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.
<< Previous pages (203-210)
[46.] G  Having said this much about the ἐγγυθήκη, let us now go on to speak of those kings who are and have been fond of good cheer. # For the king who is the namesake of the above-mentioned Antiochus, and the son of Demetrius, according to the account of Poseidonius, used to entertain a great crowd of people every day, and in addition to what they ate on the spot, he would give every one of the guests large heaps, consisting of entire joints of meat of beasts, and birds, and fishes, undivided and ready dressed, enough to fill a wagon. And besides all this, he gave them heaps of honey-cake and of garlands, of myrrh, and frankincense, with large fillets and bandages, of golden embroidery as long as a man. # And another king, Antiochus, when celebrating the games at Daphne, himself also made very sumptuous entertainments, as Poseidonius himself relates; and he was the first person who ever made a distribution among the guests of whole joints of meat; and also of geese, and hares, and antelopes alive. And golden chaplets were also given to the guests, and a great quantity of silver plate, and of slaves, and horses, and camels. And each man was bound to get on the camel and drink a draught of wine, and then to accept of the camel and of the boy who stood by it. "And," says he, "all the natives and inhabitants of Syria, on account of the fertility of the land, are accustomed to make frequent feasts after their necessary labours, in order that they may rejoice together, using their gymnasia as baths, and anointing themselves with expensive oil and perfumes; and at their grammateia (for that is the name which they give to their public entertainments) living as if in their own houses, and gratifying their stomachs the greater part of the day with wine and meat, and also carrying away a quantity of the wine to their own homes, they thus spend the day, listening also to the music of the loud lyre made of the tortoise shell, so that whole cities resound with noises of this kind."
[47.] G  # And I, my friends, praise very much the entertainment which was given by Alexander the king of Syria. And this Alexander was a pretended son of Antiochus Epiphanes, substituted on account of the hatred which all men bore to Demetrius, concerning whom our companion Athenaeus has spoken in his treatise on the Kings who have reigned in Syria. Now that entertainment was conducted as nearly as may be in this fashion. Diogenes the Epicurean, having a very tolerable acquaintance with the doctrines of the sect which he professed, was by birth a native of Seleuceia, in the district of Babylon. And he was kindly received by the king, although the monarch rather inclined to the doctrines of the Stoic school. Accordingly, Alexander treated him with great distinction, although a man of anything but a reputable course of life, and so given to calumny and envy, that if he could raise a laugh by it, he could not abstain from even the king himself. And when he preferred to the king a request that had no great connection with philosophy — namely, that he might be allowed to wear a purple robe and a golden crown, having a face of Virtue in the centre of it, as he claimed to be addressed as the priest of Virtue, he agreed to it all, and besides that, made him a present of the crown. And these ornaments Diogenes, being in love with a woman who played male roles (λυσιῳδος), gave to her. But Alexander, hearing of this, collected a banquet party of philosophers and eminent men and among them he invited Diogenes. And when he arrived he begged him to take his seat with his crown and his purple robe on, And when he replied that that would be unseemly, the king nodded to his servants to introduce the musicians, among whom this singing woman appeared, crowned with the crown of Virtue, and clothed also in the purple rube. So when every one burst into laughter at this, the philosopher kept quiet, and never stopped praising the singing woman.
But Antiochus, who succeeded Alexander in the kingdom, could not tolerate the abusive language of this Diogenes, and accordingly ordered him to be put to death. But Alexander was at all times, and in all circumstances, of a gentle disposition, and affable to every one in conversation, and not at all like Athenion the Peripatetic philosopher, who had a philosophical school at Athens, and at Messene, and also at Larissa in Thessaly, and who subsequently became tyrant of Athens; concerning whom Poseidonius of Apameia gives a very particular account [ Fr_36 ], which I, even though it is rather long, will quote, in order that we may come to a thorough understanding and appreciation of those men who profess to be philosophers, and that we may not be taken in by their ragged cloaks and unshaven chins. For, as Agathon says —
If I do tell the truth I can not please you;
And if I please you, I shall speak no truth.
But "let truth," as the saying is, "be one’s friend." At all events, I will quote the account given of the man.
[48.] G # "In the school of Erymneus the Peripatetic there was a certain man of the name of Athenion, who applied himself very perseveringly to philosophical discussions. He, having bought an Egyptian female slave, made her his mistress. And when she became a mother, either by him or by some one else, the child was bred up by Athenion, and received the same name as his master. And having been taught literature, he became accustomed to lead his master about when he became an old man, in company with his mother; and when he died he succeeded him as his heir, and became a citizen of Athens, being enrolled under the name of Athenion. And having married a very beautiful girl, after that he betook himself to the profession of a sophist, hunting out for boys to come to his school. And having pursued his profession of sophist at Messene and at Larissa in Thessaly,  and having amassed a considerable fortune, he returned to Athens. And having been appointed an ambassador by the Athenian people, when the chief power in all that district was lodged in the hands of Mithridates, he insinuated himself into the good graces of the king and became one of his friends, being held by him in the greatest honour; in consequence of which he wrote letters to the Athenians to raise their spirits, as one who had the greatest influence with the king of Cappadocia, leading them to hope that they should be discharged of all their existing debts, and live in peace and concord with him; and also that they should recover their democratic constitution, and receive great presents both publicly and privately. And the Athenians boasted of all these promises which were made to them, feeling sure that the supremacy of the Romans would be put an end to.
[49.] G "Now when all Asia had revolted to the King, Athenion set out to return to Athens; and being tossed about by a storm he was driven to Carystus. And when the Cecropidae heard this, they sent some ships of war to conduct him back, and a litter with silver feet. And now he is entering the city; and almost the whole of the citizens has poured out to meet him; and many other spectators came together, marvelling at this preposterous freak of fortune, that this intrusive citizen, Athenion, foisted into Athens in such a manner, should be conducted into the city on a litter with silver feet, and lying on purple clothes, a man who had never before seen even a purple patch on his ragged cloak; when no one, not even of the Romans, had ever exhibited such pomp and insulting show in Attica before. So there ran to this spectacle men, women, children, all expecting some glorious honours from Mithridates. While Athenion that ancient beggar, who gave lectures for trifling sums of money, was now making a procession through the country and through the city, relying on the king’s favour, and treating every one with great insolence. There met him also the artisans of the spectacles of Dionysus callimg him a messenger of the young Dionysus, and inviting him to the common altar, and to the prayers and libations which were to be offered at it; and he, who had formerly come out of a hired house, was conducted into the mansion of Dies, a person who at that time enjoyed great wealth from revenues in Delos; it was adorned with couches, and pictures, and statues, and a display of silver plate. And from it he issued forth, dragging on the ground a bright cloak, and with a golden ring on his finger, having on it a carved portrait of Mithridates. And numbers of attendants went before him and followed him in procession. And in the plot of ground belonging to the artisans, sacrifices were performed in honour of the return of Athenion, and libations made with formal proclamation by a herald. And the next day many people came to his house and awaited his appearance; and the whole Cerameicus was full of citizens and foreigners, and there was a voluntary thronging of the whole population of the city to the assembly. And at last he came forth, being attended by all who wished to stand well with the people, as if they had been his bodyguards, every one hastening even to touch his garment.
[50.] G "He then having ascended the tribunal which had been erected for the Roman generals in front of the portico of Attalus, standing on it and looking round on all the people in a circle, and then looking up, said, ‘O men of Athens, the state of affairs and the interests of my country compel me to relate to you what I know. But the greatness of the affairs that must be mentioned, owing to the unexpected character which circumstances have assumed, hinders me from doing so.'  And when all the bystanders called out to him with one accord to be of good cheer, and to tell them, ‘I tell you, then,’ said he, ‘of things which have never been hoped for, nor even imagined by any one in a dream. The king Mithridates is master of Bithynia, and of Upper Cappadocia; and is master of the whole of Asia, without any break, as far as Pamphylia and Cilicia: and the kings of the Armenians and Persians are only his guards; and he is lord of all the nations which dwell around the Palus Maeotis, and the whole of Pontus, so that his dominions are upwards of thirty thousand furlongs in circumference. And the Roman commander in Pamphylia, Quintus Oppius, has been surrendered to him, and is following him as a prisoner, but Manius Aquillius, a man of consular rank, who has celebrated a triumph for his victory over the Sicilians, is fastened by a long chain a Bastarnian, five cubits tall, and is dragged by him on foot at the tail of his horse. And of the other Roman citizens in Asia some have fallen down at the images of the gods, and the rest have put on square cloaks and acknowledge again the claims of their original country. And every city honouring him with more than human honours, calls the king a god; and oracles everywhere promise him the dominion over the whole world, on which account he is new sending large armies against Thrace and Macedonia, and every part of Europe is coming over bodily to his side. For ambassadors are coming to him, not only from the Italian tribes, but also from the Carthaginians, begging him to enter into alliance with them for the destruction of the Romans.’
[51.] G "Having stopped a little after saying this, and having given time for the multitude to converse together about the news thus unexpectedly announced to them, he wiped his face, and went on, ‘What then do I advise?— Not to bear this state of anarchy any longer, which the Roman senate makes continue, while it is deciding what constitution you are to enjoy for the future. And do not let us be indifferent to our temples being closed, to our gymnasia being left in the dirt, to our theatre being always empty, and our courts of justice mute, and the Pnyx, consecrated by the oracles of the gods, being taken from the people. Let us not, O Athenians, be indifferent to the sacred voice of Iacchus being reduced to silence, to the holy temple of Demeter and Persephone being closed, and to the schools of the philosophers being silenced as they are.’ And when this slave had said all this and a good deal more, the multitude conversing with one another and running together to the theatre elected Athenion general over the entire army. And then, the Peripatetic coming into the orchestra, walking like Pythocles, thanked the Athenians, and said, ‘Now you yourselves are your own generals, and I am the commander-in-chief: and if you exert all your strength to co-operate with me I shall be able to do as much as all of you put together.’ And he, having said this, appointed others to be his colleagues in the command, proposing whatever names he thought desirable.
[52.] G "And a few days afterwards, the philosopher having thus appointed himself tyrant, and having proved how much weight is to be attached to the doctrine of the Pythagoreans about plots against others, and what was the practical effect of the philosophy which the admirable Pythagoras laid down, as Theopompus has related in the eighth book of his Philippics, and Hermippus, the pupil of Callimachus, has corroborated the account,  he immediately removed all the citizens who were right-thinking and of a good disposition (contrary to the sentiments of, and rules laid down by, Aristotle and Theophrastus; showing how true is tho proverb which says, Do not put a sword into the hand of a child) and he placed sentinels at the gates, so that many of the Athenians, fearing what he might be going to do, let themselves down over the walls by night, and so fled away. And Athenion sending some horsemen to pursue them slew some of them, and brought back some in chains, having a number of bodyguards about his person of the kind called cataphracts. # And often he convened assemblies, pretending great attachment to the side of the Romans ... and bringing accusations against many as having kept up communications with the exiles, and aiming at a revolution, he put them to death. And he placed thirty guards at each gate, and would not allow any one to go either in or out. And he seized on the property of many of the people, and collected such a quantity of money as to fill several wells; and he also sent all over the country people to lie in wait, as it were, for every one who was travelling, and they brought them to him; and he put them to death without any trial, torturing and racking them into the bargain. And he also instituted prosecutions for treason against several people, saying that they were co-operating with the exiles to effect their return. And some of those who were prosecuted fled out of fear before the trials came on, and some were condemned before the tribunals, he himself giving his own vote and collecting those of the others. And he brought about in the city a scarcity of the things necessary for life, depriving the citizens of their proper quantity of barley and wheat. He also sent out heavy-armed soldiers over the country, to hunt out any of those who had fled and who could be found within the borders of the land, or any of the Athenians who were escaping beyond the borders. And whoever was detected he beat to death; and some of them he exhausted beforehand with tortures; and he caused proclamation to be made, that all must be in their houses by sunset, and that no one should presume to walk outside with a lantern-bearer.
[53.] G # "And he not only plundered the property of the citizens, but that of foreigners also, laying his hands even on the property of the god at Delos; sending into the island Apellicon of Teos, who had become a citizen of Athens, and who lived a most whimsical and ever-changing course of life. For at one time he was a philosopher, and collected all the treatises of the Peripatetics, and the whole library of Aristotle, and many others; for he was a very rich man; and he had also stolen a great many original copies of decrees of the ancients out of the Metroon, and whatever else there was ancient and rare in other cities; and being detected in these practices at Athens he would have been in great danger if he had not made his escape; and a short time afterwards he returned again, having paid his court to many people, and he then joined himself to Athenion, as being a man of the same sect as he was. And Athenion, having forgotten the doctrines of the Peripatetics, measured out a choenix of bailey, as four days’ allowance for the ignorant Athenians, giving them what was barely food enough for fowl, and not the proper nutriment for men. And Apellicon, coming in great force to Delos, and living there more like a man exhibiting a spectacle than a general with soldiers, and placing guards in a very careless manner on the side of Delos, and having all the back of the island unguarded, and not even putting down a palisade in front of his camp, went to rest.  And Orobius, the Roman general, hearing of this, who was at that time in command at Delos, watching for a moonless night, led out his troops, and falling on Apellicon and his soldiers, who were all asleep and drunk, he cut the Athenians and all those who were in the army with them to pieces, like so many sheep, to the number of six hundred, and he took four hundred alive. And that fine general, Apellicon, fled away without being perceived, and came to Delos; and Orobius seeing that many of those who fled with him had escaped to the farmhouses round about, burnt them in the houses, houses and all; and he destroyed by fire also all the engines for besieging cities together with the Helepolis which Apellicon had made when he came to Delos. And Orobius having erected in that place a trophy and an altar, wrote this inscription on it —
This tomb contains the foreigners here slain,
Who fought near Delos, and who fell at sea,
When the Athenians spoiled the holy isle,
Aiding in war the Cappadocian king."
[54.] G There was also at Tarsus an Epicurean philosopher who had become the tyrant of that city, Lysias by name; who having been created by his countrymen Stephanephorus, that is to say, the priest of Heracles, did not lay down his command, but seized on the tyranny. He put on a purple tunic with a white centre, and over that he wore a very superb and costly cloak, and he put on white Lacedaemonian sandals, and assumed also a crown of golden laurel leaves. And he distributed the property of the rich among the poor, and put many to death who did not surrender their property willingly.
[55.] G These are the commanders who became such from having been philosophers; concerning whom Demochares said,- "Just as no one could make a spear out of a bulrush, so no one could make a faultless general out of Socrates." For Plato says [ Apol_28'e ] that Socrates served in three military expeditions, one to Potidaea, and another to Amphipolis, and another against the Boeotians, in which last it was that the battle of Delium took place. And though no one has mentioned this circumstance, he himself says that he gained the prize of the most eminent valour, since all the other Athenians fled, and many were slain. But all this is an erroneous statement. For the expedition against Amphipolis took place in the archonship of Alcaeus, when Cleon was the general; and it was composed entirely of picked men, as Thucydides relates [ 5.2 ]. Socrates then, a man who had nothing but his ragged cloak and his stick, must have been one of these picked men. But what historian or poet has mentioned this fact? Or where has Thucydides made the slightest mention of Socrates, this soldier of Plato’s? And what is there in common between a shield and a philosopher’s staff? And when was it that Socrates bore a part in the expedition against Potidaea, as Plato has said in his Charmides [ 153'b ], where he states that he then yielded the prize of preeminent valour to Alcibiades? though Thucydides has not mentioned it, nor has Isocrates in his Oration on the Pair-horse Chariot. And what battle ever took place when Socrates gained the prize of preeminent valour? And what eminent and notorious exploit did he perform; for indeed there was actually no battle at all at that time, as Thucydides tells us.
But Plato not being content with all these strange stories, introduces the valour which was displayed, or rather which was invented by him at Delium. For if Socrates had even taken Delium, as Herodicus the follower of Crates has reported in his Against Philo-socrates, he would have fled disgracefully as all the rest did, when Pagondas sent two squadrons of cavalry unperceived round the hill. For then some of the Athenians fled to Delium,  and some fled to the sea, and some to Oropus, and some to Mount Parnes. And the Boeotians, especially with their cavalry, pursued them and slew them; and the Locrian cavalry joined in the pursuit and slaughter. When then this disorder and alarm had seized upon the Athenians, did Socrates alone, looking proud and casting his eyes around, stand firm, turning aside the onset of the Boeotian and Locrian cavalry? And yet does Thucydides make no mention of this valour of his, nor even any poet either. And how was it that he yielded to Alcibiades the prize of preeminent valour, who had absolutely never joined in this expedition at all? But in the Crito [ 52'b ], Plato, that favourite of Memory, says that Socrates had never once gone out of Attica, except when he once went to the Isthmian games. And Antisthenes, the Socratic philosopher, tells the same tale as Plato about the Aristeia; but the story is not true. For this Dog flatters Socrates in many particulars, on which account we must not believe either of them, keeping Thucydides for our guide. For Antisthenes even exaggerates this false story, saying,- " 'But we hear that you also received the prize of preeminent valour in the battle which took place against the Boeotians.' 'Be quiet, my friend, the prize belongs to Alcibiades, not to me.' 'Yes, but you gave it to him as we are told.' " But Plato’s Socrates says that he was present at Potidaea, and that he yielded the prize of preeminent valour to Alcibiades on that occasion. But by the universal consent of all historians the expedition against Potidaea, in which Phormion commanded, was previous to the one against Delium.
[56.] G In every respect then the philosophers tell lies; and they are not aware that they commit numbers of anachronisms in the accounts which they give. And even the admirable Xenophon is not free from this error. For he in his Symposium [ 1'2 ] introduces Callias, the son of Hipponicus, as the lover of Autolycus, the son of Lycon, and making an entertainment in his honour when he gained the victory in the Pancratium. And he represents himself as being present with the rest of the guests, when he perhaps was either not born, or at all events not out of childhood. And this is the time when Aristion was archon. For it was in his archonship that Eupolis exhibited the comedy Autolycus, in which, in the character of Demostratus, he ridicules the victory of Autolycus. And again Xenophon makes Socrates say at this banquet [ 8'32 ] — "And Pausanias, indeed, the lover of Agathon the poet, when speaking in excuse of those who allow themselves to indulge in intemperance, said that a most valiant army might be composed of boys and their lovers: for that of all the men in the world they would be the most ashamed to desert one another. Saying a very strange thing,— if men who are accustomed utterly to disregard all blame, and to behave with utter shamelessness to one another, would be the men above all others ashamed to do anything disgraceful." But that Pausanias never said anything of the sort we may see from the Symposium of Plato. For I know of no book at all which is written by Pausanias. Nor is he introduced by any one else as speaking of lovers and boys, but only by Plato. But whether Xenophon has absolutely invented this story, or whether he fell in with any edition of Plato’s Symposium which reports what happened in a different manner, is of no importance; still we must take notice of the blunder as far as the time is concerned. Aristion, in whose time this banquet is represented as having taken place, was archon four years before Euphemus,  in whose archonship Plato places the banquet given in honour of the victory of Agathon, at which banquet Pausanias said these things about lovers. So that it is a marvellous and incredible thing that Socrates when supping with Callias should find fault with things as having been said erroneously, which had not yet been said at all, and which were not said till four years afterwards at the banquet of Agathon.
[57.] G But altogether Plato’s Symposium is mere nonsense. For when Agathon got the victory Plato was fourteen years old. For the former was crowned at the Lenaea in the archonship of Euphemus. But Plato was born in the year of the archonship of Apollodorus, who succeeded Euthydemus. And when he was eighty-two years old he died in the archonship of Theophilus, who succeeded Callimachus; for he is the eighty-second archon after Apollodorus. But from the archonship of Apollodorus and the birth of Plato, Euphemus is the fourteenth archon; and it is in his archonship that the banquet was given in honour of the victory of Agathon. And Plato himself shows that this entertainment had taken place a long time before, saying in the Symposium [ 172'c ] " ... 'Do you think then that this entertainment has taken place but lately, so that I could have been present at it?' 'Indeed I do,' said he. 'How could that be,' said I, 'O Glaucon? Do you not know that Agathon has not been in the city for many years?' " And then a little while after he says - " 'But tell me, when did this entertainment take place?' And I replied, 'When we were still children, when Agathon gained the prize in tragedy.' " But that Plato makes many blunders in his chronology is plain from many circumstances. For as the poet said - "The man has a tongue which pays no regard to seasons;" so he writes without sufficient discernment. For he never spoke at random, but (?) not with great consideration.
[58.] G As for instance, writing in the Gorgias [ 471'a ], he says - " 'Archelaus, then, according to your definition, is a miserable man.' 'Yes, my friend, if, at least, he is an unjust one.' " And then, after expressly stating that Archelaus was possessed of the kingdom of the Macedonians, he goes on to say [ 503'c ], that Pericles also was lately dead. But if Pericles had only lately died, Archelaus was not yet in the enjoyment of his dominions at all; and if Archelaus was king at the time, then Pericles had been dead a long time. Now Perdiccas was king before Archelaus, according to the statement of Nicomedes of Acanthus; and he reigned forty-one years. But Theopompus says he reigned thirty-five years; Anaximenes, forty; Hieronymus, twenty-eight. But Marsyas and Philochorus [ Fr_126 ] say that he reigned only twenty-three years. Now, as these all vary so much in their accounts, we will take the smallest number, and say twenty-three. But Pericles died in the third year of the Peloponnesian war, in the archonship of Epameinon, in which year also Alexander died, and Perdiccas succeeded him in the kingdom. And he reigned till the archonship of Callias, in whose year Perdiccas died, and Archelaus succeeded to the kingdom. How, then, can Pericles have died lately, as Plato phrases it? And in the same Gorgias [ 473'e ] Plato represents Socrates as saying - "And last year, when I drew the lot to be one of the council, when my tribe was the presiding tribe, and I had to put the question to the vote, I caused the people to laugh, as I did not know how to put the question to the vote." Now Socrates did not fall into this error out of ignorance, but out of his firm principles of virtue; for he did not choose to violate the laws of the democracy. And Xenophon shows this plainly in the first book of his Hellenica [ 1.7'14 ], where he gives the following account:- "But when some of the prytaneis said that they would not put the question contrary to the laws,  Callixeinus again mounts the tribunal and inveighs against them; and they cried out that he should impeach those who refused. And the prytaneis being alarmed, all agreed to put the question except Socrates the son of Sophroniscus; and he said that he would not, but that he would do everything according to the laws."
This was the question which was put to the vote against the generals, Erasinides and his colleagues, because they did not pick up the men who were lost in the naval battle at Arginusae. And this battle took place in the archonship of Callias, twenty-four years after the death of Pericles.
* * * * *
[64.] G  When Masurius had said this, and when all had admired his wisdom, after silence was restored Ulpianus said,— You seem to me, O guests, to be overwhelmed with impetuous speeches which come upon you unexpectedly, and to be thoroughly soaked in unmixed wine;—
For a man drinking wine, as a horse does water,
Speaks like a Scythian, not knowing even koppa,
But voiceless, lies immersed in a cask,
And sleeps as if he’d drunk medicinal poppy
as says Parmenon the Byzantian. Have you been all turned into stone by the before-mentioned Gorgons? Concerning whom, that there really have been some animals who were the causes of men being turned into stone, Alexander the Myndian speaks at length, in the second book of his history of Beasts, saying — "The Numidians in Libya (where it is born) call the animal named the Gorgon, ‘The Looking-down:’ and it is as most people say, conjecturing from its skin, something like a wild sheep; but as some say, it is like a calf. And they say that it has such breath that it destroys every one who meets it; and that it has a mane let down from its forehead over its eyes, and when it has shaken it aside, which it does with difficulty by reason of its weight, and then looks out through it, it slays the man who is beheld by it, not by its breath, but by some natural violence which proceeds from its eyes. # And it was discovered in this way: Some of the soldiers of Marius, in his expedition against Jugurtha, having beheld the Gorgon, thought because it held its head down, and moved slowly, that it was a wild sheep, and in consequence they rushed upon it, intending to kill it with the swords which they had about them; but it, being disturbed, shaking aside the mane which hung down ever its eyes, immediately caused the death of those who were rushing upon it. And when others again and again did the same thing, and lost their lives by so doing, and when all who proceeded against it were invariably killed, some of the soldiers inquired the nature of the animal from the natives; and by the command of Marius some Numidian horsemen laid an ambush against it from a distance, and shot it with javelins, and returned to the camp bringing the dead monster to the general." And that this account is the true one, the skin and the expedition of Marius both prove. But the statement made by the historian is not credible, namely, that there are in Libya some oxen which are called Opisthonomi, because they do not advance while feeding, but feed constantly returning backwards, for their horns are a hindrance to their feeding in the natural manner, inasmuch as they are not bent upwards, as is the case with all other animals, but they bend downwards and overshadow the eyes; for this is incredible, since no other historian testifies to such a circumstance.
[65.] G When Ulpianus had said this, Larensis bearing witness to the truth of his statement, and adding something to his speech, said, that Marius sent the skins of those animals to Rome, and that no one could conjecture to what animal they belonged, on account of the singular appearance which they presented; and that these skins were hung up in the temple of Hercules, in which the generals who celebrate a triumph give a banquet to the citizens,  as many poets and historians of our nation have related. You then, O grammarians, as the Babylonian Herodicus says, inquiring into none of these matters—
Fly ye to Greece along the sea’s wide back,
Pupils of Aristarchus, all more timid
Than the pale antelope, worms hid in holes,
Monosyllabic animals, who care
For σφὶν and σφῷν, and for μὶν and νίν,
This shall be your lot, grumblers — but let Greece
And sacred Babylon receive Herodicus.
For, as Anaxandrides the comic writer says —,
’Tis sweet when one has planned a new device,
To tell it to the world. For those who are
Wise for themselves alone have, first of all,
No judge to criticise their new invention.
And envy is their portion too: for all
That seems to be commended by its novelty,
Should be imparted freely to the people.
And when this conversation had terminated, most of the guests took their departure separately, and so broke up the party.
Attalus' home page | 27.03.14 | Any comments?