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Just think, in God's name, my friends, what luxury, or I should rather say, what profuse waste it was to have one's garments sprinkled in this manner, when a man might have taken up a little unguent in his hands, as we do now, and in that manner have anointed his whole body, and especially his head. For Myronides says, in his treatise on Unguents and Garlands, that “the fashion of anointing the head at banquets arose from this:—that those men whose heads are naturally dry, find the humours which are engendered by what they eat, rise up into their heads; and on this account, as their bodies are inflamed by fevers, they bedew their heads with lotions, so as to prevent the neighbouring humours from rising into a part which is dry, and which also has a considerable vacuum in it. And so at their banquets, having consideration for this fact, and being afraid of the strength of the wine rising into their heads, men have introduced the fashion of anointing their heads, and by these means the wine, they think, will have less effect upon then, if they make their head thoroughly wet first. And as men are never content with what is merely useful, but are always desirous to add to that whatever tends to pleasure and enjoyment; in that way they have been led to adopt the use of unguents.” We ought, therefore, my good cynic Theodorus, to use at banquets those unguents which have the least tendency to produce heaviness, and to employ those which have astringent [p. 1106] or cooling properties very sparingly. But Aristotle, that man of most varied learning, raises the question, “Why men who use unguents are more grey than others? Is it because unguents have drying properties by reason of the spices used in their composition, so that they who use them become dry, and the dryness produces greyness? For whether greyness arises from a drying of the hair, or from a want of natural heat, at all events dryness has a withering effect. And it is on this account too that the use of hats makes men grey more quickly; for by them the moisture which ought to nourish the hair is taken away.”
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