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I.11F‑24D

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae

of
Athenaeus

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,
1927

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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II.35A‑47E

(Vol. I) Athenaeus
Deipnosophistae

p105 Excerptsa from Book I
(Part 3 of 3)

Continuing the Life of the Heroes

(24B) Seleucus says that the phrase daita thaleian ("goodly feast") in Homer is really, by a change of letters, p107diaitan ("mode of living"); to derive it from daisasthai ("divide") is too forced.1

Carystius the Pergamene records2 that the women of Corcyra to this very day sing as they play ball. In Homer, too, women as well as men play ball, and men threw the discus and the javelin3 in a kind of rhythmic form: C"They delighted themselves with the cast of discus and spear." For the element of delight alleviates the difficulty of the throw. The young men also go out to hunt and catch every kind of quarry in order to train themselves for the perils of war, and as a result they were always stronger and healthier, as when "they array themselves as a tower of strength and stand against him with their javelins."4 They were also acquainted with bathing, as a refreshment after toil, in various forms; they relaxed their weariness in the sea, which is especially good for the nerves; they loosened the tension of the muscles by tub-baths, Dthen anointed themselves with oil so that, when the water dried, their bodies might not become stiff. For example, the men who returned from the reconnaissance "washed away in the sea the thick sweat from their shins and neck and thighs,"5 and having in this way refreshed themselves, they went "to the polished tubs and bathed, and smearing themselves with olive oil they sat down to their meal."

There is another method also of relieving fatigue by fomentations on the head: "She mixed it to a pleasant warmth over my head and shoulders."6 EFor tub-baths, by reason of the water entirely enveloping the pores (as when one puts a colander p109into water), prevent the excretion of sweat. It cannot get through at all, unless one lifts the colander and allows the pores a relief and vent outward. So Aristotle explains in his Physical Problems,7 when he inquires why persons in sweat do not perspire after they enter warm or cold water, nor again until they emerge from the bath.

The heroes had vegetables also served to them at meals. FThat they are acquainted with the growing of vegetables is clear from the words8 "beside the farthest line of trimly planted garden-beds." Moreover, they ate onions, too, though they are full of unhealthy juices: "thereto an onion, as relish to the drink."9 Homer also portrays them as devoted to the culture of fruit trees: 25 "For pear on pear waxes old, fig on fig."10 Hence he bestows the epithet "beautiful" on fruit-bearing trees: "Beautiful trees grow there — pears, pomegranates, and apples."11 But trees which are adapted for timber he calls "tall," thus distinguishing their use by his epithets:12 "Where tall trees grew, alder and poplar and pine towering toward heaven." The use of these fruit trees was older even than the Trojan War. Tantalus, for example, is not released from his hunger for them even after he is dead, Bseeing that the god who metes out punishment to him dangles13 fruit of this kind before him (like those who lead dumb beasts by holding tempting branches before them), yet prevents him from enjoying them at the moment when he comes near to realizing his hopes. Odysseus, too, reminds Laertes of what he had given him in his boyhood.14 "Pear-trees thou gavest to me, thirteen," etc.

p111 That they also ate fish is disclosed by Sarpedon15 when he compares captivity to the catch of a great seine. Yet Eubulus, with comic wit, says jokingly:16 C"Where has Homer ever spoken of any Achaean eating fish? And flesh too, they only roasted, for he represents nobody as boiling it. Nor did one of them ever see a single courtesan either, but for ten long years they abused each other. Bitter the campaign they saw, for after taking one city they came away with wider breaches than had the city which they captured." Nor did the heroes allow the air to be free to the birds, Dfor they set springes and nets to catch thrushes and doves. They also trained for bird-shooting, even hanging a dove by a fish-line from the mast of a ship and shooting at it from a distance, as is shown in the Funeral Games.17 But the poet is silent about the eating of vegetables, fish, and birds because that is a mark of greed, and also because it would be unseemly for the heroes to spend time in preparing them for the battle, since he judges it beneath the level of heroic and godlike deeds. But that they did use boiled flesh he makes clear when he says:18 "Even as a cauldron boileth . . . melting the lard of some fatted hog." EThen, too, the ox-foot which was hurled at Odysseus19 is a proof of the boiling, for nobody ever roasts the foot of an ox. Again, the line,20 "he took and placed beside them platters of all sorts of meat" shows not merely the variety of meats, such as fowl, pork, kid, and beef, but also that their preparation was varied, not uniform, but attended with ingenious skill.

p113 Thus emerged the menus of Sicily and the Sybarites, and presently also the Chian. FFor we have as much testimony about the Chians, in the matter of fancy cooking, as about the others just mentioned. Timocles says:21 "The Chians have been by far the best in inventing dainty dishes."

In Homer not merely the young men, but old men like Phoenix and Nestor, consort with women. To Menelaus alone no woman is joined, because he had organized the expedition to recover his lawful wife, who had been carried away.

"Old wine, but the flowers of new songs" Pindar extols.22 And Eubulus says:23 "Strange that old wine should always be in favour among gay ladies, but not an old man, rather the young one." 26 Alexis,24 too, says exactly the same thing, except that he says "high favour" instead of "always." As a matter of fact old wine is better not only in taste but also for the health. For, first, it aids the digestion of food better; secondly, it is composed of finer particles and is easily assimilated; thirdly, it increases bodily strength; fourthly, it makes the blood red and gives it a comfortable flow; lastly, it induces undisturbed sleep. Homer praises that wine which allows considerable admixture of water, Blike Maron's,25 and old wine allows more mixing because it becomes more heating with age. Some even assert that the flight of Dionysus into the sea26 is a hint that the making of wine had long been known. For wine is sweet when sea water is poured into it. When p115Homer commends dark wine he often calls it fiery. For it is very potent and has the most lasting effect on the system of the drinker. Theopompus says27 that dark wine originated among the Chians, and that they were the first to learn how to plant and tend vines from Oenopion, son of Dionysus, Cwho also was the founder of that island-state; and they transmitted it to other peoples. But white wine is weak and thin, while yellow wine digests more easily, having a drying quality.

Concerning Italian wines Galen, who is among the company of our learned author, says: "Falernian is sufficiently aged for drinking after ten years, and good from fifteen to twenty years; any that surpasses this limit induces headache and attacks the nervous system. There are two sorts, the dry and the sweetish. The latter attains this quality whenever south winds blow as the vintage season draws near, causing it also to become darker. DWine that is not made under these conditions is dry and of a yellow colour. Of the Alban wine there are also two sorts, one rather sweet, the other acid; both are at their best after fifteen years. The Sorrentine begins to be good after twenty-five years; since it lacks oil and is very rough, it takes a long time to ripen; even when it is ripe, it is barely wholesome except for those who use it continually. EThe wine of Rhegium, which contains more oil than that of Sorrentum, is fit to use after fifteen years. The Privernian also can be used then, being thinner than that of Rhegium and not at all likely to go to the head. Similar to this is the Formian, but it quickly matures and is more oily than the other. The p117Trifolian matures more slowly, and is more earthy than the Sorrentine. The Statan is one of the best kinds, resembling the Falernian, but lighter, and innocuous. The Tiburtine is thin, easily evaporates, and matures in ten years; but it is better when aged. FLabican is sweet and oily to the taste, ranking midway between Falernian and Alban; it may be drunk at the earliest after ten years. The Gauran is both rare and excellent, besides being vigorous and rich, containing more oil than the Praenestine or Tiburtine. Marsic is very dry and wholesome. In the neighbourhood of Cyme, in Campania, grows the so‑called Ulban, which is light and ready to use after five years. The Anconitan is good, oily . . . 27 The Buxentine is like the acid variety of Alban, but its effect is wholesome. The Velitern is sweet to the taste and wholesome, but has the peculiar quality of seeming to be mixed; it gives the impression of having another kind mixed with it. The Calenian is light and more healthful than Falernian. The Caecuban is also a generous wine, but overpowering and strong; it matures only after many years. The Fundan is strong, heavy-bodied, and apt to attack head and smooth; hence it is not often drunk at symposia. BThe Sabine is lighter than all of these, ready to drink after from seven to fifteen years. The Signine is good in the sixth year, but much better when aged. The Nomentan matures quickly and is drinkable after the fifth year; it is neither too sweet nor too thin. The Spoletine wine . . . is sweet to the taste and of a golden colour. The Aequan is in many p119respects like the Sorrentine. The Barine is very dry and constantly improves. The Caucine is likewise a generous wine and similar to Falernian. CThe Venefran is wholesome and light. The Trebellic of Naples is temperate in its effect, wholesome and tasty. The Erbulan is at first dark, but becomes white after a few years; it is very light and delicate. The wine of Marseilles is good; but it is uncommon, rich, and full-bodied. The wine of Tarentum, and in fact all the wines of that latitude, are soft, having no violent effect and no strength; they are sweet and wholesome. The Mamertine, to be sure, grows outside of Italy; Din Sicily, where it grows, it is called Iotaline. But it is sweet, light, and vigorous."

Among the Indians a divinity is worshipped — so Chares of Mitylene says28 — whose name is Soroadeios; it is interpreted in Greek to means wine-maker.

The witty Antiphanes catalogues somewhere the special products of each city in this wise:29 "From Elis comes the cook; from Argos the cauldron, from Phlius wine, from Corinth bedspreads; fish from Sicyon, flute-girls from Aegion, cheese from Sicily . . . Eperfumes from Athens, eels from Boeotia." And Hermippus recounts them thus:30 "Tell me now, ye Muses that dwell in Olympian mansions, all the blessings (since the time when Dionysus voyaged over the wine-coloured sea) which he hath brought hither to men in his black ship. From Cyrene p121silphium-stalks and ox-hides, from the Hellespont mackerel and all kinds of salt-dried fish, from Thessaly, again, the pudding and ribs of beef; from Sitalces, an itch to plague the Spartans, from Perdiccas, cargoes of lies in many ships. fThe Syracusans supply hogs and cheese, and the Corcyraeans — may Poseidon destroy them in their hollow ships, because they are of divided loyalty. All these things, then, come from these places. But from Egypt we get rigged sails and papyrus; from Syria, again, frankincense; while fair Crete sends cypress for the gods. Libya supplies ivory in plenty for trade, Rhodes, raisins and dried figs, which bring pleasant dreams. From Euboea the god brings pears and "fat apples,"31 from Phrygia slaves, from Arcadia hired soldiers. Pagasae furnishes slaves, and branded rascals at that. 28 The acorns of Zeus32 and glossy almonds33 come from Paphlagonia; they are "the ornaments of a feast."34 Phoenicia, in its turn, sends the fruit of the plain and the finest wheat flour. Carthage supplies carpets and cushions of many colours."

Pindar, in the Pythian ode addressed to Hieron, says:35 "From Taÿgetus he brings the Laconian hound for the chase, a creature most keen for coursing. The goats of Scyros excel all others for milking. Arms from Argos, the chariot from Thebes; Bbut in Sicily, land of fair fruits, look for the cunningly wrought car." But Critias puts it thus:36 "The p123cottabos37 is the chief product of Sicily; we set it up as a mark to shoot at with drops of wine. Next comes the Sicilian cart, the best in lavish beauty. . . . The throne38 is Thessalian, a most comfortable seat for the limbs. But the glory of the couch whereon we sleep belongs to Miletus and to Chios, Oenopion's city of the sea. The Etruscan cup of beaten gold is the best, cas well as all bronze that adorns the house, whatever its use. The Phoenicians invented letters, preservers of words. Thebes was the first to join together the chariot-box, and the Carians, stewards of the sea, the cargo-bearing clippers; and she that raised her glorious trophy at Marathon invented the potter's wheel and the child of clay and the oven, noblest pottery, useful in house-keeping." And in fact Attic pottery is held in high esteem. But Eubulus speaks of39 "Cnidian jars, Sicilian pans, Megarian casks." dAnd Antiphanes says:40 "Cyprian mustard and juice of convolvulus, Milesian cress and Samothrace onion, kale from Carthage, silphium and thyme from Hymettus, and marjoram from Tenedos."

The Persian king used to drink only Chalybonian wine, which Poseidonius says41 is also grown at Damascus, in Syria, since the Persians had introduced the culture of the vine there. In Issa, moreover, an island in the Adriatic, Agatharchides42 says p125a wine grows which is found by test to be better than all others. Chian and Thasian are mentioned by Epilycus:43 "Chian and Thasian strained." EAnd Antidotus:44 "Fill a cup of Thasian: for no matter what care gnaws at my heart, once I get a drink of that, my heart is sound again. Asclepius has drenched me45 . . ." "Wine of Lesbos," exclaims Clearchus,46 "which Maron must have made himself, I think." "There's not another wine pleasanter to drink than a draught of Lesbian," says Alexis,47a and continues: "In Thasian and Lesbian wine he swills for the rest of the day, and munches sweets." The same author says:47b "Bacchus was kind, for he made Lesbian free of duty to all who import that wine here. FBut if anybody is caught sending so much as a thimbleful to another city, his goods are confiscated." Ephippus says:48 "I like the Pramnian wine of Lesbos. . . . Many the drops of Lesbian that are gulped down eagerly." Antiphanes:49 "There is at hand a good relish, very inviting, and Thasian wine and ointment and fillets. For Love dwells where plenty is, but among those who are hard up Aphrodite will not p127stay." Eubulus:50 "Take some Thasian or Chian, or old Lesbian distilling nectar." He also mentions51 "Psithian"52 wine: "He gave me a taste of Psithian, sweet and without water; when I was thirsty he took and smote me on the chest with vinegar." And Anaxandrides:53 "a pitcher of Psithian mixed."

29 The second edition of Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae ("Women celebrating the Thesmophoria") is given the title of "Women who had celebrated the Thesmophoria" by Demetrius of Troezen. In this play the master of comedy mentions Peparethian wine:54 "I'll not permit the drinking of Pramnian wine, or Chian, or Thasian, or Peparethian, or any other which will rouse your passion." Eubulus:55 "Leucadian wine is on hand, also some honey liqueur, just drinkable." From Archestratus, writer on banquets:56 B"After that, when ye have taken full measure from the bowl dedicated to Zeus the Saviour, ye must drink an old wine, with hoary head indeed, whose moist locks are crowned with a white bouquet, grown in Lesbos, which the sea waves encircle. I praise, too, the Bybline wine from the sacred Punic land; yet do I not count it equal with the other. For if you take but a single taste of it, having no acquaintance with it before, you will think it at first more fragrant than Lesbian; Cfor fragrance it retains for a very long time. But to the taste it is far inferior, while Lesbian will seem to you to possess p129the glory of ambrosia rather than wine. But if any empty-headed swaggering babblers mock me and say that Punic wine is the nicest of all, I pay no attention to them. . . . The Thasian, to be sure, is also a generous wine to the taste, providing it be old with the fair seasons of many years. I could tell, too, and explain the merits, of the shoots pendant with clusters that grown in other districts; I forget not their names. But they are simply nothing when compared with Lesbian, Dalthough some find pleasure in commending what grows in their own country."

Wine of the date-palm is mentioned by Ephippus:57 "Walnuts, pomegranates, dates and other sweets, and little jars of date wine." And again:58 "A cask of date wine was being tapped." Xenophon also mentions it in the Anabasis.59 Cratinus mentions Mendaean:60 "As it is, if he but catch a glimpse of Mendaean wine61 in its bloom, he tags on and follows it and says, 'Oh, how soft and fair! Will it carry three?' "62 EHermippus, I believe, makes63 Dionysus mention several varieties: "Because of Mendaean the gods actually wet their soft beds. As for Magnesia's sweet bounty, and Thasian, over which floats p131the smell of apples, I judge it far the best of all wines excepting Chian, irreproachable and healthful. But there is a wine which they call "the mellow," and out of the mouth of the opening jars of it there comes the smell of violets, the smell of roses, the smell of hyacinth. FA sacred odour pervades the high-roofed dwelling, ambrosia and nectar in one. That is nectar; and of that my friends shall drink in the bountiful feast; but my enemies shall have Peparethan." Phaenias of Eresus says64 that the Mendaeans sprinkle the grapes on the vines with an aperient, so that the wine becomes a laxative.

Themistocles received as a present from the Persian king the city of Lampsacus to supply his wine, Magnesia his bread, Myus his victuals, Percote and Palaescepsis his bedding and clothing. And he bade him, like Demaratus, wear Persian clothes, 30 giving him Gambreium for his raiment in addition to the towns he already had, with the stipulation that he should never again wear Greek clothes. So also Cyrus the Great bestowed upon his friend Pytharchus of Cyzicus seven cities, according to the Babylonian Agathocles65 — Pedasus, Olympium, Acamantium, Tium, Sceptra, Artypsus, and Tortyre. "But he," says Agathocles, "proceeded to indulge in insolence and folly, and gathering an army he undertook to rule as tyrant over his country. And the Cyzicenes came out against him and offered resistance, rushing in successive ranks to meet the danger." Among the people of Lampsacus, BPriapus, who is the same as Dionysus, is held in honour and has the by-name Dionysus as well as Thriambus and Dithyrambus.

p133 The Mitylenaeans call the sweet wine of their country prodromus; others say protropus.66

The Icarian wine is also esteemed, as Amphis says:67 "In Thurii oil, in Gela lentils, wine from Icaros, figs from Cimolos." In the island of Icaros, says Eparchides,68 is grown the Pramnian, a variety of wine. It is neither sweet nor rich, Cbut dry, hard, and of extraordinary strength; it is the kind which Aristophanes says69 the Athenians did not like, when, speaking of the Athenian populace, he says that they liked not the hard, stiff poets any more than they liked Pramnian wines, which contract the eyebrows as well as the bowels; rather they want wine with delicate bouquet and nectar-distilling ripeness. In Icaros, says Semus,70 is a rock called Pramnian, and beside it a tall mountain from which comes this Pramnian wine, called by some "medicated." DThe name of Icaros in earlier days was Ichthyoessa because of the abundance of fish there, just as the Echinades got their name from sea-urchins, the Sepian promontory from the cuttlefish in the surrounding waters, the Lagussae from the hares thereon, and other islands, Phycussae and Lopadussae,71 from similar causes. Now the vine which bears the Pramnian of Icaros, Eparchides continues, is called by foreigners "sacred," but by the natives of Oenoe "Dionysias." Oenoe is a city on the island. But Didymus declares72 that Pramnian gets its name from a vine called Pramnia; Eothers say that it is a special term for all dark wine, while some assert that p135it may be applied in general to all wine of good keeping qualities, as if the word were paramonion ("enduring"); still others explain it as "assuaging the spirit" (praÿnonta), since drinkers of it are mild-tempered.

Amphis73 also commends the wine from the city of Acanthus: "A. Where are you from? Tell me. — B. From Acanthus. — A. Then in Heaven's name, how is it that you are so harsh, though fellow townsman of the noblest wine? You carry the very name of your town74 in your outward address, but have not the inward qualities of your countrymen." fAlexis mentions75 Corinthian wine as hard: "There was imported wine on hand; for the Corinthian stuff is torture." He also mentions Euboean:76 "After drinking a lot of Euboean wine." Archilochus compares77 Naxian to nectar, and says,78 if I remember: "On my spear depends my kneaded barley-cake, on my spear, Ismarian wine; and I drink, leaning on my spear." Strattis praises79 the wine of Sciathos: "The dark Sciathian, mixed half-and‑half, gurgles forth and invites the wayfarer to drink." 31 But Achaeus praises80 the Bibline: "He offered hospitality with a cup of Bibline mead." It was called thus from a region so named. Philyllius says:81 "I will furnish Lesbian, mellow Chian, Thasian, Bibline, and Mendaean, and nobody will have a headache." p137Epicharmus says that its name is derived from certain mountains called Bibline. But Armenidas82 says the Biblian country is a part of Thrace, with the special names of Antisare and Oesyme. With good reason, too, Thrace was praised for its fine wines, Band in general all the regions near it: "And ships from Lemnos, laden with wine, lay in port."83 Hippys of Rhegium says that the wine called "tangled"84 was known as Biblian, and that Pollis of Argos, who became tyrant of Syracuse, introduced it from Italy. The sweet wine, therefore, which is called Pollian among the Sicilian Greeks, must be this Bibline.

An oracle: (In the oracle, Athenaeus tells us, the god spoke of his own accord.) "Drink wine full of lees, for thou dwellest not in Anthedon, Cnor in holy Hypera, where thou wast wont to quaff wine that was clarified." Now among the Troezenians, as Aristotle says85 in his work on their Constitution, there was a vine called Anthedonias and Hypereias, from a certain Anthus and Hyperus; just as there is an Althephias from one Althephius, a descendant of Alpheius.

Alcman somewhere speaks86 of "wine that knows no heat, redolent of its bouquet," coming from the Five Hills, a place about mile distant from Sparta; also one from Denthiades, a fortress, another from Oenoun, Dand others from Onogli and Stathmi. These are farms near Pitane, in Laconia. So he says, "wine from Oenoun, or Denthis, or Carystus, p139or Onogli, or Stathmi." As for the Carystian, he means a place near Arcadia. By "no heat" he meant wine which has not been boiled; for they used to drink mulled wine.

Polybius declares87 that an excellent wine is grown in Capua, called "anadendrite,"88 which has no competitor. Alciphron of Maeander says there is a mountain village near Ephesus, formerly called Leto's village, but now Latoreia from an Amazon of that name; in this Pramnian wine was produced. Timachidas of Rhodes, moreover, mentions a wine in Rhodes which he calls "doctored," eand says it resembles must. "Candied" is the name given to a wine which has been boiled. Polyzelus calls89 a certain wine "genuine home-brew," and the comic poet Plato has90 a name "smoky" for an excellent wine which is made in Beneventum, a town in Italy. "Amphias" is the name given to a poor wine by Sosicrates.91 But the ancients also drank a liqueur made of spices, called trimma ("pounded"). Theophrastus, in his History of Plants,92 says that Heraea, in Arcadia, Fproduces a wine the drinking of which causes insanity among males, but pregnancy in females. In the region of Cerynia, in Achaea, he further says that there is a kind of vine the wine from which causes pregnant women to miscarry, and if they but eat of the grapes, he declares, they miscarry. Troezenian wine, he says, makes drinkers of it childless. In Thasos, he says, the inhabitants make one wine that produces sleep, another that causes insomnia.

Concerning the preparation of perfumed wine, p141Phaenias of Eresus says:93 32 "To fifty pitchers of must is added one of sea water, producing anthosmias, or 'bouquet' "; and again: "Anthosmias is made stronger with the fruit of new vines rather than of old." Continuing he says: "They trod out the unripe grapes and stored the liquor, which became anthosmias." Theophrastus says94 that in Thasos the wine served in the town hall has a wonderful flavour, because it is specially seasoned. "For they place in the wine-jar dough made from spelt, first mixing it with honey, so that the wine gets its fragrance from itself, but its sweetness from the dough." And further on he says: B"If you mix hard and fragrant wine with smooth and odourless wine, as, for instance, Heracleote and Erythraean, the one supplies smoothness, the other fragrance."

Perfumed wine finds mention in Poseidippus:95 "A strange, thirsty wine is this precious perfumed stuff." And "Hermes" is a variety of beverage mentioned in Strattis.96

Chaereas says that a wine grows in Babylon which is known as nectar.

"So this, after all, was a true saying, that wine must have not only its portion of water, Cbut also a bit of a jest." — "Naught that Bacchus gives should be rejected, not even so much as a grape seed," says the poet of Ceos.97

Among wines one kind is white, another yellow, another dark. As for the white, it is by nature thinnest, diuretic, and heating; while it is a digestive, it makes the head hot; for this wine is heady. Dark wine, if not inclined to be sweet, is very nutritious, also astringent. But the sweet p143varieties, both of white and yellow wines, are the most nutritious. DFor sweet wine smooths the tract through which it passes, and by thickening the humours more, tends to incommode the head less. In fact, the quality of sweet wine causes it to remain in the hypochondriac regions and induces salivation, as Diocles and Praxagoras record. And Mnesitheus of Athens says: "While dark wine is most favourable to bodily growth, white wine is thinnest and most diuretic; yellow wine is dry, and better adapted to digesting foods." Wines which are more carefully treated with sea water do not cause headache; Ethey loosen the bowels, excite the stomach, cause inflations, and assist digestion. Examples are the Myndian and the Halicarnassian. The Cynic Menippus, at any rate, calls Myndus "salt-water drinker." The wine of Cos also is very highly treated with sea water. The Rhodian, also, has, to be sure, a smaller share of the sea, but most of it is useless. The island wine is naturally well adapted for drinking-bouts and not unsuitable for daily use. Cnidian wine produces blood, is nourishing, and causes easy relaxing of the bowels; Fbut when drunk too copiously it weakens the stomach. The Lesbian has less astringency and is more diuretic. The pleasantest is the Chian, especially the variety known as Ariusian. There are three kinds of it; one dry, another rather sweet, the third, a mean between these two in taste, and called "self-tempered." Now the dry has a good taste, is nourishing and more diuretic; the sweet is nourishing, satisfying, and laxative; the "self-tempered" is mid-way between them in useful effects. Speaking generally, 33 Chian wine promotes digestion, is p145nourishing, produces good blood, is very mild, and is satisfying in its rich quality.

But the pleasantest wines are the Alban of Italy and the Falernian.98 But when one of these has age and has been kept a long time it acts like a drug and soon causes stupor. The so‑called Adriatic99 has a pleasant odour, is easily assimilated, and altogether innocuous. But they should be made rather early in the season and set aside in an open space Bso that the richness peculiar to their nature may evaporate.100 A very pleasant wine, when old, is the Corcyraean. But the Zacynthian and Leucadian, on account of the admixture of gypsum, are injurious to the brain. The Cilician wine called "Abates" is merely a laxative. Hard waters, like those from springs and rains, suit the Coan, Myndian, Halicarnassian, and all other wines which have been abundantly treated with sea water, provided the water be thoroughly filtered, and have stood for some time. These wines, therefore, may be advantageously used at Athens and Sicyon, Cwhere the water is hard. But for wines not treated with sea water, or those which are too astringent, or again for Chian and Lesbian, only the purest waters are suitable.—

"O tongue, so long silent, how shalt thou dare relate this deed? Verily there is naught so stern as necessity, for it shall make thee reveal thy masters' secret," says Sophocles.101 —

p147 "I shall be my own Iolaus and Heracles as well."102 —

DThe Mareotan wine — also called Alexandreotic — gets its names from Lake Mareia in Alexandria and the city so named near it. In earlier times the town was important, but to‑day it has dwindled to a village. It took its name from Maron, one of the members of Dionysus's conquering train. The vine is abundant in this region, and its grapes are very good to eat. The wine made from them is excellent; it is white and pleasant, fragrant, easily assimilated, thin, Edoes not go to the head and is diuretic. Even better than this is the Taeniotic ("strip"-) wine, so‑called. There is a long strip of land in those parts, and the wines made there are somewhat pale, disclosing an oily quality in them which is dissolved by the gradual mixture of water, like the honey of Attica when water is added. This Taeniotic wine, beside being pleasant, has also an aromatic quality, and is mildly astringent. The vine is as abundant in the Nile valley as its waters are copious, and the peculiar differences of the wines are many, varying with colour and taste. FSurpassing all others is the wine of Antylla, a city not far from Alexandria, the revenues from which were assigned by the early kings of Egypt and by the Persians to their wives for pin-money.103 The wine of the Thebaid, and especially the wine from the city of the Copts, is so thin and assimilable, so easily digested, that it may be given even to fever patients without injury.—

p149 "You praise yourself, woman, as Astydamas did."104 34 Astydamas was a tragic poet.—

Theopompus of Chios relates105 that the vine was discovered in Olympia, on the banks of the Alpheius; and that there is a district in Elis a mile away, in which, at the festival of Dionysus, the inhabitants shut up and seal three empty cauldrons in the presence of visitors; later, they open the cauldrons and find them full of wine. But Hellanicus maintains106 that the vine was discovered first in Plinthinê, a city of Egypt. BHence Dio the Academic philosopher says that the Egyptians became fond of wine and bibulous; and so a way was found among them to help those who could not afford wine, namely, to drink that made from barley;107 they who took it were so elated that they sang, danced, and acted in every way like persons filled with wine. Now Aristotle declares108 that men who have been intoxicated with wine fall down face foremost, whereas they who have drunk barley beer lie outstretched on their backs; for wine makes one top-heavy, but beer stupefies.

CThat the Egyptians are wine-bibbers is indicated also by the custom, found only among them, of putting boiled cabbage first on their bill of fare at banquets, and it is so served to this day. Many even add cabbage-seed to all remedies concocted against drunkenness. Wherever cabbages grow in a vineyard the wine produced is darker. Hence the p151Sybarites also, according to Timaeus,109 used to eat cabbages before drinking.b Alexis:110 "Yesterday you took a drop, and so to‑day you've got a headache. DTake a nap, that will stop it. Then have some boiled cabbage brought to you." And Eubulus somewhere says:111 "Woman, you must think I am a cabbage, for you try to shift112 all your headache upon me, so I believe." That the ancients called the cabbage rhaphanos is attested by Apollodorus of Carystus:113 "If they think that our calling it a rhaphanos, while you foreigners call it a krambê, makes any difference to us women!" Anaxandrides:114 'If you will but take a bath Eand eat a lot of cabbage (rhaphanos), you will disperse your sadness as well as the cloud which is now upon your brow." Nicochares:115 "To-morrow we'll make a decoction of acorns instead of cabbages (rhaphanoi) to drive away our headache." Amphis:116 "There's no cure for being drunk, it would seem, so potent as the blow of sudden grief. It drives drunkenness away so forcibly that cabbages (rhaphanis) seem ridiculous by comparison." On the subject of this effect caused by the cabbage, Theophrastus also has written;117 he alleges that even the growing vine loathes the smell of cabbage.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Of course this is absurd. See 12CE.

2 F. H. G. IV.359.

3 Od. IV.626.

4 Iliad XII.43, of hunters against a lion or boar.

5 Iliad X.572.

6 Od. X.362.

7 Frag. 236 Rose.

8 Od. VII.127.

9 Iliad XI.630.

10 Od. VII.120.

11 Od. VII.114.

12 Od. V.238.

13 Cf. Plato, Phaedrus 230D.

14 Od. XXIV.340.

15 Iliad V.487.

16 Kock II.207.

17 Iliad XXIII.852.

18 Iliad XXI.362.

19 Od. XX.299.

20 Od. I.141.

21 Kock II.466.

22 Olymp. IX.48.

23 Kock II.209.

24 Kock II.400.

25 Od. IX.197. Maron, priest of Apollo, gave wine to Odysseus.

26 Iliad VI.135.

27 F. H. G. I.328.

28 Frag. xiii Müller. The Greek name of the god answers to an hypothetical Sāura- or Sāurya-dāya‑s, 'giving sāura' (spirits); but the name does not occur in the Indian pantheon as known to‑day (Lanman).

29 Kock II.115.

30 Kock I.243.

31 Punning on the Homeric μῆλα, "sheep."

32 An edible acorn still grows in Elis.

33 Often eaten in Greece when unripe and having still a soft skin. Cf. 52C.

34 Od. I.152.

35 P. L. G.5 frag. 106.

36 P. L. G.4 frag. 1.

37 A game much in vogue at symposia during the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. (Athen. 479, 666). Wine was tossed at a small bronze figure poised on a lamp-stand. The manner of its fall foretold the love-fortunes of the thrower.

38 A high chair of state.

39 Kock II.211.

40 Kock II.171. See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek, at the beginning of the quotation, reads:

This and other words supplied from Pollux VI.67. The verses are by Eubulus, not Antiphanes.

41 F. H. G. III.276.

42 F. H. G. III.194.

43 Kock I.804.

44 Kock II.411.

45 With new health.

46 Kock II.410. See 26B, note e.

47a 47b Kock II.398; cf. Athen. 47D.

48 Kock II.264.

49 Kock II.117.

50 Kock II.209.

51 Kock II.212.

52 Verg. Georg. II.93. Said to be rough. The last of the quotation is unintelligible.

53 Kock II.163.

54 Kock I.473.

55 Kock II.210. See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek, at μελίττιος, reads:

Schweigäuser: μιλίττιος CE. The rest of the text is doubtful.

56 Frag. 59 Ribbeck.

57 Kock II.263.

58 Kock II.255.

59 II.3.14.

60 Kock I.69.

61 The form οἰνίσκος is chosen in allusion to νεανίσκος, "handsome lad."

62 i.e. three parts of water to one of wine.

63 Kock I.249.

64 F. H. G. II.301.

65 F. H. G. IV.289.

66 Both words here mean "flowing from the grapes without pressing."

67 Kock II.248; cf. 67B.

68 F. H. G. IV.404.

69 Kock I.539.

70 F. H. G. IV.493.

71 φῦκος, "seaweed," λοπάς, "oyster."

72 p77 Schmidt.

73 Kock II.247.

74 From ἄκανθα, "thorn."

75 Kock II.401.

76 Kock II.403.

77 P. L. G.4 frag. 151.

78 Frag. 2.

79 Kock I.729.

80 T. G. F.2 756.

81 Kock I.787.

82 F. H. G. IV.339.

83 Iliad VII.467.

84 From Hesychius, s.v. ἵλεοι, it appears that this word referred to the clusters of grapes.

85 Frag. 596 Rose.

86 P. L. G.4 frag. 117.

87 XXXIV.11.1.

88 "Growing on trees."

89 Kock I.790.

90 Kock I.664.

91 Kock III.392; so Nicostratus, Suid. s.v. ἄμφίας.

92 IX.18.10; but he is referring to dogs, not human beings. Cf. also Pliny, NH XIV.116; Aelian, VH XIII.6.

93 F. H. G. II.301.

94 De odoribus 51.

95 Kock III.346.

96 Kock I.717; cf. 473C.

97 Simonides, P. L. G.4 frag. 88.

98 See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek reads:

For ὁ κατὰ τὴν Ἰταλίαν Ἀλβανὸς we should probably adopt Kaibel's conjecture, τῶν κατὰ τὴν Ἰταλίαν Ἀλβανὸς, "among Italian wines the Alban and the Falernian are the pleasantest." The Chian has just been described as the best in Greece, 32F.

99 Cf. Dioscorides V.10; Pliny, NH XIV.67 and 75.

100 Cf.  Horace, Sat. II.4.52 "si quid crassi est, tenuabitur aura."

101 An isolated excerpt; T. G. F.2 295.

102 See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek reads:

This line, omitted in E, in the margin of C, is in doubtful position here, and has more doubtful sense.

103 Lit. "to buy girdles." Xen. Anab. I.4.9.

104 An isolated excerpt; Kock II.530. Astydamas wrote an epigram on his success which was so boastful that it became proverbial. The quotation is from Philemon.

105 F. H. G. I.328.

106 F. H. G. I.67.

107 The Egyptian "beer," ζύθος.

108 Frag. 16 Rose; cf. Athen. 447A‑B.

109 F. H. G. I.206.

110 Kock II.401.

111 Kock II.209.

112 Alluding to the belief that the remedy absorbed the disease.

113 Kock III.288.

114 Kock II.160.

115 Kock I.773.

116 Kock II.247.

117 Hist. Plant. IV.16.16.


Thayer's Notes:

a To obviate needless e‑mail or careless citation in your paper: the editor's Introduction will tell you (pp. xvii‑xviii) that the excerpting was not done in the 21c by the perpetrator of this website, but by a medieval copyist. The three webpages comprising Book 1 of the Deipnosophistae on this site are the entire extant text.

b And even old Romans: Cato, de Agricultura 156.


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