We must now speak of the goose. For as many geese were served up very excellently dressed, some one said, Look at the fat geese (σιτευτοὶ χῆνες). And Ulpian said, Where do you ever find the expression σιτευτὸς χήν̣ And Plutarch [p. 604] answered him:—Theopompus the Chian, in his History of Greece, and in the thirteenth book of his History of the Affairs and Exploits of Philip, says that the Egyptians sent to Agesilaus the Lacedæmonian, when he arrived in Egypt, some fatted (σιτευτοὺς) calves and geese (χῆνας). And Epigenes the comic poet says in his Bacchanalian Women—
And at the same time dress the young of oneBut we have a right now, O Ulpian, to expect you to tell us, you who question everybody about everything, where this very costly dish of the livers of geese has been mentioned by any ancient writer. For Cratinus is a witness that they were acquainted with people whose business it was to feed geese, in his Dionysalexander, where he says—
Fat goose (σιτευτοῦ χῆνος), and let him too be roasted thoroughly.
Geese-feeders, cow-herds . . . .And Homer uses the word χὴν in both the masculine and feminine gender; for he says—
And as he seized a fine home-fatten'd goose (χῆνα ἀτιταλλομένην).And in another place he says—
I've twenty geese, fond of the lucid stream,And Eupolis mentions the livers of geese (and they are thought an excessive delicacy at Rome), in his Women Selling Garlands, where he says—
Who in my house eat wheat, and fatten fast.
If you have not a goose's liver or heart.