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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae


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

The text is in the public domain.

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(Vol. I) Athenaeus

Book III
(Part 5 of 5)

 p43  (116) After this lengthy discussion it was decided at last to dine, and when the hors d'oeuvre of salt fish had been passed round Leonides said: "Euthydemus of Athens, my friends, remarks in his work on Salt Meats that Hesiod has this to say about salted or pickled food: 'First in choice is the sturgeon with double-edged mouth, the fish which the rough-clad fisherfolk call the "jaw." BThe Bosporos, rich in salt fish, delights in it, and the people there cut the belly pieces into squares and make it into a pickle. Not  p45 inglorious in the eye of mortals, I ween, is the tribe of sharp-nosed sturgeon which jagged lumps of salt adorn either whole or sliced. Again, of tunnies, pickled in the right season,​1 Byzantium is mother, Cas well as of deep-sea mackerel and well-fed swordfish, while Parium Town is a glorious nurse of Spanish mackerel. And over the Ionian wave a Bruttian or a Campanian will bring as freight from Cadiz or holy Tarentum huge tunny hearts, which are packed tightly in jars and await the beginning of dinner.'

"These verses, in my opinion, come from some master cook rather than from the gifted Hesiod. DFor how could he know about Parium or Byzantium, to say nothing of Tarentum and the Bruttians and Campanians, when he lived many years before these places were settled? I believe, therefore, that the verses are Euthydemus's own." To this Dionysocles replied: "Who wrote the lines, good Leonides, it is for you others, famous critics as you are, to determine. Nevertheless, since we are on the subject of salt fish, I will proceed to tell what I know about it, with full details of the trade, including also a proverb which Clearchus of Soli thought worth quoting: E'Stale salt fish likes marjoram.'​2 Now Diocles of Carystus, in his work entitled Hygiene, says​3a that young tunny is the best among all lean varieties of salt fish, but of all fat fish the grown tunny is the best. But Hicesius records that neither young tunnies nor those called horaia are easy to digest, and further, that the flesh of young tunny resembles 'cube'​third book tunny and hence is greatly different from  p47 all the other tunny called horaia. In like manner he says there is a great difference in the horaia of Byzantium and those caught in other places, Fand this is true not of tunny alone, but of all other fishes taken in Byzantium."

To these remarks the Ephesian Daphnus added the following: "Archestratus, who made a voyage round the world to satisfy his stomach and appetites even lower, says:​4 'Eat, dear Moschus, a slice of Sicilian tunny, cut at the time when it should be salted in jars. 117 But the shabar, a relish from Pontus, I would consign to the lowest regions, as well as all who praise it. For few there be among mortals who know that it is a poor and insipid morsel. Take, however, a mackerel three days out of the water, before it enters the pickle and while it is still new in the jar and only half-cured. And if thou go to the sacred city of glorious Byzantium, eat again, I pray you, a slice of horaion; for it is good Band luscious.'

"But the chef Archestratus has omitted to catalogue for us the so‑called 'ivory' salt-fish mentioned by Crates, the comic poet, and The Samians. On this he says:​5 'Once upon a time a tortoise was stewing some ivory salt-fish in a leather bowl over a fire of pine boughs. Crabs there were, and long-feathered wolves​6 fleet as the wind, ready to give battle to the pieces of sole-leather from the sky. Hit him! Choke him! Can you tell me, gentlemen, what day of the month it is in Ceos?'​7 CThat this 'ivory  p49 salt-fish' of Crates was famous is proved by Aristophanes in Thesmophoriazusae:​8 'The comedians' art was still a big thing in the old days when Crates at a stroke brought into fashion the glistening ivory salt-fish which he had summoned, and giggled out countless other fancies like that.'

"Alexis mentions 'raw salt-fish,' also, in The Man with a Cataract, and the same poet in The Love-lorn Lass9 introduces a cook who has this to say about making salt-fish: D'Nevertheless, I mean to sit down here and reckon the cost of my menu, to plan what I must get first, and how I must season each dish. First comes this piece of horaion; that cost a penny. I must wash it well. Then I will sprinkle seasoning in a casserole, place the slice in it, pour over it some white wine, stir it in oil and stew it until it is as soft as marrow, covering it generously with a garnish of silphium.' EAnd in The Man with a Cataract10 one of the characters, when asked to pay his share of the club dinner, replies: 'If, however, you don't render me an account of each item in detail, you shall not get from me the twelfth part of a bronze farthing. — B. What you say is reasonable. Bring a counting-board and counters. — A. Name the items. — B. Raw salt fish, five farthings. — A. Next! — FB. Mussels, seven farthings. — A. You haven't cheated yet. Next! — B. Those sea-urchins, a ha'penny. — A. Your conscience is still  p51 clean. — B. After that, wasn't there the cabbage which you all loudly praised? — A. Yes; it was really good. — B. I paid a penny for that. — A. Why, I wonder, were we so loud in praising it? — B. The cube salt-fish cost three ha'pence. — 118 A. A bargain, indeed! And for the endive you haven't charged a single penny!​11B. You don't know, simpleton, the state of the market, and that the weevils have eaten up all green salads. — A. So that's why you have charged double for the salt-fish? — B. The fishmonger is to blame; go and ask him. Next comes a conger-eel, fivepence. — A. That's not much! Name the next. — B. I bought the baked fish for a shilling. — A. Ow! Like a fever — it leaves one, then rises high again. — B. Add the wine, of which I procured more when you were drunk; three bottles, at fivepence the bottle.'12

"Hicesius, in the second book of his Materials for Food, says that pelamydes are large fish-cubes. BPoseidippus also mentions cubes in The Converted Philosopher.​13 Euthydemus, in the treatise on Salt-fish, says that the delcanos is a fish named from the Delcon river, in which it is caught, and that when pickled it is very wholesome. Dorion, in his work on Fishes, when mentioning the lebias says that some declare it to be the same as the delcanos; that the crow-fish​14 is by many called saperdes (shabar), and the best is that which comes from the Sea of Maeotis. CHe says, too, the grey mullets caught off Abdera are wonderful, and next to them are the  p53 Sinopic, and when pickled they are wholesome. The fish called mullet, he says, are by some named agnotidia, by others platistakoi, being quite the same, as is also the chellariês; for this one fish has received many appellations; it is also called Bacchus and oniskos as well as chellariês. The larger are called platistakoi, those of medium age mullets, whereas the little ones are agnotidia. DMullets are mentioned by Aristophanes in The Merchantmen:​15 'Mackerel, Spanish mackerel, lebiae, mullets, shabar, roe tunny.' "

Upon this, when Dionysocles​16 had lapsed into silence, the scholar Varus spoke up. "Look you, the poet Antiphanes, also, mentions these pickled fish in Deucalion:​17 'Salt sturgeon, if one likes it, or a Cadiz tunny; and revels in the odour of a roe tunny from Byzantium.' And in The Parasite:​18 'In the middle a salt sturgeon, luscious, white throughout, and hot.' EAnd so Nicostratus (or Philetaerus) in Antyllus:​19 'Let a Byzantian fish-slice come to our revels, and let a Cadiz belly-slice enter beside it;' and continuing, he says: 'Nay, but I have bought from a fishmonger, a very gentlemanly fellow, Earth and the Gods are my witness, a very large piece of salt-fish with no skin on it, worth a shilling; for a penny I bought it, though  p55 we could not eat it up if we ate for three days, or even twelve; for it is huge.' " FUpon this Ulpian, with a glance at Plutarch, said: "It appears that no one, sir, has mentioned in this list the Mendesian fish of you Alexandrians — fish which even a mad dog would not taste, or the excellent, half-salted varieties you have, of the pickled sheat-fish." 119 Plutarch answered: "How does that 'half-salted' fish differ from the 'half-pickle' which your noble Archestratus mentioned above?​20 Yet Sopater of Paphos names​21 the half-salted in The Slavey of Mystacus, thus: 'He received a sturgeon, which the mighty Danube nurtures, the half-salt joy of Scythians.' And the same author mentions the Mendesian thus: 'There is the lovely Mendesian, too, lightly salted with care, and a mullet baked in the yellow beams of fire.' That these viands are much to be preferred to the "poll-fish" and "sweet-fish" so celebrated in your country, Bexperienced persons know. Now tell us whether the word for salt-fish is masculine in Attic Greek; for we know that it is in Epicharmus."22

Anticipating his answer Myrtilus said: "Yes, Cratinus has it masculine in Dionysalexander:​23 'In baskets I will bring salt-fish of Pontus.' Plato, in Zeus Outraged:​24 'So that all I have I shall throw away on salt-fish.' Aristophanes, in The Men of  p57 Dinnerville:​25 C'I shall not scruple to drench this poor fish with all the evils I know him to be capable of.' Crates in Wild Animals:​26 'You must boil some of the cabbages, and bake the fresh and salt fish, and keep your hands off us.' But a peculiar construction is found in Hermippus's Bread-Sellers,​27 'A fat piece of salt-fish.' Sophocles has tarichos masculine, meaning 'mummy,' in Phineus:​28 'Dead as an Egyptian mummy, to judge from the looks.' A diminutive form tarichion is used by Aristophanes in the Peace:​29 D'Buy a nice little piece of salt-fish to take to the country.' So also Cephisodorus in The Pig:​30 'A nasty little piece of meat or salt-fish'; and Pherecrates in The Deserters:​31 'Meanwhile our wives are waiting for us, boiling for each some pease-porridge or lentils, and broiling a bit of orphan salt-fish.'

"Epicharmus,​32 also, has the form tarichos as a masculine. Herodotus, too, in Book IX:​33 'The pieces of salt-fish lying over the fire began to squirm and quiver.' ESo, too, the proverbs have it in the masculine: 'Broiled salt-fish, if it but see the fire, —'; 'stale salt-fish likes marjoram';​34 'a piece of salt-fish will never get its deserts.' But the word is also neuter in Attic Greek, and the genitive becomes tarichous. Chionides in Beggars:​35 'Ye gods, would you even eat some salt-fish?' So the dative is  p59 tarichei, like xiphei.​36 Menander in The Arbitrants:​37 'Over this piece of salt-fish, therefore, the two are pecking.' Also in the accusative:​38 F'I sprinkle more salt on the salt-fish, if so it befall.' But when the word is masculine, the genitive will no longer have the s.39

"Now the Athenians set such store by salt-fish that they actually enrolled the sons of Chaerephilus, the salt‑fish-dealer, as citizens, according to the following verses of Alexis, in Epidaurus:​40 '(You made) the sons of Chaerephilus citizens of Athens because he introduced salt-fish. 120 Seeing them on horseback, Timocles said they were a pair of mackerel among the satyrs.' The orator Hypereides also mentions them,​41 and the salt‑fish-dealer Euthynus is mentioned by Antiphanes in The Hairdresser thus:​42 'Go to the dealer in salt-fish, the one from whom it is my habit to buy when I am in luck. It is Euthynus, . . . telling off the cost of some choice morsel. Bid him cut it in a slice for me.' BPheidippus, too, for he also was a salt‑fish-dealer, is mentioned by Alexis in The Scarf43a and in The Coffers:​43b 'Another man there is, a foreigner Pheidippus, leader of the salt-fish battalion.' "

As we ate our salt-fish many of us had a desire to  p61 drink. And Daphnus, raising his hands,​44 said: "Heracleides of Tarentum, my friends, says in his work entitled Symposium that a 'moderate quantity of food should be eaten before drinking, and chiefly the dishes which form the ordinary courses at the beginning of a feast. CFor when foods are served after an interval of drinking, they counteract what settles on the stomach from the effects of wine and becomes the cause of gnawing pangs. Some even think that these are unwholesome — I mean the different kinds of green vegetables and salt-fish — possessing, as they do, a pungent quality, and that the starchy and binding foods are more suitable. They are not aware that many foods which produce loose excretions cause a wholesome reaction on those of opposite nature; Damong these are the so‑called siser ("skirret"), mentioned by Epicharmus in The Rustic45 and in Earth and Sea,​46 and by Diocles in Book I of his Hygiene;​47 also asparagus, the white beet (for the red hinders bowel action), conchs, razor-fish, sea mussels, clams, scallops, salt-fish in perfect condition and not tainted, and different sorts of juicy-meated fish. It also is well to have an hors d'oeuvre of herbs and beets, or again of salt-fish, to provoke an appetite for what is to come, and to obviate the unequal effects of the heavier foods. Crowding all the drinks at the beginning is a practice to be avoided, for they render it hard to absorb any additional moisture.' But the Macedonians, as Ephippus of Olynthus observes Ein his account​48 of the funeral of Alexander and Hephaestion, never understood how to drink in moderation, but rather drank deep at the beginning of the feast. Hence they were  p63 drunk while the first courses were still being served and could not enjoy their food.

Diphilus of Siphnos says that salt-fish, whether from sea or lake or river, has little nourishment or juice; it is dry, easily digested, and provocative of appetite. The best of the lean varieties are cubes, horaia, and the like; of the fat, the tunny steaks and young tunny. FWhen aged they are superior, being more pungent, particularly the Byzantian sorts. The tunny steak, he says, is taken from medium-sized young tunny, the smaller size resembling the cube tunny, from which class also comes the horaion. The Sardinian tunny is as large as the tuna. 121 The mackerel is not heavy, but readily leaves the stomach. Spanish mackerel is rather purgative and pungent and has poorer flavour, but is filling. Better are the Amynclanian and the Spanish sort called Saxitanian,º which are lighter and sweeter. Now Strabo, in the third book of his Geography,​49 says that Sexitania,º from which this salt-fish gets its name, is near the Isles of Heracles, opposite New Carthage; and that there is another town called Scombroaria​50 from the mackerel caught there; from them the best fish-pickle is prepared. BThen there are the so‑called heart-of‑oak tunny, which Epicharmus mentions thus in Odysseus the Runaway:​51 'Useful was the slice of heart-of‑oak tunny.' Heart-of‑oak is a variety of the largest-sized tunny, as Pamphilus declares in the Onomasticon, and the cuts taken from it are more oily.

"Raw pickle, Diphilus continues, is by some called ketema,​52 and is heavy and sticky, besides being hard to  p65 digest. The river crow-fish from the Nile, which some call 'crescent,' but which among the Alexandrians is known by the special name of 'half-salt,' Cis rather fatty, quite well-flavoured, meaty, filling, easily digested and assimilated, and in every way superior to the mullet. But the spawn of fresh and salt fish alike is hard to digest and dispose of, especially that of the fatter and larger fishes. For being harder, they remain unseparated. They become wholesome, however, when first dipped in salt and then broiled. All salt-fish should be washed until the water becomes odourless and sweet. DSalt-fish cooked in sea water is sweeter, and tastes better when hot.

"Mnesitheus of Athens, in his treatise on Food, says that all salt and sweet juices move the bowels, but acid and pungent juices stimulate urination; bitter juices are more diuretic, and some of them loosen the bowels; astringent juices, on the other hand (check) the excretions. But the well-informed Xenophon, in the work entitled Hieron,​53 or The Tyrant, says in condemnation of such food as we have been describing: ' E"How now?" said Hieron; "have you noticed these many contraptions which are set before tyrants — acid, pungent, astringent, and their brothers?" "Indeed I have," replied Simonides, "and in my humble opinion they are very much opposed to man's nature." "Do you not think," said Hieron, "that such viands are due to the appetites of a soul debased and sick? For they who really  p67 like to eat, as you doubtless know, require none of these fancy contrivances." ' "

Thereupon Cynulcus asked for a drink of decocta,​54 saying that he needed to wash away salty words with fountains of sweetness. FTo him Ulpian replied in high dudgeon, pounding the cushion with his fist: "How long are you going to utter barbarisms without ceasing? Must it be until I leave the symposium and go home, unable to stomach your words?" And the other answered: "Living at present as I do, good sir, in imperial Rome, I naturally use the language of the country. And my justification is this. Even in the ancient poets and historians, those who wrote the purest Greek, one may find Persian words adopted because of their common use in the spoken language, 122 such as 'parasangs,' 'astands' and 'angari,'​55 and 'schoenus,' masculine or feminine; this last is a measure of distance still so called among many people. I know, too, of many Attic writers who use idioms of the Macedonians as a result of intercourse with them. Yes, better it were for me 'to drink bull's blood, since Themistocles' way of dying is preferable,'​56 than to get into a fight with you. I would not, indeed, call for a drink of Bull water, for you do not know what that is; nor do you understand that even the best poets and historians have used expressions not in the best taste. BCephisodorus, for example, pupil of the orator Isocrates, in the third book of his Answer to Aristotle, says that one may find at least one or two vulgar phrases in all other poets and rhetoricians, as, for example, the  p69 'skin every man'​57 of Archilochus; the 'urging one's own profit while praising equality' of Theodorus; or 'my tongue hath sworn'​58 of Euripides, and again the saying of Sophocles in The Aethiopians:​59 C'These words of mine, then, I utter for your gratification, and not perforce; but do you yourself, like men of wisdom, praise the right while holding fast to profit.' And in another place​60 also the same poet says that 'no word that brings profit is evil.' Again, there is Homer making Hera plot against Zeus,​61 and Ares committing adultery,​62 causing universal condemnation of them. If, then, I, too, have erred, O mighty hunter of noble words and phrases, be not angry. For as the Milesian poet Timotheus says:​63 D'I sing no ancient story, for new themes are much better. New is the king now reigning, Zeus, but of old Cronus was ruler. Depart, thou Muse of the antiquated!' So, again, Antiphanes said in Alcestis:​64 'Speed to the fashioning of the new, this way, that way, knowing full well that one novel enterprise, even though it be overbold, is more useful than many ancient devices.' EBut that even the ancients know the water called by that name (not to rouse your ire again by mentioning decocta) I will make clear. As Pherecrates says in The Sham Heracles:​65 'A wise man, very clever in his own conceit, might say . . . but I will answer, Be not a petty quibbler, but rather, if you please, pay attention and listen to  p71 me.' " "Nay," replied Ulpian; "I beg you not to grudge us an explanation of what Bull water is. For I am athirst for all such expressions." Cynulcus replied: F"Well, then, I drink to your health (since you thirst for words), taking a line from The Lady Devotee of Pythagoras,​66 by Alexis: 'A small cup of boiled water; if he drink it raw, its sits heavily and causes pain.' Now Bull water, good friend, is so named by Sophocles in Aegeus67 from the Bull River at Troezen, 123 by the site of which there is also a spring called Hyoessa. The ancients are also acquainted with the use of very cold water in drinking healths, but I will not quote them unless you tell me in your turn whether they drank hot water at banquets. For if mixing-bowls got their name from the circumstance that water and wine were mixed in them and were thus brought on, filled to the brim, they did not light a fire under the bowls, as if they were kettles, and serve the drink hot. That they know of warm water is made clear by Eupolis in The Demes:​68 'Heat the bronze cauldron for us and have some sacrificial cakes cooked, that we may feed together on the entrails.' And BAntiphanes in Omphalê:​69 "let me not see anyone boiling water in a kettle for me. There's nothing the matter with me. Heaven forbid! But if I get a twist in my belly or navel, I've got a charm which I bought of Phertatus for a shilling.' And in The Anointer70 (the play is also attributed to Alexis) he says: 'But if you bring  p73 scandal upon our workshop, then, Cby the dear Demeter, I will turn you out, dipping your biggest ladle deep into the cauldron of boiling water. If I fail, may I never drink the water of freedom.' So Plato in The Republic:​71 'Can there be desire for something additional in the soul? For instance, thirst is thirst — is it for hot water or for cold, for much or for little, in a word, for a drink qualified in any way? Or if there be any heat added to the thirst, will not that add the desire for a hot drink? Or if cold be added, the desire of a cold drink? But if, again, the thirst is great because the element of quantity is present, will that not of itself add the desire for a great quantity, Dor if little, the desire for a little? Surely thirst, in and for itself alone, cannot be the desire for anything other than what it thirsts for, that is, a drink unqualified, and hunger, again, cannot be the desire for anything else than mere food, can it?'

"Semos of Delos, in the second book of the Island History,​72 says that in the island of Cimolos under­ground refrigerators are constructed in summer, where the people store jars full of warm water and draw them out again as cold as snow. This warm water the Athenians call metakeras ('lukewarm').​73 EThus Sophilus in Androcles,​74 and Alexis in The Locrians:​75 'The two slave-girls poured in water, the one hot, the other lukewarm.' So Philemon in The Woman of Corinth,​76 Amphis, too, in The Bath:77  p75 'One bawled aloud for somebody to bring him hot water, while another called for lukewarm.' "

While the Cynic was on the point of piling other instances upon these, Pontianus said: "The ancients, dear friends, knew also of the use of very cold water in drinking. Alexis, at any rate, says in The Parasite:​78 'Indeed, I want you to taste that water; for I have a wonderful Fwell in the house, more frigid than Araros.'​79 Hermippus also mentions well-water thus in the Cercopes.​80 . . . And that they also drank snow is shown by what Alexis says in The Woman who drank Belladonna:​81 'And so, is not man a fussy creature, always indulging in things which are quite contrary to each other? We love strangers while neglecting our own kin; 124 we may be poor, yet rich in our neighbours' wealth. When we bring our contributions to a club dinner we do it in niggardly spirit. Again, when we come to our regular daily food we require that our barley-cake be white, yet take pains that the broth which goes with it be black, and stain the fine colour of the cake​82 with the dye. We manage, too, to get snow to drink, but scold if the entrée be not hot. Sour wine, again, we spit out, but go into ecstasies over a vinegar salad. BThe saying, then, of many wise men holds good: Best it is not to be born at all, but if one be born, let him die with all speed.'

"So Dexicrates, in the play entitled Self-deceivers,  p77 says:​83 'Yet if I get drunk and drink snow, and know that Egypt produces the best perfume, (what difference does it make?') And Euthycles, in Wastrels, or The Letter:​84 "He is the first to discover whether snow may be had in the market, and he must be the first, at all costs, to eat the new honeycomb.' CEven the excellent Xenophon, in the Memorabilia,​85 knows of the use of snow in drinking, and Chares of Mitylene, in his Records of Alexander,​86 tells how to keep snow, when he recounts the siege of the Indian capital Petra. He says that Alexander dug thirty refrigerating pits which he filled with snow and covered with oak boughs. In this way, he says, snow will last a long time.

"That they also chilled wine in order to drink it rather cold is shown by Strattis in Keeping Cool:​87 D'No man would prefer to drink wine hot; rather one likes it chilled in the well or mixed with snow.' So also Lysippus in The Bacchants:​88 'A. What's the matter, Hermon? How are we getting on? — B. How else than this? The pater has sunk me down the well, methinks, as one sinks wine in summer time.' And Diphilus, in The Souvenir, says:​89 'Chill the wine, Doris!' Protagorides, in the second book of his Comic Histories,​90 when recounting the voyage of King Antiochus Edown the Nile, has something to say about ingenious contrivances to get cold water. His words are these: 'During the day they place the  p79 water in the sun, and when night comes they strain the thick sediment and again expose the water to the air in earthen jars set on the highest part of the house, while throughout the entire night two slaves wet down jars with water. At dawn they take the jars downstairs, and again drawing off the sediment, they thus make the water clear and in every way healthful. FThey then place the jars in heaps of chaff, and thereafter use it without the need of snow or anything else whatever.'

"Cistern water is mentioned by Anaxilas in The Flute-player91a thus: 'This also, from the cistern water in my house, consider at your disposal.' 125 And again:​91b 'Maybe the water in my cistern has given out.' Apollodorus of Gela mentions also the cistern itself, using our word for it, in The Woman who left her Husband:​92 'In your wild tantrums you have untied the bucket in the cistern and used the well-rope for your purpose.' "

When Myrtilus heard this he said: "Being a salt-fish devotee, comrades, I would like to drink snow in imitation of Simonides." To this Ulpian said: "The expression 'salt-fish devotee,' to be sure, is found in the Omphalê93 of Antiphanes: B'I am by no means a salt-fish devotee, my girl;' and Alexis in Government by Women also calls a character 'salt-fish stew' in  p81 these lines:​94 'this Cilician Hippocles here, this salt-fish stew of an actor.' But what you mean by 'in imitation of Simonides' I do not know." "No, you glutton, for you have no interest in history, replied Myrtilus. "You are a licker of fat, and as the old Samian poet Asius has it, you would 'toady for a bit of fat.' CCallistratus, in the seventh book of Miscellanies, says that the poet Simonides was once dining with some friends 'at the season of mighty heat,' and when the cup-bearers mixed snow in the wine of the rest of the company, but not in his, he improvised the following epigram:​95 'The snow with which swift Boreas, rising in Thrace, covers the sides of Olympus, and which gnaws the spirit of men unclad, and encircles and clothes Das a girdle the Pierian land​96 — of that snow let someone pour even into my cup a share. For it is not seemly that one should raise to the lips a hot drink to toast a friend.' " So, then, after Myrtilus had drunk, Ulpian again asked "Where do you find the word 'fat-licker,' and what are the verses of Asius about 'toadying for a bit of fat'?" "Well," said Myrtilus, "the verses of Asius are as follows:​97 'Lame, branded, wizened with age — like a beggar he came, toadying for a bit of fat, when Meles celebrated his wedding. Uninvited though he was, he was bent on having some broth, and in the midst of them he stood, Ea ghost rising from the mire.' But the word 'fat-licker' is in the Philarchus98 of Sophilus: 'You're a gourmand  p83 and a fat-licker.' Also in the play entitled Running-mates, he has 'fat-licking' in these lines:​99 'For the brothel-keeper in his fat-licking greed told me to make him a blood sausage like this you see.' FAntiphanes, also, mentions the 'fat-licker' in The Bumble-bee.100

"They also drank sweet wine while still eating dinner,​101 as Alexis shows in Dropides:​102 'The girl came in, carrying the sweet wine in a silver cup which had a wide flare, very pretty to look at. It was neither bowl nor saucer, but partook of the shape of both.' "

Next there was brought in a flat pudding made of milk, meal-cakes, and honey; the Romans call it libum. 126And Cynulcus said: "Stuff yourself, Ulpian, with your native chthorodlapsum, a word, as Demeter is my witness, which is not recorded in any ancient writer, unless it be the historians of Phoenicia, your compatriots Sanchuniathon and Mochos." Ulpian answered: "enough of honey-cakes, you dog-fly!​103 Yet I should be glad to eat a pudding generously filled with the scales or the kernels of pine cones."​104 And when it was brought he said, "Give me a mystilê;​105 for I will not use the word mystron, . . . which is not found in any author before our time." B"Strange that you should be so forgetful," said Aemilianus. "Are you not the one who have always admired the epic poet, Nicander of Colophon,  p85 for his learning and love of the antique? Did you not cite his mention of pepper?​106 Well, he is the very one who uses the word mystron when describing the use of the word 'pudding,'​107 in the first of his two books on Farming. His words are these:​108a 'But when you prepare a dish of fresh-killed kid or lamb or capon, sprinkle some groats in a hollow bowl and pound them well, Cthen stir in a fragrant oil, well mixed. When the broth is boiling hard, pour it over the meal, put the lid on the pan, and smother it; for when it is stewed in this way, the heavy meal swells up. Serve it when mildly warm in hollow mystra.' In these terms — strange that you should forget them! — Nicander indicates the use of pudding and barley-groats, directing that a broth of lamb or kid or fowl be poured over it. DTo repeat his words: pound the groats in a mortar, mix oil with it and stir it in the broth when it begins to boil. When, after these preliminaries, the mixture actively boils up again, it should be stirred with the ladle without adding any other ingredient; simply spoon it off as it is, to prevent any of the rich fat at the top from boiling over. That is why he says 'put on the lid and cover the boiling liquid'; for the meal swells up when it is smothered in this way. Finally, when it has cooled to a mild heat, eat it with hollow pieces of bread. And what is more: Hippolochus of Macedon, Ein the letter to Lynceus in which he describes a Macedonian dinner surpassing in sumptuousness any that had ever been given anywhere, even mentions gold spoons (mystra) given to each guest.​108b And since you are so  p87 fond of the antique and refuse to speak any word not in the Attic dialect, let me ask you, friend, what Nicophon, poet of the Old Comedy, has to say in Hand-to‑mouth Toilers. For I find him also mentioning spoons when he says:​109 'Anchovy-peddlers, charcoal-peddlers, dried‑fig-peddlers, hide-peddlers, Fbarley-peddlers, spoon-peddlers, book-peddlers, sieve-peddlers, sweet‑cake-peddlers, seed-peddlers.' For what else can mystriopolae be than 'spoon-sellers'? Having learnt, then, my noble Syro-Atticist, the use of the word for spoon from these examples, eat your fill of the pudding, that you may not have to say, 'I am weak and faint.'110

"I am also surprised that you have not asked where 'pudding' comes from. 127 Is it from Megara or Thessaly, the home of Myrtilus?" And Ulpian said: "I will stop eating while you tell me in what authors these puddings are mentioned." Then Aemilianus said: "Well, I don't mind doing it. For as I look upon this magnificent dinner, I am quite willing that you, having had your fill of pudding, should raise your crest like a cock and instruct us concerning the dishes which we are going to share." But Ulpian, in some vexation, replied, "Dishes, indeed! BAre we never to get a rest from putting some question to these upstart pedants?" "None the less," replied Aemilianus, "I am going to render you an account of this word, too. I will begin the discussion of pudding by citing these lines from the Anteia111 of Antiphanes: 'A. Whatever have you got in those baskets, my dear? — B. In three of them there are noble Megarian puddings. — A. But don't  p89 they say that the best come from Thessaly? — B. Yes, . . . and from Phoenicia comes the finest-sifted wheat flour.' CBut this same play is also ascribed to Alexis, with very divergent readings in a few passages. Alexis again, in The Love-lorn Lass:​112 'We've got a lot of Thessalian pudding in the house.' But Aristophanes uses the word 'pudding' of something sopped up like gruel, in The Men of Dinnerville:​113 'Or, when he cooked gruel, he would put a fly in it and offer it to be sopped up.'

"Very fine wheat flour, under the name semidalis, is mentioned by Strattis in The Man-handler114a and by Alexis in Fair Measure,​115 even though I cannot quote the lines in testimony. DThe genitive semidalidos occurs in the same play of Strattis:​114b 'and the twin offspring of fine wheat.'​116 Edesmata, meaning 'dishes,' are mentioned by Antiphanes in The Twins117 thus: 'I have enjoyed many fine dishes, drunk three or maybe four healths, and had rather a glorious time, devouring victuals enough for four elephants.' "

So let this book come to an end, concluding with this discourse on "dishes." We shall begin our banquet in what follows. "Not so, Athenaeus; not at least until you have related to us the story of the Macedonian symposium as told by Hippolochus." Well, if that is your desire, Timocrates, let us order it so.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. 4B.

2 Requires a garnish.

3a third book Tunny cut and salted in squares. Cf. the modern scientific term Cybium, used of a Genus of fishes of the family Scombridae, several members of which are here mentioned. Wellmannº 173.

4 Frag. 52 Ribbeck, 38 Brandt.

5 Kock I.139. The quotation is a riddle in more senses than one.

6 "Wolf's feather" was a proverb used of anything preposterous; cf. "pigeon's milk," "Greek Kalends," "horse-marines," etc.

7 i.e. can you guess the riddle? The inhabitants of Ceos were said to have no calendar.

8 Kock I.480; see 104E, note.

9 Kock II.366.

10 Kock II.301.

11 For the custom of using a garnish with fish cf. Aristophanes, Vespae, 496 ff.

12 The χοῦς was a pitcher holding nearly six pints, Lat. congius.

13 Kock III.430.

14 Cf. 86E, note f; also 307B, 312D.

15 Kock I.499.

16 Daphnus is the last speaker mentioned, 116F.

17 Kock II.43.

18 Kock II.87.

19 Kock II.220.

20 117A.

21 Kaibel 194.

22 Ibid. 120.

23 Kock I.24.

24 Kock I.613.

25 Kock I.441.

26 Kock I.135.

27 Kock I.228; a foreigner (mother of the demagogue Hyperbolus) uses the neuter tarichos with a masculine adjective piona, "fat."

28 T. G. F.2 285.

29 l. 563.

30 Kock I.802.

31 Kock I.151. See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek, at ὀρφανὸν ("orphan"), reads:

Suspected. Kock conjectures ἔριφον ἣ, "kid or."

32 Kaibel 120; cf. above, 119B.

33 ch. 120.

34 Cf. 116E, note.

35 Kock I.5.

36 From xiphos, "sword."

37 Not in the extant fragments. Kock I.5 joined the line with the preceding from Chionides.

38 Kock III.52, Allinson 126.

39 Being tarichou.

40 Kock II.322. The Greek also means, "Timocles, in his Satyrs, said they were a pair of mackerel." The passage is a rebuke directed against Demosthenes, who caused citizen­ship to be conferred on them, but the aptness of the epithet cannot be seen in the short fragment.

41 Frag. 185 Blass.

42 Kock II.63. See critical note.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek, at περίμενε and περίμεινον, reads:

Some proper name like Παρμένων should be read here (Kock).

43a 43b Kock II.299, 377.

44 A signal to stop eating.

45 Kaibel 91.

46 Ibid. 95.

47 Wellmann 168.

48 Frag. 1 Müller.

49 p156; he has ἡ τῶν Ἐξιτανῶν πόλις.

50 "Mackerellia."

51 Kaibel 109; cf. VII.315D.

52 Apparently from κῆτος, any large fish like the tunny.

53 1.22.

54 Latin word (hence Ulpian's rebuke), meaning wine boiled to a syrup. For the poetic diction cf. Plutarch, Qu. Conv. 706D, Plat. Phaedr. 243D.

55 "Messengers" and "mounted carriers."

56 Aristoph. Eq. 83.

57 P. L. G.4 frag. 124, sensu obsceno.

58 Sc. "but my heart remains unsworn," Hippolytus 612. The subject under discussion shifts from good taste to good morals. Aristophanes never forgave Euripides for the alleged immorality of the line, but he made good use of it himself, Ran. 1471 ff.

59 T. G. F.2 136.

60 Soph. Electra 61.

61 Il. XIV.159 ff.

62 Od. VIII.266 ff.

63 P. L. G.5 frag. 12.

64 Kock II.22.

65 Kock I.194.

66 Kock II.370.

67 T. G. F.2 135.

68 Kock I.286.

69 Kock II.84.

70 Kock II.19.

71 437D.

72 More correctly Δηλιάδος, History of Delos, cf. 109E. F. H. G. IV.493.

73 Cf. 41D.

74 Kock II.444.

75 Kock II.347.

76 Kock II.488.

77 Kock II.237.

78 Kock II.364.

79 Comic poet, son of Aristophanes, and rival of Alexis.

80 Kock I.234. The quotation is lost.

81 Kock II.348.

82 i.e. by soaking it in the black broth. The last three lines of the quotation seem inappropriate. Cf. Soph. O. C. 1242 ff.

83 Kock III.374.

84 Kock I.805.

85 II.1.30.

86 Frag. 11 Müller.

87 Kock I.728.

88 Kock I.70. Two brothers have been punished by their father by being put into a dark closet or cistern.

89 Kock II.559.

90 F. H. G. IV.485.

91a 91b Kock II.264.

92 Kock III.278. The speaker, Pontianus, identifies λάκκος with Lat. lacus.

93 Kock II.84.

94 Kock II.312. For the title cf. "The Monstrous Regiment of Women."

95 P. L. G.4 frag. 167.

96 See crit. note. The reading here given is superior to Porson's ἐθάφθη for ἐκάμφθη.

Thayer's Note: the critical note to the Greek, at αὐτὰρ ἐκάμφθη ζώνη Πιερίην γῆν ἐπιεσσαμένη, reads:

ζώνη Lumb: ζωὴ A.

97 P. L. G.4 II.23.

98 Kock II.446; cf. 100A, where the title given is Phylarchus.

99 Kock II.446.

100 Kock II.37.

101 Before the symposium began. See Introd., vol. I.

102 Kock II.317.

103 Again alluding to the Cynic school to which Cynulcus belonged; used of a pestiferous courtesan, 157A.

104 Cf. 57B.

105 A piece of bread used in lieu of a spoon.

106 66C.

107 Resembling polenta.

108a 108b Frag. 68 Schneider; cf. 129C.

109 Kock I.779.

110 An anonymous quotation.

111 Kock II.24.

112 Kock II.368.

113 Kock I.442.

114a 114b Kock I.712. The proper form of the title is Ἀνθρωπορραίστης, and it is so translated. But since the play satirized Hegelochus, the actor of Euripides' Orestes, a natural ambiguity arose. Moreover, in Athenaeus's time both forms were pronounced alike.

115 Kock II.328. The title is a joking name for a courtesan.

116 Or, 'of Semidalis,' cf. 242D.

117 Kock II.45.

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