Thomas Stanley, translator (1665) Claudius Aelianus His Various History. Book II (pages 25-62)


Various History.

The Second Book.


How Socrates taught Alcibiades confidence not to be daunted at the people.

SOCRATES discoursed thus to Alcibiades. The young man was much perplexed and abashed, being to appear before a public Assembly. But Socrates encouraging and exciting him, Do you not despise (saith he) that Shoe-maker ? (naming him.) Alcibiades assenting : and so likewise (continueth Socrates) that publick Crier ? and that Tent-maker ? [Alcibiades ] the son of Clinias granting this ; And doth not, said Socrates, the Athenian Commonwealth consist of these ? If you contemn them single, fear them not in an Assembly. Thus [Socrates ] son of Sophroniscus and Phenareta prudently instructed [Alcibiades ] son of Clinias and Dinomache.


Of Pictures praised amiss.

Megabyzus highly commending some Pictures that were meanly and ignorantly painted, and finding fault with others that were made with great art, the boies of Zeuxis that were grinding Colours laughed at him ; whereupon Zeuxis said, When you hold your peace, Megabyzus, these boies admire you, for they look on your rich garments and attendants ; but as soon as you say any thing concerning this Art, they laugh at you : therefore preserve your self in esteem by holding your peace, and censure not the work or skill of any which is not in your way.


Of Alexander not giving due commendations of a Picture.

Alexander beholding his own Picture at Ephesus drawn by Apelles, did not give it such praise as it deserved ; but a Horse which was brought in neighed to the painted horse, as if it had been a true one. King, said Apelles, this Horse seems to understand painting much better than you.


Of the Friendship betwixt Chariton and Melanippus, and the Tyrant's mercy towards them.

I will relate to you an action of Phalaris not agreeing with his disposition : for it expresseth a great humanity, and therefore seemeth not to sute with him. Chariton an Agrigentine loved Melanippus passionately, who was also an Agrigentine, of a sweet disposition and excellent form. Phalaris had injured this Melanippus in a certain business ; for he having brought an Action against a Favourite of Phalaris, the Tyrant commanded him to surcease the Suit : He not obeying, the Tyrant threatned him with death unless he submitted. So being compelled he gave over the cause, and the Judges under Phalaris null'd the proceedings ; which the young man taking ill, said he was wronged, and discovered his resentment thereof to his friend, praying him to joyn with him in a Plot against the Tyrant, intending also to ingage some other young men, whom he knew proper and ready for such an attempt. Chariton seeing him inraged and inflamed with fury, and knowing that none of the Citizens would joyn in the design through fear of the Tyrant, said that he also had formerly the same intention, and should ever be ready above all things to free his Country from Slavery ; but it was dangerous to communicate such things to many persons : wherefore he intreated Melanippus to consider it more deliberately, and to permit him to finde out an opportunity proper for the attempt. The young man yielded. Chariton thereupon undertook the whole business himself, not willing to engage his friend in it ; that if he were taken and discovered, he alone might bear the punishment, and his friend not share in the danger. He provided himself of a Falchion to assault the Tyrant when he should see a fit occasion. This could not be carried so privately, but that he was apprehended by the Guard, watchful of such things. Being carried to Prison, and tortured to make discovery of his Complices, he couragiously endured the torment. But this continuing a long time, Melanippus went to Phalaris, and confessed that he was not onely a Conspirator, but Author of the Treason. The King demanding the cause that moved him to it, he declared the whole business from the beginning ; how he was obstructed in his Suit, and that this was it which provoked him. The Tyrant wondering hereat set them both at liberty ; but commanded them immediately to depart, not onely out of all Cities belonging to the Agrigentines, but quite out of Sicily. Yet he allowed them to receive the full benefit of their estates. These and their friendships Pythia afterwards commended in these Verses:

To men, true patterns of celestial love Blest Chariton and Melanippus prove.

The God calling this love of theirs a divine friendship.


Of well husbanding Time, and that among the Lacedemonians Walking was not permitted.

The Lacedemonians conceived that Time above all things ought to be husbanded, employing it diligently in serious business, not allowing any of the Citizens to wast it in idleness or play ; that it might not be thrown away upon things of no vertue. A testimony hereof amongst the rest is this : The Lacedemonian Ephori hearing that they who had taken Decelia used to walk in the afternoon, sent this command to them, Walk not : (As if they did it for recreation rather then exercise of the body). It behoveth the Lacedemonians to get and preserve health not by walking, but by exercise.


An instance that we ought not to please the Vulgar.

Hippomachus, (they say,) one that taught to wrastle, when the people that stood about as one of his Scholars was wrastling gave a great shout, struck him with a wand, saying, "You did amiss and not as you ought, it should have been done better. For if you had done according to Art, these men would not have applauded you." Implying, that they who perform every thing well and handsomely, must not please the multitude, but those who are understanding in the Art. Socrates also seems to contemn the Common people in his discourse with Crito, who came to him in the Prison, and counselled hhim to make an escape, and avoid the sentence of the Athenians against him.


That the Thebans expose not Children.

This is a Theban Law most just and humane ; That no Theban might expose his Child or leave it in a Wilderness, upon pain of death. But if the Father were extremely poor, whether it were male or female, the Law requires that as soon as it is born it be brought in the swadling-clouts to the Magistrate, who receiving it, delivers it to some other for some small reward, conditioning with him that he shall bring up the Cihld, and when it is grown up take it into his service, man or maid, and have the benefit of its labour in requital for its education.


Of Xenocles and Euripides contending at the Olympick Games.

In the ninety first Olympiad, wherein Exenetus won the race, Xenocles and Euripides contended. Xenocles (whosoever he was) got the first Victory by these Tragedies, Oedipus, Lycaon, Bacchæ, and Athamas a Satyre. It is ridiculous that Xenocles should not be worsted, and Euripides get the better, especially in those Tragedies. One of these two must have been the reason, either that they who gave the votes were ignorant and void of clear judgement, or corrupt. But both are dishonourable, and unworthy the Athenians.


Decrees of the Athenians against some Revolters.

What Decrees did the Athenians make, and those in a Democracy ? That every one of the Æginetæ should have his thumb cut off from his right hand, so that he might for ever after be disabled from holding a Spear, yet might handle an Oar. That all the young men of Mitylene should be put to death : Which Decree was made at the instigation of Cleon son of Cleænetus. That such as had been taken Prisoners by the Samians should be branded in the face with the mark of an Owl. This also was an Athenian Decree. I wish, O Minerva, Guardian of the City, and Jupiter Eleutherius, and all the Gods of the Grecians, that the Athenians had never done these things, and that it might never have been said of them.


Timotheus, having heard Plato discourse, judged himself to be leß happy.

I have heard that Timotheus (son of Conon) General of the Athenians, when he was in height of felicity, and took Cities with great ease, so as the Athenians knew not how they should honour him sufficiently, met accidentally with Plato son of Aristo, as he was walking with some Scholars without the City wall, and seeing his reverend presence, his proper person and graceful aspect, hearing him also discourse, not of Contributions, Gallies, Naval affairs, Supplies, Reliefs, Confederates, Islanders, and the like matters, but of those things which he professed, and in which he employed his studies, said, "O this life and true felicity !" Whence it appears, that Timotheus did not conceive himself absolutely happy, as not enjoying this, though otherwise in highest honour and esteem with the Athenians.


What Socrates said of those that were put to death by the Thirty Tyrants.

Socrates seeing that the Thirty Tyrants put many eminent persons to death, and betrayed the rich to excessive punishments, said to Antisthenes, "Doth it repent thee that we have done nothing in our whole lives great and remarkable, as those Monarchs who are described in Tragedies, Atreus's, Thyestes's, Agamemnons, and Ægisthus's ? They are in those Plaies beheaded, feasted with their own flesh, and generally destroyed : But no Poet was ever so bold or impudent as to represent a poor man kill'd upon the Stage. "


Of Themistocles giving over Prodigality.

I know not whether this speech of Themistocles son of Neocles be commendable or not. After that his Father had cast him off, giving over Prodigality, he began to live temperately, and to refrain from Curtezans, being taken with another affection, that of governing the Athenian State ; and contested eagerly with the Magistrates, endeavouring to make himself the chief. He said (as is reported) to his friends, "What will you give me, who never yet was envied ?" He that loves to be envied, hastens, according to Euripides, to harm himself : But that this is folly, Euripides himself declares.


Of Socrates abused in a Comedy by Aristophanes.

Anytus and his Companions studied to doe Socrates a mischief, for those reasons which are related by many ; but feared the Athenians, doubting, if they should accuse Socrates, how they would take it, his name being in high esteem for many respects, but chiefly for opposing the Sophists, who neither taught nor knew any solid learning. Wherefore they began, by making trial in less things, to sound how the Athenians would entertain a Charge against his life : for to have accused him upon the very first, he conceived unsafe, as well as for the reason already mentioned, as lest the friends and followers of Socrates should divert the anger of the Judges upon them, for falsly accusing a person so farre from being guilty of any wrong to the State, that he was the onely Ornament of Athens. What then do they contrive ? They suborn Aristophanes a Comick Poet, whose onely business was to raise mirth, to bring Socrates upon the Stage, taxing him with crimes which most men knew him free from ; Impertinent discourse, making an ill cause by argument seem good, introducing new and strange Deities, whilst himself believed and reverenced none : hereby to insinuate an ill opinion of him even into those who most frequented him. Aristophanes taking this Theme, interweaves it with much abusive mirth & pleasant Verses ; taking for his subject the best man of the Grecians. The argument of his Play was not against Cleon ; he did not abuse the Lacedemonians, the Thebans, or Pericles himself ; but a person dear to all the Gods, especially to Apollo. At first (by reason of the novelty of the thing, the unusual personating of Socrates upon the Stage) the Athenians, who expected nothing less, were struck with wonder : Then (being naturally envious, apt to detract from the best persons, not onely such as bore office in the Commonwealtth, but any that were eminent for learning or vertue) they begun to be taken with the CLOUDS, [so was the Play named] and cried up the Poet with more applause then ever any before, giving him with many shouts the victory, and sending word to the Judges to set the name of Aristophanes in the highest place. Socrates came seldome to the Theatre, unless when Euripides the Tragick Poet contested with any new Tragedian, then he used to goe : And when Euripides contended in the Piræum, he went thither also, for he loved the man as well for his wisedome, as the sweetness of his Verse. Sometimes Alcibiades son of Clinias and Critias son of Callæschrus would invite him to a Comedy, and in a manner compell him : for he was so farre from esteeming, that he did greatly conttemn those persons that were abuse and scurrilous in their language, (being himself a temperate, just, good and discreet person) which hugely troubled the Comedians. And this was the ground (as well as other things suggested by Antyus and Melitus) of Aristophanes his Comedy ; who, it is likely too, got a great summe of money by it, they being eager in prosecution of their design, and he prepared by want and malice to receive their impression : But this he best knows. In fine, the Play got extraordinary credit, that of Cratinus being verified,

The Theatre was then Fill'd with malicious men.

It being at that time the Feast of Bacchus, a multitude of Grecians went to see the Play. Socrates being personated on the Stage, and often named, (nor was it much the Playerrs should represent him, for the Potters frequently did it upon their stone Juggs) the strangers that were present (not knowing whom the Comedy abused) raised a humme and whisper, every one asking who that Socrates was. Which he observing, (for he came not thither by chance, but because he knew himself should be abused in the Play, had chosen the most conspicuous Seat in the theatre) to put the strangers out of doubt, he rose up, and all the while the Play lasted continued in that posture. So much did Socrates despise the Comedy and the Athenians themselves.


Of a Plane-tree beloved of Xerxes.

Xerxes deserves justly to be laughed at, who after he had contemned the works of Jupiter, and made himself new waies to travel by land and water, fell in love with a Plane, and doted upon the Tree : for seeing (as it is reported) in Lydia a tall Plane-tree, there he stayed a whole day, no necessity requiring, and pitched his Tents in the Wilderness about the Plane-tree : he also hung upon it many rich ornaments, honouring the boughs with chains and bracelets, and left it a Keeper, as the Guardian and Protectour of a Mistress. But what did this profit the Tree ? the apposititious ornament nothing suiting with it, hung there in vain, not adding any thing to the beauty of the Tree. For to the beauty of a Tree are requisite fair branches, leaves thick, a body strong, roots deep and pliant, yielding to the winds, wideness of shadow, the successive seasons of the year, the nourishment of the water by chanels and rains. But the Robes of Xerxes, the gold of the Barbarian, and his other gifts, contribute nothing to the Plane, or any other Tree.


Of those who besmeared the Seats of the Lacedemonian Ephori with Soot.

Certain Clazomenians coming to Sparta, through abuse and insolence besmeared with Soot the Seats of the Ephori, in which they used to give judgement, and determine publick affairs. This being known, the Ephori were not incensed, but calling the publick Crier, commanded him to make this strange Proclamation openly throughout the City, "Let it be lawful for the Clazomenians to doe unhandsome things."


Of Phocion.

I esteem this action of Phocion (the son of Phocus) commendable also. Coming before a publick Assembly of Athenians, after he had reproved them for some ingratitude, he said, both wisely and sharply, "I had rather receive ill from you, then doe ill to you."


Of the wisedome of the Persian Magi, and of Ochus.

The wisedome of the Persian Magi was (besides other things proper to them) conversant in Prediction : They foretold the cruelty of Ochus towards his Subjects, and his bloudy disposition, which they collected from some secret signs. For when Ochus, upon the death of his Father Artaxerxes, came to the Crown, the Magi charged one of the Eunuchs that were next him to observe upon what things, when the Table was set before him, he first laid hands ; who watching intentively, Ochus reached forth both his hands, and with his right laid hold of a Knife that lay by, with the other took a great Loaf, which he laid upon the Meat, and did cut and eat greedily. The Magi, hearing this, foretold that there would be plenty during his reign, and much bloud shed. In which they erred not.


Of magnificent Suppers.

Timotheus (son of Conon) General of the Athenians, on a time retiring from magnificent Suppers and Military entertainments, was invited by Plato to a Treat in the Academy ; where being entertained with a frugal Supper and with Musick, when he returned to his friends, he said, "they who sup with Plato are better for the next day also." From thence forward Timotheus dispraised sumptuous and chargeable Suppers, of which there is no benefit the next day. There is a speech much to the same purpose reported of him, that Timotheus meeting Plato on the morrow said to him, "You, O Plato, sup better the next morning then over night."


Of Alexander, who would be called a God.

Alexander, when he had vanquished Darius, and was possess'd of the Persian Empire, being high-conceited of himself, and puffed up with his success, writ to the Grecians, that they should decree him to be a God : Ridiculously ; what he had not by nature, he thought to obtain by requiring it of men. Hereupon several people made several Decrees ; the Lacedemonians this ; "Forasmuch as Alexander would be a God, let him be a God." Thus with Laconick brevity, according to the manner of their Countrey, the Lacedemonians reprehended the Pride of Alexander.


Of the meekneß of King Antigonus.

It is reported that King Antigonus was popular and meek. He that hath leisure to make enquiry after him and his actions, may satisfie himself elsewhere. I shall relate onely one act of his full of Clemency and void of Pride. This Antigonus, perceiving that his Son behaved himself rigidly and severely towards his Subjects, "Do you not know, Son, said he, that our Reign is but a glorious Servitude ?" This speech of Antigonus to his Son express'd much Mildness and humanity. He who conceiveth otherwise of it, seems in my opinion not to understand either what belonged to a King or a Subject, but rather to have lived under some Tyrant.


Of Pausanias his friendship with Agatho the Poet.

There was great friendship betwixt Pausanias a Ceramean and Agatho the Poet : This is generally known ; but I will relate what is less common. On a time the two friends came before Archelaus : he oberving the frequent differences betwixt Pausanias and Agatho, and thinking that one friend despited the other, asked Agatho what was the reason that he had such frequent quarrels with him who loved him so well. He answered, "O King, I will tell you : It is not that I am froward towards him, neither doe I this through rusticity ; but if I understand any thing of behaviour, as well by Poetry as other things, I finde that the greatest pleasure of friends is, after some falling out to be reconciled and I am of opinion that nothing can happen to them more delightful : Therefore I make him partake often of this pleasure, by falling out with him frequently. For he is over-joyed when I end the difference and am reconciled ; whereas if I should use him alwaies alike, he would not understand the difference." Archelaus (as they say) commended this answer. It is reported that Euripides also the Poet exceedingly loved this Agatho, and in favour of him composed his Tragedy intituled Chrysippus. But this I cannot certainly affirm, yet know it to be attested by many.


That the Matineans were just Law-makers.

I am told that the Matineans were just Law-givers, no less then the Locrians and Cretans, and the Lacedemonians themselves, and the Athenians. For though the Laws of Solon were most excellent, yet the Athenians soon after his death abrogated the Laws which they received from him.


That Nicodorus the Wrastler became a Law-giver.

Nicodorus, an excellent and famous Wrastler among the Mantineans, in his later years giving over wrastling, became a Law-giver to them, benefitting his Country farre more in Civil affairs, then when he was publickly proclaimed Victor in the Lists. Some say that Diagoras the Melian, who loved him much, composed those Laws for him. I have more to say of Nicodorus, but lest I should seem to intermix any commendations of Diagoras, let this suffice : For Diagoras was a hater of the Gods ; neither do I take any pleasure in making farther mention of him.


That Milo was strong in Body, but not in Mind.

Some have undervalued the famed Strength of Milo the Crotonian, relating thus of him ; None of Milo's Antagonists were able to force away a Pomegranate which he held in his hand ; but his Mistress, with whom he had frequent differences, was too hard for him. Whence it is manifest, that Milo was of a strong Body, but an effeminate Minde.


That the sixth of the Month Thargelion was fortunate to the Greeks.

It is observed, that on the sixth day of the month Thargelion many good fortunes have befallen not onely the Athenians, but divers others. Socrates was born on this day, the Persians vanquished on this day ; and the Athenians sacrifice three hundred Goats to Agrotera upon this day in pursuit of Miltiades his vow : On the same day of this month was the fight of Platææ, in which the Grecians had the better : (for the former fight which I mentioned was at Artemisium) neither was the Victory which the Greeks obtained at Mycale on any other day ; seeing that the victory at Platææ and Mycale happened on the self-same day. Likewise Alexander the Macedonian, son of Philip, vanquished many Myriads of the Barbarians on the sixth day, when he took Darius Prisoner. All which is observed to have happened on this moneth. It is likewise reported that Alexander was born and died on the same day.


Of Hyperborean Apollo, and certain wonders concerning Pythagoras.

Aristotle saith that Pythagoras was call'd by the Crotonians Hyperborean Apollo. The son of Nicomachus [Aristotle] farther saies, that he was at the same hour of the same day seen by many at Metapentium and at Croton, where he stood up at the Games. There also he shewed one of his Thighs, which was of Gold. The same Author saies, that as he was passing over the River Nessus it called him, and that many heard the call.


That Anniceris was a good Charioteer ; and that he who bestows much pains upon little things, neglects the greater.

Anniceris the Cyrenian was proud of his Horseman-ship and Chariot-driving. He on a time desired to let Plato see his skill : wherefore having made ready his Chariot, he drove many courses round the Acaemy, keeping his track so exactly, that the wheels never went out of it. All who were present admired it much. But Plato reprehended his too much industry, saying, That it was impossible that he who imployed so much pains about things of no value, could bend his study to things of greater concernment. For being wholly taken up with those things, he must necessarily neglect such as are truly worth admiration.


Uppon what occasion Cock-fighting was first instituted.

After their Victory over the Persians, the Athenians made a Law that Cocks should one day in the year be brought to fight in the Theatre. The occasion of which Law was this : When Themistocles went forth with an Army of the Citizens against the Barbarians, he saw some Cocks fighting ; neither did he behold it slightly, but turning to the whole Army, "These (saith he) undertake this danger, neither for their Country, nor for their Country Gods, nor for the Monuments of their Ancestours, nor for Fame, Liberty, or Children ; but that they may not be worsted, or yield one to the other." With which words he incouraged tthe Athenians. This therefore was at that time an occasion of inciting them to Valour, he would have to be ever after had in remembrance.


How Pittacus made an Embleme of Fortune.

Pittacus at Mitylene made stairs to the Temples, which served for no use, but as a dedicated gift ; hereby signifying the ascent and descent of Fortune : those whom Fortune favours ascending, the unfortunate descending.


Of Plato.

Plato son of Aristo was at first extremely addicted to Poetry, and wrote Heroical Verses ; which afterwards he burnt, perceiving them to be farre inferiour to Homer's. Then he betook himself to writing Tragedies, composing a Tetralogy ; which Poems he gave to the Players, intending to contest at the Games. But before the Bacchanalian Feast he heard Socrates discourse, and was so much taken with that Siren, that he not onely forbore his design of contending, but from thence forward wholly gave off writing Tragedies, and addicted himself to Philosophy.


That no Barbarian is impious.

And who extolls not the wisedome of the Barbarians, since none of them have fallen into any Atheism, or question whether there are Gods or not, and whether they take care of us or not ? None of them ever held such Opinions as Euemerus the Messenian, or Diogenes the Phrygian, or Hippo, or Diagoras, or Sosias, or Epicurus; not any Indian, Celt, or Ægyptian. For these Barbarians which I have named attest that there are Gods, and that they have a providential care of us, and that they pre-signifie events by birds, Omens, entrals, and by other observations and rules, which do teach men the providence of the Gods towards them. They say also that many things are signified before-hand by Dreams and by the Starres. Being firmly setled in this belief, they sacrifice purely, live holily, perform divine rites, observe the rules of the Orgia and all the rest : whence it must be acknowledged that they worship and reverence the Gods firmly.


How Hercules his name was changed, and of the Oracle of Apollo concerning it.

Some Pythian relations affirm that Hercules, son of Jupiter and Alcmena, was at his birth named Heraclides; but that afterwards coming to Delphi to consult the Oracle about some business, he obtained that for which he came, and received farther privately from the God this Oracle concerning himself,

Thee Hercules doth Phoebus name, For thou shalt gain immortal fame.


Of the Images of Rivers.

We behold the nature of Rivers, and their Channels ; but they who worship them and make Images of them give some the shape of Men, others of Oxen. In the shape of Oxen the Stymphalians represented Erasinus and Metopus; the Lacedemonians, Eurotas; the Sicyonians and Phliasians, Asopus ; the Argives, Cephissus: but in the shape of Men the Psophilians represented Erymanthus; the Heræans, Alpheus; so likewise the Cherronesians that came from Cnidus, represent the River Cnidus. The Athenians worship Cephissus as a horned man. In Sicily the Syracusians represent Anapus in the shape of a Man, and Cyane a fountain as a Woman. The Ægestæans worship Porpax, Crimissus and Telmissus under the Figures of Men. The Agrigentines represent the River which beareth the same name with their City by the image of a beautiful Boy, to which they sacrifice. They likewise dedicated an Ivory Statue at Delphi, and inscribed the name of the River upon it, which Statue was of a Boy.


Of Old age.

They say that Epicharmus being very old, sitting and discoursing with some of like age, and every one of them saying, one, I could be content to live but five years longer ; another, three years ; a third, four ; he interposing said, "O good men, why do you contest and wrangle about a few daies ? All we that are here met tend by some fate or other to our end. Therefore it is time for us all to die with the soonest, before we feel any of the miseries which attend Old age."


That Sleep is the Brother of Death ; and of the decease of Gorgias.

Gorgias the Leontine being at his latter end, and being of a great age and surprised by sickness, fell by degrees asleep : and when one of his friend coming to visit him asked him how he did ; "Just now, saith he, Sleep is going to deliver me up to his Brother."


Of Socrates falling sick in his old age.

Socrates being very old fell sick ; and one asking him how he did, "Well, saith he, both waies : for if I live longer, I shall have more Emulators ; if I die, more Praisers."


Of a Law which prohibited the sick to drink Wine.

Zaleucus the Locrian made many excellent and convenient Laws, of which this was not the worst. If any of the Epizephyrian Locrians, being sick, drank pure Wine, unless by prescription of the Physician, though he returned to his former health, yet he was to be put to death for drinking it without leave.


A Law of the Romans and other people not allowing Wine to all persons, nor of all ages.

This was also a law of the Maßilians, That no Women should tast Wine, but of what age soever they should drink water. Theophrastus affirms that this Law was of force also among the Milesians, which not onely the Ionian * but Milesian Wives observed. But why should we not speak of the Law of the Romans ? Or how can I avoid being reprochd of neglect, if having mentioned the Locrians, Maßilians and Milesians, I omit to speak of my own Country ? Amongst the Romans this Law was strictly observed, that no free Woman or she slave should drink Wine ; nor any of Noble birth, from their childhood till five and thirty years of age.


The Law of the Cretans concerning Learning.

The Cretans commanded all free-born children to learn the Laws with a kind of melody, that their minds might be inticed by their Musick, and they get them by heart the more easily : so that if they committed any thing contrary to Law, they could not plead ignorance. The second thing which they were appointed was, to learn the Hymns of the Gods : The third, Encomiums of good men.


That Beasts love not Wine, and of some Beasts that will be drunk.

Every irrational creature naturally abhorreth Wine, especially those who being over-fed with Grapes become drunk. Crows if they eat the herb Oenutta, as also Dogs, run mad. If the Ape and the Elephant drink Wine, the one forgets his strength, the other his subtilty, and both are eaily taken.


Of some who were lovers of Drink, and great Drinkers.

Lovers of Drink were Dionysius in Sicily, and Nisæus a Tyrant also, Apollocrates son of Dionysius the tyrant, Hipparinus kinsman of Dionysius, Timolaus a Theban, Charidemus an Orithean, Arcadion, Erasixenus, Alcetas a Macedonian, and Diotimus an Athenian. This last was called a Tunnel, because putting a Tunnel into his mouth, he could drink wine poured into it without taking breath. They relate of Cleomenes the Lacedemonian, that he was not onely a great Drinker, but that he also used the ill custome of the Scythians to drink Wine unallai'd. They say also that Io of Chios, the Poet, was an immoderate drinker of Wine. Likewise Alexander the Macedonian, in honour of Calanus the Brahman, an Indian Sophist, that burned himself, instituting Games of Musick, Horse-racing and Wrastling ; to gratifie the Indians, he added another part proper to that Country, which was Drinking. To him that should be the Victor he appointed a Talent for his reward, to the next thirty Minæ, to the third ten. Promachus got the Victory. Moreover Dionysius, at the Feast which they call Choæ, proposed a golden Crown as a reward to him that drank most. Xenocrates the Chalcedonian was Victor, and taking the Crown when he went away after Supper, put it upon a Statue of Mercury which stood at the door, according to his custome : for he used to lay there Garlands of Flowers, Myrrhe, Ivy, and Laurel, and leave them. Also Anacharsis, as it is said, drank much at Periander's house. He brought this custome from his own Country, for it is proper for the Scythians to drink pure Wine. Lacydes and Timon, Philosophers, are said to have drank much. Likewise Mycerinus an Ægyptian, a Prophecy being brought him from Buta, foretelling that he should live but a little while, to delude the Oracle by doubling the time, turning nights into daies, watched and drank continually. To these add Amasis the Ægyptian, of whom Herodotus attests enough. And Nicoteles a Corinthian must not be severed from these. And they say also that Scopas the son of Creon and Antiochus the King were much addicted to Wine : for which reason he put the whole Government of his Kingdome into the hands of Aristæus and Themisto, Cyprians, whilest he, given over to Drunkenness, bare onely the Title of King. Likewise Antiochus Epiphanes, delivered as pledge to the Romans, used to drink Wine immoderately. As also his name-sake Antiochus, who waging Warre with the Medians against Arsaces, was a slave to Drunkenness. Amongst these may be reckoned Antiochus the great. Immoderate drinking cast Agro King of the Illyrians into a Pleurisie, and kill'd him. Likewise Gentius another King of the Illyrians was a great Drinker. What shall we say of Orophernes King of Cappadocia, who was also a great Drinker ? And if we must mention Women, (in whom to love drink is a great vice, to drink much a greater) Clio, as they say, contended in drinking, not with Women onely, but with Men ; for she was a great Drinker, and had the better of every one, carrying in my opinion a shameful victory.


Of Plato's renown, and of his Laws for equal Distribution.

The fame of Plato and renown of his Vertue came to the Arcadians and Thebans, who thereupon sent Embassadours earnestly to request him to come over to them, not onely to instruct their young men in Philosophy, but, which was a higher concernment, to ordain Laws. They were ready to have obtained what they desired of him ; for the son of Aristo was pleased with the invitation, and intended to yield to them. He asked the Embassadours how they stood affected to Equality of estates : when understanding by them that they were so averse from it, as not to be by any means induced thereto, he refused to goe.


Certain eminent persons among the Grecians very poor.

There were most excellent persons among the Grecians who lived in extreme Poverty. Aristides son of Nicomachus, and Phocion son of Phocus, Epaminondas son of Polymatis, Pelopidas a Theban, Lamachus an Athenian, Socrates son of Sophroniscus, and Ephialtes son of Sophonides.


A description of a Picture made by Theon a Painter.

Amongst other things which witness the excellent art of Theon the Painter was this Picture : An armed man ready to charge the Enemy, who had made an Incursion and wasted the Country. The young man seemed ready to fall on with sprightliness and courage : you would have said he were transported with rage and the fury of Mars. His eies seemed to sparkle fiercely. Having taken up his Arms he appeared snatching, as if eager to assault the enemy with all speed. He held forth his Shield, and waved as it were his Sword, as ready to fight, with a killing look, his posture expressing that he meant not to spare any. Theon painted not any thing more, no common Souldier, no Centurion, no Company, no Horseman, no Archer ; this armed man onely being sufficient to compleat the excellence of the piece. But before he would discover this Picture to publick view, he got a Trumpeter, and bade him to sound a Charge as loudly and fiercely as he could, and to give it all possible spirit of encouragement to fight. Assoon as this shrill and dreadful noise was heard, the Trumpet sounding as if there were a sudden incursion of the Enemy, he discovered his Picture, and the armed man appeared, after that the sound of the Trumpet had excited the fancy of the beholders.

The End.


* Reading ἄλλας κὰι τάς. [The text as usually presented would translate something like "the law was in force among the Milesians, and even their wives, although Ionians, were bound by it." The Ionians were reputed to be luxurious in their tastes.]

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