Now after this long conversation, all of a sudden there was heard all over the city the music of flutes and the noise of cymbals, and also a great crash of drums, with singing at the same time. And it happened to be the time of a festival which used formerly to be called the Parilia, but which is now called the Romana, in honour of the temple built to the Fortune of the City, by that most excellent and accomplished sovereign Hadrian. And all the inhabitants of Rome (and all the foreigners sojourning in the city) every year keep that day as a remarkable one. Accordingly, Ulpian said,—My friends, what is this?—
Is it a supper or a marriage feastAnd when some one replied that every one in the city was dancing (using the verb βαλλίζω) in honour of the goddess, —My fine fellow, said Ulpian, laughing, what Greek in the world ever called this dancing βαλλισμός̣ You should have said κωμάζουσιν or χορεύουσιν, or, at all events, some word in common use; but you have bought us a name out of the Subura,
For certainly there is no picnic held now.
And spoilt the wine by pouring in this water.'And Myrtilus said—But I will prove to you, my dear Epitimæus,1 that the word is a genuine Greek word; for you, who want to stop every one's mouth, have not succeeded in convicting any one of ignorance, but have proved yourself to be emptier than a snake's cast-off skin. Epicharmus, my most excellent gentlemen, in his Theori, speaks of the βαλλισμὸς, and Italy is no great way from Sicily. Accordingly, in that play, the public ambassadors, surveying the offerings at Pytho, and mentioning each one separately, speak as follows:—
Here there are brazen caldrons, brazen goblets,And Sophron, in his play which is entitled Nymphoponus, says—
And spits. And then to see the men with spits
And flutes, too, dancing (βαλλίζοντες), what a sight it was!
Then he did take it, and proceeded onwards;And again he says—
The rest did follow dancing (ἐβάλλιζον).
Dancing (βαλλίζοντες) they filled the entrance room with dung.[p. 571] And Alexis, in his Curis, says—
And now I see a multitude of menI know, too, that the word is found in other places, and when I recollect the exact passage, I will bring it forward.
Hastening to a feast, as if a goodly company
Were here invited. May it be my luck
To keep out of your way, my revellers,
After your dancing (βαλλισμὸς) and your feasting both
Have gone off well and are quite finish'd.
For I should never bear my robe off safely,
Unless my wings had grown.