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Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 12, Pages 518-544

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.


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[15.] G   [518] 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 some one 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 Ptolemaeus 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.

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[30.] G   [525] 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 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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[50.] G   [535] And Duris says, in the twenty-second book of his History,- "Pausanias, the king of Lacedaemon, having laid aside the national cloak of Lacedaemon, adopted the Persian dress. And Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, adopted a theatrical robe and a golden tragic crown with a clasp. And Alexander, when he became master of Asia, also adopted the Persian dress.  # But Demetrius outdid them all; for the very shoes which he wore he had made in a most costly manner; for in its form it was a kind of buskin, made of most expensive purple wool; and on this the makers wove a great deal of golden embroidery, both before and behind; and his cloak was of a brilliant tawny colour; and, in short, a representation of the heavens was woven into it, having the stars and twelve signs of the Zodiac all wrought in gold; [536] and his head-band was spangled all over with gold, binding on a purple broad-brimmed hat (causia) in such a manner that the outer fringes hung down the back. And when the Demetrian festival was celebrated at Athens, Demetrius himself was painted on the proscenium, sitting on the world." And Nymphis of Heracleia, in the sixth book of his treatise on his Country, says- "Pausanias, who defeated Mardonius at Plataea, having transgressed the laws of Sparta, and given himself up to pride, when staying near Byzantium, dared to put an inscription on the bronze bowl which is there consecrated to the gods, whose temple is at the entrance of the strait, (and the bowl is in existence to this day,) as if he had dedicated it himself; putting this inscription on it, forgetting himself through his luxury and arrogance:-
  Pausanias, the general of broad Greece,
  Offered this bowl to the royal Poseidon,
  A fit memorial of his deathless valour,
  Here in the Euxine sea. He was by birth
  A Spartan, and Cleombrotus' son,
  Sprung from the ancient race of Heracles."

[51.] G   "Pharax the Lacedaemonian also indulged himself in luxury," as Theopompus tells us in the fourteenth book of his History, "and he abandoned himself to pleasure in so dissolute and unrestrained a manner, that by reason of his intemperance he was more often taken for a Sicilian, than for a Spartan by reason of his place of birth." And in his fifty-second book he says that "Archidamus the Lacedaemonian, having abandoned his national customs, adopted foreign and effeminate habits; so that he could not endure the way of life which existed in his own country, but was always, by reason of his intemperance, anxious to live in foreign countries. And when the Tarentines sent an embassy about an alliance, he was anxious to go out with them as an ally; and being there, and having been slain in the wars, he was not thought worthy even of a burial, although the Tarentines offered a great deal of money to the enemy to be allowed to take up his body." And Phylarchus, in the tenth book of his Histories [ Fr_20 ], says that Isanthes was the king of that tribe of Thracians called Crobyzi, and that he surpassed all the men of his time in luxury; and he was a rich man, and very handsome. And the same historian tells us, in his twenty-second book [ Fr_40 ], that Ptolemaeus the Second, king of Egypt, the most admirable of all princes, and the most learned and accomplished of men, was so beguiled and debased in his mind by his unseasonable luxury, that he actually dreamed that he should live for ever, and said that he alone had found out how to become immortal. And once, after he had been afflicted by the gout for many days, when at last he got a little better, and saw through his window-blinds some Egyptians dining by the river-side, and eating whatever it might be that they had, and lying at random on the sand, "O wretched man that I am," said he, "that I am not one of those men!"

[52.] G   Now Callias and his flatterers we have already sufficiently mentioned. But since Heracleides of Pontus, in his treatise on Pleasures, speaks of him, we will return to the subject and quote what he says:- "When first the Persians made an expedition against Greece, there was, as they say, an Eretrian of the name of Diomnestus, who became master of all the treasures of the general; for he happened to have pitched his tent in his field, and to have put his money away in some room of his house. But when the Persians were all destroyed, [537] then Diomnestus took the money without any one being aware of it; but when the king of Persia sent an army into Eretria the second time, ordering his generals utterly to destroy the city, then, as was natural, all who were at all well off carried away their treasures. Accordingly those of the family of Diomnestus who were left, secretly removed their money to Athens, to the house of Hipponicus, the son of Callias, who was surnamed Ammon; and when all the Eretrians had been driven out of their city by the Persians, this family remained still in possession of their wealth, which was great. So Hipponicus, who was the descendant of that man who had originally received the deposit, begged the Athenians to grant him a place in the Acropolis, where he might construct a room to store up all this money in, saying that it was not safe for such vast sums to remain in a private house. And the Athenians did grant him such a place; but afterwards, he, being warned against such a step by his friends, changed his mind. Callias, therefore, became the master of all this money, and lived a life of pleasure, (for what limit was there to the flatterers who surrounded him, or to the troops of companions who were always about him? and what extravagance was there which he did not think nothing of ?) However, his voluptuous life afterwards reduced him so low, that he was compelled to pass the rest of his life with one barbarian old woman for a servant, and he lacked even the most basic necessities, and so he died. But who was it who got rid of the riches of Nicias of Pergasē, or of Ischomachus? was it not Autocleēs and Epicleēs, who preferred living with one another, and who considered everything second to pleasure? and after they had squandered all this wealth, they drank hemlock together, and so perished."

[53.] G   But, concerning the luxury of Alexander the Great, Ephippus the Olynthian, in his treatise on the Deaths of Alexander and Hephaestion, says that "he had in his park a golden throne, and couches with silver feet, on which he used to sit and transact business with his companions." But Nicobulē says, that "while he was at supper all the performers and athletes made an effort to entertain the king; and at his very last banquet, Alexander, remembering an episode in the Andromeda of Euripides, recited it in a declamatory manner, and then drank a cup of unmixed wine with great eagerness, and compelled all the rest to do so too." And Ephippus tells us that "Alexander used to wear even the sacred vestments at his banquets; and sometimes he would wear the purple robe, and slit sandals, and horns of Ammon, as if he had been the god; and sometimes he would imitate Artemis, whose dress he often wore while driving in his chariot; having on also a Persian robe, but displaying above his shoulders the bow and javelin of the goddess. Sometimes also he would appear in the guise of Hermes; at other times, and indeed almost every day, he would wear a purple cloak, and a tunic shot with white, and a hat (causia) which had a royal diadem attached to it. And when he was in private with his friends he wore the sandals of Hermes, and the petasus on his head, and held the caduceus in his hand. Often also he wore a lion's skin, and carried a club, like Heracles." What wonder then is it, if in our time the emperor Commodus, when he drove abroad in his chariot, had the club of Heracles lying beside him, with a lion's skin spread at his feet, and liked to be called Heracles, when even Alexander, the pupil of Aristotle, represented himself as like so many gods, and even like Artemis? And Alexander used to have the floor sprinkled with exquisite perfumes and with fragrant wine; [538] and myrrh was burnt before him, and other kinds of incense; and all the bystanders kept silence, or spoke only words of good omen, out of fear. For he was a very violent man, with no regard for human life; for he appeared to be a man of a melancholic constitution. And on one occasion, at Ecbatana, he offered a sacrifice to Dionysus, and everything was prepared in a most lavish manner for the banquet, and Satrabates the satrap, feasted all the soldiers. "But when a great multitude was collected to see the spectacle," says Ephippus, "there were on a sudden some arrogant proclamations published, more insolent even than Persian arrogance was wont to dictate. For, as different people were publishing different proclamations, and proposing to make Alexander large presents, which they called crowns, one of the keepers of his armoury, going beyond all previous flattery, having previously arranged the matter with Alexander, ordered the herald to proclaim that Gorgus, the keeper of the armoury, presents Alexander, the son of Ammon, with three thousand pieces of gold; and will also present him, when he lays siege to Athens, with ten thousand complete suits of armour, and with an equal number of catapults and all weapons required for the war.

[54.] G   And Chares, in the tenth book of his History of Alexander, says- "When he took Dareius prisoner, he celebrated a marriage-feast for himself and his companions, having had ninety-two bedchambers prepared in the same place. There was a house built capable of containing a hundred couches; and in it every couch was adorned with wedding paraphernalia to the value of twenty minae, and was made of silver itself; but his own bed had golden feet. And he also invited to the banquet which be gave, all his own private friends, and those he arranged opposite to himself and the other bridegrooms; and his forces also belonging to the army and navy, and all the ambassadors which were present, and all the other strangers who were staying at his court. And the apartment was furnished in the most costly and magnificent manner, with sumptuous garments and cloths, and beneath them were other cloths of purple, and scarlet, and gold. And, for the sake of solidity, pillars supported the tent, each twenty cubits long, plated all over with gold and silver, and inlaid with precious stones; and all around these were spread costly curtains embroidered with figures of animals, and with gold, having gold and silver curtain-rods. And the circumference of the court was four stades. And the banquet took place, beginning at the sound of a trumpet, at that marriage feast, and on other occasions whenever the king offered a solemn sacrifice, so that all the army knew it. And, this marriage feast lasted five days. And a great number both of barbarians and Greeks brought contributions to it; and also some of the Indian tribes did so. And there were present some wonderful conjurors - Scymnus of Tarentum, and Philistides of Syracuse, and Heracleitus of Mytilene; after whom also Alexis of Tarentum, the rhapsodist, exhibited his skill. There came also harp-players, who played without singing,- Cratinus of Methymna, and Aristonymus the Athenian, and Athenodorus of Teos. And Heracleitus of Tarentum played on the harp, accompanying himself with his voice, and so did Aristocrates the Theban. And of flute-players accompanied with song, there were present Dionysius of Heracleia, and Hyperbolus of Cyzicus. And of other flute-players there were the following, who first of all played the Pythian melody, and afterwards played with the choruses,- Timotheus, Phrynichus, Caphesias, Diophantus, and also Evius the Chalcidian. And from this time forward, those who were formerly called Dionysius-flatterers, were called Alexander-flatterers, on account of the extravagant liberality of their presents, with which Alexander was pleased. And there were also tragedians who acted,- Thessalus, and Athenodorus, and Aristocritus; [539] and of comic actors there were Lycon, and Phormion, and Ariston. There was also Phasimelus the harp-player. And the crowns sent by the ambassadors and by other people amounted in value to fifteen thousand talents.

[55.] G   But Polycleitus of Larissa, in the eighth book of his History, says that Alexander used to sleep on a golden couch, and that flute-playing men and women followed him to the camp, and that he used to drink till daybreak. And Clearchus, in his treatise on Lives, speaking of Dareius who was dethroned by Alexander, says, "The king of the Persians offered prizes to those who could invent pleasures for him, and by this conduct allowed his whole empire and sovereignty to be subverted by pleasures. Nor was he aware that he was defeating himself till others had wrested his sceptre from him and had been proclaimed in his place." And Phylarchus, in the twenty-third book of his History [ Fr_41 ], and Agatharchides of Cnidus, in the tenth book of his History of Asia, say that the companions also of Alexander gave way to the most extravagant luxury. And one of them was a man named Agnon, who used to wear golden studs in his sandals and shoes. And Cleitus, who was surnamed The White, whenever he was about to transact business, used to converse with every one who came to him while walking about on a purple carpet. And Perdiccas and Craterus, who were fond of athletic exercises, had men follow them with hides fastened together, so as to cover a place an entire stade in extent; and then they selected a spot within the encampment which they had covered with these skins as an awning; and under this they practised their gymnastics. They were followed also by numerous beasts of burden, which carried sand for the use of the palaestra. And Leonnatus and Menelaus, who were very fond of hunting, had curtains brought after them calculated to enclose a space a hundred stades in circumference, with which they fenced in a large space and then practised hunting within it. And as for the golden plane-trees, and the golden vine - having on it bunches of grapes made of emeralds and Indian carbuncles, and all sorts of other stones of the most costly and magnificent description, under which the kings of Persia used often to sit when transacting business,- the expense of all this, says Phylarchus, was far less than the daily sums squandered by Alexander; for he had a tent capable of containing a hundred couches, and fifty golden pillars supported it. And over it were spread golden canopies wrought with the most superb and costly embroidery, to shade all the upper part of it. And first of all, five hundred Persian Melophori stood all round the inside of it, clad in robes of purple and apple-green; and besides them there were bowmen to the number of a thousand, some clad in garments of a fiery red, and others in purple; and many of them had blue cloaks. And in front of them stood five hundred Macedonian Argyraspides; and in the middle of the tent was placed a golden chair, on which Alexander used to sit and transact business, his body-guards standing all around. And on the outside, and round the tent, was a troop of elephants regularly equipped, and a thousand Macedonians, in Macedonian uniform; and then ten thousand Persians: and the number of those who wore purple amounted to five hundred, to whom Alexander gave this clothing for them to wear. And though he had such a numerous retinue of friends and servants, still no one dared to approach Alexander of his own accord; so great was his dignity and the veneration with which they regarded him. And at that time Alexander wrote letters to the cities in Ionia, and to the Chians first of all, to send him a quantity of purple; [540] for he wished all his companions to wear purple robes. And when his letter was read among the Chians, Theocritus the philosopher being present, said that now he understood the verse in Homer [ Il_5'83 ] -
  He fell by purple death and mighty fate.

[56.] G   And Poseidonius, in the twenty-eighth book of his History [ Fr_21 ], says that "Antiochus the king, who was surnamed Grypus, when he was celebrating the games at Daphne, gave a magnificent banquet; at which, first of all, a distribution of entire joints took place, and after that another distribution of geese, and hares, and antelopes all alive. There were also," says he, "distributed golden crowns to the feasters, and a great quantity of silver plate, and of servants, and horses, and camels. And every one was expected to mount a camel, and drink; and after that he was presented with the camel, and with all that was on the camel, and the boy who stood by it."  # And in his fourteenth book [ Fr_9 ], speaking of his namesake Antiochus, who made war upon Arsaces, and invaded Media, he says that "he made a feast for a great multitude every day; at which, besides the things which were consumed, and the heaps of fragments which were left, every one of the guests carried away with him entire joints of beasts, and birds, and fishes which had never been carved, all ready dressed, in sufficient quantities to fill a wagon. And after this they were presented with a quantity of honey-cakes, and chaplets, and crowns of myrrh and frankincense, with turbans as long as a man, made of strips of gold brocade.

[57.] G   But Clytus, the pupil of Aristotle, in his History of Miletus, says that "Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, collected everything that was worth speaking of everywhere to gratify his luxury, having assembled dogs from Epirus, and goats from Scyros, and sheep from Miletus, and swine from Sicily." And Alexis, in the third book of his Samian Annals, says- that "Samos was adorned by Polycrates with the productions of many other cities; as he imported Molossian and Lacedaemonian dogs, and goats from Scyros and Naxos, and sheep from Miletus and Attica. He also," says he, "sent for artists, promising them enormous wages. But before he became tyrant, having prepared a number of costly couches and goblets, he allowed any one the use of them who was preparing any marriage-feast or extraordinary entertainment." And after hearing all these particulars we may well admire the tyrant, because it was nowhere written that he had sent for any women or boys from any other countries, although he was of a very amorous nature, and was a rival in love of Anacreon the poet; and once, in a fit of jealousy, he cut off all the hair of the object of his passion. And Polycrates was the first man who called the ships which he had built Samians, in honour of his country.

But Clearchus says that "Polycrates, the tyrant of the effeminate Samos, was ruined by the intemperance of his life, imitating the effeminate practices of the Lydians; on which account, in opposition to the place in Sardis called the beautiful Ancon, he prepared a place in the chief city of the Samians, called Laura; he made those famous Samian flowers in opposition to the Lydian. And the Samian Laura was a narrow street in the city, full of common women, and of all kinds of food calculated to gratify intemperance and to promote enjoyment, with which things he actually filled Greece. [541] But the flowers of the Samians are the pre-eminent beauty of the men and women, and indeed of the whole city, at its festivals and banquets." And these are the words of Clearchus. And I myself am acquainted with a narrow street in my native city of Alexandria, which to this very day is called the Happy Street, in which every apparatus of luxury used to be sold.

[58.] G   But Aristotle, in his treatise on Admirable and Wonderful Things, says that "Alcisthenes of Sybaris, out of luxury, had a garment prepared for him of such excessive expensiveness that he exhibited it at Lacinium, at the festival of Hera, at which all the Italians assemble, and that of all the things which were exhibited that was the most admired." And he says that "Dionysius the elder afterwards took possession of it, and sold it to the Carthaginians for a hundred and twenty talents." Polemon also speaks of it in his book entitled, A Treatise concerning the Sacred Garments at Carthage. But concerning Smindyrides of Sybaris, and his luxury, Herodotus has told us, in his sixth book [ 6.126 ], saying that he sailed from Sybaris to court Agariste, the daughter of Cleisthenes the tyrant of Sicyon. "And," says he, "there came from Italy Smindyrides, the son of Hippocrates, a citizen of Sybaris; who carried his luxury to the greatest height that ever was heard of among men. At all events he was attended by a thousand cooks and bird-catchers." Timaeus also mentions him in his seventh book.

But of the luxury of Dionysius the younger, who was also tyrant of Sicily, an account is given by Satyrus the Peripatetic, in his Lives. For he says that he used to fill rooms holding thirty couches with feasters. And Clearchus, in the fourth book of his Lives, writes as follows:- "But Dionysius, the son of Dionysius, the cruel oppressor of all Sicily, when he came to the city of the Locrians, which was his metropolis, (for Doris his mother was a Locrian woman by birth,) having strewed the floor of the largest house in the city with wild thyme and roses, sent for all the maidens of the Locrians in turn; and then rolled about naked, with them naked also, on this layer of flowers, omitting no circumstance of infamy. And so, not long afterwards, they who had been insulted in this manner having got his wife and children into their power, prostituted them in the public roads with great insult, sparing them no kind of degradation. And when they had wreaked their vengeance upon them, they thrust needles under the nails of their fingers, and put them to death with torture. And when they were dead, they pounded their bones in mortars, and having cut up and distributed the rest of their flesh, they imprecated curses on all who did not eat of it; and in accordance with this unholy imprecation, they put their flesh into the mills with the flour, that it might be eaten by all those who made bread. And all the other parts they sunk in the sea. But Dionysius himself, at last going about as a begging priest of Cybele, and beating the drum, ended his life very miserably. We, therefore, ought to guard against what is called luxury, which is the ruin of a man's life; and we ought to think insolence the destruction of everything."

[59.] G   But Diodorus Siculus, in his Historical Library [ 11.25 ], says that "the citizens of Acragas prepared for Gelon a very costly swimming-bath, being seven stades in circumference and twenty cubits deep; and water was introduced into it from the rivers and fountains, and it served for a great pond to breed fish in, and supplied great quantities of fish for the luxury and enjoyment of Gelon. A great number of swans also," as he relates, "flew into it; so that it was a very beautiful sight. But afterwards the lake was destroyed by becoming filled with mud." [542] And Duris, in the (?) fourth book of his History of Agathocles, says that near the city of Hipponium a grove is shown of extraordinary beauty, excellently well watered; in which there is also a place called the Horn of Amaltheia; and that this grove was made by Gelon. But Silenus of Calatia, in the third book of his History of Sicily, says that near Syracuse there is a garden laid out in a most expensive manner, which is called Mythus, in which Hieron the king used to transact his business. And the whole country about Panormus in Sicily is called The Garden, because it is full of highly-cultivated trees, as Callias tells us in the eighth book of his History of Agathocles.

And Poseidonius, in the eighth book of his History [ Fr_7 ], speaking of Damophilus the Sicilian, by whose means it was that the Servile war was stirred up, and saying that he was a slave to his luxury, writes as follows:- "He therefore was a slave to luxury and debauchery. And he used to drive through the country on a four-wheeled chariot, taking with him horses, and servants of great personal beauty, and a disorderly crowd of flatterers and military boys running around his chariot. And ultimately he, with his whole family, perished in a disgraceful manner, being treated with the most extreme violence and insult by his own slaves.

[60.] G   And Demetrius Phalereus, as Duris says in the sixteenth volume of his Histories, being possessed of a revenue of twelve hundred talents a year, and spending a small portion of it on his soldiers, and on the necessary expenses of the state, squandered all the rest of it on gratifying his innate love of debauchery, having splendid banquets every day, and a great number of guests to feast with him. And in the prodigality of his expense in his entertainments, he outdid even the Macedonians, and, at the same time, in the elegance of them, he surpassed the Cyprians and Phoenicians. And perfumes were sprinkled over the ground, and many of the floors in the men's apartments were inlaid with flowers, and were exquisitely wrought in other ways by the artists. There were also secret meetings with women, and other scenes more shameful still. And Demetrius, who gave laws to others, and who regulated the lives of others, exhibited in his own life an utter contempt of all law. He also paid great attention to his personal appearance, and dyed the hair of his head with a yellow colour, and anointed his face with rouge, and smeared himself over with other unguents also; for he was anxious to appear agreeable and beautiful in the eyes of all whom he met.

 # And in the procession of the Dionysia, which he celebrated when he was archon at Athens, a chorus sang an ode of Castorion of Soli, addressed to him, in which he was called, "like the sun":
  And above all the noble prince
  Demetrius, like the sun in face,
  Honours you [Dionysus] with a holy worship.

And Carystius of Pergamum, in the third book of his Commentaries, says- "Demetrius Phalereus, when his brother Himeraeus was put to death by Antipater, was himself staying with Nicanor; and he was accused of having sacrificed the Epiphaneia in honour of his brother. And after he became a friend of Cassander, he was very powerful. And at first his dinner consisted of a kind of pickle, containing olives from all countries, and cheese from the islands; but when he became rich, he bought Moschion, the most skilful of all the cooks and confectioners of that age. And he had such vast quantities of food prepared for him every day, that, as he gave Moschion what was left each day, he (Moschion) in two years purchased three detached houses in the city; and insulted free-born boys, and some of the wives of the most eminent of the citizens: and all the boys envied Theognis, with whom he was in love. And so important an honour was it considered to be allowed to come near Demetrius, that, as he one day had walked about after dinner near the Tripods, [543] on all the following days all the most beautiful boys came together to that place, in the hopes of being seen by him."

[61.] G    # And Nicolaus the Peripatetic, in the (?) hundred and tenth book of his History, says that Lucullus, after he came to Rome and celebrated his triumph, and gave an account of the war against Mithridates, ran into the most unbounded extravagance, although he had previously been very moderate; and he was altogether the first guide to luxury, and the first example of it, among the Romans, having become master of the riches of two kings, Mithridates and Tigranes. And Sittius, also, was a man very notorious among the Romans for his luxury and effeminacy, as Rutilius tells us; for as to Apicius, we have already spoken of him. And almost all historians relate that Pausanias and Lysander were very notorious for their luxury; on which account Agis said of Lysander, that Sparta had produced him as a second Pausanias. But Theopompus, in the tenth book of his History of the Affairs of Greece, gives exactly the contrary account of Lysander, saying that "he was a most hard-working man, able to earn the goodwill of both private individuals and monarchs, being very moderate and temperate, and unaffected by all the allurements of pleasure; and accordingly, when he had become master of almost the whole of Greece, it will be found that he never in any city indulged in lustful excesses, or in unreasonable drinking parties and revels."

[62.] G   But luxury and extravagance were so very much practised among the ancients, that even Parrhasius the painter always wore a purple robe, and a golden crown on his head, as Clearchus relates, in his Lives: for he, being most immoderately luxurious, and also to a degree beyond what was becoming to a painter, laid claim, in words, to great virtue, and inscribed upon the works which were done by him-
  Parrhasius, a most luxurious (ἁβροδίαιτος) man,
  And yet a follower of purest virtue,
  Painted this work.
But some one else, being indignant at this inscription, wrote by the side of it, ῥαβδοδίαιτος (worthy of a stick).

Parrhasius also put the following inscription on many of his works:
  Parrhasius, a most luxurious man,
  And yet a follower of purest virtue,
  Painted this work: a worthy citizen
  Of noble Ephesus. His father's name
  Euenor was, and he, his lawful son,
  Was the foremost artist in all of Greece.

He also boasted, in a way which no one could be indignant at, in the following lines:
  This will I say, though strange it may appear,
  That clear plain limits of this noble art
  Have been discovered by my hand, and proved.
  And now the boundary which none can pass
  Is well defined, though nought that men can do
  Will ever wholly escape blame or envy.

And once, at Samos, when he was contending with a very inferior painter in a picture of Ajax, and was defeated, when his friends were sympathising with him and expressing their indignation, he said that he himself cared very little about it, but that he was sorry for Ajax, who was thus defeated a second time. And so great was his luxury, that he wore a purple robe, and a white turban on his head; and used to lean on a stick, ornamented all round with golden fretted work: and he used even to fasten the strings of his sandals with golden clasps. However, as regarded his art, he was not churlish or ill-tempered, but affable and good-humoured; so that he sang all the time that he was painting, as Theophrastus relates, in his treatise on Happiness. But once he spoke in a marvellously solemn strain, when he said, when he was painting the Heracles at Lindus, that the god had appeared to him in a dream, in that form and dress which was the best adapted for painting; on which account he inscribed on the picture-
  [544] Here you may see the god as oft he stood
  Before Parrhasius in his sleep by night.

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