BUT since, O Timocrates, we have now had a great deal of conversation on the subject of banquets in all that has been hitherto said; and since we have passed over those things in them which are most useful and which do not weigh down the soul, but which cheer it, and nourish it by variety of food, as the divine Homer incidentally teaches us, I will also mention what has been said concerning these things by that most excellent writer Masyrius. For we, as the beautiful Agathon says—
Do what is more than needful as if needful,The poet accordingly says, when he is speaking of Menelaus—
And treat our real work as if it were superfluous.
At the fair dome the rapid labour ends,1as it was a custom to celebrate banquets at marriages, both for the sake of the gods who preside over marriage, and as it were for a testimony to the marriage; and also, the king of Lycia instructs us what sort of banquet ought to be given to foreigners, receiving Bellerophon with great magnificence—
Where sat Atrides 'midst his bridal friends,
With double vows invoking Hymen's power
To bless his son's and daughter's nuptial hour:—
There Lycia's monarch paid him honours due,2
Nine days he feasted, and nine bulls he slew.
For wine appears to have a very attractive influence in promoting friendship, as it warms and also melts the soul. On [p. 288] which account the ancients did not ask who a man was before drinking, but afterwards; as honouring the laws of hospitality itself, and not this or that particular individual. But the lawgivers, taking care beforehand of the banquets of the present day, have appointed feasts for the tribe, and feasts for the borough; and also general banquets, and entertainments to the ward, and others also called orgeonica. And there are many meetings of philosophers in the city, some called the pupils of Diogenes, and others, pupils of Antipater, others again styled disciples of Panætius. And Theophrastus bequeathed money for an entertainment of that sort. Not, by Jove, in order that the philosophers assembled might indulge in intemperance, but in order that during the banquet they might have a wise and learned conversation. And the Prytanes were accustomed every day to meet in well-regulated banquets, which tended to the advantage of the state. And it was to such a banquet as that Demosthenes says the news of the taking of Elatea was brought. “For it was evening, and a man came bringing news to the Prytanes that Elatea was taken.” And the philosophers used to be careful to collect the young men, and to feast with them according to some well-considered and carefully laid down law. Accordingly, there were some laws for banquets laid down by Xenocrates, in the Academy, and again by Aristotle. But the Phiditia in Sparta, and the Andrea, or man's feasts, among the Cretans, were celebrated in their respective cities with all imaginable care. On which account some one said not unwisely—
Dear friends should never long abstain from feasts,And Antipater the philosopher once assembled a banqueting party, and invited all the guests on the understanding that they were to discuss subtle questions. And they say that Arcesilaus, being once invited to a banquet, and sitting next to a man who ate voraciously, while he himself was unable to enjoy anything, when some one of those who were present offered him something, said—
For e'en the memory of them is delightful.
May it be well with you; be this for Telephus:for it so happened that the epicure by his side was named Telephus. But Zeno, when some epicure who was at the same party with him snatched away the upper half of the fish [p. 289] the moment that it was placed on the table, turned the fish round himself, and took the remaining portion, saying—
Then Ino came and finish'd what was left.And Socrates seeing a man once devouring dainties eagerly, Said—O you bystanders, which of you eats bread as if it were sweetmeats, and sweetmeats as if they were bread?
But now let us speak of the banquets celebrated by Homer. For the poet gives us the different times of them, and the persons present, and the causes of them. And Xenophon and Plato have done well to imitate him in this; who at the very beginning of their treatises set forth the cause which gave rise to the banquet, and mention the names of those who were present. But Epicurus never defines either the place or the time, nor does he preface his accounts with any preliminary statement. But Aristotle says that it is an unseemly thing for a man to come unwashed and covered with dust to a banquet. Then Homer instructs us who ought to be invited; saying that one ought to invite the chiefs, and men of high reputation—
He bade the noblest of the Grecian peers,3not acting on the principle asserted by Hesiod, for he bids men invite chiefly their neighbours—
Then bid your neighbours to the well-spread feast,For such a banquet would be one of rustic stupidity; and adapted to the most misanthropic of proverbs—
Who live the nearest, and who know you best.4
Friends who far off do live are never friends.For how can it be anything but nonsense that friendship should depend on place and not on disposition? Therefore we find in Homer, that after the cup had gone round,
Then the old man his counsels first disclosed;5but among people who did not regulate their banquets in an orderly manner we read—
Then first the flatterer rose with mocking speech.Besides, Homer introduces guests differing in ages and tastes, such as Nestor, Ulysses, and Ajax, who are all invited together. And speaking in general terms he represents all who lay claim to any sort of eminence as invited, and individually those who arrive at it by different roads. But Epicuus has represented all his guests as believers in the atonic theory, [p. 290] and this, too, though he had models both in the variety of the banquets of the great poet, and also in the elegant accounts of Plato and Xenophon; of whom Plato has introduced Eryximachus the physician, and Aristophanes the poet, and other professors of different branches of science, discussing matters of weight: and Xenophon has mingled with them some private individuals. Homer therefore has done much the best of all, and has given us by far the best banquets; and that again is best seen by comparing him with others. For the banquet of the suitors in Homer is just such as might be expected from young men devoted to drinking and love; and that of the Phæacians is more orderly, but still luxurious. And he has made a wide distinction between these entertainments and those which may be called military banquets, and those which have reference to political affairs and are conducted in a well-regulated manner: and again he has distinguished between public and family banquets. But Epicurus has described a banquet consisting of philosophers alone.
Homer, too, has pointed out whom one ought not to invite, but who ought to consider that they have a right to come uninvited, showing by the presence of one of the relations that those in similar circumstances had a right to be present—
Unbidden there the brave Atrides came.6For it is plain that one ought not to send a formal invitation to one's brother, or to one's parents, or to one's wife, or to any one else whom one can possibly regard in the same light as these relations, for that would be a cold and unfriendly proceeding. And some one has written an additional line, adding the reason why Menelaus had no invitation sent him, and yet came—
For well he knew how busy was his brother:as if there had been any need of alleging a reason why his brother should come of his own accord to a banquet without any invitation,—a very sufficient reason having been already given. “For,” said the interpolater of this line, “did he not know that his brother was giving a banquet? And how can it be otherwise than absurd to pretend that he did not know it, when his sacrifice of oxen was notorious and visible to every one? And how could he have come if he had not [p. 291] known it Or, by Jove, when he saw him,” he continues, “occupied with business, was it not quite right of him to excuse his not having sent him an invitation, and to come of his own accord?” As if he were to say that he came uninvited in order that the next day they might not look at one another, the one with feelings of mortification, ad the other of annoyance. But it would be an absurd thing to suppose that Menelaus forgot his brother, and this, too, when he was not only sacrificing on his account at the present moment, but when it was on his account that he had undertaken the whole war, and when he had invited those who were no relations of his, and who had no connexion even with his country. But Athenocles the Cyzicene, understanding the poems of Homer better than Aristarchus did, speaks in a much more sensible manner to us, and says that Homer omitted to mention Menelaus as having been invited because he was more nearly related to Agamemnon than the others. But Demetrius Phalereus having asserted that interpolated verse to be a bungling and unseasonable addition, quite unsuited to the poetry of Homer,—-the verse, I mean,
For well he knew how busy was his brother,says that he is accusing him of very ungentlemanly manners. “For I think,” says he, “that every well-bred man has relations and friends to whom he may go, when they are celebrating any sacrifice, without waiting for them to send him an invitation.”
And Plato in his Banquet speaks in the same manner on this subject. “For,” says he, “that we may destroy the proverb by altering it: Good men may go of their own accord to feasts given by good men. For Homer appears not only to have destroyed that proverb, but also to have ridiculed it; for having represented Agamemnon as valiant in warlike matters, and Menelaus as an effeminate warrior, when Agamemnon celebrates a sacrifice, he represents Menelaus as coming uninvited,—that is, the worse man coming to the feast of the better man.” And Bacchylides, speaking of Hercules, and telling how he came to the house of Ceyx, says—
Then on the brazen threshold firm he stood,[p. 292] And as to proverbs, one says—
(They were a feast preparing,) and thus spake
Brave and just men do uninvited come
To well-appointed feasts by brave and just men made
Good men do of their own accordand another says—
To good men's entertainments come:
Brave men do of their own accordIt was without reason, therefore, that Plato thought that Menelaus was a coward; for Homer speaks of him as Mars-loving, and as fighting single-handed with the greatest gallantry in defence of Patroclus, and eager to fight in single combat with Hector as the champion of the whole army, although he certainly was inferior to Hector in personal strength. And he is the only man in the whole expedition of whom he has said—
To cowards' entertainments come.
And on he went, firm in his fearless zeal.7But if an enemy, disparaging him, called him an effeminate warrior, and on this account Plato thinks that he really was an effeminate warrior, why should he not also class Agamemnon himself among the men void of prowess, since this line is spoken against him?—
O monster, mix'd of insolence and fear,For it does not follow because something is said in Homer, that Homer himself says it. For how could Menelaus have been effeminate who, single-handed, kept Hector away from Patroclus, and who slew Euphorbus, and stripped him of his arms though in the very middle of the Trojan host? And it was foolish of him not completely to consider the entire line which he was finding fault with, in which Menelaus is called “Raising the battle cry,” βοὴν ἀγαθὸς, for that is an epithet which Homer is in the habit of giving only to the most valiant; for the ancients called war itself βοή.
Thou dog in forehead, but in heart a deer!
When wert thou known in ambush'd fights to dare,
Or nobly face the horrid front of war?
'Tis ours the chance of fighting fields to try,
Thine to look on and bid the valiant die.8
But Homer, who is most accurate in everything, did not overlook even this trifling point; that a man ought to show some care of his person, and to bathe himself before going to an entertainment. And so, in the case of Ulysses, before the banquet among the Phæacians, he tells us— [p. 293]
A train attendsAnd again he says of Telemachus and his companion—
Around the baths, the bath the king ascends,
(Untasted joy since that disastrous hour
He sail'd defeated from Calypso's bower,)
He bathes, the damsels with officious toil
Shed sweets, shed unguents in a shower of oil.
Then o'er his limbs a gorgeous robe he spreads,
And to the feast magnificently treads.9
From room to room their eager view they bend,For it was unseemly, says Aristotle, for a man to come to a banquet all over sweat and dust. For a well-bred man ought not to be dirty nor squalid, nor to be all over mud, as Heraclitus says. And a man when he first enters another person's house for a feast, ought not to hasten at once to the banqueting-room, as if he had no care but to fill his stomach, but he ought first to indulge his fancy in looking about him, and to examine the house. And the poet has not omitted to take notice of this also.
Thence to the bath, a beauteous pile, descend.10
Part in a portico, profusely gracedAnd Aristophanes, in his Wasps, represents the rustic and litigious old man as invited to a more civilized form of life by his son—
With rich magnificence, the chariot placed;
Then to the dome the friendly pair invite,
Who eye the dazzling roof with vast delight,
Resplendent as the blaze of summer noon,
Or the pale radiance of the midnight moon.11
Cease; sit down here and learn at length to beAnd then showing him how he ought to sit down he says—
A boon companion, and a cheerful guest.12
Then praise some of these beauteous works in brass,
Look at the roof, admire the carvèd hall.
And again Homer instructs us as to what we ought to do before a banquet, namely how we ought to allot the first-fruits of the dishes to the gods. At all events Ulysse and his friends, although in the cave of the Cyclops—
Then first a fire we kindle, and prepareAnd Achilles, although the ambassadors were impatient, as they had arrived in the middle of the night, still— [p. 294]
For his return with sacrifice and prayer.13
Himself opposed t' Ulysses full in sightAnd also he introduces the guests as making libations—
Each portion parts, and orders every rite;
The first fat offerings to th' Immortals due,
Amid the greedy flames Patroclus threw.
He said, and all approved; the heralds bringAnd this ceremony Plato also observes in his Banquet. For he says—“Then after they had supped and made libations, they sang pæans to the god with all customary honours.” And Xenophon speaks in very nearly the same terms. But in Epicurus there is no mention of any libation to the gods, or of any offering of first-fruits. But as Simonides says of an immodest woman—
The cleansing water from the living spring,
The youths with wine the sacred goblets crown'd,
And large libations drench'd the sand around.
The rite perform'd, the chiefs their thirst allay,
Then from the royal tent they take their way.14
And oftentimes she eats unhallow'd victims.
He says too that the Athenians were taught the proper proportions in which wine should be mixed by Amphictyon when he was king; and that on this account he erected a temple to the Upright Bacchus. For he is then really upright and not likely to fall, when he is drunk in proper proportions and well mixed; as Homer has it—
Hear me, my friends! who this good banquet grace,—For Homer does not call wine ἠλεὸς in the sense of ἠλίθιος, that is to say, foolish and the cause of folly. Nor does he bid a man be of a sullen countenance, neither singing nor laughing, nor ever turning himself to cheerful dancing in time to music. He is not so morose or ill-bred. But he knew the exact proportions in which all these things should be done, and the proper qualities and quantities of wine to be mixed. On which account he did not say that wine makes the sage sing, but sing very much, that is to say, out of tune and excessively, so as to trouble people. Nor, by Jove, did he say simply to smile, and to frisk about; but using the [p. 295] word merry, and applying that to both, he reproves the un- manly propensity to such trifling—
'Tis sweet to play the fool in time and place.
And wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic and the serious smile;
The grave in merry measures frisk about,
And many a long-repented word bring out.15
Makes . . . . . . . .But in Plato none of these things are done in a moderate manner. But men drink in such quantities that they cannot even stand on their feet. For just look at the reveller Alcibiades, how unbecomingly he behaves. And all the rest drink a large goblet holding eight cotylæ, using as an excuse that Alcibiades has led them on; not like the men in Homer—
The grave in merry measure frisk about,
And many a long-repented word bring out.
But when they drank, and satisfied their soul.Now of these things some ought to be repudiated once for all; but some ought to be enjoyed in moderation; people looking at them as at a slight addition or appendage to a repast; as Homer has said—
Let these, my friend,
With song and dance the pompous revel end.
And altogether the poet has attributed devotion to such things to the Suitors, and to the Phæacians, but not to Nestor or to Menelaus. And Aristarchus did not perceive that in his marriage feast, after the entertainment had lasted some time, and the principal days of the revel were over, in which the bride had been taken to the house of the bridegroom, and the marriage of Megapenthes was completed, Menelaus and Helen were left to themselves and feasted together. He, I say, not perceiving this, but being deceived by the first line—
Where sate Atrides 'midst his bridal friends,he then added these lines, which do not properly belong to this place—
While this gay friendly troop the king surround,transferring them with the error in the reading and all from the eighteenth book of the Iliad, where he relates the making of the arms of Achilles; for it ought to be red not ἐξάρχοντες, the dancers beginning, but (τοῦ ᾠδοῦ, that is to say,) when the poet began to sing. For the word [p. 296] ἐξάρχω has peculiar reference to preluding on the lyre. On which account Hesiod also says in his Shield of Hercules—
With festival and mirth the roofs resound;
A bard amid the joyous circle sings
High airs, attemper'd to the vocal strings,
Whilst, warbling to the varied strain, advance
Two sprightly youths to form the bounding dance:—
Himself preluding (ἐξάρχων) with a sacred paeanAnd Stesichorus calls the Muse the Beginner of Song (ἀρχεσίμολπος). And Pindar calls Preludes the Leaders of the Dance. And Diodorus the Aristophanian enclosed the whole account of the wedding in brackets; thinking that the first days only were alluded to, and disregarding the termination and what came after the banquet. And then he says we ought to write the words δοίω δὲ κυβιστητῆρε κατ᾽ αὐτοὺς with an aspirate, καθ᾽ αὑτοὺς, but that would be a solecism. For κατ᾽ αὐτοὺς is equivalent to κατὰ σφᾶς αὐτοὺς, but to say ἑαυτοὺς would be a solecism.
Set to the Lesbian flute.
But, as I said before, the introduction of this kind of music into this modest kind of entertainment is transferred to this place from the Cretic dance, of which he says in the eighteenth book of the Iliad, about the Making of the Arms—
A figured dance succeeds; such once was seenAnd then he adds to this—
In lofty Cnossus, for the Cretan queen
Form'd by Dædalean art; a comely band
Of youths and maidens bounding hand-in-hand;
The maids in soft cymars of linen dress'd,
The youths all graceful in the glossy vest.
Of those the locks with flow'ry wreaths enroll'd,
Of these the sides adorn'd with swords of gold,
That glittering gay from silver belts depend.17
Now all at once they rise, at once descend,Now among the Cretans, dancing and posture-making was a national amusement. On which account Aeneas says to the Cretan Meriones—
With well-taught feet; now shape in oblique ways
Confus'dly regular the moving maze.
Now forth at once too swift for sight they spring,
And undistinguish'd blend the flying ring.
Swift as thou art (the raging hero cries),18 [p. 297] And from this they call the hyporchemata Cretan
And skill'd in dancing to dispute the prize,
My spear, the destined passage had it found,
Had fix'd thy active vigour to the ground.
They call it all a Cretan air . . . .“But they who were called Laconistæ,” says Timæus, used to sing standing to dance in square figures." And altogether there were many various kinds of music among the Greeks: as the Athenians preferred the Dionysiac and the Cyclian dances; and the Syracusians the Iambistic figure; and different nations practised different styles. But Aristarchus not only interpolated lines which had no business there into the banquet of Menelaus, and by so doing made Homer make representations inconsistent with the system of the Lacedæmonians, and with the moderation of their king, but he also took away the singer from the Cretan chorus, mutilating his song in the following manner:—
The instrument is called Molossian . . . .
The gazing multitudes admire aroundSo that blunder of his in using the word ἐξάρχοντες is almost irremediable, as the relation cannot after that possibly be brought back so as to refer to the singer.
Two active tumblers in the centre bound;
Now high, now low their pliant limbs they bend,
And general songs the sprightly revel end.19
And it is not probable that there were any musical entertainments at Menelaus's banquet, as is manifest from the fact of the whole time of the banquet being occupied by the guests in conversation with one another; and that there is no name mentioned as that of the minstrel; nor is any lay mentioned which he sang; nor is it said that Telemachus and his party listened to him; but they rather contemplated the house in silence, as it were, and perfect quiet. And how can it be looked upon as anything but incredible, that the sons of those wisest of men, Ulysses and Nestor, should be introduced as such ignorant people as, like clowns, not to pay the least attention to carefully prepared music? At all events Ulysses himself attends to the Phæacian minstrels:—
Ulysses gazed, astonish'd to surveyalthough he had plenty of things to distract his attention, and although he could say—
The glancing splendours as their sandals play:—20
Now care surrounds me, and my force decays,[p. 298] How then can we think Telemachus any better than a mere clown, when a minstrel and a dancer are present, if he had bent silently towards Pisistratus and gazed on nothing but the plate and furniture? But Homer, like a good painter, makes Telemachus in every respect like his father; and so he has made each of them easily recognised, the one by Alcinous, and the other by Menelaus, by means of their tears.
Inured a melancholy part to bear,
In scenes of death by tempest and by war.21
But in the banquet of Epicurus there is an assembly of flatterers praising one another. And Plato's banquet is full of mockers, cavilling at one another; for I say nothing of the digression about Alcibiades But in Homer it is only banquets conducted with moderation which are applauded; and on one occasion, a man addressing Menelaus says—
I dare not in your presence speak,But he was reproving something which was either not said or not done with perfect correctness—
Whose voice we reverence as a voice divine.22
And now if aught there is that can be done,And again, he says—
Take my advice; I grief untimely shun
That interrupts the feast.23
O son of wise Ulysses, what a wordFor it is not right for a man to be a flatterer, nor a mocker. Again, Epicurus, in his banquet, inquires about indigestion, so as to draw an omen from the answer: and immediately after that he inquires about fevers; for why need I speak of the general want of rhythm and elegance which pervades the whole essay? But Plato, (I say nothing about his having been harassed by a cough, and about his taking care of himself with constant gargling of water, and also by inserting a straw, in order that he might excite his nose so as to sneeze; for his object was to turn things into ridicule and to disparage them,) Plato, I say, turns into ridicule the equalized sentences and the antitheses of Agathon, and introduces Alcibiades, saying that he is in a state of excitement. But still those men who write in this manner, propose to expel Homer from their cities. But, says Demochares, “A spear is not made of a stalk of savory,” nor is a good man made so by such discourses as these; and not only does he disparage [p. 299] Alcibiades, but he also runs down Charmides, and Euthyde- mus, and many others of the young men. And this is the conduct of a man ridiculing the whole city of the Athenians, the Museum of Greece, which Pindar styled The Bulwark of Greece; and Thucydides, in his Epigram address d to Euripides, The Greece of Greece; and the priest at De phi termed it, The Hearth and Prytaneum of the Greeks. And that he spoke falsely of the young men one may perceive from Plato himself, for he says that Alcibiades, (in the dialogue to which he has prefixed his name,) when he arrived at man's estate, then first began to converse with Socrates, when every one else who was devoted to the pleasures of the body fell off from him. But he says this at the very beginning of the dialogue. And how he contradicts himself in the Charmides any one who pleases may see in the dialogue itself. For he represents Socrates as subject to a most unseemly giddiness, and as absolutely intoxicated with a passion for Alcibiades, and as becoming beside himself, and yielding like a kid to the impetuosity of a lion; and at the same time he says that he disregarded his beauty.
Has 'scaped thy ivory fence!. . . .
But also the banquet of Xenophon, although it is much extolled, gives one as many handles to blame it as the other. For Callias assembles a banqueting party because his favourite Autolycus has been crowned at the Panathenæa for a victory gained in the Pancratium. And as soon as they are assembled the guests devote their attention to the boy; and this too while his father is sitting by. “For as when light appears in the night season it attracts the eyes of every one, so does the beauty of Autolycus attract the eyes of everybody to itself. And then there was no one present who did not feel something in his heart because of him; but some were more silent than others, and some betrayed their feelings by their gestures.” But Homer has never ventured to say anything of that sort, not even when he represents Helen as present; concerning whose beauty though one of those who sat opposite to her did speak, all he said, being overcome by the truth, was this—
Sure 'tis no wonder such celestial charms[p. 300] And then he adds—
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!24
Yet hence, O heaven, convey that fatal face;But the young men who had come to Menelaus's court, the son of Nestor and Telemachus, when over their wine, and celebrating a wedding feast, and though Helen was sitting by, kept quite quiet in a decorous manner, being struck dumb by her renowned beauty. But why did Socrates, when to gratify some one or other he had tolerated some female flute-players, and some boy dancing and playing on the harp, and also some women tumbling and posture-making in an unseemly manner, refuse perfumes? For no one would have been able to restrain his laughter at him, recollecting these lines—
And from destruction save the Trojan race.
You speak of those pale-faced and shoeless men,And what followed after was very inconsistent with his austerity. For Critobulus, a very well-bred young man, mocks Socrates, who was aged and his tutor, saying he was much uglier than the Sileni; but he discusses beauty with him, and selecting as judges the boy and the dancing woman, makes the prize to be the kisses of the judges. Now what young man meeting with this writing would not be corrupted rather than excited to virtue?
Such as that wretched Socrates and Chærephon.
But in Homer, in the banquet of Menelaus, they propose to one another questions as in ordinary conversation, and chatting with one another like fellow-citizens, they entertain one another and us too. Accordingly, Menelaus, when Telemachus and his friends come from the bath-room, and when the tables and the dishes are laid, invites them to partake of them, saying—
Accept this welcome to the Spartan court;and then he helps them to what he has before him, treating them in the most friendly manner—
The waste of nature let the feast repair,
Then your high lineage and your names declare:25—
Ceasing, benevolent he straight assignsAnd they, eating in silence, as it becomes young men to do, converse with one another, leaning forwards gently, not about [p. 301] the food, as Homer tells us, nor about the maid-servants of him who had invited them, and by whom they had been washed, but about the riches of their entertainer—
The royal portion of the choicest chines
To each accepted friend; with grateful haste
They share the honours of the rich repast.
Soft whispering thus to Nestor's son,For that, according to Seleucus, is the best reading; and Aristarchus is wrong when he writes—
His head reclined, young Ithacus begun:
View'st thou unmoved, O ever honour'd most,
These prodigies of art and wondrous cost?
Such, and not nobler, in the realms above
Are the rich treasures in the dome of Jove.26
Such is the palace of Olympian Jove.For they are not admiring the beauty of building alone; for how could there be amber, and silver, and ivory in the walls? But they spoke partly about the house, as where they used the expression “the sounding house,” for that is the character of large and lofty rooms; and they spoke also of the furniture—
Above, beneath, around the palace shinesSo that it is a natural addition to say—
The sumless treasure of exhausted mines;
The spoils of elephants the roofs inlay,
And studded amber darts a golden ray.
Such are the treasures in the dome of Jove,But the statement,
Wondrous they are, and awe my heart doth move
Such is the palace of Olympian Jove,has no connexion with—
Wondrous they are . . . .and it would be a pure solecism and a very unusual reading.
Besides, the word αὐλὴ is not adapted to a house; for a place which the wind blows through is what is called αὐλή. And we say that a place which receives the wind on both sides διαυλωνίζει. And so again, αὐλὸς is an instrument through which the wind passes, (namely, a flute,) and every figure which is stretched out straight we call αὐλὸς, as a stadium, or a flow of blood—
Straightway a thick stream (αὐλὸς) through the nostrils rush'd.pp [p. 302] And we call a helmet also, when it rises up in a ridge out of the centre, αὐλῶπις. And at Athens there are some sacred places called αὐλῶνες, which are mentioned by Philochorus in his ninth book. And they use the word in the masculine gender, οἱ αὐλῶνες, as Thucydides does in his fourth book; and as, in fact, all prose writers do. But the poets use it in the feminine gender. Carcines says in his Achilles— βαθεῖα, just as we find θῆλυς ἐέρση, where θῆλυς is feminine. Everything of that kind then is called αὐλὴ or αὐλών; but at the present day they call palaces αὐλαὶ, as Menander does—
To haunt palaces (αὐλαὶ) and princes.And Diphilus says—
To haunt palaces (αὐλαὶ) is, it seems to me,And they got this name from having large spaces in front of their buildings exposed to the open air, or else, because the guards of the palace were stationed, and took their rest in the open air. But Homer always classes the αὐλὴ among the places exposed to the air, where the altar of Jupiter Herceus stood. And so Peleus is found—
The conduct of an exile, slave, or beggar.
I and Ulysses touch'd at Peleus27 port;And so Priam lay:—
There, in the centre of his grassy court,
A bull to Jove he slew in sacrifice,
And pour'd libations on the flaming thighs.
In the court-yard amid the dirt he roll'd.28And Ulysses says to Phemius—
Thou with the heav'n-taught bard in peace resort,But that Telemachus was praising not only the house, but also the riches which it contained, is made plain by the reply of Menelaus— [p. 303]
From blood and carnage, to yon open court.29
My wars, the copious theme of ev'ry tongue,
To you your fathers have recorded long;
How favouring Heav'n repaid my glorious toils
With a sack'd palace and barbaric spoils.30
But we must return back to the banquet, in which Homer very ingeniously devises a subject for conversation, by comparing the acquisition of riches with that of a friend. For he does not put it forward as a grave proposition for discussion, but Menelaus inserts it in his conversation very gracefully, after he has heard them praise himself and his good fortune; not denying that he is rich, but from that very circumstance deprecating envy, for he says that he has acquired those riches so that,
When my woes are weigh'd,He does not indeed think it right to compare himself with the gods—
Envy will own the purchase dearly paid.31
The monarch took the word, and grave replied—But then, after displaying his affectionate disposition as a brother, and saying that he is compelled to live and to be rich, he opposes to this the consideration of friendship—
Presumptuous are the vaunts, and vain the pride
Of man who dares in pomp with Jove contest,
Unchanged, immortal, and supremely blest.
Oh, had the gods so large a boon denied,Who could there be then of the descendants of those men who had died in his cause, who would not think his grief for the death of his father as fair a compensation as could be given by grateful recollection? But still, that he may not appear to look upon them all in the same light, though they had all equally shown their good-will to him, he adds—
And life, the just equivalent, supplied
To those brave warriors who, with glory fired,
Far from their country in my cause expired.
But oh! Ulysses,—deeper than the rest,And that he may not seem to disregard any one of his family he names them all separately—
That sad idea wounds my anxious breast;
My heart bleeds fresh with agonising pain,
The bowl and tasteful viands tempt in vain.
Doubtful of his doom,And while he is weeping at the recollection of his father, Menelaus observes him; and, in the interim, Helen had come in, and she also conjectured who Telemachus was from his likeness to Ulysses, (for women, because of their habit of observing one another's modesty, are wonderfully clever at detecting the likeness of children to their parents,) and after Pisistratus had interfered with some observation, (for it was not fitting for him to stand by like a mute on the stage,) and said something appropriate and elegant about the modesty of Telemachus; again Menelaus made mention of his affection for Ulysses, that of all men in the world he was the one in whose companionship he wished to grow old.
His good old sire with sorrow to the tomb
[p. 304] Declines his trembling steps; untimely care
Withers the blooming vigour of his heir;
And the chaste partner of his bed and throne
Wastes all her widow'd hours in tender moan.
And then, as is natural, they all weep; and Helen, as being the daughter of Jupiter, and as having learnt of the philosophers in Egypt many expedients of all kinds, pours into some wine a medicinal panacea, as it was in reality; and begins to relate some of the exploits of Ulysses, while working at her loom in the meantime; not doing this so much for the purpose of amusement, as because she had been bred up in that way at home. And so Venus, coming to her after the single combat in the Iliad, takes a form not her own—
To her beset with Trojan beauties, cameAnd her industry is made manifest not in a merely cursory manner, in the following description—
In borrow'd form the laughter-loving dame.
She seem'd an ancient maid, well skill'd to cull
The snowy fleece, and wind the twisted wool.32
In this suspense bright Helen graced the room;And she seems to be aware of her own proficiency in the art: at all events, when she presents Telemachus with arobe, she says—
Before her breathed a gale of rich perfume;
The seat of majesty Adraste brings,
With art illustrious for the pomp of kings;
To spread the pall, beneath the regal chair,
Of softest woof, is bright Alcippe's care;
A silver canister, divinely wrought,
In her soft hands the beauteous Philo brought;
To Sparta's queen of old the radiant vase
Alcandra gave, a pledge of royal grace,
33 [p. 305] Sharer of Polybus's high command,
She gave the distaff too to Helen's hand,
And that rich vase with living sculpture wrought,
Which, heap'd with wool, the beauteous Philo brought;
The silken fleece, impurpled for the loom,
Rivall'd the hyacinth in vernal bloom.
Accept, dear youth, this monument of love,And that fondness for employment proves her temperance and modesty. For she is never represented as luxurious or arrogant, because of her beauty. Accordingly, she is found at her loom weaving and embroidering—
Long since, in better days, by Helen wove.
Safe in thy mother's care the vesture lay,
To deck thy bride, and grace thy nuptial day.34
Her in the palace at the loom she found,
The golden web her own sad story crown'd;
The Trojan wars she weaved, (herself the prize,)
And the dire triumph of her fatal eyes.35
And Homer teaches us that those who have been invited to a feast, ought to ask leave of their entertainers before they rise up to depart. And so Telemachus does to Menelaus—
But now let sleep the painful waste repair,And Minerva, when pretending to be Mentor, says to Nestor—
Of sad reflection and corroding care.36
Now immolate the tongues and mix the wine,And in the feasts of the gods it does not appear to have been considered proper to remain too long at the table. Accordingly, Minerva says, very sententiously, in Homer—
Sacred to Neptune and the pow'rs divine:
The lamp of day is quench'd beneath the deep,
And soft approach the balmy hours of sleep;
Nor fits it to prolong the heav'nly feast,
Timeless, indecent; but retire to rest.37
For now has darkness quench'd the solar light,And now there is a law in existence that there are some sacrificial feasts from which men must depart before sunset. And among the Egyptians formerly every kind of banquet was conducted with great moderation; as Apollonis has said, who wrote a treatise on the feasts of the Egyptian; for [p. 306] they ate in a sitting posture, using the very simplest and most wholesome food; and only just as much wine as was calculated to put them in cheerful spirits, which is what Pindar entreats of Jupiter—
And it becomes not gods to feast by night.
Oh mighty thund'ring Jove!But the banquet of Plato is not an assembly of grave men, nor a conversazione of philosophers. For Socrates does not choose to depart from the banquet, although Eryximachus, and Phædrus, and some others, have already left it; but he stays till a late hour with Agathon and Aristophanes, and drinks from the silver well; for fairly has some one given this name to large cups. And he drinks out of the bowl cleverly, like a man who is used to it. And Plato says, that after this those two others began to nod, and that first of all Aristophanes fell asleep, and when day began to break so did Agathon; and that Socrates, after he had sent them both to sleep, rose up from table himself and went away to the Lyceum, when he might, says Herodicus, have gone to Homer's Læstrygones—
Great Saturn's son, lord of the realms above,
That I may be to thee and the nine Muses dear,
That joy my heart may cheer;
This is my prayer, my only prayer to thee.
Where he who scorns the chains of sleep to wear,
And adds the herdsman's to the shepherd's care,
His double toils may claim a double pay,
And join the labours of the night and day.38
But every banqueting party among the ancients was referred to the gods; and accordingly men wore garlands appropriate and peculiar to the gods, and used hymns and odes. And there were no slaves to attend upon the guests, but free youths acted as the cupbearers. So the son of Mænelaus, although he was the bridegroom, and at his own wedding, acted; and in the poem of the beautiful Sappho, even Mercury acts as the cupbearer to the gods. And they were free men who prepared everything else for the guests. And after they had supped they went away while it was still daylight. But at some of the Persian feasts there were also councils held, as there were in the tent of Agamemnon with respect to the further conduct of the Trojan war. Now as to the entertainment given by Alcinous, to which the discourse of Ulysses refers where he says— [p. 307]
How goodly seems it ever to employHe refers also especially to his reception of straners, since the Phæacians themselves were devoted to luxury and yet if any one compares that feast made by Alcinous with the banquets of the philosophers, he will find that the better regulated of the two; although that also embraced much cheerfulness and spirit, only not in any unbecoming manner. For after the exhibition of gymnastics the bard sings—
Man's social days in union and in joy;
The plenteous board high heap'd with cates diviner
And o'er the foaming bowl the laughing wine;
The heav'n-taught poet and enchanting strain,
These are the products of a peaceful reign.
The loves of Mars,a certain lay mingled with some ridiculous incidents, and one which suggested to Ulysses some hints for the slaughter of the suitors; since Vulcan, even though he was lame, got the better of the most valiant Mars.
And the feasters of that time sat at the table; at all events, Homer very often says—
Sitting in order on the chairs and couches.For the word θρόνος, which he uses in this line, when taken by itself, is a seat such as is used by free men, with a footstool, the name of which being θρῆνυς, from thence they came to call the seat itself θρόνος, from the verb θρήσασθαι, which they used for, to sit; as Philetas says—
To sit (θρήσασθαι) on the ground under a plane-tree.But the couch (κλισμὸς) was more adapted for reclining on; and the δίφρος is something simpler than these things. Accordingly, in the book where Ulysses appears as a beggar the servants place for him, as Homer tells us,
A humble chair (δίφρος), and spread a scanty board.But their goblets, as their name (κρατῆρες) indicates, were supplied full of wine mixed with water (κεκραμένοι); and the youths ministered to them from the larger goblets, always, in the case of the most honourable of the guests, keeping their small cups full; but to the rest they distributed the wine in equal portions. Accordingly Agamemnon says to Idomeneus—
To thee the foremost honours are decreed,And they used to pledge one another, not as we do, (for our custom may be expressed by the verb προεκπίνω rather than by προπινω,) but they drank the entire bumper off—
First in the fight, and every graceful deed;
39 40 [p. 308] For this in banquets, when the generous bowls
Restore our blood, and raise our warrior souls,
Though all the rest with stated rules are bound,
Unmix'd, unmeasured are thy goblets crown'd.
He fill'd his cup, and pledged great Peleus' son.And how often they took meat, we have already explained —namely, that they had three meals, because it is the same meal that was at one time called δεῖπνον, and at another ἄριστον. For those men who say that they used to take four meals a day, are ridiculously ignorant, since the poet himself says—
But do thou come δειελιήσας.And these men do not perceive that this word means, “after having remained here till evening.” But, nevertheless, no one can show in the poet one instance of any one taking food even three times in the day. But many men are led into mistakes, placing these verses in the poet all together—
They wash; the tables in fair order spread,For if the housekeeper placed the meats on the table, it is plain that there was no need for the carver to bring in more, so that some of the above description is superfluous. But when the guests had departed the tables were removed, as is done at the feasts of the Suitors and of the Phæacians, in whose case he says—
They heap the glittering canisters with bread,
Viands of various kinds allure the taste,
Of choicest sort and savour; rich repast.41
The servants bore away the armour of the feast.And it is plain that he means the dishes, for the word he uses is ἔντεα; and it is that part of the armour which covers a man, such as his breastplate, his greaves, and things like them which men call ἔντεα, as being in front (ἄντια) of the parts of the body. And of the rooms in the palaces of the heroes, those which were larger Homer calls, μέγαρα, and δώματα, and even κλισίας (tents). But the moderns call them ἀνδρῶνες (rooms to receive men) and ξενῶνες (strangers' apartments).
What then, my friends, shall we call the entertainment which Antiochus, who was surnamed Epiphanes, (but who was more rightly called Epimanes42 from his actions,) gave [p. 309] Now he was king of the Syrians, being one of the Seleucidæ. And Polybius says of him, "He, escaping out of the palace without the knowledge of the attendants, was often found with one or two companions wandering about the city wherever he might chance to take it into his head to go. And he was, above all other places, frequently found at the shops of the engravers of silver and of the goldsmiths, conversing on the subject of their inventions with, and inquiring into the principles of their art from, the engravers and other artists. And besides this, he often used to go among the common people, conversing with whomsoever he might chance to meet; and he would drink with the lowest and poorest strangers. And whenever he heard of any young men having a banquet, without having given any notice of his intention, he would come to join in their feast with a flute and music, behaving in a most lascivious manner; so that many used to rise up and depart, being alarmed at his strange behaviour. Often, also, he would lay aside his royal robes, and put on a common cloak, and so go round the market, like a man who was a candidate for some office: and taking some people by the hand, and embracing others, he would solicit them to vote for him, sometimes begging to be made ædile, and sometimes tribune; and when he was elected, sitting in his ivory curule chair, according to the fashion which prevails among the Romans, he would hear all the causes which were pleaded in the forum, and decide them with great attention and earnestness, by which conduct he greatly perplexed sensible men, For some thought him a man of very simple tastes, and others considered him mad. And his conduct with respect to presents was very much the same. For he would give some people dice of antelope's bones, and some he would present with dates, and to others he would give gold. And even if he met people in the street whom he had never seen, he would give them presents unexpectedly. And in his sacrifices, which were offered up in the different cities, and in the honours offered to the gods, he surpassed all the kings who had ever existed. And any one may conjecture his from the temple raised to Olympian Jupiter at Athens, and from the statues around the altar at Delos. And he used to bathe in the public baths, often when they were complete y full of the citizens, and then he would have earthen pairs of the [p. 310] most expensive perfumes brought to him. And on one of these occasions, when some one said to him, “Happy are you kings, who use all these things and smell so sweet,” he made the man no answer at the time; but coming the next day to the place where he was bathing, he caused him to have a pan of the largest size of that most precious ointment called στακτὴ poured over his head, so that when that had been done, every one near got up and hastened to get a little of the ointment, and as they fell down in their haste, by reason of the slipperiness of the floor, every one laughed, as did the king himself.
“And this same king,” continues Polybius, "having heard of the games which had been celebrated in Macedonia by Aemilius Paullus the Roman general, wishing to surpass Paullus in his magnificence and liberality, sent ambassadors and theori to the different cities to proclaim that games were going to be exhibited by him at Daphne, so that the Greeks all hastened with great eagerness to come to him to see them. And the beginning of the exhibition was a splendid procession, arranged in this way:—Some men led the way armed in the Roman fashion, in breastplates of chain armour, all men in the flower of their youth, to the number of five thousand; immediately after them, five thousand Mysians followed; and then three thousand Cilicians, armed in the fashion of light-armed skirmishers, having golden crowns; and after them three thousand Thracians and five thousand Galatians; these were followed by twenty thousand Macedonians, and by five thousand men armed with brazen shields, and as many more with silver shields; they were followed by two hundred and forty pair of gladiators to fight in single combat; behind these came a thousand Nisæan cavalry, and three thousand men of the city guard, the greatest part of whom had golden trappings and golden crowns, but some had silver trappings; to these succeeded the cavalry who are called the King's Companions; these amounted to one thousand men, all equipped with golden trappings; next to these was the battalion of the King's Friends, of the same number and the same equipment; after these a thousand picked men; and they were followed by what was called the Agema, which was considered to be the most excellent squadron of all the cavalry, to the number of [p. 311] a thousand men; last of all came the Fenced Cavalry, having its name from the fact that both men and horses were com- pletely enveloped in armour; they were in number fifteen hundred men. And all the above-mentioned soldiers had purple cloaks, and many had them also embroidered with gold or painted with figures of living animals. Besides all this, there were a hundred chariots with six horses, and forty with four horses; then a chariot drawn by four elephants, and another by two; and last of all, six-and-thirty elephants, all handsomely appointed, followed one by one.
"The rest of the procession was such as it is difficult adequately to describe, and it must be enumerated in a summary manner. For youths walked in the procession to the number of eight hundred, all having golden crowns; and fat oxen to the number of one thousand; and deputations to see to the performance of separate sacrifices, very little short of three hundred; and there were eight hundred elephants' teeth carried by, and such a multitude of statues as it is beyond any one's power to enumerate. For images were carried in the procession of all who are ever said or thought by men to be gods, or deities, or demigods, or heroes; some gilt all over, and some arrayed in golden-broidered robes. And to all of them suitable inscriptions according to the accounts commonly received of them were attached, earved in the most expensive materials. And they were followed by an image of Night and another of Day; and of the Earth, and of Heaven, and of Morning, and of Noon. And the vast quantity of gold plate and silver plate was such as perhaps a man may form a guess at from the following account. For a thousand slaves belonging to Dionysius the secretary and amanuensis of the king joined in the procession, each carrying articles of silver plate, of which there was not one weighing less than a thousand drachmæ. And there were six hundred slaves belonging to the king himself, carrying articles of gold plate. And besides them there were women to the number of two hundred sprinkling every one with perfume out of golden waterpots. And they were succeeded by eighty women magnificently apparelled, borne on palanquins with golden feet, and five hundred borne on palanquins wit silver feet. And this was the most important portion of the procession. [p. 312]
“But after the games were over and the single combats and the hunting, during the whole thirty days which he exhibited these shows, on the first five days every one who came into the gymnasium was anointed with a saffron perfume shed upon him out of golden dishes. And there were fifteen of these golden dishes, full of equal quantities of cinnamon and spikenard. And in a similar manner in the five next days there was brought in essence of fenugreek, and of amaracus, and of lilies, all differing in their scent; and some days there were laid a thousand triclinia for the banquet; and some days fifteen hundred, all laid in the most expensive possible manner. And the arrangement of the whole business was superintended by the king himself. For having a very fine horse he went up and down the whole procession, commanding some to advance, and others to halt. And stopping at the entrances of the rooms where the drinking was going on he brought some in, and to others he assigned places on the couches. And he himself conducted in the attendants who brought in the second course. And he went round the whole banquet, sometimes sitting down in one place, and presently lying down in another place. And sometimes even while he was eating he would lay down what he was eating or his cup, and jump up, and go away to another part of the room. And he would go all round the company, at times, pledging some of the guests in a standing posture; and at times entertaining himself with the jesters or with the music. And when the entertainment had lasted a long time and many of the guests had gone away, then the king would be brought in by buffoons, all covered up, and laid on the ground as if he had been one of their band. And when the music excited him, he would jump up and dance, and act with the mummers, so that every one felt ashamed for him and fled away. And all this was done partly with the treasure which he brought out of Egypt, having plundered Ptolemy Philometor the king there, in defiance of his treaty with him when he was but a little boy; and some of the money too was contributed by his friends. And he had also sacrilegiously plundered most of the temples in his dominions.”
And while all the guests marvelled at the conduct of the king, seeing that he was not illustrious but absolutely mad, Masurius brought forward Callixenus the Rhodian, who [p. 313] in the fourth book of his History of Alexandria has given an account of a spectacle and procession which was exhibited by that most admirable of all monarchs, Ptolemy Phiadelphus. And he says—"But before I begin, I will give a description of the tent which was prepared within the circuit of the citadel, apart from the place provided for the reception of the soldiers, and artisans, and foreigners. For it was wonderfully beautiful, and worth hearing about. Its size was such as to be able to hold a hundred and thirty couches placed in a circle, and it was furnished in the following manner:—There were wooden pillars at intervals, five on each side of the tent longwise, fifty cubits high, and something less than one cubit broad. And on these pillars at the top was a capital, of square figure, carefully fitted, supporting the whole weight of the roof of the banqueting room. And over this was spread in the middle a scarlet veil with a white fringe, like a canopy; and on each side it had beams covered over with turreted veils, with white centres, on which canopies embroidered all over the centre were placed. And of the pillars four were made to resemble palm-trees, and they had in the centre a representation of thyrsi. And on the outside of these a portico ran, adorned with a peristyle on three sides, with a vaulted roof. And in this place it was intended that the company of the feasters should sit down. And the interior of it was surrounded with scarlet curtains. But in the middle of the space there were strange hides of beasts, strange both as to their variegated colour and their size, suspended. And the part which surrounded this portico in the open air was shaded by myrtle-trees and daphnes, and other suitable shrubs. And the whole floor was strewed with flowers of every description. For Egypt, on account of the temperate character of the atmosphere which surrounds it, and on account of the fondness of the inhabitants for gardening, produces in great abundance, and all the year round, those things which in other countries are rarely found, and only at particular seasons. And roses, and white lilies, and numberless other flowers are never wanting in that country. On which account, though this entertainment took place in the middle of winter, still there was a show of flowers which was quite incredible to the foreigners. For flowers of which one could not easily have found enough to make one chaplet in any other city [p. 314] were supplied in the greatest abundance here, to make chaplets for every one of the guests at this entertainment, and were strewed thickly over the whole floor of the tent; so as really to give the appearance of a most divine meadow.
"And by the posts round the entire tent there were placed animals carved in marble by the first artists, a hundred in number. And in the spaces between the posts there were pictures hung by the Sicyonian painters; and alternately with these there were carefully selected images of every kind; and garments embroidered with gold, and most exquisite cloaks, some of them having portraits of the kings of Egypt embroidered on them; and some, stories taken from the mythology. Above them were placed gold and silver shields alternately; and on the spaces above these shields, which were eight cubits high, caves were made, six on each side of the tent longwise, and four at each end. There were likewise in them representations of eating parties opposite to one another, of tragic, and comic, and satyric animals, having on real clothes. And before them were placed golden goblets. And in the middle of the caves were placed nymphæa, and on them there lay golden Delphian tripods, having pedestals of their own. And along the highest part of the roof were golden eagles all facing one another, each fifteen cubits large. There were also golden couches, with feet made like sphinxes, on the two sides of the tent, a hundred on each side. For the front of the tent was left open. And under these there were strewed purple carpets of the finest wool, with the carpet pattern on both sides. And there were handsomely embroidered rugs very beautifully elaborated on them. Besides this, thin Persian cloths covered all the centre space where the guests walked, having most accurate representations of animals embroidered on them. And by them were placed tripods for the guests, made of gold, two hundred in number, so that there were two for every couch, and they rested on silver pedestals. And behind, out of sight, there were a hundred flat dishes of silver, and an equal number of lavers. On the opposite side of the sitting-room there was fixed another sideboard, opposite to that on which the cups and goblets were placed; and on that were all the rest of the things which had been prepared for, or could come into use. And they were all made of gold, and studded with precious stones; [p. 315] admirably carved and wrought. And it has appeared to me too long a task to undertake to enumerate every article of the furniture, and even all the different kinds separate. But the entire weight of all the plate and valuables there exhibited came to ten thousand talents.
"But now that we have gone over everything that was to be seen in the tent, we will proceed to the shows and processions exhibited. For it passed through the stadium which there is in the city. And first of all went the procession of Lucifer. For it began at the time when that star first appears. After that came the procession which bore the name of the parents of the kings. And next came the processions sacred to all the gods respectively, each having an arrangement appropriate to the history of each separate deity. Last of all came the procession of Hesperus, as the hour of that one starting coincided with that time. But if any one wishes to know the separate particulars, he may take the description of the quinquennial games and consider them. But in the Dionysiac procession first of all there went the Sileni who keep off the multitude, some clad in purple cloaks, and some in scarlet ones. And these were followed by Satyrs, twenty in each division of the stadium, bearing gilded lamps made of ivy-wood. And after them came images of Victory, having golden wings, and they bore in their hands incense-burners six cubits in height, adorned with branches made of ivy-wood and gold, clad in tunics embroidered with figures of animals, and they themselves also had a great deal of golden ornament about them. And after them there followed an altar of six cubits in height, a double altar, covered all over with ivy-leaves gilded, having a crown of vine-leaves on it all gold, enveloped in bandages with white centres. And that was followed by boys in purple tunics, bearing frankincense, and myrrh, and saffron, on golden dishes. And after them came forty Satyrs, crowned with ivy-garlands made of gold. And they were painted as o their bodies, some with purple, some with vermilion, an some with other colours. And these also wore each a golden crown made to imitate vine-leaves and ivy-leaves. And after them came two Sileni in purple cloaks and white fringes to them. And one of them had a petasus and a golden caduceus, and the other had a trumpet. And between them went a man of [p. 316] gigantic size, four cubits high, in a tragical dress and orna- ments, bearing the golden horn of Amalthea. And his name was Eniautos.43 And he was followed by a woman of great beauty and of more than ordinary size, adorned with quantities of gold and a superb dress; bearing in one of her hands a garland of peach blossoms, and in her other hand a branch of the palm-tree. And she was called Penteteris.44 And she was succeeded by the Four Seasons dressed in character, and each of them bearing its appropriate fruits. Next to them came two incense-burners made of ivy-wood, covered with gold, and six cubits in height, and a large square golden altar in the middle of them. And then again Satyrs, having garlands of ivy-leaves made of gold, and clad in purple robes. And some of them bore golden wine-jars, and others bore goblets. After them marched Philiscus the poet, being a priest of Bacchus, and with him all the artisans who were concerned in the service of Bacchus. And next to them were carried the Delphian tripods, as prizes for the trainers of the athletes; the one for the trainer of the boys nine cubits in height, and the other, twelve cubits in height, for the trainer of the men.
"After them was a four-wheeled wagon fourteen cubits long, and eight cubits wide; and it was drawn by a hundred and eighty men; and in it was placed an image of Bacchus ten cubits high, pouring libations of wine out of a golden goblet, having on a purple tunic reaching down to the feet; and he was clad in a purple garment embroidered with gold; and in front of him there lay a golden Lacedæmonian goblet, holding fifteen measures of wine, and a golden tripod, in which was a golden incense-burner, and two golden bowls, full of cassia and saffron; and a shade covered it round adorned with ivy-leaves, and vine-leaves, and all sorts of other green leaves; and to it were fastened chaplets, and fillets, and thyrsi, and drums, and turbans, and satyric and comic and tragic masks. And the wagon was followed by priests and priestesses, and newly initiated votaries, and by companies of every nation, and by people bearing the mystic fan. And after this came the Bacchanalian women, called Macetæ, and Mimallones, and Bassaræ, and Lydians, with dishevelled hair, and wearing garlands, some of snakes, and others of [p. 317] branches of yew and of vine-leaves and ivy-leaves, and some held daggers in their hands, and others held snakes. And after them another four-wheeled wagon was drawn of the width of eight cubits, and it was drawn by sixty men and in it was a statue of Nysa, of eight cubits high, in a sitting posture, clothed in a box-coloured tunic embroidered with gold, and it was also clad in a Laconian cloak; and this statue rose up by mechanism, without any one applying his hand to it; and it poured libations of milk out of a golden bottle, and then it sat down again; and in its left hand it bore a thyrsus wrapped round with turbans, and it was crowned with a garland of ivy-leaves, made of gold, and with gorgeous bunches of grapes inlaid with precious stones; and it had a parasol over it; and on the corners of the wagon were fastened four golden lamps. "And next to that another four-wheeled wagon was drawn along, twenty cubits in length and sixteen in width, and it was drawn by three hundred men. And on it there was a wine-press twenty-four cubits in length and fifteen in breadth, full of grapes; and sixty Satyrs were trampling on the grapes, singing a song in praise of the wine-press, to the music of a flute. And Silenus presided over them; and the new wine ran out over the whole road. Next to that was drawn along a wagon, twenty-five cubits long and fourteen broad; and that was drawn by six hundred men. And on this wagon was a sack holding three thousand measures of wine, consisting of leopards' skins, sewn together. And this too allowing its liquor to escape, gradually flowed over the whole road. And it was followed by Satyri and Sileni, to the number of a hundred and twenty, all wearing garlands, and carrying some casks of wine, and some bowls, and some large Thericlean goblets, all made of gold.
And next to that was carried a silver vessel conaining six hundred measures of wine, being drawn on a four-wheeled wagon by six hundred men. Arid under its lips, and under its ears, and under its bottom, it had figures of animals engraved; and in the middle it was crowned with a golden crown, inlaid with precious stones. Next to that there were carried two silver goblets, twelve cubits in circumference and six cubits in height; and these had figures standing out in relief above, and also on their round parts all round And [p. 318] on their feet they had chased figures of animals two cubits and a half long and a cubit high, in great numbers: and ten large bathing-vessels, and sixteen ewers, of which the larger ones contained thirty measures, and the smaller ones five; then six kettles, and twenty-four banoti,45 on five side-boards; and two silver wine-presses, on which were twenty-four urns; and a table of solid silver twelve cubits round; and thirty other tables six cubits each in circumference: and in addition to this, four tripods, one of which was sixteen cubits in circumference, and was made entirely of silver; but the other three, which were less, were studded with precious stones in the middle. And after these there were carried some Delphic tripods, made of silver, eighty in number, smaller than those previously described, being also of a square, or four-cornered shape. And six-and-twenty water-cans, and sixteen Panathenaic jars, and a hundred and sixty wine-coolers, the largest of which contained six measures, and the smallest contained two; and all these were made of silver.
"And next to them, those men followed in the procession who carried the articles of gold-plate,—four Lacedæmonian goblets, having crowns on them made to represent vine-leaves, each containing four measures; and two of Corinthian workmanship placed on sideboards, and these had figures of animals in richly chased work of great beauty, in a sitting posture, and on their necks and on their bellies were other reliefs curiously wrought, and each of them contained eight measures. And there was a wine-press in which there were ten urns, and two jars, each holding five measures, and two flagons, each holding two measures, and twenty-two wine-coolers, the largest of which contained thirty measures, and the smallest one measure. There were also exhibited four large golden tripods, and a large sideboard for gold plate, that being also made of gold itself and studded with precious stones, ten cubits in height, having six rows of shelves in it, on which were figures of animals of the size of four palms, most exquisitely wrought, in very great numbers; and two goblets, and two crystal goblets mounted in gold; and four more sideboards, two of them four cubits high; and three others which were smaller, and ten water-cans, and an altar three cubits high, and twenty-five dishes for holding barley loaves. [p. 319] “After this had been carried by, there walked sixteen hun- dred boys clad in white tunics, and crowned some with ivy, and some with pine, of whom two hundred and fifty carried golden choes, and four hundred carried silver ones; and of the rest three hundred and twenty carried golden wine-coolers, and some carried silver ones. And after them other boys carried jars, for the purpose of drinking sweet nine out of, twenty of which were gold, and fifty silver, and three hundred were painted with every kind of colour and hue; and all the spectators who were present in the stadium took a moderate draught of the sweet wine, which was mixed in these ewers and firkins.”
After these things he enumerates tables four cubits high, on which were many things worth looking at, which were all carried round for the spectators to see, being beautifully wrought. "And among them was a representation of the bed-chamber of Semele, in which were seen statues clad in golden tunics, inlaid with precious stones of the greatest value. And it would not be right to pass over this four-wheeled wagon, of the length of twenty-two cubits and of the breadth of fourteen, drawn by five hundred men. And on it was a cave exceedingly deep, overgrown with ivy and yew, and out of it flew doves, and pigeons, and turtle-doves, all along the road as the wagon proceeded, having their feet tied with slight threads, so as to be easily caught by the spectators. And out of the cave there also rose two fountains, one of milk and one of wine, and around it all the nymphs had garlands of gold, and Mercury had a golden herald's wand, and very superb raiment. And on another four-wheeled wagon, on which the return of Bacchus from the Indians was represented, there was a figure of Bacchus twelve cubits high, riding upon an elephant, clad in a purple robe, and having on a crown of vine-leaves and ivy-leaves o gold, and bearing in his hands a spear like a thyrsus, made also of gold; and he wore sandals embroidered with golden figures. And there sat before him, on the neck of the elephant, a Satyr five cubits in height, crowned with a chaplet of golden pine-leaves, and holding in his right hand a goat's horn made of golden, with which he appeared to be blowing signals. And the elephant had golden furniture; and on his neck he had a crown of ivy-leaves made of gold; and he was followed by [p. 320] five hundred maidens dressed in purple tunics, with golden girdles; and those who went first, to the number of a hundred and twenty, wore crowns of pine-leaves made of gold; and they were succeeded by a hundred and twenty Satyrs clad in complete armour, some of silver and some of brass. And after them there marched five troops of asses, on which rode Sileni and Satyri, all wearing crowns. And of the asses some had gold and some silver frontlets and furniture.
"And after them came twenty-four chariots drawn by four elephants each, and sixty chariots each drawn by a pair of goats, and twelve chariots by antelopes, and seven by oryxes, and fifteen by buffaloes, eight by pairs of ostriches, and seven by gnus, and four by pairs of zebras, and four chariots also drawn each by four zebras. And on all these animals rode boys wearing the garments of charioteers, and the broad hats called petasi; and besides them were smaller boys still, armed with little peltæ, and thyrsi-spears, and they also were dressed in golden-broidered garments; and the boys who were acting as charioteers were crowned with pine-leaf chaplets, and the smaller boys with ivy-leaves. And besides this there were three pair of camels, on either side three, and they were followed by cars drawn by mules; and these had on them barbaric palanquins, on which sat women from India and other countries, habited as prisoners. And of the camels, some bore three hundred minæ weight of frankincense, and three hundred of myrrh, and two hundred of saffron, and cassia, and cinnamon, and iris, and two hundred of other spices. And next to them came some Aethiopians bearing presents, some of whom carried six hundred elephant's tusks, and others carried two thousand fagots of ebony, and others carried sixty gold and silver goblets, and a quantity of gold-dust. And after them came two huntsmen, having hunting-spears with golden points; and twenty-four hundred dogs were led in the procession, some Indian dogs, and others Hyrcanian and Molossian hounds, and hounds of other breeds too. “After them came a hundred and fifty men carrying trees from which were suspended birds and beasts of every imaginable country and description; and then were carried a lot of cages, in which were parrots, and peacocks, and guinea-fowls, and pheasants, and other Aethiopian birds in great numbers.” [p. 321] And when he had mentioned many other things, and enumerated herds of animals, he continued, "A hundred and thirty Aethiopian sheep, three hundred Arabian sheep, twenty Eubœean sheep, some white hornless cattle, six-and-twenty Indian cows, eight Aethiopian oxen, one immense white bear, fourteen leopards, sixteen panthers, four lynxes, three arceti, one cameleopard, and one rhinoceros from Aethiopia.
"And after these beasts came an image of Bacchus flying to the altar of Rhea when he was pursued by Juno, having on a golden crown, Priapus standing by him crowned with a crown of ivy-leaves of gold, and the statue of Juno had also a golden crown on its head. And there were images of Alexander and of Ptolemy, crowned with chaplets of ivy-leaves made of gold. And the statue of Virtue, which stood by the side of that of Ptolemy, had a golden crown of olive-leaves. And Priapus was with them, having a crown of ivy-leaves made of gold. And the city of Corinth had a large image there, standing by the side of Ptolemy, and that also wore a golden diadem; and by all these lay a large golden beaufet full of articles of gold plate, and a golden goblet containing five measures. And this wagon was followed by women having very sumptuous dresses and ornaments, and they bore the names of cities, some of cities of Ionia, and other Grecian towns, as many as, occupying the islands, and the coast of Asia, were made subject to the Persians; and they all wore golden crowns. And on other chariots there was borne a golden thyrsus ninety cubits long, and silver spear sixty cubits long; and on another a golden phallus, a hundred and twenty cubits long, chased all over, and wreathed with golden garlands, having on the end a golden star, the circumference of which was six cubits. "Now in all the numerous things which we have enumerated as forming part of this procession, we have selected those only in which gold and silver were contained. But there were numerous other articles and parts of the exhibition well worth seeing, and vast numbers of beasts and of horses, and twenty-four enormous lions. There were also other four-wheeled wagons in great numbers, bearing not only statues of kings, but also full of images of the gods. And after them proceeded a band of six hundred men, among whom were three hundred harp-players playing on their instruments, [p. 322] having harps made entirely of gold, and golden crowns on their heads; and after them came two thousand bulls all of the same colour, with gilded horns, and having frontlets of gold, and crowns in the middle of their foreheads, and necklaces and breastplates on their necks and chests, and these were all made of gold.
"And after this came a procession in honour of Jupiter and of many other gods; and after all these, came a procession in honour of Alexander, who had a golden statue borne on a chariot drawn by real elephants, having Victory and Minerva on each side of him. And numbers of thrones were borne in the procession, made of ivory and gold, on one of which lay a crown of gold; on another a pair of horns made of gold; on another was a golden chaplet; and on another a single horn made of solid gold. And on the throne of Ptolemy Soter lay a crown which had been made of ten thousand pieces of gold money. And there were also carried in the procession three hundred and fifty golden incense burners, and golden altars, all crowned with golden crowns, on one of which were firmly placed four golden lamps ten cubits high. There were also carried twelve stoves with golden tops, one of which was twelve cubits in circumference, and forty cubits in height; and another was fifteen cubits high. There were also carried nine Delphic tripods made of gold, each four cubits high, and eight others six cubits high; another thirty cubits high, on which were figures of animals carved in gold, four cubits high, and a crown of vine-leaves of gold going all round. There were also carried in the procession seven palm-trees overlaid with gold, eight cubits high, and a golden herald's staff forty-five cubits long, and a thunderbolt overlaid with gold forty cubits in size, and a gilt shrine, the circumference of which was forty cubits; and besides all this, a pair of horns eight cubits long. And an immense number of gilded figures of animals was also exhibited, the greater part of which were twelve cubits high; and beasts of enormous size, and eagles twenty cubits high. And golden crowns were also exhibited to the number of three thousand and two hundred. And there was a separate mystic crown made of gold studded with valuable stones, eighty cubits high. This was the crown which was placed at the door of the temple of Berenice; and there was also an regis of gold. There were [p. 323] also exhibited a vast number of golden chaplets, which were borne by young maidens sumptuously attired, one of which was two cubits high, and sixteen cubits in circumference. "There was also exhibited a golden breastplate twelve cubits broad, and another breastplate of silver eighteen cubits broad, having on it two golden thunderbolts of the size of ten cubits each, and a garland of oak-leaves studded with precious stones; and twenty golden shields, and sixty-four suits of complete armour also of gold, and two golden greaves three cubits in height, and twelve golden dishes, and a most countless number of flagons, and thirty-six vessels for wine, and ten large anointing vessels, and twelve ewers, and fifty large dishes for barley loaves, and tables of different sorts, and five repositories for gold plate, and a horn thirty cubits long made of solid gold. And all these articles of gold plate were exclusive of those carried in the procession of Bacchus. Then there were four hundred wagons of silver plate, and twenty wagons of gold plate, and eight hundred of perfumes and spices.
“And after all these things came a procession of troops, both. cavalry and infantry, all armed and appointed in a most superb manner: infantry to the number of fifty-seven thousand six hundred; and cavalry to the number of twenty-three thousand two hundred. And all these marched in the procession, all clad in suitable apparel, and all having their appropriate armour; and there were also great numbers of suits of armour besides lying for inspection, too numerous for any one to count, (but Callixenus has made a catalogue of them;) and they were also crowned in the assembly with twenty golden crowns. And first of all Ptolemy and Berenice were crowned with twenty-three, standing on golden chariots, in the sacred precincts of Dodona. And the expense of money which was incurred on this occasion, amounted to two thousand two hundred and thirty-nine talents, ad fifty mine; and this was all counted by the clerks of the treasury, owing to the eagerness46 of those who had given the crowns, before the spectacle came to an end. But Ptolemy Philadel- [p. 324] phus, their son, was crowned with twenty golden crowns, two of them on golden chariots, and one six cubits high on a pillar, and five five cubits high, and six four cubits high.”
Now my friends and fellow-banqueters, what kingdom ever possessed such quantities of gold as this? For Egypt did not acquire all this by taking money from the Persians and from Babylon, or by working mines, or by having a river Pactolus, bearing down gold-dust in its waters. For its only river is that which can really be called the Golden Stream—the Nile, which together with its boundless supplies of food does bring down gold without alloy, which is dug up out of the soil without danger, in quantities sufficient for all men, diffused over the whole soil like the gifts of Triptolemus. On which account the Byzantine poet, who had the name of Parmeno given to him, says—
O god of Egypt, mighty Nile.But king Philadelphus surpassed most kings in riches; and he pursued every kind of manufacturing and trading art so zealously, that he also surpassed every one in the number of his ships. Now the largest ships which he had were these:— two of thirty banks of oars, one of twenty, four of thirteen, two of twelve, fourteen of eleven, thirty of nine, thirty-seven of seven, five of six, seventeen of five. And from quadriremes down to light half-decked triremes, for purposes of war, he had twice as many as all these put together. And the vessels which were sent to the different islands and to the other cities under his dominion, and to Libya, amounted to more than four thousand. And concerning the numbers of his books, and the way in which he furnished his libraries, and the way in which he collected treasures for his Museum, why need I speak? for every one remembers all these things.
But since we have mentioned the subject of the building of ships, let us speak (for it is worth hearing of) of the ships which were built also by Ptolemy Philopator, which are mentioned by the same Callixenus in the first book of his Account of Alexandria, where he speaks as follows:—"Philopator built a ship with forty ranks of rowers, being two hundred and eighty cubits long and thirty-eight cubits from one side to the other; and in height up to the gunwale it was forty-eight cubits; and from the highest part of the stern to the water-line was fifty-three cubits; and it had four rudders, [p. 325] each thirty cubits long; and oars for the thranitæ, the largest thirty-eight cubits in length, which, from having lead in their handles, and because they were very heavy it the part inside the ship, being accurately balanced, were, in spite of their bulk, very handy to use. And the ship had two heads and two sterns, and seven beaks, one of which was longer than all the rest, and the others were of smaller size; and some of them were fixed to the ears of the ship; and it had twelve undergirths to support the keel, and each was six hundred cubits in length. And it was well proportioned to a most extraordinary degree; and all the appointments of the vessel were admirable, for it had figures of animals on it not less than twelve cubits in size, both at the head and at the stern, and every part of it was inlaid and ornamented with figures in wax; and the space between the oars down to the very keel had a running pattern of ivy-leaves and thyrsi; and there was great store of every kind of equipment to supply all parts of the ship that might require any.47 And when it put to sea it held more than four thousand rowers, and four hundred supernumeraries; and on the deck were three thousand marines, or at least two thousand eight hundred and fifty. And besides all these there was another large body of men under the decks, and a vast quantity of provisions and supplies. And the vessel was launched originally from a sort of framework, which they say was erected and made out of the wood of fifty ships of five ranks of oars; and it was launched by the multitude with great acclamations and blowing of trumpets. But after that a Phœnician devised a new method of launching it, having dug a trench under it, equal to the ship itself in length, which he dug close to the harbour. And in the trench he built props of solid stone five cubits deep, and across them he laid beams crosswise, running the whole width of the trench, at four cubits' distance from one another; and then making a channel from the sea he filled all the space which he had excavated with water, out of which he easily brought the ship by the aid of whatever men happened to be at hand; then closing the entrance which had been originally made, he drained the water off again by means of engines; and when this had been done the vessel rested securely on the before-mentioned cross-beams. [p. 326]
"Philopator also built a vessel for the river which he called Thalamegus, or the Carrier of his Bed-chamber, in length half a stadium, and in width at the broadest part thirty cubits; and the height together with the frame for the awning was little short of forty cubits. And its appearance was not exactly like ships of war, nor merchant vessels either, but it was something different from both, on account of the necessity imposed by the depth of the river. For below it was flat and broad; but in its main hull it was high. And the parts at the extremity, and especially at the head, extended a sufficient length, so as to exhibit a very pretty and elegant sweep. This ship also had two heads and two sterns. And it rose to a considerable height above the water, as was necessary, because the waves in the river often rise very high. And in the middle of its hull were constructed banqueting-rooms and sleeping-rooms, and everything else which may be convenient for living in. And round the ship were double corridors running about three sides, each of which was not less than five plethra in circumference. And the arrangement of the lower one was like a peristyle, and that in the upper part was covered in, and surrounded with walls and windows on all sides. And when you first came into the vessel by the stern your eye was met by a colonnade, open in front, and surrounded by pillars. And opposite to it in the bow of the vessel there was a sort of propylæum constructed, made of ivory and most expensive woods. And after you had passed through that, then you came to something like a proscenium, covered in overhead. And again in the same way in the middle of the vessel was another colonnade, open behind, and an entrance of four folding-doors led to it. And both on the right hand and on the left there were windows, admitting a pleasant breeze. "To these was joined a room of very large size, and that was adorned with pillars all round, and it was capable of containing twenty couches. And the greater part of it was made of split cedar, and of Milesian cypress. And the doors which were round it, being twenty in number, were put together with beams of citron wood, having ivory ornaments. And all the nails and fastenings which were visible were made of red brass, which had taken a polish like that of gold from the fire. And of the pillars the bodies were of cypress-wood, but the capitals were of Corinthian workmanship, adorned with ivory and gold. The whole of the capitals of the pillars [p. 327] were of gold; and there was a sort of girdle on them having figures of animals beautifully carved in ivory, more than a cubit high, of which the workmanship was not so conspicuous as the exquisite beauty of the materials. There was a beautiful roof to the banqueting-room, square, and made of cypress wood. And its ornaments were all carved, having a golden face. Next to this banqueting-chamber was a sleeping-chamber holding seven couches; and to that there was joined a narrow passage, which separated the woman's chamber from this one by the width of the hold. And by the passage was a bauqueting-room holding nine couches, very like the large one in the sumptuousness of its furniture; and a bedchamber holding five couches. As to the rooms then on the first deck this was the general appearance presented.
"But when you had ascended by the stairs which were close to the before-mentioned sleeping chamber, there was another chamber capable of containing five couches, having a vaulted oblong roof. And near to it was a temple of Venus, in form like a rotunda, in which was a marble statue of the goddess. And opposite to this was another banqueting-room, very sumptuous, adorned all round with columns: for the columns were all made of Indian stone. And near to this banqueting-room were more sleeping-chambers, with furniture and appointments corresponding to what has been, already mentioned. And as you went on towards the head of the vessel was another apartment dedicated to Bacchus, capable of holding thirteen couches, surrounded with pillars having its cornices all gilt as far down as the epistyle which ran round the room, but the roof corresponded to the character of the god. And in it there was on the right hand a large cave constructed, the colour of which was stone, for in fact it was made of real stone and gold; and in it images were placed of all the relations of the king, made of the stone called lychnites. And there was another banqueting-room, very pleasant, above the roof of the greatest apartment, having an arrangement like that of a tent, so that some of it had no actual roof; but there were arched and vaulted beams running along the top at intervals, along which purple curtains were stretched whenever the vessel was in motion. And after this there was an open chamber occupying the same room above that was occupied by the portico before mentioned as being below. And a winding [p. 328] ladder joined on to it, leading to the secret walk, and a banqueting-room capable of containing nine couches, constructed and furnished in the Egyptian style. For round pillars were run up in it, with alternate tambours of white and black, all placed in parallel lines. And their heads were of round shape; and the whole of the figures round them were engraved like roses a little expanded. And round that part which is called the basket there were not tendrils and rough leaves, as is the case in Grecian pillars, but calyxes of the river-lotus, and the fruit of newly budding dates. And sometimes many other kinds of flowers were also represented. And under the roof of the capital which lies upon the tambour, where it joins on to the head, there were ornaments like the flower leaves of the Egyptian bean intertwined together. This then is the way in which the Egyptians construct and ornament their pillars, and this is the way in which they variegate their walls with black and white bricks: and sometimes also they employ the stone which is called alabaster. And there were many other ornaments all over the main hull of the vessel, and over the centre, and many other chambers and divisions in every part of it. “And the mast of this vessel was seventy cubits in height, and it had a linen sail, adorned with a purple fringe. And the whole of the wealth which had been so carefully preserved by king Philadelphus was dissipated by the last Ptolemy, who also excited the war against Gabinius, who was not a man, but a mere flute-player and conjuror.”
But concerning the ship built by Hiero, the tyrant of Syracuse, which also Archimedes the geometrician superintended, I do not think it right to be silent, since a certain man named Moschion has given a description of it, which I read over with great care very lately. Moschion, then, writes as follows:—"Diocles, a citizen of Abdera, speaks with great admiration of the engine called Helepolis, which was brought by Demetrius against the city of the Rhodians, and applied to their walls. And Timæus extols highly the funeral pile made for Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily. And Hieronymus lavishes his admiration on the building and adorning of the chariot in which the body of Alexander was borne to the tomb. And Polycletus speaks in high terms of the candlestick which was made for the king of [p. 329] Persia. But Hiero, the king of the Syracusans, who was in every respect a friend to the Romans, was very attentive to the furnishing of temples and gymnasia; and was also very earnest in ship-building, having built a great number of vessels to carry corn; the construction of one of which I will describe. For the wood, he caused such a number of trees to be cut down on Mount Aetna as would have been sufficient for sixty triremes, and when this was done he prepared nails, and planks for the sides and for the inside, and wood for every other purpose that could be required, some from Italy and some from Sicily. And for ropes he provided cordage from Spain, and hemp, and pitch from the river Rhone; and he collected great quantities of useful things from all quarters. And he collected also shipwrights and other artisans. And having appointed Archias the Corinthian the superintendent of them all, and the principal architect, he bade them labour at the construction with zeal and earnestness, he himself also devoting his days to watching its progress. And in this way he finished half the ship in six months; and every part of the vessel as soon as it was finished was immediately covered over with plates of lead. And there were three hundred workmen employed in working up the timber, besides the subord nate journeymen whom they had to assist them. And it was arranged to draw this portion that was done so far down to the sea, that it might receive the last finishing strokes there. And when there was a great inquiry as to the best method of launching it into the sea, Archimedes the mechanician launched it by himself with the aid of a few persons. Eor having prepared a helix he drew this vessel, enormous as it was, down into the sea. And Archimedes was the first person who ever invented this helix. But after the remainder of the ship had also been completed in six months more, and it had been surrounded all round with brazen nails, the greater part of which weighed ten minæ, and the rest were half as big again—(and they were driven in through holes made beforehand by gimlets, so as to hold the planks firm; and they were fastened to the wood with leaden plugs; pieces of cloth being put under, impregnated with pitch)—after, I say, Hiero had completed the external figure of the vessel, he laboured at the interior.
"And the vessel was constructed with twenty banks of [p. 330] oars, and three entrances, having the lowest entrance leading to the hold, to which the descent was by two ladders of many steps each: and the next was contrived for those who wished to go down to the eating-rooms: and the third was for the armed men. And on each side of the middle entrance were apartments for the men, each with four couches in them, thirty in number. And the supper-room for the sailors was capable of holding fifteen couches, and it had within it three chambers, each containing three couches; and the kitchen was towards the stern of the ship. And all these rooms had floors composed of mosaic work, of all kinds of stones tesselated. And on this mosaic the whole story of the Iliad was depicted in a marvellous manner. And in all the furniture and the ceilings and the doors everything was executed and finished in the same admirable manner. And along the uppermost passage was a gymnasium and walks, having their appointments in all respects corresponding to the size of the vessel. And in them were gardens of all sorts of most wonderful beauty, enriched with all sorts of plants, and shaded by roofs of lead or tiles. And besides this there were tents roofed with boughs of white ivy and of the vine, the roots of which derived their moisture from casks full of earth, and were watered in the same manner as the gardens. And the tents themselves helped to shadow the walks. And next to these things was a temple devoted to Venus, containing three couches, with a floor of agate and other most beautiful stones, of every sort which the island afforded. And its walls and its roof were made of cypress-wood, and its doors of ivory and citron-wood. And it was furnished in the most exquisite manner with pictures and statues, and with goblets and vases of every form and shape imaginable.
"And next to that was a drawing-room capable of containing five couches, with its walls and doors made of boxwood, having a book-case in it, and along the roof a clock, imitated from the dial at Achradina. And there was also a bath-room, capable of containing three couches, having three brazen vessels for holding hot water, and a bath containing five measures of water, beautifully variegated with Tauromenian marble. And many rooms were also prepared for the marines, and for those who looked to the pumps. And besides all this there were ten stalls for horses on each side of the [p. 331] walls; and by them the fodder for the horses was kept, and the arms and furniture of the horsemen and of the boys. There was also a cistern near the head of the ship, carefully shut, and containing two thousand measures of water, made of beams closely compacted with pitch and canvass. And next to the cistern there was a large Water-tight well for fish, made so with beams of wood and lead. And it was kept full of sea-water, and great numbers of fish were kept in it. And on each side of the walls there were also projecting beams, placed at well-proportioned intervals; and to these were attached stores of wood, and ovens, and baking places, and mills, and many other useful offices. And all round the outside of the ship ran atlases six cubits high, which supported the weight which was placed above them, and the triglyph, all being placed at convenient distances from one another. And the whole ship was adorned with suitable pictures.
"And in the vessel were eight towers of a size proportioned to the burden of the ship, two at the stern, and as many at the head, and the rest in the middle of the ship. And to each of these were fastened two large beams, or yards, from which port-holes were fixed, through which stones were let down upon any enemy who might come against the ship. And on each of the towers stood four young men fully armed, and two archers. And the whole of the interior of the towers was full of stones and darts. And a wall, having buttresses and decks, ran all through the ship, supported on trestles; and on these decks was placed a catapult, which hurled a stone weighing three talents, and an arrow twelve cubits long. And this engine was devised and made by Archimedes; and it could throw every arrow a furlong. And besides all this, there were mats composed of stout ropes48 suspended by brazen chains; and as there were three masts, from each of them were suspended two large yard bearing stones, from which hooks and leaden weights were let down upon any enemy which might attack the vessel. And there was also a palisade all round the ship, made of iron, as a defence against those who might attempt to board it; and iron ravens, as they were called, all round the ship, which, being shot forth by engines, seized on the vessels of the enemy, and brought [p. 332] them round so as to expose them to blows. And on each of the sides of the ship stood sixty young men clad in complete armour; and an equal number stood on the masts, and on the yards which carried the stones; and they were also on the masts, up at the mast-head, which was made of brass. On the first there were three men, and on the second two, and on the third one. And they had stones brought up to them in wicker baskets by means of pulleys, and arrows were supplied to them by boys, within the defended parts of the mast-heads. And the vessel had four wooden anchors and eight iron ones. And of the masts, the second and third were easily found; but the first was procured with difficulty among the mountains of the Bruttii, and was discovered by a swineherd. And Phileas, a mechanic of Tauromenium, brought it down to the seaside. And the hold, although of a most enormous depth, was pumped out by one man, by means of a pulley, by an engine which was the contrivance of Archimedes. And the name of the ship was 'The Syracusan;' but when Hiero sent it to sea, he altered its name and called it 'The Alexandrian.' "And it had some small launches attached to it, the first of which was one of the light galleys called cercurus, able to hold a weight of three thousand talents; and it was wholly moved by oars. And after that came many galleys and skiffs of about fifteen hundred talents burthen. And the crew also was proportionably numerous; for besides the men who have been already mentioned, there were six hundred more, whose post was at the head of the ship, always watching for the orders of the captain. And there was a tribunal instituted to judge of all offences which might be committed on board the ship, consisting of the captain and the pilot, and the officer of the watch; and they decided in every case according to the laws of the Syracusans.
“And they put on board the ship sixty thousand measures of corn, and ten thousand jars of Sicilian salt-fish, and twenty thousand talents weight of wool, and of other cargo twenty thousand talents weight also. And besides all this, there were the provisions necessary for the crew. And Hiero, when he had understood that there was no harbour in Sicily large enough to admit this ship, and, moreover, that some of the harbours were dangerous for any vessel, determined to [p. 333] send it as a present to Alexandria to Ptolemy the king of Egypt. For there was a great dearth of corn in Egypt. And he did so; and the ship came to Alexandria, where it was put in port. And Hiero honoured Archimelus, also, the epigrammatic poet, who wrote an epigram on the ship, with a thousand bushels of wheat, which he also sent at his own expense to the Piræus; and the epigram runs thus—
Who placed this monstrous mass upon the earth;And I intentionally pass over the sacred trireme built by Antigonus, which defeated the commanders of Ptolemy off Leucolla, a city under the dominion of Cos; and after that, Antigonus consecrated it to Apollo; but it was not one-third, or perhaps not even one-fourth part of the size of the Syracusan or Alexandrian vessel.”
What master led it with untiring cables,
How was the deck nail'd to the mighty beams,
And with what axe did men the vessel form?
Surely it equals Aetna in its height,
Or any isle which rises from the sea
Where the Egean wave entwined foams
Amid the Cyclades; on either side
Its breadth is equal, and its walls alike.
Sure 'twas the giants' work, who hoped to reach
By such vast ladder to the heights of heaven.
Its topmast reaches to the stars; and hides
Its mighty bulwarks 'mid the endless clouds.
It holds its anchors with untiring cables,
Like those with which proud Xerxes bound the strait
Which between Sestos and Abydos foams.
A deftly carved inscription on the side
Shows what strong hand has launch'd it on the deep;
It says that Hiero, Hierocles' son,
The king of Sicily, pride of Dorian race,
Sends it a wealthy messenger of gifts
To the Aegean islands; and the God
Who rules the sea, great Neptune, convoys it
Safe o'er the blue and foaming waves to Greece.
All this, then, we have said about the catalogue of the ships, not beginning with the Bœotians,49 but with the shows and processions exhibited at public assemblies. And since I know that my excellent friend Ulpian will attack s again, and ask what that thing is which Callixenus calls ἐγγυθήκη, we tell him that there is a speech which is attributed to [p. 334] Lysias the orator, written about the ἐγγυθήκη, which begins with these words—“If, O judges, Lysimanes had said anything reasonable or moderate.” And going on a little, he proceeds to say—“I should not have been eager to plead in an action about this chest (ἐγγυθήκη), which is not worth thirty drachmæ.” And presently he tells us that the chest was a brazen one—“But when I wished last year to repair it I gave it to a brazier; for it is well put together, and has the faces of Satyrs and large heads of oxen carved upon it. There is also another coffer of the same size; for the same workman made many such articles of the same size, and alike in many particulars.” In these words Lysias, having said that the chest was made of brass, shows plainly enough, as Callixenus also said, that they were things that might be used as stands for kettles. For so Polemo Periegetes said, in the third of those books of his which are addressed to Adæus and Antigonus, where he explains the subject of the picture which is at Phlius, in the portico of the polemarchs, painted by Sillax the Rhegian, who is mentioned by Epicharmus and Simonides. And his words are—“᾿εγγυθήκη, and a large goblet on it.” And Hegesander the Delphian, in his book entitled a Commentary on Statues and Images, says that the pedestal dedicated by Glaucus the Chian at Delphi is like an iron ἐγγυθήκη, the gift of Alyattes. And that is mentioned by Herodotus, who calls it ὑποκρητηρίδιον (a stand for a goblet). And Hegesander uses the same expression. And we ourselves have seen that lying at Delphi, a thing really worth looking at, on account of the figures of animals which are carved upon it, and of other insects, and living things, and plants. . . . . . . . can be put upon it, and goblets, and other furniture. But the thing which is called by the Alexandrians ἀγγοθήκη is a triangular vessel, hollow in the middle, capable of receiving an earthen wine-jar inside of it. And poor men have this made of wood, but rich men have it of brass or of silver.
Having said this much about the ἐγγυθήκη, let us now go on to speak of those kings who are and have been fond of good cheer. For the king, who is the namesake of the abovementioned Antiochus, and the son of Demetrius, according to the account of Posidonius, used to entertain a great crowd of people every day, and in addition to what they ate on the [p. 335] spot, he would give every one of the guests large heaps, consisting of entire joints of meat of beasts, and birds, and fishes, undivided and ready dressed, enough to fill a wagon. And besides all this, he gave them heaps of hone-cakes, and of garlands, of myrrh, and frankincense, with large fillets and bandages of golden embroidery as long as a man. And another king, Antiochus, when celebrating the games at Daphne, himself also made very sumptuous entertainments, as Posidonius himself relates; and he was the first person who ever made a distribution among the guests of whole joints of meat; and also of geese, and hares, and antelopes alive. And golden chaplets were also given to the guests, and a great quantity of silver plate, and of slaves, and horses, and camels. And each man was bound to get on the camel and drink a draught of wine, and then to accept of the camel and of the boy who stood by it. “And,” says he, “all the natives and inhabitants of Syria, on account of the fertility of the land, are accustomed to make frequent feasts after their necessary labours, in order that they may rejoice together, using their gymnasia as baths, and anointing themselves with expensive oil and perfumes; and at their grammatea (for that is the name which they give to their public entertainments) living as if in their own houses, and gratifying their stomachs the greater part of the day with wine and meat, and also carrying away a quantity of the same to their own homes, they thus spend the day, listening also to the music of the loud lyre made of the tortoise shell, so that whole cities resound with noises of this kind”
And I, my friends, praise very much the entertainment which was given by Alexander the king of Syria. And this Alexander was a supposititious son of Antiochus Epiphanes, substituted on account of the hatred which all men bore to Demetrius, concerning whom our companion Athenæus has spoken in his treatise on the Kings who have reigned in Syria. Now that entertainment was conducted as nearly as may be in this fashion. Diogenes the Epicurean, having a very tolerable acquaintance with the doctrines of the sect which he professed, was by birth a native of Seleucia, in the district of Babylon. And he was kindly received by the king, although the monarch rather inclined to the doctrines of the Stoic school. [p. 336] Accordingly, Alexander treated him with great distinction, although a man of anything but a reputable course of life, and so given to calumny and envy, that if he could raise a laugh by it, he could not abstain from even the king himself. And when he preferred to the king a request that had no great connexion with philosophy—namely, that he might be allowed to wear a purple robe and a golden crown, having a face of Virtue in the centre of it, as he claimed to be addressed as the priest of Virtue, he agreed to it all, and besides that, made him a present of the crown. And these ornaments Diogenes, being in love with a woman who was one of the Bacchanalian singers, gave to her. But Alexander, hearing of this, collected a banqueting party of philosophers and eminent men, and among them he invited Diogenes. And when he arrived he begged him to take his seat with his crown and his purple robe on. And when he replied that that would be unseemly, the king nodded to his servants to introduce the musicians, among whom this singing woman appeared, crowned with the crown of Virtue, and clothed also in the purple robe. So when every one burst into laughter at this, the philosopher kept quiet, and never stopped praising the singing woman. But Antiochus, who succeeded Alexander in the kingdom, could not tolerate the abusive language of this Diogenes, and accordingly ordered him to be put to death. But Alexander was at all times, and in all circumstances, of a gentle disposition, and affable to every one in conversation, and not at all like Athenion the Peripatetic philosopher, who had a philosophical school at Athens, and at Messene, and also at Larissa in Thessaly, and who subsequently became tyrant of Athens; concerning whom Posidonius of Apamea gives a very particular account, which I, even though it is rather long, will quote, in order that we may come to a thorough understanding and appreciation of those men who profess to be philosophers, and that we may not be taken in by their ragged cloaks and unshaven chins. For, as Agatho says—
If I do tell the truth I shall not please you;But “let truth,” as the saying is, “be one's friend.” At all events, I will quote the account given of the man.
And if I please you, I shall speak no truth.
"In the school of Erymneus the Peripatetic there was a certain man of the name of Athenion, who applied himself [p. 337] very perseveringly to philosophical discussions. He, having bought an Egyptian female slave, made her his mistress. And when she became a mother, either by him or by some one else, the child was bred up by Athenion, and received the same name as his master. And having been taught literature, he became accustomed to lead his master about when he became an old man, in company with his mother; and when he died he succeeded him as his heir, and became a citizen of Athens, being enrolled under the name of Athenion. And having married a very beautiful girl, after that he betook himself to the profession of a sophist, hunting out for boys to come to his school. And having pursued his profession of sophist at Messene and at Larissa in Thessaly, and having amassed a considerable fortune, he returned to Athens. And having been appointed an ambassador by the Athenian people, when the chief power in all that district was lodged in the hands of Mithridates, he insinuated himself into the good graces of the king, and became one of his friends, being held by him in the greatest honour; in consequence of which he wrote letters to the Athenians to raise their spirits, as one who had the greatest influence with the king of Cappadocia, leading them to hope that they should be discharged of all their existing debts, and live in peace and concord with him; and also that they should recover their democratic constitution, and receive great presents both publicly and privately. And the Athenians boasted of all these promises which were made to them, feeling sure that the supremacy of the Romans would be put an end to.
"Now when all Asia had revolted to the King, Athenio set out to return to Athens; and being tossed about by a storm he was driven to Carystus. And when the Cecropidæ heard this, they sent some ships of war to conduct him back, and a litter with silver feet. And now he is entering the city; and almost the whole of the citizens has poured out to meet him; and many other spectators came together, marvelling at this preposterous freak of fortune, that this intrusive citizen, Athenion, foisted into Athens in such a manner, should be conducted into the city on a litter with silver feet, and lying on purple clothes, a man who had never before seen even purple patch on his ragged cloak; when no one, not even of the Romans, had ever exhibited such pomp and insulting show [p. 338] in Attica before. So there ran to this spectacle men, women, children, all expecting some glorious honours from Mithridates. While Athenio, that ancient beggar, who gave lectures for trifling sums of money, was now making a procession through the country and through the city, relying on the king's favour, and treating every one with great insolence. There met him also the artisans of the spectacles of Bacchus, calling him a messenger of the young Bacchus, and inviting him to the common altar, and to the prayers and libations which were to be offered at it; and he, who had formerly come out of a hired house, into the * * * * * was conducted into a mansion adorned with couches, and pictures, and statues, and a display of silver plate. And from it he issued forth, dragging on the ground a bright cloak, and with a golden ring on his finger, having on it a carved portrait of Mithridates. And numbers of attendants went before him and followed him in procession. And in the plot of ground belonging to the artisans, sacrifices were performed in honour of the return of Athenio, and libations made with formal proclamation by a herald. And the next day many people came to his house and awaited his appearance; and the whole Ceramicus was full of citizens and foreigners, and there was a voluntary thronging of the whole population of the city to the assembly. And at last he came forth, being attended by all who wished to stand well with the people, as if they had been his bodyguards, every one hastening even to touch his garment.
“He then having ascended the tribunal which had been erected for the Roman generals in front of the portico of Attalus, standing on it, and looking round on all the people in a circle, and then looking up, said, 'O men of Athens, the state of affairs and the interests of my country compel me to relate to you what I know. But the greatness of the affairs that must be mentioned, owing to the unexpected character which circumstances have assumed, hinders me from doing so.' And when all the bystanders called out to him with one accord to be of good cheer, and to tell them,” I tell you, then,' said he, ' of things which have never been hoped for, nor even imagined by any one in a dream. The king Mithridates is master of Bithynia, and of Upper Cappadocia; and he is master of the whole of Asia, without any break, as far as Pamphylia and Cilicia: and the kings of the Armenians [p. 339] and Persians are only his guards; and he is lord of all the nations which dwell around the Palus Mæotis, and the whole of Pontus, so that his dominions are upwards of thirty thousand furlongs in circumference. And the Roman commander in Pamphylia, Quintus Oppius, has been surrendered to him, and is following him as a prisoner, but Manius Aquillius, a man of consular rank, who has celebrated a triumph for his victory over the Sicilians, is fastened by a long chain to Bastarna, a man of gigantic stature, and is dragged byhim on foot at the tail of his horse. And of the other Roman citizens in Asia some have fallen down at the images of the gods, and the rest have put on square cloaks and acknowledge again the claims of their original country. And every city honouring him with more than human honours, galls the king a god; and oracles everywhere promise him the dominion over the whole world, on which account he is now sending large armies against Thrace and Macedonia, and every part of Europe is coming over bodily to his side. For ambassadors are coming to him, not only from the Italian tribes, but also from the Carthaginians, begging him to enter into alliance with them for the destruction of the Romans.'
"Having stopped a little after saying this, and having given time for the multitude to converse together about the news thus unexpectedly announced to them, he wiped his face, and went on, 'What then do I advise?—Not to bear this state of anarchy any longer, which the Roman senate makes continue, while it is deciding what constitution you are to enjoy for the future. And do not let us be indifferent to our temples being closed, to our gymnasia being left in the dirt, to our theatre being always empty, and our courts of justice mute, and the Pnyx, consecrated by the oracles of the gods, being taken from the people. Let us not, O Athenians, be indifferent to the sacred voice of Bacchus being reduced to silence, to the holy temple of Castor and Pollux being closed, and to the schools of the philosophers being silence as they are.' And when this slave had said all this and a good deal more, the multitude conversing with one another and running together to the theatre elected Athenio general over the entire army. And then, the Peripatetic coming into the orchestra, walking like Pythocles, thanked the Athenians, and said, 'Now you yourselves are your own generals; and I am [p. 340] the commander-in-chief: and if you exert all your strength to co-operate with me I shall be able to do as much as all of you put together.' And he, having said this, appointed others to be his colleagues in the command, proposing whatever names he thought desirable.
"And a few days afterwards, the philosopher having thus appointed himself tyrant, and having proved how much weight is to be attached to the doctrine of the Pythagoreans about plots against others, and what was the practical effect of the philosophy which the admirable Pythagoras laid down, as Theopompus has related in the eighth book of his Philippics, and Hermippus, the Callimachean, has corroborated the account, he immediately removed all the citizens who were right-thinking and of a good disposition (contrary to the sentiments of, and rules laid down by, Aristotle and Theophrastus; showing how true is the proverb which says, Do not put a sword into the hand of a child); and he placed sentinels at the gates, so that many of the Athenians, fearing what he might be going to do, let themselves down over the walls by night, and so fled away. And Athenio sending some horsemen to pursue them slew some of them, and brought back some in chains, having a number of bodyguards about his person of the kind called phractici. And often he convened assemblies, pretending great attachment to the side of the Romans; and bringing accusations against many as having kept up communications with the exiles, and aiming at a revolution, he put them to death. And he placed thirty guards at each gate, and would not allow any one to go either in or out. And he seized on the property of many of the people, and collected such a quantity of money as to fill several wells; and he also sent all over the country people to lie in wait, as it were, for every one who was travelling, and they brought them to him; and he put them to death without any trial, torturing and racking them into the bargain. And he also instituted prosecutions for treason against several people, saying that they were co-operating with the exiles to effect their return. And some of the parties prosecuted fled out of fear before the trials came on, and some were condemned before the tribunals, he himself giving his own vote and collecting those of the others. And he brought about in the city a scarcity of the things necessary for life, [p. 341] stinting the citizens of their proper quantity of barley and wheat. He also sent out heavy-armed soldiers over the country, to hunt out any of those who had fled and who could be found within the borders of the land, or any of the Athenians who were escaping beyond the borders. And whoever was detected he beat to death; and some of them he exhausted beforehand with tortures; and he caused proclamation to be made, that all must be in their houses by sunset, and that no one should presume to walk abroad with a lantern-bearer.
"And he not only plundered the property of the citizens, but that of foreigners also, laying his hands even on the property of the god which was laid up at Delos; sending Apellicon into the island, who was a Scian by birth, but who had become a citizen of Athens, and who lived a most whimsical and ever-changing course of life. For at one time he was a philosopher, and collected all the treatises of the Peripatetics, and the whole library of Aristotle, and many others; for he was a very rich man; and he had also stolen a great many autograph decrees of the ancients out of the temple of the Mighty Mother, and whatever else there was ancient and taken care of in other cities; and being detected in these practices at Athens he would have been in great danger if he had not made his escape; and a short time afterwards he returned again, having paid his court to many people, and he then joined himself to Athenion, as being a man of the same sect as he was. And Athenion, having embraced the doctrines of the Peripatetics, measured out a chœnix of barley, as four days' allowance for the ignorant Athenians, giving them what was barely food enough for fowl, and not the proper nutriment for men. And Apellicon, coming in great force to Delos, and living there more like a man exhibiting a spectacle than a general with soldiers, and placing guards in a very careless manner on the side of Delos, and leaving all the back of the island unguarded, and not even putting down a palisade in front of his camp, went to rest. And Orobius, the Roman general, hearing of this, who was at that time in command at Delos, watching for a moonless night, led out his troops, and falling on Apellicon and his soldiers, who were all asleep and drunk, he cut the Athenians and all those who were in the army with them to pieces, like so many sheep, to the number of six hundred, and he took [p. 342] four hundred alive. And that fine general, Apellicon, fled away without being perceived, and came to Delos; and Orobius seeing that many of those who fled with him had escaped to the farmhouses round about, burnt them in the houses, houses and all; and he destroyed by fire also all the engines for besieging cities, together with the Helepolis which Apellicon had made when he came to Delos. And Orobius having erected in that place a trophy and an altar, wrote this inscription on it—
This tomb contains the foreigners here slain,
Who fought near Delos, and who fell at sea,
When the Athenians spoil'd the holy isle,
Aiding in war the Cappadocian king."
There was also at Tarsus an Epicurean philosopher who had become the tyrant of that city, Lysias by name; who having been created by his countrymen Stephanephoros, that is to say, the priest of Hercules, did not lay down his command, but seized on the tyranny.50 He put on a purple tunic with a white centre, and over that he wore a very superb and costly cloak, and he put on white Lacedæmonian sandals, and assumed also a crown of golden daphne leaves. And he distributed the property of the rich among the poor, and put many to death who did not surrender their property willingly.
These are the commanders who became such from having been philosophers; concerning whom Demochares said,—“Just as no one could make a spear out of a bulrush, so no one could make a faultless general out of Socrates.” For Plato says that Socrates served in three military expeditions, one to Potidæa, and another to Amphipolis, and another against the Bœotians, in which last it was that the battle of Delium took place. And though no one has mentioned this circumstance, he himself says that he gained the prize of the most eminent valour, since all the other Athenians fled, and many were slain. But all this is an erroneous statement. For the expedition against Amphipolis took place in the archonship of Alcæus, when Cleon was the general; and it [p. 343] was composed entirely of picked men, as Thucydides relates. Socrates then, a man who had nothing but his ragged cloak and his stick, must have been one of these picked men. But what historian or poet has mentioned this fact? Or where has Thucydides made the slightest mention of Socrates, this soldier of Plato's? And what is there in common between a shield and a philosopher's staff? And when was it that Socrates bore a part in the expedition against Potidoea, as Plato has said in his Charmides, where he states that he then yielded the prize of preeminent valour to Alcibiades? though Thucydides has not mentioned it, nor has Isocrates in his Oration on the Pair-horse Chariot. And what battle ever took place when Socrates gained the prize of preeminent valour? And what eminent and notorious exploit did he perform; for indeed there was actually no battle at all at that time, as Thucydides tells us. But Plato not being content with all these strange stories, introduces the valour which was displayed, or rather which was invented by him at Delium. For if Socrates had even taken Delium, as Herodicus the Cratetian has reported in his Treatise to Philosocrates, he would have fled disgracefully as all the rest did, when Pagondas sent two squadrons of cavalry unperceived round the hill. For then some of the Athenians fled to Delium, and some fled to the sea, and some to Oropus, and some to Mount Parnes. And the Bœotians, especially with their cavalry, pursued them and slew them; and the Locrian cavalry joined in the pursuit and slaughter. When then this disorder and alarm had seized upon the Athenians, did Socrates alone, looking proud and casting his eyes around, stand firm, turning aside the onset of the Bœotian and Locrian cavalry? And yet does Thucydides make no mention of this valour of his, nor even any poet either. And how was it that he yielded to Alcibiades the prize of preeminent valour, who had absolutely never joined in this expedition at all? But in the Crito, Plato, that favourite of Memory, says that Socrates had never once gone out of Attica, except when he, once went to the Isthmian games. And Antisthenes, the Socratic philosopher, tells the same tale as Plato about the Aristeia; but the story is not true. For this Dog flatters Socrates in many particulars, on which account we must not believe either of them, keeping Thucydides for our guide. For Antisthenes [p. 344] even exaggerates this false story, saying,—“'But we hear that you also received the prize of preeminent valour in the battle which took place against the Bœotians.' 'Be quiet, my friend, the prize belongs to Alcibiades, not to me.' 'Yes, but you gave it to him as we are told.'” But Plato's Socrates says that he was present at Potidæa, and that he yielded the prize of preeminent valour to Alcibiades on that occasion. But by the universal consent of all historians the expedition against Potidæa, in which Phormio commanded, was previous to the one against Delium.
In every respect then the philosophers tell lies; and they are not aware that they commit numbers of anachronisms in the accounts which they give. And even the admirable Xenophon is not free from this error. For he in his Banquet introduces Callias, the son of Hipponicus, as the lover of Autolycus, the son of Lycon, and making an entertainment in his honour when he gained the victory in the Pancratium. And he represents himself as being present with the rest of the guests, when he perhaps was either not born, or at all events not out of childhood. And this is the time when Aristion was archon. For it was in his archonship that Eupolis exhibited the comedy Autolycus, in which, in the character of Demostratus, he ridicules the victory of Autolycus. And again Xenophon makes Socrates say at this Banquet—“And Pausanias, indeed, the lover of Agathon the poet, when speaking in excuse of those who allow themselves to indulge in intemperance, said that a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers; for that of all the men in the world they would be the most ashamed to desert one another. Saying a very strange thing,—if men who are accustomed utterly to disregard all blame, and to behave with utter shamelessness to one another, would be the men above all others ashamed to do anything disgraceful.” But that Pausanias never said anything of the sort we may see from the Banquet of Plato. For I know of no book at all which is written by Pausanias. Nor is he introduced by any one else as speaking of lovers and boys, but only by Plato. But whether Xenophon has absolutely invented this story, or whether he fell in with any edition of Plato's Banquet which reports what happened in a different manner, is of no importance; still we must take notice of the blunder as far as the [p. 345] time is concerned. Aristion, in whose time this banquet is represented as having taken place, was archon four years before Euphemus, in whose archonship Plato places the banquet given in honour of the victory of Agathon, at which banquet Pausanias said these things about lovers. So that it is a marvellous and incredible thing that Socrates w hen supping with Callias should find fault with things as having been said erroneously, which had not yet been said at all, and which were not said till four years afterwards at the banquet of Agathon.
But altogether Plato's Banquet is mere nonsense. For when Agathon got the victory Plato was fourteen years old. For the former was crowned at the Lenæa in the archonship of Euphemus. But Plato was born in the year of the archonship of Apollodorus, who succeeded Euthydemus. And when he was eighty-two years old he died in the archonship of Theophilus, who succeeded Callimachus; for he is the eighty-second archon after Apollodorus. But from the archonship of Apollodorus and the birth of Plato, Euphemus is the fourteenth archon; and it is in his archonship that the banquet was given in honour of the victory of Agathon. And Plato himself shows that this entertainment had taken place a long time before, saying in the Banquet . . . . “'Do you think then that this entertainment has taken place but lately, so that I could have been present at it?' 'Indeed I do,' said he. 'How could that be,' said I, 'O Glaucon? Do you not know that Agathon has not been in the city for many years?'” And then a little while after he says—“' But tell me, when did this entertainment take place?' And I replied, 'When we were still children, when Agathon gained the prize in tragedy.” ' But that Plato makes many blunders in his chronology is plain from many circumstance. For as the poet said—“The man has a tongue which pays no regard to seasons;” so he writes without sufficient discernment. For he never spoke at random, but always with great consideration.
As for instance, writing in the Gorgias, he says— “'Archelaus, then, according to your definition, is a miserable man.' 'Yes, my friend, if, at least, he is an unjust one.'” And then, after expressly stating that Archelaus was possessed of the kingdom of the Macedonians, he goes on to say, [p. 346] “that Pericles also was lately dead” But if Pericles had only lately died, Archelaus was not yet in the enjoyment of his dominions at all; and if Archelaus was king at the time, then Pericles had been dead a long time. Now Perdiccas was king before Archelaus, according to the statement of Nicomedes of Acanthus; and he reigned forty-one years. But Theopompus says he reigned thirty-five years; Anaximenes, forty; Hieronymus, twenty-eight. But Marsyas and Philochorus say that he reigned only twenty-three years. Now, as these all vary so much in their accounts, we will take the smallest number, and say twenty-three. But Pericles died in the third year of the Peloponnesian war, in the archonship of Epameinon, in which year also Alexander died, and Perdiccas succeeded him in the kingdom. And he reigned till the archonship of Callias, in whose year Perdiccas died, and Archelaus succeeded to the kingdom. How, then, can Pericles have died lately, as Plato phrases it? And in the same Gorgias Plato represents Socrates as saying— “And last year, when I drew the lot to be one of the council, when my tribe was the presiding tribe, and I had to put the question to the vote, I caused the people to laugh, as I did not know how to put the question to the vote.” Now Socrates did not fall into this error out of ignorance, but out of his firm principles of virtue; for he did not choose to violate the laws of the democracy. And Xenophon shows this plainly in the first book of his Hellenics, where he gives the following account:—“But when some of the prytanes said that they would not put the question contrary to the laws, Callixenus again mounts the tribunal and inveighs against them; and they cried out that he should impeach those who refused. And the prytanes being alarmed, all agreed to put the question except Socrates the son of Sophroniscus; and he said that he would not, but that he would do everything according to the laws.” This was the question which was put to the vote against the generals, Erasinides and his colleagues, because they did not pick up the men who were lost in the naval battle at Arginusæ. And this battle took place in the archonship of Callias, twenty-four years after the death of Pericles.
But the dialogue in the Protagoras, which took place after the death of Hipponicus, when Callias had entered upon [p. 347] his patrimonial inheritance, says that Protagoras had arrived in Athens for the second time not many days previously. But Hipponicus, in the archonship of Euthydenmus, was a colleague of Nicias in the generalship against the Tanagreans and against those Bœotians who acted as their allies; and he defeated them in a battle. And he died before Eupolis exhibited the Flatterers, which took place in the archonship of Alcæus, but probably not any long time before. For the play proves that the succession of Callias to his patrimonial inheritance was still quite recent. Now in this play Eupolis introduces Protagoras as living at Athens. And Ameipsias, in his Connus, which was exhibited two years before, does not enumerate him among the band of sophists. So it is plain that this happened in the interval between those two periods. But Plato represents Hippias the Elian also, in the Protagoras, as present with some of his own fellow-citizens, men who it is not likely could have remained long in Athens with safety, before the truce for a year was made in the archonship of Isarchus, in the month Elaphebolion. But he represents this dialogue as having taken place, not about the time when the truce had recently been made, but a long time after that; at all events he says—“For if they were savage men, such as Pherecrates the poet exhibited last year at the Lenæan festival.” But the play of The Savage Men was exhibited in the archonship of Aristion, who was succeeded as archon by Astyphilus, (being the fifth after Isarchus,) in whose archonship the truce was made; for Isarchus came first, then Ameinias, then Aristion, then Astyphilus: so that it is contrary to history that Plato in his dialogue brings to Athens Hippias and his companions, who were enemies at the time, when this truce had not yet any existence.
And among other things Plato says that Chærephon asked the Pythian priestess whether any one was wiser than Socrates? and that she replied, No one. But Xenphon does not agree with all this; but says—“For when Dhærephon once asked at Delphi about me, Apollo replied, in the presence of many witnesses, that no man was either more just or more temperate than I was.” And how can it be either reasonable or probable that Socrates, who confessed that he knew nothing, should allege that he had been called the wisest of all men by God who knows everything? For if knowing [p. 348] nothing be wisdom, then to know everything must be folly. And what was the need of Chaerephon bothering the god, and asking him about Socrates? for he himself might have been believed in his own case, saying that he was not wise. For he must be a stupid man who would put such a question to the god, as if he were to ask him such a question as this, Whether any wool is softer than the Attic wool; or, Whether there are any more powerful nations than the Bactrians and the Medes; or, Whether any one has a more complete pug-nose than Socrates. For people who ask such questions as these have a very neat slap in the face given them by the god, as when a man asked him (whether it is a fable of Aesop's or of some one else),
O mighty son of Leto and of Jove,he, ridiculing him, answered—
Tell me by what means I may rich become:
If you acquire all the land that lies
Between the tow'rs of Sicyon and Corinth.
But indeed, no one even of the comic poets has said such things as Plato has said about Socrates, neither that he was the son of a very fierce-looking nurse, nor that Xantippe was an ill-tempered woman, who even poured slops over his head; nor that Alcibiades slept with him under the same cloak; and yet this must have been divulged with boisterous laughter by Aristophanes, as he was present at the banquet according to Plato's account; for Aristophanes would never have suppressed such a circumstance as that, which would have given such a colour to the charge that he corrupted the youth. Aspasia, indeed, who was the clever preceptress of Socrates in rhetoric, in these verses which are attributed to her, which Herodicus the Cratetian has quoted, speaks thus—
As. O Socrates, most clearly do I seeThe admirable Socrates then goes a hunting, having the Milesian woman for his tutor in love. But he himself is not hunted, as Plato says, having nets spread for him by Alcibiades. And indeed, he laments without ceasing, being, as I suppose, unsuccessful in his love. For Aspasia, seeing in what a condition he was, says—
How greatly you're inflamed by tender love
For the young son of Clinias and Dinomache;
But if you wish to prosper list to me,
And do not scoff at my advice, but follow it,
And it shall be the better for your suit.
Soc. I when I heard your speech was so o'erjoy'd
That straightway sweat did overflow each limb;
And tears unbidden pour'd forth from my eyes.
As. Restrain yourself, and fill your mind with strains
[p. 349] Such as the Muse who conquers men will teach you,
And you will charm him by your dulcet songs.
They the foundation lay of mutual love.
And thus will you o'ercome him, fettering
His mind with gifts with which his ears are charm'd
Why weep you, my dear Socrates? does loveAnd that he really did love Alcibiades Plato shows plainly in the Protagoras, although he was now little less than thirty years of age; for he speaks in this manner, “'Whence are you come from, O Socrates? It seems to me you are come from your pursuit of Alcibiades's beauty. And, indeed, the man, when I saw him the other day, appeared to me to be a handsome man; a man, indeed, O Socrates, as he may well be called, just as much so as we are; and he has a firmly grown beard.' ' Well, what of that? are not you an admirer of Homer, who said that the most beautiful season of life was that of a young man who began to have a beard? And that is just the age of which Alcibiades is now.'”
For that impracticable boy which dwells
Within thy breast, and shoots from out his eyes,
So far thy heart subdue? Did I in vain
Engage to make him docile to thy suit
But most philosophers are of such a disposition that they are more inclined to evil speaking than the Comic writers. Since both Aeschines, the pupil of Socrates, in his Telauges, attacks Critobulus the son of Crito. as an ignorant man, and one who lives in a sordid manner; and he attacks Telauges himself for wearing a cloak borrowed of a clothes' cleaner by the day for half an obol; and for being girt about with a skin, and for having his sandals fastened with rotten pieces of string. And as for Lysias the orator he laughs immoderately at him; and in his Aspasia, he calls Hipponicus, the son of Callias, a blockhead; and taking all the women of Ionia in a lump he calls them lascivious and covetous. But his Callias dwells upon the quarrel of Callias with his own father, and the absurd jokes of the sophist Prodicus and [p. 350] Anaxagoras. For he says that Prodicus had Theramenes for a pupil to finish his education; and that the other had Philoxenus, the son of Eryxis, and Ariphrades, the brother of Arignotus, the harp-player, wishing from the notorious impurity of life of the men who have been named and their general want of respectability and intemperance to leave the sort of education they received from their tutors to be inferred. But in his Axiochus he runs Alcibiades down with great bitterness, as a drunkard, and a man always running after other men's wives.
But Antisthenes, in the second of his treatises called Cyrus, abusing Alcibiades, says that he is a breaker of the laws, both with respect to women and with respect to every other part of his conduct in life; for he says that he had intrigued with a mother, and daughter, and sister, after the fashion of the Persians. And his Political Dialogue runs down the whole of the Athenian demagogues: and his Archelaus attacks Gorgias, the rhetorician; and his Aspasia attacks Xanthippus and Paralus, the sons of Pericles. For, as for one of them, he says that he is a companion of Archestratus, who is no better than a frequenter of houses of the worst possible fame; and the other he calls an acquaintance and intimate friend of Euphemus, who abused every one he met with vulgar and ill-mannered abuse. And nicknaming Plato Satho, in a witless and vulgar manner, he published a dialogue against him, to which he gave the same name as its title. For these men believe that there is no such thing as an honest counsellor, or a conscientious general, or a respectable sophist, or a poet worth listening to, or a reasonable people: but Socrates, who spent his time in loose houses with the flute-playing women of Aspasia, and who was always chatting with Piston the armourer, and who gave lessons to Theodote the courtesan, how she ought to make the most of her lovers, as Xenophon tells us in the second book of his Memorabilia, is the only wise man according to them; for they represent him as giving Theodote such rules as neither Nico the Samian, nor Callistrate the Lesbian, nor Philænis the Leucadian, nor even Pythonicus the Athenian, were ever acquainted with as charms to conciliate affection. And yet those people paid much attention to such things. And time would fail me if I were to be inclined to quote the attacks which philosophers [p. 351] have made on people; for, as the same Plato says, a regular crowd of Gorgons and Pegasi, and other monsters, keeps flowing in upon me in immense numbers, and of preposterous appearance, so that I will keep silence.
When Masurius had said this, and when all had admired his wisdom, after silence was restored Ulpian said,— You seem to me, O guests, to be overwhelmed with impetuous speeches which come upon you unexpectedly, and to be thoroughly soaked in unmixed wine;—
For a man drinking wine, as a horse does water,as says Parmeno the Byzantian. Have you been all turned into stone by the before-mentioned Gorgons? Concerning whom, that there really have been some animals who were the causes of men being turned into stone, Alexander the Myndian speaks at length, in the second book of his History of Beasts, saying—“The Nomades in Libya (where it is born) call the animal named the Gorgon, 'The Looking-down:' and it is as most people say, conjecturing from its skin, something like a wild sheep; but as some say, it is like a calf. And they say that it has such a breath that it destroys every one who meets it; and that it has a mane let down from its forehead over its eyes, and when it has shaken it aside, which it does with difficulty by reason of it weight, and then looks out through it, it slays the man who is beheld by it, not by its breath, but by some natural violence which proceeds from its eyes. And it was discovered in this way: Some of the soldiers of Marius, in his expedition against Jugurtha, having beheld the Gorgon, thought because it held its head down, and moved slowly, that it was a wild sheep, and in consequence they rushed upon it, intending to kill it with the swords which they had about them; but it, being disturbed, shaking aside the mane which hung down over its eyes, immediately caused the death of those who were rushing upon it. And when others again and again did the same thing, and lost their lives by so doing, and when all ho proceeded against it were invariably killed, some of the soldiers inquired the nature of the animal from the natives; and by the command of Marius some Nomad horsemen laid an [p. 352] ambush against it from a distance, and shot it with darts, and returned to the camp, bringing the dead monster to the general.” And that this account is the true one, the skin and the expedition of Marius both prove. But the statement made by the historian is not credible, namely, that there are in Libya some oxen which are called Opisthonomi,51 because they do not advance while feeding, but feed constantly returning backwards, for their horns are a hindrance to their feeding in the natural manner, inasmuch as they are not bent upwards, as is the case with all other animals, but they bend downwards and overshadow the eyes; for this is incredible, since no other historian testifies to such a circumstance.
Speaks like a Scythian, not knowing even koppa,
But voiceless, lies immersed in a cask,
And sleeps as if he'd drunk medicinal poppy;
When Ulpian had said this, Laurentius bearing witness to the truth of his statement, and adding something to his speech, said, that Marius sent the skins of these animals to Rome, and that no one could conjecture to what animal they belonged, on account of the singular appearance which they presented; and that these skins were hung up in the temple of Hercules, in which the generals who celebrate a triumph give a banquet to the citizens, as many poets and historians of our nation have related. You then, O grammarians, as the Babylonian Herodicus says, inquiring into none of these matters—
Fly ye to Greece along the sea's wide back,For, as Anaxandrides the comic writer says—
Pupils of Aristarchus, all more timid
Than the pale antelope, worms hid in holes,
Monosyllabic animals, who care
For σφὶν, and σφῶιν, and for μὶν, and νὶν,
This shall be your lot, grumblers—but let Greece
And sacred Babylon receive Herodicus.
'Tis sweet when one has plann'd a new device,And when this conversation had terminated, most of the guests took their departure secretly, and so broke up the party.
To tell it to the world. For those who are
Wise for themselves alone have, first of all,
No judge to criticize their new invention.
And envy is their portion too: for all,
That seems to be commended by its novelty,
Should be imparted freely to the people.