But there was another class of men somewhat different from the cooks, called τραπεζοποιοὶ, setters out of tables. But what their office was is plainly stated by Antiphanes, in his Sojourner—
Hither I come, and bring this table-setter,And it is worth inquiring whether the τραπεζοκόμος is the same person as the τραπεζοποιός. For king Juba, in his treatise on Similitudes, says that the τραπεζοκόμος is the same person who is called by the Romans structor, quoting from the play of Alexander, which is entitled Potation—
Who soon shall wash the cloths, and trim the lamps,
Prepare the glad libations, and do every thing
Which to his office may pertain.
Now for to-morrow I must get a flute-player,But they called him τραπεζοποιὸς who took care of the tables, and of everything else which required order and good mnagement. Philemon says, in his “The Uninvited Guest”—
A table-setter, and a workman too.
This was my master's reason for despatching me
On this commision from his country seat.
There is no need of long deliberationThey also used the word ἐπιτραπεζώματα, meaning by th s the food which was placed upon the table. Plato says, in the Menelaus—
About the kitchen, for the table-setter
Is bound to look to that; that is his office.
How little now is left of the ἐπιτραπεζώματα.[p. 274] They also called the man who bought the meat, the ᾿αγοραστὴς, but now they call him ὀψωνάτωρ, an officer whom Xenophon mentions, in the second1 book of the Memorabilia, speaking thus:—“Could we expect to get a steward and buyer of such a character for nothing” But the same word is used in a more general sense by Menander, in his Phanius—
He was a thrifty and a moderate buyer (ἀγοραστής):And Aristophanes calls him ὀψώνης, in his Tagenistæ, saying—
How the purveyor (ὀψώνης) seems to delay our supper.Cratinus, too, uses the verb παροψωνέω, in his Cleobulinæ, where he says * * * * * * And Alexis uses the verb παραγοράζω, in the same sense, (to buy dainty side-dishes,) in his Dropidas. There are people called εἰλέατροι; they are those, according to Pamphilus, who invite people to the king's table, having their name derived from ἐλεός (a kitchen table). But Artemidorus calls them δειπνοκλήτορες.