previous next

After this had been said, Cynulcus asked for some spiced and boiled water to drink; saying that he rust wash down all those salt arguments with sweet drink. And Ulpian said to him with some indignation, and slapping his pillow with his hand,—How long will it be before you leave off your barbarian tricks? Will you never stop till I am force to leave the party and go away, being unable to digest all your absurd speeches? And he replied,—Now that I am at Rome, the Sovereign City, I use the language of the natives habitually; for among the ancient poets, and among those prose writers who pique themselves on the purity of their Greek, you may find some Persian nouns, because of their having got into a habit of using them in conversation. As for instance, one finds mention made of parasangs, and astandæ, and angari (couriers), and a schœnus or perch, which last word is used either as a masculine or feminine noun, and it is a measure on the road, which retains even to this day that Persian name with many people. I know, too, that many of the Attic writers affect to imitate Macedonian expressions, on account of the great intercourse that there was between Attica and Macedonia. But it would be better, in my opinion,
To drink the blood of hulls, and so prefer
The death of great Themistocles,
than to fall into your power. For I could not say, to drink the water of bulls; as to which you do not know what it is. Nor do you know that even among the very best poets and prose writers there are some things said which are not quite allowable. Accordingly Cephisodorus, the pupil of Isocrates the orator, in the third of his treatises addressed to Aristotle, says that a man might find several things expressed incorrectly by the other poets and sophists; as for instance, the expression used by Archilochus, That every man was immodest; and that apophthegm of Theodorus, That a man ought to get all he can, but to praise equality and moderation; and also, the celebrated line of Euripides about the tongue having spoken; and even by Sophocles, the lines which occur in the Aethiopians— [p. 202]
These things I say to you to give you pleasure,
Not wishing to do aught by violence:
And do thou, like wise men, just actions praise,
And keep thy hands and heart from unjust gain.
And in another place the same poet says—
I think no words, if companied by gain,
Pernicious or unworthy.
And in Homer, we find Juno represented as plotting against Jupiter, and Mars committing adultery. And for these sentiments and speeches those writers are universally blamed.

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

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

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: