Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 6, Pages 234-248

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

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

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[26.] G   [234] When Pontianus had delivered his opinion in these terms, and while most of the guests were endeavouring to solve the questions proposed by Ulpianus, Plutarchus, being one of those who was attending to the other subjects of discussion, said,- The name parasite was in former days a respectable and a holy name. At all events, Polemon (whether he was a Samian or a Sicyonian, or whether he prefers the name of an Athenian, which Heracleides of Mopsuestia gives him, who also speaks of him as being claimed by other cities; and he was also called Stelocopas, as Herodicus the pupil of Crates has told us,) writing about parasites, speaks as follows - "The name of parasite is now a disreputable one; but among the ancients we find the word parasite used as something sacred, and nearly equivalent to the title Messmate. Accordingly, at Cynosarges, in the temple of Heracles, there is a pillar on which is engraved a decree of Alcibiades; the clerk who drew it up being Stephanus the son of Thucydides; and in it mention is made of this name in the following terms - 'Let the priest perform the monthly sacrifices with the parasites; and let the parasites be selected from the men of mixed race, and from the sons of the same, according to the usual national customs; and whoever is unwilling to take the place of a parasite, let the priest report him to the tribunal.' And in the tables of the laws concerning the Delian sacred mission it is written - 'And let two heralds, of the family of the heralds, of that branch of it which is occupied about the sacred mysteries, be chosen; and let them be parasites in the temple of Delos for a year.' And in Pallenis this inscription is engraved on the offerings there found - 'The magistrates and parasites made these offerings, who, in the archonship of Pythodorus, were crowned with a golden crown; and the parasites were, when ... was priestess, Epilycus, son of ... of Gargettus; Pericles, son of Pericleitus of Pitthis; Charinus, son of Demochares of Gargettus.' And in the laws of the king, we find the following words - 'That the parasites of the Acharnians shall sacrifice to Apollo.' But Clearchus of Soli, and he was one of the disciples of Aristotle, in the first book of his Lives, writes thus - [235] 'But now they call a parasite a man who is ready for anything; but in former times he was a man picked out as a companion.' " Accordingly, in the ancient laws, most cities mention parasites among the most honourable of their officers; and, indeed, they do so to this day. And Cleidemus says in his History of Attica - "And then they chose some parasites for Heracles." And Themison, in his Pallenis, says - "That the king, who from time to time fills that office, and the parasites, whom they appoint from the main body of the people, and the old men, and the women who still have their first husbands, shall take care of such and such things."

[27.] G   And from this you perceive, my good friend Ulpianus, that you may raise another question, who the women are who still have their first husbands? But (for we are still speaking about the parasites) there is also an inscription on a pillar in the Anaceium to the following effect - "Of the best bulls which are selected, one-third is to be appropriated to the games; and of the remaining two-thirds, one is to go to the priest, and the other to the parasites." But Crates, in the second book of his treatise on the Attic Dialect, says - "And the word parasite is now used in a disreputable sense; but formerly those people were called parasites who were selected to collect the sacred corn, and there was a regular Hall of the parasites; on which account the following expressions occur in the law of the king - "That the king shall take care of the archons that they are properly appointed, and that they shall select the parasites from the different demes, according to the statutes enacted with reference to that subject. And that the parasites shall, without any evasion or fraud, select from their own share a sixth part of a medimnus of barley, on which all who are citizens of Athens shall feast in the temple, according to the national laws and customs. And that the parasites of the Acharnians shall give a sixth part of a medimnus from their collection of barley to the guild of priests of Apollo. And that there was a regular Hall for the parasites is shown by the following expressions in the same law - "For the repairs of the temple, and of the magistrates' hall, and of the hall of parasites, and of the sacred house, they shall pay whatever sums of money the contractors appointed by the priests think necessary." From this it is evident that the place in which the parasites laid up the first-fruits of the consecrated corn was called the Parasitium, or the Hall of the parasites. And Philochorus gives the same account in his book entitled Tetrapolis [ Fr_73 ], where he mentions the parasites who were elected for the temple of Heracles; and Diodorus of Sinope, a comic poet, in his Heir, (from which I will cite some testimonies presently,) says the same. And Aristotle, in his treatise on the Constitution of Methone, says - "Parasites were two in number for each of the archons, and one for the polemarchs. And they received a fixed allowance from others, and they also took dishes of fish from the fishermen."

[28.] G   But the meaning which is now given to the name parasite is one which Carystius of Pergamon, in his treatise on the Didascaliae, says was first invented by Alexis, forgetting that Epicharmus, in his Hope, or Plutus, has introduced one in a drinking party, where he says -
  But here another stands at this man's feet,
  * * * * *
  Seeking for food which shall not cost him anything,
  And he will drink up an entire cask,
  As if it were a cupful.

And he introduces the parasite himself, making the following speech to some one who questioned him -
  I sup with any one who likes, if he
  Has only got the good sense to invite me;
  And with each man who makes a marriage feast,
  Whether I'm asked or not., there I am witty;
  [236] There I make others laugh, and there I praise
  The host, who gives the feast. And if by chance
  Any one dares to say a word against him,
  I arm myself for contest, and overwhelm him.
  Then eating much and drinking plentifully,
  I leave the house. No lamp-carrier attends me;
  But I do pick my way with stumbling steps,
  Both dark and desolate; and if sometimes
  I do the watchmen meet, I swear to them
  By all the gods that I have done no wrong;
  But still they set on me. At last, well beaten,
  I reach my home, and go to sleep on the ground,
  And for a while forget my blows and bruises, -
  While the strong wine retains its sway and lulls me.

[29.] G   And the parasite of Epicharmus makes a second speech of the same kind. And a parasite of Diphilus speaks thus -
  When a rich man who gives a dinner asks me,
  I look not at the ceiling or the cornices,
  Nor do I criticise Corinthian chasings,
  But keep my eyes fixed on the kitchen smoke,
  And if it goes up strong and straight to heaven,
  I joy and triumph, and I flap my wings;
  But if it be but thin and moving sidewise,
  Then I perceive my feast too will be thin.

But Homer is the first person, as some say, who introduced the character of a parasite, saying of Podes that he was a beloved guest of Hector [ Il_17'575 ] -
  There stood a Trojan, not, unknown to fame,
  Eetion's son, and Podes was his name,-
  With riches honoured, and with courage blest,
  By Hector loved, his comrade and his guest.

Alternatively, this is:

For the word εἰλαπίνη comes to the same thing as δεῖπνον, on which account he makes him wounded by Menelaus in the belly, as Demetrius of Scepsis says; as also he represents Pandarus as wounded in the tongue [ Il_5'292 ], because of his having perjured himself; and it is a Spartan who wounds him, one of a nation very much devoted to temperance.

[30.] G   But the ancient poets called parasites flatterers; from whom also Eupolis gave this title to his play, where he represents a chorus of flatterers speaking thus -
  But we will tell you now
  The mode of life adopted
  By the whole flattering band;
  Listen to us, and learn
  How well-bred we all are.
  For first of all a boy,
  Another person's slave,
  Attends us; and we are
  Content with very little.
  I have two well-made garments,
  And always have one on;
  I go to the marketplace,
  And when I see a man,
  A foolish man but rich,
  I make my way to him,
  And if he says a word
  I praise his wit and laugh,
  Delighted at his jests.
  And then we go to supper,
  My friends and I, pursuing
  Each different game so long
  As we can save our money.
  And then the parasite
  Must show his wit and manners,
  Or out of doors be turned.
 [237] And one there was, Acestor,
  A branded slave, if I
  Am bound to tell the truth,
  And he was treated so.
  For not one single joke
  Did he open his lips to utter,
  And so the slaves expelled
  And pilloried the knave,
  And gave him up to Oeneus.

[31.] G   And Araros, in his Hymenaeus, uses the word parasite, where he says -
  Why you must be a parasite, my friend;
  And 'tis Ischomachus who does support you.

And the word is constantly used among the later writers.

And the verb παρασιτέω, to be a parasite, occurs in Platon the comic writer, in his Lathes. For he says
  See how these youths do play the parasite.

And Alexis says that there are two kinds of parasites, in his Pilot, where we find this passage -
  (A)   There are two kinds of parasites, Nausinicus:
  The one the common one, much jested on
  By comic writers, we, the black-faced men
  (N)   What is the other kind?
  (A)   Satraps of parasites;
  Illustrious leaders of the band; a troop
  Whom you may call the venerable parasites;
  Men who act well throughout their lives;
  Knit their brows gravely, win estates and legacies.
  Do you know the kind of men, and these their manners?
  (N)   Indeed I do.
  (A)   Each of these men have one
  Fixed method of proceeding, flattery;
  And as in life, fortune makes some men great,
  And bids the rest content themselves with little;
  So some of us do thrive, and some do fail.
  Do I not make the matter plain to you?
  (N)   Why if I praise you, you will ask for more.

[32.] G   And Timocles, in his Dracontius, hits off the parasite very neatly, and describes his character thus -
  Shall I then let a man abuse the parasites!
  No, surely, for there is no race of men
  More useful in such matters. And if company
  Be one of the things which makes life pass agreeably,
  Surely a parasite does this most constantly.
  Are you in love? he, at the shortest notice,
  Feels the same passion. Have you any business
  His business is at once the same as yours;
  And he's at hand to help you as you wish;
  Thinking that only fair to him that feeds him.
  'Tis marvellous how he doth praise his friends -
  He loves a feast where he is asked for nothing.
  What man, what hero, or what god exists,
  Who does not scorn such habits and such principles?
  But that I mayn't detain you all the day,
  I think that I can give you one clear proof
  In what respect men hold a parasite;
  For they receive the same rewards as those
  Who at Olympia bear the palm of victory -
  They both are fed for nothing for their virtues;
  And wheresoever there is no contribution,
  That place we ought to call the Prytaneia.

[33.] G   And Antiphanes, in his Twins, says-
  [238] For look, the parasite, if you judge aright,
  Shares both the life and fortune of his friends.
  There is no parasite who'd wish his friends
  To be unfortunate; but on the contrary
  His constant prayer will be, that all may prosper.
  Has any one a fortune? he doesn't envy him;
  He'd rather always be at hand to share It.
  He is a genuine friend, and also a safe one,
  Not quarrelsome, ill-humoured, peevish, sulky,
  But skilled to keep his temper. Do you mock him?
  He laughs himself; he's amorous or mirthful,
  Just as his friend is in the humour. He's a general,
  Or valiant soldier, only let his pay
  Be a good dinner, and he'll ask no more.

[34.] G   And Aristophon, in his Physician, says-
  I wish now to inform him
  What is my disposition.
  If any one gives a dinner,
  I'm always to be found,
  So that the young men scoffing
  Because I come in first
  Do call me gravy soup.
  Then if there be occasion
  To check a drunken guest,
  Or turn him out by force,
  You'd think me an Argive wrestler;
  Or must a door be forced?
  I butt like any ram;
  Or would you scale a ladder?
  I'm Capaneus, and eager
  To climb like him to heaven.
  Are blows to be endured?
  A very anvil I;
  Or Telamon or Ajax,
  If wounds are to be given;
  While as a beauty-hunter
  Even smoke itself can't beat me.

And in his Pythagorean he says -
  For being hungry, and yet eating nothing,
  He is a Tithymallus or Philippides;
  For water-drinking he's a regular frog;
  For eating thyme and cabbages, a snail;
  For hating washing he's a pig; for living
  Out in the open air, a perfect blackbird;
  For standing cold and chattering all the day,
  A second grasshopper; in hating oil
  He's dust; for walking barefoot in the morning,
  A crane; for passing sleepless nights, a bat.

[35.] G   And Antiphanes says in his Ancestors -
  You know my ways;
  That there's no pride in me, but I am just
  Like this among my friends: a man of iron
  To bear their blows, a thunderbolt to give them;
  Lightning to blind a man, the wind to move one;
  A very halter, if one needs be choked;
  An earthquake to heave doors from off their hinges;
  A flea to leap quick in; a fly to come
  And feast without a formal invitation;
  Not to depart too soon, a perfect well.
  I'm ready when I'm wanted, whether it be
  To choke a man or kill him, or to prove
  A case against him. All that others say,
  Those things I am prepared at once to do.
  And young men, mocking me on this account,
  Do call me whirlwind - but for me, I care not
  For such light jests. For to my friends I prove
  A friend in deeds, and not in words alone.

But Diphilus in his Parasite, when a wedding-feast is about to take place, represents the parasite as speaking thus -
  Do you not know that in the form of curse
  These words are found, if any one do fail
  To point the right road to a traveller,
  [239] To quench a fire; or if any one spoil
  The water of a spring or well, or hinders
  A guest upon his way when going to supper.

And Eubulus says in his Oedipus -
  The man who first devised the plan of feasting
  At other folk's expense, must sure have been
  A gentleman of very popular manners;
  But he who asked a friend or any stranger
  To dinner, and then made him bear his share,
  May he be banished, and his goods all seized.

[36.] G   And Diodorus of Sinope, in his Orphan Heiress, has these expressions, when speaking of a parasite, and they are not devoid of elegance -
  I wish to show and prove beyond a doubt
  How reputable, and how usual too,
  This practice is; a most divine contrivance.
  Other arts needed not the gods to teach them;
  Wise men invented them; but Zeus himself
  Did teach his friends to live as parasites,
  And he confessedly is king of the gods.
  For he does often to men's houses come,
  And cares not whether they be rich or poor;
  And wheresoever he sees a well-laid couch,
  And well-spread table near, supplied with all
  That's good or delicate, he sits him down,
  And asks himself to dinner, eats and drinks,
  And then goes home again, and pays no share.
  And I now do the same. For when I see
  Couches prepared, and handsome tables loaded,
  And the door open to receive the guests,
  I enter in at once, and make no noise,
  But trim myself, behaving quietly,
  To give no great annoyance to my neighbour,
  And then, when I have well enjoyed the whole
  That's set before me, and when I have drunk
  Of delicate wines enough, I home return,
  Like friendly Zeus. And that such a line
  Was always thought respectable and honest,
  I now will give you a sufficient proof.
  This city honours Heracles exceedingly,
  And sacrifices to him in all the demes,
  And at these sacred rites it never admits
  The common men, or parasites, or beggars;
  But out of all the citizens it picks
  Twelve men of all the noblest families,
  All men of property and character;
  And then some rich men, imitating Heracles,
  Select some parasites, not choosing those
  Who are the wittiest men, but who know best
  How to conciliate men's hearts with flattery;
  So that if any one should eat a radish,
  Or stinking shad, they'd take their oaths at once
  That he had eaten lilies, roses, violets;
  And that if any odious smell should rise,
  They'd ask where you did get such fine incense.
  So that because these men behave so basely,
  That which was used to be accounted honourable,
  Is now accounted base.

[37.] G   And Axionicus, in his Chalcidian, says -
  When first I wished to play the parasite
  With that Philoxenus, while youth did still
  Raise down upon my cheeks, I learnt to bear
  Hard blows from knuckles, and cups and dishes,
  And bones, so great that oftentimes I was
  [240] All over wounds; but still it paid me well,
  For still the pleasure did exceed the pain.
  And even in some sort I did esteem
  The whole affair desirable for me.
  Is a man quarrelsome, and eager too
  To fight with me? I turn myself to him;
  And all the blame which he docs heap upon me,
  I own to be deserved; and am not hurt.
  Does any wicked man call himself good?
  I praise that man, and earn his gratitude.
  Today if I should eat some boiled fish
  I do not mind eating the rest tomorrow.
  Such is my nature and my principle.

  But Antidotus, in his play which is entitled Protochorus, introduces a man resembling those who in the Museium of Claudius still practise their sophistries; whom it is not even creditable to remember; and he represents him speaking thus-
  Stand each one in your place, and listen to me,
  Before I write my name, and take my cloak.
  If any question should arise today
  About those men who live as parasites,
  I have at all times much esteemed their art,
  And from my childhood have inclined to learn it.

[38.] G   And among the parasites these men are commemorated by name: Tithymallus, who is mentioned by Alexis in his Milesian Woman, and in his Odysseus the Weaver. And in his Olynthians he says -
  This is your poor man, O my darling woman;
  This is the only class, as men do say,
  Who can put death to flight. Accordingly
  This Tithymallus does immortal live.

And Dromon in his Psaltria says-
  (A)   I was above all things ashamed when I
  Found that I was again to have a supper
  For which I was to give no contribution.
  (B)   A shameful thing, indeed. Still you may see
  Our Tithymallus on his way, more red
  Than saffron or vermilion; and he blushes,
  As you may guess, because he nothing pays.

And Timocles, in his Centaur, or Dexamenus, says -
  Calling him Tithymallus, parasite.

And in his Caunians he says-
  (A)   Will any other thing appear? Be quick,
  For Tithymallus has returned to life,
  Who was quite dead, now that he well has boiled
  Eight obols' worth of lupin seed.
  (B)   For he
  Could not persist in starving himself, but only
  In drinking wine at other men's expense.

And in his Letters he says -
  Alas me, how I am in love! ye gods!
  Not Tithymallus did so long to eat,
  Nor Cormus ever to steal another's cloak,
  Nor Neilus to eat cakes, nor Corydus
  To exercise his teeth at other's cost.

And Antiphanes says in his Etruscan -
  A. For he will not assist his friends for nothing.
  B. You say that Tithymallus will be rich,
  For as I understand you, he will get
  Sufficient pay, and a collection suitable
  From those within whose doors he freely sups.

[39.] G   [241]  # Corydus ['Lark'] also was one of the most notorious parasites. And he is mentioned by Timocles, in his The Man who Rejoices at Misfortunes of others, thus -
  To see a well-stocked market is a treat
  To a rich man, but torture to a poor one.
  Accordingly once Corydus, when he
  Had got no invitation for the day,
  Went to buy something to take home with him.
  And who can cease to laugh at what befell him ?-
  The man had only four-pence in his purse;
  Gazing on tunnies, eels, crabs, rays, anchovies,
  He bit his lips till the blood came in vain;
  Then going round, "How much is this?" said he-
  Then frightened at the price, he bought red herrings.

And Alexis, in Demetrius, or Philetaerus, says
  I fear to look at Corydus in the face,
  Seeming so glad to dine with any one;
  But I will not deny it; he's the same,
  And never yet refused an invitation.

And in his Nurse he says -
  This Corydus who has so often practised
  His jokes and witticisms, wishes now
  To be Blepaeus, and he's not far wrong,
  For mighty are the riches of Blepaeus.

And Cratinus the younger in his Titans says -
  Beware of Corydus the wary brass-founder;
  Unless you make your mind up long before
  To leave him nothing. And I warn you now
  Never to eat your fish with such a man
  As Corydus; for he's a powerful hand,
  Brazen, unwearied, strong as fire itself.

But that Corydus used to cut jokes, and was fond of being laughed at for them, the same Alexis tells us in his Poets -
  I have a great desire to raise a laugh,
  And to say witty things, and gain a fame
  Second alone to that of Corydus.

And Lynceus the Samian repeats several of his sayings, and asserts that his proper name was Eucrates. And he writes thus concerning him- "Eucrates, who was called Corydus, when he was once feasting with some one whose house was in a very shabby condition, said, 'A man who sups here ought to hold up the house with his left hand like the Caryatides.' "

[40.] G   But Philoxenus, who was surnamed Pternocopis ['Ham-cleaver'], when it happened to be mentioned that thrushes were very dear, and that too while Corydus was present, who was said formerly to have prostituted himself - "I," said he, "can recollect when a lark [κόρυδος] only cost an obol." (And Philoxenus too was a parasite, as Axionicus has stated in his Chalcidian. But the statement has already been quoted [ 239'f ].) Menander too mentions him in his Cecryphalus, calling him Pternocopis only. And Machon the comic writer mentions him.- But Machon was either a Corinthian or Sicyonian by birth, living, however, in my own city of Alexandria; and he was the tutor of Aristophanes the grammarian, as far as comedy went. And he died in Alexandria, and an inscription to the following effect is placed upon his tomb -
  Bring, O light dust, the conqueror's ivy wreath
  To Machon, who shall live beyond the tomb,
  Machon the comic poet; for you hold
  [242] No dirty drone, but you embrace at last
  A worthy relic of antique renown.
  These words from the old bard himself might flow,
  City of Cecrops; even by the Nile
  Is found at times a plant to all the Muses dear.

And surely this is equivalent to a statement that he was an Alexandrian by birth. However that may be, Machon mentions Corydus in these terms-
  A messmate once asked Eucrates (Corydus)
  On what terms he and Ptolemy did stand,
  I'm sure, said he, I cannot tell myself:
  For he makes me drink like any doctor;
  But never gives me solid food to eat.

And Lynceus, in the second book of his treatise on Menander, says the men who got a reputation for saying witty things were Eucleides the son of Smicrinus, and Philoxenus called Pternocopis. And of them Eucleides did at times say clever remarks not unworthy of being written down and recollected; but in all other matters he was cold and disagreeable. But Philoxenus did not particularly excel in short curt sayings, but still whatever he said, whether, in the way of gossip, or of a bitter attack on any of his companions, or of relation of occurrences, was full of pleasant and witty conversation. And yet it happened that Eucleides was not very popular, but that Philoxenus was loved and respected by every one.

[41.] G   But Alexis, in his Trophonius, mentions a certain Moschion, a parasite, calling him "a messmate of every one," and saying -
  Then comes Moschion,
  Who bears the name of messmate in the world.

And in his Pancratiast, Alexis, giving a regular catalogue of the dinner hunters, says -
  (A)   First then there was Callimedon the crab;
  Then Cobion, and Corydus, and Cyrebion,
  Scombrus and Semidalis.
  (B)   Heracles!
  This is a list of dishes, not of guests.

But Epicrates was nicknamed Cyrebion ['Pod'], and he was the son-in-law of Aeschines the orator, as Demosthenes tells us in the oration about the False Embassy. And Anaxandrides, in his Odysseus, mentions such epithets as these, which the Athenians used to affix to people out of joke; saying -
  For you are always mocking one another;
  I know it well. And if a man be handsome
  You call him Holy Marriage . . . .
  If a man be a perfect dwarf, a manikin,
  You call him Drop. Is any one a dandy?
  He is called Fop; you know an instance.
  Does a man walk about all fat and heavy,
  Like Democles? you call him Gravy Soup.
  Does any one love dirt? his name is Dust.
  Does any one bedaub his friends with flattery?
  They call him Dinghy. Does one lack a supper ?
  He is the Fasting mullet; and if
  One casts one's eye upon a handsome youth,
  They dub one the Smoke of Theagenes.
  Does one in joke convey a lamb away?
  They call one Atreus: or a ram? then Phrixus:
  Or if you take a fleece, they name you Jason.

[42.] G   And [Matron] mentions Chaerephon the parasite in the passage before this. [243] But Menander mentions him likewise in the Head-dress: and in his Anger he says -
  The man does not differ the least from Chaerephon,
  Whoever he may be. He once was asked to supper
  At four o'clock, and so he early rose,
  And measuring the shadow on the dial
  By the moon's light, he started off and came
  To eat his supper at the break of day.

And in his Drunkenness he says -
  That witty fellow Chaerephon delayed me,
  Saying that he should make a marriage feast
  The twenty-second of the month, that then
  He might dine with his friends on the fourth,
  For that the goddess's affairs were prospering.

And he mentions him also in his Man-woman, or the Cretan. But Timocles in his Letters mentions him especially as having attached himself as a parasite to Demotion, who was an intemperate man -
  But Demotion was one who spared for nothing,
  Thinking his money never could run dry,
  But dinners gave to all who liked to come.
  And Chaerephon, that wretchedest of men,
  Treated his house as though it were his own.
  And yet is not this a most shameful thing,
  To take a branded slave for a parasite?
  For he's a perfect clown, and not in want.

And Antiphanes says in his Scythian -
  Let us go now to sup, just as we are.
  Bearing our torches and our garlands with us;
  It was thus that Chaerephon, when supperless,
  Used to manoeuvre for an invitation.

And Timotheus says in his Puppy -
  Let us start off to go to dinner now,
  'Tis one of seven couches as he told me;
  Though Chaerephon perhaps may add himself.

[43.] G   And Apollodorus the Carystian, in his Priestess, says -
  They say that Chaerephon all uninvited
  Came to the wedding feast of Ophelas,
  Thrusting himself in in unheard-of fashion.
  For carrying a basket and a garland
  When it was dark, he said that he had come
  By order of the bride, bringing some birds,
  And on this pretext he did get his supper.

And in his Murdered Woman he says -
  I Ares invoke, and mighty Victory,
  To favour this my expedition.
  I also call on Chaerephon - but then
  He's sure to come, even if I call him not.

And Machon the comic writer says-
  Once Chaerephon a lengthened journey took
  Out of the city to a wedding feast,
  And on his way met Diphilus the poet,
  Who greeted him- "Take my advice, O Chaerephon,
  And fasten four stout nails to your two cheeks;
  Lest, while you shake your head in your long journey,
  You should put both your jaws quite out of joint.

And in another place he says -
  Chaerephon once was purchasing some meat,
  And when the butcher was by chance, he says,
  Cutting him out a joint with too much bone,
  He said, O butcher, don't weigh me that bone.
  Says he, The meat is sweet, indeed men say
  [244] The meat is always sweetest near the bone.
  But Chaerephon replied, it may be sweet,
  But still it weighs much heavier than I like.

And Callimachus attributes to Chaerephon a certain treatise, in the list which he gives, entitled, A Catalogue of all sorts of Things. And he writes thus:- "Those who have written about feasts:- Chaerephon in his Cyrebion;" and then he quotes the first sentence- "Since you have often written to me;" and says that the work consisted of three hundred and seventy-five lines. And that Cyrebion was a parasite has been already mentioned.

[44.] G    # Machon also mentions Archephon the parasite, and says -
  There was a parasite named Archephon,
  Who, having sailed from Attica to Egypt,
  Was asked by Ptolemy the king to supper.
  Then many kinds of fish which cling to rocks
  Were served up, genuine crabs, and dainty limpets;
  And last of all appeared a large round dish
  With three boiled tench of mighty size, at which
  The guests all marvelled; and this Archephon
  Ate of the char, and mackerel, and mullets,
  Till he could eat no longer; when he never
  Had tasted anything before more tender
  Than sprats and minnows from the Phalerum;
  But from the tench he carefully abstained.
  And this did seem a most amazing thing,
  So that the king inquired of Alcenor,
  Whether the man had overlooked the tench.
  The hunchback said; No, quite the contrary,
  He was the first to see them, Ptolemy,
  But still he will not touch them, for this fish
  Is one he holds in awe; and he's afraid
  And thinks it quite against his country's rules
  That he, while bringing nothing to the feast,
  Should dare to eat a fish which has a vote.

[45.] G   And Alexis in his Wine-Bibber introduces Stratius the parasite as grumbling at the man who gives him his dinner, and speaking thus -
  I'd better be a parasite of Pegasus,
  Or the sons of Boreas, or whoever else
  Is faster still, than thus to Demeas
  Eteobutades, the son of Laches,
  For he is not content to walk, but flies.

And a little afterwards he says -
  (A)   Oh Stratius, dost thou love me?
  (B)   Aye, I do
  More than my father, for he does not feed me;
  But you do give the best of dinners daily.
  (A)   And do you pray the gods that I may live?
  (B)   No doubt I do; for how should I myself
  Live if misfortune happened unto you?

And Axionicus the comic poet, in his Etruscan, mentions Gryllion the parasite in these words -
  They cannot now make the excuse of wine,
  As Gryllion was always used to do.

And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Memoranda of Laughable Things, gives the following list of parasites:- Sostratus the parasite of Antiochus the king, Evagoras the Hunchback, parasite of Demetrius Poliorcetes, and Phormion parasite of Seleucus. [245] And Lynceus the Samian, in his Apophthegms, says- "Silanus the Athenian, when Gryllion the parasite of Menander the satrap was passing by in a superb robe, and accompanied by a great number of attendants, being asked who he was, said, 'He is a jaw worthy of Menander.' But Chaerephon the parasite, coming once to a wedding feast without being invited, and sitting down the last of all, when the gynaeconomi had counted those who were invited, and desired him to depart as having made the number of guests to exceed the legitimate number of thirty, said, 'Count us over again, and begin with me.' "

[46.] G   And that it was a custom for the officers called gynaeconomi to superintend the banquets, and to examine into the number of those who had been invited, and see whether it was in accordance with the law, we may learn from Timocles in his Litigious Man, where he says-
  Open the doors at once, that we may be
  More in the light when the gynaeconomus
  Enters and begins to count the guests,
  As he is bound to do by this new law,
  A marvellous statute. It were better far
  That he should ask who are without a dinner.

And Menander says in his Head-dress -
  Knowing that by some new law lately passed,
  The cooks who minister at marriage feasts
  Have given in their names and are enrolled
  In the books of the gynaeconomi,
  So that they may the number learn of those
  Who are invited, lest a man should feast
  More than the legal number.

And Philochorus, in the seventh book of his history of the Affairs of Attica [ Fr_65 ], says- The gynaeconomi used, in conjunction with the judges of the Areopagus, to examine the parties in private houses, and at marriage feasts, and at all other festivals and sacrifices.

[47.] G    # And Lynceus records the following sayings of Corydus:- "Once when a courtesan whose name was Gnome ['resolution'] was supping with Corydus, the wine ran short, on which he desired every one to contribute two obols; and said that Gnome should contribute whatever the people thought fit. And once when Polyctor the harp-player was eating lentil porridge, and had got a stone between his teeth, 'O you unhappy man!' said Corydus, 'even a lentil strikes you.' "

And perhaps he is the same person whom Machon mentions; for he says-
  It seems that once a wretched harp-player,
  Being about to build himself a house,
  Begged of a friend to lend him a few stones;
  And many more will I repay, he said,
  When I've displayed my art to all the people.

And once, when somebody said to Corydus that he sometimes kissed the neck, and the breasts, and even the navel (ὀμφαλὸς) of his wife, "That is very wrong," said he; "for even Heracles went from Omphale to Hebe." And when Phyromachus dipped a piece of bread into some lentil porridge, and upset the dish, he said that it was right that he should be fined, because he did not know how to eat properly, though he professed to. And once, at Ptolemy's table, when a rich meat dish was carried round to the guests, but was finished before it came to him- "O Ptolemy," said he, "am I drunk, or am I right in thinking that these dishes are carried round?" And when Chaerephon the parasite said that he was unable to stand much wine, he rejoined, "No, nor stand what [water] is put into the wine either." And once, when at some entertainment Chaerephon rose up from supper quite naked- "O Chaerephon," said he, "you are just like a bottle, so that we can see how nearly full you are." And when Demosthenes received that goblet from Harpalus - [246] "This man," said he, "who calls other men hard drinkers, has himself swallowed a large cup." And, as he was in the habit of bringing dirty loaves to supper, once, when somebody else brought some which were blacker still, he said, "that he had not brought loaves, but the shades of loaves."

[48.] G   And Philoxenus the parasite, who was surnamed Pternocopis, once was dining with Python, and olives (ἐλάαι) were put on the table, and after a little while a dish of fish was brought; and he, striking the dish, said- He drove them with a lash [Μάστιξεν δ' ἐλάαν]. And once, at supper, when the man who had invited him had set loaves of black bread before him, he said, "Do not give me too many, lest you should darken the room." And Pausimachus said of a certain parasite who was maintained by an old woman, "That the man who lived with the old woman fared in exactly the contrary manner to the old woman herself; for that he was always large." And he is the man of whom Machon writes in this manner:
  They say that Moschion the water drinker
  Once, when he was with friends in the Lyceium,
  Seeing a parasite who was used to live
  Upon a rich old woman, said to him,
  "My friend, your fate is truly marvellous:
  For your old dame does give you a big belly."

And the same man, hearing of a parasite who was maintained by an old woman, and who lived in habits of daily intimacy with her, said -
  Nothing is strange henceforth, she beings forth nothing,
  But the man daily doth become big-bellied.

 # And Ptolemaeus, the son of Agesarchus, a native of Megalopolis, in the second book of his history of Philopator, says that men to dine with the king were collected from every city, and that they were called jesters.

[49.] G   And Poseidonius of Apameia, in the twenty-third book of his histories, says [ Fr_17 ], "The Celts, even when they make war, take about with them companions to dine with them, whom they call parasites. And these men celebrate their praises before large companies assembled together, and also to private individuals who are willing to listen to them; they have also a description of people called Bards, who make them music; and these are poets, who recite their praises with songs." And in his thirty-fourth book, the same writer speaks of a man whose name was Apollonius, as having been the parasite of Antiochus surnamed Grypus, king of Syria.  # And Aristodemus relates that Bithys, the parasite of king Lysimachus, once, when Lysimachus threw a wooden figure of a scorpion on his cloak, leaped up in a great fright; but presently, when he perceived the truth, he said, "I, too, will frighten you, O king! - give me a talent." For Lysimachus was very stingy. And Agatharchides of Cnidus, in the twenty-second book of his history of Europe, says that Anthemocritus the pancratiast was the parasite of Aristomachus, the tyrant of the Argives.

[50.] G   And Timocles has spoken in general terms of parasites in his Boxer, when he calls them episitioi, in these words -
  You will find here some of the parasites
  Who eat at other men's tables till they burst,
  That you might say they give themselves to athletes
  To act as punching bags.

And Pherecrates, in his Old Women, says -
  (A)   Bet you, my friend Smicythion, will not
  Get your food quicker.
  (B)   Who, I pray, is this?
  (A)   I bring this greedy stranger everywhere
  As if he were my hired slave or soldier.

For these men are properly called episitioi who do any service for their keep. [247] Plato says, in the fourth book of his treatise on the Republic [ 420'a ], "And the episitioi do these things, who do not, as others do, receive any wages in addition to their food." And Aristophanes says, in his Storks -
  For if you prosecute one wicked man,
  Twelve episitioi will come against you,
  And so defeat you by their evidence.

And Eubulus says, in his Daedalus -
  He wishes to remain an episitios
  Among them, and will never ask for wages.

[51.] G   And Diphilus, in his Synoris (and Synoris is the name of a courtesan) mentioning Euripides (and Euripides is the name given to a particular throw on the dice), and punning on the name of the poet, says this at the same time about parasites :-
  (A)   You have escaped well from such a throw.
  (B)   You are right witty.
  (A)   Well, lay down your drachma.
  (B)   That has been done: how shall I throw Euripides?
  (A)   Euripides will never save a woman.
  See you not how he hates them in his tragedies?
  But he has always fancied parasites,
  And thus he speaks, you'll easily find the place:
  "For every rich man who does not feed
  At least three men who give no contribution,
  Exile deserves and everlasting ruin."
  (B)   Where is that passage?
  (A)   What is that to you?
  'Tis not the play, but the intent that signifies.

And in the amended edition of the same play, speaking of a parasite in a passion, he says -
  Is then the parasite angry? is he furious?
  Not he: he only smears with gall the table.
  And weans himself like any child from milk.

And immediately afterwards he adds-
  (A)   Then you may eat, O parasite.
  (B)   Just see
  How he disparages that useful skill.
  (A)   Well, know you not that all men rank a parasite
  Below a harp-player!

And in the play, which is entitled The Parasite, he says -
  A surly man should never be a parasite.

[52.] G   And Menander, in his Passion, speaking of a friend who had refused an invitation to a marriage feast, says -
  This to be a real friend: not one
  Who asks, What time is dinner? as the rest do.
  And, Why should we not all at once sit down?
  And fishes for another invitation
  To-morrow and next day, and then again
  Asks if there's not a funeral feast to follow.

And Alexis in his Orestes, Nicostratus in his Plutus, Menander in his Drunkenness, and in his Lawgiver, speak in the same way; and Philonides, in his Buskins, says -
  I being abstinent cannot endure
  Such things as these.

But there are many other kindred nouns to the noun παράσιτος: there is ἐπίσιτος, which has already been mentioned; and οἰκόσιτος, and σιτόκουρος, and αὐτόσιτος; and besides these, there is κακόσιτος and ὀλιγόσιτος: and Anaxandrides uses the word οἰκόσιτος in his Huntsmen -
  A son who feeds at home (οἰκόσιτος) is a great comfort.

And a man is called οἰκόσιτος who serves the city, not for hire, but gratis. Antiphanes, in his Scythian, says-
  The οἰκόσιτος quickly doth become
  A regular attendant at the assembly.

And Menander says, in his Ring -
  We found a bridegroom willing to keep house (οἰκόσιτος)
  At his own charge, for no dowry seeking.

And in his Harp-player he says -
  You do not get your hearers there for nothing (οἰκοσίτους).

Crates uses the word ἐπισίτιος in his Deeds of Daring, saying -
  He feeds his messmate (ἐπισίτιον) while he shivers thus
  In Megabyzus' house, and he will have
  Food for his wages.

[248] And he also uses the word in a peculiar sense in his Women dining together, where he says -
  It is a well-bred custom not to assemble
  A crowd of women, or to feast a multitude;
  But to make a domestic (οἰκοσίτους) wedding feast.

And the word σιτόκουρος is used by Alexis, in his Woman sitting up all Night, or the Weavers -
  You will be but a walking bread-devourer (σιτόκουρος)

And Menander calls a man who is useless, and who lives to no purpose, σιτόκουρος, in his Thrasyleon, saying -
  A lazy over-procrastinating fellow,
  A σιτόκουρος, miserable, useless,
  Owning himself a burden on the earth.

And in his Venal People he says -
  Wretch, you were standing at the door the while,
  Having laid down your burden; while, for us,
  We took the wretched σιτόκουρος in.

And Crobylus used the word αὐτόσιτος (bringing one's own provisions), in The Man hanged -
  A parasite αὐτόσιτος, feeding himself,
  You do contribute much to aid your master.

And Eubulus has the word κακόσιτος (eating badly, having no appetite), in his Ganymedes -
  Sleep nourishes him since he's no appetite (κακόσιτος).

And the word ὀλιγόσιτος (a sparing eater) occurs in Phrynichus in his The solitary Man -
  What does that sparing eater (ὀλιγόσιτος) Heracles there?

And Pherecrates, or Strattis, in his Good Men -
  How sparingly you eat, who in one day
  Swallow the food of an entire trireme.

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