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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae


published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

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(Vol. IV) Athenaeus

Book IX
(Part 1 of 5)

p365 (411) "Like the varied bounty of a rich dinner, such must be the fare provided by the clever poet for the spectators, so that each departs after getting his fill, having eaten and drunk again what he likes, and the entertainment is not one monotonous dish"; so, friend Timocrates, says the tragic poet Astydamas in the satyric play Heracles.1 Come, then, let us here take up what naturally follows the preceding discussion, and explain that Heracles also was a glutton.2 Almost all the poets and historians make this plain. Epicharmus, for example, says in Busiris:3 "First, if you should see him eating you would die. His gullet thunders inside, his jaw rattles, his molar crackles, his canine tooth gnashes, he sizzles at the nostrils, he waggles his ears." And Ion, after dilating on his gluttony in Omphale, adds:4 "In his ravenous hunger he gulped down the joints and the coals as p367well." Ion has taken this idea from Pindar, who said:5 "Two steaming carcasses of oxen he heaped upon the coals, crackling in the fire; then did I perceive the shrieking of flesh and the heavy moan of bones; short was the time allowed for one to see and discern it fittingly." And so, having conceived him as being that kind of person in his gluttonies, they have assigned to him as his attribute among the birds the gull, which is called the scavenger.6 Heracles is also represented as competing with Lepreus in an eating-contest; Lepreus challenged him, and Heracles won. Zenodotus, in the second book of his Epitomes, says that Lepreus was the son of Caucon, the son of Poseidon and of Astydameia, the daughter of Phorbas, and he had recommended that Heracles be bound in chains when he demanded his pay of Augeas.7 After Heracles had completed his labours he proceeded against Caucon's people, and at Astydameia's entreaty was reconciled with Lepreus. After this Lepreus contended with Heracles in throwing the discus, in bailing water, and in determining who should consume a bull quicker, and he was beaten in all. He then put on a breastplate and challenged Heracles, and was killed in the fight. Matris, in his Eulogy of Heracles, says that Heracles was also challenged to a drinking-contest by Lepreus, and again he was beaten. The same stories are told by the Chian orator Caucalus, p369brother of the historian Theopompus, in his Eulogy of Heracles.

Odysseus, also, is represented by Homer as a hearty eater and a glutton when he says:8 "But as for me, let me sup, distressed as I am; for there is nought more shameless than a wretched belly, which bids man of necessity to be mindful of it, though he be sore tried, and commands him to take his fill." Indeed, his gluttony is shown to be excessive in these lines, besides which he utters sententious remarks about the belly at an inappropriate time. For though he were famished, he ought to have been patient to the end or else have been more moderate in regard to food. But the last part of the passage exhibits in all its completeness his gluttony and voracity:9 "Even as I bear sorrow in my heart; but the belly ever bids me eat and drink, and brings forgetfulness of all that I have suffered, and commands me to take my fill." Even Sardanapalus10 of old would not have ventured to say that. And so, old man though he was, "he ate ravenously abundance of meat and sweet wine."11

Theagenes, the athlete from Thasos, devoured a bull all alone, as Poseidippus says in his Epigrams: "And on a wager I once ate a Maeonian ox; for my own country Thasos could not have furnished a meal to Theagenes; whatever I ate, I kept asking for more. For this reason I stand in bronze, holding forth my hand." Milon of Croton, as Theodorus of p371Hierapolis says12 in his work On Athletic Contests, used to eat twenty pounds of meat and as many of bread, and he drank three pitchers of wine.13 And at Olympia he put a four-year-old bull on his shoulders and carried it round the subdue; after which he cut it up and ate it all alone in a single day. Titormus of Aetolia ate an ox in competition with him at breakfast, as Alexander of Aetolia records.14 And Phylarchus, in the third book of his Histories, says15 that Milon devoured a bull reclining in front of the altar of Zeus; wherefore the poet Dorieus wrote these lines in his honour: "Such was Milon, when he lifted the weight from the ground, a four-year-old steer, at the feast of Zeus, and on his shoulders he bore the monstrous beast, as lightly as though it were a new-born lamb, through the entire assemblage. And that was wonder enough; but a greater marvel than this, stranger, he wrought before the Pisan altar; for the ox, unbroken to the yoke, that he had carried in the procession, even that ox he cut up and ate all alone." Astyanax of Miletus, thrice victor at Olympia in successive contests in the pancratium, was once invited to dinner by the Persian Ariobarzanes, and on his arrival he promised to eat all the food prepared for all the guests, and actually did so. And when the Persian demanded, as Theodorus records,16 that Astyanax should perform a feat worthy of his great physical powers, he broke off a bronze lentil-shaped ornament from the couch, and having softened it (with his hands) he pulled it out flat. When he died and his body was burned, one p373urn was not sufficient to hold his bones, in fact two were barely enough. And the dishes which had been prepared for the nine male guests at the dinner in the house of Ariobarzanes he ate up alone.

In fact, it is no wonder that these men became gluttons; for all who go in for athletic contests are taught to eat heartily in connexion with their gymnastic exercises. Hence, also, Euripides says in the first edition of his Autolycus:17 "Of all the countless evils infesting Greece, there is none worse than the tribe of athletes: first, they neither learn how to live aright, nor could they if they would; how, indeed, when a man is slave to his jaw, and a victim of his belly, could he acquire wealth to increase his father's store?18 Again, they cannot endure poverty, nor adapt themselves to misfortunes. Accustomed as they are to ignoble habits, they find it hard to change them when difficulties come. In the hey-day of their prime they come and go, the glorious, the darlings of the city; but when bitter old age falls upon them, they disappear, worn-out garments that have lost their nap.19 I cannot approve the custom of the Greeks, who for these men's sakes call an assembly and pay them the honour of useless pleasures to grace a feast. What succour to his native town does a man bring who has won a crown for clever wrestling? or a man who is fleet of foot, or who can hurl the discus, or deal a neat blow on the jaw? Will they fight the enemy with discus p375in hand, or through the line of shields20 smite with the fist and cast the enemy forth from their native land? No man, when standing close to cold steel, commits such foolishness. It is meet, I ween, that we should crown wise and good men with leaves; him, also, who guides the State most rightly, a man sober and just; him, too, who can avert evil deeds by eloquence, dispelling fights and factions. For such are things which are good for the whole State, and for all Greeks."

Euripides has borrowed these ideas from the elegies of Xenophanes of Colophon, who said:21 "Nay, if a man should win victory by the swiftness of his feet, or in the pentathlum, where stands the precinct of Zeus by the streams of the Pisês at Olympia; or in wrestling, or because he hath skill in painful boxing, or in that dread contest which they call the pancratium, he would be more illustrious to look upon, in the eyes of his fellow-citizens, and he would win a conspicuous front seat at the contests, and would have bread from the public store, given by the city, and a present to be an heirloom for ever; yea, even if he won with horses, all these things would fall to his lot, though he be not so worthy as I. For my art is better than the strength of men and of horses. But there is no sense in all these opinions, and it is not right to prefer strength to good wisdom. Not though a man rise up among the people as a good boxer, or good at the pentathlum, p377or in wrestling, or even in swiftness of foot, which has preference among all men's deeds of strength in the contest — not for that reason can a city enjoy better laws. CSmall must be any joy that comes to a city for this, if a man wins in a contest beside the banks of the Pisês; for that cannot fatten the storehouses of a city." Many other contentions Xenophanes makes regarding his own art, attacking as useless and unprofitable the whole idea of athleticism. And acus of Eretria also dilates upon the luxuriant condition of athletes, saying:22 "Their loins bare, their sleek arms swelling with youthful power, they ply their trade,23 strong shoulders glistening in youthful bloom; lavishing oil, they anoint their breasts and the hollow of their shields,24 as if they had been used to luxury in boyhood."

Heracleidae, in The Host, tells of a woman named Helen who ate huge quantities. So Poseidippus speaks in his Epigrams of Phyromachus, to whom he addressed the following epigram: "Phyromachus, as greedy at eating all things as a raven through the livelong night, is now contain ded within this rugged trench, in the torn wrapping of a Pellenian cloak. Nay then, Atticus, anoint his headstone, and crown it with a wreath, if ever that parasite revelled with you. And he came, toothless, with black looks from out of livid eyebrows, clad in a hide with the hairside p379attended by no slave;25 verily, after those bouts of yore he has come at last under the dominion of the Muse of the tomb."26 Amarantus of Alexandria, in his work On the Theatre, says that Herodorus, the trumpeter of Megara, was only three and a half cubits tall,27 but strong in his ribs; he would eat six pints of wheat bread and twenty pounds of whatever meat he could find; he would drink two pitchers of wine,28 and could sound two trumpets at one and the same time. He had the habit of sleeping on nothing but a lion skin. When he blew his trumpet the signal was extraordinarily loud. nnnFor example, when Demetrius the son of Antigonus was besieging Argos, and the troops were unable to bring the siege-engine close up to the walls on account of its weight, Herodorus signalled with his two trumpets, and the soldiers were so fired with eagerness by the loudness of the sound that they perforce brought the engine up. He won in the circuit of the games ten times, and always sat when he dined,29 as Nestor records in his Theatrical Commentaries. there was also a woman, Aglaïs the daughter of Megacles, who blew the trumpet for the procession in the first great parade at Alexandria; she wore a wig and a plume on her head, as Poseidippus discloses in his Epigrams. She herself also would eat twelve pounds of meat, four pints of wheat bread, and would drink a pitcher of wine.

p381 Lityersas was a bastard son of Midas and king of the Celaenians, in Phrygia; he was a man fierce of aspect and cruel, and terribly gluttonous. The tragic poet Sositheus tells about him in his play Daphnis or Lityersas as follows:30 "He eats three loaves of bread, three pack-asses in one brief day; and he drinks the ten-amphora cask,31 calling it but a single measure."32 Such a hero, again, is the man in Nice People, by Pherecrates or Strattis, of whom it is said:33 "A. I can barely eat up five half-bushels a day, if I am forced thereto. B. Barely? What a little-feeder you are, then, after all! Why, you consume daily nearly enough rations for a cruiser!"34 Xanthus, in his  History of Lydia, says35 that Camblês, the king of Lydia, was a hearty eater and hearty drinker, even a glutton. One night he butchered his own wife and ate her up, but in the morning, finding his wife's hand in his mouth, he cut his own throat, since the awful deed had become divulged. Concerning Thys, the king of the Paphlagonians, we have already said36 that he was a hearty eater, citing the account of Theopompus in the thirty-fifth book. And Archilochus in his Tetrameters attacks37 Charilas for similar gluttony, as the comic poets attack Cleonymus and Peisander.38 Of Chaerippus phoenicides speaks thus in  The Colonel of Horse:39 'Third, p383and next to these, is the very clever Chaerippus, He, as you know, eats as long as anyone gives him food, or until he bursts before he knows it. He's got a storeroom inside as big as that of a house."

Nicolas the Peripatetic, in the one hundred and third book of his Histories, says40 that Mithradates, the king of Pontus, got up a contest in eating and drinking, the prize being a talent in silver, and that he won in both events. He renounced the prize, however, in favour of the one who was adjudged second to him, Calamodrys the athlete from Cyzicus. Timocreon of Rhodes, also, poet and contestant in the pentathlum, ate and drank abundantly, as the inscription on his tomb shows:41 "After much drinking, much eating, much abuse against mankind, I now lie dead, Timocreon of Rhodes." Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, in one of his Preludes, says42 that Timocreon went to the court of the Persian king and while being entertained by him filled himself with much food. Asked by the king what he proposed to do with such a start, he said he should give a thorough thrashing to countless Persians. Next day, after winning against many opponents, one by one, he began to spar.43 When he was asked the reason for that, he replied that he still had left over an equal number of knock-out blows in case anyone wanted to meet him. Clearchus, in the fifth book of his Lives,44 says that Cantibaris the Persian, whenever he tired his jaws out by eating, would open them wide and his servants would pump the food into p385him as into a lifeless vessel. Hellanicus, in the first book of The Tale of Deucalion, says45 that Erysichthon the son of Myrmidon was called the Fiery because he was insatiable when it came to food. And Polemon, in the first book of his Reply to Timaeus, says46 that among the Greeks of Sicily there is a shrine to Gluttony, and a statue of Demeter of the Grain, near which is set up one also to Our Lady of Abundance, like the statue of Eunostus47 in Delphi, and of Megalartus and Magalomazus in the Boeotian town of Scolus. Even the poet Alcman reveals himself as a glutton in these lines of the third book:48 "Yea, I will one day give thee the bowl of a tripod, wherein thou mayest gather food in heaps; even now it is unsmirched by fire, but soon it will be full of soup, such as greedy Alcman loved to eat warm after the solstice. For he eats not what is nicely prepared, but demands common things, like the rabble." And in the fifth book, also, he makes plain his own gluttony when he says:49 'Three seasons he placed in the year, summer and winter and the fruiting season third; and fourth is the spring, when p387there is bloom, to be sure, but not very much cotton eat." Talking about a certain Ctesias in his play, The Goldsmith, the comic poet Anaxilas says:50 "By this time you have had about all there is, but not so Ctesias; for he, when it comes to a dinner, understands the beginning,51 as philosophers say, but is the only one who doesn't know the end." And in Rich Men:52 "A. Damn any other fellow who eats a good dinner, and not Ctesias alone. B. (aside) What, really, is to hinder you from copying him?53 A. For when it come 9 to a dinner, he has learned the beginning, as the philosophers say, but has never yet learned the end." And in The Graces he includes a man named Cranaus in the same class with Ctesias, thus:54 'Is it true that Cranaus eats up less than Ctesias, or do both of them dine copiously?' " Philetaerus in Atalanta:55 "And if need be, I can speed along more miles than Sotades, and I will outdo Taureas at hard labour, and even outrun Ctesias in eating." Anaxippus in The Thunderbolt:56 "A. Yes, I can see one of my friends coming towards me from the wrestling-school. It is Damippus. B. DO you mean that chap, the Feather-weight? A. Himself, whom his friends call to‑day the p389Thunderbolt on account of his courage, you know. B. I don't wonder; for he can make the very dinner-tables sacred ground,57 I fancy, you swooping down upon them with his jaw." In these lines the comic poet has made it clear that he entitled his play, The Thunderbolt, from this character. Theophilus, in Epidaurus:58 "There was a man named Atrestidas, a captain from Mantineia, who could eat more than all other men in the world." And in The Pancration-fighter Theophilus brought on the athlete as a man who ate a great deal, and says:59 "A. Of boiled dishes there were nearly three pounds' weight. B. Tell us more! A. A snout, a ham, four pigs' feet. B. Heracles! A. Three ox-feet, and a fowl. B. Apollo! tell us more. A. Two pounds of figs. B. And how much did you drink to top it all? A. A dozen half-pints of wine, neat. A. Apollo, Horus, and Sabazius!"

Entire nations, also, were satirized for gluttony, as for example the Boeotian. Eubulus, at any rate, says in Antiope:60 "Quaff we and sup like right lusty fellows, and keep a stout heart; the Athenians, we say, shall eat but little, but Thebans abundantly." And in Europa:61 "establish the capital of the Boeotians, the best of men at eating all day long." p391And in Ion:62 "So very Boeotian in his ways is he, that not even when he dines, they say, can he get his fill." And in The Cercopes:63 "Next I went to Thebes, where they dine the whole night through, and all the day, and where every man has a privy right at the door; for a full mortal there is no comfort greater than that; when a man has to go a long way to relieve himself, gasping loudly and biting his lips, he makes a spectacle altogether ludicrous." In The Mysians Eubulus makes some one say to Heracles:64 "You, as they say, have left the soil of Thebes, the country of men who are the best at eating mussel-necks65 all day long, and where the privies are near. . . ." Diphilus in The Boeotian Woman:66 "He's the sort that eats beginning before daylight and on again to the next day." Mnesimachus in Busiris:67 "A. For I am like a Boeotian — talking little — B. That's as it should be! A. but eating a good deal." Alexis in Trophonius:68 "And now, that you may not appear to be out-and‑out Boeotian in the eyes of those accustomed to ridicule you as being unmoved by reason, and as p393knowing only how to shout and drink and dine continually the whole night long, strip yourselves, all of you, quickly."69 And acus in The Games:70 "A. Are you speaking to a religious deputation, or to contestants?71 B. I am speaking to people who eat a great deal, as is the way of men in training. A. Where are the stranger from really? B. Boeotia." In the light of this, it is natural that Eratosthenes also, in his Letters,72 should tell how Prepelaüs was once asked what he thought of the Boeotians; and that he answered: "What else can I think of them, than that they talked the kind of stuff that pots would talk if they acquired the power of speech, and said all they could severally contain?" Polybius of Megalopolis says, in the twentieth book of his Histories,73 that the Boeotians, after winning very great fame at the time of their victory at Leuctra,74 gradually relaxed in spirit, and devoting themselves to feasting and carousing they left in their wills money to their friends to found clubs.75 Many even among those who had kinsmen diverted the greater part of their property to their messmates, so that there were many Boeotians who enjoyed more dinners every month than there were days assigned to the month. Consequently the Megarians, who loathed that state of affairs among them, went over to the side of the Achaeans.

p395 The Pharsalians, also, are satirized as gluttonous. Mnesimachus, for example, says in Philip:76 'A. Has any Pharsalian come to eat up everything, even the tables? B. Not one is here. A. I'm garland of that! I wonder whether they are eating up some roasted city of Achaea?" And that all Thessalians were charged with being gluttons is shown by Crates in Lamia:77 'Sesquipedalian words sliced in Thessalian fashion." He said this evidently because the Thessalians slice their meat in large portions. Philetaerus, also, in The Torch-bearers:78 "And a Thessalian cut off swine's flesh as heavy as your fist." They also called a morsel that was large "Thessalian." Hermippus in The Fates:79 "But Zeus, paying no attention to any of these matters, shut his eyes and fabricated some kind of Thessalian morsel." Such morsels are called "chariot-size" (kapaniika) by Aristophanes in Masters of the Frying-pan:80 "A. How do the dinners of the Thessalians compare with those of Lydians? B. Thessalian dinners are far more chariot-sized," — as if he said, "as big as carts." For Thessalians call chariots kapanai. Xenarchus in The Scythians:81 "A. They kept seven chariots (kapanai) for the Olympic Games. B. What's that you say? Kapanai? What do you mean? A. All Thessalians call chariots kapanai. B. I understand."

p397 Hecataeus says82 the Egyptians were bread-eaters, eating kyllestis,83 while they ground up their barley to make a drink.84 Hence Alexinus, in his treatise On Independence, says that Bocchoris and his father Neochabis used but modest food. Pythagoras of Samos, also, used food in moderation, according to the account given by Lycon of Iasus in his work On the Life of Pythagoras. But he did not abstain from animal food, according to Aristoxenus. Apollodorus the mathematician even says that Pythagoras sacrificed a hecatomb to celebrate his discovery that in a right-angled triangle the hypotenuse squared is equal to the squares on the enclosing sides: "When Pythagoras discovered that famous line for which he gloriously offered a glorious sacrifice of oxen." Pythagoras was also given to drinking little, and led his whole life through with very little expense; often he was satisfied with honey only. Similar abstemiousness is recorded in the case of Aristeides, of epam, Phocion, and Phormion, the well-known generals. Manius Curius, the Roman general, lived the whole time on turnips; and when the Sabines85 sent him a large sum of gold, he said he had no need of gold so longs he dined on turnips. This is recorded by Megacles in his book On Famous Men.86

For that matter, many persons welcome moderate bills of fare, as Alexis shows in The Girl who is in p399Love:87 "But I, for my part, having what I require, hate superfluity; for in those who have excess no delight abides, but only extravagance." In The Deceiver:88 "I loathe superfluity. For to those who have excess expense attaches, but no pleasure whatsoever." And in Foster Brothers:89 "How sweet is everything that is moderate; to‑day I come away neither overstuffed nor empty, but pleasantly comfortable. For Mnesitheus90 says that one should avoid excess in everything." The philosopher Ariston, in the second book of his Erotic Likenesses, says that Polemon the Academic advised all who went out to dinner to consider how they should indulge in their drinking so that it should be pleasant, not merely for the moment, but also on the day after. Timotheus, the son of Conon, accustomed though he was to the sumptuous dinners given in honour of generals, was invited by Plato to come to the banquet in the Academy; there he was entertained with simple and intellectual fare, and he said that people who dined in Plato's house felt all right the next day. Hegesander in his Commentaries said91 that Timotheus met Plato the next day and remarked: "You and your friends, Plato, dine well, with an eye rather for the day after than for the immediate day." Pyrrhon of Elis, as the same author records, was once entertained by one of his disciples in sumptuous but vulgar fashion, and he said: "Hereafter I shall not come to your p401house if you entertain in that way, for I don't want to have the pain of seeing you act the prodigal unnecessarily, nor do I want you to suffer in straitened circumstances. For it is more decent for us to be satisfied with our own company than with over-abundance of courses, most of which is wasted by the servants." Antigonus of Carystus, describing in his Life of Menedemus92 the arrangements for the symposium at the philosopher's house, says that he took a light meal93 in company with only one or two others; the result was that the others were obliged to dine at home before they came. For that was in fact the kind of mel Menedemus provided. after that he would call into the dining-room those who had arrived; some of these, it appeared, whenever they arrived before the set time, would walk up and down in front of the house-door and inquire of the slaves as they came out was dish was being served, and how far along in time the luncheon had progressed. Whenever they heard that the dish was a green vegetable or some smoked fish, they would go back home; but when they heard it was a bit of meat, they would enter the room which had been prepared for the occasion. In summer there was provided a mat on every couch, in winter a sheepskin; but each guest had to bring his own cushion. The loving-cup that went round the room was not larger than a half-pint measure, the dessert was habitually a lupine or a bean, though sometimes also a seasonable fruit was brought in — in summer a pear or a pomegranate, in spring dried peas, in p403the wintry season dried figs. Lycophron of Chalcis also testifies to this; he wrote a satyr-planet Menedemus, in which Silenus says to the satyrs:94 "Ye most execrable children of mightiest Pan, I can exult over you, as ye see; for the gods are my witness, never in Caria, nor in Rhodes, nor in Lydia have I dined on such a dinner as I have inside me. Apollo, it was fine!" And proceeding:95 "But the slave passed round a meagre, watery cup of wine worth only five pence, and slightly soured; and the damnable plebeian lupine danced forth in lavish abundance, that companion of the paupers' triclinium." Lycophron next says that questions96 were put in the course of the drinking:97 'For the dessert served to all was moralizing converse." It is remarked also that many a time, when the company stayed a long time, "the bird that ancients the dawn overtook them, but they were not yet sated."

Arcesilaus gave a dinner to some friends and the bread gave out. When the slave, with a wink, indicated that there was no more, he burst into a loud laugh, and clapping his hands he said, "What a dinner we are having, my friends! We have forgotten to buy enough loaves of bread. Run and get some, slave." This he would say while he laughed himself, so that a unanimous burst of laughter poured forth from those who were present, and the amusement p405and joking upon them were increased; the result was that the lack of bread became the spice of the dinner. On another occasion Arcesilaus told his disciple Apelles to strain the wine; but he, being inexperienced, roiled some of it and spilled the rest, and the wine proved to be much more turbid than it had been; with a gentle smile Arcesilaus said: "I have told a man to strain wine who has not seen what the Good is any more than I have. Do you, then, Arideices, get up and strain it; as for you, Apelles, go home and try to probe the true qualities of things."98 EThis so cheered and exhilarated the company that they were filled with mirth.

People who gather for dinner-parties to‑day, especially if they come from fair Alexandria, shout, bawl, and objurgate the wine-pourer, the waiter, and the chef; the slaves are in tears, being buffeted by knuckles right and left. To say nothing of the guests, who thus dine in complete embarrassment; if the occasion happen to be a religious festival, even the god will cover his face and depart, abandoning not only the house but also the entire city. Surely it is ridiculous that the very man who has proclaimed holy silence99 should then curse his wife and his children. Such a person might say to the people at dinner,100 "But now go to your dinner, that we may join battle." For such a man's house "at the same time is full of incense, at the same time rings with prayers for health and cries of woe."101 p407After these quotations one of the company said: "Looking at these examples, we must deprecate stuffing the belly. 'For a frugal dinner causes no drunken violence,' as Amphis says in Pan,102 nor again deeds of outrage and insults, as Alexis testifies in these lines from Odysseus at the Loom:103 'A. The long drawn-out party, the many dinners occurring day after day, give occasion for derision, and derision causes far more pain than pleasure. For it is the beginning of abuse; and once you utter an abuse, you are immediately abused in turn; there's nothing left but insult. Next blows come to light, and drunken brawling. B. Yes, for these occur in natural sequence just so; and what need were there of a prophet to tell us?' Mnesimachus, also, in Philip, impelled by the excessive satiety observed in dinner-parties, introduces a banquet which was veritably, as Xenophon puts it most neatly, the 'workshop of war.'104 Mnesimachus says:105 'Don't you know that you've got to fight against us men who dine on swords freshly sharpened, and who, instead of an entrée, eat up lighted torches? Immediately after that the slave, after dinner, brings on a dessert in the form of Cretan arrows instead of chickpeas, broken remnants p409of javelins besides; and we have shields and breastplates for cushions, slings and bows ready at our feet, and wreathe ourselves with catapults.' And Phoenix of Colophon says:106 'The casks of Ninus are a sword, his winecup a spear, his long air bows, his mixing-bowls are foemen, his unmixed wine war-horses, and his "Pour us out some scent" a battle-cry.' In The Parasite Alexis, talking about a gluttonous person, says:107 'All the young fellows call him "Parasite" in a euphemism;108 but he cares not a bit. No, he dines as mute as Telephus,109 merely nodding his head to those who ask a question; so that often his host utters the prayers of the Samothracian mysteries, that he may stop his blowing, and that calm weather may come sometime again. That laddie is a hurricane to his friends.' And Diphilus, in Heracles, talking about a man of similar habits, goes on to say:110 'Don't you see that I've been drinking, that I am by this time tipsy and in angry mood, and that I have already lunched on this my twelfth cheese-cake, nearly bigger than Asterion' Hence the Borysthenite Bion was right when he said one should derive his pleasures, not from the table, but from the mind. But Euripides says:111 'He has attacked a poor meal and delighted p411his mouth,' evidently because the pleasure derived from food applies rather to the mouth. So Aeschylus in Phineus:112 'And many were the mocking dinners they seized with ravening jaw, in the first joy of their eager lips.' In Sthenoboea Euripides says of frugality:113 'The life of the purple-fisher on the seas knows no bounteous table; nay, his mangers are on the shores; a mother ever in motion, not a nurse of the firm-trodden ground, is the sea; this we plough, from this our livelihood comes home in nooses and shackles.'

"Truly the belly is a great evil to mankind; of it Alexis says in Dying Together:114 'And so you shall learn what an evil to mankind the belly is, to what it prompts us, to what enormities it compels us. If one should remove from us that part of our bodies, no one would suffer wrong from any, nor would anyone, surely, commit violence willingly. As it is, all the difficulties of life occur to satisfy the belly.' And Diphilus in The Parasite:115 'Well, indeed, hath golden Euripides said many things, but the best of all is "My need, ay, and my unhappy belly."116 For there is nothing more unhappy than the belly, because, first, you will throw into it quantities of things which you wouldn't put into another receptacle. In a wallet you might carry p413Cbread, but not broth, else you will spoil it. Into a basket you will put barley-cakes, but not lentil-soup; you will put wine in your flask, but not a crayfish. Yet into this god-hated stomach you pour all things that don't agree with one another. I add not the rest, because, the whole world over, all these things I have mentioned happen on account of the unhappy stomach.' The cynic Crates, also, as Sosicrates says in his Successions,117 castigated Demetrius of Phalerum because he had sent him a flask of wine with his wallet of bread; said he: 'Would that the springs might produce bread as well as water!'118 And Stilpo had nothing to fear from his abstemiousness when he ate garlic and then lay down to sleep in the temple of the Mother of the Gods; yet it was forbidden one who had eaten any thing like that even so much as to enter the temple. And so, when the goddess appeared before him in his sleep and said, "are you a philosopher, Stilpo, and yet transgress our laws?' It seemed to him that he also answered in his sleep: 'Give me something to eat and I will not use garlic.' "

The Editor's Notes:

1 T. G. F.2 779, Kock III.631; the Eupolidean metres seem more appropriate to a comic poet.

2 Cf. Athen. 164D note c.

3 Kaibel 94.

4 T. G. F.2 737.

5 P. L. G.6 457, Sandys (Loeb Classical Library) 604.

6 The prefix βου-, "ox," in this word (βουφάγος) is to be understood as in βουλιμία, βούπαις, etc. So Hesychius explains it as πολυφάγος, "hearty eater."

7 For the story cf. Aelian, V. H., I.24, Pind. Ol. X.28 ff.

8 Od. VII.215.

9 Od. VII.219.

10 See Athen. 294E note a.

11 Adapted from Od. IX.162.

12 F. H. G.4.513.

13 About 8½ quarts.

14 P249 Müller.

15 F. H. G. I.335.

16 F. H. G.4.513.

17 T. G. F.2.441: Autolycus was a satyric drama, but there is no intimation in other authorities that it was produced a second time.

18 Lit. "in excess of his father." The ambitious Greek sought to bequeath more than his father, Plat. Rep. 330B.

19 For the figure cf. παλίμπλυτον, 242A.

20 See critical note 1.

21 P. L. G.4 frag. 2, Diels, Poet. Phil. III.1.36.

22 T. G. F.2 747, probably from The Games (Ἆθλα), cited below, 417F, 689B.

23 Others render ἐμπορεύονται simply "walk about," as in Athen. 91C.

24 For the oiling of shields see Aristoph. Ach. 1128.

25 Lit. "carrying his oil-flask himself"; the proper gentleman, when going to the gymnasium or of a dinner-party, had a slave to carry his oil-flask.

26 In the language of preciosity λῆνος, "wine-press,' may mean σορός, "coffin."

27 Five feet three inches.

28 Nearly six quarts! Cf. Pollux IV.89.

29 Like the Homeric heroes, Athen. 11F and note d. By circuit is meant the round of the four great festivals, at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, and the Isthmus. An athlete who won in all these games in successive years was called a περιοδονίκης.

30 T. G. F.2 822.

31 About 90 gallons.

32 Of about 9 gallons.

33 Kock I.145, Athen. 248C.

34 Since a trireme carried 220 men, the daily ration of this "little-feeder" would amount to about seven bushels.

35 F. H. G.1.38.

36 144F, F. H. G.1.311.

37 P. L. G.4 frag. 79.

38 Kock III.411; Cleonymus, but not Peisander, is thus scored by Aristophanes, Pac. 395, Av. 1556, Lys. 490.

39 Kock III.334.

40 F. H. G.3.415.

41 Simonides, P. L. G.4 frag. 169.

42 Diels, Vorsokratiker II.1.573.

43 He moved his arms in such a way as to suggest that he was counting.

44 F. H. G.2.307.

45 F. H. G.1.48.

46 Frag. 39 Preller, cf. Athen. 109A and note f (vol. II p13).

47 Goddess of Good Measure; nostos meant "return," "harvest," Athen. 618D. See critical note 3.

48 P. L. G.4 frag. 33, Diehl frag. 49.

49 P. L. G.4 frag. 76, Diehl 56.

50 Kock II.273.

51 ἀρχή, in philosophic terminology, is the first principle or primordial substance of things.

52 Kock II.272.

53 i.e. being damned (bursting).

54 Ibid. 273.

55 Ibid. 230.

56 Kock III.299. The reading of Capps here given (deleting τοῦτον) best satisfies sense and metre.

57 Places visited by lightning were regarded as sacred.

58 Kock II.474.

59 Ibid. 475, Athen. 95A.

60 Kock II.169; the dialect imitates the Boeotian.

61 Ibid. 176.

62 Kock II.177. This title Ion is found in Athen. 169F, 300C, and here; Ixion at 347D.

63 Kock II.181.

64 Ibid. 187.

65 The necks of certain shell-fish were much esteemed; cf. Athen. 294B.

66 Kock II.547.

67 Ibid. 436.

68 Ibid. 383.

69 i.e. for the dance; Aristoph. Ach. 627 ἀλλ᾽ ἀποδύντες τοῖς ἀναπαίστοις ἐπίωμεν, "let us strip and attack the anapaests."

70 T. G. F.2 747.

71 Or, adopting Meineke's reading (see critical note), "to devotees of the frying-pan."

72 P199 Bernhardy.

73 XX.4.1, 6.5.

74 371 B.C.; cf. Dem. XVIII.18.

75 The translation of the uncertain text is based on Polybius XX.6.5, who says that this became the practice of those who died childless. The epitomator has obscured the account.

76 Kock II.441.

77 Kock I.136.

78 Kock II.233.

79 Kock I.235; probably Pericles is meant.

80 Ibid. 519.

81 Kock II.472.

82 F. H. G.1.20.

83 Probably made of rye; see Athen. 114C, where it is said to be rather sour.

84 Egyptian beer, Athen. 447C.

85 See critical note.

86 F. H. G.4.443.

87 Kock II.390.

88 Ibid. 392.

89 Ibid. 376.

90 See Athen. 54B (vol. I p234).

91 F. H. G.4.420.

92 P99 Wilamowitz.

93 i.e. he lunched, instead of dining.

94 T. G. F.2 817; see Athen. 55D (vol. I p240).

95 T. G. F.2 817, Athen. 55D.

96 Such ineptiae, perhaps, as "Who was Hecuba's mother?" "What was the song the Sirens sang?" Suet. Tib. 70.

97 T. G. F.2 818.

98 τὰ ἐκτά is thought to be corrupt; it may have suggested to the company τὰ ἐκτός, "things outside."

99 "Let there be holy silence" was the formula before a sacrifice.

100 Il. II.381; cf. Athen. 363F‑364D (vol. IV p146).

101 Soph. Oed. Tyr. 4.

102 Kock II.244.

103 Ibid. 354; cf. Epicharmus, Athen. 36C (vol. I p156).

104 Xen. Hellen. III.4.17, of the city of Ephesus during preparations for war by Agesilaus.

105 Kock II.441. On the riotous character of Philip's friends see Athen. 166F‑167C.

106 P. L. G.4 frag. 3.

107 Kock II.364.

108 Instead of "Glutton."

109 See Athen. 224E (vol. III, p12).

110 Kock II.556.

111 T. G. F.2 423 (frag. 213.4, from Antiope). Stobaeus Flor. 63.2 gives a fuller quotation: "There is satiety in all things; I have even seen men passionately given to sordid love affairs after nobler ones, and one who has been filled at a banquet has gladly put his mouth to a poor meal again and enjoyed it."

112 T. G. F.2 83.

113 Ibid. 571.

114 Kock II.374.

115 Ibid. 560.

116 T. G. F.2 656.

117 Diels 213. For the title cf. 162E note e (vol. II p239), 163F.

118 He was a water-drinker, Diog. Laert. VI.5.90.

Page updated: 1 Jul 13