previous next

And having discussed after this all the attendance with which the king of the Persians is surrounded, and what a number of servants he has, and what their different offices are, and also about his amorous indulgences, and also about the sweet perfume of his skin, and his personal beauty, and the way in which he lives among his friends, and the pleasing sights or sounds which are sought out to gratify him, he said that he considered “the king of Persia the happiest of all men now alive. For there are pleasures prepared for him which are both most numerous and most perfect in their kind. And next to him,” said he, “any one may fairly rank our sovereign, though he falls far short of the king of Persia. For this latter has all Asia to supply him with luxury, but the store which supplies Dionysius will seem very contemptible if compared with his. That, then, such a life as h s is worth struggling for, is plain from what has happened. For the Medes, after encountering the greatest dangers, derived the Syrians of the supremacy, for no other object except to possess themselves of the unrestrained licence of the Syria ns. And the Persians overthrew the Medes for the same reason, namely, in order to have an unrestrained enjoyment of sensual pleasures. And the lawgivers who wish the whole race of men to be on an equality, and that no citizens shall indulge in [p. 874] superfluous luxury, have made some species of virtue hold its head up. And they have written laws about contracts and other matters of the same kind, and whatever appeared to be necessary for political communion, and also with respect to dress, and to all the other circumstances of life, that they should be similar among all the citizens. And so, as all the lawgivers made war upon every kind of covetousness, then first the praises of justice began to be more thought of: and one of the poets spoke of—
The golden face of justice;
and in another passage some one speaks of—
The golden eye of justice.
And the very name of justice came to be accounted divine, so that in some countries there were altars erected and sacrifices instituted to Justice. And next to this they inculcated a respect for modesty and temperance, and called an excess in enjoyment covetousness; so that a man who obeyed the laws and was influenced by the common conversation of men in general, was necessarily moderate with respect to sensual pleasures.”

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Greek (Kaibel)
load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: