Table of Contents:
Now Philonides the physician, in his treatise on Ointments and Garlands, says, "After the vine was introduced into Greece from the Red Sea, and when most people had become addicted to intemperate enjoyment, and had learnt to drink unmixed wine, some of them became quite frantic and out of their minds, while others got so stupified as to resemble the dead. And once, when some men were drinking on the sea-shore, a violent shower came on, and broke up the party, and filled the goblet, which had a little wine left in it, with water. But when it became fine again, the men returned to the same spot, and tasting the new mixture, found that their enjoyment was now not only exquisite, but free from any subsequent pain. And on this account, the Greeks [p. 1078] invoke the good Deity at the cup of unmixed wine, which is served round to them at dinner, paying honour to the Deity who invented wine; and that was Bacchus. But when the first cup of mixed wine is handed round after dinner, they then invoke Jupiter the Saviour, thinking him the cause of this mixture of wine which is so unattended with pain, as being the author of rain. Now, those who suffered in their heads after drinking, certainly stood in need of some remedy; and so the binding their heads was what most readily occurred to them, as Nature herself led them to this remedy. For a certain man having a headache, as Andreas says, pressed his head, and found relief, and so invented a ligature as a remedy for headache. Accordingly, men using these ligatures as assistants in drinking, used to bind their heads with whatever came in their way. And first of all, they took garlands of ivy, which offered itself, as it were, of its own accord, and was very plentiful, and grew everywhere, and was pleasant to look upon, shading the forehead with its green leaves and bunches of berries, and bearing a good deal of tension, so as to admit of being bound tight across the brow, and imparting also a certain degree of coolness without any stupifying smell accompanying it. And it seems to me that this is the reason why men have agreed to consider the garland of ivy sacred to Bacchus, implying by this that the inventor of wine is also the defender of men from all the inconveniences which arise from the use of it. And from thence, regarding chiefly pleasure, and considering utility and the comfort of the relief from the effects of drunkenness of less importance, they were influenced chiefly by what was agreeable to the sight or to the smell. And therefore they adopted crowns of myrtle, which has exciting properties, and which also represses any rising of the fumes of wine; and garlands of roses, which to a certain extent relieve headache, and also impart some degree of coolness; and garlands also of bay leaves, which they think are not wholly unconnected with drinking parties. But garlands of white lilies, which have an effect on, the head, and wreaths of amaracus, or of any other flower or herb which has any tendency to produce heaviness or torpid feelings in the head, must be avoided." And Apollodorus, in his treatise on Perfumes and Garlands, [p. 1079] has said the same thing in the very same words. And this, my friends, is enough to say on this subject.
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.