And it is a custom among them that even their children, up to the age when they are ranked among the ephebi, should wear purple robes, and curls braided with gold. And it is a custom with them also to breed up in their houses little mannikins and dwarfs (as Timon says) who are called by some people στίλπωνες; and also little Maltese dogs, which follow them even to the gymnasia. And it was these men, and men like them, to whom Masinissa, king of Mauritania, made answer (as Ptolemy relates, in the eighth book of his Commentaries), when they were seeking to buy some monkeys: “Why,—do not your wives, my good friends, produce any offspring?” For Masinissa was very fond of children, and kept about him and brought up the children of his sons, and of his daughters equally, and he had a great many of them: and he brought them all up till they were three years old, and after that he sent them to their parent, having the younger ones to take their places. And Eublus the comic writer has said the same thing in his Graces:—
For is it not, I pray you, better farAnd Athenodorus, in his treatise on Serious Studies and Amusements, says that “Archytas of Tarentum, who was both a statesman and a philosopher, having many slaves, was always delighted at his entertainments when any of them came to his banquets. But the Sybarites delighted only in Maltese puppy dogs, and in men which were no men.”
For one man, who can well afford such acts,
[p. 832] To rear a man, than a loud gaping goose,
Or sparrow, or ape—most mischievous of beasts?