,
Bidding me tell you all about the rape
Of the child? What's the meaning of your words?
B. Here, some one, bring me out a halter quickly.
A. What for?
B. Perhaps you'll say you do not know.
A. Will you then punish me with that? Oh don't!
You'd better make me drink a cup of brine.
B. Know you then how you ought to drink that up?
A. Indeed I do.
A. So as to make you pledge me.
B. No, but first put your hands behind your back,
Then drink it at a draught, not drawing breath.
I'll change my speech, by way of episode,taking the discussion about cups next.
So as to treat the theatre with many
New dishes rich with various seasonings;