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And when all the guests marvelled at the literary accomplishments of Cynulcus, Plutarch said,—In like manner there used to be celebrated in my own Alexandria a Flagon-bearing festival, which is mentioned by Eratosthenes in his treatise entitled Arsinoe. And he speaks as follows:— “When Ptolemy was instituting a festival and all kinds of [p. 434] sacrifices, and especially those which relate to Bacchus, Arsinoe asked the man who bore the branches, what day he was celebrating now, and what festival it was. And when he replied, 'It is called the Lagynophoria; and the guests lie down on beds and so eat all that they have brought with them, and every one drinks out of his own flagon which he has brought from home;' and when he had departed, she, looking towards us, said, 'It seems a very dirty kind of party; for it is quite evident that it must be an assembly of a mixed multitude, all putting down stale food and such as is altogether unseasonable and unbecoming.' But if the kind of feast had pleased her, then the queen would not have objected to preparing the very same things herself, as is done at the festival called Choes. For there every one feasts separately, and the inviter only supplies the materials for the feast.”
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