previous next
They also that at Heliopolis (Sun-town) wait upon the sun never bring wine into his temple, they looking upon it as a thing indecent and unfitting to drink by daylight, while their lord and king looks on. The rest of them do indeed use it, but very sparingly. They have likewise many purgations, wherein they prohibit the use of wine, in which they study philosophy, and pass their time in learning and teaching things divine. Moreover their kings, being priests also themselves, were wont to drink it by a certain measure prescribed them in the sacred books, as Hecataeus informs us. And they began first to drink it in the reign of Psammetichus; but before that time they were not used to drink wine at all, no, nor to pour it forth in sacrifice as a thing they thought any way grateful to the Gods, but as the blood of those who in ancient times waged war against the Gods, from whom, falling down from heaven and mixing with the earth, they conceived vines to have first sprung; which is the reason (say they) that drunkenness renders men besides themselves and mad; they being, as it were, gorged with the blood of their ancestors. These things (as Eudoxus tells us in the second book of his Travels) are thus related by the priests.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: