Table of Contents:
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.