Now a cotyla of unguent used to be sold for a high price at Athens, even, as Hipparchus says in his Nocturnal Festival, for as much as five mine; but as Menander, in his Misogynist, states, for ten. And Antiphanes, in his Phrearrus, where he is speaking of the unguent called stacte, says—
The stacte at two minæ's not worth having.Now the citizens of Sardis were not the only people addicted to the use of unguents, as Alexis says in his Maker of Goblets—
The whole Sardian people is of unguents fond;but the Athenians also, who have always been the leaders of every refinement and luxury in human life, used them very [p. 1105] much; so that among them, as has been already mentioned, they used to fetch an enormous price; but, nevertheless, they did not abstain from the use of them on that account; just as we now do not deny ourselves scents which are so expensive and exquisite that those things are mere trifles which are spoken of in the Settler of Alexis—
For he did use no alabaster box
From which t' anoint himself; for this is but
An ordinary, and quite old-fashion'd thing.
But he let loose four doves all dipp'd in unguents,
Not of one kind, but each in a different sort;
And then they flew around, and hovering o'er us,
Besprinkled all our clothes and tablecloths.
Envy me not, ye noble chiefs of Greece;
For thus, while sacrificing, I myself
Was sprinkled o'er with unguent of the iris.