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12. But there are things hotter even than fire, as Aristophanes puts it.1 For some one else, outdoing Stratocles in servility, proposed that whenever Demetrius visited the city he should be received with the hospitable honours paid to Demeter and Dionysus, and that to the citizen who surpassed all others in the splendour and costliness of his reception, a sum of money should be granted from the public treasury for a dedicatory offering. [2] And finally, they changed the name of the month Mounychion to Demetrion, and that of the last day of a month, the ‘Old and New,’ to Demetrias, and to the festival called Dionysia they gave the new name of Demetria. Most of these innovations were marked with the divine displeasure. The sacred robe, for instance, in which they had decreed that the figures of Demetrius and Antigonus should be woven along with those of Zeus and Athena, as it was being carried in procession through the midst of the Cerameicus, was rent by a hurricane which smote it;2 [3] again, all around the altars of those Saviour-gods the soil teemed with hemlock, a plant which did not grow in many other parts of the country at all; and on the day for the celebration of the Dionysia, the sacred procession had to be omitted on account of severe cold weather that came out of season. And a heavy frost followed, which not only blasted all the vines and fig-trees with its cold, but also destroyed most of the grain in the blade. [4] Therefore Philippides, who was an enemy of Stratocles, assailed him in a comedy with these verses3:—
Through him it was that hoar-frost blasted all the vines,
Through his impiety the robe was rent in twain,
Because he gave the gods' own honours unto men.
Such work undoes a people, not its comedy.

[5] Philippides was a friend of Lysimachus, and for his sake the king bestowed many favours on the Athenian people. Moreover, when he was about to undertake anything or make an expedition, he thought it a good omen to meet or catch sight of Philippides. And in general the character of Philippides gave him a good repute, since he was no busybody, and had none of the officious ways of a courtier. On one occasion Lysimachus wished to do him a kindness, and said: ‘Philippides, what have I that I can share with thee?’ ‘O King,’ said Philippides, ‘anything but one of thy state secrets.’ Such a man, then, I purposely compare with Stratocles, the man of the stage with the man of the bema.

1 Knights, 382.

2 The ‘peplos’ was spread like a sail on the mast of the sacred Panathenaic ship.

3 Cf. Kock, Com. Att. Frag. iii. p. 308.

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