previous next

But the poets of the old comedy, speaking of the old-fashioned way of life, and asserting that in olden time there was no great use of slaves, speak in this way. Cratinus, in his Pluti, says—
As for those men, those heroes old,
Who lived in Saturn's time,
When men did play at dice with loaves,
And Aeginetan cakes
Of barley well and brownly baked
Were roll'd down before men
Who did in the palæstra toil,
Full of hard lumps of dough . . . .
[p. 421] And Crates says, in his Beasts—
A. Then no one shall possess or own
One male or female slave,
But shall himself, though ne'er so old,
Labour for all his needs.
B. Not so, for I will quickly make
These matters all come right.
A. And what will your plans do for us?
B. Why everything you call for
Should of its own accord come forth,
As if now you should say,
O table, lay yourself for dinner,
And spread a cloth upon you.
You kneading-trough, prepare some dough;
You cyathus, pour forth wine;
Where is the cup? come hither, cup,
And empt and wash yourself.
Come up, O cake. You sir, you dish,
Here, bring me up some beetroot.
Come hither, fish. "I can't, for I
Am raw on t' other side."
Well, turn round then and baste yourself
With oil and melted butter.
And immediately after this the man who takes up the opposite side of the argument says—
But argue thus: I on the other hand
Shall first of all bring water for the hot baths
On columns raised as through the Pæonium1
Down to the sea, so that the stream shall flow
Direct to every private person's bath.
Then he shall speak and check the flowing water.
Then too an alabaster box of ointment
Shall of its own accord approach the bather,
And sponges suitable, and also slippers.

1 The Pæonium, if that is the proper reading, appears to have been a place in Athens where there were pillars on which an aqueduct was supported. But there is a doubt about the reading.

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Greek (Kaibel)
load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: