And that it was a custom for the officers called gynæconomi1 to superintend the banquets, and to examine into the number of those who had been invited, and see whether it was in accordance with the law, we may learn from Timocles in his Litigious Man, where he says—
Open the doors at once, that we may beAnd Menander says in his Cecryphalus—
More in the light against the gynæconomus
Shall enter and begin to count the guests,
As he is bound to do by this new law,
A marvellous statute. It were better far
That he should ask who are without a dinner.
Knowing that by some new law lately passed,And Philochorus, in the seventh book of his history of the Affairs of Attica, says—The gynæconomi used, in conjunction with the judges of the Areopagus, to examine the parties in private houses, and at marriage feasts, and at all other festivals and sacrifices.
The cooks who minister at marriage feasts
Have given in their names and are enroll'd
In the books of the gynæconomi,
So that they may the number learn of those
Who are invited, lest a man should feast
More than the legal number.