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But Theopompus, in the fifteenth book of his History of Philip, says that “Straton the king of Sidon surpassed all men in luxury and devotion to pleasure. For as Homer has represented the Phæacians as living feasting and drinking, and listening to harp-players and rhapsodists, so also did Straton pass the whole of his life; and so much the more devoted to pleasure was he than they, that the Phæacians, as Homer reports, used to hold their banquets in the company of their own wives and daughters; but Straton used to prepare his entertainments with flute-playing and harp-playing and lyre-playing women. And he sent for many courtesans from Peloponnesus, and for many musicians from Ionia, and for other girls from every part of Greece; some skilful in singing and some in dancing, for exhibitions of skill in which they had contests before himself and his friends; and with these women he spent a great deal of his time. He then, [p. 851] delighting in such a life as this, and being by nature a slave to his passions, was also especially urged on by rivalry with Nicocles. For he and Nicocles were always rivalling one another; each of them devoted all his attention to living more luxuriously and pleasantly than the other. And so they carried their emulation to such a height, as we have heard, that when either of them heard from his visitors what was the furniture of the other's house, and how great was the expense gone to by the other for any sacrifice, he immediately set to work to surpass him in such things. And they were anxious to appear to all men prosperous and deserving of envy. Not but what neither of them continued prosperous throughout the whole of their lives, but were both of them destroyed by violent deaths.” And Anaximenes, in his book entitled the Reverses of Kings, giving the same account of Straton, says that he was always endeavouring to rival Nicocles, who was the king of Salamis in Cyprus, and who was exceedingly devoted to luxury and debauchery, and that they both came to a violent end.
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