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And Posidonius the Stoic, in the histories which he composed in a manner by no means inconsistent with the philosophy which he professed, writing of the laws that were [p. 245] established and the customs which prevailed in many nations, says—“The Celtæ place food before their gusts, putting grass for their seats, and they serve it up on wooden tables raised a very little above the ground: and their food consists of a few loaves, and a good deal of meat brought up floating in water, and roasted on the coals or on spits. And they eat their meat in a cleanly manner enough, but like lions, taking up whole joints in both their hands, and gnawing them; and if there is any part which they cannot easily tear away, they cut it off with a small sword which they have in a sheath in a private depository. And those who live near the rivers eat fish also, and so do those who live near the Mediterranean sea, or near the Atlantic ocean; and they eat it roasted with salt and vinegar and cummin seed: and cummin seed they also throw into their wine. But they use no oil, on account of its scarcity; and because they are not used to it, it seems disagreeable to them. But when many of them sup together, they all sit in a circle; and the bravest sits in the middle, like the coryphæus of a chorus; because he is superior to the rest either in his military skill, or in birth, or in riches: and the man who gives the entertainment sits next to him; and then on each side the rest of the guests sit in regular order, according as each is eminent or distinguished for anything. And their armour-bearers, bearing their large oblong shields, called θυρεοὶ, stand behind; and their spear-bearers sit down opposite in a circle, and feast in the same manner as their masters. And those who act as cup-bearers and bring round the wine, bring it round in jars made either of earthenware or of silver, like ordinary casks in shape, and the name they give them is ἄμβι̣̣̣κος. And their platters on which they serve up the meat are also made of the same material; but some have brazen platters, and some have wooden or plaited baskets. And the liquor which is drunk is, among the rich, wine brought from Italy or from the country about Marseilles; and this is drunk unmixed, but sometimes a little water is mixed with it. But among the poorer classes what is drunk is a beer made of wheat prepared with honey, ad oftener still without any honey; and they call it corma. Ad they all drink it out of the same cup, in small draughts, not drinking more than a cyathus at a time; but they take frequent draughts: and a slave carries the liquor round, beginning at [p. 246] the right hand and going on to the left; and this is the way in which they are waited on, and in which they worship the gods, always turning towards the right hand.”
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