But we have a right to ask of you, who have quoted to us these lines out of Homer,
But say, you joyful troop so gaily drest,in what respect the different sorts of feasts, which he calls εἰλαπίνη and ἔρανος, differ from one another? But, since you are silent, I will tell you; for, as the poet of Syracuse says,—
Is this a bridal or a friendly feast?—
I by myself am equal to the taskThe ancients used to call sacrifices, and the more splendid kind of preparations, εἰλάπιναι; and those who partook of them they used to call εἰλαπινασταί. But those feasts they called ἔρανοι, the materials for which were contributed by all who joined in them; and this name was derived from all the guests being friendly together (ἀπὸ τοῦ συνερᾷν) and contributing. And this same ἔρανος is also called θίασος, and those who partake of it are called ἐρανισταὶ and συνθιαῶται. The crowd, also, which follows Bacchus in his festivals is called θίασος, as Euripides says—
Which formerly it took two men to answer.
I see three thiasi of women coming.And they gave them the name θίασος from the word θεός;— and, indeed, the Lacedæmonian form of the word θεὸς is σιός. And the word εἰλαπίνη is derived from the preparation and expense gone to for such purposes; for being destructive and extravagant is called λαφύττειν καὶ λαπάζειν, from which words the poets have used the word ἀλαπάζω for to destroy, And the plunder which is carried off after the sacking of a city they call λάφυρα. And accordingly Aeschylus and Eripides have given to the more luxurious banquets the name of εἰλάπιναι, from the verb λαπάζω. There is also a verb, λάπτω, [p. 572] which means to digest one's food, and to become relaxed (λαγαρὸς) by becoming empty. And from this word λαγαρὸς we get the word λαγὼν (the flank), and also λάγανον (a thin, broad cake); and from the word λαπάττω we get λαπάρα (the loins). And the verb λαφύττω means, with great freedom and abundance to evacuate and erupt oneself. And the word δαπανάω (to spend) is derived from δάπτω; and δάπτω is akin to δαψιλής; on which account we find the verbs δάπτω and δαρδάπτω applied to those who eat in a voracious and savage manner. Homer says—
Him the fierce dogs and hungry vultures tore (κατέδαψαν).But the word εὐωχία (a luxurious feast) is derived not from ὀχὴ, which means nutriment, but from everything going on well (ἀπὸ τοῦ εὖ ἔχειν) in such a banquet, in which those who assemble honour the deity, and give themselves up to mirth and relaxation; and from this relaxation (ἀπὸ τοῦ μεθιέναι) they call wine μέθυ, and the god who gave them wine they call Methymnaeus, and Lyæus, and Evius, and Icius; just as also they call a man who is not sullen-looking and morose ἱλαρός; on which account, too, they pray the deity to be propitious (ἵλεως), uttering the ejaculation ἰὴ, ἰή. And from this again they call the place where they do this ἱερόν. And that they meant very nearly the same thing by ἵλεως and ἱλαρός is plain from the language used by Ephippus, in his play entitled Traffic; for he is speaking of a courtesan, and he says—
Then too, when any one is out of humour,
When he comes in she flatters him discreetly,
And kisses him, not pressing his mouth hard
Like some fierce enemy; but just billing towards him
Like some fond sparrow; then she sings and comforts him,
And makes him cheerful (ἱλαρὸς) and dispels all clouds
From off his face, and renders him propitious (ἵλεως).