But we may decline entering on the subject of goblets of earthenware; for Ctesias says–“Among the Persians, that man only uses an earthenware who is dishonoured by the king.” And Chœrilus the epic poet says—
Here in my hands I hold a wretched pieceBut I am well aware that earthenware cups are often very pleasant, as those which are imported among us from Coptus; for they are made of earth which is mixed up with spices. And Aristotle, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says—“The cups which are called Rhodiacan are brought into drinking parties, because of the pleasure which they afford, and also because, when they are warmed, they deprive the wine of some of its intoxicating properties; for they are filled with myrrh and rushes, and other things of the same sort, put into water and then boiled; and when this mixture is put into the wine, the drinkers are less apt to become intoxicated.” And in another place he says—“The Rhodiacan cups consist of myrrh, flowery rushes, saffron, balsam, spikenard, and cinnamon, all boiled together; and when some of this compound is added to the wine, it has such effect in preventing intoxication, that it even diminishes the amorous propensities, checking the breath in some degree.”
Of earthen goblet, broken all around,
Sad relic of a band of merry feasters;
And often the fierce gale of wanton Bacchus
Dashes such wrecks with insult on the shore.