Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 14, Pages 613-628

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

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

[1.] G   [613] Most people, my friend Timocrates, call Dionysus frantic, because those who drink too much unmixed wine become uproarious:
  To copious wine this insolence you owe,
  And much your betters wine can overthrow.
  The great Eurytion, when this frenzy stung,
  Peirithous' roofs with frantic riot rung:
  Boundless the Centaur raged, till one and all
  The Lapiths rose and dragged him from the hall. [ Homer, Od_21'293 ]

For when the wine has penetrated down into the body, as Herodotus says [ 1.212 ], bad and furious language is apt to rise to the surface. And Clearchus the comic poet says in his Corinthians-
  If all the men who to get drunk are apt,
  Had everyday a headache before they drank
  The wine, there is not one would drink a drop:
  But as we now get all the pleasure first,
  Then after we drink, we lose the whole delight
  In the sharp pain which follows.

And Xenophon [ Ages_5.1 ] represents Agesilaus as insisting that a man ought to shun drunkenness equally with madness, and immoderate gluttony as much as idleness. But we, as we are not of the class who drink to excess, nor of the number of those who are in the habit of being intoxicated by midday, have come rather to this literary entertainment; for Ulpianus, who is always finding fault, reproved some one just now who said, I am not drunk (ἔξοινος), saying,- Where do you find that word ἔξοινος? But he rejoined,- Why, in Alexis, who, in his play called the New Settler, says-
  He did all this when drunk (ἔξοινος).

[2.] G   But as, after the discussion by us of the new topics which arise, our liberal entertainer Larensis is every day constantly introducing different kinds of music, and also jesters and buffoons, let us have a little talk about them. Although I am aware that Anacharsis the Scythian, when on one occasion jesters were introduced in his company, remained without moving a muscle of his countenance; but afterwards, when a monkey was brought in, he burst out laughing, and said, "Now this fellow is laughable by his nature, but man is only so through practice." And Euripides, in his Melanippe in Chains, has said-
  But many men, from the wish to raise a laugh,
  Practise sharp sayings; but those sorry jesters
  I hate who let loose their unbridled tongues
  [614] Against the wise and good; nor do I class them
  As men at all, but only as jokes and playthings.
  [But women ...]
  Tend their homes at ease, and gather up
  Good store of wealth to keep within their houses.

And Parmeniscus of Metapontum, as Semus tells us in the fifth book of his History of Delos, a man of the highest consideration both as to family and in respect of his riches, having gone down to the cave of Trophonius, after he had come up again, was not able to laugh at all. And when he consulted the oracle on this subject, the Pythian priestess replied to him-
  You're asking me, you laughless man,
  About the power to laugh again;
  Your mother will give it you at home,
  If you with reverence to her come.

So, on this, he hoped that when he returned to his country he should be able to laugh again; but when he found that he could laugh no more now than he could before, he considered that he had been deceived; till, by some chance, he came to Delos; and as he was admiring everything he saw in the island, he came into the temple of Leto, expecting to see some very superb statue of the mother of Apollo; but when he saw only a wooden shapeless figure, he unexpectedly burst out laughing. And then, comparing what had happened with the oracle of the god, and being cured of his infirmity, he honoured the goddess greatly.

[3.] G   Now Anaxandrides, in his Old Man's Madness, says that it was Rhadamanthys and Palamedes who invented the fashion of jesters; and his words are these:
  And yet we labour much.
  But Palamedes first, and Rhadamanthys,
  Sought those who bring no other contribution,
  But say amusing things.

Xenophon also, in his Symposium [ 1.11 ], mentions jesters; introducing Philippus, of whom he speaks in the following manner:- "But Philippus the jester, having knocked at the door, told the boy who answered, to tell the guests who he was, and that he was desirous to be admitted; and he said that he came provided with everything which could qualify him for supping at other people's expense. And he said, too, that his boy was in a good deal of distress because he had brought nothing, and because he had had no dinner." And Hippolochus the Macedonian, in his Letter to Lynceus [ Athen_4.130'c ], mentions the jesters Mandrogenes and Straton the Athenian. And at Athens there was a great deal of this kind of cleverness. Accordingly, in the Heracleium at Diomeia they assembled to the number of sixty, and they were always spoken of in the city as amounting to that number, in such expressions as- "The sixty said this," and, "I am come from the sixty." And among them were Callimedon, nicknamed the Crab, and Deinias, and also Mnasigeiton and Menaechmus, as Telephanes tells us in his treatise On the City. And their reputation for amusing qualities was so great, that Philippus the Macedonian heard of it, and sent them a talent to engage them to write out their witticisms and send them to him. And the fact of this king having been a man who was very fond of jokes is testified to us by Demosthenes the orator in his Philippics [ Olynth_2'19 ]. Demetrius Poliorcetes was a man very eager for anything which could make him laugh, as Phylarchus tells us in the sixth book of his History [ Fr_12 ]. And he it was who said, "that the palace of Lysimachus was in no respect different from a comic theatre; for that there was no one there with a name longer than two syllables;" (meaning to laugh at Bithys and Paris, who had more influence than anybody with Lysimachus, and at some others of his friends;) "but that his own friends were Peucestes, and Menelaus, and Oxythemis." But when Lysimachus heard this, he said,- "I, however, never saw a prostitute on the stage in a tragedy;" referring to Lamia the female flute-player. [615] And when this was reported to Demetrius, he rejoined,- "But the prostitute who is with me, lives in a more modest manner than the Penelope who is with him."

[4.] G   And we have mentioned before this that Sulla, the general of the Romans, was very fond of anything laughable.  # And Lucius Anicius, who was also a general of the Romans, after he had subdued the Illyrians, and brought with him Genthius the king of the Illyrians as his prisoner, with all his children, when he was celebrating his triumphal games at Rome, did many things of the most laughable character possible, as Polybius relates in his thirtieth book [ 30.22 ]:- "For having sent for the most eminent artists from Greece, and having erected a very large theatre in the Circus, he first of all introduced all the flute-players. And these were Theodorus the Boeotian, and Theopompus, and Hermippus, surnamed Lysimachus, who were the most eminent men in their profession. And having brought these men in front of the stage after the chorus was over, he ordered them all to play the flute. And as they accompanied their music with appropriate gestures, he sent to them and said that they were not playing well, and desired them to be more vehement. And while they were in perplexity, one of the lictors told them that what Anicius wished was that they should turn round so as to advance towards each other, and give a representation of a battle. And then the flute-players, taking this hint, and adopting a movement not unsuited to their habitual wantonness, caused a great tumult and confusion; and turning the middle of the chorus towards the extremities, the flute-players, all blowing unpremeditated notes, and letting their flutes be all out of tune, rushed upon one another in turn: and at the same time the choruses, all making a noise to correspond to them, and coming on the stage at the same time, rushed also upon one another, and then again retreated, advancing and retreating alternately. But when one of the chorus-dancers tucked up his garment, and suddenly turned round and raised his hands against the flute-player who was coming towards him, as if he was going to box with him, then there arose an extraordinary clapping and shouting on the part of the spectators. And while all these men were fighting as if in regular battle, two dancers were introduced into the orchestra with castanets, and four boxers mounted the stage, with trumpeters and horn-players: and when all these men were striving together, the spectacle was quite indescribable: and as for the tragedians," says Polybius, "if I were to attempt to describe what took place with respect to them, I should be thought by some people to be jesting."

[5.] G   Now when Ulpianus had said thus much, and when all were laughing at the idea of this exhibition of Anicius, a discussion arose about travelling acrobats (πλάνοι). And the question was asked, Whether there was any mention of these men in any of the ancient authors? for of the jugglers (θαυματοποιοὶ) we have already spoken [ 1.20'a ]: and Magnus said, Dionysius of Sinope, the comic poet, in his play entitled The Namesakes, mentions Cephisodorus the πλάνος in the following terms-
  They say that once there was a man at Athens,
  A πλάνος, named Cephisodorus, who
  Devoted all his life to this pursuit;
  And he, whenever to a hill he came,
  Ran straight up to the top; but then descending
  Came slowly down, and leaning on a pole.

And Nicostratus also mentions him in his Syrian-
  They say the πλάνος Cephisodorus once
  Most wittily stationed in a narrow lane
  A crowd of men with bundles in their arms,
  So that no one else could pass that way at all.

[616] There was also a man named Pantaleon, who is mentioned by Theognetus, in his Slave devoted to his Master-
  Pantaleon himself did none deceive (ἐπλάνα)
  Save only foreigners, and those, too, such
  As never had heard of him: and often he,
  After a drunken revel, would pour forth
  All sorts of jokes, striving to raise a laugh
  By his unceasing chattering.

And Chrysippus the philosopher in the fifth book of his treatise On Honour and Pleasure, writes thus of Pantaleon:- "But Pantaleon the πλάνος, when he was at the point of death, deceived every one of his sons separately, telling each of them that he was the only one to whom he was revealing the place where he had buried his gold; so that they afterwards went and dug together to no purpose, and then found out that they had been all deceived."

[6.] G   And our party was not deficient in men fond of raising a laugh by jesting speeches. And respecting a man of this kind, Chrysippus subsequently, in the same book, writes as follows:- "Once when a man fond of jests was about to be put to death by the executioner, he said that he wished to die like the swan, singing a song; and when he gave him leave, he ridiculed him." And Myrtilus having had a good many jokes cut on him by people of this sort, got angry, and said that Lysimachus the king had done a very sensible thing;  # for he, hearing Telesphorus, one of his lieutenants, at an banquet, ridiculing Arsinoe (and she was the wife of Lysimachus), as being a woman in the habit of vomiting, by quoting the following line-
  You are starting trouble, introducing this vomiting woman (τήνδ' ἐμοῦσαν)
ordered him to be put in a cage (γαλεάγρα) and carried about like a wild beast, and fed; and he punished him in this way till he died. But if you, O Ulpianus, raise a question about the word γαλεάγρα, it occurs in Hypereides the orator; and the passage you may find out for yourself.

And Tachos the king of Egypt ridiculed Agesilaus king of Lacedaemon, when he came to him as an ally (for he was a very short man), and lost his kingdom in consequence, as Agesilaus abandoned his alliance. And the expression of Tachos was as follows:
  The mountain was in labour; Zeus
  Was greatly frightened: lo! a mouse was born.
And Agesilaus hearing of this, and being indignant at it, said, "I will one day prove a lion to you." So afterwards, when the Egyptians revolted (as Theopompus relates, and Lyceas of Naucratis confirms the statement in his History of Egypt), Agesilaus refused to cooperate with him, and, in consequence, Tachos lost his kingdom, and fled to the Persians.

[7.] G   So as there was a great deal of music introduced, and not always the same instruments, and as there was a good deal of discussion and conversation about them, (without always giving the names of those who took part in it,) I will enumerate the chief things which were said. For concerning flutes, somebody said that Melanippides, in his Marsyas, disparaging the art of playing the flute, had said very cleverly about Athena -    
  Athena cast away those instruments 
  Down from her sacred hand ; and said, in scorn, 
  "Away, you shameful things - you stains of the body ! 
  Shall I now yield myself to such malpractices ?"   

  And someone, replying to him, said,- But Telestes of Selinus, in opposition to Melanippides, says in his Argo (and it is of Athena that he too is speaking) -   
  It seems to me a scarcely credible thing 
  That the wise Pallas, holiest of goddesses, 
  Should in the mountain groves have taken up 
  That clever instrument, and then again 
  Thrown it away, fearing to draw her mouth 
  Into an unseemly shape, to be a glory 
  To the nymph-born, noisy monster Marsyas.   
   [617] For how should chaste Athena be so anxious 
  About her beauty, when Clothō had given her 
  A childless, husbandless virginity?   

   - intimating his belief that she, as she was and always was to continue a virgin, could not he alarmed at the idea of disfiguring her beauty. And in a subsequent passage he says -   
  But this report, spread by vain-speaking men, 
  Hostile to every chorus, flew most causelessly 
  Through Greece, to raise an envy and reproach 
  Against the wise and sacred art of music.   

  And after this, in an express panegyric on the art of flute-playing, he says -    
  And so the happy breath of the holy goddess 
  Bestowed this art divine on Bromius
  With the quick motion of the nimble fingers.   

  And very neatly, in his Asclepius, has Telestes vindicated the use of the flute, where he says -   
  And that wise Phrygian king who first poured forth 
  The notes from sweetly-sounding sacred flutes, 
  Rivalling the music of the Doric Muse
  Embracing with his well-joined reeds the breath 
  Which fills the flute with tuneful modulation.   

[8.] G   And Pratinas of Phliūs. says that when some hired flute-players and chorus-dancers were occupying the orchestra, some people were indignant because the flute-players did not play in tune to the choruses, as was the national custom, but the choruses instead sang, keeping time to the flutes. And what his opinion and feelings were towards those who did this, Pratinas declares in the following Hyporchēma : -   
  What noise is this ?
  What mean these songs of dancers now ? 
  What new unseemly fashion 
  Has seized this stage to Dionysus sacred, 
  Now echoing with various noise ?
  Bromius is mine ! is mine ! 
  I am the man who ought to sing, 
  I am the man who ought to raise the strain, 
  Hastening over the hills, 
  In swift inspired dance among the Naiades
  Blending a song of varied strain, 
  Like the sweet dying swan. 
  You, O Pierian Muse, the sceptre sway
  Of holy song : 
  And after you let the shrill flute resound : 
  For that is but the handmaid 
  Of revels, where men combat at the doors. 
  And fight with heavy fists . . . 
  And is the leader fierce of bloody quarrel. 
  Beat back the 'mottled toad', 
  The leader of the changing choir, - 
  Chattering, untimely, leading on 
  The rhythm of the changing song . . . 
  King of the loud triumphal  dithyrambic
  Whose brow the ivy crowns, 
  Hear this my Doric song.   

[9.] G   And of the union of flutes with the lyre (for that concert has often been a great delight to us ourselves), Ephippus, in his Merchandise, speaks as follows   
   [618] Clearly, O youth, the music of the flute, 
  And that which from the lyre comes, does suit 
  Well with our pastimes; for when each resound 
  In unison with the feelings of those present, 
  Then is the greatest pleasure felt by all.   

  And the exact meaning of the word 'concert'  { συναυλία } is shown by Semus of Delos, in the fifth book of his Delias, where he writes - "But as the term 'concert' is not understood by many people, we must speak of it. It is when there is a union of the flute and of rhythm in alternation, without any words accompanying the melody." And Antiphanes explains it very neatly in his Flute-player, where he says -   
  (A) Tell me, I pray you, what this concert was 
  Which he give to you ?
  ( B) They know how to play it still,
  They've learnt it from each other.
  So you and this girl shall take the flute,
  Continuing the piece you're playing.
  She will take up the rest from you . . .
  A concert of sweet sounds, apart from words, 
  Is pleasant, and not destitute of meaning.   

  But the poets frequently call the flute "the Libyan flute", as Duris remarks in the second book of his History of Agathocles, because Seirites, who appears to have been the first inventor of the art of flute-playing, was a Libyan, of one of the Numidian tribes ; and he was the first person who played airs on the flute in the festival of Cybele." And the different kinds of airs which can be played on the flute (as Tryphon tells us in the second book of his treatise on Names) have the following names : - the kōmos, the boukoliasmos {"pastoral"}, the gingras, the tetrakōmos, the epiphallos, the choreus {"choir-dance"}, the kallinikos {"triumph-song"}, the polemikon {"battle-song"}, the hēdykōmos {"gentle-komos"}, the sikynnotyrbē, the thyrokopikon {"door-knock"}, which is the same as the krousithyron, the knismos {"tickle-tune"}, the mothōn. And all these airs on the flute, when played, were accompanied with dancing.   

[10.] G   Tryphon also gives a list of the different names of songs, as follows. He says - " There is the himaios, which is also called the Millstone song, which men used to sing while grinding corn, perhaps from the word himalis. But himalis is a Dorian word, signifying a return, and also the quantity of corn which the millers gave into the bargain. Then there is the ailinos, which is the song of the men who worked at the loom ; as Epicharmus shows us in his Atalantas. There is also the ioulos, sung by the women who spin. And Semus of Delos, in his treatise on Paeans, says - " They used to call the handfuls of barley taken separately, amalai; but when they were collected so that a great many were made into one sheaf, then they were called ouloi and iouloi. And Demeter herself was called sometimes Chloē, and sometimes Ioulō; and, as being the inventions of this goddess, both the fruits of the ground and also the songs addressed to the goddess were called ouloi and iouloi : and so, too, we have the words demetrouloi and kalliouloi, and the line -
  Send forth a sheaf, a plenteous sheaf, a sheaf send forth.  

  But others say that the ioulis is the song of the workers in wool. There are also the songs of nurses, which are called katabaukalēseis {"lullabies"}. There was also a song used at the feast of Swings, in honour of Erigone, which is called alētis. At all events, Aristotle says, in his treatise on the Constitution of Colophon - "Theodorus also himself died afterwards by a violent death. And he is said to have been a very luxurious man, as is evident from his poetry ; for even now the women sing his songs at the festival of the Swing."   

  [619] There was also a reaper's song called lityersēs ; and another song sung by hired servants when going to the fields, as Telecleides tells us in his Amphictyons. There were songs, too, of bathing men, as we learn from Crates in his Deeds of Daring; and a song of women baking, as Aristophanes intimates in his Thesmophoriazusae, and Nicochares in his Heracles Choregus. And another song in use among those who drove herds, and this was called the boukoliasmos. And the man who first invented this species of song was Diomus, a Sicilian cowherd ; and it is mentioned by Epicharmus in his Halcyon, and in his Odysseus Shipwrecked. The song used at deaths and in mourning is called olophyrmos ; and the songs called iouloi are used in honour of Demeter and Persephone. The song sung in honour of Apollo is called philhelias, as we learn from Telesilla; and those addressed to Artemis are called oupingoi.   

  There were also laws composed by Charondas, which were sung at Athens at drinking-parties ; as Hermippus tells us in the sixth book of his treatise on Lawgivers. And Aristophanes, in his catalogue of Attic Expressions, says - "The himaios is the song of people grinding ; the hymenaios is the song used at marriage-feasts ; and that employed in lamentation is called ialemos. But the linos and the ailinos are not confined to occasions of mourning, but are in use also in good fortune, as we may gather from Euripides [ Her_348 ]."   

[11.] G   But Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise on matters relating to Love, says that there was a kind of song called nomion, derived from Eriphanis ; and his words are these: "Eriphanis was a lyric poetess, who was in love with Menalcas the hunter; and she, pursuing him with her passions, hunted too. For often frequenting the mountains, and wandering over them, she came to the different groves, equalling in her wanderings the celebrated journeys of Io ; so that not only those men who were most remarkable for their deficiency in the tender passion, but even the fiercest beasts joined in weeping for her misfortunes, perceiving the lengths to which her passionate hopes carried her. Therefore she wrote poems ; and when she had composed them, as it is said, she roamed about the desert, shouting and singing the kind of song called nomion, in which the burden of the song is - 
  The lofty oaks, Menalcas."   

  And Aristoxenus, in the fourth book of his treatise on Music, says - "Anciently the women used to sing a kind of song called kalykē. Now, this was a poem of Stesichorus, in which a damsel of the name of Calycē, being in love with a young man named Euathlus, prays in a modest manner to Aphrodite to aid her in becoming his wife. But when the young man scorned her, she threw herself down a precipice. And this disaster took place near Leucas. And the poet has represented the disposition of the maiden as very modest ; so that she was not willing to live with the youth on his own terms, but prayed that, if possible, she might become the wedded wife of Euathlus; and if that were not possible, that she might be released from life." But, in his Brief Memoranda, Aristoxenus says - "Iphiclus despised Harpalycē, who was in love with him ; but she died, and there has been a contest established among the maidens of songs in her honour, and the contest is called from her, harpalykē." And Nymphis, in the first book of his History of Heracleia, speaking of the Mariandyni, says - " And in the same way it is well to notice some songs which, in compliance with a national custom, they sing, in which they invoke some ancient person, whom they address as Bormus. And they say that he was the son of an illustrious and wealthy man, [620] and that he was far superior to all his fellows in beauty and in the vigour of youth ; and as he was superintending the cultivation of some of his own lands, and wishing to give his reapers something to drink, he went to fetch some water, and disappeared. Accordingly, they say that on this the natives of the country sought him with a kind of dirge and invocation set to music, which even to this day they are in the habit of using frequently. And there is a similar dirge sung to a man among  the Egyptians, who is called Manerōs." 

[12.] G   Moreover, there were rhapsodists also present at our entertainments: for Larensis delighted in the reciters of Homer to an extraordinary degree; so that one might call Cassander the king of Macedonia a trifler in comparison of him; concerning whom Carystius, in his Historical Recollections, tells us that he was so devoted to Homer, that he could say the greater part of his poems by heart; and he had a copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey written out with his own hand. And that these reciters of Homer were called Homerists also, Aristocles has told us in his treatise On Choruses. But those who are now called Homerists were first introduced on the stage by Demetrius Phalereus.

Now Chamaeleon, in his essay on Stesichorus, says that not only the poems of Homer, but those also of Hesiodus and Archilochus, and also of Mimnermus and Phocylides, were often recited to the accompaniment of music; and Clearchus, in the first book of his treatise On Pictures, says- "Simonides of Zacynthus used to sit in the theatres on a lofty chair reciting the verses of Archilochus." And Lysanias, in the first book of his treatise On Iambic Poets, says that Mnasion the rhapsodist used in his public recitations to deliver some of the Iambics of Simonides. And Cleomenes the rhapsodist, at the Olympic games, recited the Purification of Empedocles, as is asserted by Dicaearchus in his History of Olympia. And Jason, in the third book of his treatise On the Temples of Alexander, says that Hegesias, the comic actor, recited the works of Herodotus in the great theatre at Alexandria, and that Hermophantus recited the poems of Homer.

[13.] G   And the men called hilarodists (whom some people at the present day call simodists, as Aristocles tells us in his first book On Choruses, because Simus of Magnesia was the most celebrated of all the poets of joyous songs,) frequently come to our attention. And Aristocles also gives a regular list of performers in his treatise On Music, where he speaks in the following manner:- "The magodist- but he is the same as the lysiodist." But Aristoxenus says that magodist is the name given to an actor who acts both male and female characters; but that he who acts a woman's part in male [costume] is called a lysiodist. And they both sing the same songs, and in other respects they are similar.

The ionicologus recites the poems of Sotades, and what before his time were called Ionic poems, such as those of Alexander the Aetolian, and Pyres the Milesian, and Alexas, and other poets of the same kind; and [this reciter] is also called cinaedologus. And Sotades of Maroneia was very notorious for this kind of poetry, as Carystius of Pergamon says in his essay on Sotades; and so was the son of Sotades, Apollonius. This latter also wrote an essay on his father's poetry, from which one may easily see the unbridled licence of language which Sotades allowed himself: abusing Lysimachus the king in Alexandria, and, when at the court of Lysimachus, abusing Ptolemy Philadelphus, and in different cities speaking ill of different sovereigns; on which account, at last, he met with the punishment that he deserved. [621]  # For he had said many bitter things against Ptolemy the king, and especially this, after he had heard that he had married his sister Arsinoe,-
  He pierced forbidden fruit with deadly sting.
But when he had sailed from Alexandria (as Hegesander, in his Reminiscences, relates), and thought that he had escaped all danger, Patroclus, the general of Ptolemy, caught him in the island of Caunus. Patroclus shut him up in a leaden vessel, and carried him into the open sea and drowned him. And here is an example of Sotades' poetry: about Philenus, who was the father of Theodorus the flute-player, he wrote these lines:-
  And he, opening the door which leads from the back-side,
  Sent forth vain thunder from a leafy cave,
  Such as a mighty ploughing ox might utter.

[14.] G   But the hilarōdos, as he is called, is a more respectable kind of poet than these men are; for he is never effeminate or indecorous, but he wears a white manly robe, and he is crowned with a golden crown : and in former times he used to wear sandals, as Aristocles tells us; but at the present day he wears only slippers. And some man or woman sings an accompaniment to him, as to a person who sings to the flute. And a crown is given to a hilarōdos, as well as to a person who sings to the flute; but such honours are not allowed to a player on the harp or on the flute. But the man who is called a magōdos has drums and cymbals, and wears all kinds of woman's attire; and he behaves in an effeminate manner, and does every sort of indecorous, indecent thing, - imitating at one time a woman, at another an adulterer or a pimp : or sometimes he represents a drunken man, or even a serenade offered by a reveller to his mistress. And Aristoxenus says that the business of singing joyous songs is a respectable one, and somewhat akin to tragedy; but that the business of a magōdos is more like comedy. And very often it happens that the magōdoi, taking the argument of some comedy, represent it according to their own fashion and manner. And the word magōdia was derived from the fact that those who addicted themselves to the practice, uttered things like magical incantations, and often declared the power of various drugs.   

[15.] G   But there was among the Lacedaemonians an ancient kind of comic diversion, as Sosibius says, not regarded as very serious, since Sparta aimed at plainness even in pastimes. And the way was that someone, using very plain, unadorned language, imitated persons stealing fruit, or else some foreign physician speaking in this way, as Alexis, in his Woman who has taken Mandragora, represents one : and he says -   
  If any surgeon of the country says, 
  "Give him at early dawn a platter fall 
  Of barley-broth," we shall at once despise him ; 
  But if he says the same with foreign accent, 
  We marvel and admire him. If he call 
  The beet-root seutlion, we disregard him ; 
  But if he style it teutlion, we listen. 
  And straightway, with attention fixed, obey; 
  As if there were such difference between 
  Seutlion and teutlion.   

  And those who practised this kind of sport were called among the Lacedaemonians dikēlistai, which is a term equivalent to skeuopoioi or mimētai. There are, however, many names, varying in different places, for this class of dikēlistai; for the Sicyonians call them phallophoroi and others call them autokabdaloi, and some call them phlyakes, as the Italians do; but people in general call them sophists : and the Thebans, who are very much in the habit of giving peculiar names to many things, call them ethelontai. But that the Thebans do introduce all kinds of innovations with respect to words, Strattis shows us in the Phoenissae, where he says - 
  You, you whole body of Theban citizens 
  [622] Know absolutely nothing ; for I hear 
  You call the cuttle-fish not sēpia
  But opitthotila. Then, too, you term 
  A cock not alektryon, but ortalix
  A physician is no longer in your mouths 
  Iatros - no, but saktas. For a bridge, 
  You turn gephyra into bephyra
  Figs are not syka now, but tyka : swallows, 
  kōtilades, not chelidones. A mouthful 
  With you is akolos ; to laugh, kriddemen
  A new-soled shoe you call neospatōton.   

[16.] G   Semus of Delos says in his book about Paeans - " The men who were called autokabdaloi used to wear crowns of ivy, and they would go through long poems slowly. But at a later time both they and their poems were called iamboi. And those," he proceeds, " who are called ithyphalloi, wear a mask representing the face of a drunken man, and wear crowns, having gloves embroidered with flowers. And they wear tunics shot with white ; and they wear a Tarentine robe, which covers them down to their ankles: and they enter at the stage entrance silently, and when they have reached the middle of the orchestra, they turn towards the spectators, and say - 
  Out of the way ; a clear space leave 
  For the great mighty god : 
  For the god, to his ankles clad, 
  Will pass along the centre of the crowd.   

  "And the phallophoroi," says he, "wear no masks; but they put on a sort of veil of wild thyme, and on that they put acanthus, and an untrimmed garland of violets and ivy; and they clothe themselves in kaunakai, and so come on the stage, some at the side, and others through the centre entrance, walking in exact musical time, and saying -   
  For you, Bacchus, do we now set forth 
  This tuneful song ; uttering in various melody 
  This simple rhythm. 
  It is a song unsuited to a virgin ; 
  Nor are we now addressing you with hymns 
  Made long ago, but this our offering 
  Is fresh unuttered praise.   

  And then, advancing, they used to ridicule with their jests whoever they chose ; and they did this standing still, but the phallophoros himself marched straight on, covered with soot and dirt."   

[17.] G   And since we are on this subject, it is as well not to omit what happened to Amoebeus, a citharode of our time, and a man of great science and skill in everything that related to music. He once came late to one of our banquets, and when he heard from one of the servants that we had all finished supper, he doubted what to do himself, until Sophon the cook came to him, and with a loud voice, so that everyone might hear, recited to him these lines out of the Auge of Eubulus -   
  Wretched man, why stand you at the doors ?
  Why don't you enter ? Long ago the geese 
  Have all been deftly carved limb from limb ; 
  Long the hot pork has had the meat cut off 
  From the long backbone, and the stuffing, which 
  Lay in the middle of his stomach, has 
  Been served around ; and all his pettitoes, 
  The dainty slices of fat, well-seasoned sausages, 
  Have all been eaten. The well-roasted cuttlefish 
  Is swallowed long ago ; and nine or ten 
  Casks of rich wine are drained to the very dregs. 
  So if you'd like some fragments of the feast, 
  Hasten and enter. Don't, like hungry wolf, 
  Losing this feast, then run about at random.   

  For as that delightful writer Antiphanes says, in his Friend of the Thebans, -   
  (A) We now are well supplied with everything; 
  For she, the namesake of the dame within, 
  The rich Boeotian eel, carved in the depths 
  [623] Of the ample dish, is warm, and swells, and boils, 
  And bubbles up, and smokes ; so that a man, 
  Even though equipped with brazen nostrils, scarcely 
  Could bear to leave a banquet such as this, - 
  So rich a fragrance does it yield his senses. 
  (B) Say you the cook is living?
  (A) There is near 
  A mullet, all unfed both night and day, 
  Scaled, washed, and stained with cochineal, and turned ; 
  And as he nears his last and final turn 
  He cracks and hisses ; while the servant bastes 
  The fish with vinegar : then there's Libyan silphium, 
  Dried in the genial rays of midday sun : - 
  (B) Yet there are people found who dare to say 
  That sorcerers possess no sacred power ; 
  For now I see three men their bellies filling 
  While you are turning this. 
  (A) And the comrade squid 
  Bearing the form of the humpbacked cuttlefish, 
  Dreadful with armed claws and sharpened talons, 
  Changing its brilliant snow-white nature under 
  The fiery blasts of glowing coal, adorns 
  Its back with golden splendour; well exciting 
  Hunger, the best forerunner of a feasts 

So, come in - 
  Do not delay, but enter : when we've dined 
  We then can best endure what must be borne.   

  And so he, meeting him in this appropriate manner, replies with these lines out of the Citharode of Clearchus : -   
  Sup on white congers, and whatever else 
  Can boast a sticky nature ; for by such food 
  The breath is strengthened, and the voice of man 
  Is rendered rich and powerful.   

  And as there was great applause on this, and as everyone with one accord called to him to come in, he went in and drank, and taking the lyre, sang to us in such a manner that we all marvelled at his skill in playing it, and at the rapidity of his execution, and at the tunefulness of his voice ; for he appeared to me to be not at all inferior to that ancient Amoebeus, whom Aristeas, in his History of Citharodes, speaks of as living at Athens, and dwelling near the theatre, and receiving an Attic talent per day every time he went out singing.   

[18.] G   And while some were discussing music in this manner, and others of the guests saying different things every day, but all praising the pastime, Masurius, who excelled in everything, and was a man of universal wisdom, (for as an interpreter of the laws he was inferior to no one, and he was always devoting some of his attention to music, for indeed he was able himself to play on some musical instruments,) said, - My good friends, Eupolis the comic poet says -   
  And music is a deep and subtle science, - 
  And always finding out some novelty 
  For those who are capable of comprehending it ; .   

  - on which account Anaxilas, in his Hyacinthus, says-   
  For, by the gods I swear, music, like Libya
  Brings forth each year some novel prodigy ;   

  - for, my dear fellows, ''Music,'' as the Citharode of Theophilus says, " is a great and lasting treasure to all who have learnt it and know anything about it ; " for it ameliorates the disposition, and softens those who are passionate and quarrelsome in their tempers. Accordingly, "Cleinias the Pythagorean," [624] as Chamaeleon of Pontus relates, ''who was a most unimpeachable man both in his actual conduct and also in his disposition; if ever it happened to him to get out of temper or indignant at anything, would take up his lyre and play upon it. And when people asked him the reason of this conduct, he used to say, ''I am pacifying myself.'' And so, too, the Achilles of Homer [ Il_9.186-188 ] was mollified by the music of the lyre, which is all that Homer allots to him out of the spoils of Eëtion, as being able to check his fiery temper. And he is the only hero in the whole Iliad who indulges in this music."   

  Now, that music can heal diseases, Theophrastus asserts in his treatise on Enthusiasm, where he says that men with diseases in the loins become free from pain if anyone plays a Phrygian air opposite to the part affected. And the Phrygians are the first people who invented and employed the harmony which goes by their name ; owing to which circumstance it is that the flute-players among the Greeks have usually Phrygian and servile-sounding names, such as Sambas in Alcman, and Adon, and Telus. And in Hipponax we find Cion, and Codalus, and Babys, from whom the proverb arose about men who play worse and worse, - " He plays worse than Babys." But Aristoxenus ascribes the invention of this harmony to Hyagnis the Phrygian.   

[19.] G   But Heracleides of Pontus, in the third book of his treatise on Music, says - " Now that harmony ought not to be called Phrygian, just as it has no right either to be called Lydian. For there are three harmonies; as there are also three different races of Greeks:- Dorians, Aeolians, and Ionians : and accordingly there is no little difference between their manners. The Lacedaemonians are of all the Dorians the most strict in maintaining their national customs; and the Thessalians (and these are they who were the origin of the Aeolian race) have preserved at all times very nearly the same customs and institutions; but the population of the Ionians has been a great deal changed, and has gone through many transitions, because they have at all times resembled whatever nations of barbarians have from time to time been their masters. Accordingly, that species of melody which the Dorians composed they called the Dorian harmony, and that which the Aeolians used to sing they named the Aeolian harmony, and the third they called the Ionian, because they heard the Ionians sing it.   

  " Now the Dorian harmony is a manly and high-sounding strain, having nothing relaxed or merry in it, but, rather, it is stern and vehement, not admitting any great variations or any sudden changes. The character of the Aeolian harmony is pompous and inflated, and full of a sort of pride ; and these characteristics are very much in keeping with the fondness for breeding horses and for entertaining strangers which the people itself exhibits. There is nothing mean in it, but the style is elevated and fearless; and therefore we see that a fondness for banquets and for amorous indulgences is common to the whole nation, and they indulge in every sort of relaxation : on which account they cherish the style of the Sub-Dorian harmony; for that which they call the Aeolian is, says Heracleides, a sort of modification of the Dorian, and is called hypodōrios. And we may gather the character of this Aeolian harmony also from what Lasus of Hermione says in his hymn to the Demeter in Hermione, where he speaks as follows: -   
  I sing the praise of Demeter and of Persephone
  The sacred wife of Clymenus, Meliboea; 
  Raising the heavy-sounding harmony 
  Of hymns Aeolian.   

  But these Sub-Dorian songs, as they are called, are sung by nearly everybody. Since, then, there is a Sub-Dorian melody, it is with great propriety that Lasus speaks of Aeolian harmony. Pratinas, too, somewhere or other says- 
  Aim not at too sustained a style, nor yet 
  At the relaxed Ionian harmony ; 
  But draw a middle farrow through your ground, 
  And follow the Aeolian muse in preference.   

  And in what comes afterwards he speaks more plainly -   
  [625] But to all men who wish to raise their voices, 
  The Aeolian harmony's most suitable.   

  "Now formerly, as I have said, they used to call this the Aeolian harmony, but afterwards they gave it the name of the Sub-Dorian, thinking, as some people say, that it was pitched lower on the flute than the Dorian. But it appears to me that those who gave it this name, seeing its inflated style, and the pretence to valour and virtue which was put forth in the style of the harmony, thought it not exactly the Dorian harmony, but to a certain extent like it : on which account they called it hypodōrion, just as they call what is nearly white hypoleukon : and what is not absolutely sweet, but something near it, we call hypogluku; so, too, we call what is not thoroughly Dorian hypodōrion.   

[20.] G   "Next in order let us consider the character of the Milesians, which the Ionians display, being very proud of the goodly appearance of their persons; and full of spirit, hard to be reconciled to their enemies, quarrelsome, displaying no philanthropic or cheerful qualities, but rather a want of affection and friendship, and a great moroseness of disposition: on which account the Ionian style of harmony also is not flowery nor mirthful, but austere and harsh, and having a sort of gravity in it, which, however, is not ignoble-looking ; on which account tragedy has a sort of affection for that harmony. But the manners of the Ionians of the present day are more luxurious, and the character of their present music is very far removed from the Ionian harmony we have been speaking of, And men say that Pythermus of Teos wrote songs such as are called scolia in this kind of harmony ; and that it was because he was an Ionian poet that the harmony got the name of Ionian. This is that Pythermus whom Ananius or Hipponax mentions in his Iambics in this way : -   
  Pythermus speaks of gold as though all else were nought.   

  And Pythermus's own words are as follows : -   
  All other things but gold are good for nothing.   

  Therefore, according to this statement, it is probable that Pythermus, as coming from those parts, adapted the character of his melodies to the disposition of the Ionians ; on which account I suppose that his was not actually the Ionian harmony, but that it was a harmony adapted in some admirable manner to the purpose required. And those are contemptible people who are unable to distinguish the characteristic differences of these separate harmonies; but who are led away by the sharpness or flatness of the sounds, so as to describe one harmony as hypermixolydios, and then again to give a definition of some further sort, refining on this : for I do not think that even that which is called the hyperphrygios has a distinct character of its own, although some people do say that they have invented a new harmony which they call Sub-Phrygian {hypophrygios}. Now every kind of harmony ought to have some distinct species of character or of passion ; as the Locrian has, for this was a harmony used by some of those who lived in the time of Simonides and Pindar, but subsequently it fell into contempt.   

[21.] G   There are, then, as we have already said, three kinds of harmony, as there are three nations of the Greek people. But the Phrygian and Lydian harmonies, being barbaric, became known to the Greeks by means of the Phrygians and Lydians who came over to the Peloponnese with Pelops. For many Lydians accompanied and followed him, because Sipylus was a town of Lydia; and many Phrygians did so too, not because they border on the Lydians, but because their king also was Tantalus - (and you may see all over the Peloponnese, and most especially in Lacedaemon, great mounds, which the people there call the tombs of the Phrygians who came over with Pelops) - and from them the Greeks learnt these harmonies: on which account Telestes of Selinus says -   
  [626] First of all, Greeks, the comrades brave of Pelops
  Sang over their wine, in Phrygian melody, 
  The praises of the mighty Mountain Mother
  But others, striking the shrill strings of the lyre, 
  Gave forth a Lydian hymn."  

[22.] G   "But we must not admit," says Polybius of Megalopolis [ 4.20-21 ], "that music, as Ephorus asserts, was introduced among men for the purposes of fraud and trickery. Nor must we think that the ancient Cretans and Lacedaemonians used flutes and songs at random to excite their military ardour, instead of trumpets. Nor are we to imagine that the earliest Arcadians had no reason whatever for doing so, when they introduced music into every department of their management of the republic; so that, though the nation in every other respect was most austere in its manner of life, they nevertheless compelled music to be the constant companion, not only of their boys, but even of their youths up to thirty years of age. For the Arcadians are the only people among whom the boys are trained from infancy to sing hymns and paeans to regular melodies, in which indeed every city celebrates their national heroes and gods with such songs, in obedience to ancient custom.  

  "But after this, learning the melodies of Timotheus and Philoxenus, they every year dance in their theatres to the music of Dionysiac flute-players ; the boys dancing in the choruses of boys, and the youths in those of men. And throughout the whole duration of their lives they are addicted to music at their common entertainments ; not so much, however, employing musicians as singing in turn: and to admit themselves ignorant of any other accomplishment is not at all reckoned discreditable to them; but to refuse to sing is accounted a most disgraceful thing. And they, practising marches so as to march in order to the sound of the flute, and studying their dances also, exhibit every year in the theatres, under public regulations and at the public expense. These, then, are the customs which they have derived from the ancients, not for the sake of luxury and superfluity, but from a consideration of the austerity which each individual practised in his private life, and of the severity of their characters, which they contract from the cold and gloomy nature of the climate which prevails in the greater part of their country. And it is the nature of all men to be in some degree influenced by the climate, so as to get some resemblance to it themselves ; and it is owing to this that we find different races of men, varying in character and figure and complexion, in proportion as they are more or less distant from one another.   

  "In addition to this, they instituted public banquets and public sacrifices, in which the men and women join ; and also dances of the maidens and boys together; endeavouring to mollify and civilise the harshness of their natural character by the influence of education and habit. And as the people of Cynaetha neglected this system (although they occupy by far the most inclement district of Arcadia, both as respects the soil and the climate), they, never meeting one another except for the purpose of giving offence and quarrelling, became at last so utterly savage, that the very greatest impieties prevailed among them alone of all the people of Arcadia; and at the time when they made the great massacre, whatever Arcadian cities their emissaries came to on their way, the citizens of all the other cities at once ordered them to depart by public proclamation ; and the Mantineians even made a public purification of their city after their departure, leading victims all round their entire district."   

[23.] G   Agias, the musician, said that the styrax, which at the Dionysiac festivals is burnt in the orchestras, presented a Phrygian odour to those who were within reach of it. Now, formerly music was an exhortation to courage ; [627] and accordingly Alcaeus the poet, one of the greatest musicians that ever lived, places valour and manliness before skill in music and poetry, being himself a man warlike even beyond what was necessary. On which account, in such verses as these, he speaks in high-toned language, and says -   
  My lofty house is bright with bronze ;
  And all my dwelling is adorned, in honour 
  Of mighty Ares, with shining helmets. 
  Over which white horsehair crests superbly wave, 
  Choice ornament for manly brows ; 
  And brazen greaves, on mighty pegs suspended,
  Hang round the hall ; fit to repel 
  The heavy javelin or the long-headed spear. 
  There, too, are breastplates of new linen, 
  And many a hollow shield, thrown basely down 
  By coward enemies in flight : 
  There, too, are sharp Chalcidic swords, and belts, 
  Short military cloaks besides, 
  And all things suitable for fearless war ; 
  Which I may never forget, 
  Since first I girt myself for the adventurous work -   

  - although it would have been more suitable for him to have had his house well stored with musical instruments. But the ancients considered manly courage the greatest of all civil virtues, and they attributed the greatest importance to that, to the exclusion of other good qualities. Archilochus accordingly, who was a distinguished poet, boasted in the first place of being able to partake in all political undertakings, and in the second place he mentioned the credit he had gained by his poetical efforts, saying, -   
  But I'm a servant of lord Enyalius,
  Skilled also in the Muses' lovely art.   

  And in the same spirit, Aeschylus, though a man who had acquired such great renown by his poetry, nevertheless preferred having his valour recorded on his tomb, and composed an inscription for it, of which the following lines are a part -   
  The grove of Marathon, and the long-haired Medes
  Who felt his courage, well may speak of it.   

[24.] G   And it is on this account that the Lacedaemonians, who are a most valiant nation, go to war to the music of the flute, and the Cretans to the strains of the lyre, and the Lydians to the sound of pipes and flutes, as Herodotus relates [ 1.17 ]. And, moreover, many of the barbarians make all their public proclamations to the accompaniment of flutes and harps, softening the souls of their enemies by these means. And Theopompus, in the forty-sixth book of his History, says - " The Getae make all their proclamations while holding harps in their hands and playing on them. " And it is perhaps on this account that Homer, having due regard to the ancient institutions and customs of the Greeks, says [ Od_8.99 ] - 
  I hear, what graces every feast, the lyre ;   

  - as if this art of music were welcome also to men feasting.   

  Now it was, as it should seem, a regular custom to introduce music, in the first place in order that everyone who might be too eager for drunkenness or gluttony might have music as a sort of physician and healer of his insolence and indecorum, and also because music softens moroseness of temper ; for it dissipates sadness, and produces affability and a sort of gentlemanlike joy. From which consideration. Homer has also, in the first book of the Iliad [ 1.603-604 ], represented the gods as using music after their dissensions on the subject of Achilles; for they continued for some time listening to it -   
  Thus the blest gods the genial day prolong 
  In feasts ambrosial and celestial song : 
  Apollo tuned the lyre, - the Muses round,
  With voice alternate, aid the silver sound.   

  For it was desirable that they should leave off their quarrels and dissensions, as we have said. And most people seem to attribute the practice of this art to banquets for the sake of setting things right, and of the general mutual advantage. And, besides these other occasions, the ancients also established by customs and laws [628] that at feasts all men should sing hymns to the gods, in order by these means to preserve order and decency among as; for as all songs proceed according to harmony, the consideration of the gods being added to this harmony, elevates the feelings of each individual And Philochorus says that the ancients, when making their libations, did not always use dithyrambic hymns, but "when they pour libations, they celebrate Dionysus with wine and drunkenness, but Apollo with tranquillity and good order." Accordingly Archilochus says -   
  I, all excited in my mind with wine, 
  Am skilful in the dithyrambic, knowing 
  The noble melodies of the lord Dionysus.   

  And Epicharmus, in his Philoctetes, says - 
  A water-drinker knows no dithyrambics.   

  So, that it was not merely with a view to superficial and vulgar pleasure, as some assert, that music was originally introduced into entertainments, is plain from what has been said above. But the Lacedaemonians do not assert that they used to learn music as a science, but they do profess to be able to judge well of what is done in the art; and they say that they have already three times preserved it when it was in danger of being lost.  

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