Table of Contents:
"But when you had ascended by the stairs which were close to the before-mentioned sleeping chamber, there was another chamber capable of containing five couches, having a vaulted oblong roof. And near to it was a temple of Venus, in form like a rotunda, in which was a marble statue of the goddess. And opposite to this was another banqueting-room, very sumptuous, adorned all round with columns: for the columns were all made of Indian stone. And near to this banqueting-room were more sleeping-chambers, with furniture and appointments corresponding to what has been, already mentioned. And as you went on towards the head of the vessel was another apartment dedicated to Bacchus, capable of holding thirteen couches, surrounded with pillars having its cornices all gilt as far down as the epistyle which ran round the room, but the roof corresponded to the character of the god. And in it there was on the right hand a large cave constructed, the colour of which was stone, for in fact it was made of real stone and gold; and in it images were placed of all the relations of the king, made of the stone called lychnites. And there was another banqueting-room, very pleasant, above the roof of the greatest apartment, having an arrangement like that of a tent, so that some of it had no actual roof; but there were arched and vaulted beams running along the top at intervals, along which purple curtains were stretched whenever the vessel was in motion. And after this there was an open chamber occupying the same room above that was occupied by the portico before mentioned as being below. And a winding [p. 328] ladder joined on to it, leading to the secret walk, and a banqueting-room capable of containing nine couches, constructed and furnished in the Egyptian style. For round pillars were run up in it, with alternate tambours of white and black, all placed in parallel lines. And their heads were of round shape; and the whole of the figures round them were engraved like roses a little expanded. And round that part which is called the basket there were not tendrils and rough leaves, as is the case in Grecian pillars, but calyxes of the river-lotus, and the fruit of newly budding dates. And sometimes many other kinds of flowers were also represented. And under the roof of the capital which lies upon the tambour, where it joins on to the head, there were ornaments like the flower leaves of the Egyptian bean intertwined together. This then is the way in which the Egyptians construct and ornament their pillars, and this is the way in which they variegate their walls with black and white bricks: and sometimes also they employ the stone which is called alabaster. And there were many other ornaments all over the main hull of the vessel, and over the centre, and many other chambers and divisions in every part of it. “And the mast of this vessel was seventy cubits in height, and it had a linen sail, adorned with a purple fringe. And the whole of the wealth which had been so carefully preserved by king Philadelphus was dissipated by the last Ptolemy, who also excited the war against Gabinius, who was not a man, but a mere flute-player and conjuror.”
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.