previous next

This was the statement of Polemo. But Didymus the Grammarian contradicted him, (and Demetrius, of Trœzen, calls him a Bookforgetter, on account of the number of books [p. 226] which he has edited, for they amount to three thousand and five hundred,) and said—"Polycrates, in his history of Lacedæmonian affairs, relates that the Lacedæmonians celebrate the festival called Hyacinthia for three days, and on account of their lamentation for Hyacinthus, they do not wear crowns at their feasts, nor do they bring bread there, but they distribute cheesecakes, and other things of the same kind. And they sing no paean to the god, nor do they introduce anything of that sort, as they do in other sacred festivals, but they eat their supper in a very orderly manner, and then depart. But on the middle one of the three days there is a very superb spectacle, and a very considerable and important assembly; for boys play upon the harp, girt up in their tunics, and singing to the music of the flute, running over all the strings of the harp at the same time with the plectrum, in an anapæstic rhythm, with a shrill tone, and in that manner they sing a hymn in honour of the god. And others riding on horses and handsomely dressed go through the theatre; and very numerous choruses of young men enter, and they sing some of their native poems. And dancers mingled with them perform an ancient sort of dance to the music of a flute and singing. And virgins also, some in wooden curved chariots, called canathra, beautifully made, and others in crowds of large waggons drawn by horses, make a procession; and the whole city is in a state of agitation and of delight at the spectacle. And they sacrifice great numbers of victims all this day. And the citizens give a banquet to all their friends, and to their own slaves; and no one omits attending the sacred feast, but the whole city is evacuated by the whole body of citizens flocking to the spectacle.

“And the copis is also mentioned by Aristophanes or Philyllius in the Cities, and by Epilycus in the Coraliscus, where he says—

When I shall bear a copis to the fane
Of sacred Amyclæ, then many baraces,
And loaves, and luscious sauce shall show my coming:
saying expressly that barley-cakes are set before the guests at the copides, (for that is the meaning of the word βάρακες, which does not mean cheesecakes, as Lycophron asserts, nor barley-meal porridge, as Eratosthenes believes,) and loaves, and a particular sort of broth very highly seasoned. More- over, what the copis is, is very perspicuously explained by [p. 227] Molpis in his treatise on the Polity of the Lacedæmonians, where he writes, They also have feasts which they call copides. But the copis is a supper consisting of barley-cakes, loaves, meat, raw vegetables, soup, figs, sweetmeats, and warmed wine. Moreover, sucking-pigs are not called ὀρθαγορίσκοι, as Polemo pronounces the word, but ὀρθραγορίσκοι, since they are sold at early dawn (πρὸς τὸν ὄρθρον), as Persæus relates in his treatise on the Lacedæmonian Polity. And Dioscorides, in the second book of his Polity, and Aristocles, in the first book of the treatise which he also wrote concerning the Lacedæmonian Polity, make the same statement. Besides, Polemo says, that supper is called ἄϊκλον by the Lacedæmonians, and that all the rest of the Dorians give it the same name. For Alcman says—
At the mill and also at the suppers (ταῖς συναικλείαις),
where he uses συναίκλειαι as equivalent to συνδείπνια. And in a subsequent passage he says—
Alcman prepared an ἄϊκλον.
But the Lacedæmonians do not call that portion which is given after the supper ἄϊκλον, nor that which is given after supper at the phiditia; for that consists of bread and meat: but that is called ἐπάϊκλον, being, as it were, an addition to the ἄϊκλον, which is regularly appointed as a part of the phiditia; and that is what I imagine the name implies. For the preparation of what is called the ἐπάϊκλα is not simple, as Polemo supposed, but of a two-fold nature. For that which they give to the boys is very slight and trifling, being merely meal steeped in oil, which Nicocles, the Lacedæmonian, says that they eat after supper, wrapped up in leaves of the bay-tree, from which those leaves are called καμματίδες,1 and the cakes themselves are called κάμματα. And that it was a custom of the ancients to eat the leaves of the bay-tree at dessert, Callias or Diocles asserts in the Cyclopes, speaking thus—
You will eat the leaves meant for supper,
And this belongs to the figures which . . .
But what they serve up at the phiditia of the men is prepared of some few regular animals, one of those who are rich men providing them for the phiditia, or sometimes several men club together to furnish it. But Molpis tells u that the ἐπάϊκλα are also surnamed μἀττύη.

[p. 228]

1 From κάπτω, to swallow.

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: