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AND when the Banquet was now finished, the cynics, thinking that the festival of the Phagesia was being celebrated, were delighted above all things, and Cynulcus said, —While we are supping, O Ulpian, since it is on words that you are feasting us, I propose to you this question,—In what author do you find any mention of the festivals called Phagesia, and Phagesiposia? And he, hesitating, and bidding the slaves desist from carrying the dishes round, though it was now evening, said,—I do not recollect, you very wise man, so that you may tell us yourself, in order that you may sup more abundantly and more pleasantly. And he rejoined, —If you will promise to thank me when I have told you, I will tell you. And as he agreed to thank him, he continued; —Clearchus, the pupil of Aristotle, but a Solensian by birth, in the first book of his treatise on Pictures, (for I recollect his very expressions, because I took a great fancy to them,) speaks as follows:—“Phagesia—but some call the festival Phagesiposia—but this festival has ceased, as also has that of the Rhapsodists, which they celebrated about the time of the Dionysiac festival, in which every one as they passed by sang a hymn to the god by way of doing him honour.” This is what Clearchus wrote. And if you doubt it, my friend, I, who have got the book, will not mind lending it to you. And you may learn a good deal from it, and get a great many questions to ask us out of it. For he relates that Calias the Athenian composed a Grammatical Tragedy, from which Euripides in his Medea, and Sophocles in his Œdipus derived their choruses and the arrangement of their plot.
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