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Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 12, Pages 510-528

Translated by C.D.Yonge (1854). A few words and spellings have been changed.

See key to translations for an explanation of the format. The page numbers in the Greek text are shown in red. The chapter numbers in the translation are shown in green.


[1.] G   [510] You appear to me, my good friend Timocrates, to be a man of Cyrene, according to the Tyndareus of Alexis -  
  For there if any man invites another 
  To any banquet, eighteen others come ; 
  Ten chariots, and fifteen pairs of horses, 
  And for all these you must provide the food, 
  So that it would be better to invite nobody.   

And it would be better for me also to hold my tongue, and not to add anything more to all that has been said already; but since you ask me very earnestly for a discussion on those men who have been notorious for luxury, and on their effeminate practices, you must be gratified.    

[2.] G   For enjoyment is connected, in the first instance, with appetite ; and in the second place, with pleasure. And Sophocles the poet, being a man fond of enjoyment, in order to avoid accusing old age, attributed his impotence in amatory pleasures to his temperance, saying that he was glad to be released from them as from some hard master. But I say that the Judgment of Paris is a tale originally invented by the ancients, as a comparison between pleasure and virtue. Accordingly, when Aphrodite, that is to say pleasure, was preferred, everything was thrown into confusion. And that excellent writer Xenophon [ Mem_2.1.21 ] seems to me to have invented his fable about Heracles and Virtue on the same principle. For according to Empedocles -  
  Ares was no god to them, nor gallant War, 
  Nor Zeus the king, nor Cronus old, 
  Nor Poseidon ; Cypris was their only queen. 
  Her they propitiate and duly worship 
  With pious images, with beauteous figures 
  Skilfully carved ; with fragrant incenses, 
  And holy offerings of unmixed myrrh, 
  And sweetly smelling frankincense ; and many 
  A pure libation of fresh golden honey 
  They poured along the floor.   

And Menander, in his Harp-player, speaking of someone who was very fond of music, says -  
  [511] He was to music much devoted, and 
  Sought ever pleasing sounds to gratify 
  His delicate taste.   

[3.] G   And yet some people say that the desire of pleasure is a natural desire, as may be proved by all animals becoming enslaved by it ; as if cowardice, and fear, and all sorts of other passions were not also common to all animals, and yet these are rejected by all who use their reason. Accordingly, to be very eager in the pursuit of pleasure is to go hunting for pain. On which account Homer [ Od_8.328 ], wishing to represent pleasure in an odious light, says that the greatest of the gods receive no advantage from their power, but are even much injured by it, if they will allow themselves to be hurried away by the pursuit of pleasure. For all the anxiety which Zeus, when awake, lavished on the Trojans, was lost in open day, when he abandoned himself to pleasure. And Ares, who was a most valiant deity, was put in chains by Hephaestus, who was very powerless, and incurred great disgrace and punishment, when he had given himself up to irrational love ; and therefore he says to the Gods, when they came to see him in fetters -  
  Behold, on wrong 
  Swift vengeance waits, and art subdues the strong. 
  Dwells there a god on all the Olympian height 
  Swifter than Ares, and slower than Hephaestus ?
  Yet Hephaestus conquers, and the God of arms 
  Must pay the penalty for lawless charms.   

But no one ever calls the life of Aristeides a life of pleasure {ἡδὺς}, but that is an epithet they apply to Smindyrides the Sybarite, and to Sardanapalus, though as far as glory went, as Theophrastus says in his book on Pleasure, it was a far more splendid one ; but Aristeides never devoted himself to luxury as those other men did. Nor would anyone call the life of Agesilaus the king of the Lacedaemonians ἡδύς ; but this name they would apply rather to the life of Ananis, a man who, as far as real glory is concerned, is totally unknown. Nor would one call the life of the heroes who fought against Troy ἡδύς ; but they would speak in that way much more of the men of the present time ; and naturally enough. For the lives of those men were destitute of any luxurious preparation, and, as I might almost say, had no seasoning to them, inasmuch as at that time there was no commercial intercourse between nations, nor were the arts of refinement carried to any degree of perfection ; but the life of men of the present day is planned with entire reference to laziness, and enjoyment, and to all sorts of pastimes.    

[4.] G   But Plato, in his Philebus [ 65.c ], says - " Pleasure is the most insolent of all things; and, as it is reported, in amatory enjoyments, which are said to be the most powerful of all, even perjury has been pardoned by the Gods, as if pleasure was like a child, incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong." And in the eighth book of his Republic, the same Plato has previously dilated upon the doctrine so much pressed by the Epicureans, that, of the desires, some are natural but not necessary, and others neither natural nor necessary, writing thus - " Is not the desire to eat enough for health and strength of body, and for bread and meat to that extent, a necessary desire ? - I think it is. - At all events, the desire for food for these two purposes is necessary, inasmuch as it is salutary, and inasmuch as it is able to remove hunger ? - No doubt. - And the desire for meat, too, is a necessary desire, if it at all contributes to a good habit of body? Most undoubtedly. - What, then, are we to say? Is no desire which goes beyond the appetite for this kind of food, and for other food similar to it, [512] and which, if it is checked in young people, can be entirely stifled, and which is injurious also to the body, and injurious also to the mind, both as far as its intellectual powers are concerned, and also as to its temperance, entitled to be called a necessary one ? - Most certainly not."   

[5.] G   But Heracleides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, speaks as follows - " Tyrants and kings, having all kinds of good things in their power, and having had experience of all things, place pleasure in the first rank, on the ground that pleasure makes the nature of man more magnanimous. Accordingly, all those who have honoured pleasure above everything, and who have deliberately chosen to live a life of luxury, have been magnanimous and magnificent people, as, for instance, the Medes and the Persians. For they, of all men, are those who hold pleasure and luxury in the highest honour; and they, at the same time, are the most valiant and magnanimous of all the barbarians. For to indulge in pleasure and luxury is the conduct of freeborn men and of a liberal disposition. For pleasure relaxes the soul and invigorates it. But labour belongs to slaves and to mean men ; on which account they are contracted in their natural dispositions. And the city of the Athenians, while it indulged in luxury, was a very great city, and bred very magnanimous men. For they wore purple garments, and were clad in embroidered tunics ; and they bound up their hair in knots, and wore golden grasshoppers over their foreheads and in their hair : and their slaves followed them, bearing folding chairs for them, in order that, if they wished to sit down, they might not be without some proper seat, and forced to put up with any chance seat. And these men were such heroes, that they conquered in the battle of Marathon, and they alone worsted the power of combined Asia. And all those who are the wisest of men, and who have the greatest reputation for wisdom, think pleasure the greatest good. Simonides certainly does when he says -    
  For what kind of human life 
  Can be worth desiring, 
  If pleasure be denied to it ?
  What kingly power even ?
  Without pleasure even the gods 
  Have nothing to be envied for.   

And Pindar, giving advice to Hieron the tyrant of Syracuse, says -  
  Never obscure fair pleasure in your life ; 
  A life of pleasure is the best for man.   

And Homer, too, speaks of pleasure and indulgence in the following terms [ Od_9.5 ] -   
  How sweet the products of a peaceful reign, - 
  The heaven-taught poet and enchanting strain, 
  The well-filled palace, the perpetual feast, 
  A loud rejoicing, and a people blest ! 
  How goodly seems it ever to employ 
  Man’s social days in union and in joy ; 
  The plenteous board high heaped with food divine, 
  And over the foaming bowl the laughing wine.  

And again, he calls the gods "living at ease." And "at ease" certainly means "without labour;" as if he meant to show by this expression, that the greatest of all evils is labour and trouble in life.   

[6.] G   On which account Megacleides finds fault with those poets who came after Homer and Hesiod, and have written about Heracles, relating how he led armies and took cities, who passed the greater part of his life among men in the most excessive pleasure, and married a greater number of women than any other man ; and who had unacknowledged children, by a greater number of virgins, than any other man. For any one might say to those who do not admit all this - "Whence, my good friends, is it that you attribute to him all this excessive love of eating ; or whence is it that the custom has originated among men of leaving nothing in the cup when we pour a libation to Heracles, if he had no regard for pleasure ? or why are the hot springs which rise out of the ground universally said to be sacred to Heracles ; or why are people in the habit of calling soft couches the beds of Heracles, if he despised all those who live luxuriously ? Accordingly, says he, the later poets represent him as going about in the guise of a robber by himself, having a club, and a lion's hide, and his bow. And they say that Stesichorus of Himera was the original inventor of this fable. [513] But Xanthus the lyric poet, who was more ancient than Stesichorus, as Stesichorus himself tells us, does not, according to the statement of Megacleides, clothe him in this dress, but in that which Homer gives him. But Stesichorus perverted a great many of the accounts given by Xanthus, as he does also in the case of what is called the Oresteia. But Antisthenes, when he said that pleasure was a good, added - " such as brought no repentance in its train."    

[7.] G   But Odysseus, in Homer, appears to have been the original guide to Epicurus, in the matter of that pleasure which is often talked about ; for Odysseus says to Alcinous [ Od_9.5 ] - "As for me, I say that there is no more perfect grace than when joy reigns throughout the whole people, and feasters in the halls listen to a bard as they sit in order, and the tables beside them are laden with bread and meats, and a wine-pourer, drawing the wine from the mixing-bowl, offers it and pours it into the cups. This seems to my sense the fairest thing in the world. "  

But Megacleides says that Odysseus is here adapting himself to the times, for the sake of appearing to be of the same disposition as the Phaeacians ; and that with that view he embraces their luxurious habits, as he had already heard from Alcinous, speaking of his whole nation [ Od_8.248 ] -  
  To dress, to dance, to sing, our sole delight. 
  The feast or bath by day, and love by night;   

- for he thought that that would be the only way by which he could avoid failing in the hopes he cherished. And a similar man is he who exhorts Amphilochus his son -  
  Remember then, my son, to always dwell 
  In every city cherishing a mind 
  Like to the skin of a rock-haunting fish ; 
  And always with the present company 
  Agree, but when away you can change your mind.   

And Sophocles speaks similarly, in the Iphigenia -  
  As the wise polypus does quickly change 
  His hue according to the rocks he's near, 
  So change your mind and your apparent feelings.   

And Theognis says [ 215 ] -  
  Imitate the wary cunning of the polypus.   

And some say that Homer was of this mind, when he often prefers the voluptuous life to the virtuous one, saying [ Il_4.1 ] -  
  And now Olympus' shining gates unfold ; 
  The Gods with Zeus assume their thrones of gold ; 
  Immortal Hebe, fresh with bloom divine, 
  The golden goblet crowns with purple wine , 
  While the full bowl is passed around.   

And the same poet represents Menelaus as saying [Od_4.178 ] -  
  Nor then should aught but death have torn apart 
  From me so loving and so glad a heart.   

And in another place [ Od_9.162 ] -  
  We sat feasting on abundant meat and sweet wine.  

And in the same spirit Odysseus, at the court of Alcinous, represents luxury and wantonness as the main end of life.    

[8.] G   But of all nations the Persians were the first to become notorious for their luxury ; and the Persian kings even spent their winters at Susa and their summers at Ecbatana. And Aristocles and Chares say that Susa derives its name from the seasonable and beautiful character of the place : for that what the Greeks call the lily, is called in the Persian language σοῦσον. But they pass their autumns in Persepolis; and the rest of the year they spend in Babylon. And in like manner the kings of the Parthians spend their spring in Rhagae, and their winter in Babylon, [and the rest of the year at Hecatompylus]. [514] And even the very thing which the Persian monarchs used to wear on their heads, showed plainly enough their extreme devotion to luxury. For it was made, according to the account of Dinon, of myrrh and of something called labyzus. And the labyzus is a sweet-smelling plant, and more valuable than myrrh. And whenever, says Dinon, the king dismounts from his chariot, he does not jump down, however small the height from the chariot to the ground may be, nor is he helped down, leaning on any one's hand, but a golden chair is always put by him, and he gets on that to descend; on which account the king's chair-bearer always follows him. And three hundred women are his guard, as Heracleides of Cumae relates, in the first book of his history of Persia. And they sleep all day, that they may watch all night ; and they pass the whole night in singing and playing, with lights burning. And very often the king takes pleasure with them in the hall of the Melophori. The Melophori are one of his troops of guards, all Persians by birth, having golden apples {μῆλα} on the points of their spears, a thousand in number, all picked men out of the main body of ten thousand Persians who are called the Immortals. And the king used to go on foot through this hall, very fine Sardian carpets being spread in his way, on which no one but the king ever trod. And when he came to the last hall, then he mounted a chariot, but sometimes he mounted a horse ; but on foot he was never seen outside of his palace. And if he went out to hunt, his concubines also went with him. And the throne on which he used to sit, when he was transacting business, was made of gold ; and it was surrounded by four small pillars made of gold, inlaid with precious stones, and on them there was spread a purple cloth richly embroidered.   

[9.] G   But Clearchus of Soli, in the fourth book of his Lives, having previously spoken about the luxury of the Medes, and having said that on this account they made eunuchs of many citizens of the neighbouring tribes, adds, "that the institution of the Melophori was adopted by the Persians from the Medes, being not only a revenge for what they had suffered themselves, but also a memorial of the luxury of the bodyguards, to indicate to what a pitch of effeminacy they had come. For, as it seems, the unseasonable and superfluous luxury of their daily life could make even the men who are armed with spears become mere beggars." And a little further on he says - " And accordingly, while he gave to all those who could invent him any new kind of food, a prize for their invention, he did not, while loading them with honours, allow the food which they had invented to be set before them, but enjoyed it all by himself, and thought this was the greatest wisdom. For this, I imagine, is what is called the brains of Zeus and of a king at the same time."    

But Chares of Mitylene, in the fifth book of his History of Alexander, says - " The Persian kings had come to such a pitch of luxury, that at the head of the royal couch there was a supper-room laid with five couches, in which there were always kept five thousand talents of gold ; and this was called the king's pillow. And at his feet was another supper-room, prepared with three couches, in which there were constantly kept three thousand talents of silver; and this was called the king's footstool. And in his bed-chamber there was also a golden vine, inlaid with precious stones, above the king's bed. And this vine, Amyntas says in his Posts, had bunches of grapes, composed of most valuable precious stones; and not far from it there was placed a golden bowl, the work of Theodorus of Samos. [515] And Agathocles, in the third book of his History of Cyzicus, says, that there is also among the Persians a water called the golden water, and that it rises in seventy springs; and that no one ever drinks of it but the king alone, and the eldest of his sons. And if any one else drinks of it, the punishment is death.    

[10.] G   But Xenophon, in the eighth book of his Cyropaedia [ 8.8.15 ], says -" They still used at that time to practise the discipline of the Persians, but the dress and effeminacy of the Medes. But now they disregard the sight of the ancient Persian bravery becoming extinct, and they are solicitous only to preserve the effeminacy of the Medes. And I think it a good opportunity to give an account of their luxurious habits. For, in the first place, it is not enough for them to have their beds softly spread, but they put even the feet of their couches upon carpets in order that the floor may not present resistance to them, but that the carpets may yield to their pressure. And as for the things which are dressed for their table, nothing is omitted which has been discovered before, and they are also continually inventing something new; and the same is the way with all other delicacies. For they retain men whose sole business it is to invent things of this kind. And in winter it is not enough for them to have their head, and their body, and their feet covered, but on even the tips of their fingers they wear shaggy gloves and finger-stalls ; and in summer they are not satisfied with the shade of the trees and of the rocks, but they also have men placed in them to contrive additional means of producing shade." And in the passage which follows this one, he proceeds to say - " But now they have more clothes laid upon their horses than they have even on their beds. For they do not pay so much attention to their horsemanship as to sitting softly. Moreover, they have porters, and bread-makers, and confectioners, and cup-bearers, and men to serve up their meals and to take them away, and men to lull them to sleep and men to wake them, and dressers to anoint them and to rub them, and to get them up well in every respect."   

[11.] G   The Lydians, too, went to such a pitch of luxury, that they were the first to castrate women, as Xanthus the Lydian tells us, or whoever else it was who wrote the History which is attributed to him, whom Artemon of Cassandra, in his treatise on the Collection of Books, states to have been Dionysius who was surnamed Scytobrachion {"Leather-armed"}; but Artemon was not aware that Ephorus the historian mentions him as being an older man than the other, and as having been the man who supplied Herodotus with some of his materials. Xanthus, then, in the second book of his Affairs of Lydia, says that Adramyttes, the king of the Lydians, was the first man who ever castrated women, and used female eunuchs instead of male eunuchs. But Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, says- " The Lydians, out of luxury, made parks ; and having planted them like gardens, made them very shady, thinking it a refinement in luxury if the sun never touched them with its rays at all; and at last they carried their insolence to such a height, that they used to collect other men's wives and maidens into a place that, from this conduct, got the name of Hagneon, and there ravished them. And at last, having become utterly effeminate, they lived wholly like women instead of like men ; on which account their age produced even a female tyrant, in the person of one of those who had been ravished in this way, by name Omphale. And she was the first to inflict on the Lydians the punishment that they deserved. For to be governed and insulted by a woman is a sufficient proof of the severity with which they were treated. [516] Accordingly she, being a very intemperate woman herself, and meaning to revenge the insults to which she herself had been subjected, gave the maiden daughters of the masters to their slaves, in the very same place in which she herself had been ravished. And then having forcibly collected them all in this place, she shut up the mistresses with their slaves.   

On which account the Lydians, wishing to soften the bitterness of the transaction, call the place the Sweet Embrace. And not only were the wives of the Lydians exposed to all comers, but those also of the Epizephyrian Locrians, and also those of the Cyprians - and, in fact, those of all the nations who devote their daughters to the lives of prostitutes ; and it appears to be, in truth, a sort of reminding of, and revenge for, some ancient insult. So against her a Lydian man of noble birth rose up, one who had been previously offended at the government of Midas; while Midas lay in effeminacy, and luxury, and a purple robe, working in the company of the women at the loom. But as Omphale slew all the strangers whom she admitted to her embraces, he chastised both - the one, being a stupid and illiterate man, he dragged out by his ears; a man who, for want of sense, had acquired the name of the most stupid of all animals : but the woman . . .   

[12.] G   And the Lydians were also the first people to introduce the use of the sauce called karykē; concerning the preparation of which all those who have written cookery books have spoken a good deal - namely, Glaucus the Locrian, and Mithraecus, and Dionysius, and the two Heracleidae (who were by birth Syracusans), and Agis, and Epaenetus, and Dionysius, and also Hegesippus, and Erasistratus, and Euthydemus, and Criton ; and besides these, Stephanus, and Archytas, and Acestius, and Acesias, and Diocles, and Philistion ; for I know that all these men have written cookery books. And the Lydians, too, used to speak of a dish which they called kandaulos; and there was not one kind of kandaulos only, but three, so wholly devoted were they to luxury. And Hegesippus of Tarentum says, that the kandaulos is made of boiled meat, and grated bread, and Phrygian cheese, and aniseed, and thick broth : and it is mentioned by Alexis, in his Woman Working all Night, or The Spinners ; and it is a cook who is represented as speaking :   
  (A) And, besides this, we now will serve you up 
  A dish whose name's kandaulos. 
  (B) I've never tasted 
  Kandaulos, nor have I ever heard of it. 
  (A) It's a grand invention, and it is mine ; 
  And if I put a dish of it before you, 
  Such will be your delight that you'll devour 
  Your very fingers rather than lose a bit of it. 
  We here will get some balls of snow-white wool. 
  * * *
  You will serve up an egg well shred, and twice 
  Boiled till it's hard ; a sausage, too, of honey ; 
  Some pickle from the frying-pan, some slices 
  Of new-made Cynthian cheese ; and then 
  A bunch of grapes, steeped in a cup of wine : 
  But this part of the dish is always laughed at, 
  And yet it is the mainstay of the meal. 
  (B) Laugh on, my friend ; but now be off, I beg, 
  With all your talk about kandauloi, and 
  Your sausages, and dishes, and such luxuries.   

Philemon also mentions the kandaulos in his Passer-by, where he says -   
  For I have all these witnesses in the city, 
  That I'm the only one can dress a sausage, 
  A kandaulos, eggs, an omelette, all in no time: 
  Was there any error or mistake in this ?  

[517] And Nicostratus, in his Cook, says  
  A man who could not even dress black broth, 
  But only omelettes and kandauloi.   

And Menander, in his Trophonius, says -  
  Here comes a very rich Ionian, who makes
  A good thick soup and kandaulos, amatory food.   

And the Lydians, when going out to war, array themselves to the tune of flutes and pipes, as Herodotus says [ 1.17 ] ; and the Lacedaemonians also attack their enemies keeping time to their flutes, as the Cretans keep time to the lyre.    

[13.] G   But Heracleides of Cumae, who wrote the History of Persia, having said in his book entitled The Preparation, that in the country which produces frankincense the king is independent, and responsible to no one, proceeds as follows : " And he exceeds every one in luxury and indolence ; for he stays for ever in his palace, passing his whole life in luxury and extravagance ; and he does no single thing, nor does he see many people. But he appoints the judges, and if anyone thinks that they have decided unjustly, there is a window in the highest part of the palace, and it is fastened with a chain : accordingly, he who thinks that an unjust decision has been given against him, takes hold of the chain, and drags the window; and when the king hears it, he summons the man, and hears the cause himself. And if the judges appear to have decided unjustly, they are put to death; but if they appear to have decided justly, then the man who has moved the window is put to death." And it is said that the sum expended every day on the king, and on his wives and friends, amounts to fifteen Babylonian talents.    

[14.] G   And among the Etruscans, who carry their luxury to an extraordinary pitch, Timaeus, in his first book, relates that the female servants wait on the men in a state of nudity. And Theopompus, in the forty-third book of his History, states, "It is a law among the Etruscans that all their women should be in common : and the women pay the greatest attention to their persons, and often practise gymnastic exercises, naked, among the men, and sometimes with one another ; for it is not accounted shameful for them to be seen naked. And they dine not with their own husbands, but with anyone who happens to be present; and they pledge whoever they please in their cups : and they are amazingly fond of drinking, and very handsome. And the Etruscans bring up all the children that are born, no one knowing to what father each child belongs : and the children, too, live in the same manner as those who have brought them up, having feasts very frequently, and being intimate with all the women. Nor is it reckoned among the Etruscans at all disgraceful either to do or suffer anything in the open air, or to be seen while it is going on ; for this is the custom of their country: and they are so far from thinking it disgraceful, that they even say, when the master of the house is indulging his sexual appetites, and any one asks for him, that he is doing so and so, using the coarsest possible words for his occupation. But when they are together in parties of companions or relations, they act in the following manner. First of all, when they have stopped drinking, and are about to go to sleep, while the lights are still burning, the servants introduce sometimes courtesans and sometimes beautiful boys, and sometimes women ; and when they have enjoyed them, they proceed to acts of still grosser licentiousness : and they indulge their appetites, and make parties on purpose, sometimes keeping one another in sight but more frequently making tents around the beds which are made of plaited slats, with cloths thrown over them. [518] And the objects of their love are usually women ; much more, however, do they enjoy consorting with boys and striplings ; and these are very beautiful, as is natural for people to be who live luxuriously, and who take great care of their persons."    

And all the barbarians who live towards the west, smooth their bodies by rubbing them with pitch, and by shaving them ; and among the Etruscans there are many shops in which this trade is practised, and many artisans whose sole employment it is, just as there are barbers among us. And when the Etruscans go to these men, they give themselves wholly up to them, not being ashamed of having spectators, or of those who may be passing by. And many of the Greeks, and of those who inhabit Italy, adopt this practice, having learnt it from the Samnites and Messapians. But the Etruscans (as Alcimus relates) are so far gone in luxury, that they even make bread, and box, and flog people to the sound of the flute. 

[15.] G   The tables of the Sicilians also are very notorious for their luxury. "And they say that even the sea in their region is sweet, delighting in the food which is procured from it," as Clearchus says, in the fifth book of his Lives. And why need we mention the Sybarites, among whom bathing men and pourers of water were first introduced in fetters, in order to prevent their going too fast, and to prevent also their scalding the bathers in their haste? And the Sybarites were the first people to forbid those who practice noisy arts from dwelling in their city; such as blacksmiths, and carpenters, and men of similar trades; providing that their slumbers should always be undisturbed. And it used to be unlawful to rear a cock in their city.

And Timaeus relates concerning them, that a citizen of Sybaris once going into the country, seeing the farmers digging, said that he himself felt as if he had broken his bones by the sight; and someone who heard him replied, "I, when I heard you say this, felt as if I had a pain in my side." And once, at Croton, some Sybarites were standing by some one of the athletes who was digging up dust for the palaestra, and said they marvelled that men who had such a city had no slaves to dig the palaestra for them. But another Sybarite, coming to Lacedaemon, and being invited to the pheiditium, sitting down on a wooden seat and eating with them, said that originally he had been surprised at hearing of the valour of the Lacedaemonians; but that now that he had seen it, he thought that they in no respect surpassed other men: for that the greatest coward on earth would rather die a thousand times than live and endure such a life as theirs.

[16.] G   And it is a custom among them that even their children, up to the age when they are ranked among the ephebes, should wear purple robes, and curls braided with gold. And it is a custom with them also to breed up in their houses little mannikins and dwarfs (as Timaeus says), who are called by some people στίλπωνες; and also little Maltese dogs, which follow them even to the gymnasia. And it was these men, and men like them, to whom Masinissa, king of Mauretania, made answer (as Ptolemy relates, in the eighth book of his Commentaries), when they were seeking to buy some monkeys: "Why,- do not your wives, my good friends, produce any offspring?" For Masinissa was very fond of children, and kept about him and brought up the children of his sons, [519] and of his daughters equally, and he had a great many of them; and he brought them all up till they were three years old, and after that he sent them to their parents, having the younger ones to take their places. And Eubulus the comic writer has said the same thing in his Graces:-
  For is it not, I pray you, better far
  For one man, who can well afford such acts,
  To rear a man, than a loud gaping goose,
  Or sparrow, or ape - most mischievous of beasts?

And Athenodorus, in his treatise on Serious Studies and Amusements, says that "Archytas of Tarentum, who was both a statesman and a philosopher, having many slaves, was always delighted at his entertainments when any of [their children] came to his banquets. But the Sybarites delighted only in Maltese puppy dogs, and in men which were no men."

[17.] G   The Sybarites used to wear also garments made of Milesian wool, from which there arose a great friendship between the two cities, as Timaeus relates. For of the inhabitants of Italy, the Sybarites gave the preference to the Etruscans, and of foreigners to the Ionians, because they were devoted to luxury. But the cavalry of the Sybarites, being in number more than five thousand, used to go in procession with saffron-coloured robes over their breastplates; and in the summer their younger men used to go away to the caves of the Nymphs of the river Lusias, and live there in all kinds of luxury. And whenever the rich men of that country left the city for the country, although they always travelled in chariots, still they used to consume three days in a day's journey. And some of the roads which led to their villas in the country were covered with awnings all over; and a great many of them had cellars near the sea, into which their wine was brought by canals from the country, and some of it was then sold out of the district, but some was brought into the city in boats. They also celebrate in public numbers of feasts; and they honour those who display great magnificence on such occasions with golden crowns, and they proclaim their names at the public sacrifices and games; announcing not only their general goodwill towards the city, but also the great magnificence which they had displayed in the feasts. And on these occasions they even crown those cooks who have served up the most exquisite dishes. And among the Sybarites there were found baths in which, while they lay down, they were steamed with warm vapours. And they were the first people who introduced the custom of bringing chamber-pots to banquets. But laughing at those who left their countries to travel in foreign lands, they themselves used to boast that they had grown old without ever having crossed the bridges which led over their frontier rivers.

[18.] G   But it seems to me, that besides the fact of the riches of the Sybarites, the very natural character of their country,- since there are no harbours on their coasts, and since, in consequence, nearly all the produce of the land is consumed by the citizens themselves,- and to some extent also an oracle of the God, has excited them all to luxury, and has caused them to live in practices of most immoderate dissoluteness. But their city lies in a hollow, and in summer is liable to excess of cold both morning and evening, but in the middle of the day the heat is intolerable, so that the greater part of them believe that the rivers contribute a great deal to the health of the inhabitants; [520] on which account it has been said, that "a man who, living at Sybaris, wishes not to die before his time, ought never to see the sun either rise or set." And once they sent to the oracle to consult the God (and one of the ambassadors was named Amyris), and to ask how long their prosperity should last; and the priestess of Delphi answered them-
  You shall be happy, Sybarite,- very happy,
  And all your time in entertainments pass,
  While you continue to the immortal gods
  The worship due: but when you come, at length,
  To honour mortal man beyond the gods,
  Then foreign war and intestine sedition
  Shall come upon you, and shall crush your city.

When they had heard this they thought the God had said to them that they should never have their luxury terminated; for that there was no chance of their ever honouring a man more than God. But in agreement with the oracle they experienced a change of fortune, when one of them flogging one of his slaves, continued to beat him after he had sought an asylum in a temple; but when at last he fled to the tomb of his father, he let him go, out of shame. But their whole revenues were dissipated by the way in which they rivalled one another in luxury. And the city also rivalled all other cities in luxury. And not long after this circumstance, when many omens of impending destruction, which it is not necessary to allude to further at present, had given them notice, they were destroyed.

[19.] G   But they had carried their luxury to such a pitch that they had taught even their horses to dance at their feasts to the music of the flute. Accordingly the people of Croton, knowing this, and being at war with them, as Aristotle relates in his History of the Constitution of Sybaris, played before their horses the tune to which they were accustomed to dance; for the people of Croton also had flute-players in military uniform. And as soon as the horses heard them playing on the flute, they not only began to dance, but ran over to the army of the Crotonians, carrying their riders with them.

And Charon of Lampsacus tells a similar story about the Cardians, in the second book of his Annals, writing as follows:-" The Bisaltae invaded the territory of the Cardians, and conquered them. The general of the Bisaltae was Onaris; and he, while he was a boy, had been sold as a slave in Cardia; and having lived as a slave to one of the Cardians, he had been taught the trade of a barber. And the Cardians had an oracle warning them that the Bisaltae would some day invade them; and they very often used to talk over this oracle while sitting in this barber's shop. And Onaris, escaping from Cardia to his own country, prompted the Bisaltae to invade the Cardians, and was himself elected general of the Bisaltae. But all the Cardians had been in the habit of teaching their horses to dance at their feasts to the music of the flute; and they, standing on their hind feet, used to dance with their fore feet in time to the airs which they had been taught. Onaris then, knowing these things, got a female flute-player from among the Cardians. And this female flute-player coming to the Bisaltae, taught many of their flute-players; and when they had learnt sufficiently, he took them in his army against the Cardians. And when the battle took place, he ordered the flute-players to play the tunes which they had learnt, and which the horses of the Cardians knew. And when the horses heard the flute, they stood up on their hind feet, and took to dancing. But the main strength of the Cardians was in their cavalry, and so they were conquered."

[521] And one of the Sybarites, once wishing to sail over to Croton, hired a vessel to carry him by himself, on condition that no one was to splash him, and that no one else was to be taken on board, and that he might take his horse with him. And when the captain of the ship had agreed to these terms, he put his horse on board, and ordered some straw to be spread under the horse. And afterwards he begged one of those who had accompanied him down to the vessel to go with him, saying, "I have already stipulated with the captain of the ship to keep along the shore." But he replied, "I should have had great difficulty in complying with your wishes if you had been going to walk along the seashore, much less can I do so when you are going to sail along the land."

[20.] G   But Phylarchus, in the twenty-fifth book of his History [ Fr_45 ], (having said that there was a law at Syracuse, that the women should not wear golden ornaments, nor garments embroidered with flowers, nor robes with purple borders, unless they admitted that they were public prostitutes; and that there was another law, that a man should not adorn his person, nor wear any extraordinarily handsome robes, different from the rest of the citizens, unless he meant to confess that he was an adulterer and a profligate: and also, that a freewoman was not to walk abroad when the sun had set, unless she was going to commit adultery; and even by day they were not allowed to go out without the leave of the regulators of the women, and without one female servant following them,)- Phylarchus, I say, states, that "the Sybarites, having given loose to their luxury, made a law that women might be invited to banquets, and that those who intended to invite them to sacred festivities must make preparation a year before, in order that they might have all that time to provide themselves with garments and other ornaments in a suitable manner worthy of the occasion, and so might come to the banquet to which they were invited. And if any caterer or cook invented any peculiar and excellent dish, no other artist was allowed to make this for a year; but he alone who invented it was entitled to all the profit to be derived from the manufacture of it for that time; in order that others might be induced to labour at excelling in such pursuits. And in the same way, it was provided that those who sold eels were not so be liable to pay tribute, nor those who caught them either. And in the same way the laws exempted from all burdens those who dyed the marine purple and those who imported it."'

[21.] G   They then, having carried their luxury and insolence to a great height, at last, when thirty ambassadors came to them from the people of Croton, slew them all, and threw their bodies down over the wall, and left them there to be eaten by beasts. And this was the beginning of great evils to them, as the Deity was much offended at it. Accordingly, a few days afterwards all their chief magistrates appeared to see the same vision on one night; for they thought that they saw Hera coming into the midst of the market-place, and vomiting gall; and a spring of blood arose in her temple. But even then they did not desist from their arrogance, until they were all destroyed by the Crotonians. But Heracleides of Pontus, in his treatise on Justice, says, "The Sybarites having put down the tyranny of Telys and having destroyed all those who had exercised authority, (?) met them and slew them at the altar of the gods. And at the sight of this slaughter the statue of Hera turned itself away, and the floor sent up a fountain of blood, so that they were forced to cover all the place around with brazen tablets, wishing to stop the rising of the blood: on which account they were all driven from their city and destroyed. [522] And they had also been desirous to obscure the glory of the famous games at Olympia; for watching the time when they are celebrated, they attempted to draw over the athletes to their side by the extravagance of the prizes which they offered."

[22.] G   And the men of Croton, as Timaeus says, after they had destroyed the people of Sybaris, began to indulge in luxury; so that their chief magistrate went about the city clad in a purple robe, and wearing a golden crown on his head, and wearing also white sandals. But some say that this was not done out of luxury, but owing to Democedes the physician, who was by birth a native of Croton; and who having lived with Polycrates the tyrant of Samos, and having been taken prisoner by the Persians after his death, was taken to the king of Persia, after Oroetes had put Polycrates to death. And Democedes, having cured Atossa the wife of Darius, and daughter of Cyrus, who had a complaint in her breast, asked of her this reward, to be sent back to Greece, on condition of returning again to Persia; and having obtained his request he came to Croton. And as he wished to remain there, when some Persian laid hold of him and said that he was a slave of the king of Persia, the Crotonians took him away, and having stripped the Persian of his robe, dressed the servant of their chief magistrate in it. And from that time forward, the servant, having on the Persian robe, went round with the chief magistrate to all the altars on the seventh dayof every month; not for the sake of luxury or insolence, but doing it for the purpose of insulting the Persians. But after this the men of Croton, as Timaeus says, attempted to put an end to the Assembly at Olympia, by appointing a meeting for games with enormously rich prizes, to be held at exactly the same time as the Olympian games; but some say that the Sybarites did this.

[23.] G   But Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, says that the people of Tarentum, after they had acquired strength and power, carried their luxury to such a height, that they used to make their whole body smooth, and that they were the first people who set other nations an example of this smoothness. They also, says he, all wore very beautiful fringes on their garments; such as those with which now the life of woman is refined. And afterwards, being led on by their luxury to insolence, they overthrew a city of the Iapyges, called Carbina, and collected all the boys and maidens, and women in the flower of their age, out of it into the temples of the Carbinians; and made a spectacle of them, exposing them naked by day for all who chose to come and look at them, so that whoever pleased, leaping, as it were, on this unfortunate band, might satisfy his appetite, with the beauty of those who were there assembled, in the sight of everyone, and above all of the Gods, whom they were thinking of but little. And this aroused the indignation of the Deity, so that he struck all the Tarentines who behaved so impiously in Carbina with his thunderbolts. And even to this day at Tarentum every one of the houses has the same number of pillars before its doors as that of the people who lived there before they were sent to Iapygia. And, when the day comes which is the anniversary of their death, they do not bewail those who perished at those pillars, nor do they offer the libations which are customary in other cases, but they offer sacrifices to Zeus the Thunderer.

[24.] G   Now the race of the Iapygians came originally from Crete, being descended from those Cretans who came to seek for Glaucus, and settled in that part of Italy; [523] but afterwards, they, forgetting the orderly life of the Cretans, came to such a pitch of luxury, and from thence to such a degree of insolence, that they were the first people who painted their faces and who worn headbands and false hair, and who clothed themselves in robes embroidered with flowers, and who considered it disgraceful to cultivate the land, or to do any kind of labour. And most of them made their houses more beautiful than the temples of the gods; and so they say, that the leaders of the Iapygians, treating the Deity with insult, destroyed the images of the gods out of the temples, ordering their betters to go elsewhere. On which account, being struck from heaven with fire and copper, they gave rise to reports [of their misfortune]; for indeed traces of the copper with which they were stricken down were visible a long time afterwards. And to this very day all their descendants live with shaven heads and in mourning apparel, in want of all the luxuries which previously belonged to them.

[25.] G   But the Iberians, although they go about in robes like those of the tragedians, and richly embroidered, and in tunics which reach down to the feet, are not at all hindered by their dress from displaying their vigour in war; but the people of Massilia became very effeminate, wearing the same highly ornamented kind of dress which the Iberians used to wear; but they behave in a shameless manner, on account of the effeminacy of their souls, behaving like women, out of luxury: from which the proverb has gone about, "May you sail to Massilia". And the inhabitants of Siris, which place was first inhabited by people who touched there on their escape from Troy, and after them by the Colophonians, as Timaeus and Aristotle tell us, indulged in luxury no less than the Sybarites; for it was a peculiar national custom of theirs to wear embroidered tunics, which they girded up with expensive girdles (μίτραι); and on this account they were called by the inhabitants of the adjacent countries μιτροχίτωνες, since Homer calls those who have no girdles ἀμιτροχίτωνες. And Archilochus the poet marvelled beyond anything at the country of the Sirites, and at their prosperity. Accordingly, speaking of Thasos as inferior to Siris, he says:-
  For there is not on earth a place so sweet,
  Or lovely, or desirable, as that
  Which stands upon the stream of Siris.

But the place was called Siris, as Timaeus asserts, and as Euripides says too in his play called Melanippe Captive, from a woman named Siris, but according to Archilochus, from a river of the same name. And the number of the population grew very great in all that region, owing to the luxurious and prosperous character of the country. On which account nearly all that part of Italy which was colonised by the Greeks was called Magna Graecia.

[26.] G   " But the Milesians, as long as they abstained from luxury, conquered the Scythians," as Ephorus says, " and founded all the cities on the Hellespont, and settled all the country about the Euxine Sea with beautiful cities. And everyone betook themselves to Miletus. But when they were enervated by pleasure and luxury, all the valiant character of the city disappeared, as Aristotle tells us; and indeed a proverb arose from them, -   
  Once on a time Milesians were brave."   

Heraclides of Pontus, in the second book of his treatise on Justice, says, - "The city of the Milesians fell into misfortunes, on account of the luxurious lives of the citizens, and on account of the political factions ; for the citizens, not loving equity, destroyed their enemies root and branch. [524] For all the rich men and the populace formed opposite factions (and they call the populace Gergithes). At first the people got the better, and drove out the rich men, and, collecting the children of those who fled into some threshing-floors, collected a lot of oxen, and so trampled them to death, destroying them in a most impious manner. Therefore, when in their turn the rich men got the upper hand, they smeared pitch over all those whom they got into their power , and so burnt them alive. And when they were being burnt, they say that many other prodigies were seen, and also that a sacred olive took fire of its own accord ; on which account the God drove them for a long time from his oracle; and when they asked the oracle on what account they were driven away, he said -   
  My heart is grieved for the defenceless Gergithes,  
  So helplessly destroyed ; and for the fate  
  Of the poor pitch-clad bands, and for the tree  
  Which never more shall flourish or bear fruit.    

And Clearchus, in his fourth book, says that the Milesians, imitating the luxury of the Colophonians, disseminated it among their neighbours. And then he says that they, when reproved for it, said one to another, " Keep at home your native Milesian wares, and publish them not."    

[27.] G   And concerning the Scythians, Clearchus, in what follows these last words, proceeds to say - " The nation of the Scythians was the first to use common laws ; but after that, they became in their turn the most miserable of all nations, on account of their insolence : for they indulged in luxury to a degree in which no other nation did, being prosperous in everything, and having great resources of all sorts for such indulgences. And this is plain from the traces which exist of it to this day in the apparel worn, and way of life practised, by their chief men. For they, being very luxurious, and indeed being the first men who abandoned themselves wholly to luxury, proceeded to such a pitch of insolence that they used to cut off the noses of all the men wherever they came ; and their descendants, after they emigrated to other countries, even now derive their name from this treatment. But their wives used to tattoo the wives of the Thracians, (of those Thracians, that is, who lived on the northern and western frontiers of Scythia,) all over their bodies, drawing figures on them with the tongues of their buckles ; on which account, many years afterwards, the wives of the Thracians who had been treated in this manner effaced this disgrace in a peculiar manner of their own, tattooing also all the rest of their skin all over, in order that by this means the brand of disgrace and insult which was imprinted on their bodies, being multiplied in so various a manner, might efface the reproach by being called an ornament. And they lorded it over all other nations in so tyrannical a manner, that the demands of slavery, which distressed them all, made it plain to all succeeding ages what was the real character of "a Scythian command."   

Therefore, on account of the number of disasters which oppressed them, since the Scythian had lost, through grief, all the comforts of life, and all their long hair at the same time, foreign people of every nationality called all cutting of the hair, which is done by way of insult, "to aposcythise ".    

[28.] G   And Callias, or Diocles, (whichever was the author of the Cyclopes), ridiculing the whole nation of the Ionians in that play, says -   
  What has become of that luxurious 
  Ionia, with the sumptuous supper-tables ? 
  Tell me, how does it fare ?  

And the people of Abydus (and Abydus is a colony of Miletus) are very luxurious in their way of life, and wholly enervated by pleasure ; as Hermippus tells us, in his Soldiers -     
  (A) I do rejoice when I behold an army 
  From over the sea, - to see how soft they are
  [525] And delicate to view, with flowing hair, 
  And well-smoothed muscles in their tender arms. 
  (B) Have you heard Abydus has become a man ?  

And Aristophanes, in his Triphales, ridiculing (after the fashion of the comedians) many of the Ionians, says   
  Then all the other eminent foreigners 
  Who were at hand, kept following steadily, 
  And much they pressed him, begging he would take 
  The boy with him to Chios, and there sell him : 
  Another hoped he'd take him to Clazomenae ; 
  A third was all for Ephesus ; a fourth 
  Preferred Abydus on the Hellespont :  
  And all these places in his way did lie.    

But concerning the people of Abydus, Antiphon, in reply to the attacks of Alcibiades, speaks as follows : - " After you had been considered by your guardians old enough to be your own master, you, receiving your property from their hands, went away by sea to Abydus, - not for the purpose of transacting any private business of your own, nor on account of any commission of the state respecting any public rights of hospitality ; but, led only by your own lawless and intemperate disposition, to learn lascivious habits and actions from the women at Abydus, in order that you might be able to put them in practice during the remainder of your life."    

[29.] G   The Magnesians also, who lived on the banks of the Maeander, were undone because they indulged in too much luxury, as Callinus relates in his Elegies; and Archilochus confirms this : for the city of Magnesia was taken by the Ephesians. And concerning these same Ephesians, Democritus, who was himself an Ephesian, speaks in the first book of his treatise on the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus ; where, relating their excessive effeminacy, and the dyed garments which they used to wear, he uses these expressions : - " And as for the violet and purple robes of the Ionians, and their saffron garments, embroidered with round figures, those are known to everyone ; and the caps which they wear on their heads are in like manner embroidered with figures of animals. They wear also garments called sarapeis, of yellow, or scarlet, or white, and some even of purple : and they wear also long robes called kalasireis, of Corinthian workmanship ; and some of these are purple, and some violet-coloured, and some hyacinth-coloured; and one may also see some which are of a fiery red, and others which are of a sea-green colour. There are also Persian kalasireis, which are the most beautiful of all. And one may see also," continues Democritus, " the garments which they call aktaiai ; and the aktaia is the most costly of all the Persian articles of dress : and this aktaia is woven for the sake of fineness and of strength, and it is ornamented all over with golden millet-grains ; and all the millet-grains have knots of purple thread passing through the middle, to fasten them inside the garment." And he says that the Ephesians use all these things, being wholly devoted to luxury.

[30.] G   But Duris, speaking concerning the luxury of the Samians, quotes the poems of Asius, to prove that they used to wear bracelets on their arms; and that, when celebrating the festival of Hera, they used to go about with their hair carefully combed down over the back of their head and over their shoulders; and he says that this is proved to have been their regular practice by this proverb- "To go, like a worshipper of Hera, with his hair braided."

Now the verses of Asius run as follows:
  And they marched, with carefully combed hair
  To the most holy spot of Hera's temple,
  Clad in magnificent robes, whose snow-white folds
  Reached to the ground of the extensive earth,
  And golden knobs on them like grasshoppers,
  And golden chaplets loosely held their hair,
  Gracefully waving in the genial breeze;
  And on their arms were bracelets, highly wrought,
  . . . . . . . . . . (?) and sang
  The praises of the mighty warrior.

But Heracleides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasure, [526] says that the Samians, being most extravagantly luxurious, destroyed the city, out of their meanness to one another, in the same way as the Sybarites destroyed theirs.

[31.] G   But the Colophonians (as Phylarchus says [ Fr_66 ]), who originally adopted a very rigid course of life, when, in consequence of the alliance and friendship which they formed with the Lydians, they began to give way to luxury, used to go into public with their hair adorned with golden ornaments, as Xenophanes tells us-
  They learnt all sorts of useless foolishness
  From the effeminate Lydians, while they
  Were held in bondage to sharp tyranny.
  They went into the forum richly clad
  In purple garments, in numerous companies,
  Whose strength was not less than a thousand men,
  Boasting of hair luxuriously dressed,
  Dripping with costly and sweet-smelling oils.

And to such a degree did they carry their dissoluteness and their unseemly drunkenness, that some of them never once saw the sun either rise or set: and they passed a law, which continued even to our time, that the female flute-players and female harpers, and all such musicians and singers, should receive pay from daybreak to midday, and until the lamps were lit; but after that they set aside the rest of the night to get drunk in. And Theopompus, in the fifteenth book of his History, says, "that a thousand men of that city used to walk about the city, wearing purple garments, which was at that time a colour rare even among kings, and greatly sought after; for purple was constantly sold for its weight in silver. And so, owing to these practices, they fell under the power of tyrants, and became torn by factions, and so were undone along with their country." And Diogenes the Babylonian gave the same account of them, in the first book of his Laws. And Antiphanes, speaking generally of the luxury of all the Ionians, has the following lines in his Dodona:-
  Say, from what country do you come, what land
  Call you your home? Is this a delicate
  Luxurious band of long and soft-robed men
  From cities of Ionia that here approaches?

And Theophrastus, in his essay on Pleasure, says that the Ionians, on account of the extraordinary height to which they carried their luxury, (?) gave rise to what is now known as the golden proverb.

[32.] G   And Theopompus, in the eighth book of his History of the Affairs of Philip, says that some of those tribes which live on the sea-coast are exceedingly luxurious in their manner of living. But about the inhabitants of Byzantium and Chalcedon, the same Theopompus makes the following statement:- "But the Byzantians, because they had been governed a long time by a democracy, and because their city was so situated as to be a kind of trading-post, and because the whole people spent the whole of their time in the market-place and about the harbour, were very intemperate, and in the constant habit of feasting and drinking at the taverns. But the Chalcedonians, before they became members of the same city with them, were men who at all times cultivated better habits and principles of life; but after they had tasted of the democracy of the Byzantians, they fell into ruinous luxury, and, from having been most temperate and moderate in their daily life, they became a nation of hard drinkers, and very extravagant." And, in the twenty-first book of the History of the Affairs of Philip, he says that the nation of the Umbrians (and that is a tribe which lives on the shores of the Adriatic sea) was exceedingly devoted to luxury, and lived in a manner very like the Lydians, and had a fertile country, [527] owing to which they advanced in prosperity.

[33.] G   But speaking about the Thessalians, in his fourth book, he says that "they spend all their time among dancing women and flute-playing women, and some spend all the day in dice and drinking, and similar pastimes; and they are more anxious how they may display their tables loaded with all kinds of food, than how they may exhibit a regular and orderly life. But the Pharsalians," says he, "are of all men the most indolent and the most extravagant." And the Thessalians are agreed (as Critias says) to be the most extravagant of all the Greeks, both in their way of living and in their apparel; which was a reason why they conducted the Persians into Greece, desiring to copy their luxury and expense.

But concerning the Aetolians, Polybius tells us, in the thirteenth book of his History [ 13.1 ], that on account of their continual wars, and the extravagance of their lives, they became involved in debt. And Agatharchides, in the twelfth book of his Histories, says- "The Aetolians are so much the more ready to encounter death, in proportion as they seek to live extravagantly and with greater prodigality than any other nation."

[34.] G   But the Sicilians, and especially the Syracusans, are very notorious for their luxury; as Aristophanes also tells us, in his Daitaleis, where he says-
  But after that I sent you, you did not
  Learn this at all; but only learnt to drink,
  And sing loose songs at Syracusan feasts,
  And how to share in Sybaritic banquets,
  And to drink Chian wine in Spartan cups.

But Plato, in his Letters [ 7.326'b ], says- "It was with this intention that I went to Italy and Sicily, when I paid my first visit there. But when I got there, the way of life that I found there was not at all pleasing to me; for twice in the day they eat to satiety, and they never sleep alone at night; and they indulge also in all other such practices as naturally follow on such habits: for, after such habits as these, no man in all the world, who has been bred up in them from his youth, can possibly turn out sensible; and as for being temperate and virtuous, that none of them ever think of." And in the third book of his Republic [ 404'd ] he writes as follows:- "It seems to me, my friend, that you do not approve of the Syracusan tables, and the Sicilian variety of dishes; and you do not approve either of men, who wish to preserve a vigorous constitution, devoting themselves to Corinthian mistresses; nor do you much admire the delicacy which is usually attributed to Athenian sweetmeats."

[35.] G   But Poseidonius, in the sixteenth book of his Histories [ Fr_10 ], speaking of the cities in Syria, and saying how luxurious they were, writes as follows:- "The inhabitants of the towns, on account of the great fertility of the land, used to derive great revenues from their estates, and after their labours for necessary things used to celebrate frequent entertainments, at which they feasted incessantly, using their gymnasia for baths, and anointing themselves with very costly oils and perfumes; and they passed all their time in their γραμματεῖα, for that was the name which they gave to their public banqueting-rooms, as if they had been their own private houses; and the greater part of the day they remained in them, filling their bellies with meat and drink, so as even to carry away a good deal to eat at home; and they delighted their ears with the music of a noisy lyre, so that whole cities resounded with such noises." But Agatharchides, in the thirty-fifth book of his Affairs of Europe, says- [528]  # "The Arycandians of Lycia, being neighbours of the Limyres, having got involved in debt, on account of the intemperance and extravagance of their way of living, and, by reason of their indolence and devotion to pleasure, being unable to discharge their debts, placed all their hopes on Mithridates, thinking that he would reward them with a general abolition of debts." And, in his thirty-first book, he says that the Zacynthians were inexperienced in war, because they were accustomed to live in ease and opulence.

[36.] G   And Polybius, in his seventh book, says, that the inhabitants of Capua in Campania, having become exceedingly rich through the excellence of their soil, fell into habits of luxury and extravagance, exceeding all that is reported of the inhabitants of Croton or Sybaris. "Accordingly," says he, "they, not being able to bear their present prosperity, called in Hannibal, owing to which act they afterwards suffered intolerable calamities at the hands of the Romans. But the people of Petelia, who kept the promises which they had made to the Romans, behaved with such resolution and fortitude when besieged by Hannibal, that they did not surrender till they had eaten all the hides which there were in the city, and the bark and young branches of all the trees which grew in the city, and till they had endured a siege for eleven months, without any one coming to their assistance; and they did not even then surrender without the permission of the Romans."

[37.] G   And Phylarchus, in the eleventh book of his History [ Fr_23 ], says that Aeschylus says that the Curetes derived their name from their luxurious habits-
  And their luxurious curls, like a fond girl's
  On which account they called them Κουρῆτες.

And Agathon in his Thyestes says, that "the suitors who courted the daughter of Pronax came sumptuously dressed in all other points, and also with very long, carefully dressed hair. And when they failed in obtaining her hand-
  At least (say they) we cut and dressed our hair,
  To be an evidence of our luxury,
  A lovely action of a cheerful mind;
  And thence we gained the glory of a name,-
  To be κουρῆτες, from our well-cut (κουρίμος) hair."

And the people of Cumae in Italy, as Hyperochus tells us, or whoever else it was who wrote the History of Cumae which is attributed to him, wore golden brocaded garments all day, and robes embroidered with flowers; and used to go to the fields with their wives, riding in chariots.- And this is what I have to say about the luxury of nations and cities.

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