ANTIPHANES the comic writer, my friend Timocrates, when he was reading one of his own comedies to Alexander the king, and when it was plain that the king did not think much of it, said to him, “The fact is, O king, that a man who is to appreciate this play, ought to have often supped at picnic feasts, and must have often borne and inflicted blows in [p. 889] the cause of courtesans,” as Lycophron the Chalcidian relates in his treatise on Comedy. And accordingly we, who are now about to set out a discussion on amatory matters, (for there was a good deal of conversation about married women and about courtesans,) saying what we have to say to people who understand the subject, invoking the Muse Erato to be so good as to impress anew on oar memory that amatory catalogue, will make our commencement from this point—
Come now, O Erato, and tell me trulywhat it was that was said by the different guests about love and about amatory matters.
For our admirable host, praising the married women, said that Hermippus stated in his book about lawgivers, that at Lacedæmon all the damsels used to be shut up in a dark room, while a number of unmarried young men were shut up with them; and whichever girl each of the young men caught hold of he led away as his wife, without a dowry. On which account they punished Lysander, because he left his former wife, and wished to marry another who was by far more beautiful. But Clearchus the Solensian, in his treatise on Proverbs, says,—“In Lacedæmon the women, on a certain festival, drag the unmarried men to an altar, and then buffet them; in order that, for the purpose of avoiding the insult of such treatment, they may become more affectionate, and in due season may turn their thoughts to marriage. But at Athens, Cecrops was the first person who married a man to one wife only, when before his time connexions had taken place at random, and men had had their wives in common. On which account it was, as some people state, that Cecrops was called διφυὴς,1 because before his time people did not know who their fathers were, by reason of the numbers of men who might have been so.” And beginning in this manner, one might fairly blame those who attributed to Socrates two wives, Xanthippe and Myrto, the daughter of Aristides; not of that Aristides who was surnamed the Just, (for the time does not agree,) but of his descendant in the third generation. And the men who made this statement are Callisthenes, and Demetrius Phalereus, and Satyrus the Peripatetic, and Aristoxenus; who were preceded in it by Aristotle, who relates the same story in his [p. 890] treatise on Nobleness of Birth. Unless perhaps this licence was allowed by a decree at that time on account of the scarcity of men, so that any one who pleased might have two wives; to which it must be owing that the comic poets make no mention of this fact, though they very often mention Socrates. And Hieronymus of Rhodes has cited the decree about wives; which I will send to you, since I have the book. But Panætius the Rhodian has contradicted those who make this statement about the wives of Socrates.
But among the Persians the queen tolerates the king's having a number of concubines, because there the king rules his wife like her master; and also because the queen, as Dinon states in his history of Persia, receives a great deal of respect from the concubines. At all events they offer her adoration. And Priam, too, had a great many women, and Hecuba was not indignant. Accordingly, Priam says—
But among the Greeks, the mother of Phœnix does not tolerate the concubine of Amyntor. And Medea, although well acquainted with the fashion, as one well established among the barbarians, refuses to tolerate the marriage of Glauce, having been forsooth already initiated in better and Greek habits. And Clytæmnestra, being exceedingly indignant at a similar provocation, slays Cassandra with Agamemnon himself, whom the monarch brought with him into Greece, having given in to the fashion of barbarian marriages. “And a man may wonder,” says Aristotle, "that Homer has nowhere in the Iliad represented any concubine as living with Menelaus, though he has given wives to every one else. And accordingly, in Homer, even old men sleep with women, such as Nestor and Phoenix. For these men were not worn out or disabled in the time of their youth, either by intoxication, or by too much indulgence in love; or by any weakness of digestion engendered by gluttony; so that it was natural for them to be still vigorous in old age. The king of Sparta, then, appears to have too much respect for his wedded wife Helena, on whose account he collected all the Grecian army; and on this account he keeps aloof from any [p. 891] other connexion. But Agamemnon is reproached by Thersites, as a man with many wives—
Yet what a race! ere Greece to Ilion came,
The pledge of many a loved and loving dame.
Nineteen one mother bore—dead, all are dead!Iliad, xxiv. 489.
“But it is not natural,” says Aristotle, “to suppose that all that multitude of female slaves were given to him as concubines, but only as prizes; since he also provided himself with a great quantity of wine,—but not for the purpose of getting drunk himself.”
'Tis thine, whate'er the warrior's breast inflames,
The golden spoil, and thine the lovely dames;
With all the wealth our wars and blood bestow,
Thy tents are crowded and thy chests o'erflow.Iliad, ii. 220.
But Hercules is the man who appears to have had more wives than any one else, for he was very much addicted to women; and he had them in turn, like a soldier, and a man employed at different times in different countries. And by them he had also a great multitude of children. For, in one week, as Herodorus relates, he relieved the fifty daughters of Thestias of their virginity. Aegeus also was a may of many wives. For, first of all he married the daughter of Hoples, and after her he married one of the daughters of Chalcodous, and giving both of them to his friends, he cohabited with a great many without marriage. Afterwards he took Aethra, the daughter of Pittheus; after her he took Medea. And Theseus, having attempted to ravish Helen, after that carried off Ariadne. Accordingly Istrus, in the fourteenth book of his History of the Affairs of Athens, giving a catalogue of those women who became the wives of Theseus, says that some of them became so out of love, and that some were carried off by force, and some were married in legal marriage. Now by force were ravished Helen, Ariadne, Hippolyta, and the daughters of Cercyon and Sinis; and he legally married Melibœa, the mother of Ajax. And Hesiod say that he married also Hippe and Aegle; on account of whom he broke the oaths which he had sworn to Ariadne, as Cercops tells us And Pherecydes adds Pherebœa. And before ravishing Helen he had also carried off Anaxo from Troy; and after Hippolyta he also had Phædra. And Philip the Macedonian did not take any women with him to his wars, as Darius did, whose power was subverted by Alexander. For he used to take about with him [p. 892] three hundred and fifty concubines in all his wars; as Dicæarchus relates in the third book of his Life in Greece. “But Philip,” says he, “was always marrying new wives in war time. For, in the twenty-two years which he reigned, as Satyrus relates in his History of his Life, having married Audata the Illyrian, he had by her a daughter named Cynna; and he also married Phila, a sister of Derdas and Machatas. And wishing to conciliate the nation of the Thessalians, he had children by two Thessalian women; one of whom was Nicesipolis of Pheræ, who brought him a daughter named Thessalonica; and the other was Philenora of Larissa, by whom he had Aridæus. He also acquired the kingdom of the Molossi, when he married Olympias, by whom he had Alexander and Cleopatra. And when he subdued Thrace, there came to him Cithelas, the king of the Thracians, bringing with him Meda his daughter, and many presents: and having married her, he added her to Olympias. And after all these, being violently in love, he married Cleopatra, the sister of Hippostratus and niece of Attalus. And bringing her also home to Olympias, he made all his life unquiet and troubled. For, as soon as this marriage took place, Attalus said, 'Now, indeed, legitimate kings shall be born, and not bastards.' And Alexander having heard this, smote Attalus with a goblet which he had in his hand; and Attalus in return struck him with his cup. And after that Olympias fled to the Molossi; and Alexander fled to the Illyrians. And Cleopatra bore to Philip a daughter who was named Europa.” Euripides the poet, also, was much addicted to women: at all events Hieronymus in his Historical Commentaries speaks as follows,—“When some one told Sophocles that Euripides was a woman-hater, 'He may be,' said he, 'in his tragedies, but in his bed he is very fond of women.” '
But our married women are not such as Eubulus speaks of in his Female Garland-sellers—
By Jove, we are not painted with vermilion,[p. 893] And Anaxilas, in his Neottis, says—
Nor with dark mulberry juice, as you are often:
And then, if in the summer you go out,
Two rivulets of dark discoloured hue
Flow from your eyes, and sweat drops from your jaws,
And makes a scarlet furrow down your neck;
And the light hair, which wantons o'er your face,
Seems grey, so thickly is it plastered over.
The man whoe'er has loved a courtesan,
Will say that no more lawless worthless race
Can anywhere be found: for what ferocious
Unsociable she-dragon, what Chimæra,
Though it breathe fire from its mouth, what Charybdis,
What three-headed Scylla, dog o' the sea,
Or hydra, sphinx, or raging lioness,
Or viper, or winged harpy (greedy race),
Could go beyond those most accursed harlots?
There is no monster greater. They alone
Surpass all other evils put together.
And let us now consider them in order:—
First there is Plangon; she, like a chimera,
Scorches the wretched barbarians with fire;
One knight alone was found to rid the world of her,
Who, like a brave man, stole her furniture
And fled, and she despairing, disappear'd.
Then for Sinope's friends, may I not say
That 'tis a hydra they cohabit with?
For she is old: but near her age, and like her,
Greedy Gnathæna flaunts, a twofold evil.
And as for Nannion, in what, I pray,
Does she from Scylla differ? Has she not
Already swallow'd up two lovers, and
Open'd her greedy jaws t' enfold a third?
But he with prosp'rous oar escaped the gulf. '
Then does not Phryne beat Charybdis hollow?
Who swallows the sea-captains, ship and all.
Is not Theano a mere Siren pluck'd?
Their face and voice are woman's, but their legs
Are feather'd like a blackbird's. Take the lot,
'Tis not too much to call them Theban Sphinxes.
For they speak nothing plain, but only riddles;
And in enigmas tell their victims how
They love and dote, and long to be caress'd.
“Would that I had a quadruped,” says one,
That may serve for a bed or easy chair.
“Would that I had a tripod”—“Or a biped,”
That is, a handmaid. And the hapless fool
Who understands these hints, like Œdipus,
If saved at all is saved against his will.
But they who do believe they're really loved
Are much elated, and raise their heads to heaven.
And in a word, of all the beasts on earth
The direst and most treacherous is a harlot.
After Laurentius had said all this, Leonidas, finding fault with the name of wife (γαμετὴ), quoted these verses out of the Soothsayers of Alexis— [p. 894] Oh wretched are we husbands, who have sold
All liberty of life, all luxury,And Xenarchus, in his Sleep, says—
And live as slaves of women, not as freemen.
We say we have a dowry; do we not
Endure the penalty, full of female bile,
Compared to which the bile of man's pure honey?
For men, though injured, pardon: but the women
First injure us, and then reproach us more;
They rule those whom they should not; those they should
They constantly neglect. They falsely swear;
They have no single hardship, no disease;
And yet they are complaining without end.
Are then the grasshoppers not happy, say you?And Philetærus, in his Corinthiast, says—
When they have wives who cannot speak a word.
O Jupiter, how soft and bland an eyeAnd Amphis says in his Athamas—
The lady has! 'Tis not for nothing we
Behold the temple of Hetæra here;
But there is not one temple to a wife
Throughout the whole of Greece.
Is not a courtesan much more good-humour'd
Than any wedded wife? No doubt she is,
And 'tis but natural; for she, by law,
Thinks she's a right to sulk and stay at home:
But well the other knows that 'tis her manners
By which alone she can retain her friends;
And if they fail, she must seek out some others.
And Eubulus, in his Chrysille, says—
May that man, fool as he is, who marriesAnd a little further on he says—
A second wife, most miserably perish;
Him who weds one, I will not blame too much,
For he knew little of the ills he courted.
But well the widower had proved all
The ills which are in wedlock and in wives.
O holy Jove, may I be quite undone,[p. 895] And Aristophon, in his Callonides, says—
If e'er I say a word against the women,
The choicest of all creatures. And suppose
Medea was a termagant,—what then?
Was not Penelope a noble creature?
If one should say, “Just think of Clytæmnestra,”
I meet him with Alcestis chaste and true.
Perhaps he'll turn and say no good of Phædra;
But think of virtuous . . . . who?. . . . Alas, alas!
I cannot recollect another good one,
Though I could still count bad ones up by scores.
May he be quite undone, he well deserves it,And Antiphanes, in his Philopator, says—
Who dares to marry any second wife;
A man who marries once may be excused;
Not knowing what misfortune he was seeking.
But he who, once escaped, then tries another,
With his eyes open seeks for misery.
A. He's married now.And Menander, in his Woman carrying the Sacred Vessel of Minerva, or the Female Flute-player, says—
B. How say you? do you mean
He's really gone and married-when I left him,
Alive and well, possess'd of all his senses?
A. You will not marry if you're in your sensesAnd in his Woman Burnt he says—
When you have left this life. For I myself
Did marry; so I recommend you not to.
B. The matter is decided—the die is cast.
A. Go on then. I do wish you then well over it;
But you are taking arms, with no good reason,
Against a sea of troubles. In the waves
Of the deep Libyan or Aegean sea
Scarce three of thirty ships are lost or wreck'd;
But scarcely one poor husband 'scapes at all.
Oh, may the man be totally undoneAnd Carcinus the tragedian, in his Semele (which begins, “O nights”), says—
Who was the first to venture on a wife;
And then the next who follow'd his example;
And then the third, and fourth, and all who followed.
O Jupiter, why need one waste one's words
In speaking ill of women? for what worse
Can he add, when he once has call'd them women?
But, above all other cases, those who when advanced in years marry young wives, do not perceive that they are running voluntarily into danger, which every one else foresees plainly; and that, too, though the Megarian poet2 has given them this warning:—
A young wife suits not with an aged husband;And Theophilus, in his Neoptolemus, says—
For she will not obey the pilot's helm
Like a well-managed boat; nor can the anchor
Hold her securely in her port, but oft
[p. 896] She breaks her chains and cables in the night,
And headlong drives into another harbour.
A young wife does not suit an old man well;
For, like a crazy boat, she not at all
Answers the helm, but slips her cable off
By night, and in some other port is found.
And I do not think that any of you are ignorant, my friends, that the greatest wars have taken place on account of women:—the Trojan war on account of Helen; the plague which took place in it was on account of Chryseis; the anger of Achilles was excited about Briseis; and the war called the Sacred War, on account of another wife (as Duris relates in the second book of his History), who was a Theban by birth, by name Theano, and who was carried off by some Phocian. And this war also lasted ten years, and in the tenth year was brought to an end by the cooperation of Philip; for by his aid the Thebans took Phocis. The war, also, which is called the Crissæan War (as Callisthenes tells us in his account of the Sacred War), when the Crissæans made war upon the Phocians, lasted ten years; and it was excited on this account,—because the Crissæans carried off Megisto, the daughter of Pelagon the Phocian, and the daughters of the Argives, as they were returning from the Pythian temple: and in the tenth year Crissa was taken. And whole families also have been ruined owing to women;— for instance, that of Philip, the father of Alexander, was ruined on account of his marriage with Cleopatra; and Hercules was ruined by his marriage with Iole, the daughter of Eurytus; and Theseus on account of his marriage with Phædra, the daughter of Minos; and Athamas on account of his marriage with Themisto, the daughter of Hypseus; and Jason on account of his marriage with Glauce, the daughter of Creon; and Agamemnon on account of Cassandra. And the expedition of Cambyses against Egypt (as Ctesias relates) took place on account of a woman; for Cambyses, having heard that Egyptian women were far more amorous than other women, sent to Amasis the king of the Egyptians, asking him for one of his daughters in marriage. But he did not give him one of his own daughters, thinking that she would not be honoured as a wife, but only treated as a concubine; but he sent him Nitetis, the daughter of Apries. [p. 897] And Apries had been deposed from the sovereignty of Egypt, because of the defeats which had been received by him from the Cyreneans; and afterwards he had been put to death by Amasis. Accordingly, Cambyses, being much pleased with Nitetis, and being very violently in love with her, learns the whole circumstances of the case from her; and she entreated him to avenge the murder of Apries, and persuaded him to make war upon the Egyptians. But Dinon, in his History of Persia, and Lynceas of Naucratis, in the third book of his History of Egypt, say that it was Cyrus to whom Nitetis was sent by Amasis; and that she was the mother of Cambyses, who made this expedition against Egypt to avenge the wrongs of his mother and her family. But Duris the Samian says that the first war carried on by two women was that between Olympias and Eurydice; in which Olympias advanced something in the manner of a Bacchanalian, with drums beating; but Eurydice came forward armed like a Macedonian soldier, having been already accustomed to war and military habits at the court of Cynnane the Illyrian.
Now, after this conversation, it seemed good to the philosophers who were present to say something themselves about love and about beauty: and so a great many philosophical sentiments were uttered; among which, some quoted some of the songs of the dramatic philosopher, Euripides,— some of which were these:—
Love, who is wisdom's pupil gay,And some one else quoted from Pindar—
To virtue often leads the way:
And this great god
Is of all others far the best for man;
For with his gentle nod
He bids them hope, and banishes all pain.
May I be ne'er mixed up with those who scorn
To own his power, and live forlorn,
Cherishing habits all uncouth.
I bid the youth
Of my dear country ne'er to flee from Love,
But welcome him, and willing subjects prove.
Let it be my fate always to love,[p. 898] And some one else added the following lines from Euripides—
And to obey Love's will in proper season.
But you, O mighty Love, of gods and men
The sovereign ruler, either bid what's fair
To seem no longer fair; or else bring aid
To hapless lovers whom you've caused to love,
And aid the labours you yourself have prompted.
If you do this, the gods will honour you;
But if you keep aloof, you will not even
Retain the gratitude which now they feel
For having learnt of you the way to love.
And Pontianus said that Zeno the Cittiæan thought that Love was the God of Friendship and Liberty, and also that he was the great author of concord among men; but that he had no other office. On which account, he says in his Polity, that Love is a God, being one who cooperates in securing the safety of the city. And the philosophers, also, who preceded him considered Love a venerable Deity, removed from everything discreditable: and this is plain from their having set up holy statues in his honour in their Gymnasia, along with those of Mercury and Hercules—the one of whom is the patron of eloquence, and the other of valour. And when these are united, friendship and unanimity are engendered; by means of which the most perfect liberty is secured to those who excel in these practices. But the Athenians were so far from thinking that Love presided over the gratification of the mere sensual appetites, that, though the Academy was manifestly consecrated to Minerva, they yet erected in that place also a statue of Love, and sacrificed to it. The Thespians also celebrate Erotidia, or festivals of Love, just as the Athenians do Athenæa, or festivals of Minerva, and as the Eleans celebrate the Olympian festivals, and the Rhodians the Halæan. And in the public sacrifices, everywhere almost, Love is honoured. And the Lacedæmonians offer sacrifices to Love before they go to battle, thinking that safety and victory depend on the friendship of those who stand side by side in the battle array. And the Cretans, in their line of battle, adorn the handsomest of their citizens, and employ them to offer sacrifices to Love on behalf of the state, as Sosicrates relates. And the regiment among the Thebans which is called the Sacred Band, is wholly composed of mutual lovers, indicating the majesty of the God, as [p. 899] these men prefer a glorious death to a shameful and dis- creditable life. But the Samians (as Erxias says, in his History of Colophon), having consecrated a gymnasium to Love, called the festival which was instituted in his honour the Eleutheria, or Feast of Liberty; and it was owing to this God, too, that the Athenians obtained their freedom. And the Pisistratidæ, after their banishment, were the first people who ever endeavoured to throw discredit on the events which took place through his influence.
After this had been said, Plutarch cited the following passage from the Phædrus of Alexis:—
As I was coming from Piræus lately,And Eubulus, or Ararus, in his Campylion, says—
In great perplexity and sad distress,
I fell to thoughts of deep philosophy.
And first I thought that all the painters seem
Ignorant of the real nature of Love;
And so do all the other artists too,
Whoe'er make statues of this deity:,
For he is neither male nor female either;
Again, he is not God, nor yet is he man:
He is not foolish, nor yet is he wise;
But he's made up of all kinds of quality,
And underneath one form bears many natures.
His courage is a man's; his cowardice
A very woman's. Then his folly is
Pure madness, but his wisdom a philosopher's;
His vehemence is that of a wild beast,
But his endurance is like adamant;
His jealousy equals any other god's.
And I, indeed,—by all the gods I swear,—
Do not myself precisely understand him;
But still he much resembles my description,
Excepting in the name.
What man was he, what modeller or painter,And Alexis, in his Man Lamenting, says—
Who first did represent young Love as wing'd?
He was a man fit only to draw swallows,
Quite ignorant of the character of the god.
For he's not light, nor easy for a man
Who's once by him been master'd, to shake off
But he's a heavy and tenacious master.
How, then, can he be spoken of as wing'd?
The man's a fool who such a thing could say.
For this opinion is by all the Sophists
Embraced, that Love is not a winged god;
[p. 900] But that the winged parties are the lovers,
And that he falsely bears this imputation:
So that it is out of pure ignorance
That painters clothe this deity with wings.
And Theophrastus, in his book on Love, says that Chseremon the tragedian said in one of his plays, that—
As wine adapts itself to the constitutionOn which account the same poet afterwards, distinguishing his powers with some felicity, says—
Of those who drink it, so likewise does Love
Who, when he's moderately worshipp'd,
Is mild and manageable; but if loosed
From moderation, then is fierce and troublesome.
For he doth bend a double bow of beauty,5 But the same poet also, in his play entitled The Wounded Man, speaks of people in love in this manner:—
And sometimes men to fortune leads,
But sometimes overwhelms their lives
With trouble and confusion.
Who would not say that those who love aloneAnd Theophilus, in his Man fond of the Flute, says—
Deserve to be consider'd living men?
For first of all they must be skilful soldiers,
And able to endure great toil of body,
And to stick close to th' objects of their love :
They must be active, and inventive too,
Eager, and fertile in expedients,
And prompt to see their way in difficulties.
Who says that lovers are devoid of sense?[p. 901]
He is himself no better than a fool:
For if you take away from life its pleasures,
You leave it nothing but impending death.
And I myself am now indeed in love
With a fair maiden playing on the harp;
And tell me, pray, am I a fool for that.But Aristophon, in his Pythagorean, says—
She's fair, she's tall, she's skilful in her art;
And I'm more glad when I see her, than you
When you divide your salaries among you.
Now, is not Love deservedly cast outAmphis, too, in his Dithyrambic, speaks thus of loving—
From his place among the twelve immortal gods?
For he did sow the seeds of great confusion,
And quarrels dire, among that heavenly ban
When he was one of them. And, as he was
Bold and impertinent, they clipp'd his wing
That he might never soar again to heaven;
And then they banished him to us below;
And for the wings which he did boast before
Them they did give to Victory, a spoil
Well won, and splendid, from her enemy.
What say'st thou?—dost thou think that all your wordsBut Alexis says in his Helena—
Could e'er persuade me that that man's a lover
Who falls in love with a girl's manners only
And never thinks what kind of face she's got?
I call him mad; nor can I e'er believe
That a poor man, who often sees a rich one,
Forbears to covet some of his great riches.
The man who falls in love with beauty's flower,
And taketh heed of nothing else, may be
A lover of pleasure, but not of his love;
And he does openly disparage Love,
And causes him to be suspect to others.
Myrtilus, having cited these lines of Alexis, and then looking round on the men who were partisans of the Stoic school, having first recited the following passage out of the Iambics of Hermeas the Curian—
Listen, you Stoiclings, traffickers in nonsensewent on to say,—And in this point alone you are imitators of the master of your school, Zeno the Phœnician, who was always a slave to the most infamous passions (as Antigonus the Carystian relates, in his History of his Life); for you are [p. 902] always saying that “the proper object of love is not the body, but the mind;” you who say at the same time, that you ought to remain faithful to the objects of your love, till they are eight-and-twenty years of age. And Ariston of Ceos, the Peripatetic, appears to me to have said very well (in the second book of his treatise on Likenesses connected with Love), to some Athenian who was very tall for his age, and at the same time was boasting of his beauty, (and his name was Dorus,) "It seems to me that one may very well apply to you the line which Ulysses uttered when he met Dolon—
Punners on words,—gluttons, who by yours
Eat up the whole of what is in the dishes,
And give no single bit to a philosopher.
Besides, you are most clearly proved to do
All that is contrary to those professions
Which you so pompously parade abroad,
Hunting for beauty;—
Great was thy aim, and mighty is the prize.Iliad, x. 401.
But Hegesander, in his Commentaries, says that all men love seasoned dishes, but not plain meats, or plainly dressed fish. And accordingly, when seasoned dishes are wanting, no one willingly eats either meat or fish; nor does any one desire meat which is raw and unseasoned. For anciently men used to love boys (as Aristophon relates); on which account it came to pass that the objects of their love were called παιδικά. And it was with truth (as Clearchus says in the first book of his treatise on Love and the Affairs of Love) that Lycophronides said—
No boy, no maid with golden ornaments,And Aristotle said that lovers look at no other part of the objects of their affection, but only at their eyes, in which modesty makes her abode. And Sophocles somewhere represents Hippodamia as speaking of the beauty of Pelops, and saying—
No woman with a deep and ample robe,
Is so much beautiful as modest; for
'Tis modesty that gives the bloom to beauty.
And in his eyes the charm which love compels
Shines forth a light, embellishing his face:
He glows himself, and he makes me glow too,
Measuring my eyes with his,—as any builder
Makes his work correspond to his careful rule.
And Licymnius the Chian, saying that Somnus was in love with Endymion, represents him as refusing to close the eyes of the youth even when he is asleep; but the God sends his beloved object to sleep with his eyelids still open, [p. 903] so that he may not for a single moment be deprived of the pleasure of contemplating them. And his words are these—
But Somnus much delightedAnd Sappho says to a man who was admired above all measure for his beauty, and who was accounted very handsome indeed—
In the bright beams which shot from his eyes,
And lull'd the youth to sleep with unclosed lids.
Stand opposite, my love,And what says Anacreon?—
And open upon me
The beauteous grace which from your eyes doth flow.
And the magnificent Pindar says—
Oh, boy, as maiden fair,
I fix my heart on you;
But you despise my prayer,
And little care that you do hold the reins
Which my soul's course incessantly do guide.Ode 67.
The man who gazes on the brilliant raysBut the Cyclops of Philoxenus of Cythera, in love with Galatea, and praising her beauty, and prophesying, as it were, his own blindness, praises every part of her rather than mention her eyes, which he does not; speaking thus:—
Which shoot from th' eyes
Of beautiful Theoxenus, and yet can feel his heart
Unmoved within his breast, nor yields to love,
Must have a heart
Black, and composed of adamant or iron.
O Galatea,But this is but a blind panegyric, and not at all to be compared with the encomium of Ibycus:—
Nymph with the beauteous face and golden hair,
Whose voice the Graces tune,
True flower of love, my beauteous Galatea.
Beauteous Euryalus, of all the GracesAnd Phrynichus said of Troilus—
The choicest branch,—object of love to all
The fair hair'd maidens,—sure the soft-eyed goddess,
The Cyprian queen, and soft Persuasion
Combin'd to nourish you on beds of roses.
The light of love shines in his purple cheeks.[p. 904]
But you prefer having all the objects of your love shaved and hairless. And this custom of shaving the beard originated in the age of Alexander, as Chrysippus tells us in the fourth book of his treatise on The Beautiful and on Pleasure. And I think it will not be unseasonable if I quote what he says; for he is an author of whom I am very fond, on account of his great learning and his gentle good-humoured disposition. And this is the language of the philosopher:— “The custom of shaving the beard was introduced in the time of Alexander, for the people in earlier times did not practise it; and Timotheus the flute-player used to play on the flute having a very long beard. And at Athens they even now remember that the man who first shaved his chin, (and he is not a very ancient man indeed,) was given the surname of κόρσης;8: on which account Alexis says—
Do you see any man whose beard has beenAnd Diogenes, when he saw some one once whose chin was smooth, said, 'I am afraid you think you have great ground to accuse nature, for having made you a man and not a woman.' And once, when he saw another man, riding a horse, who was shaved in the same manner, and perfumed all over, and clothed, too, in a fashion corresponding to those particulars, he said that he had often asked what a ῾ιππόπορνος was; and now he had found out. And at Rhodes, though there is a law against shaving, still no one ever prosecutes another for doing so, as the whole population is shaved. And at Byzantium, though there is a penalty to which any barber is liable who is possessed of a razor, still every one uses a razor none the less for that law.” And this is the statement of the admirable Chrysippus.
Removed by sharp pitch-plasters or by razors?
In one of these two ways he may be spoken of:
Either he seems to me to think of war,
And so to be rehearsing acts of fierce
Hostility against his beard and chin;
Or else he's some complaint of wealthy men.
For how, I pray you, do your beards annoy you?—
Beards by which best you may be known as men?
Unless, indeed, you're planning now some deed
Unworthy of the character of men.
But that wise Zeno, as Antigonus the Carystian says, speaking, as it should seem, almost prophetically of the lives [p. 905] and professed discipline of your sect, said that “those who misunderstood and failed rightly to enter into the spirit of his words, would become dirty and ungentlemanlike-looking; just as those who adopted Aristippus's sect, but perverted his precepts, became intemperate and shameless.” And the greater portion of you are such as that, men with contracted brows, and dirty clothes, sordid not only in your dispositions, but also in your appearance. For, wishing to assume the character of independence and frugality, you are found at the gate of covetousness, living sordidly, clothed in scanty cloaks, filling the soles of your shoes with nails, and giving hard names to any one who uses the very smallest quantity of perfume, or who is dressed in apparel which is at all delicate. But men of your sect have no business to be attracted by money, or to lead about the objects of their love with their beards shaved and smooth, who follow you about the Lyceum—
Thin, starved philosophers, as dry as leather,as Antiphanes calls them.
But I am a great admirer of beauty myself. For, in the contests [at Athens] for the prize of manliness, they select the handsomest, and give them the post of honour to bear the sacred vessels at the festivals of the gods. And at Elis there is a contest as to beauty, and the conqueror has the vessels of the goddess given to him to carry; and the next handsomest has the ox to lead, and the third places the sacrificial cakes on the head of the victim. But Heraclides Lembus relates that in Sparta the handsomest man and the handsomest woman have special honours conferred on them; and Sparta is famous for producing the handsomest women in the world. On which account they tell a story of king Archidamus, that when one wife was offered to him who was very handsome, and another who was ugly but rich, and he chose the rich one, the Ephori imposed a fine upon him, saying that he had preferred begetting kinglings rather than kings for the Spartans. And Euripides has said—
And in Homer, the old men among the people marvelling at the beauty of Helen, are represented as speaking thus to one another— [p. 906]
Her very mien is worthy of a kingdom.From the Aeolus.
And even Priam himself is moved at the beauty of the woman, though he is in great distress. And also he admires Agamemnon for his beauty, and uses the following language respecting him—
They cried, "No wonder such celestial charms
For nine long years have set the world in arms;—
What winning graces! what majestic mien!
She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen."Illiad, iii. 156.
And many nations have made the handsomest men their kings on that account. As even to this day that Aethiopian tribe called the Immortals does; as Bion relates in his History of the Affairs of Aethiopia. For, as it would seem, they consider beauty as the especial attribute of kings. And goddesses have contended with one another respecting beauty; and it was on account of his beauty that the gods carried off Ganymede to be their cupbearer—
Say, what Greek is he
Around whose brow such martial graces shine,—
So tall, so awful, and almost divine?
Though some of larger stature tread the green,
None match his grandeur and exalted mien.Ib. iii. 170.
And who are they whom the goddesses have carried off? are they not the handsomest of men? And they cohabit with them; as Aurora does with Cephalus and Clitus and Tithonus; and Ceres with Jason; and Venus with Anchises and Adonis. And it was for the sake of beauty also that the greatest of the gods entered through a roof under the form of gold, and became a bull, and often transformed himself into a winged eagle, as he did in the case of Aegina. And Socrates the philosopher, who despised everything, was, for all that, subdued by the beauty of Alcibiades; as also was the venerable Aristotle by the beauty of his pupil Phaselites. And do not we too, even in the case of inanimate things, prefer what is the most beautiful? The fashion, too, of Sparta is much praised, I mean that of displaying their virgins naked to their guests; and in the island of Chios it is a beautiful sight to go to the gymnasia and the race-courses, and to see the young men wrestling naked with the maidens, who are also naked. [p. 907]
The matchless Ganymede, divinely fair,
Whom Heaven, enamour'd, snatch'd to upper air.Ib. xx. 234.
And Cynulcus said:—And do you dare to talk in this way, you who are not “rosy fingered,” as Cratinus says, but who have one foot made of cow-dung? and do you bring up again the recollection of that poet your namesake, who spends all his time in cookshops and inns? although Isocrates the orator has said, in his Areopagitic Oration, “But not one of their servants ever would have venture to eat or drink in a cookshop; for they studied to keep up the dignity of their appearance, and not to behave like buffoons.” And Hyperides, in his oration against Patrocles, (if, at least, the speech is a genuine one,) says that they forbade a man who had dined at a cookshop from going up to the Areopagus. But you, you sophist, spend your time in cookshops, not with your friends (ἑταίρων), but with prostitutes (ἑταιρῶν), having a lot of pimps and procuresses about you, and always carrying about these books of Aristophanes, and Apollodorus, and Ammonius, and Antiphanes, and also of Gorgias the Athenian, who have all written about the prostitutes at Athens. Oh, what a learned man you are! how far are you from imitating Theomandrus of Cyrene, who, as Theophrastus, in his treatise on Happiness, says, used to go about and profess that he gave lessons in prosperity. You, you teacher of love, are in no respect better than Amasis of Elis, whom Theophrastus, in his treatise on Love, says was extraordinarily addicted to amatory pursuits. And a man will not be much out who calls you a πορνογράφος, just as they call Aristides and Pausanias and Nicophanes ζωγράφοι. And Polemo mentions them, as painting the subjects which they did paint exceedingly well, in his treatise on the Pictures at Sicyon. Think, my friends, of the great and varied learning of this grammarian, who does not conceal what he means, but openly quotes the verses of Eubulus, in his Cercopes—
I came to Corinth; there I ate with pleasureAnd the Corinthian sophist is very fine here, explaining to his pupils that Ocimum is the name of a harlot. And a great many other plays also, you impudent fellow, derived their names from courtesans. There is the Thalassa of Diocles, the Corianno of Pherecrates, the Antea of Eunicus or Philyllus, the Thais, and the Phanion of Menander, the Opara of [p. 908] Alexis, the Clepsydra of Eubulus—and the woman who bore this name, had it because she used to distribute her company by the hour-glass, and to dismiss her visitors when it had run down; as Asclepiades, the son of Areas, relates in his History of Demetrius Phalereus; and he says that her proper name was Meticha.
Some herb called basil (ocimum), and was ruined by it;
And also, trifling there, I lost my cloak.
There is a courtesan. . . . .(as Antiphanes says in his Clown)—
. . . who is a positiveOn which account, in the Neæra of Timocles, a man is represented as lamenting his fate, and saying—
Calamity and ruin to her keeper;
And yet he's glad at nourishing such a pest.
But I, unhappy man, who first loved PhryneAnd in the play entitled Orestantoclides, the same Timocles says—
When she was but a gatherer of capers,
And was not quite as rich as now she is,—
I who such sums of money spent upon her,
Am now excluded from her doors.
And round the wretched man old women sleep,And these courtesans are mentioned by Amphis, in his Curis, where he says—
Nannium and Plangon, Lyca, Phryne too,
Gnathæna, Pythionica, Myrrhina,
Chrysis, Conallis, Hieroclea, and
Wealth truly seems to me to be quite blind,
Since he ne'er ventures near this woman's doors,
But haunts Sinope, Nannium, and Lyca,
And others like them, traps of men's existence,
And in their houses sits like one amazed,
And ne'er departs.
And Alexis, in the drama entitled Isostasium, thus describes the equipment of a courtesan, and the artifices which some women use to make themselves up—
For, first of all, to earn themselves much gain,
And better to plunder all the neighbouring men,
They use a heap of adventitious aids—
They plot to take in every one. And when,
By subtle artifice, they've made some money,
They enlist fresh girls, and add recruits, who ne'er
Have tried the trade, unto their cunning troop,
And drill them so that they are very soon
[p. 909] Different in manners, and in look, and semblance
From all they were before. Suppose one's short—
They put cork soles within the heels of her shoes:
Is any one too tall—she wears a slipper
Of thinnest substance, and, with head depress'd
Between the shoulders, walks the public streets,
And so takes off from her superfluous height.
Is any one too lean about the flank—
They hoop her with a bustle, so that all
Who see her marvel at her fair proportions.
Has any one too prominent a stomach—
They crown it with false breasts, such as perchance
At times you may in comic actors see;
And what is still too prominent, they force
Back, ramming it as if with scaffolding.
Has any one red eyebrows—those they smear
With soot. Has any one a dark complexion—
White-lead will that correct. This girl's too fair—
They rub her well with rich vermilion.
Is she a splendid figure—then her charms
Are shown in naked beauty to the purchaser.
Has she good teeth-then she is forced to laugh,
That all the bystanders may see her mouth,
How beautiful it is; and if she be
But ill-inclined to laugh, then she is kept
Close within doors whole days, and all the things
Which cooks keep by them when they sell goats' heads,
Such as a stick of myrrh, she's forced to keep
Between her lips, till they have learnt the shape
Of the required grin. And by such arts
They make their charms and persons up for market.
And therefore I advise you, my Thessalian friend with the handsome chairs, to be content to embrace the women in the brothels, and not to spend the inheritance of your children on vanities. For, truly, the lame man gets on best at this sort of work; since your father, the boot-maker, did not lecture you and teach you any great deal, and did not confine you to looking at leather. Or do you not know those women, as we find them called in the Pannuchis of Eubulus—
Thrifty decoys, who gather in the money,—And in his Nannium, (the play under this name is the work of Eubulus, and not of Philippides)— [p. 910]
Fillies well-train'd of Venus, standing naked
In long array, clad in transparent robes
Of thinnest web, like the fair damsels whom
Eridanus waters with his holy stream;
From whom, with safety and frugality,
You may buy pleasure at a moderate cost.
For he who secretly goes hunting forXenarchus also, in his Pentathlum, reproaches those men who live as you do, and who fix their hearts on extravagant courtesans, and on freeborn women; in the following lines—
Illicit love, must surely of all men
Most miserable be; and yet he may
See in the light of the sun a willing row
Of naked damsels, standing all array'd
In robes transparent, like the damsels whom
Eridanus waters with his holy stream,
And buy some pleasure at a trifling rate,
Without pursuing joys he 's bound to hide,
(There is no heavier calamity,)
Just out of wantonness and not for love.
I do bewail the fate of hapless Greece,
Which sent forth such an admiral as Cydias.
It is a terrible, yes a terrible and
Intolerable evil, what the young
Men do throughout this city. For although
There are most beauteous damsels in the brothels,
Which any man may see standing all willing
In the full light of day, with open bosoms,
Showing their naked charms, all of a row,
Marshall'd in order; and though they may choose
Without the slightest trouble, as they fancy,
Thin, stout, or round, tall, wrinkled, or smooth-faced,
Young, old, or middle-aged, or elderly,
So that they need not clamber up a ladder,
Nor steal through windows out of free men's houses,
Nor smuggle themselves in in bags of chaff;
For these gay girls will ravish you by force,
And drag you in to them; if old, they'll call you
Their dear papa; if young, their darling baby:
And these a man may fearlessly and cheaply
Amuse himself with, morning, noon, or night,
And any way he pleases; but the others
He dares not gaze on openly nor look at,
But, fearing, trembling, shivering, with his heart,
As men say, in his mouth, he creeps towards them.
And how can they, O sea-born mistress mine,
Immortal Venus! act as well they ought,
E'en when they have the opportunity,
If any thought of Draco's laws comes o'er them?
And Philemon, in his Brothers, relates that Solon at first, on account of the unbridled passions of the young, made a law that women might be brought to be prostituted at brothels; as Nicander of Colophon also states, in the third book of his History of the Affairs of Colophon,—saying that [p. 911] he first erected a temple to the Public Venus with the money which was earned by the women who were prostituted at these brothels. But Philemon speaks on this subject as follows:—
But you did well for every man, O Solon;And Aspasia, the friend of Socrates, imported great numbers of beautiful women, and Greece was entirely filled with her courtesans; as that witty writer Aristophanes (in his Acharnenses9) relates,—saying, that the Peloponnesian war was excited by Pericles, on account of his love for Aspasia, and on account of the girls who had been carried away from her by the Megarians.
For they do say you were the first to see
The justice of a public-spirited measure,
The saviour of the state—(and it is fit
For me to utter this avowal, Solon);—
You, seeing that the state was full of men,
Young, and possess'd of all the natural appetites,
And wandering in their lusts where they'd no business,
Bought women, and in certain spots did place them,
Common to be, and ready for all comers.
They naked stand: look well at them, my youth,—
Do not deceive yourself; a'nt you well off
You're ready, so are they: the door is open—
The price an obol: enter straight—there is
No nonsense here, no cheat or trickery;
But do just what you like, and how you like.
You're off: wish her good-bye; she 's no more claim on you.
For some young men, drunk with the cottabus
Going to Megara, carry off by stealth
A harlot named Simætha. Then the citizens
Of Megara, full of grief and indignation,
Stole in return two of Aspasia's girls;
And this was the beginning of the war
Which devastated Greece, for three lewd women.
I therefore, my most learned grammarian, warn you to beware of the courtesans who want a high price, because
You may see other damsels play the flute,as Epicrates says in his Anti-Lais; in which play he also uses the following expressions concerning the celebrated Lais:—
All playing th' air of Phœbus, or of Jove;
But these play no air save the air of the hawk,
But this fair Lais is both drunk and lazy,Anaxandrides also, in his Old Man's Madness, mentions Lais, and includes her with many other courtesans in a list which he gives in the following lines:-
And cares for nothing, save what she may eat
[p. 912] And drink all day. And she, as I do think,
Has the same fate the eagles have; for they,
When they are young, down from the mountains stoop,
Ravage the flocks and eat the timid hares,
Bearing their prey aloft with fearful might.
But when they're old, on temple tops they perch,
Hungry and helpless; and the soothsayers
Turn such a sight into a prodigy.
And so might Lais well be thought an omen;
For when she was a maiden, young and fresh,
She was quite savage with her wondrous riches;
And you might easier get access to
The satrap Pharnabazus. But at present,
Now that she 's more advanced in years, and age
Has meddled with her body's round proportions,
'Tis easy both to see her and to scorn her.
Now she runs everywhere to get some drink;
She'll take a stater—aye, or a triobolus;
She will admit you, young or old; and is
Become so tame, so utterly subdued,
That she will take the money from your hand.
A. You know Corinthian Lais?
B. To be sure;
A. Well, she had a friend,
By name Anthea.
B. Yes; I knew her well.
A. Well, in those days Lagisca was in beauty;
Theolyta, too, was wondrous fair to see,
And seemed likely to be fairer still;
And Ocimon was beautiful as any.
This, then, is the advice I want to give you, my friend Myrtilus; and, as we read in the Cynegis of Philetærus,—
Now you are old, reform those ways of yours;Or do you think that delightful which Timocles speaks of in his Marathonian Women?—
Know you not that 'tis hardly well to die
In the embraces of a prostitute,
As men do say Phormisius perished?
How great the difference whether you pass the nightAnd as Cynulcus had still a good deal which he wished to say, and as Magnus was preparing to attack him for the sake of Myrtilus,—Myrtilus, being beforehand with him (for he hated the Syrian), said—
With a lawful wife or with a prostitute!
Bah! Where 's the firmness of the flesh, the freshness
Of breath and of complexion? Oh, ye gods!
What appetite it gives one not to find
Everything waiting, but to be constrain'd
[p. 913] To struggle a little, and from tender hands
To bear soft blows and buffets; that, indeed,
Is really pleasure.
But our hopes were not so clean worn out,as Callimachus says. For are not we, O Cynulcus, able to defend ourselves?
As to need aid from bitter enemies;
How rude you are, and boorish with your jokes!as Ephippus says in his Philyra. For you seem to me to be one of those men
Your tongue is all on the left side of your mouth;
Who of the Muses learnt but ill-shaped letters,as some one of the parody writers has it.
I therefore, my friends and messmates, have not, as is said in the Auræ of Metagenes, or in the Mammacythus of Aristagoras,
Told you of female dancers, courtesansbut I have been speaking of regular professional Hetæræ— that is to say, of those who are able to preserve a friendship free from trickery; whom Cynulcus does not venture to speak ill of, and who of all women are the only ones who have derived their name from friendship, or from that goddess who is named by the Athenians Venus Hetæra: concerning whom Apollodorus the Athenian speaks, in his treatise on the Gods, in the following manner:—“And they worship Venus Hetæra, who brings together male and female companions (ἑταίρους καὶ ἑταίρας）—that is to say, mistresses.” Accordingly, even to this day, freeborn women and maidens call their associates and friends their ἑταῖραι; as Sappho does, where she says—
Who once were fair; and now I do not tell you
Of flute-playing girls, just reaching womanhood,
Who not unwillingly, for adequate pay,
Have borne the love of vulgar men;
And now with tuneful voice I'll singAnd in another place she says—
These pleasing songs to my companions (ἑταίραις).
Niobe and Latona were of old[p. 914] They also call women who prostitute themselves for money, ἑταῖραι. And the verb which they use for prostituting oneself for money is ἑταιρέω, not regarding the etymology of the word, but applying a more decent term to the trade; as Menander, in his Deposit, distinguishing the ἑταῖροι from the ἑταῖραι, says—
Affectionate companions (ἑταῖραι) to each other.
You've done an act not suited to companions (ἑταίρων),
But, by Jove, far more fit for courtesans (ἑταιρῶν),
These words, so near the same, do make the sense
Not always easily to be distinguished.
But concerning courtesans, Ephippus, in his Merchandise, speaks as follows:—
And then if, when we enter through their doors,And Eubulus, in his Campylion, introducing a courtesan of modest deportment, says—
They see that we are out of sorts at all,
They flatter us and soothe us, kiss us gently,
Not pressing hard as though our lips were enemies,
But with soft open kisses like a sparrow;
They sing, and comfort us, and make us cheerful,
And straightway banish all our care and grief,
And make our faces bright again with smiles.
How modestly she sat the while at supper!And Antiphanes says in his Hydra—
Not like the rest, who make great balls of leeks,
And stuff their cheeks with them, and loudly crunch
Within their jaws large lumps of greasy meat;
But delicately tasting of each dish,
In mouthfuls small, like a Milesian maiden.
But he, the man of whom I now was speaking,And Anaxilas, in his Neottis, says—
Seeing a woman who lived near his house,
A courtesan, did fall at once in love with her;
She was a citizen, without a guardian
Or any near relations, and her manners
Pure, and on virtue's strictest model form'd,
A genuine mistress (ἑταῖρα); for the rest of the crew
Bring into disrepute, by their vile manners,
A name which in itself has nothing wrong.
A. But if a woman does at all times use
Fair, moderate language, giving her services
Favourable to all who stand in need of her,
She from her prompt companionship (ἑταιρίας) does earn
The title of companion (ἑταῖρα); and you,
As you say rightly, have not fall'n in love
[p. 915] With a vile harlot (πόρνη), but with a companion (ἑταῖρα).
Is she not one of pure and simple manners
B. At all events, by Jove, she 's beautiful.
But that systematic debaucher of youths of yours, is such a person as Alexis, or Antiphanes, represents him, in his Sleep—
On this account, that profligate, when suppingAnd Ephippus has spoken very well of people of that description in his Sappho, where he says—
With us, will never eat an onion even,
Not to annoy the object of his love.
For when one in the flower of his ageAnd Aeschines the orator has said something of the same kind in his Speech against Timarchus.
Learns to sneak into other men's abodes,
And shares of meals where he has not contributed,
He must some other mode of payment mean.
But concerning courtesans, Philetærus, in his Huntress, has the following lines:—
'Tis not for nothing that where'er we goI know, too, that there in a festival called the Hetæridia, which is celebrated in Magnesia, not owing to the courtesans, but to another cause, which is mentioned by Hegesander in his Commentaries, who writes thus:—“The Magnesians celebrate a festival called Hetæridia; and they give this account of it: that originally Jason, the son of Aeson, when he had collected the Argonauts, sacrificed to Jupiter Hetæias, and called the festival Hetæridia. And the Macedonian kings also celebrated the Hetæridia.” There is also a temple of Venus the Prostitute (πόρνη) at Abydus, as Pamphylus asserts:—'“For when all the city was oppressed by slavery, the guards in the city, after a sacrifice on one occasion (as Cleanthus relates in his essays on Fables), having got intoxicated, took several courtesans; and one of these women, when she saw that the men were all fast asleep, taking the keys, got over the wall, and brought the news to the citizens of Abydus. And they, on this, immediately came in arms, and slew the guards, and made themselves masters of the walls, and recovered their freedom; and to show their gratitude to the prostitute they built a temple to Venus the Prostitute.” [p. 916] And Alexis the Samian, in the second book of his Samian Annals, says—“The Athenian prostitutes who followed Pericles when he laid siege to Samos, having made vast sums of money by their beauty, dedicated a statue of Venus at Samos, which some call Venus among the Reeds, and others Venus in the Marsh.” And Eualces, in his History of the Affairs of Ephesus, says that there is at Ephesus also a temple to Venus the Courtesan (ἑταῖρα). And Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on Amatory Matters, says—“Gyges the king of the Lydians was very celebrated, not only on account of his mistress while she was alive, having submitted himself and his whole dominions to her power, but also after she was dead; inasmuch as he assembled all the Lydians in the whole country, and raised that mound which is even now called the tomb of the Lydian Courtesan; building it up to a great height, so that when he was travelling in the country, inside of Mount Tmolus, wherever he was, he could always see the tomb; and it was a conspicuous object to all the inhabitants of Lydia.” And Demosthenes the orator, in his Speech against Neæra (if it is a genuine one, which Apollodorus says it is), says—“Now we have courtesans for the sake of pleasure, but concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation, and wives for the purpose of having children legitimately, and of having a faithful guardian of all our household affairs.”
We find a temple of Hetæra there,
But nowhere one to any wedded wife.
I will now mention to you, O Cynulcus, an Ionian story (spinning it out, as Aeschylus says,) about courtesans, beginning with the beautiful Corinth, since you have reproached me with having been a schoolmaster in that city. It is an ancient custom at Corinth (as Chamæleon of Heraclea relates, in his treatise on Pindar), whenever the city addresses any supplication to Venus about any important matter, to employ as many courtesans as possible to join in the supplication; and they, too, pray to the goddess, and afterwards they are present at the sacrifices. And when the king of Persia was leading his army against Greece (as Theopompus also relates, and so does Timæus, in his seventh book), the Corinthian courtesans offered prayers for the safety of Greece, going to the temple of Venus. On which account, after the Corinthians had consecrated a picture to the goddess (which remains even to this day), and as in this picture they had painted the portraits of the courtesans who made this [p. 917] supplication at the time, and who were present afterwards, Simonides composed this epigram:—
These damsels, in behalf of Greece, and allAnd even private individuals sometimes vow to Venus, that if they succeed in the objects for which they are offering their vows, they will bring her a stated number of courtesans.
Their gallant countrymen, stood nobly forth,
Praying to Venus, the all-powerful goddess;
Nor was the queen of beauty willing ever
To leave the citadel of Greece to fall
Beneath the arrows of the unwarlike Persians.
As this custom, then, exists with reference to this goddess, Xenophon the Corinthian, when going to Olympia, to the games, vowed that he, if he were victorious, would bring her some courtesans. And Pindar at first wrote a panegyric on him, which begins thus:—
Praising the house which in th' Olympic gamesBut afterwards he composed a scolium11 on him, which was sung at the sacrificial feasts; in the exordium of Which he turns at once to the courtesans who joined in the sacrifice to Venus, in the presence of Xenophon, while he was sacrificing to the goddess himself; on which account he says—
Has thrice borne off the victory.10
O queen of Cyprus' isle,And the opening lines of the song were these:—
Come to this grove!
Lo, Xenophon, succeeding in his aim,
Brings you a band of willing maidens,
Dancing on a hundred feet.
O hospitable damsels, fairest train[p. 918]
Of soft Persuasion,—
Ornament of the wealthy Corinth,
Bearing in willing hands the golden drops
That from the frankincense distil, and flying
To the fair mother of the Loves,And after having begun in this manner, he proceeds to say—
Who dwelleth in the sky,
The lovely Venus,—you do bring to us
Comfort and hope in danger, that we may
Hereafter, in the delicate beds of Love,
Reap the long-wished-for fruits of joy,
Lovely and necessary to all mortal men.
But now I marvel, and wait anxiouslyAnd it is plain here that the poet, while addressing the courtesans in this way, was in some doubt as to the light in which it would appear to the Corinthians; but, trusting to his own genius, he proceeds with the following verse—
To see what will my masters say of me,
Who thus begin
My scolium with this amatory preface,
Willing companion of these willing damsels.
We teach pure gold on a well-tried lyre.And Alexis, in his Loving Woman, tells us that the courtesans at Corinth celebrate a festival of their own, called Aphrodisia; where he says—
The city at the time was celebrating
The Aphrodisia of the courtesans:
This is a different festival from that
Which the free women solemnize: and then
It is the custom on those days that all
The courtesans should feast with us in common.
But at Lacedæmon (as Polemo Periegetes says, in his treatise on the Offerings at Lacedæmon,) there is a statue of a very celebrated courtesan, named Cottina, who, he tells us, consecrated a brazen cow; and Polemo's words are these:— “And the statue of Cottina the courtesan, on account of whose celebrity there is still a brothel which is called by her name, near the hill on which the temple of Bacchus stands, is a conspicuous object, well known to many of the citizens. And there is also a votive offering of hers besides that to Minerva Chalciœcos–a brazen cow, and also the before-mentioned image.” And the handsome Alcibiades, of whom one of the comic poets said—
And then the delicate Alcibiades.though he was beloved by the wife of Agis, used to go and hold his revels at the doors of the courtesans, leaving all the [p. 919] Lacedæmonian and Athenian women. He also fell in love with Medontis of Abydos, from the mere report of her beauty; and sailing to the Hellespont with Axiochus, who was a lover of his on account of his beauty, (as Lysias the orator states, in his speech against him,) he allowed Axiochus to share her with him. Moreover, Alcibiades used always to carry about two other courtesans with him in all his expeditions, namely, Damasandra, the mother of the younger Lais, and Theodote; by whom, after he was dead, he was buried in Melissa, a village of Phrygia, after he had been overwhelmed by the treachery of Pharnabazus. And we ourselves saw the tomb of Alcibiades at Melissa, when we went from Synadæ to Metropolis; and at that tomb there is sacrificed an ox every year, by the command of that most excellent emperor Adrian, who also erected on the tomb a statue of Alcibiades in Parian marble.
O earth and all the gods! whom Lacedæmon
Desires to catch in his adulteries,
And we must not wonder at people having on some occasions fallen in love with others from the mere report of their beauty, when Chares of Mitylene, in the tenth book of his History of Alexander, says that some people have even seen in dreams those whom they have never beheld before, and fallen in love with them so. And he writes as follows: —“Hystaspes had a younger brother whose name was Zariadres: and they were both men of great personal beauty: And the story told concerning them by the natives of the country is, that they were the offspring of Venus and Adonis. Now Hystaspes was sovereign of Media, and of the lower country adjoining it; and Zariadres was sovereign of the country above the Caspian gates as far as the river Tanais. Now the daughter of Omartes, the king of the Marathi, a tribe dwelling on the other side of the Tanais, was named Odatis. And concerning her it is written in the Histories, that she in her sleep beheld Zariadres, and fell in love with him; and that the very same thing happened to him with respect to her. And so for a long time they were in love with one another, simply on account of the visions which they had seen in their dreams. And Odatis was the most beautiful of all the women in Asia; and Zariadres also was very handsome. Accordingly, when Zariadres sent to Omartes and expressed a desire to marry the damsel, Omartes would not agree to it, because he was destitute of male offspring; [p. 920] for he wished to give her to one of his own people about his court. And not long afterwards, Omartes having assembled all the chief men of his kingdom, and all his friends and relations, held a marriage feast, without saying beforehand to whom he was going to give his daughter. And as the wine went round, her father summoned Odatis to the banquet, and said, in the hearing of all the guests,—'We, my daughter Odatis, are now celebrating your marriage feast; so now do you look around, and survey all those who are present, and then take a golden goblet and fill it, and give it to the man to whom you like to be married; for you shall be called his wife.' And she, having looked round upon them all, went away weeping, being anxious to see Zariadres, for she had sent him word that her marriage feast was about to be celebrated. But he, being encamped on the Tanais, and leaving the army encamped there without being perceived, crossed the river with his charioteer alone; and going by night in his chariot, passed through the city, having gone about eight hundred stadia without stopping. And when he got near the town in which the marriage festival was being celebrated, and leaving, in some place near, his chariot with the charioteer, he went forward by himself, clad in a Scythian robe. And when he arrived at the palace, and seeing Odatis standing in front of the sideboard in tears, and filling the goblet very slowly, he stood near her and said, '0 Odatis, here I am come, as you requested me to,—I, Zariadres.' And she, perceiving a stranger, and a handsome man, and that he resembled the man whom she had beheld in her sleep, being exceedingly rejoiced, gave him the bowl. And he, seizing on her, led her away to his chariot, and fled away, having Odatis with him. And the servants and the handmaidens, knowing their love, said not a word. And when her father ordered them to summon her, they said that they did not know which way she was gone. And the story of this love is often told by the barbarians who dwell in Asia, and is exceedingly admired; and they have painted representations of the story in their temples and palaces, and also in their private houses. And a great many of the princes in those countries give their daughters the name of Odatis.”
Aristotle also, in his Constitution of the Massilians, mentions a similar circumstance as having taken place, writing [p. 921] as follows:—“The Phocæans in Ionia, having consulted the oracle, founded Marseilles. And Euxenus the Phocæan was connected by ties of hospitality with Nanus; this was the name of the king of that country. This Nanus was celebrating the marriage feast of his daughter, and invited Euxenus, who happened to be in the neighborhood, to the feast. And the marriage was to be conducted in this manner: —After the supper was over the damsel was to come in, and to give a goblet full of wine properly mixed to whichever of the suitors who were present she chose; and to whomsoever she gave it, he was to be the bridegroom. And the damsel coming in, whether it was by chance or whether it was for any other reason, gives the goblet to Euxenus. And the name of the maiden was Petta. And when the cup had been given in this way, and her father (thinking that she had been directed by the Deity in her giving of it) had consented that Euxenus should have her, he took her for his wife, and cohabited with her, changing her name to Aristoxena. And the family which is descended from that damsel remains in Marseilles to this day, and is known as the Protiadæ; for Protis was the name of the son of Euxenus and Aristoxena.”
And did not Themistocles, as Idomeneus relates, harness a chariot full of courtesans and drive with them into the city when the market was full? And the courtesans were Lamia and Scione and Satyra and Nannium. And was not Themistocles himself the son of a courtesan, whose name was Abrotonum? as Amphicrates relates in his treatise on Illustrious Men—
Abrotonum was but a Thracian woman,But Neanthes of Cyzicus, in his third and fourth books of his History of Grecian Affairs, says that he was the son of Euterpe. And when Cyrus the younger was making his expedition against his brother, did he not carry with him a courtesan of Phocæa, who was a very clever and very beautiful woman? and Zenophanes says that her name was originally Milto, but that it was afterwards changed to Aspasia. And a Milesian concubine also accompanied him. And did not the great Alexander keep Thais about him, who was an Athenian courtesan? And Clitarchus speaks of her as having been the [p. 922] cause that the palace of Persepolis was burnt down. And this Thais, after the death of Alexander, married Ptolemy, who became the first king of Egypt, and she bore him sons, Leontiscus and Lagos, and a daughter named Irene, who was married to Eunostus, the king of Soli, a town of Cyprus. And the second king of Egypt, Ptolemy Philadelphus by name, as Ptolemy Euergetes relates in the third book of his Commentaries, had a great many mistresses,—namely, Didyma, who was a native of the country, and very beautiful; and Bilisticha; and, besides them, Agathoclea, and Stratonice, who had a great monument on the sea-shore, near Eleusis; and Myrtium, and a great many more; as he was a man excessively addicted to amatory pleasures. And Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his History, says that there are a great many statues of a woman named Clino, who was his cupbearer, in Alexandria, clothed in a tunic only, and holding a cornucopia in her hand. “And are not,” says he, “the finest houses called by the names of Myrtium, and Mnesis, and Pothina? and yet Mnesis was only a female flute-player, and so was Pothine, and Myrtium was one of the most notorious and common prostitutes in the city.” Was there not also Agathoclea the courtesan, who had great power over king Ptolemy Philopator? in fact, was it not she who was the ruin of his whole kingdom? And Eumachus the Neapolitan, in the second book of his History of Hannibal, says that Hieronymus, the tyrant of Syracuse, fell in love with one of the common prostitutes who followed her trade in a brothel, whose name was Pitho, and married her, and made her queen of Syracuse.
But for the weal of Greece
She was the mother of the great Themistocles.
And Timotheus, who was general of the Athenians, with a very high reputation, was the son of a courtesan, a Thracian by birth, but, except that she was a courtesan, of very excellent character; for when women of this class do behave modestly, they are superior to those who give themselves airs on account of their virtue. But Timotheus being on one occasion reproached as being the son of a mother of that character, said,—“But I am much obliged to her, because it is owing to her that I am the son of Conon.” And Carystius, in his Historic Commentaries, says that Philetærus the king of Pergamus, and of all that country which is now called the New Province, was the son of a woman named [p. 923] Boa, who was a flute-player and a courtesan, a Paphlagonian by birth. And Aristophon the orator, who in the archonship of Euclides proposed a law, that every one who was not born of a woman who was a citizen should be accounted a bastard, was himself convicted, by Calliades the comic poet, of having children by a courtesan named Choregis, as the same Carystius relates in the third book of his Commentaries. Besides all these men, was not Demetrius Poliorcetes evidently in love with Lamia the flute-player, by whom he had a daughter named Phila? And Polemo, in his treatise on the colonnade called Pæcile at Sicyon, says that Lamia was the daughter of Cleanor an Athenian, and that she built the before-mentioned colonnade for the people of Sicyon. Demetrius was also in love with Leæna, and she was also an Athenian courtesan; and with a great many other women besides.
And Machon the comic poet, in his play entitled the Chriæ, speaks thus:—
But as Leæna was by nature form'dBut Lamia was always very witty and prompt in repartee, as also was Gnathæna, whom we shall mention presently. And again Machon writes thus about Lamia:—
To give her lovers most exceeding pleasure,
And was besides much favour'd by Demetrius,
They say that Lamia also gratified
The king; and when he praised her grace and quickness,
The damsel answer'd: And besides you can,
If you do wish, subdue a lioness (λέαιναν.）
Demetrius the king was once displaying
Amid his cups a great variety
Of kinds of perfumes to his Lamia:
Now Lamia was a female flute-player,
With whom 'tis always said Demetrius
Was very much in love. But when she scoff'd
At all his perfumes, and, moreover, treated
The monarch with exceeding insolence,
He bade a slave bring some cheap unguent, and
He rubbed himself with that, and smear'd his fingers,
And said, "At least smell this, O Lamia,
And see how much this scent does beat all others."
She laughingly replied: "But know, O king,
That smell does seem to me the worst of all."
“But,” said Demetrius, "I swear, by the gods,
That 'tis produced from a right royal nut."
But Ptolemy the son of Agesarchus, in his History of [p. 924] Philopator, giving a list of the mistresses of the different kings, says—“Philip the Macedonian promoted Philinna, the dancing woman, by whom he had Aridæus, who was king of Macedonia after Alexander. And Demetrius Poliorcetes, besides the women who have already been mentioned, had a mistress named Mania; and Antigonus had one named Demo, by whom he had a son named Alcyoneus; and Seleucus the younger had two, whose names were Mysta and Nysa.” But Heraclides Lenebus, in the thirty-sixth book of his History, says that Demo was the mistress of Demetrius; and that his father Antigonus was also in love with her: and that he put to death Oxythemis as having sinned a good deal with Demetrius; and he also put to the torture and executed the maidservants of Demo.
But concerning the name of Mania, which we have just mentioned, the same Machon says this:—
Some one perhaps of those who hear this now,[p. 925]
May fairly wonder how it came to pass
That an Athenian woman had a name,
Or e'en a nickname, such as Mania.
For 'tis disgraceful for a woman thus
To bear a Phrygian name; she being, too,
A courtesan from the very heart of Greece.
And how came she to sink the city of Athens,
By which all other nations are much sway'd?
The fact is that her name from early childhood
Was this—Melitta. And as she grew up
A trifle shorter than her playfellows,
But with a sweet voice and engaging manners,
And with such beauty and excellence of face
As made a deep impression upon all men,
She 'd many lovers, foreigners and citizens.
So that when any conversation
Arose about this woman, each man said,
The fair Melitta was his madness (μανία.) Aye,
And she herself contributed to this name;
For when she jested she would oft repeat
This word μανία; and when in sport she blamed
Or praised any one, she would bring in,
In either sentence, this word μανία.
So some one of her lovers, dwelling on
The word, appears to have nicknamed the girl
Mania; and this extra name prevailed
More than her real one. It seems, besides,
That Mania was afflicted with the stone.
And that Mania was also excellent in witty repartee, Machon tells us in these verses about her,—
There was a victor in the pancratium,[p. 926]
Named Leontiscus, who loved Mania,
And kept her with him as his lawful wife;
But finding afterwards that she did play
The harlot with Antenor, was indignant:
But she replied,—"My darling, never mind;
I only wanted just to feel and prove,
In a single night, how great the strength might be
Of two such athletes, victors at Olympia."
They say again that Mania once was ask'd,
By King Demetrius, for a perfect sight
Of all her beauties; and she, in return,
Demanded that he should grant her a favour.
When he agreed, she turned her back, and said,—
"O son of Agamemnon, now the Gods
Grant you to see what you so long have wish'd for."12
On one occasion, too, a foreigner,
Who a deserter was believed to be,
Had come by chance to Athens; and he sent
For Mania, and gave her all she ask'd.
It happen'd that he had procured for supper
Some of those table-jesters, common buffoons,
Who always raise a laugh to please their feeders;
And wishing to appear a witty man,
Used to politest conversation,
While Mania was sporting gracefully,
As was her wont, and often rising up
To reach a dish of hare, he tried to raise
A joke upon her, and thus spoke,—"My friends,
Tell me, I pray you by the Gods, what animal
You think runs fastest o'er the mountain-tops?"
“Why, my love, a deserter,” answer'd Mania.
Another time, when Mania came to see him,
She laugh'd at the deserter, telling him,
That once in battle he had lost his shield.
But this brave soldier, looking somewhat fierce,
Sent her away. And as she was departing,
She said," My love, don't be so much annoy'd;
For 'twas not you, who, when you ran away,
Did lose that shield, but he who lent it you."
Another time they say a man who was
A thorough profligate, did entertain
Mania at supper; and when he question'd her,
“Do you like being up or down the best”
She laugh'd, and said, "I'd rather be up, my friend,
For I'm afraid, lest, if I lay me down,
You'd bite my plaited hair from off my head."
But Machon has also collected the witty sayings of other courtesans too; and it will not be unseasonable to enumerate some of them now. Accordingly he mentions Gnathæna thus:—
Diphilus once was drinking with Gnathæna.
Said he, “Your cup is somewhat cold, Gnathæna;”
And she replied, "'Tis no great wonder, Diphilus,
For we take care to put some of your Plays in it."
Diphilus was once invited to a banquet
At fair Gnathæna's house, as men do say,
On the holy day of Venus' festival—
(He being a man above her other lovers
Beloved by her, though she conceal'd her flame).
He came accordingly, and brought with him
Two jars of Chian wine, and four, quite full,
Of wine from Thasos; perfumes, too, and crowns
Sweetmeats and venison; fillets for the head;
Fish, and a cook, and a female flute-player.
In the meantime a Syrian friend of hers
Sent her some snow, and one saperdes; she
Being ashamed lest any one should hear
She had received such gifts, and, above all men,
Fearing lest Diphilus should get at them,
And show her up in one of his Comedies,
She bade a slave to carry off at once
The salt fish to the men who wanted salt,
As every one did know; the snow she told him
To mix with the wine unseen by any one.
And then she bade the boy to fill the cup
With ten full cyathi of wine, and bear it
At once to Diphilus. He eagerly
Received the cup, and drain'd it to the bottom,
And, marvelling at the delicious coolness,
Said—"By Minerva, and by all the gods,
You must, Gnathæna, be allow'd by all
To have a most deliciously cool well."
“Yes,” said she, "for we carefully put in,
From day to day, the prologues of your plays."
A slave who had been flogg'd, whose back was mark'd
With heavy weals, was once, as it fell out,
Reposing with Gnathæna:—then, as she
Embraced him, she found out how rough all over
His back did feel. “Oh wretched man,” said she,
“In what engagement did you get these wounds?”
He in a few words answered her, and said,
"That when a boy, once playing with his playmates,
He'd fallen backwards into the fire by accident."
“Well,” said she, "if you were so wanton then,
You well deserved to be flogg'd, my friend."
Gnathæna once was supping with Dexithea,
[p. 927] Who was a courtesan as well as she;
And when Dexithea put aside with care
Nearly all the daintiest morsels for her mother,
She said, "I swear by Dian, had I known
How you went on, Dexithea, I would rather
Have gone to supper with your mother than you"
When this Gnathæna was advanced in years,
Hastening, as all might see, towards the grave,
They say she once went out into the market,
And look'd at all the fish, and ask'd the price
Of every article she saw. And seeing
A handsome butcher standing at his stall,13
Just in the flower of youth,—"Oh, in God's name,
Tell me, my youth, what is your price (πῶς ἴστης) to-day?"
He laugh'd, and said, “Why, if I stoop, three obols.”
“But who,” said she, "did give you leave, you wretch,
To use your Carian weights in Attica?"
Stratocles once made all his friends a present
Of kids and shell-fish greatly salted, seeming
To have dress'd them carefully, so that his friends
Should the next morning be o'erwhelm'd with thirst,
And thus protract their drinking, so that he
Might draw from them some ample contributions.
Therefore Gnathæna said to one of her lovers,
Seeing him wavering about his offerings,
“After the kids Stratocles brings a storm.”
Gnathæna, seeing once a thin young man,
Of black complexion, lean as any scarecrow,
Reeking with oil, and shorter than his fellows,
Called him in jest Adonis. When the youth
Answer'd her in a rude and violent manner,
She looking on her daughter who was with her,
Said, “Ah! it serves me right for my mistake.”
They say that one fine day a youth from Pontus
Was sleeping with Gnathæna, and at morn
He ask'd her to display her beauties to him.
But she replied, "You have no time, for now
It is the hour to drive the pigs to feed."
He also mentions the following sayings of Gnathænium, who was the grand-daughter of Gnath$ena:—
It happen'd once that a very aged satrap,
Full ninety years of age, had come to Athens,
And on the feast of Saturn he beheld
Gnathænium with Gnathæna going out
From a fair temple sacred to Aphrodite,
And noticing her form and grace of motion,
[p. 928] He just inquired “How much she ask'd a night?”
Gnathæna, looking on his purple robe,
And princely bodyguard, said, "A thousand drachmæ."
He, as if smitten with a mortal wound,
Said, "I perceive, because of all these soldiers,
You look upon me as a captured enemy;
But take five mince, and agree with me,
And let them get a bed prepared for us."
She, as the satrap seem'd a witty man,
Received his terms, and said, "Give what you like,
O father, for I know most certainly,
You'll give my daughter twice as much at night."
There was at Athens once a handsome smith,
When she, Gnathænium, had almost abandon'd
Her trade, and would no longer common be,
Moved by the love of the actor Andronicus;
(But at this moment he was gone away,
After she'd brought him a male child;) this smith
Then long besought the fair Gnathænium
To fix her price; and though she long refused,
By long entreaty and liberality,
At last he won her over to consent.
But being but a rude and ill-bred clown,
He, one day sitting with some friends of his
In a leather-cutter's shop, began to talk
About Gnathænium to divert their leisure,
Narrating all their fond love passages.
But after this, when Andronicus came
From Corinth back again, and heard the news,
He bitterly reproach'd her, and at supper
He said, with just complaint, unto Gnathænium,
That she had never granted him such liberties
As this flogg'd slave had had allow'd to him.
And then they say Gnathænium thus replied:
That she was her own mistress, and the smith
Was so begrimed with soot and dirt that she
Had no more than she could help to do with him.
One day they say Gnathænium, at supper,
Would not kiss Andronicus when he wish'd,
Though she had done so every day before;
But she was angry that he gave her nothing.
Said he, on this, "Gnathena, don't you see
How haughtily your daughter's treating me?"
And she, indignant, said, "You wretched girl,
Take him and kiss him if he wishes it."
But she replied, "Why should I kiss him, mother,
Who does no good to any one in the house,
But seeks to have his Argos all for nothing "
Once, on a day of festival, Gnathænium
Went down to the Piræus to a lover,
Who was a foreign merchant, riding cheaply
[p. 929] On a poor mule, and having after her
Three donkeys, three maidservants, and one nurse.
Then, at a narrow spot in the road, they met
One of those knavish wrestlers, men who sell
Their battles, always taking care to lose them;
And as he could not pass by easily,
Being crowded up, he cried—"You wretched man,
You donkey-driver, if you get not quickly
Out of my way, I will upset these women,
And all the donkeys and the mule to boot."
But quick Gnathænium said, "My friend, I pray you,
Don't be so valiant now, when you have never
Done any feat of spirit or strength before."
And afterwards, Machon gives us the following anec- dotes:—
They say that Lais the Corinthian,
Once when she saw Euripides in a garden,
Holding a tablet and a pen attach'd to it,
Cried out to him, "Now, answer me, my poet,
What was your meaning when you wrote in your play,
'Away, you shameless doer"' And Euripides,
Amazed, and wondering at her audacity,
Said, "Why, you seem to me to be yourself
A shameless doer." And she, laughing, answer'd,
“How shameless, if my partners do not think so I”
Glycerium once received from some lover
A new Corinthian cloak with purple sleeves,
And gave it to a fuller. Afterwards,
When she thought he'd had time enough to clean it,
She sent her maidservant to fetch it back,
Giving her money, that she might pay for it.
But, said the fuller, "You must bring me first
Three measures full of oil, for want of that
Is what has hindered me from finishing."
The maid went back and told her mistress all.
“Wretch that I am!” Glycerium said, "for he
Is going to fry my cloak like any herring."
Demophoon once, the friend of Sophocles,
While a young man, fell furiously in love
With Nico, called the Goat, though she was old:
And she had earn'd this name of Goat, because
She quite devour'd once a mighty friend of hers,
Named Thallus,14 when he came to Attica
To buy some Chelidonian figs, and also
To export some honey from th' Hymettian hill.
And it is said this woman was fair to view.
And when Demophoon tried to win her over,
“A pretty thing,” said she, "that all you get
From me you may present to Sophocles."
[p. 930] Callisto once, who was nicknamed the Sow,
Was fiercely quarrelling with her own mother,
Who also was nicknamed the Crow. Gnathæna
Appeased the quarrel, and when ask'd the cause of it,
Said, "What else could it be, but that one Crow
Was finding fault with the blackness of the other "
Men say that Hippe once, the courtesan,
Had a lover named Theodotus, a man
Who at the time was prefect of the granaries
And she on one occasion late in th' evening
Came to a banquet of King Ptolemy,
And she'd been often used to drink with him
So, as she now was very late, she said,
"I'm very thirsty, papa Ptolemy,
So let the cup-bearer pour me four gills
Into a larger cup." The king replied,
"You must have it in a platter, for you seem
Already, Hippe,15 to have had plenty of hay."
A man named Morichus was courting Phryne,
The Thespian damsel. And, as she required
A mina, “'Tis a mighty sum,” said Morichus,
"Did you not yesterday charge a foreigner
Two little pieces of gold?" “Wait till I want you,”
Said she, “and I will take the same from you.”
'Tis said that Nico, who was call'd the Goat,
Once when a man named Pytho had deserted her,
And taken up with the great fat Euardis,
But after a time did send again for her,
Said to the slave who came to fetch her, "Now
That Pytho is well sated with his swine,
Does he desire to return to a goat?"
Up to this point we have been recapitulating the things mentioned by Macho. For our beautiful Athens has produced such a number of courtesans (of whom I will tell you as many anecdotes as I can) as no other populous city ever produced. At all events, Aristophanes the Byzantian counted up a hundred and thirty-five, and Apollodorus a still greater number; and Gorgias enumerated still more, saying that, among a great many more, these eminent ones had been omitted by Aristophanes—namely, one who was surnamed Paroinos, and Lampyris, and Euphrosyne: and this last was the daughter of a fuller. And, besides these, he has omitted Megisto, Agallis, Thaumarium, Theoclea (and she was nicknamed the Crow), Lenætocystos, Astra, Gnathæna, and her grand-daughter Gnathænium, and Sige, and Synoris (who was nicknamed the Candle), and Euclea, and [p. 931] Grymæa, and Thryallis, and Chimæra, and Lampas. But Diphilus the comic poet was violently in love with Gnathæna, (as has been already stated, and as Lynceus the Samian relates in his Commentaries;) and so once, when on the stage he had acted very badly, and was turned out (ἠρμένος） of the theatre, and, for all that, came to Gnathæna as if nothing had happened; and when he, after he had arrived, begged Gnathæna to wash his feet, “Why do you want that?” said she; “were you not carried (ἠρμένος) hither?” And Gnathæna was very ready with her repartees. And there were other courtesans who had a great opinion of themselves, paying attention to education, and spending a part of their time on literature; so that they were very ready with their rejoinders and replies. Accordingly, when on one occasion Stilpo, at a banquet, was accusing Glycera of seducing the young men of the city, (as Satyrus mentions in his Lives,) Glycera took him up and said, "You and I are accused of the same thing, O Stilpo; for they say that you corrupt all who come to you, by teaching them profitless and amorous sophistries; and they accuse me of the same thing: for if people waste their time, and are treated ill, it makes no difference whether they are living with a philosopher or with a harlot." For, according to Agathon,
It does not follow, because a woman's body
Is void of strength, that her mind, too, is weak.
And Lynceus has recorded many repartees of Gnathæna. There was a parasite who used to live upon an old woman, and kept himself in very good condition; and Gnathæna, seeing him, said, “My young friend, you appear to be in very good case.” “What then do you think,” said he, “that I should be if I slept by myself?”“Why, I think you would starve,” said she. Once, when Pausanius, who was nicknamed Laccus,16 was dancing, he fell into a cask. “The cellar,” says Gnathæna, “has fallen into the cask.” On one occasion, some one put a very little wine into a wine-cooler, and said that it was sixteen years old. “It is very Little of its age,” said she, “to be as old as that.” Once at a dinking party, some young men were fighting about her, and seating one another, and she said to the one who was worsted, “Be of [p. 932] good cheer, my boy; for it is not a contest to be decided by crowns, but by guineas.” There was a man who once gave her daughter a mina, and never brought her anything more, though he came to see her very often. “Do you think, my boy,” said she, “that now you have once paid your mina, you are to come here for ever, as if you were going to Hippomachus the trainer?” On one occasion, when Phryne said to her, with some bitterness, “What would become of you if you had the stone?”“I would give it to you,” said she, “to sharpen your wit upon.” For it was said that Gnathæna was liable to the stone, while the other certainly wanted it as Gnathæna hinted. On one occasion, some men were drinking in her house, and were eating some lentils dressed with onions (βολβοφάκη); as the maidservant was clearing the table, and putting some of the lentils in her bosom (κόλπον), Gnathæna said, “She is thinking of making some κολποφάκη.” Once, when Andronicus the tragedian had been acting his part in the representation of the Epigoni with great applause, and was coming to a drinking party at her house, and sent a boy forward to bid her make preparation to receive him, she said—
“O cursed boy, what word is this you've spoken?”And once, when a chattering fellow was relating that he was just come from the Hellespont, “Why, then,” said she, “did you not go to the first city in that country?” and when he asked what city, “To Sigeum,” 17 said she. Once, when a man came to see her, and saw some eggs on a dish, and said, “Are these raw, Gnathæna, or boiled?” “They are made of brass, my boy,” said she. On one occasion, when Chærephon came to sup with her without an invitation, Gnathæna pledged him in a cup of wine. “Take it,” said she, “you proud fellow.” And he said, “I proud?”“Who can be more so,” said she, “when you come without even being invited?” And Nico, who was nicknamed the Goat (as Lynceus tells us), once when she met a parasite, who was very thin in consequence of a long sickness, said to him, “How lean you are.” “No wonder,” says he; “for what do you think is all that I have had to eat these three days?” “Why, a leather bottle,” says she, “or perhaps your shoes.”
There was a courtesan named Metanira; and when [p. 933] Democles the parasite, who was nicknamed Lagynion fell down in a lot of whitewash, she said, “Yes, for you have devoted yourself to a place where there are pebbles.” And when he sprung upon a couch which was near him, “Take care,” said she, “lest you get upset.” These sayings are recorded by Hegesander. And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Laughable Records, says that Gnathæna was hired by two men, a soldier and a branded slave; and so when the soldier, in his rude manner, called her a cistern, “How can I be so?” said she; “is it because two rivers, Lycus and Eleutherus, fall into me?” On one occasion, when some poor lovers of the daughter of Gnathæna came to feast at her house, and threatened to throw it down, saying that they had brought spades and mattocks on purpose; “But,” said Gnathæna, “if you had those implements, you should have pawned them, and brought some money with you.” And Gnathæna was always very neat and witty in all she said; and she even compiled a code of laws for banquets, according to which lovers were to be admitted to her and to her daughters, in imitation of the philosophers, who had drawn up similar documents. And Callimachus has recorded this code of hers in the third Catalogue of Laws which he has given; and he has quoted the first words of it as follows:—“This law has been compiled, being fair and equitable; and it is written in three hundred and twenty-three verses.”
But a slave who had been flogged hired Callistium, who was nicknamed Poor Helen; and as it was summer, and he was lying down naked, she, seeing the marks of the whip, said, “Where did you get this, you unhappy man?” and he said, “Some broth was spilt over me when I was a boy.” And she said, “It must have been made of neats'-leather.” And once, when Menander the poet had failed with one of his plays, and came to her house, Glycera brought him some milk, and recommended him to drink it. But he said he would rather not, for there was some γραῦς18 on it. But she replied, “Blow it away, and take what there is beneath.” Thais said once to a boastful lover of hers, who had borrowed some goblets from a great many people, and said that he meant to break them up, and make others of them “You will destroy what belongs to each private person.” Leontium was once sitting at table with a lover of hers, when Glycera [p. 934] came in to supper; and as the man began to pay more atten- tion to Glycera, Leontium was much annoyed: and presently, when her friend turned round, and asked her what she was vexed at, she said, “῾η ὑστέρα19 pains me.” A lover of hers once sent his seal to Lais the Corinthian, and desired her to come to him; but she said, “I cannot come; it is only clay.” Thais was one day going to a lover of hers, who smelt like a goat; and when some one asked her whither she was going, she said—
To dwell with Aegeus,20 great Pandion's son.Phryne, too, was once supping with a man of the same description, and, lifting up the hide of a pig, she said, “Take it, and eat21 it.” And once, when one of her friends sent her some wine, which was very good, but the quantity was small; and when he told her that it was ten years old; “It is very little of its age,” said she. And once, when the question was asked at a certain banquet, why it is that crowns are hung up about banqueting-rooms, she said, “Because they delight the mind.” 22 And once, when a slave, who had been flogged, was giving himself airs as a young man towards her, and saying that he had been often entangled, she pretended to look vexed; and when he asked her the reason, “I am jealous of you,” said she, “because you have been so often smitten.” 23 Once a very covetous lover of hers was coaxing her, and saying to her, “You are the Venus of Praxiteles;” “And you,” said she, “are the Cupid of Phidias.” 24
And as I am aware that some of those men who have been involved in the administration of affairs of state have mentioned courtesans, either accusing or excusing them, I will enumerate some instances of those who have done so. For Demosthenes, in his speech against Androtion, mentions Sinope and Phanostrate; and respecting Sinope, Herodicus the pupil of Crates says, in the sixth book of his treatise on People mentioned in the Comic Poets, that she was called Abydus, because she was an old woman. And Antiphanes [p. 935] mentions her in his Arcadian, and in his Gardener, and in his Sempstress, and in his Female Fisher, and in his Neottis. And Alexis mentions her in his Cleobuline, and Callicrates speaks of her in his Moschion; and concerning Phanostrate, Apollodorus, in his treatise on the Courtesans at Athens, says that she was called Phtheiropyle, because she used to stand at the door (πύλη) and hunt for lice (φθεῖρες). And in his oration against Aristagoras, Hyperides says— “And again you have named, in the same manner, the animals called aphyæ.” Now, aphyæ, besides meaning anchovies, was also a nickname for some courtesans; concerning whom the before-mentioned Apollodorus says—“Stagonium and Amphis were two sisters, and they were called Aphyæ, because they were white, and thin, and had large eyes.” And Antiphanes, in his book on Courtesans, says that Nicostratis was called Aphya for the same reason. And the same Hyperides, in his speech against Mantitheus, who was being prosecuted for an assault, speaks in the following manner respecting Glycera—“Bringing with him Glycera the daughter of Thalassis in a pair-horse chariot.” But it is uncertain whether this is the same Glycera who was take mistress of Harpalus; concerning whom Theopompus speaks in his treatise on the Chian Epistle, saying that after the death of Pythionica, Harpalus sent for Glycera to come to him from Athens; and when she came, she lived in the palace which is at Tarsus, and was honoured with royal honours by the populace, and was called queen; and an edict was issued, forbidding any one to present Harpalus with a crown, without at the same time presenting Glycera with another. And at Rhossus, he went so far as to erect a brazen statue of her by the side of his own statue. And Clitarchus has given the same account in his History of Alexander. But the author of Agen, a satyric drama, (whoever he was, whether it was Python of Catana, or king Alexander himself,) says—
And now they say that Harpalus has sent them
Unnumber'd sacks of corn, no fewer than
Those sent by Agen, and is made a citizen:
But this was Glycera's corn, and it may be
Ruin to them, and not a harlot's earnest.
And Lysias, in his oration against Lais, if, indeed, the speech is a genuine one, mentions these circumstances— “Philyra abandoned the trade of a harlot when she was [p. 936] still quite young; and so did Scione, and Hippaphesis, and Theoclea, and Psamathe, and Lagisca, and Anthea.” But perhaps, instead of Anthea, we ought to read Antea. For I do not find any mention made by any one of a harlot named Anthea. But there is a whole play named after Antea, by either Eunicus or Philyllius. And the author of the oration against Neæra, whoever he was, also mentions her. But in the oration against Philonides, who was being prosecuted for an assault, Lysias, if at least it is a genuine speech of his, mentions also a courtesan called Nais. And in his speech against Medon, for perjury, he mentions one by the name of Anticyra; but this was only a nickname given to a woman, whose real name was Hoia, as Antiphanes informs us in his treatise on Courtesans, where he says that she was called Anticyra,25 because she was in the habit of drinking with men who were crazy and mad; or else because she was at one time the mistress of Nicostratus the physician, and he, when he died, left her a great quantity of hellebore, and nothing else. Lycurgus, also, in his oration against Leocrates, mentions a courtesan named Irenis, as being the mistress of Leocrates. And Hyperides mentions Nico in his oration against Patrocles. And we have already mentioned that she used to be nicknamed the Goat, because she had ruined Thallus the innkeeper. And that the goats are very fond of the young shoots of the olive (θάλλοι), on which account the animal is never allowed to approach the Acropolis, and is also never sacrificed to Minerva, is a fact which we shall dilate upon hereafter. But Sophocles, in his play called The Shepherds, mentions that this animal does browse upon the young shoots, speaking as follows—
For early in the morning, ere a manAlexis also mentions Nannium, in his Tarentines, thus—
Of all the folks about the stable saw me,
As I was bringing to the goat a thallus
Fresh pluck'd, I saw the army marching on
By the projecting headland.
But Nannium is mad for love of Bacchus,—[p. 937] jesting upon her as addicted to intoxication. And Menander, in his false Hercules, says—
Did he not try to wheedle Nannium?And Antiphanes, in his treatise on Courtesans, says—“Nannium was nicknamed the Proscenium, because she had a beautiful face, and used to wear very costly garments embroidered with gold, but when she was undressed s e was a very bad figure. And Corone was Nannium's daughter, and she was nicknamed Tethe, from her exceedingly debauched habits.” Hyperides, in his oration against Patrocles, also speaks of a female flute-player named Nemeas. And we may wonder how it was that the Athenians permitted a courtesan to have such a name, which was that of a most honourable and solemn festival. For not only those who prostituted themselves, but all other slaves also were forbidden to take such names as that, as Polemo tells us, in his treatise on the Acropolis.
The same Hyperides also mentions my Ocimum, as you call her, O Cynulcus, in his second oration against Aristagoras, speaking thus—“As Lais, who appears to have been superior in beauty to any woman who had ever been seen, and Ocimum, and Metanira.” And Nicostratus, a poet of the middle comedy, mentions her also in his Pandrosus, where he says—
Then go the same way to Aerope,And Menander, in his comedy called The Flatterer, gives the following catalogue of courtesans—
And bid her send some clothes immediately,
And brazen vessels, to fair Ocimum.
Chrysis, Corone, Ischas, and Anticyra,And Philetærus, in his Female Hunter, says—
And the most beautiful Nannarium,—
All these you had.
Is not Cereope now extremely old,[p. 938] And Theophilus, in his Amateur of the Flute, says—
Three thousand years at least? and is not Telesis,
Diopithes' ugly daughter, three times that?
And as for old Theolyte, no man
Alive can tell the date when she was born.
Then did not Lais persevere in her trade
Till the last day of her life? and Isthmias,
Neæra too, and Phila, grew quite rotten.
I need not mention all the Cossyphæ,
Galænse, and Coronæ; nor will I
Say aught of Nais, as her teeth are gone.
Lest he should with disastrous shipwreck fall
Into Meconis, Lais, or Sisymbrion,
Or Barathrum, or Thallusa, or any other
With whom the panders bait their nets for youths,
Nannium, or Malthace.
Now when Myrtilus had uttered all this with extreme volubility, he added:—May no such disaster befal you, O philosophers, who even before the rise of the sect called Voluptuaries, yourselves broke down the wall of pleasure, as Eratosthenes somewhere or other expresses it. And indeed I have now quoted enough of the smart sayings of the courtesans, and I will pass on to another topic. And first of all, I will speak of that most devoted lover of truth, Epicurus, who, never having been initiated into the encyclic series of learning, used to say that those were well off who applied themselves to philosophy in the same way in which he did himself; and these were his words—“I praise and congratulate you, my young man, because you have come over to the study of philosophy unimbued with any system.” On which account Timon styles him—
The most unlettered schoolmaster alive.Now, had not this very Epicurus Leontium for his mistress, her, I mean, who was so celebrated as a courtesan? But she did not cease to live as a prostitute when she began to learn philosophy, but still prostituted herself to the whole sect of Epicureans in the gardens, and to Epicurus himself, in the most open manner; so that this great philosopher was exceedingly fond of her, though he mentions this fact in his epistles to Hermarchus.
But as for Lais of Hyccara—(and Hyccara is a city in Sicily, from which place she came to Corinth, having been made a prisoner of war, as Polemo relates in the sixth book of his History, addressed to Timæus: and Aristippus was one of her lovers, and so was Demosthenes the orator, and Diogenes the Cynic: and it was also said that the Venus, which is at Corinth, and is called Melænis, appeared to her in a dream, intimating to her by such an appearance that she would be courted by many lovers of great wealth;)—Lais, I say, is mentioned by Hyperides, in the second of his speeches against Aristagoras. And Apelles the painter, having seen [p. 939] Lais while she was still a maiden, drawing water at the fountain Pirene, and marvelling at her beauty, took her with him on one occasion to a banquet of his friends. And when his companions laughed at him because he had brought a maiden with him to the party, instead of a courtesan he said —“Do not wonder, for I will show you that she is quite beautiful enough for future enjoyment within three years.” And a prediction of this sort was made by Socrates also, respecting Theodote the Athenian, as Xenophon tells us in his Memorabilia, for he used to say—“That she was very beautiful, and had a bosom finely shaped beyond all description. And let us,” said he, “go and see the woman; for people cannot judge of beauty by hearsay.” But Lais was so beautiful, that painters used to come to her to copy her bosom and her breasts. And Lais was a rival of Phryne, and had an immense number of lovers, never caring whether they were rich or poor, and never treating them with any insolence.
And Aristippus every year used to spend whole days with her in Aegina, at the festival of Neptune. And once, being reproached by his servant, who said to him—“You give her such large sums of money, but she admits Diogenes the Cynic for nothing;” he answered, “I give Lais a great deal, that I myself may enjoy her, and not that no one else may.” And when Diogenes said, "Since you, O Aristippus, cohabit with a common prostitute, either, therefore, become a Cynic yourself, as I am, or else abandon her;" Aristippus answered him—“Does it appear to you, O Diogenes, an absurd thing to live in a house where other men have lived before you.?” “Not at all,” said he. “Well, then, does it appear to you absurd to sail in a ship in which other men have sailed before you” “By no means,” said he. “Well, then,” replied Aristippus, “it is not a bit more absurd to be in love with a woman with whom many men have been in love already.” And Nymphodorus the Syracusan, in his treatise o the People who have been admired and eminent in Sicily, says that Lais was a native of Hyccara, which he describe as a strong fortress in Sicily. But Strattis, in his play entitled The Macedonians or Pausanias, says that she was a Corinthian, in the following lines— [p. 940]
A. Where do these damsels come from, and who are theyAnd Timæus, in the thirteenth book of his History, says she came from Hyccara, (using the word in the plural number;) as Polemo has stated, where he says that she was murdered by some women in Thessaly, because she was beloved by a Thessalian of the name of Pausanias; and that she was beaten to death, out of envy and jealousy, by wooden footstools in the temple of Venus; and that from this circumstance that temple is called the temple of the impious Venus; and that her tomb is shown on the banks of the Peneus, having on it an emblem of a stone water-ewer, and this inscription—
B. At present they are come from Megara,
But they by birth are all Corinthians:
This one is Lais, Who is so well known.
This is the tomb of Lais, to whose beauty,so that those men talk nonsense who say that she was buried in Corinth, near the Craneum.
Equal to that of heavenly goddesses,
The glorious and unconquer'd Greece did bow;
Love was her father, Corinth was her home,
Now in the rich Thessalian plain she lies;—
And did not Aristotle the Stagirite have a son named Nicomachus by a courtesan named Herpyllis? and did he not live with her till his death? as Hermippus informs us in the first book of his History of Aristotle, saying that great care was taken of her in the philosopher's will. And did not our admirable Plato love Archaianassa, a courtesan of Colophon? so that he even composed this song in her honour:—
My mistress is the fair ArchaianassaAnd did not Pericles the Olympian (as Clearchus tells us in the first book of his treatise on Amatory Matters) throw all Greece into confusion on account of Aspasia, not the younger one, but that one who associated with the wise Socrates; and that, too, though he was a man who had acquired such a vast reputation for wisdom and political sagacity? But, indeed, Pericles was always a man much addicted to amorous [p. 941] indulgences; and he cohabited even with his own son's wife, as Stesimbrotus the Thasian informs us; and Stesimbrotus was a contemporary of his, and had seen him, as he tells us in his book entitled a Treatise on Themistocles, and Thucydides, and Pericles. And Antisthenes, the pupil of Socrates, tells us that Pericles, being in love with Aspasia, used to kiss her twice every day, once when he entered her house, and once when he left it. And when she was impeached for impiety, he himself spoke in her behalf, and shed more tears for her sake than he did when his own property and his own life were imperilled. Moreover, when Cimon had had an incestuous intrigue with Elpinice, his sister, who was afterwards given in marriage to Callias, and when he was banished, Pericles contrived his recal, exacting the favours of Elpinice as his recompense. And Pythænetus, in the third book of his History of Aegina, says that Periander fell violently in love with Melissa, the daughter of Procles of Epidaurus, when he had seen her clothed in the Peloponnesian fashion (for she had on no cloak, but a single tunic only, and was acting as cupbearer to the young men,) and he married her. And Tigris of Leucadia was the mistress of Pyrrhus king of Epirus, who was the third in descent from the Pyrrhus who invaded Italy; but Olympias, the young man's mother, took her off by poison.
From Colophon, a damsel in whom Love
Sits on her very wrinkles irresistible.
Wretched are those, whom in the flower of youth,
When first she came across the sea, she met;
They must have been entirely consumed.
And Ulpian, as if he had got some unexpected gain, while Myrtilus was still speaking, said:—Do we say ὁ τίγρις in the masculine gender? for I know that Philemon says this in his play called Neæra:—
A. Just as Seleucus sent the tiger (τὴν τίγριν) here,And Myrtilus said to him:—Since you interrupted us when we were making out a catalogue of women, not like the lists of Sosicrates the Phanagorite, or like the catalogue of women of Nilænetus the Samian or Abderitan (whichever was really his native country), I, digressing a little, will turn to your question, my old Phœnix. Learn, then, that Alexis, in his [p. 942] Pyraunus, has said τὸν τίγριν, using the word in the mas- culine gender; and these are his words:
Which we have seen, so we in turn ought now
To send Seleucus back a beast from here.
B. Let's send him a trigeranum;26 for that's
An animal not known much in those parts.
Come, open quick the door; I have been here,And I might quote other evidences of the fact, but I postpone them for the present, while I finish my catalogue, as far as it comprehends the beautiful women.
Though all unseen, walking some time,—a statue,
A millstone, and a seahorse, and a wall,
The tiger (ὁ τίγρις) of Seleucus.
For Clearchus speaks thus concerning Epaminondas: “Epaminondas the Theban behaved with more dignity than these men did; but still there was a want of dignity in the way in which he was induced to waver in his sentiments in his association with women, as any one will admit who considers his conduct with the wife of Lacon.” But Hyperides the orator, having driven his son Glaucippus out of his house, received into it that most extravagant courtesan Myrrhina, and kept her in the city; and he also kept Aristagora in the Piræus, and Phila at Eleusis, whom he bought for a very large sum, and then emancipated; and after that he made her his housekeeper, as Idomeneus relates. But, in his oration in defence of Phryne, Hyperides confesses that he is in love with the woman; and yet, before he had got cured of that love, he introduced the above-mentioned Myrrhina into his house.
Now Phryne was a native of Thespiæ; and being prosecuted by Euthias on a capital charge, she was acquitted: on which account Euthias was so indignant that he never instituted any prosecution afterwards, as Hermippus tells us. But Hyperides, when pleading Phryne's cause, as he did not succeed at all, but it was plain that the judges were about to condemn her, brought her forth into the middle of the court, and, tearing open her tunic and displaying her naked bosom, employed all the end of his speech, with the highest oratorical art, to excite the pity of her judges by the sight of her beauty, and inspired the judges with a superstitious fear, so that they were so moved by pity as not to be able to stand the idea of condemning to death “a prophetess and priestess of Venus.” And when she was acquitted, a decree was drawn up in the following form: “That hereafter no orator should endeavour to excite pity on behalf of any [p. 943] one, and that no man or woman, when impeached, shall have his or her case decided on while present.” But Phryne was a really beautiful woman, even in those parts of her person which were not generally seen: on which account it was not easy to see her naked; for she used to wear a tunic which covered her whole person, and she never used the public baths. But on the solemn assembly of the Eleusinian festival, and on the feast of the Posidonia, then she laid aside her garments in the sight of all the assembled Greeks, and having undone her hair, she went to bathe in the sea; and it was from her that Apelles took his picture of the Venus Anadyomene; and Praxiteles the statuary, who was a lover of hers, modelled the Cnidian Venus from her body; and on the pedestal of his statue of Cupid, which is placed below the stage in the theatre, he wrote the following inscription:—
Praxiteles has devoted earnest careAnd he gave Phryne the choice of his statues, whether she chose to take the Cupid, or the Satyrus which is in the street called the Tripods; and she, having chosen the Cupid, consecrated it in the temple at Thespiæ. And the people of her neighbourhood, having had a statue made of Phryne herself, of solid gold, consecrated it in the temple of Delphi, having had it placed on a pillar of Pentelican marble; and the statue was made by Praxiteles. And when Crates the Cynic saw it, he called it “a votive offering of the profligacy of Greece.” And this statue stood in the middle between that of Archidamus, king of the Lacedæmonians, and that of Philip the son of Amyntas; and it bore this inscription— “Phryne of Thespiæ, the daughter of Epicles,” as we are told by Alcetas, in the second book of his treatise on the Offerings at Delphi.
To representing all the love he felt,
Drawing his model from his inmost heart:
I gave myself to Phryne for her wages,
And now I no more charms employ, nor arrows,
Save those of earnest glances at my love.
But Apollodorus, in his book on Courtesans, says that there were two women named Phryne, one of whom was nicknamed Clausigelos,27 and the other Saperdium. But Herodicus, [p. 944] in the sixth book of his Essay on People mentioned by the Comic Poets, says that the one who is mentioned by the orators was called Sestos, because she sifted (ἀποσήθω) and stripped bare all her lovers; and that the other was the native of Thespiæ. But Phryne was exceedingly rich, and she offered to build a wall round Thebes, if the Thebans would inscribe on the wall, “Alexander destroyed this wall, but Phryne the courtesan restored it;” as Callistratus states in his treatise on Courtesans. And Timocles the comic poet, in his Neæra, has mentioned her riches (the passage has been already cited); and so has Amphis, in his Curis. And Gryllion was a parasite of Phryne's, though he was one of the judges of the Areopagus; as also Satyrus, the Olynthian actor, was a parasite of Pamphila. But Aristogiton, in his book against Phryne, says that her proper name was Mnesarete; and I am aware that Diodorus Periegetes says that the oration against her which is ascribed to Euthias, is really the work of Anaximenes. But Posidippus the comic poet, in his Ephesian Women, speaks in the following manner concerning her:—
Before our time, the Thespian Phryne was
Far the most famous of all courtesans;
And even though you're later than her age,
Still you have heard of the trial which she stood.
She was accused on a capital charge
Before the Heliæa, being said
To have corrupted all the citizens;
But she besought the judges separately
With tears, and so just saved herself from judgment.
And I would have you all to know that Democles, the orator, became the father of Demeas, by a female flute-player who was a courtesan; and once when he, Demeas, was giving himself airs in the tribune, Hyperides stepped his mouth, saying, “Will not you be silent, young man? why, you make more puffing than your mother did.” And also Bion of the Borysthenes, the philosopher, was the son of a Laced$emonian courtesan named Olympia; as Nicias the Nicæan informs us in his treatise called the Successions of the Philosophers. And Sophocles the tragedian, when he was an old man, was a lover of Theoris the courtesan; and accordingly, supplicating the favour and assistance of Venus, he says— [p. 945]
Hear me now praying, goddess, nurse of youths,And these verses are some of those which are at time attributed to Homer. But he mentions Theoris by name, speaking thus in one of his plain choruses:—
And grant that this my love may scorn young men,
And their most feeble fancies and embraces;
And rather cling to grey-headed old men,
Whose minds are vigorous, though their limbs be weak.
For dear to me Theoris is.And towards the end of his life, as Hegesander says, he was a lover of the courtesan Archippa, and he left her the heiress of all his property; but as Archippa cohabited with Sophocles, though he was very old, Smicrines, her former lover, being asked by some one what Archippa was doing, said very wittily, “Why, like the owls, she is sitting on the tombs.”
But Isocrates also, the most modest of all the orators, had a mistress named Metanira, who was very beautiful, as Lysias relates in his Letters. But Demosthenes, in his oration against Neæra, says that Metanira was the mistress of Lysias. And Lysias also was desperately in love with Lagis the courtesan, whose panegyric Cephalus the orator wrote, just as Alcidamas the Elæan, the pupil of Gorgias, himself wrote a panegyric on the courtesan Nais. And, in his oration against Philonides, who was under prosecution for an assault, (if, at least, the oration be a genuine one,) Lysias says that Nais was the mistress of Philonides, writing as follows:—“There is then a woman who is a courtesan, Nais by name, whose keeper is Archias; but your friend Philonides states himself to be in love with her.” Aristophanes also mentions her in his Gerytades, and perhaps also in his Plutus, where he says—
Is it not owing to you the greedy LaisFor perhaps here we ought to read Nais, and not Lais. But Hermippus, in his Essay on Isocrates, says that Isocrates, when he was advancing in years, took the courtesan Lagisca to his house, and had a daughter by her. And Strattis speaks of her in these lines:—
Does love Philonides
And while she still was in her bed, I saw[p. 946] And Lysias, in his speech against Lais, (if, at least, the oration be a genuine one,) mentions her, giving a list of other courtesans also, in the following words:—"Philyra indeed abandoned the trade of a courtesan while she was still young; and Scione, and Hippaphesis, and Theoclea, and Psamathe, and Lagisca, and Anthea, and Aristoclea, all abandoned it also at an early age."
Isocrates' concubine, Lagisca,
Playing her tricks; and with her the flute-maker.
But it is reported that Demosthenes the orator had children by a courtesan; at all events he himself, in his speech about gold, introduced his children before the court, in order to obtain pity by their means, without their mother; although it was customary to bring forward the wives of those who were on their trial; however, he did this for shame's sake, hoping to avoid calumny. But this orator was exceedingly addicted to amorous indulgences, as Idomeneus tells us. Accordingly, being in love with a youth named Aristarchus, he once, when he was intoxicated, insulted Nicodemus on his account, and struck out his eyes. He is related also to have been very extravagant in his table, and his followers, and in women. Therefore, his secretary once said, “But what can any one say of Demosthenes? For everything that he has thought of for a whole year, is all thrown into confusion by one woman in one night.” Accordingly, he is said to have received into his house a youth named Cnosion, although he had a wife; and she, being indignant at this, went herself and slept with Cnosion.
And Demetrius the king, the last of all Alexander's successors, had a mistress named Myrrhina, a Samian courtesan; and in every respect but the crown, he made her his partner in the kingdom, as Nicolaus of Damascus tells us. And Ptolemy the son of Ptolemy Philadelphus the king, who was governor of the garrison in Ephesus, had a mistress named Irene. And she, when plots were laid against Ptolemy by the Thracians at Ephesus, and when he fled to the temple of Diana, fled with him: and when the conspirators had murdered him, Irene seizing hold of the bars of the doors of the temple, sprinkled the altar with his blood till they slew her also. And Sophron the governor of Ephesus had a mistress, Danae, the daughter of Leontium the Epicurean, who was also a courtesan herself. And by her means he was saved when a plot was laid against him by Laodice, and Laodice was thrown [p. 947] down a precipice, as Phylarchus relates in his twelfth book in these words: “Danae was a chosen companion of Laodice, and was trusted by her with all her secrets; and, being the daughter of that Leontium who had studied with Epicurus the natural philosopher, and having been herself formerly the mistress of Sophron, she, perceiving that Laodice was laying a plot to murder Sophron, revealed the plot to Sophron by a sign. And he, understanding the sign, and pretending to agree to what she was saying to him, asked two days to deliberate on what he should do. And, when she had agreed to that, he fled away by night to Ephesus. But Laodice, when she learnt what had been done by Danae, threw her down a precipice, discarding all recollection of their former friendship. And they say that Danae, when she perceived the danger which was impending over her, was interrogated by Laodice, and refused to give her any answer; but, when she was dragged to the precipice, then she said, that “many people justly despise the Deity, and they may justify themselves by my case, who having saved a man who was to me as my husband, am requited in this manner by the Deity. But Laodice, who murdered her husband, is thought worthy of such honour.” The same Phylarchus also speaks of Mysta, in his fourteenth book, in these terms: “Mysta was the mistress of Seleucus the king, and when Seleucus was defeated by the Galatæ, and was with difficulty able to save himself by flight, she put off the robes of a queen which she had been accustomed to wear, and assumed the garment of an ordinary servant; and being taken prisoner, was carried away with the rest of the captives. And being sold in the same manner as her handmaidens, she came to Rhodes; and there, when she had revealed who she was, she was sent back with great honour to Seleucus by the Rhodians.”
But Demetrius Phalereus being in love with Lampito, a courtesan of Samos, was pleased when he himself was addressed as Lampito, as Diyllus tells us; and he also had himself called Charitoblepharos.28 And Nicarete the courtesan was the mistress of Stephanus the orator; and Metanira was the mistress of Lysias the sophist; and these [p. 948] women were the slaves of Casius the Elean, with many other such, as Antea, Stratola, Aristoclea, Phila, Isthmias, and Neæra. But Neæra was the mistress of Stratoclides, and also of Xenoclides the poet, and of Hipparchus the actor, and of Phrynion the Pæanian, who was the son of Demon and the nephew of Demochares. And Phrynichus. and Stephanus the orator used to have Neæra in turn, each a day, since their friends had so arbitrated the matter for them; and the daughter of Neæra, whose name was Strymbela, and who was afterwards called Phano, Stephanus gave (as if she had been his own daughter) in marriage to Phrastor of Aegialea; as Demosthenes tells us in his oration against Neæra. And he also speaks in the following manner about Sinope the courtesan: “And you punished Archias the hierophant, when he was convicted before the regular tribunals of behaving with impiety, and offering sacrifices which were contrary to the laws of the nation. And he was accused also of other things, and among them of having sacrificed a victim on the festival of Ceres, which was offered by Sinope the courtesan, on the altar which is in the court of the temple at Eleusis, though it is against the law to sacrifice any victims on that day; and though, too, it was no part of his duty to sacrifice at all, but it belonged to the priestess to do so.”
Plangon the Milesian was also a celebrated courtesan; and she, as she was most wonderfully beautiful, was beloved by a young man of Colophon, who had a mistress already whose name was Bacchis. Accordingly, when this young man began to address his solicitations to Plangon, she, having heard of. the beauty of Bacchis, and wishing to make the young man abandon his love for her, when she was unable to effect that, she required as the price of her favours the necklace of Bacchis, which was very celebrated. And he, as he was exceedingly in love, entreated Bacchis not to see him totally overwhelmed with despair; and Bacchis, seeing the excited state of the young man, gave him the necklace. And Plangon, when she saw the freedom from jealousy which was exhibited by Bacchis, sent her back the necklace, but kept the young man: and ever after Plangon and Bacchis were friends, loving the young man in common; and the Ionians being amazed at this, as Menetor tells us in his treatise concerning Offerings, gave Plangon the name [p. 949] of Pasiphila.29 And Archilochus mentions her in the, following lines:—
As a fig-tree planted on a lofty rockThat Menander the poet was a lover of Glycera, is notorious to everybody; but still he was not well pleased with her. For when Philemon was in love with a courtesan, and in one of his plays called her “Excellent,” Menander, in one of his plays, said, in contradiction to this, that there was no courtesan who was good.
Feeds many crows and jackdaws, so Pasiphila's
A willing entertainer of all strangers.
And Harpalus the Macedonian, who robbed Alexander of vast sums of money and then fled to Athens, being in love with Pythionica, spent an immense deal of money on her; and she was a courtesan. And when she died he erected a monument to her which cost him many talents. And as he was carrying her out to burial, as Posidonius tells us in the twenty-second book of his History, he had the body accompanied with a band of the most eminent artists of all kinds, and with all sorts of musical instruments and songs. And Dicæarchus, in his Essay on the Descent to the Cave of Trophonius, says,—“And that same sort of thing may happen to any one who goes to the city of the Athenians, and who proceeds by the road leading from Eleusis, which is called the Sacred Road; for, if he stops at that point from which he first gets a sight of Athens, and of the temple, and of the citadel, he will see a tomb built by the wayside, of such a size that there is none other near which can be compared with it for magnitude. And at first, as would be natural, he would pronounce it to be the tomb, beyond all question, of Miltiades, or Cimon, or Pericles, or of some other of the great men of Athens. And above all, he would feel sure that it had been erected by the city at the public expense; or at all events by some public decree; and then, again, when he heard it was the tomb of Pythionica the courtesan, what must be his feelings?” And Theopompus also, in his letter to Alexander, speaking reproachfully of the profligacy of Harpalus, says,—“But just consider and listen to the truth, as you may hear from the people of Babylon, as to the manner in which he treated Pythionica when she was dead; who was originally the slave of [p. 950] Bacchis, the female flute-player. And Bacchis herself had been the slave of Sinope the Thracian, who brought her establishment of harlots from Aegina to Athens; so that she was not only trebly a slave, but also trebly a harlot. He, however, erected two monuments to her at an expense exceeding two hundred talents. And every one marvelled that no one of all those who died in Cilicia, in defence of your dominions and of the freedom of the Greeks, had had any tomb adorned for them either by him or by any other of the governors of the state; but that a tomb should be erected to Pythionica the courtesan, both in Athens and in Babylon; and they have now stood a long time. For a man who ventured to call himself a friend to you, has dared to consecrate a temple and a spot of ground to a woman whom everybody knew to have been common to every one who chose at the same fixed price, and to call both the temple and the altar those of Pythionica Venus; and in so doing, he despised also the vengeance of the Gods, and endeavoured to insult the honours to which you are entitled.” Philemon also mentions these circumstances, in his comedy called the Babylonian, where he says—
You shall be queen of Babylon if the FatesAlexis also mentions her in his Lyciscus.
Will but permit it. Sure you recollect
Pythionica and proud Harpalus.
But after the death of Pythionica, Harpalus sent for Glycera, and she also was a courtesan, as Theopompus relates, when he says that Harpalus issued an edict that no one should present him with a crown, without at the same time paying a similar compliment to his prostitute; and adds,— “He has also erected a brazen statue to Glycera in Rhossus of Syria, where he intends to erect one of you, and another of himself. And he has permitted her to dwell in the palace in Tarsus, and he permits her to receive adoration from the people, and to bear the title of Queen, and to be complimented with other presents, which are only fit for your own mother and your own wife.” And we have a testimony coinciding with this from the author of the Satyric drama called Agen, which was exhibited, on the occasion when the Dionysian festival was celebrated on the banks of the river Hydaspes, by the author, whether he was Pythen of Catana or Byzantium, or the king himself. And it was exhibited when Harpalus was [p. 951] now flying to the sea-shore, after he had revolted; and it mentions Pythionica as already dead; and Glycera, as being with Harpalus, and as being the person who encouraged the Athenians to receive presents from Harpalus. And the verses of the play are as follows:—
A. There is a pinnacle, where never birdsAnd the author of the play calls Harpalus Pallides in this passage; but in what follows, he speaks of him by his real name, saying—
Have made their nests, where the long reeds do grow;
And on the left is the illustrious temple
Raised to a courtesan, which Pallides
Erected, but repenting of the deed,
Condemn'd himself for it to banishment.
And when some magi of the barbarians
Saw him oppressed with the stings of conscience,
They made him trust that they could raise again
The soul of Pythionica.
B. But I do wish to learn from you, since I
Dwell a long way from thence, what is the fate
At present of the land of Athens; and
How all its people fare?
A. Why, when they said
That they were slaves, they plenty had to eat,
But now they have raw vegetables only,
And fennel, and but little corn or meat.
B.I likewise hear that Harpalus has sent them
A quantity of corn no less than Agen,
And has been made a citizen of Athens.
That corn was Glycera's. But it is perhaps
To them a pledge of ruin, not of a courtesan.
Naucratis also has produced some very celebrated courtesans of exceeding beauty; for instance, Doricha, whom the beautiful Sappho, as she became the mistress of her brother Charaxus, who had gone to Naucratis on some mercantile business, accuses in her poetry of having stripped Charaxus of a great deal of his property. But Herodots calls her Rhodopis, being evidently ignorant that Rhodopis and Doricha were two different people; and it was Rhodopis who dedicated those celebrated spits at Delphi, which Cratinus mentions in the following lines—
* * * *Posidippus also made this epigram on Doricha, although he had often mentioned her in his Ethiopia, and this is the epigram— [p. 952]
Here, Doricha, your bones have long been laid,Archedice also was a native of Naucratis; and she was a courtesan of great beauty. “For some how or other,” as Herodotus says, “Naucratis is in the habit of producing beautiful courtesans.”
Here is your hair, and your well-scented robe:
You who once loved the elegant Charaxus,
And quaff'd with him the morning bowl of wine.
But Sappho's pages live, and still shall live,
In which is many a mention of your name,
Which still your native Naucratis shall cherish,
As long as any ship sails down the Nile.
There was also a certain courtesan named Sappho, a native of Eresus, who was in love with the beautiful Phaon, and she was very celebrated, as Nymphis relates in his Voyage round Asia. But Nicarete of Megara, who was a courtesan, was not a woman of ignoble birth, but she was born of free parents, and was very well calculated to excite affection by reason of her accomplishments, and she was a pupil of Stilpon the philosopher. There was also Bilisticha the Argive, who was a very celebrated courtesan, and who traced her descent back to the Atridæ, as those historians relate who have written the history of the affairs of Argolis. There was also a courtesan named Leæna, whose name is very celebrated, and she was the mistress of Harmodius, who slew the tyrant. And she, being tortured by command of Hippias the tyrant, died under the torture without having said a word. Stratocles the orator also had for his mistress a courtesan whose name was Leme,30 and who was nicknamed Parorama, because she used to let whoever chose come to her for two drachmas, as Gorgias says in his treatise on Courtesans. Now though Myrtilus appeared to be intending to say no more after this, he resumed his subject, and said:—But I was nearly forgetting, my friends, to tell you of the Lyda of Antimachus, and also of her namesake Lyda, who was also a courtesan and the mistress of Lamynthius the Milesian. For each of these poets, as Clearchus tells us in his Tales of Love, being inflamed with love for the barbarian Lyde, wrote [p. 953] poems, the one in elegiac, and the other in lyric verse, and they both entitled their poems “Lyde.” I omitted also to mention the female flute-player Nanno, the mistress of Mimnermus, and Leontium, the mistress of Hermesianax of Colophon. For he inscribed with her name, as she was his mistress, three books of elegiac poetry, in the third of which he gives a catalogue of things relating to Love; speaking in the following manner:—
You know, too, how Œager's much-loved son,
Skilfully playing on the Thracian harp,
Brought back from hell his dear Agriope,
And sail'd across th' inhospitable land
Where Charon drags down in his common boat
The souls of all the dead; and far resounds
The marshy stream slow creeping through the reeds
That line the death-like banks. But Orpheus dared
With fearless soul to pass that lonely wave,
Striking his harp with well-accustom'd hand.
And with his lay he moved the pitiless gods,
And various monsters of unfeeling hell.
He raised a placid smile beneath the brows
Of grim Cocytus; he subdued the glance
So pitiless of the fierce, implacable dog,
Who sharpen'd in the flames his fearful bark,
Whose eye did glare with fire, and whose heads
With triple brows struck fear on all who saw.
He sang, and moved these mighty sovereigns;
So that Agriope once again did breathe
The breath of life. Nor did the son of Mene,
Friend of the Graces, the sweet-voiced Musæus,
Leave his Antiope without due honour,
Who, amid the virgins sought by many suitors
In holiest Eleusis' sacred soil,
Sang the loud joyful song of secret oracles,
Priestess of Rharian31 Ceres, warning men.
And her renown to Pluto's realms extends.
Nor did these bards alone feel Cupid's sway;
The ancient bard, leaving Bœotia's halls,
Hesiod, the keeper of all kinds of learning,
Came to fair Ascra's Heliconian village,
Where long he sought Eoia's wayward love;
[p. 954] Much he endured, and many books he wrote,
The maid the inspiring subject of his song.
And that great poet whom Jove's Fate protects,
Sweetest of all the votaries of the muse,
Immortal Homer, sought the rocky isle
Of Ithaca, moved by love for all the virtue
And beauty of the chaste Penelope.
Much for her sake he suffer'd; then he sought
A barren isle far from his native land,
And wept the race of Icarus, and of Amyclus
And Sparta, moved by his own woes' remembrances.
Who has not heard of sweet Mimnermus' fame;
Parent of plaintive elegiac verses,
Which to his lyre in sweetest sounds he sang
Much did he suffer, burning with the love
Of cruel Nanno; and full oft inflamed
With ardent passion, did he feast with her,
Breathing his love to his melodious pipe;
And to his hate of fierce Hermobius
And Pherecles, tuneful utterance he gave.
Antimachus, too, felt the flame inspired
By Lydian Lyde; and he sought the stream
Of golden-waved Pactolus, where he laid
His lost love underneath the tearless earth,
And weeping, went his way to Colophon;
And with his wailing thus sweet volumes fill'd,
Shunning all toil or other occupation.
How many festive parties frequent rang
With the fond love of Lesbian Alcæus,
Who sang the praises of the amorous Sappho,
And grieved his Teian32 rival, breathing songs
Such as the nightingale would gladly imitate;
For the divine Anacreon also sought
To win the heart of the sacred poetess,
Chief ornament of all the Lesbian bands;
And so he roved about, now leaving Samos,
Now parting from his own enslaved land,
Parent of vines, to wine-producing Lesbos;
And often he beheld Cape Lectum there,
Across th' Aeolian wave. But greatest of all,
The Attic bee33 oft left its rugged hill,
Singing in tragic choruses divine,
Bacchus and Love * *
* * * *
I tell, besides, how that too cautious man,
Who earn'd deserved hate from every woman,
Stricken by a random shot, did not escape
Nocturnal pangs of Love; but wander'd o'er
The Macedonian hills and valleys green,
[p. 955] Smitten with love for fair Argea, who
Kept Archelaus' house, till the angry god
Found a fit death for cold Euripides,
Striving with hungry hounds in vain for life.
Then there's the man whom, mid Cythera's rocks;
The Muses rear'd, a faithful worshipper
Of Bacchus and the flute, Philoxenus:
Well all men know by what fierce passion moved
He to this city came; for all have heard
His praise of Galatea, which he sang
Amid the sheepfolds. And you likewise know
The bard to whom the citizens of Cos
A brazen statue raised to do him honour,
And who oft sang the praises of his Battis,
Sitting beneath a plane-tree's shade, Philetas;
In verses that no time shall e'er destroy.
Nor do those men whose lot in life is hard,
Seeking the secret paths of high philosophy,
Or those whom logic's mazes hold in chains,
Or that laborious eloquence of words,
Shun the sharp struggle and sweet strife of Love;
But willing, follow his triumphant car.
Long did the charms of fair Theano bind
The Samian Pythagoras, who laid bare
The tortuous mysteries of geometry;
Who all the mazes of the sphere unfolded,
And knew the laws which regulate the world,
The atmosphere which doth surround the world,
And motions of the sun, and moon, and stars.
Nor did the wisest of all mortal men,
Great Socrates, escape the fierce contagion,
But yielded to the fiery might of Venus,
And to the fascinations of the sex,
Laying his cares down at Aspasia's feet;
And though all doubts of nature he could solve,
He found no refuge from the pursuit of Love.
Love, too, did draw within the narrow Isthmus
The Cyrenean sage: and winning Lais,
With her resistless charms, subdued and bound
Wise Aristippus, who philosophy.
Deserted, and preferr'd a trifling life.
But in this Hermesianax is mistaken where he represents Sappho and Anacreon as contemporaries. For the one lived in the time of Cyrus and Polycrates; but Sappho lived in the reign of Alyattes, the father of Croesus. But Chameleon, in his treatise on Sappho, does assert that some people say that these verses were made upon her by Anacreon—
Love, the golden-haired god,And he says, too, that Sappho says this to him—
Struck me with his purple ball,
[p. 956] And with his many wiles doth seize
And challenge me to sport with him.
But she-and she from Lesbos comes,
That populous and wealthy isle—
Laughs at my hair and calls it grey,
And will prefer a younger lover.
You, O my golden-throned muse,But it is plain enough in reality that this piece of poetry is not Sappho's. And I think myself that Hermesianax is joking concerning the love of Anacreon and Sappho. For Diphilus the comic poet, in his play called Sappho, has represented Archilochus and Hipponax as the lovers of Sappho. Now it appears to me, my friends, that I have displayed some diligence in getting up this amorous catalogue for you, as I myself am not a person so mad about love as Cynulcus, with his calumnious spirit, has represented me. I confess, indeed, that I am amorous, but I do deny that I am frantic on the subject.
Did surely dictate that sweet hymn,
Which the noble Teian bard,
From the fair and fertile isle,
Chief muse of lovely womanhood,
Sang with his dulcet voice.
And why should I dilate upon my sorrows,as Aeschylus the Alexandrian has said in his Amphitryon. And this is the same Aeschylus who composed the Messenian poems—a man entirely without any education.
When I may hide them all in night and silence?
Therefore I, considering that Love is a mighty and most powerful deity, and that the Golden Venus is so too, recollect the verses of Euripides on the subject, and say—
Dost thou not see how great a deityAnd that most magnificent poet Aeschylus, in his Danaides, introduces Venus herself speaking thus—
Resistless Venus is? No tongue can tell,
No calculation can arrive at all
Her power, or her dominions' vast extent;
She nourishes you and me and all mankind,
And I can prove this, not in words alone,
But facts will show the might of this fair goddess.
The earth loves rain when the parch'd plains are dry,
And lose their glad fertility of yield
From want of moisture. Then the ample heaven,
When fill'd with rain, and moved by Venus' power,
Loves to descend to anxious earth's embrace;
[p. 957] Then when these two are join'd in tender love
They are the parents of all fruits to us,
They bring them forth, they cherish them; and so
The race of man both lives and flourishes.
Then, too, the earth feels love, and longs for wedlock,
And rain, descending from the amorous air,
Impregnates his desiring mate; and she
Brings forth delicious food for mortal man,—
Herds of fat sheep, and corn, the gift of Ceres;
The trees love moisture, too, and rain descends
T' indulge their longings, I alone the cause.
And again, in the Hippolytus34 of Euripides, Venus says—
And all who dwell to th' eastward of the sea,And, therefore, in the case of a young man who had every other imaginable virtue, this one fault alone, that he did not honour Venus, was the cause of his destruction. And neither Diana, who loved him exceedingly, nor any other of the gods or demi-gods could defend him; and accordingly, in the words of the same poet,—
And the Atlantic waves, all who behold
The beams of the rising and the setting sun,
Know that I favour those who honour me,
And crush all those who boast themselves against me.
Whoe'er denies that Love's the only god,35And the wise Anacreon, who is in everybody's mouth, is always celebrating love. And, accordingly, the admirable Critias also speaks of him in the following manner:—
Is foolish, ignorant of all that's true,
And knows not him who is the greatest deity
Acknowledged by all nations.
Teos brought forth, a source of pride to Greece,
The sweet Anacreon, who with sweet notes twined
A wreath of tuneful song in woman's praise,
The choicest ornament of revelling feasts,
The most seductive charm; a match for flutes'
Or pipes' shrill aid, or softly moving lyre:
O Teian bard, your fame shall never die;
Age shall not touch it; while the willing slave
Mingles the wine and water in the bowl,
[p. 958] And fills the welcome goblet for the guests;
While female bands, with many twinkling feet,
Lead their glad nightly dance; while many drops,
Daughters of these glad cups; great Bacchus' juice,
Fall with good omen on the cottabus dish.
But Archytas the Harmonist, as Chamæleon calls him, says that Alcman was the original poet of amatory songs, and that he was the first poet to introduce melodies inciting to lawless indulgence,. . . . being, with respect to women . . . . On which account he says in one of his odes—
But Love again, so Venus wills,He says also that he was in a moderate degree in love with Megalostrate, who was a poetess, and who was able to allure lovers to her by the charms of her conversation. And he speaks thus concerning her—
Descends into my heart,
And with his gentle dew refreshes me.
This gift, by the sweet Muse inspired,And Stesichorus, who was in no moderate degree given to amorous pursuits, composed many poems of this kind; which in ancient times were called παιδιὰ and παιδικά. And, in fact, there was such emulation about composing poems of this sort, and so far was any one from thinking lightly of the amatory poets, that Aeschylus, who was a very great poet, and Sophocles, too, introduced the subject of the loves of men on the stage in their tragedies: the one describing the love of Achilles for Patroclus, and the other, in his Niobe, the mutual love of her sons (on which account some men have given an ill name to that tragedy); and all such passages as those are very agreeable to the spectators.
That lovely damsel gave,
The golden-hair'd Megalostrate.
Ibycus, too, of Rhegium, speaks loudly as follows—
In early spring the gold Cydonian apples,[p. 959] And Pindar, who was of an exceedingly amorous disposition, says—
Water'd by streams from ever-flowing rivers,
Where the pure garden of the Virgins is,
And the young grapes, growing beneath the shade
Of ample branches flourish and increase:
But Love, who never rests, gives me no shade,
Nor any recruiting dew; but like the wind,
Fierce rushing from the north, with rapid fire,
Urged on by Venus, with its maddening drought
Burns up my heart, and from my earliest youth,
Rules o'er my soul with fierce dominion.
Oh may it ever be to me to love,On which account Timon, in his Silli, says—
And to indulge my love, remote from fear;
And do not thou, my mind, pursue a chase
Beyond the present number of your years.
There is a time to love, a time to wed,and adds that it is not well to wait until some one else shall say, in the words of this same philosopher—
A time to leave off loving;
And now (for seasonable is the time)
You ought, my soul, to pluck the flowers of love,
Which suit your age.
And he who, looking on the brilliant light that beams
From the sweet countenance of Theoxenus,
Is not subdued by love,
Must have a dark discolour'd heart,
Of adamant or iron made,
And harden'd long in the smith's glowing furnace.
That man is scorn'd by bright-eyed Venus.
Or else he's poor, and care doth fill his breast;
Or else beneath some female insolence
He withers, and so drags on an anxious life:
But I, like comb of wily bees,
Melt under Venus's warm rays,
And waste away while I behold
The budding graces of the youth I love.
Surely at Tenedos, persuasion soft,
And every grace,
Abides in the lovely son of wise Agesilas.
And many men used to be as fond of having boys for their favourites as women for their mistresses. And this was a frequent fashion in many very well regulated cities of Greece. Accordingly, the Cretans, as I have said before, and the Chalcidians in Eubœa, were very much addicted to the custom of having boy-favourites. Therefore Echemens, in his History of Crete, says that it was not Jupiter who carried off Ganymede, but Minos. But the before-mentioned Chalcidians say that Ganymede was carried off from them by [p. 960] Jupiter; and they show the spot, which they call Harpagius;36 and it is a place which produces extraordinary myrtles. And Minos abandoned his enmity to the Athenians, (although it had originated in consequence of the death of his son, out of his love for Theseus: and he gave his daughter Phædra to him for his wife,) as Zenis, or Zeneus, the Chian, tells us in his treatise on Country.
But Hieronymus the Peripatetic says that the ancients were anxious to encourage the practice of having boy-favourites, because the vigorous disposition of youths, and the confidence engendered by their association with each other, has often led to the overthrow of tyrannies. For in the presence of his favourite, a man would choose to do anything rather than to get the character of a coward. And this was proved in practice in the case of the Sacred Band, as it was called, which was established at Thebes by Epaminondas. And the death of the Pisistratidæ was brought about by Harmodius and Aristogiton; and at Agrigentum in Sicily, the mutual love of Chariton and Melanippus produced a similar result, as we are told by Heraclides of Pontus, in his treatise on Amatory Matters. For Melanippus and Chariton, being informed against as plotting against Phalaris, and being put to the torture in order to compel them to reveal their accomplices, not only did not betray them, but even made Phalaris himself pity them, on account of the tortures which they had undergone, so that he dismissed them with great praise. On which account Apollo, being pleased at this conduct, gave Phalaris a respite from death; declaring this to the men who consulted the Pythian priestess as to how they might best attack him. He also gave them an oracle respecting Chariton, putting the Pentameter before the Hexameter, in the same way as afterwards Dionysius the Athenian did, who was nicknamed the Brazen, in his Elegies; and the oracle runs as follows—
Happy were Chariton and Melanippus,The circumstances, too, that happened to Cratinus the Athenian, are very notorious. For he, being a very beautiful boy, at the time when Epimenides was purifying Attica by human sacrifices, on account of some old pollution, as Neanthes of Cyzicus relates in the second book of his treatise on [p. 961] Sacrifices, willingly gave himself up to secure the safety of the woman who had brought him up. And after his death, Apollodorus, his friend, also devoted himself to death, and so the calamities of the country were terminated. Ad owing to favouritism of this kind, the tyrants (for friendships of this sort were very adverse to their interests) altogether forbad the fashion of making favourites of boys, and wholly abolished it. And some of them even burnt down and rased to the ground the palæstræ, considering them as fortresses hostile to their own citadels; as, for instance, Polycrates the tyrant of Samos did.
Authors of heavenly love to many men.
But among the Spartans, as Agnon the Academic philosopher tells us, girls and boys are all treated in the same way before marriage: for the great lawgiver Solon has said—
Admiring pretty legs and rosy lips;—as Aeschylus and Sophocles have openly made similar statements; the one saying, in the Myrmidons—
You paid not due respect to modesty,and the other, in his Colchian Women, speaking of Ganymede, says—
Led by your passion for too frequent kisses;—
Inflaming with his beauty mighty Jove.But I am not ignorant that the stories which are told about Cratinus and Aristodemus are stated by Polemo Periegetes, in his Replies to Neanthes, to be all mere inventions. But you, O Cynulcus, believe that all these stories are true, let them be ever so false. And you take the greatest pleasure in all such poems as turn on boys and favourite; of that kind; while the fashion of making favourites of boys was first introduced among the Grecians from Crete, as Timæus informs us. But others say that Laius was the originator of this custom, when he was received in hospitality by Pelops; and that he took a great fancy to his son, Chrysipps, whom he put into his chariot and carried off, and fled with to Thebes. But Praxilla the Sicyonian says that Chrysippus was carried off by Jupiter. And the Celtæ, too, although they have the most beautiful women of all the barbarians, still make great favourites of boys . . . . . And the Persians, according to the statement of Herodotus, learnt from the Greeks to adopt this fashion.
Alexander the king was also very much in the habit [p. 962] of giving in to this fashion. Accordingly, Dicæarchus, in his treatise on the Sacrifice at Troy, says that he was so much under the influence of Bagoas the eunuch, that he embraced him in the sight of the whole theatre; and that when the whole theatre shouted in approval of the action, he repeated it. And Carystius, in his Historic Commentaries, says,—“Charon the Chalcidian had a boy of great beauty, who was a great favourite of his: but when Alexander, on one occasion, at a great entertainment given by Craterus, praised this boy very much, Charon bade the boy go and salute Alexander: and he said, 'Not so, for he will not please me so much as he will vex you.' For though the king was of a very amorous disposition, still he was at all times sufficiently master of himself to have a due regard to decorum, and to the preservation of appearances. And in the same spirit, when he had taken as prisoners the daughters of Darius, and his wife, who was of extraordinary beauty, he not only abstained from offering them any insult, but he took care never to let them feel that they were prisoners at all; but ordered them to be treated in every respect, and to be supplied with everything, just as if Darius had still been in his palace; on which account, Darius, when he heard of this conduct, raised his hands to the Sun and prayed that either he might be king, or Alexander.” But Ibycus states that Talus was a great favourite of Rhadamanthus the Just. And Diotimus, in his Heraclea, says that Eurystheus was a great favourite of Hercules, on which account he willingly endured all his labours for his sake. And it is said that Argynnus was a favourite of Agamemnon; and that they first became acquainted from Agamemnon seeing Argynnus bathing in the Cephisus. And afterwards, when he was drowned in this river, (for he was continually bathing in it,) Agamemnon buried him, and raised a temple on the spot to Venus Argynnis. But Licymnius of Chios, in his Dithyrambics, says that it was Hymenæus of whom Argynnus was a favourite. And Aristocles the harp-player was a favourite of King Antigonus: and Antigonus the Carystian, in his Life of Zeno, writes of him in the following terms: —“Antigonus the king used often to go to sup with Zeno; and once, as he was returning by daylight from some entertainment, he went to Zeno's house, and persuaded him to go [p. 963] with him to sup with Aristocles the harp-player, who was an excessive favourite of the king's.”
Sophocles, too, had a great fancy for hating boy-favourites, equal to the addiction of Euripides for women. And accordingly, Ion the poet, in his book on the Arrival of Illustrious Men in the Island of Chios, writes thus:—"I met Sophocles the poet in Chios, when he was sailing to Lesbos as the general: he was a man very pleasant over his wine, and very witty. And when Hermesilaus, who was connected with him by ancient ties of hospitality, and who was also the proxenus37 of the Athenians, entertained him, the boy who was mixing the wine was standing by the fire, being a boy of a very beautiful complexion, but made red by the fire: so Sophocles called him and said, 'Do you wish me to drink with pleasure? and when he said that he did, he said, 'Well, then, bring me the cup, and take it away again in a leisurely manner.' And as the boy blushed all the more at this, Sophocles said to the guest who was sitting next to him, 'How well did Phrynichus speak when he said—
The light of love doth shine in purple cheeks.And a man from Eretria, or from Erythræ, who was a school— [p. 964] master, answered him,—' You are a great man in poetry, O Sophocles; but still Phrynichus did not say well when he called purple cheeks a mark of beauty. For if a painter were to cover the cheeks of this boy with purple paint he would not be beautiful at all. And so it is not well to compare what is beautiful with what is not so.' And on this Sophocles, laughing at the Eretrian, said,—' Then, my friend, I suppose you are not pleased with the line in Simonides which is generally considered among the Greeks to be a beautiful one—
And you do not either like the poet who spoke of the golden-haired' Apollo; for if a painter were to represent the hair of the god as actually golden, and not black, the picture would be all the worse. Nor do you approve of the poet who spoke of rosy-fingered.38 For if any one were to dip his fingers in rosy-coloured paint he would make his hands like those of a purple-dyer, and not of a pretty woman.' And when they all laughed at this, the Eretrian was checked by the reproof; and Sophocles again turned to pursue the conversation with the boy; for he asked him, as he was brushing away the straws from the cup with his little finger, whether he saw any straws: and when he said that he did, he said, 'Blow them away, then, that you may not dirty your fingers.' And when he brought his face near the cup he held the cup nearer to his own mouth, so as to bring his own head nearer to the head of the boy. And when he was very near he took him by the hand and kissed him. And when all clapped their hands, laughing and shouting out, to see how well he had taken the boy in, he said, ' I, my friends, am meditating on the art of generalship, since Pericles has said that I know how to compose poetry, but not how to be a general; now has not this stratagem of mine succeeded perfectly?' And he both said and did many things of this kind in a witty manner, drinking and giving himself up to mirth: but as to political affairs he was not able nor energetic in them, but behaved as any other virtuous Athenian might have done. [p. 965]
The maid pour'd forth a gentle voice
From out her purple mouth.Pindar, Ol. vi. 71.
And Hieronymus of Rhodes, in his Historic Commen- taries, says that Sophocles was not always so moderate, but that he at times committed grater excesses, and gave Euripides a handle to reproach him, as bringing himself into disrepute by his excessive intemperance.
And Theopompus, in his treatise on the Treasures of which the Temple at Delphi was plundered, says that “Asopichus, being a favourite of Epaminondas, had the trophy of Leuctra represented in relief on his shield, and that he encountered danger with extraordinary gallantry; and that this shield is consecrated at Delphi, in the portico.” And in the same treatise, Theopompus further alleges that “Phayllus, the tyrant of Phocis, was extremely addicted to women; but that Onomarchus used to select boys as his favourites: and that he had a favourite, the son of Pythodorus the Sicyonian, to whom, when he came to Delphi to devote his hair to the god (and he was a youth of great beauty), Onomarchus gave the offerings of the Sybarites-four golden combs. And Phayllus gave to the daughter of Diniades, who was a female flute-player, a Bromiadian,39 a silver goblet of the Phocæans, and a golden crown of ivy-leaves, the offering of the Peparethians. And,” he says, "she was about to play the flute at the Pythian games, if she had not been hindered by the populace. “Onomarchus also gave,” as he says, "to his favourite Lycolas, and to Physcidas the son of Tricholaus (who was very handsome), a crown of laurel, the offering of the Ephesians. This boy was brought also to Philip by his father, but was dismissed without any favour. Onomarchus also gave to Damippus, the son of Epilycus of Amphipolis, who was a youth of great beauty, a present which had been consecrated to the god by Plisthenes. “And Philomelus gave to Pharsalia, a dancing-woman from Thessaly, a golden crown of laurel-leaves, which had been offered by the Lampsacenes. But Pharsalia herself was afterwards torn to pieces at Metapontum, by the soothsayers, in the market-place, on the occasion of a voice coming forth out of the brazen laurel which the people of Metapontum had set up at the time when Aristeas of Proconnesus was sojourning among them, on his return, as he stated, from the [p. 966] Hyperboreans, the first moment that she was seen entering the market-place. And when men afterwards inquired into the reason for this violence, she was found to have been put to death on account of this crown which belonged to the god.”
Now I warn you, O philosophers, who indulge in unnatural passions, and who treat the great goddess Venus with impiety, to beware, lest you be destroyed in the same manner. For boys are only handsome, as Glycera the courtesan said, while they are like women: at least, this is the saying attributed to her by Clearchus. But my opinion is that the conduct of Cleonymus the Spartan was in strict conformity with nature, who was the first man to take such hostages as he took from the Metapontines—namely, two hundred of their most respectable and beautiful virgins; as is related by Duris the Samian, in the third book of his History of Agathocles. And I too, as is said by Epicrates in his Antilais,
Have learnt by heart completely all the songsBut you, my philosophical friends, even when you are in love with women . . . . . . . . . . . . . as Clearchus says. For a bull was excited by the sight of the brazen cow at Pirene: and in a picture that existed of a bitch, and a pigeon, and a goose; and a gander came up to the goose, and a dog to the bitch, and a male pigeon to the pigeon, and not one of them discovered the deception till they got close to them; but when they got near enough to touch them, they desisted; just as Clisophus the Salymbrian did. For he fell in love with a statue of Parian marble that then was at Samos, and shut himself up in the temple to gratify his affection; but when he found that he could make no impression on the coldness and unimpressibility of the stone, then he discarded his passion. And Alexis the poet mentions this circumstance in his drama entitled The Picture, where he says—
Breathing of love which sweetest Sappho sang,
Or the Lamynthian Cleomenes.
And such another circumstance, they say,And Philemon mentions the same fact, and says—
Took place in Samos: there a man did fall
In love with a fair maiden wrought in marble,
And shut himself up with her in the temple.
But once a man, 'tis said, did fall, at Samos,[p. 967] But the statue spoken of is the work of Ctesicles; as Adæus of Mitylene tells us in his treatise on Statuaries. And Polemo, or whoever the author of the book called Helladicus is, says—"At Delphi, in the museum of the pictures, there are two boys wrought in marble; one of which, the Delphians say, was so fallen in love with by some one who came to see it, that he made love to it, and shut himself up with it, and presented it with a crown; but when he was detected, the god ordered the Delphians, who consulted his oracle with reference to the subject, to dismiss him freely, for that he had given him a handsome reward.
In love with a marble woman; and he went
And shut himself up with her in the temple.
And even brute beasts have fallen in love with men: for there was a cock who took a fancy to a man of the name of Secundus, a cupbearer of the king; and the cock was nicknamed the Centaur. But this Secundus was a slave of Nicomedes the king of Bithynia; as Nicander informs us in the sixth book of his essay on the Revolutions of Fortune. And, at Egium, a goose took a fancy to a boy; as Clearchus relates in the first book of his Amatory Anecdotes. And Theophrastus, in his essay on Love, says that the name of this boy was Amphilochus, and that he was a native of Olenus. And Hermeas the son of Hermodorus, who was a Samian by birth, says that a goose also took a fancy to Lacydes the philosopher. And in Leucadia according to a story told by Clearchus), a peacock fell so in love with a maiden there, that when she died, the bird died top. There is a story also that, at Iasus, a dolphin took a fancy to a boy (and this story is told by Duris, in the ninth book of his History); and the subject of that book is the history of Alexander, and the historian's words are these: "He likewise sent for the boy from Iasus. For near Iasus there was a boy whose name was Dionysius, and he once, when leaving the palæstra with the rest of the boys, went down to the sea and bathed; and a dolphin came forward out of the deep water to meet him, and taking him on his back, swam sway with him a considerable distance into the open sea, and then brought him back again to land." But the dolphin is an animal which is very fond of men, and very intelligent, and one very susceptible of gratitude. Accordingly Phylarchus, in his twelfth book, says—“Coiranus the Milesian, when he saw some fishermen who had caught a dolphin in a net, and who [p. 968] were about to cut it up, gave them some money and bought the fish, and took it down and put it back in the sea again. And after this it happened to him to be shipwrecked near Myconos, and while every one else perished, Coiranus alone was saved by a dolphin. And when, at last, he died of old age in his native country, as it so happened that his funeral procession passed along the sea-shore close to Miletus, a great shoal of dolphins appeared on that day in the harbour, keeping only a very little distance from those who were attending the funeral of Coiranus, as if they also were joining in the procession and sharing in their grief.” The same Phylarchus also relates, in the twentieth book of his History, the great affection which was once displayed by an elephant for a boy. And his words are these: “But there was a female elephant kept with this elephant, and the name of the female elephant was Nicæa; and to her the wife of the king of India, when dying, entrusted her child, which was just a month old. And when the woman did die, the affection for the child displayed by the beast, was most extraordinary; for it could not endure the child to be away; and whenever it did not see him, it was out of spirits. And so, whenever the nurse fed the infant with milk, she placed it in its cradle between the feet of the beast; and if she had not done so, the elephant would not take any food; and after this, it would take whatever reeds and grass there were near, and, while the child was sleeping, beat away the flies with the bundle. And whenever the child wept, it would rock the cradle with its trunk, and lull it to sleep. And very often the male elephant did the same.”
But you, O philosophers, are far fiercer than dolphins and elephants, and are also much more untameable; although Persæus the Cittiæan, in his Recollections of Banquets, says loudly,—“It is a very consistent subject of conversation at drinking-parties for men to talk of amatory matters; for we are naturally inclined to such topics after drinking. And at those times we should praise those who indulge in that kind of conversation to a moderate and temperate degree, but blame those who go to excess in it, and behave in a beastly manner. But if logicians, when assembled in a social party, were to talk about syllogisms, then a man might very fairly think that they were acting very unseasonably. And a [p. 969] respectable and virtuous man will at times get drunk; but they who wish to appear extraordinarily temperate, keep up this character amid their cups for a certain time, but afterwards, as the wine begins to take effect on them, they descend to every kind of impropriety and indecency. And this was the case very lately with the ambassadors who came to Antigonus from Arcadia; for they sat at dinner with great severity of countenance, and with great propriety, as they thought,- not only not looking at any one of us, but not even looking at one another. But as the wine went round, and music of different kinds was introduced, and when the Thessalian dancing-women, as their fashion is, came in, and danced quite naked, except that they had girdles round their waists, then the men could not restrain themselves any longer, but jumped up off the couches, and shouted as if they were beholding a most gratifying sight; and they congratulated the king because he had it in his power to indulge in such pastimes; and they did and said a great many more vulgar things of the same kind. "And one of the philosophers who was once drinking with us, when a flute-playing girl came in, and when there was plenty of room near him, when the girl wished to sit down near him, would not allow her, but drew himself up and looked grave. And then afterwards, when the girl was put up to auction, as is often the fashion at such entertainments, he was exceedingly eager to buy her, and quarrelled with the man who sold her, on the ground that he had knocked her down too speedily to some one else; and he said that the auctioneer had not fairly sold her. And at last his grave philosopher, he who at first would not permit the girl even to sit near him, came to blows about her." And perhaps this very philosopher, who came to blows about the flute-playing girl, may have been Persæus himself; for Antinus the Carystian, in his treatise on Zeno, makes the following statement:—“Zeno the Cittiæan, when once Persæus and a drinking-party bought a flute-playing girl, and after that was afraid to bring her home, because he lived in the same house with Zeno, becoming acquainted with the circumstance, brought the girl home himself, and shut her up with Persæus.” I know, also, that Polystratus the Athenian, who was a pupil of Theophrastus, and who was surnamed the [p. 970] Tyrrhenian, used often to put on the garments of the female flute-players.
Kings, too, have shown great anxiety about musical women; as Parmenion tells us in his Letter to Alexander, which he sent to that monarch after he had taken Damascus, and after he had become master of all the baggage of Darius. Accordingly, having enumerated all the things which he had taken, he writes as follows:—“I found three hundred and twenty-nine concubines of the king, all skilled in music; and forty-six men who were skilful in making garlands, and two hundred and seventy-seven confectioners, and twenty-nine boilers of pots, and thirteen cooks skilful in pre- paring milk, and seventeen artists who mixed drinks, and seventy slaves who strain wine, and forty preparers of perfumes.” And I say to you, O my companions, that there is no sight which has a greater tendency to gladden the eyes than the beauty of a woman. Accordingly Œneus, in the play of Chæremon the tragedian, speaking of some maidens whom he had seen, says, in the play called Œneus,—
And one did lie with garment well thrown back,
Showing her snow-white bosom to the moon:
Another, as she lightly danced, display'd
The fair proportions of her lefthand side,
Naked-a lovely picture for the air
To wanton with; and her complexion white
Strove with the darkening shades. Another bared
Her lovely arms and taper fingers all:
Another, with her robe high round her neck,
Conceal'd her bosom, but a rent below
Show'd all her shapely thighs. The Graces smiled,
And love, not without hope, did lead me on.
Then on th' inviting asphodel they fell,
Plucking the dark leaves of the violet flower,
And crocus, which, with purple petals rising,
Copies the golden rays of the early sun.
There, too, the Persian sweetly-smelling marjoram
Stretch'd out its neck along the laughing meadow.
And the same poet, being passionately fond of flowers, says also in his Alphesibcea—
The glorious beauty of her dazzling body[p. 971] And in his Io he calls the flowers children of spring, where he says—
Shone brilliant, a sweet sight to every eye;
And modesty, a tender blush exciting,
Tinted her gentle cheeks with delicate rose:
Her waxy hair, in gracefully modell'd curls,
Falling as though arranged by sculptor's hand,
Waved in the wanton breeze luxuriant.
Strewing around sweet children of the spring.And in his Centaur, which is a drama composed in many metres of various kinds, he calls them children of the meadow—
There, too, they did invade the countless hostAnd in his Bacchus he says—
Of all the new-born flowers that deck the fields,
Hunting with joy the offspring of the meadows.
The ivy, lover of the dance,And in his Ulysses he speaks thus of roses:—
Child of the mirthful year.
And in their hair the Hours' choicest giftsAnd in his Thyestes he says—
They wore, the flowering, fragrant rose,
The loveliest foster-child of spring.
The brilliant rose, and modest snow-white lily.And in his Minyæ he says—
There was full many a store of Venus to view,
Dark in the rich flowers in due season ripe.
Now there have been many women celebrated for their beauty (for, as Euripides says—
E'en an old bard may sing of memory)There was, for instance, Thargelia the Milesian, who was married to fourteen different husbands, so very beautiful and accomplished was she, as Hippias the Sophist says, in his book which is entitled Synagoge. But Dinon, in the fifth book of his History of Persia, and in the first part of it, says that the wife of Bagazus, who was a sister of Xerxes by the same father, (and her name was Anytis,) was the most beautiful and the most licentious of all the woman in Asia. And Phylarchus, in his nineteenth book, says that Timosa, the concubine of Oxyartes, surpassed all women in beauty, and that the king of Egypt had originally sent her as a present to Statira, the wife of the king. And Theopompus, in the fifty-sixth book of his History, speaks of Xenopithea, the mother of Lysandrides, as the most beautiful of all the women in Peloponnesus. And the Lacedæmonians put her to death, and her sister Chryse also, when Agesilaus the king, having raised a seditious tumult in the city, procured Lysandrides, who was his enemy, to be banished by the Lacedæmonians. Pantica of Cyprus was [p. 972] also a very beautiful woman; and she is mentioned by Phylarchus, in the tenth book of his History, where he says that when she was with Olympias, the mother of Alexander, Monimus, the son of Pythion, asked her in marriage. And, as she was a very licentious woman, Olympias said to him— “O wretched man, you are marrying with your eyes, and not with your understanding.” They also say that the woman who brought back Pisistratus to assume the tyranny, clad in the semblance of Minerva the Saviour, was very beautiful, as indeed she ought to have been, seeing that she assumed the appearance of a goddess. And she was a seller of garlands; and Pisistratus afterwards gave her in marriage to Hipparchus his son, as Clidemus relates in the eighth book of his Returns, where he says—-“And he also gave the woman, by name Phya, who had been in the chariot with him, in marriage to his son Hipparchus. And she was the daughter of a man named Socrates. And he took for Hippias, who succeeded him in the tyranny, the daughter of Charmus the polemarch, who was extraordinarily beautiful.” And it happened, as it is said, that Charmus was a great admirer of Hippias, and that he was the man who first erected a statue of Love in the Academy, on which there is the following inscription—
O wily Love, Charmus this altar raisedHesiod, also, in the third book of his Melampodia, calls Chalcis in Eubœa,
At the well-shaded bounds of her Gymnasium.
Land of fair women;—for the women there are very beautiful, as Theophrastus also asserts. And Nymphodorus, in his Voyage round Asia, says that there are nowhere more beautiful women than those in Tenedos, an island close to Troy.
I am aware, too, that on one occasion there was a contest of beauty instituted among women. And Nicias, speaking of it in his History of Arcadia, says that Cypselus instituted it, having built a city in the plain which is watered by the Alpheus; in which he established some Parrhasians, and consecrated a plot of sacred ground and an altar to Ceres of Eleusis, in whose festival it was that he had instituted this contest of beauty. And he says that the woman who gained the victory in this contest was Herodice. And [p. 973] even to this day this contest is continued; and the women who contend in it are called Goldbearing. And Theophrastus says that there is also a contest of beauty which takes place among the Eleans, and that the decision is come to with great care and deliberation; and that those who gain the victory receive arms as their prize, which Dionysius of Leuctra says are offered up to Minerva. And he says, too, that the victor is adorned with fillets by his friends, and goes in procession to the temple; and that a crown of myrtle is given to him (at least this is the statement of Myrsilus, in his Historical Paradoxes). “But in some places,” says the same Theophrastus, “there are contests between the women in respect of modesty and good management, as there are among the barbarians; and at other places also there are contests about beauty, on the ground that this also is entitled to honour, as for instance, there are in Tenedos and Lesbos. But they say that this is the gift of chance, or of nature; but that the honour paid to modesty ought to be one of a greater degree. For that it is in consequence of modesty that beauty is beautiful; for without modesty it is apt to be subdued by intemperance.”
Now, when Myrtilus had said all this in a connected statement; and when all were marvelling at his memory, Cynulcus said—
Your multifarious learning I do wonder at—says Hippon the Atheist. But the divine Heraclitus also says—“A great variety of information does not usually give wisdom.” And Timon said—
Though there is not a thing more vain and useless,
There is great ostentation and paradeFor what is the use of so many names, my good grammarian, which are more calculated to overwhelm the hearers than to do them any good? And if any one were to inquire of you, who they were who were shut up in the wooden horse, you would perhaps be able to tell the names of one or two; and even this you would not do out of the verses of Stesichorus, (for that could hardly be,) but out of the Storming of Troy, by Sacadas the Argive; for he has given a catalogue of a great number of names. Nor indeed could you properly [p. 974] give a list of the companions of Ulysses, and say who they were who were devoured by the Cyclops, or by the Læstrygonians, and whether they were really devoured or not. And you do not even know this, in spite of your frequent mention of Phylarchus, that in the cities of the Ceans it is not possible to see either courtesans or female flute-players. And Myrtilus said,—But where has Phylarchus stated this For I have read through all his history. And when he said,—In the twenty-third book; Myrtilus said—
Of multifarious learning, than which nothing
Can be more vain or useless.
Do I not then deservedly detest all you philosophers, since you are all haters of philology,—men whom not only did Lysimachus the king banish from his own dominions, as Carystius tells us in his Historic Reminiscenses, but the Athenians did so too. At all events, Alexis, in his Horse, says—
Is this the Academy; is this Xenocrates?And a certain man named Sophocles, passed a decree to banish all the philosophers from Attica. And Philo, the friend of Aristotle, wrote an oration against him; and Demochares, on the other hand, who was the cousin of Demosthenes, composed a defence for Sophocles. And the Romans, who are in every respect the best of men, banished all the sophists from Rome, on the ground of their corrupting the youth of the city, though, at a subsequent time, somehow or other, they admitted them. And Anaxippus the comic poet declares your folly in his Man struck by Lightning, speaking thus—
May the gods greatly bless Demetrius
And all the lawgivers; for, as men say,
They've driven out of Attica with disgrace
All those who do profess to teach the youth
Learning and science.
Alas, you're a philosopher; but IIt is, therefore, with good reason that many cities, and especially the city of the Lacedæmonians, as Chamæleon says in his book on Simonides, will not admit either rhetoric or philosophy, on account of the jealousy, and strife, and profitless discussions to which they give rise; owing to which it was that, Socrates was put to death; he, who argued [p. 975] against the judges who were given him by lot, discoursing of justice to them when they were a pack of most corrupt men. And it is owing to this, too, that Theodorus the Atheist was put to death, and that Diagoras was banished; and this latter, sailing away when he was banished, was wrecked. But Theotimus, who wrote the books against Epicurus, was accused by Zeno the Epicurean, and put to death; as is related by Demetrius the Magnesian, in his treatise in People and Things which go by the same Name.
Do think philosophers are only wise
In quibbling about words; in deeds they are,
As far as I can see, completely foolish.
And, in short, according to Clearchus the Solensian, you do not adopt a manly system of life, but you do really aim at a system which might become a dog; but although this animal has four excellent qualities, you select none but the worst of his qualities for your imitation. For a dog is a wonderful animal as to his power of smelling and of distinguishing what belongs to his own family and what does not; and the way in which he associates with man and the manner in which he watches over and protects the houses of all those who are kind to him, is extraordinary. But you who imitate the dogs, do neither of these things. For you do not associate with men, nor do you distinguish, between those with whom you are acquainted; and being very deficient in sensibility, you live in an indolent and indifferent manner. But while the dog is also a snarling and greedy animal, and also hard in his way of living, and naked; these habits of his you practise, being abusive and gluttonous, and, besides all this, living without a home or a hearth. The result of all which circumstances is, that you are destitute of virtue, and quite unserviceable for any useful purpose in life. For there is nothing less philosophical than those persons who are called philosophers. For whoever supposed that Aeschines, the pupil of Socrates, would have been such a man in his manners as Lysias the orator, in his speeches on the Contracts, represents him to have been; when, out of the dialogues which are extant, and generally represented to be his work, we are inclined to admire him as an equitable and moderate man? unless, indeed, those writings are in reality the work of the wise Socrates, and were given to Aeschines by Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, after his death, which Idomeneus asserts to be the case.
But Lysias, in the oration which bears this title— [p. 976] “Against Aeschines, the Pupil of Socrates, for Debt,” (for I will recite the passage, even though it be a rather long one, on account of your excessive arrogance, O philosophers,)— begins in the following manner—“I never should have imagined, O judges, that Aeschines would have dared to come into court on a trial which is so discreditable to him. For a more disgracefully false accusation than the one which he has brought forward, I do not believe it to be easy to find. For he, O judges, owing a sum of money with a covenanted interest of three drachmæ to Sosinomus the banker and Aristogiton, came to me, and besought me not to allow him to be wholly stripped of his own property, in consequence of this high interest. ' And I,' said he, am at this moment carrying on the trade of a perfumer; but I want capital to go on with, and I will pay you nine40 obols a month interest.” A fine end to the happiness of this philosopher was the trade of a perfumer, and admirably harmonizing with the philosophy of Socrates, a man who utterly rejected the use of all perfumes and unguents! And moreover, Solon the lawgiver expressly forbade a man to devote himself to any such business: on which account Pherecrates, in his Oven, or Woman sitting up all Night, says—
Why should he practise a perfumer's trade,And presently afterwards he says—
Sitting beneath a high umbrella there,
Preparing for himself a seat on which
To gossip with the youths the whole day long?
And no one ever saw a female cookAnd after what I have already quoted, the orator proceeds to say—“And I was persuaded by this speech of his, considering also that this Aeschines had been the pupil of Socrates, and was a man who uttered fine sentiments about [p. 977] virtue and justice, and who would never attempt nor venture on the actions practised by dishonest and unjust men.”
Or any fishwoman; for every class
Should practise arts which are best suited to it.
And after this again, after he had run through the accusation of Aeschines, and had explained how he had bor- rowed the money, and how he never paid either interest or principal, and how, when an action was brought against him, he had allowed judgment to go by default, and how a branded slave of his had been put forward by him as security; and after he had brought a good many more charges of the same kind against him, he thus proceeded:—“But, O judges, I am not the only person to whom he behaves in this manner, but he treats every one who has any dealings with him in the same manner. Are not even all the wine-sellers who live near him, from whom he gets wine for his entertainments and never pays for it, bringing actions against him, having already closed their shops against him? And his neighbours are ill- treated by him to such a degree that they leave their own houses, and go and rent others which are at a distance from him. And with respect to all the contributions which he collects, he never himself puts down the remaining share which is due from him, but all the money which ever gets into this pedlar's hands is lost as if it were utterly destroyed. And such a number of men come to his house daily at dawn, to ask for their money which he owes them, that passers-by suppose he must be dead, and that such a crowd can only be collected to attend his funeral. “And those men who live in the Piræus have such an opi- nion of him, that they think it a far less perilous business to sail to the Adriatic than to deal with him; for he thinks that all that he can borrow is much more actually his own thin what his father left him. Has he not got possession of the property of Hermæus the perfumer, after having seduced his wife, though she was seventy years old? whom he pretended to be in love with, and then treated in such a manner that she reduced her husband and her sons to beggary, and made him a per- fumer instead of a pedlar! in so amorous a manner did he handle the damsel, enjoying the fruit of her youth, when it would have been less trouble to him to count her teeth than the fingers of her hand, they were so much fewer And now come forward, you witnesses, who will prove these facts. —This, then, is the life of this sophist.” [p. 978] These, O Cynulcus, are the words of Lysias. But I, in the words of Aristarchus the tragic poet,
Saying no more, but this in self-defence,will now cease my attack upon you and the rest of the Cynics.