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“And Lycon the Peripatetic,” as Antigonus the Carystian says, "when as a young man he had come to Athens for the sake of his education, was most accurately informed about everything relating to banquets and drinking parties, and as to how much pay every courtesan required. But afterwards having become the chief man of the Peripatetic school, he used to entertain his friends at banquets with excessive arrogance and extravagance. For, besides the music which was provided at his entertainments, and the silver plate and coverlets which were exhibited, all the rest of the preparation and the superb character of the dishes was such, and the multitude of tables and cooks was so great, that many people were actually alarmed, and, though they wished to be admitted into his school, shrunk back, fearing to enter, as into a badly governed state, which was always burdening its citizens with liturgies and other expensive offices.

For men were compelled to undertake the regular office of chief of the Peripatetic school. And the duties of this office were, to superintend all the novices for thirty days, and see that they conducted themselves with regularity. And then, on the last day of the month, having received nine obols from each of the novices, he received at supper not only all those who contributed their share, but all those also whom Lycon might chance to invite, and also all those of the elders who were diligent in attending the school; so that the money which was collected was not sufficient even for providing sufficient unguents and garlands. He also was bound to perform the sacrifices, and to become an overseer of the Muses. All which [p. 877] duties appeared to have but little connexion with reason or with philosophy, but to be more akin to luxury and parade. For if any people were admitted who were not able to spend money on these objects, they, setting out with a very scanty and ordinary choregia . . . . and the money was very much out of proportion . . . . . For Plato and Speusippus had not established these entertainments, in order that people might dwell upon the pleasures of the table from day-break, or for the sake of getting drunk; but in order that men might appear to honour the Deity, and to associate with one another in a natural manner; and chiefly with a view to natural relaxation and conversation; all which things afterwards became in their eyes second to the softness of their garments, and to their indulgence in their before-mentioned extravagance. Nor do I except the rest. For Lycon, to gratify his luxurious and insolent disposition, had a room large enough to hold twenty couches, in the most frequented part of the city, in Conon's house, which was well adapted for him to give parties in. And Lycon was a skilful and clever player at ball."

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