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.1 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.