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I.24‑34

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.47E‑60B

(Vol. I) Athenaeus
Deipnosophistae

p153 Excerptsa from Book II

35"Most of the day he gives over as a largess to sleep." But the conversations which you1 have reported are of such variety of subject that they allowed me no leisure for sleep.

Not missing the mark.2 —

Nicander of Colophon says3 that the word for wine (oinos) is derived from Oineus: "Oineus squeezed it in hollow cups and called it oinos." So also Melanippides of Melos:4 "Wine, my master, named after Oineus." Hecataeus of Miletus declares5 that the vine was discovered in Aetolia, and he adds: B"Orestheus, son of Deucalion, went to Aetolia to assume the kingship, and a bitch of his gave birth to a stalk. He ordered that it be buried, and from it sprang a vine with many clusters. For this reason he called his own son Phytius ("Vine-grower"). When his son Oineus was born, he was named after the vines." For the ancient Greeks, Athenaeus explains,6 called grape-vines oinai. "And the son of Oineus was Aetolus." But Plato, explaining the etymology in the Cratylus,7 says that oinos is for p155oionous,8 because wine fills our brain with false impressions. COr perhaps it is so called from onesis ("benefit"), since Homer alludes to the derivation of the word somewhat in this way:9 "Then shalt thou thyself be benefited if thou wilt but drink." In fact he calls all victuals oneiata ("benefits") because they help us. "In wine, Menelaus, the gods devised the best remedy for mortal men to dissipate care." The writer of the Cypria,10 whoever he may be, is authority for this. And Diphilus, the comic poet, says:11 D"O Dionysus, dearest and wisest in the eyes of all men of sense, how kind art thou! Thou alone makest the humble to feel proud, and persuadest the scowler to laugh, the weak to be brave, the cowardly to be bold." Philoxenus of Cythera speaks12 of "fair-flowing wine, opening all lips." And Chaeremon, the tragic poet, says13 that wine brings to the user "mirth and solemn wisdom, folly and good counsel." EIon of Chios says:14 "Child untamed, with face of bull,15 young and not young, sweet lure to loud-thundering passions, wine that lifts the spirit, ruler of men."—

36"Mnesitheus said that the gods had revealed wine to mortals, to be the greatest blessing for those who use it aright, but for those who use it without measure, p157the reverse. For it gives food to them that take it, and strength in mind and body. In medicine it is most beneficial; it can be mixed with liquid drugs and it brings aid to the wounded. In daily intercourse, to those who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer; Bbut if you overstep the bounds, it brings violence. Mix it half and half, and you get madness; unmixed, bodily collapse. Wherefore Dionysus is everywhere called physician."16 The Delphic priestess, too, has directed certain persons to call Dionysus "health-giver." Eubulus makes Dionysus say:17 "Three bowls only do I mix for the temperate — one to health, which they empty first, the second to love and pleasure, Cthe third to sleep. When this is drunk up wise guests go home. The fourth bowl is ours no longer, but belongs to violence; the fifth to uproar, the sixth to drunken revel, the seventh to black eyes. The eighth is the policeman's, the ninth belongs to biliousness, and the tenth to madness and hurling the furniture. Too much wine, poured into one little vessel, easily knocks the legs from under the drinkers." And Epicharmus says:18 D"A. After the sacrifice, a feast . . . after the feast, drinking. — B. Fine, in my humble opinion! — "A. Yes, but after drinking comes mockery, after mockery filthy insult, after p159insult a law-suit, after the law-suit a verdict, after the verdict shackles, the stocks, and a fine."

Panyasis, the epic poet, ascribes the first toast to the Graces, the Hours, and Dionysus, the second to Aphrodite and Dionysus again, the third, however, to Violence and Ruin. He says:19 "The first portion fell to the lot of the Graces and the merry Hours, and to noisy Dionysus, the very gods who inspired the round. For the next following the Cyprus-born goddess and Dionysus drew the lot. Here men get the greatest good from drinking wine. If a man, content with that, goes back home from the still pleasant feast, he can never meet with any harm. But if he persist to the full measure of the third round and drink to excess, there rises the bitter doom of Violence and Ruin, with evils to men in their train. So then, good sir (for thou hast a proper measure of sweet drink), go to thy wedded wife and let thy companions rest. For I fear, when that third sweet round is quaffed, that Violence may excite wrath in thy heart and crown a goodly entertainment with an evil end. Nay, obey, and cease from too much drinking." And continuing the subject of wine immoderately used, Panyasis20 says: "After that the doom of Ruin and overcome follows close upon the victim." According to Euripides,21 "the revel brings blows, insult, and outrage," whence some declare that Dionysus and Hybris ("Violence") were born at the same time.

p161 Alexis says22 somewhere: E"Man is, in a way, much like wine in his nature; young wine, like the young man, is bound to boil up at first and do violence; but when it has lost its ferment it grows hard, and after passing the crisis of all these conditions I speak of, and having had this top froth skimmed from the surface, it is at last fit to use; it settles down again and always thereafter is pleasant to all." And according to the poet of Cyrene,23 F"There is wine, which has the strength of fire when it enters into men; it swells them as the north or south wind swells the Libyan sea, and brings to light the hidden things in the deep; so wine drives the wits from men in complete upheaval." But in another passage Alexis says just the opposite:24 "Man is not at all like wine in his nature; for when he has grown old he loses his flavour, whereas the oldest wine is what we strive to get. The one bites, the other makes us merry." And Panysasis says:25 37"Wine is as great a boon to earthly creatures as fire. It is loyal, a defender from evil, a companion to solace every pain. Yea, wine is the desired portion of the feast and of merry-making, of the tripping dance and of yearning love. Therefore, thou shouldst receive and drink it at the feast with glad heart, and when satisfied with food thou shouldst not sit still like a child, filled to over-flowing, oblivious of the mirth." And again:26 p163"But wine is the best gift of gods to men, sparkling wine; Bevery song, every dance, every passionate love, goes with wine. It drives all sorrows from men's hearts when drunk in due measure, but when taken immoderately it is a bane."

Timaeus of Tauromenium says27 that in Agrigentum there is a house which is called the "trireme" from the following circumstance. A party of young fellows were drinking in it, and became so wild when overheated by the liquor that they imagined that they were sailing in a trireme, and that they were in a bad storm on the ocean. CFinally they completely lost their sense, and tossed all the furniture and bedding out of the house as though upon the waters, convinced that the pilot directed them to lighten the ship because of the raging storm. Well, a great crowd gathered and began to carry off the jetsam, but even then the youngsters did not cease from their mad actions. The next day the military authorities appeared at the house Dand made complaint against the young men when they were still half-seas over. To the questions of the magistrates they answered that they had been much put to it by a storm and had been compelled to throw into the sea the superfluous cargo. When authorities expressed surprise at their insanity, one of the young men, though he appeared to be the eldest of the company, said to them, "Ye Tritons, I was so frightened that I threw myself into the lowest possible place in the hold and lay there." The magistrates, therefore, pardoned their delirium, but sentenced them never to drink too much, and let them go. They gratefully p165promised . . . E"If," said he, "we ever make port after this awful tempest, we shall rear altars in our country to you, as Saviours in visible presence, side by side with the sea gods, because you appeared to us so opportunely." This is why the house was called the "trireme."

Philochorus says28 that drinkers not only reveal what they are, but also disclose the secrets of everybody else in their outspokenness. Hence the saying, "wine is truth also,"29 and "wine revealeth the heart of man."30 FHence also the tripod as prize of victory in the festival of Dionysus. For of those who speak the truth we say that they "speak from the tripod,"31 and it must be understood that the mixing-bowl is Dionysus's tripod. For in ancient times there were two sorts of tripods, both of which came to be termed cauldrons. The one called "bath-pourer" was also made to stand over a fire. Thus Aeschylus:32 "This was contained in the household cauldron, tripod-mounted, which ever keeps its station above the fire." 38The other is the so‑called krater ("mixing-bowl"). Homer:33 "seven tripods, unspoiled by fire." In these they used to mix their wine, and this is "the veritable tripod of truth." Wherefore the tripod is proper to Apollo because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysus it is proper because of the truth of wine. Now Semos of Delos says:34 "Bronze tripod; not the Pythian, but rather what is now termed cauldron. Of these some were not intended for fire, and in them they mixed wine; others were pitchers for the bath, in which they heated water, and they were made to stand over a fire. BOf these latter some had handles, p167but having three feet as a base they were called tripods."

Ephippus says somewhere:35 "A. Too much wine makes you babble too much. — B. Ay, but they say that men in their cups speak the truth." And Antiphanes:36 "One may hide all else, Pheidias, but not these two things — that he is drinking wine, and that he has fallen in love. Both of these betray him though his eyes and through his words, Cso that the more he denies, the more they make it plain."

Philochorus37 has this: "Amphictyon, king of Athens, learned from Dionysus the art of mixing wine, and was the first to mix it. So it was that men came to stand upright, drinking wine mixed, whereas before they were bent double by the use of unmixed. Hence he founded an altar of the 'upright' Dionysus in the shrine of the Seasons; for these make ripe the fruit of the vine. Near it he also built an altar to the Nymphs to remind devotees of the mixing; Dfor the Nymphs are said to be the nurses of Dionysus. He also instituted the custom of taking just a sip of unmixed wine after meat, as a proof of the power of the good gratitude, but after that they might drink mixed wine, as much as each man chose. They were also to repeat over this cup the name of Zeus the Saviour as a warning and reminder to drinkers that only when they drank in this fashion would they surely be safe." Plato in the second book of the Laws38 says that the use of wine is designed to promote health.

p169 EFrom the condition produced by wine they liken Dionysus to a bull or a leopard, because they who have indulged too freely are prone to violence. Alcaeus:39 "Sometimes drawing for themselves honey-like sweetness, sometimes, again, what is sharper than caltrops." There are some drinkers who become full of rage, like a bull. Euripides:40 "Insolent bulls, driving rage into their horns." FSome, also, become like wild beasts in their desire to fight, whence the likeness to a panther.

Rightly, then, Ariston of Ceos says that the pleasantest drink is that which has its share both of sweetness and of fragrance. Wherefore, he says, certain peoples in the neighbourhood of the Lydian Olympus prepare "nectar" by mixing in the same portion wine, honey, and sweet-smelling flowers. 39Now I am aware that Anaxandrides declares41 that nectar is not a drink, but a food of the gods: "I eat nectar, chewing it well, and I drink now and then ambrosia; I am a minister to Zeus, and I can boast of gossiping when I like with Hera, or sitting beside Kypris." Alcman also says42 the gods "eat nectar." Sappho, too:43 "There stood a mixing-bowl filled with ambrosia, while Hermes grasped the pitcher to serve the gods." BHomer, however, know of nectar only as a drink of the gods; and Ibycus44 declares in exaggerated praise that ambrosia has ninefold the p171sweetness of honey, when he says that honey is the ninth part of ambrosia in sweetness.

"No man who is fond of drinking is base. For the twice-mothered45 Bromius delights not in the company of wicked men or untutored ways," says Alexis;46 and he adds that wine "makes all fond of talk who drink it too freely." CThe author of the epigram on Cratinus says:47 " 'Wine,' I aver, 'is a mighty horse to the witty bard, but you that drink water can never produce anything good.' Thus spoke Cratinus, O Dionysus, and breathed not of one wine-skin, but reeked of every cask. Therefore his halls teemed with chaplets, and he had a brow like thine, yellow with the ivy berry." Polemon says48 that in Munychia honours are paid to a hero Acratopotes ("Drinker of unmixed wine"), and that among the Spartans statues of heroes named Matton ("Kneader") and Ceraon ("Mixer") have been set up by certain cooks in the public mess. DIn Achaea, also, Deipneus, who got his name from deipna ("dinners"), is held in honour.

"From dry food no jests will grow nor impromptu verses" — nor yet, again, will conceit or boasting of spirit. Rightly, therefore, the line,49 "whither are gone the boasts ye uttered in Lemnos, when ye ate much flesh and drank goblets brimming with wine," is bracketed by the scholar Aristarchus in his notes, because it represents the Greeks as boasting after eating meat. EFor boasting, ridicule, and jests spring p173not from every kind of heartiness and fullness, but only from that which alters the spirit so completely that it inclines to illusion, which happens only through wine. Wherefore Bacchylides says:50 "A sweet compelling impulse issues from the cups and warms the heart; and hope of love fulfilled speeds through the brain when mingled with the gifts of Dionysus, Fsending the thoughts of men to topmost heights. Soon it breaks down even the battlements of cities, and every man dreams of being a monarch. With gold, yes, and with ivory, his house glitters; wheat-laden ships carry over the shining sea mighty wealth from Egypt. Thus does the drinker's heart leap with fancies." 40Sophocles, too, says51 that "to be full of wine is the solvent of pain," while other poets declare that "wine is the fruit of the glebe that makes the heart merry";52 and the prince of poets makes Odysseus say:53 "If a man hath had his fill of wine and food, though he fight all day, yet is his heart brave within him," et cetera.

Simonides54 ascribes the same origin to wine and to literature. Inspired by wine, both comedy and tragedy were invented in Icarium,55 a village of Attica, Bat the very time of the vintage (trygê). Hence comedy was at first called trygoedia. "The vine, antidote to sorrow, was given to mortals; without wine Love lives not, and every other joy of mortals p175dies," says Euripides in the Bacchae.56 And Astydamas also says:57 "He revealed to mortals that cure for sorrow, the vine, mother of wine." — C"If a man fill himself too continually he loses thought, but if he drink moderately he becomes full of ideas," says Antiphanes.58 "I have drunk not to the clouding of my reason, but just so much that I can still surely distinguish the syllables with my tongue," says Alexis.59

Seleucus maintains that in old times it was not the custom to indulge in too much wine or in any other luxury, except in honour of the gods. Hence they named their carousals either thoinai or thaleiai or methai — the first, because they thought it their duty to take wine for the gods' sake,60 the second because they gathered and came together to grace the gods.61 This, namely, is the meaning of daita thaleian ("bountiful feast").62 DAs for the term methê ("drunkenness") Aristotle says63 that the verb methyo ("get drunk") comes from the use of wine after sacrifice.

"Sacrificing but meagre offerings in rites to the gods, albeit more pious than they who offer oxen," says Euripides.64 In this way he indicates that the word "rite" means "festival." Homer, too, has these lines:65 "As for me, I say that no more precious rite could be celebrated than when mirth possesseth the whole people." Further, we call by the name of "mystic rites" those festivals which are still more important and are accompanied by certain traditional mysteries, deriving the name from the large p177sums expended upon them.66 EFor telein means to spend generously, and those who spend much are called polyteleis, those who spend little, euteleis.67 Alexis says:68 "The prosperous should live ostentatiously, and so make plain the god's bounty. For the god who had bestowed these blessings thinks that a man should feel grateful to him for what he has done. But when men try to hide their fortune, alleging that they are but indifferently well off, the god sees that they are ungrateful Fand are living meanly, and at the first opportunity he seizes and wrests from them all that he has given before."

All this is said by way of oenologizing, or talking about wines; gulping down,69 as it were, all the names of wines.

He who has been accustomed from his earliest upbringing to drink water takes no pleasure in the cup.

"Pleasant it is, at the feast and the bounteous banquet, for men to enjoy themselves with stories after they are satisfied with eating," says Hesiod in the epic tale of Melampus.70

It has not occurred to any of you to speak about waters, although from its mixture with water the wine is drawn for drinking. And yet the grandiloquent Pindar has said that "of all things water is best."71 41The divine Homer knows that it is very nourishing, in the lines where he speaks of a grove "of poplars nurtured by water."72 He also praises its clearness: p179"Four fountains gushed with water white."73 Whatever flows lightly and is of unusual value he calls desirable. Thus he speaks of the Titaresius, which "flows into the Peneius,"74 as desirable. He also mentions water fit for cleansing in a passage which Praxagoras of Cos accepts with approval . . . Homer speaks of it as "good";75 "It flows past, good for cleansing even very soiled garments." BMoreover, he distinguishes fresh water from "broad"; in speaking of the Hellespont,76 he uses the term "broad."77 But of fresh water he says:78 "We stayed our ships near a well of fresh water." He also knows the good qualities of hot water in the treatment of wounds. For he makes of this a fomentation to apply to Eurypylus when he was wounded.79 And yet if one had merely to check the flow of blood, cold water would have been suitable, since it hardens and contracts the flesh; but for dulling pain Homer causes Eurypylus to be bathed with hot water, since it is potent for soothing. CIn Homer, too, the word liaros means hot. This he makes quite clear in the passage about the sources of the Scamander:80 "The one," he says, "flows with hot water, and about it smoke rises up as from a blazing fire." Must not this be hot, when from it a fiery vapour and hot smoke rise into the air? But concerning the other spring he says that in summer "it flows like hail or chilling snow or ice which forms from water." DAnd just as he is wont to say of fresh wounds that the warm blood flows round them, so, in the case of Agamemnon, he says81 "while yet the blood welled p181up warm from his wound (employing the word thermos), but, on the other hand, of the stag which flees after being shot, he says (changing the word to liaros),82 "while the blood is warm and his limbs are strong to move." But Athenians call what is warm metakeras ("lukewarm"), according to Eratosthenes: "diluted," he says, "and lukewarm."

Regarding other waters, Homer calls those which flow from rocks "dark,"83 meaning "unfit for use." EHe prefers to all others the water of springs and those which flow through fertile and rather deep soil, as Hesiod does also:84 "A spring perpetual and ever flowing, which has not been fouled." And Pindar says:85 "Ambrosial water, honeyed delight, flows from the fair spring of Tilphossa." This Tilphossa is a spring in Boeotia, from which, Aristophanes says, Teiresias drank; but not being able to bear its coldness because of his age he died. FTheophrastus, in his work On Waters,86 says that Nile water is very fertilizing and fresh. Hence it loosens the drinker's bowels, since it contains a soda ingredient. In his work On Plants87 he says that in some places water occurs which promotes conception, as in Thespiae, whereas in Pyrrha it produces sterility. He also says88 that some fresh waters are sterile or not very favourable to conception, like that in Pheta or in Pyrrha. 42And once, when droughts had occurred in the Nile valley, the flow of water became poisonous and many Egyptians died. He further says that many bitter waters as well as salt water and entire rivers change p183their character; such is the river in Caria on the banks of which stands a shrine to Zenoposeidon. The reason is that many thunderbolts fall in that region. Other waters, again, are like solids, and have a considerable density, like the water of Troezen, for it is no sooner tasted than it becomes a mouthful. BThe waters near the mines of Mt. Pangaeum weigh in the winter time ninety-six drachms to the half pint, while in summer they weigh forty-six. Cold weather contracts it and gives it greater density. Hence, also, water flowing in water-clocks89 does not correctly give the hours in winter, but makes them too long, since the flow is slower on account of its density. He asserts the same even of Egypt, where the climate is milder. But salty water is more earthy and requires longer boiling than sea water, as sea water is naturally warmer and not affected in the same way. Of salty waters the only one that is hard is the water of Arethusa. CInferior, also, are the heavier, the harder, and the colder waters for the same reasons: they are more difficult to boil partly because of the large content of solids and partly because of their excess of cold. On the other hand, those which heat quickly are light and healthful. In Crannon there is a water, slightly warm, which retains warmth in the wine mixed with it for two or three days. Running waters, including those drawn from an aqueduct, are as a rule better than standing water, and when aerated are still softer. For this reason Deven snow water is thought to be good, because the more potable element is drawn to the surface and this is broken up by p185the air; it is, therefore, even better than rain water, and water obtained from ice, also, is better because it is lighter; the proof is that ice itself is lighter than water in general. But cold waters are hard because they are more solid, and whatever is corporeal is warmer when heated and colder when cooled. For the same reason water on the mountains is better to drink than water in the plains, because it is mixed less with solid matter. This solid matter also causes the shades of colour in water. EFor example, the water in the lake at Babylon is red for several days,90 while that of the Borysthenes at certain periods is violet-coloured, although it is extremely light. The proof: when the north wind blows the river rises higher than the Hypanis because of its lightness.

In many places there are springs which are rather good to drink from and have a winy flavour, like the one in Paphlagonia, to which the natives are said to resort for tippling.91 FOthers, however, among the Sicani of Sicily, are salty as well as acid. In the dominion of Carthage there is a well in which the water at the top is like oil, but of a darker hue; they skim this off in globules and use it for sheep and cattle. Among other peoples also occur springs with a similar oiliness, like the one in Asia, about which Alexander wrote word that he had discovered a well of oil. Among the naturally warm waters some are fresh, as those in Cilician Aegae, in the neighbourhood of Pagasae, 43in the Trojan Larissa, in Magnesia, Melos, and Lipara; in Prusa, also, near the Mysian Olympus, are the so‑called royal waters. But the waters in Asia near Tralles and the Characometes p187river, as well as those near the city of Nysa, are so oily that persons who bathe in them do not need oil. Similar, too, are those in the village of Dascylum. Those in Carura are drying and very warm, Bwhile those near the village of Mên, in Phrygia, are rougher and contain more soda, as are those also in the village of Leon, as it is called, in Phrygia. The water near Dorylaeum is very pleasant to drink; a noteworthy fact, since the water of Baiae or Baium harbour in Italy is quite undrinkable.

When I92 had weighed the water from the Corinthian spring Peirene, as it is called, I found it to be lighter than any other in Greece. For I have no faith in the comic poet Antiphanes, when he says that Attica, besides excelling other places in many respects, has also the best water. His words are:93 "A. What products, Hipponicus, our country bears, excelling all in the whole world! Honey, wheat-bread, figs. — B. Figs, to be sure, Cit bears in plenty. — A. Sheep, wool, myrtle-berries, thyme, wheat, and water. Such water! You'd know in a minute you were drinking the water of Attica."

Eubulus, writer of comedies, says94 that Chaeremon the tragic poet called95 water the river's "body": "After we had passed the boundaries of the sheepfolds96 and had crossed the water, body of the river."

In fact, every faculty in us is nourished by water.97

In Tenos there is a spring with the water of which wine will not mix. And Herodotus, Book IV,98 says p189that the Hypanis as it issues from its sources is a thin stream of fresh water for a space of five days' journey, Dbut after four more days of travelling it becomes bitter, because a bitter spring empties into it. Theopompus99 says that near the Erigon river is an acid water, and they who drink it become as intoxicated as those who drink wine. Moreover, Aristobulus of Casandria says100 that in Miletus there is a spring called Achilles' Well, the main stream of which is very sweet, but the surface is salty; with the water of this spring, so the Milesians say, the hero purified himself after he had killed Trambelus, king of the Leleges. They also assert that the water of Cappadocia, which is abundant and very good, never goes stale even though it has no outlet, unless it be that it flows underground. King Ptolemy, in the seventh book of his Commentaries,101 says that "as we drew toward Corinth, Eapproaching by the so‑called Contoporeia to where the ascent of the ridge is made," there was a spring sending forth a stream colder than snow; many refused to drink from it, expecting it to be frozen, but he adds that he himself drank of it. FAnd Phylarchus says102 that they who have drunk of the spring of Cleitor cannot bear the smell of wine. Clearchus remarks103 that water is described as "white," just as milk is, but wine, like nectar, is said to be "red," honey and oil are "yellow," while the juice squeezed from mulberries is "black."

Eubulus says104 that water makes those who drink nothing else fertile in devices, "whereas wine clouds our thinking." Ophelion, too, has the same verses.105

p191 44This much he said, speaking "to water," as lawyers do;106 and after a brief pause he resumed. Amphis, the comic poet, somewhere says:107 "So it turns out that there is reason in wine after all, while some who drink only water are silly fools." And Antiphanes:108 "With wine drive out wine, with bugle-call the bugle, the bawler with the herald, ache with ache, noise with noise, the strumpet with threepence, presumption with presumption, Callistratus with a cook, faction with faction, a fight with fighting, a boxer with black eyes, trouble with trouble, lawsuit with lawsuit, a woman with a woman."

bThe ancients used the expression "unmixed" even of water. Thus Sophron:109 "unmixed water into the cup."

Phylarchus says110 that Theodorus of Larissa, who always maintained an hostile attitude toward King Antigonus, drank nothing but water. He also says111 that all Iberians are water-drinkers, although they are the richest men in the world; he says that their parsimony leads them to eat only once a day, though they wear the most sumptuous clothes. And Aristotle112 (or was it Theophrastus?) records Cthat a man named Philinus never used any other drink or food but milk all his life. Pythermus113 registers Glaucon among the tyrants of Peiraeus as a water-drinker also. Hegesander of Delphi says114 that Anchimolus and Moschus, sophists of Elis, drank water all their lives, and though they ate nothing but figs they enjoyed as robust a physique as anyone else; but p193their sweat was so ill-smelling that everybody avoided them at the public baths. Matris of Thebes, also, ate nothing but a few myrtle-berries as long as he lived, Dabstaining, too, from wine and everything else except water. Another water-drinker was Lamprus the musician, concerning whom Phrynichus says:115 "And the pipes struck up their dirge while Lamprus lay a-dying among them — a water-drinking mortal he, a mincing charlatan surpassing them all, dry bones of the Muses, nightmare to nightingales, a hymn of Hell." Machon, another comic poet, mentions a water-drinker named Moschion.

Aristotle, in his work on Drunkenness, maintains116 that some persons have stayed free from thirst while eating salty food; one of these was Archonides of Argos. EMago of Carthage crossed the desert three times, eating dry meal and having nothing to drink. Polemon the Academic began when he was thirty years old to drink only water, and kept it up until his death, according to Antigonus of Carystus.117 So, too, of Diocles of Peparethus, Demetrius of Skepsis says118 that he drank cold water to the end of his life. A credible witness in his own case is the orator Demosthenes, who says119 that for a time he drank only water. Pytheas, at any rate, also says:120 F"Why, you may see with your own eyes how utterly opposed in mode of life are the popular leaders of the day, Demosthenes and Demades. The one drinks water and spends his nights in study, so they say, while the p195other is a bawd, gets drunk every day, and with belly protruding rants at us in meetings of the Assembly." And Euphorion of Chalcis writes121 somewhat in this strain: "Lasyrtas the Lasionian felt no need at all of drink with his food, as other men do, yet he urinated like everyone else. 45And many persons eagerly undertook to watch him, but they desisted without discovering how the matter really stood. For in the hot summer weather they beset him closely for as much as thirty days, and although they observed that he did not abstain from any salt food, they were constrained to believe him when he said that he had a perfectly good bladder. To be sure, he did use liquids, nevertheless he had no real need of them with his food."

"It is pleasant," says Antiphanes,122 "to change to different food, and when one is stuffed too often with common viands the mere taste of something new affords redoubled pleasure."

The king of Persia, as Herodotus tells us in the first book,123 Bhas drinking-water brought to him from the Choaspes, which flows by Susa; that is the only water he drinks. Of this water, which has first been boiled, a very large number of four-wheeled wagons drawn by mules convey a supply in silver jars and follow in his train. Ctesias of Cnidus also tells124 how this water for the king is boiled and how it is put into the vessels and transported for his use, adding that it is very light and pleasant. When, too, the p197second king of Egypt, Csurnamed Philadelphus, gave his daughter Berenice in marriage to Antiochus, king of Syria, he took care to send her Nile water, for he wanted his daughter to drink of this river only. So writes Polybius.125 Heliodorus says126 that Antiochus Epiphanes, whom Polybius calls Epimanes ("the Mad") on account of his crazy doings,127 mixed wine in the well of Antioch. The same thing was done by the Phrygian Midas, according to Theopompus,128 when he desired to catch Silenus by making him drunk. The spring, says Bion,129 is midway between the Maedi and the Paeonians, and is called Inna. But Staphylus declares130 Dthat Melampus was the first to invent the mixing of wine with water. Pleistonicus also remarks that water is a better aid to digestion than wine.

Those who drink toasts too constantly come to have an unnatural condition of the stomach; it is much more apt to go wrong, and often causes corruption in the food taken. He, therefore, who would enjoy health should have recourse to suitable exercises to provoke abundant perspiration, and also to baths, in order to moisten and soften the body; then he should drink the best water obtainable, in winter and spring as hot as he can bear it, Ein summer cold, in order not to weaken the stomach before it must act; he should also drink in quantities proportioned to the amount of food,131 that the water may be absorbed in the system before the wine, and thus prevent the wine from being distributed in full force and so attack and eat away the walls132 of the vascular organs. But if any of us find this irksome, let him take before p199dinner some warm sweet wine diluted, preferably what is called protropos133 (the sweet Lesbian), which is good for the stomach. Wine that is rather sweet does not make the head heavy, as Hippocrates says134 Fin his book On Diet — a work which some entitle Acute Diseases,135 others On Barley Gruel, and others still Refutation of Cnidian Principles. He says: "Sweet wine is less apt to cause headache than that of more vinous power; it attacks the brain less violently, and traverses the digestive tract more easily than the other."

We should not drink like the Carmani, of whom Poseidonius says:136 "These people, namely, eager to prove their friendship in their drinking bouts, open the veins of the forehead, and mixing the blood which streams down in their wine, they imbibe it, 46in the belief that to taste each other's blood is the highest proof of friendship. After this peculiar mode of drinking the wine, they smear the head with perfume, preferably of rose, but failing that, of quince, in order to repel the effects of the draught and not be injured by the fumes from the wine; if quince perfume is not at hand, they use orris or nard." Appropriately, therefore, Alexis says:137 "He anoints his nostrils with perfume; a highly important element of health Bis to put good odours to the brain."

One should, however, avoid the richer unguents and drink water which is light and transparent in appearance, light, too, in actual weight and free from solid matter. Good water is that which heats and cools in a reasonable time, and when poured into a p201bronze or silver vessel does not tarnish it. Hippocrates also says:138 "Water which heats and cools quickly is always lighter in weight." Waters which cook vegetables slowly are poor. Such are those which contain soda or salt. In his treatise On Waters,139 Hippocrates calls good water "potable." Stagnant waters are bad, such as those in ponds and marshes. Even among spring waters the majority are too hard. CAnd Erasistratus says: "Some persons approve waters by their weight without proper testing. Witness, for example, the water of the Amphiaraus spring compared with that of Eretria. The one is bad, the other good, but there is no difference in their weight whatever." Hippocrates in his work On Places140 says that all waters are best which issue from high elevations and deep-soiled hills. For they are clear and fresh, and may be mixed141 with only a little wine; in winter, also, they are tepid, in summer, cool. DHe particularly recommends those whose streams issue toward the rising sun, more especially toward the quarter where it rises in summer. For then they must necessarily be sparkling, fragrant, and light. Diocles says that water is useful for digestion; it does not cause flatulence, it is moderately cooling, clears the vision, does not oppress the head in the least, and produces activity of mind and body. Praxagoras, too, says the same, but he commends rain water, whereas Evenor prefers cistern water, and further says that the water from the Amphiaraus spring is superior in comparison with that of Eretria.

p203 That water is, beyond dispute, nourishing, Eis proved by the fact that some animals, like the cicadae, feed on that alone. Many other liquids are also nourishing, such as milk, barley-water, and wine. Children at the breast, at any rate, are sufficiently nourished by milk, and many tribes live by milk-drinking. There is also a story that Democritus of Abdera, having decided because of his years to give up life, cut down his food from day to day; but when the holy days of the Thesmophoriae drew near, Fthe women of his family entreated him not to die during the festival, since they desired to observe it. So he yielded, and bade them set before him a dish of honey; and the man survived the requisite number days although he ate only what was served of honey; when the days were over and the honey was removed, he died. But Democritus was always fond of honey, and when someone asked him how he might live a healthy life he replied, "by wetting his inside with honey, his outside with oil." 47So also the food of the Pythagoreans was a wheat loaf with honey, according to Aristoxenus,142 who says that those who eat this for luncheon are always exempt from sickness. And Lycus says143 that the Cyrnians144 (they dwell near Sardinia) are long-lived because they always eat honey, which is very abundant in their country.—

Notice the expression "all reserving the inquiry" for "putting it off."145 —

The word anestis is identical with nestis ("fasting"), by redundant use of a, like stachys and astachys ("ear of grain"). It is found in Cratinus:146 "Surely p205you are not the first uninvited guest to come to dinner hungry." BThe expression "sharp-set" is in Diphilus:147 "I like to see the sharp-set with their cloaks off, eager always to find out everything before the proper time." And Antiphanes:148 "A. One malady that he has is this: he is always ravenously hungry. — B. The fellow he means is an out-and‑out Thessalian."149 And Eubulus:150 "Zethus he bade go and dwell on Thebe's sacred soil; Cbecause, it would appear, they sell bread cheaper there, and he was sharp-set. But the very musical Amphion he told to emigrate to glorious Athens, where the sons of the Cecropidae luxuriously — starve, gulping down the breezes and feeding on hopes."

The compound "one-meal‑man" is found in Alexis:151 "When you see an ordinary citizen eating one meal a day, or a poet who has lost his desire for songs and lyrics, then you may be sure the first has lost one half of his life, the other, one half of his art; and both are scarcely alive." DPlato:152 "not eating one meal every day, but sometimes dining twice a day."

They used to call sweetmeats nogaleumata. Araros:153 "Festive indeed are these sweetmeats p207(nogaleumata). Alexis:154 "In Thasian wines he soaks himself the rest of the day, and munches sweetmeats." Antiphanes:155 "Grapes, pomegranates, dates, and other sweetmeats." EPhilonides156 uses the word apositos ("abstaining from food"). Crobylus157 has autositos in the phrase "a parasite bringing his own food."158 "Unbreakfasted," says Eupolis159 in a compound word (anaristeton). "Eating-in‑spite-of‑himself" is another compound (ananko-sitos) in Crates160 and also in Nicostratus:161 "A lad . . . with hair cut bowl-fashion and clad in riding-cloak you bring home on occasion to eat against his will." Alexis used162 the word "luncheon-dinner" (aristo-deipnon): "With these dishes we can get up a short and sweet luncheon-dinner."


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Timocrates addresses Athenaeus.

2 Cf. 20B οὐκ ἄν τις σκοποῦ πόρρω τοξεύων λέγοι.

3 Frag. 86 Schneider.

4 P. L. G.4 III.591.

5 F. H. G. I.26.

6 Ultimately Pamphilus; Hesych. s.v. οἴνη.

7 406C.

8 "Sense-supposing," as though from οἴομαι, "suppose," and νοῦς, "sense." Plato means that wine causes most drinkers who have no sense to think that they have.

9 Iliad VII.260.

10 Frag. ep. 10.

11 Kock II.569; cf. Horace, Odes III.21.3.

12 P. L. G.4 frag. 16.

13 T. G. F.2 787.

14 P. L. G.4 II.255.

15 Cf. the hymn to Dionysus, ἄξιε ταῦρε; P. L. G.4 III.656.

16 Kock III.423. Author unknown. Schweighäuser ascribed it to Alexis. Cf. 22E.

17 Kock II.196.

18 Kaibel 118.

19 Frag. ep. 13.

20 Ibid. 14.

21 Cyclops 534.

22 Kock II.313.

23 Eratosthenes, frag. 34, Hiller.

24 Kock II.399.

25 Frag. ep. 12.

26 Ibid. 14.

27 F. H. G. I.221.

28 F. H. G. I.387.

29 "In vino veritas," cf. Alcaeus, P. L. G.4 frag. 57.

30 Theognis 500.

31 Like the Delphic priestess.

32 T. G. F.2 3.

33 Iliad IX.122.

34 F. H. G. IV.495.

35 Kock II.263.

36 Kock II.114.

37 F. H. G. I.387.

38 674B.

39 P. L. G.4 frag. 47.

40 Bacchae 743.

41 Kock II.160.

42 P. L. G.4 frag. 100.

43 Ibid. 51.

44 Ibid. 33.

45 Referring to the second birth of Dionysus from the thigh of Zeus.

46 Kock II.400.

47 Anth. Pal. XIII.29, Kock I.74.

48 Frag. 40 Preller; cf. 173F.

49 Iliad VIII.231.

50 P. L. G.4 frag.27.

51 T. G. F.2 295.

52 Iliad III.246.

53 Iliad XIX.167.

54 P. L. G.4 frag. 221.

55 Icaria (which Casaubon reads in the text). Here Thespis produced the first tragedies.

56 772.

57 T. G. F.2 780.

58 Kock II.123.

59 Kock II.403.

60 As though θοίνη were θεοίοἶνος.

61 Joining θεοί and ἁλίζω to make θάλεια.

62 i.e. a feast where men gather to honour the gods; cf. 24B.

63 Frag. 102 Rose; μεθύω quasi μετὰ τὸ θύειν.

64 T. G. F.2 458.

65 Od. IX.5.

66 Telos, "rite," also means "toll," "expense."

67 Polyteleis, "much-spending," "lavish"; euteleis, "spending for what is easily paid for," hence "cheap," "mean."

68 Kock II.394.

69 The word is Homeric (Iliad XI.176, etc.), showing that the writer of the note took it from Athenaeus.

70 Frag. 192 Rzach.

71 Ol. I.1.

72 Od. XVII.208.

73 Od. V.70.

74 Iliad II.753.

75 Od. VI.87.

76 Iliad VII.26.

77 Perhaps because salt was extracted from the broad ocean. For πλατύ, meaning "salt" or "brackish," see Herod. II.108. Cf. Eng. "flat" as applied to taste.

78 Od. XII.305.

79 Iliad XI.830.

80 Iliad XXII.149.

81 Iliad XI.266.

82 Iliad XI.477.

83 Iliad IX.15.

84 Op. 595.

85 P. L. G.6 466.

86 Frag. 159 Wimmer.

87 Theophr. Hist. Plant. IX.18.10.

88 Frag. 159 Wimmer.

89 This is the only passage in which γνώμωνκλεψύδρα, "water-clock." What follows is uncertain in text and meaning.

90 In summer, Plin. H. N. XXXI.55.

91 Cf. Vitruvius VIII.3 "ex quo etiam sine vino potantes fiunt temulenti."

92 This chapter belongs to Athenaeus himself, not the epitomator.

93 Kock II.84.

94 Kock II.214.

95 T. G. F.2 787.

96 The word may also mean "sacred olive-trees."

97 See crit. note.

The critical note to the Greek text, at Καὶ ἡμῶν δὲ πᾶσα δύναμις ἐξ ὑδάτων ἄρδεται, following the tag from Eubulus (ἐπεὶ δὲ σηκῶν περιβολὰς ἠμείψαμεν | ὕδωρ τε ποταμοῦ σῶμα διεπεράσαμεν.) reads:

Kock, deleting καὶ and ἐξ, makes this also a line from Eubulus.

98 Ch. 52.

99 F. H. G. I.316.

100 Frag. 3 Müller.

101 F. H. G. III.187.

102 F. H. G. I.354.

103 F. H. G. II.327.

104 Kock II.211.

105 Kock II.294.

106 Alluding to the custom of timing a forensic speech by the water-clock.

107 Kock II.248.

108 Kock II.129.

109 Kaibel 170.

110 F. H. G. I.337.

111 In book 7, according to Const. Porph. De adm. imp. 23.

112 Frag. 633 Rose.

113 F. H. G. IV.488.

114 F. H. G. IV.418.

115 Kock I.388.

116 Frag. 103 Rose.

117 p66 Wilamowitz.

118 Frag. 72 Gaede.

119 Or. VI.30.

120 Frag. 4 Müller.

121 p139 Meineke.

122 Kock II.118.

123 Ch. 188.

124 Frag. 49 Müller.

125 Frag. 154 Hultsch.

126 F. H. G. IV.425.

127 Cf. 193C.

128 F. H. G. I.289.

129 F. H. G. II.19.

130 F. H. G. IV.506.

131 Supplying τῆς βρώμης from Hippocrates, II.328 Littré.

132 Lit. "ends," "sides."

133 See 30B, and note.

134 II.332.

135 Or, bracketing νόσων with Kaibel, On Acids.

136 F. H. G. III.275.

137 Kock II.368.

138 IV.542.26; V.88.11 Littré.

139 Possibly referring to VI.118 Littré.

140 II.30 Littré.

141 Lit. "able to bear wine in small quantities," i.e. only a little wine need be added to give the water savour.

142 F. H. G. II.273.

143 F. H. G. II.373.

144 Corsicans.

145 Isolated notes of the epitomator.

146 Kock I.26.

147 Kock II.572.

148 Kock II.124; Meineke thinks Heracles is meant.

149 In the eyes of the Athenians a glutton.

150 Kock II.167.

151 Kock II.396.

152 The comic poet, Kock I.658.

153 Kock II.217; cf. 86D.

154 Kock II.398; cf. 28E.

155 Kock II.38; cf. 29D.

156 Kock I.255.

157 Kock III.379; cf. 248B.

158 Of course a paradox.

159 Kock I.273.

160 Kock I.143.

161 Kock II.228.

162 Kock II.402; cf. 247E.


Thayer's Note:

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 2 of the Deipnosophistae on this site are the entire extant text of that Book.


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