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The whole populace of the Athenians, too, was very notorious for the height to which it pushed its flattery; accordingly, Demochares the cousin of Demosthenes the orator, in the twentieth book of his Histories, speaking of the flattery practised by the Athenians towards Demetrius Poliorcetes, and saying that he himself did not at all like it, writes as follows—“And some of these things annoyed him greatly, as they well might. And, indeed, other parts of their conduct were utterly mean and disgraceful. They consecrated temples to Leæna Venus and Lamia Venus, and they erected altars and shrines as if to heroes, and instituted libations in honour of Burichus, and Adeimantus, and Oxythemis, his flatterers. And poems were sung in honour of all these people, so that even Demetrius himself was astonished at what they did, and said that in his time there was not one Athenian of a great or vigorous mind.” The Thebans also flattered Demetrius, as Polemo relates in the treatise on the Ornamented Portico at Sicyon; and they, too, erected a temple to Lamia Venus. But she was one of Demetrius's mistresses, as also was Leæna. So that why should we wonder at the Athenians, who stooped even to become flatterers of flatterers, singing pæans and hymns to Demetrius himself? Accordingly Demochares, in the twenty-first book of his Histories, says—“And the Athenians received Demetrius when he came from Leucadia and Corcyra to Athens, not only with frankincense, and crowns, and libations of wine, but they even went out to meet him with hymns, and choruses, and ithyphalli, and dancing and singing, and they stood in front of him in multitudes, dancing and singing, and saying that he was the only true god, and that all the rest of the gods were either asleep, or gone away to a distance, or were no god at [p. 398] all. And they called him the son of Neptune and Venus, for he was eminent for beauty, and affable to all men with a natural courtesy and gentleness of manner. And they fell at his feet and addressed supplications and prayers to him.”
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