Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 11, Pages 484-496

Translated by C.B. Gulick (1933).  

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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{68.} G   [484] Labronia are a kind of Persian cup, so named from the violence {labrotēs} which arises in drinking. In design it is flat and large ; it also has large handles ; and it occurs, too, in the masculine form labronios ; and Menander in The Fisherman : " We're living high, and I don't mean moderately ; we have gold from Cyinda ; purple robes from Persia lie in piles ; we have in our house, gentlemen, embossed vessels, drinking-cups, and other silver ware, and masks in high relief, goat-stag drinking-horns, and labronioi."   And in Brothers in Love with Sisters : " By this time beakers set with gems and labronioi (were brought in), and Persians stood there holding fly - flaps."   Hipparchus in Thais : "{A} This labronios that you speak of, is it a bird ?  {B} Heracles, no ! It's a cup, and it weighs four pounds.  {A} Oh, what a famous labronios, dearie ! "   Diphilus, giving a list of other kinds of cups in Tithraustes, says : "{A} The whale, goat-stag, Persian saucer, labronios. You must see by this time that these are by no means poor little slaves, but the names of drinking-cups.  {B} Now by the Hearth-goddess !  {A} Yes, and this labronios, boys, cost twenty gold staters."   Didymus, moreover, says that it was similar to the bombylios or the batiakion.  

{69.} G   Lakainai, a kind of cylix, so called either from the clay, as the Attic ware (is named from Attic clay), or from their shape, as being the customary one in Laconia, just as . . . the Thericleian cylices are so called. Aristophanes in Men of Dinnerville : "And feasts such as the Sybarites have, and to take a swig of 'Chian from Laconian' cups amid jolly boon-companions."  

{70.} G   Lepastē. Some authorities put the acute accent on the last syllable, as in kalē (beautiful), others on the next to the last, as in megalē (great). [485] This cup got its name from men who squander large sums on drunken parties and acts of prodigality, men whom we call laphyktai. They were large cylices. Aristophanes in The Peace { 914 } : "What, then, if you should drink a lepastē cup of wine ? "   From this word comes lapsai, that is, to drink at a gulp, opposed to the gurgling drink called bombylios. For Aristophanes also says somewhere : "But you have gulped down my blood, lord master," that is, you have drunk me up at a gulp.   In Gerytades, when he says, "The occasion was a holiday. And a wine-pouring slave was swiftly carrying round and offering to us a lepastē of very dark depths," our comic poet indicates that the cup was deep.   So Antiphanes in Asclepius : "The doctor pounded a little rootlet, and enticing her with the bait of a deep and generous-sized lepastē, he made that old hag, the one who has been sick so very long, the one soaked with beer, drink it all up."   Philyllius in Augē : "Every place was crowded with men and lads drinking ; and near the others were some old crones enjoying large lepastai of wine."   Theopompus in Pamphila : "A sponge, a pan, a feather, a very stout lepastē ; from this she drank up neat wine with a 'Here's to Good Luck,' and now gabbles like a cicada."   Also in The Mede : "Thus did Callistratus once beguile the sons of the Achaeans, distributing welcome coin among them when he asked for an alliance ; but one alone he could not beguile, Lysander, light of frame but a veritable Rhadamanthys - at least not with a canteen - before he had given him a lepaste."   Amerias, however, says that the wine-jug was called a lepastē. But Aristophanes says it was a kind of cylix, and so does Apollodorus.   Pherecrates in Good-for-Nothings : " And whoever in the audience is thirsty may have a lepastē filled, and swill it like Charybdis."   Nicander of Colophon says that the Dolopes give this name to the cylix. Lycophron, too, in the ninth book of his work On Comedy, also cites the lines from Pherecrates and explains that the lepastē is a kind of cylix. Moschus, in his interpretation of Rhodian Diction, says that it is an earthenware vessel, like the so-called ptomatides, but more outspread. Artemidorus, disciple of Aristophanes, says it is a kind of cup. Apollophanes in The Cretans : "And a lepastē of sweet wine will cheer me through the day."   Theopompus in Pamphila : "A very large lepastē ; from this she drinks up unmixed wine to Good Luck, and with her bawling makes all the village stand agape."   Nicander of Thyateira defines it as a rather large cylix, quoting from The Prytanes of Telecleides : "And take a pull of honey-sweet wine from a fragrant lepastē."   [486] Hermippus in The Fates : "If anything happen to me after I have drunk out this lepastē, I give and bequeath all my goods to Dionysus."  

{71.} G   Loibasion, a cylix, as Cleitarchus and Nicander of Thyateira declare . . . With it they pour oil as a libation over the sacrifice, whereas a spondeion is that with which they pour wine, although he says that even the spondeia are called loibides by Antimachus of Colophon.  

Lesbion. That this is a kind of cup is indicated by Hedylus in his Epigrams, as follows : "Callistion, she who could hold her own in the drinking contest with men - no sham miracle either - drank up three choes on an empty stomach ; it is her lesbion, filled with the sweet smell of pure balsam, and made of lustrous glass, that is here dedicated to thee, Paphian goddess. Do thou by all means preserve her, that once again thy walls may carry the booty of sweet desires inspired by her."  

Louterion. Epigenes in The Souvenir, including this in the list of cups, says : "{A} There'll be mixing-bowls, jars, basins, and jugs.  {B} What, there are jugs ?  {A} Yes, and wash-basins? - but why need I tell you in detail ? You shall see for yourself."  

{72.} G   Lykiourgeis. Certain phialai have this name from their manufacturer Lycon, just as Kononeioi are those made by Conon. Demosthenes mentions Lycon in the oration On the Crown and in the speech Against Timotheus concerning Debt as follows : "Two phialai of Lycian workmanship."   And in the speech Against Timotheus he writes { 49.31 } : "He gave to Phormion to keep for him, among other possessions, two phialai of Lycian workmanship besides."   Herodotus in the seventh book has { 7.76 } : "Two hunting-spears, Lykiourgides or lykoergeis," (so called) because they are javelins adapted to hunting wolves {lykoi} or because they were made in Lycia. In explaining this word the grammarian Didymus says they are the cups manufactured by Lycius. Now he was from Eleutherae, a Boeotian by birth, son of Myron the sculptor, according to Polemon in the first book of his work On the Acropolis. But the grammarian fails to see that you cannot find a form like this made from personal names ; they are made only from names of cities or nations. And so, in fact, Aristophanes says in The Peace { 143 } : "My boat will be a Naxian-made schooner."   Also Critias in his Constitution of the Lacedaemonians : "A Milesian-made couch and Milesian-made stool, a Chian-made couch and Rhenaean-made clogs."   And Herodotus says in the seventh book { 7.76 } : "Two hunting-spears Lycus-made." Perhaps, therefore, both in Herodotus and in Demosthenes we should write Lycian-made {Lykiourgeas} so as to understand it of things made in  Lycia.  

{73.} G   Melē. This is a name given to certain cups which are mentioned by Anaxippus in The Well. He says "You, Syriscus, take this melē and carry it to her tomb, do you understand? Then pour over it (the libation)."  

Metaniptron. The cup which is offered after dinner, when they have finished the hand-washing. Antiphanes in The Torch : "An after-dinner cup to Good Luck, a bit of dessert to nibble, a libation, and clapping of hands."   [487] Diphilus in Sappho : "Archilochus, accept this brimming after-dinner cup in honour of Saviour Zeus, and to Good Luck. . . "   But some, like Seleucus in his Glossary, explain it as the drink after the hand-washing. Callias in The Cyclopes : "And accept this after-dinner drink to Hygieia. "   Philetaerus in Asclepius : "He brandished a huge, brimming, after-dinner drink, mixed half and half, pronouncing over it the name of Hygieia. "   And the dithyrambic poet Philoxenus, pledging someone in his poem entitled The Banquet, after the washing of the hands, says : "Accept thou this after-dinner cup full of the refreshing dew of Bacchus. Verily the Bromian god, with this soothing joy that he hath given, invites all to take their delight."   Antiphanes in The Torch : " The table (was then removed), and at once came an after-dinner cup to Good Luck."   Nicostratus in Rival in Love : "Pour him out an after-dinner cup to Hygieia."  

{74.} G   Mastos. Apollodorus of Cyrene, quoted by Pamphilus, says that the Paphians call the drinking-cup by this name.  

Mathalidas is {an accusative form} used by Blaesus in Saturnus : "Pour out for us seven mathalidae of your sweetest wine."   And Pamphilus says : "Perhaps this is a kind of drinking-cup, or a measure of capacity, like the kyathos." But Diodorus renders it by cylix.  

{75.} G   Manēs is a kind of cup. Nicon in The Harp-singer : "And one said, right in the nick of time, 'I pledge you a cup, my countryman.' Then he took a stout manēs of earthenware, holding perhaps five kotylai. I accepted it."   These verses in iambic metre were cited by Didymus and by Pamphilus. The name manēs is given also to the figure surmounting the kottabos, at which they used to aim the wine-drops in the game ; this is what Sophocles in Salmoneus called "the bronze head," as follows : "Here are ticklings and the smack of kisses ; for the one who best shoots the kottabos and hits the bronze head I set up prizes for victory."   Antiphanes in Birth of Aphrodite : "{A} I will show you step by step ; whoever when he shoots at the pan causes the kottabos to fall?  {B} The pan? What pan? Do you mean that little thing that lies up there on top, the tiny platter ?  {A} Yes, that's the pan - he becomes the winner.  {B} How is one going to know that?  {A} Why, if he just hits it, it will fall on the manēs, and there will be a very loud clatter.  {B} In the gods' name, tell me, has the kottabos got a manēs, attending it like any slave ? "   Hermippus in The Fates says : "You will see the shaft of the kottabos rolling neglected in the husks, and manēs pays no attention to wine-drops tossed at him ; as for the unhappy pan, you may see that resting beside the socket of the back door in a pile of sweepings."   

{76.} G   Nestoris. With regard to the appearance of Nestor's cup the Poet says { Iliad, 11.632-637 }: "And beside these viands a cup of exceeding beauty which the aged man had brought from home, pierced with golden studs ; and there were four handles to it, and two doves of gold were feeding round each ; and there were two stems below the cup. [488] Another man had scarcely moved it from the table when it was full, yet Nestor, that old man, raised it easily."   With regard to these verses the first question is, what is the meaning of "pierced with golden studs " , secondly, what means the phrase, "there were four handles to it." For in the case of all other cups Asclepiades of Myrlea, in his treatise On Nestor's Cup, says that they had only two handles. And how can one imagine doves feeding round each one of the handles? What does he mean in saying there were "two stems" to the cup ? Peculiar, too, is the statement that whereas others lifted the cup with difficulty, "Nestor, that old man, raised it easily." Having posed these questions, Asclepiades asks about the studs, in what way they should be taken as "piercing." Some authorities, to be sure, assert that the golden studs must be affxed to the silver cup from the outside, in the method required by the art of embossing, illustrating this from the case of Achilles' staff { Iliad, 1.245 }: "So he spake in his wrath, and hurled to earth the staff pierced with golden studs." Here, indeed, it is manifest that they are driven into the staff as nails are on clubs. Again, in the case of Agamemnon's sword { Iliad, 11.29 }: "Then round his shoulders he cast his sword ; and on it studs of gold glistened ; but the scabbard about it was silver." Now Apelles, the metal-worker, showed us, he says, the method of setting the studs in some Corinthian works of art. There was a small prominence raised above the surface by the artist's punch, giving as it were the effect of nail-heads. Hence the studs are said by the poet to be "pierced," not because they are attached and inserted by piercing from the outside, but because they look as if they had been inserted and were projecting a little outward, though being in reality merely elevations a above the rest of the surface. {77.} G   And with regard to the handles they make this explanation, that whereas it had two handles at the brim as other cups have, it also had two other small handles at the middle of the curving bowl on both sides, resembling the handles on Corinthian water-jars. But Apelles further indicated by a very skilful drawing that the position of the four handles was as follows. Branching from a single root, as it were, which is attached to the base of the cup, are bands at the side of each handle, on both alike, at a small distance from each other. These bands extend as far as the brim of the cup and project also a little above the brim ; they maintain the branching (most) where the distance from the bowl is greatest, but where their extremities are joined to the brim, the bands come together again. In this manner four handles are formed. This pattern is observed on only a few cups, not on all ; it is especially characteristic of those called Seleukides. As for the question raised concerning the two "stems" and what is meant by "and there were two stems below," some authorities settle it in this wise: some cups have one base, the natural one which is welded together with the cup as a whole - such as the so-called kymbia (sauce-boats), the phialai, and any other vessel shaped to look like a phialē; some, again, have two bases, like the egg-shaped skyphoi, the kantharoi, the Seleukides, the karchesia, and the cups similar to these ; one base, that is, is that which is fashioned at the rounded body along with the cup as a whole, whereas the other is that which is attached separately, beginning in a narrow stem, and ending in one that is broader, being the support on which the cup stands. [489] And so they assert that Nestor's cup {depas} was of this latter sort. But it is also possible that Homer suggests two stems, the one as it were supporting the entire weight of the cup and having a vertical height proportional to its larger circumference, whereas the other, describing a smaller circle, is contained within the larger, where the natural bottom of the cup converges to narrow dimensions, so that the cup is really supported by two stems. It is said that Dionysius of Thrace constructed Nestor's cup at Rhodes with silver contributed by his pupils ; Promathidas of Heracleia, then, in expounding the design made by Dionysius, says that the cup is a skyphos with handles in juxtaposition, like ships with double prows, and on the handles were the pigeons ; as though two bars, placed tranversely and lengthwise to the cup, acted as its supports ; these, then, were the two "stems." What it was like it is still possible to see to-day in the city of Capua, in Campania, - a cup dedicated to Artemis, which the people there say belonged to Nestor ; it is of silver, and has the Homeric verses embossed upon it in letters of gold.  

{78.} G   "I, then," says our authority of Myrlea, "have the following comments to add concerning the cup. The ancients, who were the first to ordain for men the things pertaining to civilized life, being convinced that the universe is spherical in shape, and deriving distinct mental images from the shape of the sun and moon, thought it was only right to make the things pertaining to their own food like the element which encompasses the earth, according to the shape it seemed to have. Hence they made a table round ; also the tripods consecrated to the gods they made circular and covered with stars, and (round) cakes also which they call 'moons. ' also they called a loaf artos, because, among geometrical shapes, the circle is perfectly even and complete. Hence, too, the cup, which contains liquid food, they made circular in imitation of the universe. But Nestor's cup is even more characteristic. For it has stars also, which the Poet likens to studs, because stars are round just as nails are, and are fastened to the sky, as Aratus says of them : 'They are ever fixed in the sky as the ornaments of the passing night.' In striking fashion the Poet has made this also plain, in that, by setting the golden studs side by side with the silver substance of the cup, he has brought out by contrast the true character of the stars and the sky in accordance with the outward appearance of their colours. For the sky is like unto silver, whereas the stars resemble gold in their fiery nature.

{79.} G   "Imagining, therefore, Nestor's cup as entirely covered with stars, the Poet passes on next to the most important of the constellations, those, namely, by the help of which men determine the acts of their daily lives , I mean the Doves. For when he says, 'And two doves of gold were feeding round each,' he does not mean by 'doves' the birds, which certain persons erroneously understand here as pigeons. No, for Aristotle says that the dove is one thing, the pigeon another. On the contrary, the Poet in this instance uses 'doves' for 'Pleiades,' and it is with reference to them that men sow and reap ; they mark the beginning of the birth of the crops and of their harvesting, as Hesiod says { Op. 383 }: 'Begin ye the reaping when the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas, rise, [490] and the ploughing, when they begin to set.'   And Aratus { Phaen. 264 }: 'These, to be sure, are alike small and dim, yet are they famous as they revolve - Zeus is the cause - in the morning and the evening. It is he who ordained that they should give the sign when summer and winter begin and the season of ploughing approaches.'   So, then, the Poet has, through the embosser's art, quite properly represented the Pleiades as presaging the germination of the crops, and their coming to perfection, on the cup of the most sapient Nestor : for it is a vessel capable of receiving the other kind of food as well. Hence also he declares that the Doves (Peleiades) bring the ambrosia for Zeus { Odyssey, 12.62 }: 'On this side even winged things cannot pass by, not even the timorous Doves (Peleiai), which bring ambrosia to Father Zeus.'   It must not be thought that it is the birds called peleiades that bring ambrosia to Zeus, as the majority imagine (for that would be beneath his dignity), but rather the Pleiades. For it is the appropriate office of those Maidens who give sign of the seasons to the human race that they should also bring ambrosia to Zeus. Hence he really distinguishes them from fowls when he says : 'Even winged things cannot pass by, nor even the Peleiai.' Further, that he regards the Pleiades as the most notable of the constellations is manifest from the way in which he puts them first in his enumeration of them and the other stars { Iliad, 18.485 }: 'And on it all the signs wherewith the sky is wreathed, Pleiades, and Hyades, and mighty Orion, and the Bear that men call also the Wain.'   And so the majority have gone wrong in thinking that the peleiades are birds, first because of the poetic form which is made by adding the letter ; then secondly, because they took the word 'timorous' to be an epithet only of doves, since this bird, on account of its lack of strength, is cautious ; for to be cautious is to be timorous. But the epithet is appropriate even when applied to the Pleiades ; for in mythology they too are said to fly from Orion when their mother Pleionē is pursued by Orion. {80.} G   And the collateral form of their name, by which the Pleiades may be called either Peleiai or Peleiades, is to be found among many of the poets.   Moero of Byzantium was the first to understand correctly the sense of the Homeric verses, declaring, in the work entitled Memory, that the Pleiades carried ambrosia to Zeus. Then the philologist Crates appropriated her idea as his own and published that interpretation.   Simonides also calls the Pleiades Peleiades in these lines : 'Hermes, god of the games, grants renown, he the son of Maia with the fair tresses, and she loveliest in beauty among the seven dear daughters with violet tresses born unto Atlas, who are called the Peleiades of the heavens.'   It is perfectly evident that he means the Pleiades, who are daughters of Atlas, in calling them Peleiades, as Pindar does { Nem. 2.16 }: 'And it is indeed seemly that Orion should move not far from the mountain Peleiades.'   As a matter of fact, Orion is very close to the constellation of the Pleiades ; hence also the story about them, that they fly from Orion with their mother  Pleionē. Further, he calls the Pleiades oreias (mountain), equivalent to oureias by omission of the letter U, because they are situated at the tail {oura} of the Bull. [491]   And Aeschylus, also, more plainly punning on the name because of the similarity of sound, says : 'And they that are called the seven daughters of Atlas bemoaned their father's mighty task of bearing up the heavens, where in phantom forms at night they have their station - the wingless Peleiades.' For he calls them wingless because their name is similar to that of the doves.   And Moero herself speaks in this wise : 'So then Zeus was nourished to full growth in Crete, nor did any of the Blessed have knowledge of him ; anon he waxed strong in all his limbs. Him the timorous ones nourished within the shelter of a sacred grotto, bearing ambrosia from the streams of Oceanus ; and a great eagle ever drew nectar from a rock, and in its beak brought it for Zeus the all-wise to drink. And when far-thundering Zeus had overcome his father Cronus, he made the eagle immortal and appointed him to dwell in Heaven. Likewise he bestowed honour upon the timorous Doves { Peleiades } which are the messengers of summer and of winter.'   Simmias, on the other hand, says in Gorgo : 'The Peleiai, swift ministers of the sky, were approaching.'   And likewise Poseidippus in his Epic of Aesopus : 'Nor, verily, do the cold Peleiai set at nightfall.'   Lamprocles, the composer of dithyrambs, has said expressly that the Pleiades have the same name as the pigeons in these lines : 'Ye that are of like name with the winged doves {peleiades} and are set in the sky.'   And the author of the poem on Astronomy ascribed to Hesiod always speaks of them as Peleiades : 'Which mortals call Peleiades.' And again : 'The wintry Peleiades are sinking low.' Still again : 'Then do the Peleiades hide their light.'   It is, therefore, not at all improbable that Homer also, in accord with the poetic custom, has called the Pleiades 'Peleiades.'

{81.} G   "It has, then, been proved that the Pleiades were embossed on the cup, and one must assume two at each handle, whether one insists that they were bird-shaped maidens or again human-shaped, and spangled with stars. But the phrase 'round each, golden Peleiades were feeding' must not be understood as meaning round every single handle ; for that will make the Pleiades eight in number ; on the contrary, since each pair of handles is separated into two divisions, and their joining again occurs almost at the point where the cup ends, the word 'each' must have reference to the fact that all the divisions of the handles number four, while 'each pair' refers to the fact that they grow together again at the point where their extension ceases. When, therefore, the Poet says, 'And two doves {peleiades} of gold were feeding round each, and there were two stems below the cup,' we shall understand that at each of the two points where the handles divide there was one dove ; these he calls 'two' {doiai} because they grow into one another and are closely joined. For the forms doioi and doiai signify the general idea of number, 'two,' as in 'Two {doioi} tripods and ten talents of gold' { Odyssey, 4.129 }. Also 'two {doiō} henchmen.' But it signifies also the idea of grown together, and closely joined in pairs, as in these lines { Odyssey, 5.476 } : 'So then he crept beneath two bushes that grew from one stem, the one a mastic, the other an olive.' [492] Thus there will be only four doves on the handles. 

{82.} G   "Again, when he adds (after 'two doves of gold were feeding round each') the phrase, 'and there were two stems below ' {hypo pythmenes}, we are not to understand two bases, nor are we to divide the words in reading, as Dionysius of Thrace does, but we should read the compound hypopythmenes, in order to construe it as an adjective modifying peleiades, because there were four on the handles, but two at the bottom of the cup ; that is, it means 'at the bottom,' like the epithet hypopythmenioi. Thus the cup was supported by two Peleiades set beneath the bottom, and the whole number of Pleiades (on the cup) amounted to six, since that is the number visible (in the sky), though they are spoken of as seven, as Aratus also says { Phaen. 257 } : ' "Moving in seven paths," then, men say of them, though only six are plain for the eyes to see. Not in any wise is a star lost beyond the ken of Zeus, whose offspring we also are said to be ; yet is it said for all that, and they are expressly called seven.' . . .   "Only six are plain for the eyes to see." The artist, therefore, has fittingly depicted by embossed work, in the pattern that we see, what is actually observed in the constellation. Authorities believe, moreover, that the Poet indicates this also of Zeus when he says { Odyssey, 12.62 } : 'On this side even winged things cannot pass by, not even the timorous Doves which bring ambrosia to Father Zeus. But the smooth rock ever steals one of them away. Yet the Father sends in another to make up the number,' meaning that one of the Pleiades is stolen away by the suddenness and slipperiness of the Wandering Rocks, although another dove is sent in by Zeus to maintain their full number ; in poetic fashion he implies that though only six Pleiades can be seen, nevertheless their full number is never lost, and they are counted as seven in number as well as in name.  

{83.} G   "And in answer to those who say that the embossing of the Pleiades on the cup is not appropriate, since they are harbingers of dry foods, we may say that the cup {depas} is capable of holding both kinds of food. For a posset {kykeōn} is made in it, and this is a drink containing in its ingredients cheese and barley meal ; both of these are mixed and drunk in this way, the Poet says { Iliad, 11.624-641 }: 'For them Hecamedē of the beautiful tresses prepared a posset . . . She it was that had first set in front of them a table fair, with black legs, well polished, and upon it had placed a bronze basket ; then, as a relish for their drink, she had brought an onion, and yellow honey, and the fruit of sacred barley besides, and a cup of exceeding beauty which the aged man had brought from home In it, then, the woman fair as a goddess made a mixture for him with Pramnian wine, and in it she grated goat's milk cheese with a bronze grater, and sprinkled white barley meal over it ; then she bade him drink, for that she had prepared the posset.'  

{84.} G   "Now, when he says, 'Another {allos} had with difficulty moved it frorn the table when it was full, [493] but Nestor, that old man, easily raised it,' the verse is not to be understood of Machaon and Nestor alone, as some think. They (read all' hos for allos and) take hos (who) in the sense of ho (he), making it refer to Machaon alone : 'But he { all' hos } had with difficulty removed it from the table' ; they think this clear from the expression 'with difficulty,' meaning that he has been wounded. But that Machaon, according to Homer, has not been wounded will be shown in another chapter. And these interpreters are unaware that Homer did not apply the word allos (another) to Machaon and Nestor alone; (he would not have used that form), since there are two persons here drinking, but he would have said heteros (the other). For this is the word naturally used when two things are involved, as in the following case { Iliad, 3.103 } : 'Bring two lambs, the one {heteron} a white male, the other {heterēn} a black female.' Furthermore, Homer never uses the form hos (who) in place of the prepositive article ho (the) ; conversely, however, he uses the prepositive ho in place of the relative hos, as for example { Iliad, 6.153 } : 'Where also dwelt Sisyphus, who {ho} was the craftiest of men.' Hence the part of speech to be supplied is tis (any) ; the complete line, in fact, is 'Any other had with difficulty moved it from the table when it was full, but Nestor, that old man, easily raised it,' meaning that any other man would have found it hard to budge the cup from the table, but Nestor lifted it easily, without labour or trouble. For the cup is large in bulk and heavy in weight - this cup which Nestor, being a drink-lover, was strong enough to raise easily through constant habit.  

{85.} G   "Now Sosibius, who is clever at solving problems, quotes the hexameters (as above) : 'Another had with difficulty moved the cup from the table when it was full, but Nestor, that old man, raised it easily,' and then writes, exactly in these words : 'To-day the charge is brought against the Poet that, whereas he said all others raised the cup with difficulty, Nestor alone did it without difficulty. And it did seem unreasonable that, in the presence of Diomedes and Ajax, to say nothing of Achilles, Nestor should be represented as more vigorous than they, though he was more advanced in years. From these criticisms, then, we can absolve the Poet by assuming the figure called anastrophe. That is, from this (second) hexameter, "when it was full, but Nestor, that old man, raised it without difficulty," we shall remove the word "old man" from the middle of the verse and place it at the beginning of the first line after "another," and construe the words at the beginning thus : "Another old man had with difficulty moved it from the table when it was full, but Nestor raised it without labour." With the words in this order, it is clear that Nestor is the only one of the old men, no matter who they were, who raised the cup without difficulty.' Thus the marvellous solver of problems, Sosibius ! He is the man whom King Ptolemy Philadelphus not unwittily satirized for this famous solution and others like it. For while he was the recipient of a royal stipend, the king summoned his stewards and commanded them, whenever Sosibius came to ask for his stipend, to tell him that he had already received it. And in fact he did appear not long afterward and made his request ; but they told him that they had given it to him, and would say no more ; so he went to the king and complained of the stewards. Ptolemy summoned them [494] and commanded them to fetch the rolls containing the accounts of those who received stipends ; taking them in his hands the king examined them and affirmed, as the stewards had, that Sosibius had received his stipend, proving it in this way : there were the following names a recorded therein, Soteros, Sosigenous, Bionos, Apolloniou. Scanning them, the king said, 'Marvellous solver of problems, if you take the SO from Soteros, the SI from Sosigenous, the first syllable from Bionos, and the last from Apolloniou, you will find that you yourself have received your due according to your own fantastic notions. And thus, "not by others, but by thine own feathers art thou caught," as the admirable Aeschylus says, because you labour to invent irrelevant solutions.' "  

{86.} G   Holmos, a drinking-cup made in the style of a horn. Menesthenes in the fourth book of his Politics writes as follows : "From Albatanē, a collar and a golden holmos. The holmos is a cup made in the style of a horn, in height about a pygōn (fourteen inches). "  

{87.} G   Oxybaphon. Common usage gives this name to the vessel made to hold vinegar ; but it is also the name of a drinking-cup, which Cratinus mentions in The Flask thus : "How, oh how can one stop him from his drinking, his excessive drinking ? I know a way. I'll smash his pitchers, I'll come down like a thunderbolt on his jugs and grind them to powder, as well as all the rest of the vessels he uses for drinking, and he won't own even so much as a vinegar-cruet of wine any more."   Antiphanes, also, clearly shows in Mystis that the oxybaphon is a kind of small, earthenware cylix, in the following lines ; a bibulous old hag is singing the praises of a large cylix and rejecting with contempt the oxybaphon as being too small. Someone, then, says to her : "But do take a drink." She replies : "I'll yield to you in this ; for somehow the cylix has an alluring shape - O ye gods ! - and is in keeping with the glory of the festival. For where we were a little while ago, we had to drink out of little earthenware cruets {oxybaphia} As for this man, my child - may the gods grant many blessings - to this artist who made you, such are your beautiful proportions and your simplicity."   Again, in The Babylonians of Aristophanes we shall understand the word oxybaphon as meaning a cup ; that is when Dionysus says of the demagogues at Athens that when he departed to face his trial they demanded of him two cruets. One cannot infer that these were anything else than drinking-cups. Also, the" cruet" set up for persons playing at kottabos, into which they pour the drops of wine, cannot be anything else than a broad and shallow cup.   The oxybaphon is mentioned as a cup by Eubulus also in Maid of the Mill : "I measured out separately a drink in a cruet, share and share alike. But then a demurrer was put in, the wine swearing that it was now real vinegar,the vinegar, that it was better wine than the other."   

{88.} G   Oinisteria. The ephebes, when on the point of having their long hair cut off, says Pamphilus, offer to Heracles a large cup which they have filled with wine and which they call oinisteria ; after a libation from it they give it to their companions assembled together to drink from.  

Ollix. Pamphilus in his Attic Diction renders this word by "cup made of wood."  

{89.} G   Panathenaikon. The philosopher Poseidonius, in the thirty-sixth book of his Histories, mentions certain cups as being so called, [495] writing as follows : "There were also bowls made of onyx, and combinations of these extending to bowls measuring two kotylai ; also very large Panathenaïka, some holding two choes, and some even larger."  

Proaron, a wooden mixing-bowl, in which the people of Attica mingle their wine. "In hollow proara " is quoted by Pamphilus.  

{90.} G   Pelikai. Callistratus, in his Commentary on the Women of Thrace, by Cratinus, interprets (the pelikē) as a cylix.   But Crates, in the second book of his Attic Dialect, writes as follows : "Pitchers, as we have said, used to be called pelikai. The form of the vessel was originally similar to that of the Panathenaic jars, and then it was called pelikē ; but later it took on the shape of a wine-jug, such as are set before drinkers at the holiday season, in fact the kind which they once called olpai and which they used for pouring the wine into cups, as Ion of Chios says in The Sons of Eurytus : 'From sacred casks ladle out the potent wine with your jugs {olpai} and make it gurgle loudly.' But to-day the vessel of that type is in a manner specially consecrated and set before the drinkers only at a festival, whereas the kind that occurs in daily use has undergone a change in form, being now most like a dipper, and we call it a chous."   As for the term olpē, Cleitarchus says that the Corinthians, Byzantians, and Cyprians use it for lekythos, the Thessalians, on the other hand, for a wine-jug with spout. (Besides pelikē), there is a term pelichna, by which, Seleucus says, the Boeotians mean the cylix, but Euphronius in his Commentaries explains it as a pitcher.   

{91.} G   Pella, a vessel shaped like a skyphos, with a rather wide bottom, into which they did their milking. Homer { Iliad, 16.641 } : "As when flies in a stall buzz around the well-filled pails {pellai} of milk."   But Hipponax calls this vessel a pellis : "They were drinking from a pail {pellis} since she had no cup ; for the slave-boy had fallen down and smashed it to bits" ; he thus makes it clear, I think, that the pellis was not a cup, but that they used it in default of a cup.   And again "They were drinking from the pail {pella} ; now he himself, now Arētē, proposed a toast."   But Phoenix of Colophon in his Iambic Verses uses the word of a phialē, speaking as follows : "For Thales, who was most useful in his knowledge of the stars, and of all the men of his day, as they say, by far the best, received a golden pellis."   And in another part he says : "And from a broken pellis, with the rheumatic fingers of one hand, he pours a libation of sour wine, shivering like a toothless old man in the north wind."   Cleitarchus, however, explains in his Glossary that the Thessalians and Aeolians call the milk-pail a pelleter, whereas they call the drinking-cup a pella. And Philitas, in his Irregular Words, says that the Boeotians call the cylix a pella.  

{92.} G   Pentaploa. Philochorus mentions it in the second book of his History of Attica. Now Aristodemus, in the third book of his work On Pindar, says that at the festival of the Skira at Athens there was held a running-contest of the ephebes ; and as they ran they carried a wine-branch laden with grapes - the branch called the oschos. The course extends from the temple of Dionysus to the temple of Athena Skiras, and the winner receives a cup, the so-called pentaploa, and riots through the streets with a band of singers and dancers. [496] Now the cup is called pentaploa for the reason that it contains wine, honey, and cheese, and a little barley and oil.  

Petachnon is a broad, shallow cup, mentioned by Alexis in Dropides ; his testimony is set before you above. It is referred to by Aristophanes also in Dramas, who says : "They are all indoors, drinking from broad cups."  

{93.} G   Plemochoē is an earthen dish shaped like a top, but tolerably firm on its base ; some call it a kotyliskos, according to Pamphilus. They use it at Eleusis on the last day of the Mysteries, a day which they call from it Plemochoai ; on that day they fill two plemochoai, and they invert them (standing up and facing the east in the one case, the west in the other), reciting a mystical formula over them. They are mentioned by the author of Peirithous, whether that is Critias, one of the Thirty Tyrants, or Euripides; he speaks as follows : "That we may pour out these plemochoai into earth's chasm in holy silence."   

Pristis. That this is a kind of drinking-cup has stated before in our account of the batiakion.  

{94.} G   Prochytēs is a kind of cup, according to Simaristus in the fourth book of his Synonyms. But Ion of Chios, in his Elegiacs, says : "For us let the wine-pouring henchmen mix the bowl from silver pitchers {prochytai}."   Philitas in Irregular Words says it is a vessel from which country-folk drink. Alexander mentions it also in Antigone. But Xenophon, in the eighth book of his Cyropaedeia, speaks of certain prochoïdes, writing as follows ( he is giving an account of the Persians ) { 8.8.10 } : "It was their custom that prochoïdes should not be carried to their symposia, evidently because they thought that avoidance of excessive drinking would be less likely to injure body and mind; to-day, however, though the practice of not having them carried in still continues, on the other hand they drink so much that instead of carrying them in they are themselves carried out when they can no longer stand up and walk out."   

Prusias. That this cup stands up high has been mentioned before { 475.f }. Also that it got its name from Prusias the king of Bithynia, who became notorious for luxury and effeminacy, is recorded by Nicander of Calchedon in the fourth book of his Adventures of Prusias.  

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