Table of Contents:
And Socrates the Rhodian, in the third book of his History of the Civil War, describing the entertainment given by Cleopatra the last queen of Egypt, who married Antony the Roman general in Cilicia, speaks in the following manner: [p. 239] —“But Cleopatra having met Antony in Cilicia, prepared him a royal entertainment, in which every dish was golden and inlaid with precious stones, wonderfully chased and embossed. And the walls,” continues he, “were hung with cloths embroidered in gold and purple. And she had twelve triclinia laid; and invited Antony to a banquet, and desired him to bring with him whatever companions he pleased. And he being astonished at the magnificence of the sight, exressed his surprise; and she, smiling, said that she made him a present of everything which he saw, and invited him to sup with her again the next day, and to bring his friends and captains with him. And then she prepared a banquet by far more splendid than the former one, so as to make that first one appear contemptible; and again she presented to him everything that there was on the table; and she desired each of his captains to take for his own the couch on which he lay, and the goblets which were set before each couch. And when they were departing she gave to all those of the highest rank palanquins, with the slaves for palanquin bearers; and to the rest she gave horses, adorned with golden furniture: and to every one she gave Aethiopian boys, to bear torches before them. And on the fourth day she paid more than a talent for roses; and the floor of the chamber for the men was strewed a cubit deep, nets being spread over the blooms.” And he relates further, that “Antony himself, when he was staying at Athens, a short time after this, prepared a very superb scaffold to spread over the theatre, covered with green wood such as is seen in the caves sacred to Bacchus; and from this scaffold he suspended drums and fawn-skins, and all the other toys which one names in connexion with Bacchus, and then sat there with his friends, getting drunk from daybreak,—a band of musicians, whom he had sent for from Italy, playing t him all the time, and all the Greeks around being collected to see the sight. And presently,” continues he, “he crossed over to the Acropolis, the whole city of Athens being illuminated with lamps suspended from the roof; and after that he ordered himself to be proclaimed as Bacchus throughout all the cities in that district.” And Caius the emperor, surnamed Caligula, because he was born in the camp, was not only called the young Bacchus, but was also in the habit of going about dressed in the entire [p. 240] dress of Bacchus, and he used to sit on the tribunal as judge in that dress.
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.