. . . . . . And Plato the philosopher, “Men now distinguish the couches and coverings with reference to what is put round the couch and what is put under it.” And his namesake, the comic poet, says—
There the well-dress'd guests reclineFor the art of weaving embroidered cloths was in great perfection in his time, Acesas and Helicon, natives of Cyprus, being exceedingly eminent for their skill in it; and they were weavers of very high reputation. And Helicon was the son of Acesas, as Hieronymus reports: and so at Pytho there is an inscription on some work— [p. 79]
On couches rich with ivory feet;
And on their purple cushions dine,
Which rich Sardinian carpets meet.
Fair Venus's isle did bring forth Helicon,And Pathymias the Egyptian was a man of similar renown. Ephippus says—
Whose wondrous work you now do gaze upon;
And fair Minerva's teaching bade his name
And wondrous skill survive in deathless fame.
Place me where rose-strewn couches fill the room,Aristophanes says—
That I may steep myself in rich perfume.
Oh you who press your mistress to your arms,Sophron too speaks of coverlets embroidered with figures of birds as of great value. And Homer, the most admirable of all poets, calls those cloths which are spread below λῖτα, that is to say, white, neither dyed nor embroidered. But the coverlets which are laid above he calls “beautiful purple cloths.”
All night upon sweet-scented couches lying.