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.