Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 15, Pages 665-680

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   [665] 
  Even if some God enriches my tongue
  With honeyed eloquence, such as did fall
  From Nestor's or Phrygian Antenor's lips,

- as the all-accomplished Euripides says, my good Timocrates - I never should be able to recapitulate to you the numerous things which were said in those most admirable banquets, on account of the varied nature of the topics introduced, and the novel mode in which they were continually treated. For there were frequent discussions about the order in which the dishes were served up, and about the things which are done after the chief part of the supper is over, such as I can hardly recollect; and someone of the guests quoted the following iambics from The Laconians of Plato - 
  Now nearly all the men have done their supper;
  'Tis well. - Why don't you run and clear the tables
  But I will go and straight some water get
  For the guests' hands; and have the floor well swept;
  And then, when I have offered due libations,
  I'll introduce the kottabos. This girl
  Ought now to have her flutes all well prepared,
  Ready to play them. Quick now, slave, and bring
  Egyptian ointment, extract of lilies too,
  And sprinkle it around; and I myself
  Will bring a garland to each guest, and give it;
  Let someone mix the wine. - Lo! now it's mixed
  Put in the frankincense, and say aloud,
  "Now the libation is performed." The guests
  Have deeply drunk already; and the scolium
  Is sung; the kottabos, that merry sport,
  Is taken out of doors: a female slave
  Plays on the flute a cheerful strain, well pleasing
  To the delighted guest; another strikes
  The clear triangle, and, with well-tuned voice,
  Accompanies it with an Ionian song.

[2.] G   And after this quotation there arose, I think, a discussion about the kottabos and kottabos-players. Now by the term ἀποκοτταβίζοντες, one of the physicians who were present thought those people were meant, who, after the bath, for the sake of purging their stomach, drink a full draught of wine and then throw it up again; and he said that this was not an ancient custom, and that he was not aware of any ancient author who had alluded to this mode of purging. On which account Erasistratus of Iulis, [666] in his treatise on General Medicine, reproves those who act in this way, pointing out that it is a practice very injurious to the eyes, and having a very astringent effect on the stomach. And Ulpianus addressed him thus -  Arise, Asclepiades, great Charoneus calls.

For it was wittily said by one of our companions, that if there were no physicians there would be nothing more stupid than grammarians. For who is there of us who does not know that this kind of ἀποκοτταβισμὸς was not that of the ancients? unless you think that the kottabos-players of Ameipsias vomited. Since, then, you are ignorant of what this is which is the subject of our present discussion, learn from me, in the first place, that the kottabos is a sport of Sicilian invention, the Sicilians having been the original contrivers of it, as Critias the son of Callaeschrus tells us in his Elegies, where he says - 
  The kottabos comes from Sicilian lands,
  And a glorious invention I think it,
  Where we put up a target to shoot at with drops
  From our wine-cup whenever we drink it.

And Dicaearchus the Messenian, the pupil of Aristotle, in his treatise on Alcaeus, says that the word latagē is also a Sicilian noun. But latagē means the drops which are left in the bottom after the cup is drained, and which the players used to throw with inverted hand into the kottabeion. But Clitarchus, in his treatise on Words, says that the Thessalians and Rhodians both call the kottabos is itself, or splash made by the cups, latagē.

[3.] G   The prize also which was proposed for those who gained the victory in drinking was called kottabos, as Euripides shows us in his Oeneus, where he says - 
  And then with many a dart of Bacchus' juice,
  They struck the old man's head. And I was set
  To crown the victor with deserved reward,
  And give the kottabos to such.

The vessel, too, into which they threw the drops was also called kottabos, as Cratinus shows in his Nemesis. But Plato the comic poet, in his Zeus Ill-treated, makes out that the kottabos was a sort of drunken game, in which those who were defeated yielded up their tools to the victor. And these are his words - 
  (A)   I wish you all to play at kottabos
  While I am here preparing you your supper.
  (B)   I'd would like that. But have you got a basin?
  (A)   No, but you can play into a mortar.
  (B)   Then come, bring out a mortar for us,
   Draw some water, and bring round some cups.
  Now let us play for kisses.  (A)   No; such games I never suffer.
  I challenge you all to play the kottabos,
  And for the prizes, here are these new slippers
  Which she is wearing, and this your cotyla.
  (B)   A mighty game! This is a greater contest
  Than even the Isthmian festival can provide.

[4.] G   There was a kind of kottabos also which they used to call kataktos, that is, when lamps are lifted up and then let down again. Eubulus, in his Bellerophon, says - 
  Who now will take hold of my leg below?
  For I am lifted up like a kottabeion.

And Antiphanes, in his Birth of Aphrodite, says - 
  (A)   This now is what I mean; don't you perceive
  This lamp's the kottabos: attend awhile;
  The eggs, and sweetmeats, and confectionery
  Are the prize of victory.   (B)   Sure you will play
  For a most laughable prize. How shall you do?
  (A)   I then will show you how: whoever throws
  The kottabos direct against the scale {plastinx},
  So as to make it fall -     (B)   What scale? Do you
  Mean this small dish which here is placed above?
  [667] (A)   That is the scale - he is the conqueror.
  (B)   How shall a man know this?   (A)   Why, if he throw
  So as to reach it barely, it will fall
  Upon the disk {manēs}, and there'll be great noise.
  (B)   Does Manes, then, watch over the kottabos,
  As if he were a slave?

And in a subsequent passage he says - 
  (B)   Just take the cup and show me how 'tis done.
  (A)   Now bend your fingers like a flute-player,
  Pour in a little wine, and not too much,
  Then throw it.   (B)   How?   (A)   Look here; throw it like this
  (B)   O mighty Neptune, what a height he throws it!
  (A)   Now do the same.   (B)   Not even with a sling
  Could I throw such a distance.   (A)   Well, but learn.

[5.] G   For a man must curve his hand excessively before he can throw the kottabos elegantly, as Dicaearchus says; and Plato intimates as much in his Zeus Ill-treated, where some one calls out to Heracles not to hold his hand too stiff, when he is going to play the kottabos. They also called the very act of throwing the kottabos ἀπ' ἀγκύλης, because they curved {ἀπαγκυλόω} the right hand in throwing it. Though some say that ἀγκύλη, in this phrase, means a kind of cup. And Bacchylides, in his Love Poems, says - 
  And when she throws ἀπ' ἀγκύλης,
  Displaying to the youths her snow-white arm.

And Aeschylus, in his Bone Gatherers, speaks of ἀγκυλητοὶ κότταβοι, saying - 
  Eurymachus, and no one else, did heap
  No slighter insults, undeserved, upon me;
  For my head always was his mark at which
  To throw his kottabos . . . . .

Now, that he who succeeded in throwing the kottabos properly received a prize, Antiphanes has shown us in a passage already quoted. And the prize consisted of eggs, sweetmeats, and confectionery. And Cephisodorus, in his Trophonius, and Callias or Diocles, in the Cyclopes, (whichever of the two is the author,) and Eupolis, and Hermippus, in his Iambics, prove the same thing.

Now what is called the kataktos kottabos was something of this kind. There is a high lamp, having on it what is called the manēs, on which the dish, when thrown down, ought to fall; and from thence it falls into the platter which lies below, and which is struck by the kottabos. And there was room for very great dexterity in throwing the kottabos. And Nicochares speaks of the manēs in his Lacedaemonians.

[6.] G   There is also another way of playing this game with a platter. This platter is filled with water, and in it there are floating some empty saucers, at which the players throw their drops out of their cups, and endeavour to sink them. And he who has succeeded in sinking the greatest number gains the victory. Ameipsias, in his play entitled The Men playing at the Kottabos says - 
  Mania, bring here the cruets and the cups at once,
  The foot-pan, too, but first pour in some water.

And Cratinus, in his Nemesis, says - 
  Now in the kottabos I challenge you,
  (As is my country's mode,) to aim your blows
  At the empty cruets; and he who sinks the most
  Shall, in my judgment, bear the palm of victory.

And Aristophanes, in his Feasters, says - 
  I mean to erect a brazen figure,
  That is, a kottabeion, and myrtle-berries.

[668] And Hermippus, in his Fates, says - 
  Now soft cloaks are thrown away,
  Every one clasps on his breastplate,
  And binds his greaves around his legs,
  No one for snow-white slippers cares;
  Now you may see the kottabos staff
  Thrown carelessly among the chaff;
  The manēs hears no falling drops;
  And you the plastinx sad may see
  Thrown on the dunghill at the garden door.

And Achaeus, in his Linus, speaking of the Satyrs, says - 
  Throwing, and dropping, breaking, too, and naming {λέγοντες},
  O Heracles, the well-thrown drop of wine!

And the poet uses λέγοντες here, because they used to utter the names of their sweethearts as they threw the kottaboi on the saucers. On which account Sophocles, in his Inachus, called the drops which were thrown, sacred to Aphrodite -  
  The golden-coloured drop of Aphrodite 
  Descends on all the houses.

And Euripides, in his Pleisthenes, says - 
  And the loud noise of the frequent kottabos
  Awakens melodies akin to Aphrodite 
  In every house.

And Callimachus says - 
  Many hard drinkers, lovers of Acontius, throw on
  The ground the Sicilian wine-drops {latagas} from their cups.

[7.] G   There was also another kind of way of playing at the kottabos, in the feasts which lasted all night, which is mentioned by Callippus in his Festival lasting all Night, where he says - 
  And he who keeps awake all night shall have
  A cheesecake for his prize of victory,
  And kiss whoever he pleases of the girls
  Who are at hand.

There were also sweetmeats at these nocturnal festivals, in which the men continued awake an extraordinary time dancing. And these sweetmeats used to be called at that time charisioi, from the joy {chara} of those who received them. And Eubulus, in his Ancylion, mentions them, speaking as follows - 
  For he has long been cooking prizes for
  The victors in the kottabos.
And presently afterwards he says - 
  I then sprang out to cook the charisios.

But that kisses were also given as the prize Eubulus tells us in a subsequent passage - 
  Come now, O women, come and dance all night,
  This is the tenth day since my son was born;
  And I will give three fillets for the prize,
  And five fine apples, and nine kisses too.

But that the kottabos was a sport to which the Sicilians were greatly addicted is plain from the fact that they had rooms built adapted to the game; which Dicaearchus, in his treatise on Alcaeus, states to have been the case. So that it was not without reason that Callimachus affixed the epithet of Sicilian to latax. And Dionysius, who was surnamed the Brazen, mentions both the latages and the kottaboi in his Elegies, where he says - 
  Here we, unhappy in our loves, establish
  This third addition to the games of Bromius,
  That the glad kottabos shall now be played
  For the prize of - a punching-bag. 
  All you who here are present wind your hands,
  Around the ball-shaped portion of your cups,
  And, before you let it go, scan with your eyes
  The heaven that bends above you; watching well
  How great a space your latages may cover.

[8.] G   After this, Ulpianus demanded a larger goblet to drink out of quoting these lines out of the same collection of Elegies
  [669] Pouring forth hymns to you and me propitious,
  Let us now send your ancient friend from far,
  With the swift rowing of our tongues and praises,
  To lofty glory while this banquet lasts;
  And the quick genius of Phaeacian eloquence
  Commands the Muses' crew to man the benches.

For let us be guided by the younger Cratinus, who says in his Omphale
  It suits a happy man to stay at home
  And drink, let others wars and labours love.

In answer to whom Cynulcus, who was always ready for a tilt at the Syrian, and who never let the quarrel drop which he had against him, now that there was a sort of tumult in the party, said - What is this chorus of shrill pipers {syrbeneis} ? And I myself also recollect some lines of this poetry, which I will quote, that Ulpianus may not give himself airs as being the only one who was able to extract anything about the kottabos out of those old stores of the Homeridae - 
  Come now and hear this my auspicious message,
  And end the quarrels which your cups engender;
  Turn your attention to these words of mine,
  And learn these lessons. . . . . . . . .
which have a clear reference to the present discussion. For I see the servants now bringing us garlands and perfumes. Why now are those who are crowned said to be in love when their wreaths are broken? For when I was a boy, and when I used to read the Epigrams of Callimachus, in which this is one of the topics discussed, I was anxious to understand this point. For the poet of Cyrene says - 
  And all the roses, when the leaves fell off
  From the man's garlands, on the ground were thrown.

So now it is your business, you most accomplished man, to explain this difficulty which has occupied me these thousand years, O Democritus, and to tell me why lovers crown the doors of their mistresses.

[9.] G   And Democritus replied - But that I may quote some of the verses of this Brazen poet and orator Dionysius, (and he was called Brazen because he advised the Athenians to adopt a brazen coinage; and Callimachus mentions the speech in his list of Oratorical Performances,) I myself will cite some lines out of his Elegies. And do you, O Theodorus, for this is your proper name - 
  Receive these first-fruits of my poetry,
  Given you as a pledge; and as an omen
  Of happy fortune I send first to you
  This offering of the Graces, deeply studied, - 
  Take it, requiting me with tuneful verse,
  Fit ornament of feasts, and emblem of your happiness.

You ask, then, why, if the garlands of men who have been crowned are pulled to pieces, they are said to be in love. Is it, since love takes away the strict regularity of manners in the case of lovers, that on this account they think the loss of a conspicuous ornament, a sort of beacon ( as Clearchus says, in the first book of his Art of Love ) and signal, that they to whom this has happened have lost the strict decorum of their manners? [670] Or do men interpret this circumstance also by divination, as they do many other things? For the ornament of a wreath, as there is nothing lasting in it, is a sort of emblem of a passion which does not endure, but assumes a specious appearance for a while: and such a passion is love. For no people are more careful to study appearance than those who are in love. Unless, perhaps, nature, as a sort of god, administering everything with justice and equity, thinks that lovers ought not to be crowned till they have subdued their love; that is to say, till, having prevailed upon the object of their love, they are released from their desire. And accordingly, the loss of their wreath we make the token of their being still occupied in the fields of love. Or perhaps Love himself, not permitting anyone to be crowned in opposition to, or to be proclaimed as victor over himself, takes their wreaths from these men, and gives the perception of this to others, indicating that these men are subdued by him: on which account all the rest say that these men are in love. Or is it because that cannot be loosed which has never been bound, but love is the chain of some who wear wreaths, (for no one else who is bound is more anxious about being crowned than a lover,) that men consider that the loosing of the garland is a sign of love, and therefore say that these men are in love? Or is it because very often lovers, when they have been crowned, often out of agitation as it should seem, allow their wreaths to fall to pieces, and so we argue backwards, and attribute this passion to all whom we see in this predicament; thinking that their wreath never would have come to pieces, if they had not been in love? Or is it because this decay happen only in the case of men bound or men in love; and so, men thinking that the decay of the garland is the release also of those who are bound, consider that such men are in love? For those in love are bound, unless you would rather say that, because those who are in love are crowned with love, therefore their crown is not of a lasting kind; for it is difficult to put a small and ordinary kind of crown on a large and divine one. Men also crown the doors of the houses of the objects of their love, either with a view to do them honour, as they adorn with garlands the vestibule of some god to do him honour: or perhaps the offering of the garlands is made, not to the beloved objects, but to the god Love. For thinking the beloved object the statue, as it were, of Love, and his house the temple of Love, they, under this idea, adorn with garlands the vestibules of those whom they love. And for the same reason some people even sacrifice at the doors of those whom they love. Or shall we rather say that people who fancy that they are deprived, or who really have been deprived of the ornament of their soul, consecrate to those who have deprived them of it, the ornament also of their body, being bewildered by their passion, and despoiling themselves in order to do so? And everyone who is in love does this when the object of his love is present, but when he is not present, then he makes this offering in the public roads. On which account Lycophronides has represented that goatherd in love, as saying - 
  I consecrate this rose to you,
  A beautiful idea;
  This cap, and then these sandals too,
  And this good hunting-spear:
  For now my mind is gone astray,
  Wandering another way,
  Towards that girl of lovely face,
  Favourite of every Grace."

[10.] G   Moreover, that most divine writer Plato, in the seventh book of his Laws, proposes a problem having reference to crowns, which it is worthwhile to solve; and these are the words of the philosopher: - "Let there be distributions of apples and wreaths to a greater and a lesser number of people, in such a way that the numbers shall always be equal." These are the words of Plato. But what he means is something of this sort. [671] He wishes to find one number of such a nature that, if divided among all who come in to the very last, it shall give an equal number of apples or wreaths to everyone. I say, then, that the number sixty will fulfil these conditions of equality in the case of six fellow-feasters; for I am aware that at the beginning we said that a supper party ought not to consist of more than five. But we are as numerous as the sand of the sea. Accordingly the number sixty, when the party is completed to the number of six guests, will begin to be divided in this manner. The first man came into the banqueting room, and received sixty garlands. He gives to the second who comes in half of them; and then each of them have thirty. Then when a third comes in they divide the whole sixty, so that each of them may have twenty. Again, they divide them again in like manner at the entrance of a fourth guest, so that each has fifteen; and when a fifth comes in they all have twelve each. And when the sixth guest arrives, they divide them again, and each individual has ten. And in this way the equal division of the garlands is accomplished.

[11.] G   When Democritus had said this, Ulpianus, looking towards Cynulcus, said - 
  To what a great philosopher has Fate
  Now joined me here!

As Theognetus the comic poet says, in his Apparition, - 
  You wretched man, you've learnt left-handed letters,
  Your reading has perverted your whole life;
  Philosophising thus with earth and heaven,
  Though neither care a bit for all your speeches.

For where was it that you got that idea of the Chorus of the shrill pipers? What author worth speaking of mentions that musical chorus? And he replied: - My good friend, I will not teach you, unless I first receive adequate pay from you; for I do not read to pick out all the thorns out of my books as you do, but I select only what is most useful and best worth hearing. And at this Ulpianus got indignant, and roared out these lines out of the Suspicion of Alexis - 
  These things are shameful, even to the Triballi;
  Where they do say a man who sacrifices,
  Displays the feast to the invited guests,
  And then next day, when they are hungry all,
  Sells them what he'd invited them to see.

And the same iambics occur in the Sleep of Antiphanes. And Cynulcus said: - Since there have already been discussions about garlands, tell us, my good Ulpianus, what is the meaning of the expression, "The garland of Naucratis," in the beautiful poet Anacreon. For that sweet minstrel says - 
  And each man three garlands had:
  Two of roses fairly twined,
  And the third a Naucratite.

And why also does the same poet represent some people as crowned with osiers? for in the second book of his Odes, he says - 
  But now full twice five months are gone
  Since kind Megisthes wore a wreath
  Of pliant osier, drinking wine
  Whose colour did like rubies shine.

For to suppose that these wreaths were really made of osiers is absurd, for the osier is fit only for plaiting and binding. So now tell us about these things, my friend, for they are worth understanding correctly, and do not keep us quibbling about words.

[12.] G   But as he made no reply, and pretended to be considering the matter, Democritus said: - Aristarchus the grammarian, my friend, [672] when interpreting this passage, said that the ancients used to wear wreaths of willow. But Tenarus says that the willow or osier is the rustics' wreath. And other interpreters have said many irrelevant things on the subject. But I, having met with a book of Menodotus of Samos, which is entitled, A Record of the things worth noting at Samos, found there what I was looking for; for he says that "Admete, the wife of Eurystheus, after she had fled from Argos, came to Samos, and there, when a vision of Hera had appeared to her, she wishing to give the goddess a reward because she had arrived in Samos from her own home in safety, undertook the care of the temple, which exists even to this day, and which had been originally built by the Leleges and the Nymphs. But the Argives hearing of this, and being indignant at it, persuaded the Tyrrhenians by a promise of money, to employ piratical force and to carry off the statue, - the Argives believing that if this were done Admete would be treated with every possible severity by the inhabitants of Samos. Accordingly the Tyrrhenians came to the port of Hera, and having disembarked, immediately applied themselves to the performance of their undertaking. And as the temple was at that time without any doors, they quickly carried off the statue, and bore it down to the seaside, and put it on board their vessel. And when they had loosed their cables and weighed anchor, they rowed as fast as they could, but were unable to make any progress. And then, thinking that this was owing to divine interposition, they took the statue out of the ship again and put it on the shore; and having made some sacrificial cakes, and offered them to it, they departed in great fear. But when, the first thing in the morning, Admete gave notice that the statue had disappeared, and a search was made for it, those who were seeking it found it on the shore. And they, like Carian barbarians, as they were, thinking that the statue had run away of its own accord, bound it to a fence made of osiers, and took all the longest branches on each side and twined them round the body of the statue, so as to envelop it all round. But Admete released the statue from these bonds, and purified it, and placed it again on its pedestal, as it had stood before. And on this account once every year, since that time, the statue is carried down to the shore and hidden, and cakes are offered to it: and the festival is called Tonaia, because it happened that the statue was bound tightly {συντόνως} by those who made the first search for it.

[13.] G  "But they relate that about that time the Carians, being overwhelmed with superstitious fears, came to the oracle of the god at Hybla, and consulted him with reference to these occurrences; and that Apollo told them that they must give a voluntary satisfaction to the god of their own accord, to escape a more serious calamity, - such as in former times Zeus had inflicted upon Prometheus, because of his theft of the fire, after he had released him from a most terrible captivity. And as he was inclined to give a satisfaction which should not cause him severe pain, this was what the god imposed upon him. And from this circumstance the use of this kind of wreath  which had been shown to Prometheus got common among the rest of mankind who had been benefited by him by his gift of fire: on which account the god enjoined the Carians also to adopt a similar custom, - to use osiers as a garland, and bind their heads with the branches with which they themselves had bound the goddess. [673] And he ordered them also to abandon the use of every other kind of garland except that made of the bay-tree: and that tree he said he gave as a gift to those alone who are employed in the service of the goddess. And he told them that, if they obeyed the injunctions given them by the oracle, and if in their banquets they paid the goddess the satisfaction to which she was entitled, they should be protected from injury: on which account the Carians, wishing to obey the commands laid on them by the oracle, abolished the use of those garlands which they had previously been accustomed to wear, but permitted all those who were employed in the service of the goddess still to wear the garland of bay-tree, which remains in use even to this day."

[14.] G  Nicaenetus also, the epic poet, appears to make some allusion to the fashion of wearing garlands of osier in his Epigrams. And this poet was a native of Samos, and a man who in numberless passages shows his fondness for mentioning points connected with the history of his country. And these are his words: - 
  I am not much fond, O Philotherus,
  Of feasting in the city, but prefer
  The country, where the open breeze of zephyr
  Freshens my heart; a simple bed
  Beneath my body is enough for me,
  Made of the branches of the native willow,
  And osier, ancient garland of the Carians, - 
  But let good wine be brought, and the sweet lyre,
  Chief ornament of the Pierian sisters,
  That we may drink our fill, and sing the praise
  Of the all-glorious bride of mighty Zeus,
  The great protecting queen of this our isle.

But in these lines Nicaenetus speaks ambiguously, for it is not quite plain whether he means that the osier is to make his bed or his garland; though afterwards, when he calls it the ancient garland of the Carians, he alludes clearly enough to what we are now discussing. And this use of osiers to make into garlands, lasted in that island down to the time of Polycrates, as we may conjecture. At all events Anacreon says - 
  But now full twice five months are gone
  Since kind Megistes has worn a wreath
  Of osier, drinking honey-sweet wine.

[15.] G   And the Gods know that I first found all this out in the beautiful city of Alexandria, having got possession of the treatise of Menodotus, in which I showed to many people the passage in Anacreon which is the subject of discussion. But Hephaestion, who is always charging every one else with thefts, took this solution of mine, and claimed it as his own, and published an essay, to which he gave this title, Concerning the Garland of Withes mentioned by Anacreon. And a copy of this essay we lately found at Rome in the possession of the antiquary Demetrius. And this compiler Hephaestion behaved in the same way to our excellent friend Adrastus. For after he had published a treatise in five books, Concerning those Matters in Theophrastus in his books on Manners, which are open to any Dispute, either as to their Facts, or the Style in which they are mentioned; and had added a sixth book Concerning the Disputable Points in the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle; and in these books had entered into a long dissertation on the mention of Plexippus by Antiphon the tragic poet, and had also said a good deal about Antiphon himself; Hephaestion, I say, appropriated all these books to himself, and wrote another book, Concerning the Mention of Antiphon in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, not having added a single discovery or original observation of his own, any more than he had in the discussion On the Garland of Withes. For the only thing he said that was new, was that Phylarchus, in the seventh book of his Histories [ Fr_14 ], mentioned this story about the withes, [674] and knew nothing of the passage of Nicaenetus, nor of that of Anacreon; and he showed that he differed in some respects from the account that had been given by Menodotus.

But one may explain this fact of the garlands of withes more simply, by saying that Megistes wore a garland of withes because there was a great quantity of those trees in the place where he was feasting; and therefore he used it to bind his temples. For the Lacedaemonians at the festival of the Promachia, wear garlands of reeds, as Sosibius tells us in his treatise On the Sacrificial Festivals at Lacedaemon, where he writes thus: "On this festival the natives of the country all wear garlands of reeds, or tiaras, but the boys who have been brought up in the public discipline follow without any garland at all."

[16.] G   But Aristotle, in the second book of his treatise on Love Affairs, and Ariston the Peripatetic, who was a native of Ceos, in the second book of his Amatory Resemblances, say that "The ancients, on account of the headaches which were produced by their wine-drinking, adopted the practice of wearing garlands made of anything which came to hand, as the binding the head tight appeared to be of service to them. But men in later times added also some ornaments to their temples, which had a kind of reference to the entertainment of drinking, and so they invented garlands in the present fashion. But it is more reasonable to suppose that it was because the head is the seat of all sensation that men wore crowns upon it, than that they did so because it was desirable to have their temples shaded and bound as a remedy against the headaches produced by wine."

They also wore garlands over their foreheads, as the sweet Anacreon says -
  And placing on our brows fresh parsley crowns,
  Let's honour Dionysus with a jovial feast.

They also wore garlands on their breasts, and anointed them with perfume, because that is the seat of the heart. And they call the garlands which they put round their necks hypothymides, as Alcaeus does in these lines -
  Let every one twine round his neck
  Wreathed hypothymides of anise.

And Sappho says -
  And wreathed hypothymides
  In numbers round their tender throats.

And Anacreon says -
  They placed upon their bosoms lotus flowers
  Entwined in fragrant hypothymides.

Aeschylus also, in his Prometheus Unbound, says distinctly -
  And therefore we, in honour of Prometheus,
  Place garlands on our heads, a poor atonement
  For the sad chains with which his limbs were bound.

And again, in the play entitled the Sphinxes, he says -
  Give the stranger a garland {stephanos}, the ancient stephos,-
  This is the best of chains, as we may judge
  From great Prometheus.

But Sappho gives a more simple reason for our wearing garlands, speaking as follows-
  But place those garlands on thy lovely hair,
  Twining the tender sprouts of anise green
  With skilful hand; for offerings of flowers
  Are pleasing to the gods, who hate all those
  Who come before them with uncrowned heads.

In which lines she enjoins all who offer sacrifice to wear garlands on their heads, as they are beautiful things, and acceptable to the Gods. Aristotle also, in his Symposium, says, "We never offer any mutilated gift to the Gods, but only such as are perfect and entire; and what is full is entire, and crowning anything indicates filling it in some sort. So Homer says -
  The slaves the goblets crowned with rosy wine;

And in another place he says -
  But God plain forms with eloquence does crown.

That is to say, eloquence in speaking makes up in the case of some men for their personal ugliness. [675] Now this is what the garland seems intended to do, on which account, in times of mourning, we do exactly the contrary. For wishing to testify our sympathy for the dead, we mutilate ourselves by cutting our hair, and by putting aside our garlands."

[17.] G   Now Philonides the physician, in his treatise On Ointments and Garlands, says, "After the vine was brought by Dionysus into Greece from the Red Sea, and when most people had become addicted to intemperate enjoyment, and had learnt to drink unmixed wine, some of them became quite frantic and out of their minds, while others got so stupified as to resemble the dead. And once, when some men were drinking on the sea-shore, a violent shower came on, and broke up the party, and filled the goblet, which had a little wine left in it, with water. But when it became fine again, the men returned to the same spot, and tasting the new mixture, found that their enjoyment was now not only exquisite, but free from any subsequent pain. And on this account, the Greeks invoke the good Deity {Agathos Daimon} at the cup of unmixed wine, which is served round to them at dinner, paying honour to the Deity who invented wine; and that was Dionysus. But when the first cup of mixed wine is handed round after dinner, they then invoke Zeus the Saviour, thinking him the cause of this mixture of wine which is so unattended with pain, as being the author of rain. Now, those who suffered in their heads after drinking, certainly stood in need of some remedy; and so the binding their heads was what most readily occurred to them, as Nature herself led them to this remedy. For a certain man having a headache, as Andreas says, pressed his head, and found relief, and so invented a ligature as a remedy for headache.

"Accordingly, men using these ligatures as assistants in drinking, used to bind their heads with whatever came in their way. And first of all, they took garlands of ivy, which offered itself, as it were, of its own accord, and was very plentiful, and grew everywhere, and was pleasant to look upon, shading the forehead with its green leaves and bunches of berries, and bearing a good deal of tension, so as to admit of being bound tight across the brow, and imparting also a certain degree of coolness without any stupifying smell accompanying it. And it seems to me that this is the reason why men have agreed to consider the garland of ivy sacred to Dionysus, implying by this that the inventor of wine is also the defender of men from all the inconveniences which arise from the use of it. And from thence, regarding chiefly pleasure, and considering utility and the comfort of the relief from the effects of drunkenness of less importance, they were influenced chiefly by what was agreeable to the sight or to the smell. And therefore they adopted crowns of myrtle, which has exciting properties, and which also represses any rising of the fumes of wine; and garlands of roses, which to a certain extent relieve headache, and also impart some degree of coolness; and garlands also of bay leaves, which they think are not wholly unconnected with drinking parties. But garlands of white lilies, which have an effect on, the head, and wreaths of amaracus, or of any other flower or herb which has any tendency to produce heaviness or torpid feelings in the head, must be avoided." And Apollodorus, in his treatise on Perfumes and Garlands, as said the same thing in the very same words. And this, my friends, is enough to say on this subject.

[18.] G   But concerning the Naucratite Crown, and what kind of flowers that is made of, I made many investigations, and inquired a great deal without learning anything, till at last I fell in with a book of Polycharmus of Naucratis, entitled On Aphrodite, in which I found the following passage: - "But in the twenty-third Olympiad {688-685 B.C.} Herostratus, a fellow-countryman of mine, who was a merchant, and as such had sailed to a great many different countries, coming by chance to Paphos, in Cyprus, [676] bought an image of Aphrodite, a span high, of very ancient workmanship, and came away meaning to bring it to Naucratis. And as he was sailing near the, Egyptian coast, a violent storm suddenly overtook him, and the sailors could not tell where they were, and so they all had recourse to this image of Aphrodite, entreating her to save them. And the goddess, for she was kindly disposed towards the men of Naucratis, on a sudden filled all the space near her with branches of green myrtle, and diffused a most delicious odour over the whole ship, when all the sailors had previously despaired of safety from their violent sea-sickness. And after they had been all very sick, the sun shone out, and they, seeing the landmarks, came in safety into Naucratis. And Herostratus having disembarked from the ship with his image, and carrying with him also the green branches of myrtle which had so suddenly appeared to him, consecrated it and them in the temple of Aphrodite. And having sacrificed to the gooddess, and having consecrated the image to Aphrodite, and invited all his relations and most intimate friends to a banquet in the temple, he gave every one of them a garland of these branches of myrtle, to which garlands he then gave the name of Naucratite." This is the account given by Polycharmus; and I myself believe the statement, and believe that the Naucratite garland is no other than one made of myrtle, especially as in Anacreon it is represented as worn with one made of roses. And Philonides has said that the garland made of myrtle acts as a check upon the fumes of wine, and that the one made of roses, in addition to its cooling qualities, is to a certain extent a remedy for headache. And, therefore, those men are only to be laughed at, who say that the Naucratite garland is the wreath made of what is called by the Egyptians byblos, quoting the statement of Theopompus, in the third book of his History of Greece, where he says, "That when Agesilaus the Lacedaemonian arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians sent him many presents, and among them the papyrus, which is used for making garlands." But I do not know what pleasure or advantage there could be in having a crown made of papyrus with roses, unless people who are enamoured of such a wreath as this should also take a fancy to wear crowns of garlic and roses together. But I know that a great many people say that the garland made of the sampsychon or amaracus is the Naucratite garland; and this plant is very plentiful in Egypt, but the myrtle in Egypt is superior in sweetness to that which is found in any other country, as Theophrastus relates in another place.

[19.] G   While this discussion was going on, some slaves came in bringing garlands made of such flowers as were in bloom at the time; and Myrtilus said:- Tell me, my good friend Ulpianus, the different names of garlands. For these servants, as is said in the Centaur of Chaerephon -
  Make ready garlands which they give the gods,
  Praying they may be heralds of good omen.

And the same poet says, in his play entitled Dionysus -
  Cutting sweet garlands, messengers of good omen.

Do not, however, quote to me passages out of the Crowns of Aelius Asclepiades, as if I were unacquainted with that work; but say something now besides what you find there. For you cannot show me that anyone has ever spoken separately of a garland of roses, and a garland of violets. For as for the expression in Cratinus: narcissus-olisbos, that is said in a joke.

And he, laughing, replied,- The word stephanos was first used among the Greeks, as Semus the Delian tells us in the fourth book of his Delias, [677] in the same sense as the word stephos {wreath} is used by us, which, however, by some people is called stemma. On which account, being first crowned with this stephanos, afterwards we put on a garland of bay leaves; and the word stephanos itself is derived from the verb στέφειν, to crown. But do you, you loquacious Thessalian, think, says he, that I am going to repeat any of those old and hacknied stories? But because of your tongue {glōssa}, I will mention the hypoglōttis, which Platon speaks of in his Zeus Ill-treated -
  But you wear leather tongues within your shoes,
  And crown yourselves with hypoglōttides,
  Whenever you're engaged in drinking parties.
  And when you sacrifice you speak only words
  Of happy omen.

And Theodorus, in his Attic Words, as Pamphilus says in his treatise on Names, says that the hypoglōttis is a species of plaited crown. Take this then from me; for, as Euripides says,
  'Tis no hard work to argue on either side,
  If a man's only an adept at speaking.

[20.] G   There is the Isthmian also, and there was a kind of crown bearing this name, which Aristophanes has thought worthy of mention in his Fryers, where he speaks thus-
  What then are we to do? We should have taken
  A white cloak each of us; and then entwining
  Isthmians on our brows, like choruses,
  Come let us sing the eulogy of our master.

But Silenus, in his Dialects, says, "The Isthmian garland." And Philetas says, "Isthmian garland: there is an ambiguity here as to whether it refers to the head or to a prize for the winner.  We also use the word isthmion, as applied to a well, or to a dagger." But Timachidas and Simmias, who are both Rhodians, explain one word by the other. They say, "Isthmian: wreath"; and this word is also mentioned by Callixenus, who is himself also a Rhodian, in his History of Alexandria, where he writes as follows-
  . . .  { The quotation is lost. }

[21.] G   But since I have mentioned Alexandria, I know that in that beautiful city there is a garland called the garland of Antinous, which is made of the lotus, which grows in those parts. And this lotus grows in the marshes in the summer season; and it bears flowers of two colours; one like that of the rose, and it is the garlands woven of the flower of this colour which are properly called the garlands of Antinous; but the other kind is called the lotus garland, being of a dark colour. And a man of the name of Pancrates, a native poet, with whom we ourselves were acquainted, made a great parade of showing a rose-coloured lotus to Hadrian the emperor, when he was staying at Alexandria, saying, that he ought to give this flower the name of the Flower of Antinous, as having sprung from the ground where it drank in the blood of the Mauritanian lion, which Hadrian killed when he was out hunting in that part of Africa, near Alexandria; a monstrous beast which had ravaged all Libya for a long time, so as to make a very great part of the district desolate. Accordingly, Hadrian being delighted with the utility of the invention, and also with its novelty, granted to the poet that he should be maintained for the future in the Museum at the public expense; and Cratinus the comic poet, in his Odysseuses, has called the lotus stephanōma, because all plants which are full of leaf, are called stephanōmata by the Athenians. But Pancrates said, with a good deal of neatness, in his poem -
  The crisp ground thyme, the snow-white lily too,
  The purple hyacinth, and the modest leaves
  Of the white celandine, and the fragrant rose,
  Whose petals open to the zephyrs of spring;
  For that fair flower which bears Antinous' name
  The earth had not yet borne.

[22.] G   [678] There is the word pyleōn. And this is the name given to the garland which the Lacedaemonians place on the head of Hera, as Pamphilus relates.

I am aware, also, that there is a kind of garland, which is called iakcha by the Sicyonians, as Timachidas mentions in his treatise on Dialects. And Philetas writes as follows:- "Iakcha : this is a name given to a fragrant garland in the district of Sicyon -
  She stood by her sire, and in her fragrant hair
  She wore the beautiful iakcha-garland."

Seleucus also, in his treatise on Dialects, says, that there is a kind of garland made of myrtle, which is called hellōtis, being twenty cubits in circumference, and that it is carried in procession on the festival of the Hellotia. And he says, that in this garland the bones of Europa, whom they call Hellotis, are carried. And this festival of the Hellotia is celebrated in Corinth.

There is also the thyreatikos. This also is a name given to a species of garland by the Lacedaemonians, as Sosibius tells us in his treatise on Sacrifices, where he says, that now it is called psilinos, being made of branches of the palm-tree. And he says that they are worn, as a memorial of the victory which they gained in Thyrea, by the leaders of the choruses, which are employed in that festival when they perform the Gymnopaedia; there are three choruses, some of handsome boys, and others of full-grown men of distinguished bravery, who all dance naked, and who sing the songs of Thaletas and Alcman, and the paeans of Dionysodotus of Lacedaemon.

There are also garlands called melilot, which are mentioned by Alexis in his Crateias, or the Apothecary, in the following line-
  And many melilot garlands hanging.

There is the word too, epithymis, which Seleucus explains by "every sort of garland." But Timachidas says, "Garlands of every kind which are worn by women are called by this name."

There are also the words hypothymis and hypothymides, which are names given to garlands by the Aeolians and Ionians, and they wear such around their necks, as one may clearly collect from the poetry of Alcaeus and Anacreon. But Philetas, in his Miscellanies, says, that the Lesbians call a branch of myrtle hypothymis, around which they twine violets and other flowers.

The hypoglōttis also is a species of garland. But Theodorus, in his Attic Words, says, that it is a particular kind of garland, and is used in that sense by Platon the comic poet, in his Zeus Ill-treated.

[23.] G   I find also, in the comic poets, mention made of a kind of garland called kylistos, and I find that Archippus mentions it in his Rhinon, in these lines -
  He went away unhurt to his own house,
  Having laid aside his cloak, but having on
  A garland of the ekkylistoi.

And Alexis, in his Agonis, or The Colt, says -
  This third man has a kylistos garland
  Of fig-leaves; but while living he delighted
  In similar ornaments:
and in his Sciron he says -
  Like a kylistos garland in suspense.

Antiphanes also mentions it in his Man in Love with Himself. And Eubulus, in his Oenomaus, or Pelops, saying -
  Brought into circular shape,
  Like a kylistos garland.

What, then, is this kylistos? For I am aware that Nicander of Thyateira, in his Attic Nouns, speaks as follows,- "ekkylistoi are garlands, and especially those made of roses." And now I ask what species of garland this was, O Cynulcus; and do not tell me that I am to understand the word as meaning merely large. For you are a man who are fond of not only picking things little known out of books, but of even digging out such matters; like the philosophers in the Joint Deceiver of Baton the comic poet; men whom Sophocles also mentions in his Fellow Feasters, [679] and who resemble you,-
  You should not wear a beard thus well perfumed,
  And 'tis a shame for you, of such high birth,
  To be reproached as the son of your belly,
  When you might rather be called your father's son.

Since, then, you are sated not only with the heads of grey-fish {glaukos}, but also with that ever-green herb, which the Deity of Anthedon ate, and became immortal, give us an answer now about the subject of discussion, that we may not think that when you are dead, you will be metamorphosed, as the divine Plato has described in his treatise On the Soul. For he says that those who are addicted to gluttony, and insolence, and drunkenness, and who are restrained by no modesty, may naturally become transformed into the race of asses, and similar animals.

[24.] G   And as he still appeared to be in doubt;- Let us now, said Ulpianus, go on to another kind of garland, which is called the strouthinos; which Asclepiades mentions when he quotes the following passage, out of the Female Garland Sellers of Eubulus -
  O happy woman, in your little house
  To have a wreath of strouthion waving in the breeze.
  She presses her lithe body to her bridegroom
  Of the sweet breath and beautiful hair,
  Even as Ivy clings to Reed, waxing strong
  In the springtime, melting with love for the tree toad.

And this garland is made of the flower called soapwort {strouthion}, which is mentioned by Theophrastus, in the sixth book of his Natural History, in these words- "The iris also blooms in the summer, and so does the flower called soapwort, which is a very pretty flower to the eye, but destitute of scent." Galēnē of Smyrna also speaks of the same flower, under the name of (?) strouthion.

There is also the pothos. There is a certain kind of garland with this name, as Nicander of Colophon tells us in his treatise on Words. And this, too, perhaps is so called because it is made of the flower of the same name, which the same Theophrastus mentions in the sixth book of his Natural History, where he writes thus-"There are other flowers which bloom chiefly in the summer,- the lychnis, the flower of Zeus, the lily, the iphyon, the Phrygian amaracus, and also the plant called pothos, of which there are two kinds, one bearing a flower like the hyacinth, but the other produces a colourless blossom nearly white, which men use to strew on tombs.

Eubulus also gives a list of other names of garlands -
  Aegidiǒn, carry now this garland for me,
  Ingeniously wrought of diverse flowers,
  Most tempting, and most beautiful, by Zeus!
  For who'd not wish to kiss the maid who bears it?

And then in the subsequent lines he says -
  (A)   Perhaps you want some garlands. Will you have them
  Of ground thyme, or of myrtle, or of flowers
  Such as I show you here in bloom?     (B)   I'll have
  These myrtle ones. You may sell all the others,
  But always keep the myrtle wreaths for me.

[25.] G   There is the philyrinos also. Xenarchus, in his Soldier, says -
  For the boy wore a garland on his brow
  Of delicate leafy linden {philyra}.

Some garlands also are called heliktoi, as they are even to this day among the Alexandrians. And Chaeremon the tragic poet mentions them in his Dionysus, saying -
  The triple folds of the heliktoi garlands,
  Made up of ivy and narcissus.

But concerning the evergreen garlands in Egypt, Hellanicus, in his History of Egypt, writes as follows-"There is a city on the banks of the river, named Tindium. This is place where many gods are assembled, and in the middle of the city there is a sacred temple of great size made of marble, and the doors are marble. And within the temple there are white and black thorns, on which garlands were placed [680] made of the flower of the acanthus, and also of the blossoms of the pomegranate, and of vine leaves. And these keep green for ever. These garlands were placed by the gods themselves in Egypt when they heard that Babys was king, (and he is the same who is also called Typhon.)" But Demetrius, in his History of the Things to be seen in Egypt, says that these thorns grow about the city of Abydos, and he writes thus- "But the lower district has a tree called the thorn, which bears a round fruit on some round-shaped branches. And this tree blooms at a certain season; and the flower is very beautiful and brilliant in colour. And there is a story told by the Egyptians, that the Aethiopians who had been sent as allies to Troy by Tithonus, when they heard that Memnon was slain, threw down on the spot all their garlands on the thorns. And the branches themselves on which the flower grows resemble garlands." And the before-mentioned Hellanicus mentions also that Amasis, who was king of Egypt, was originally a private individual of the class of the common people; and that it was owing to the present of a garland, which he made of the most beautiful flowers that were in season, and sent to Patarmis, who was king of Egypt, at the time when he was celebrating the festival of his birthday, that he afterwards became king himself. For Patarmis, being delighted at the beauty of the garland, invited Amasis to supper, and after this treated him as one of his friends; and on one occasion sent him out as his general, when the Egyptians were making war upon him. And he was made king by these Egyptians out of their hatred to Patarmis.

[26.] G   There are also garlands called synthēmatiaioi, which people make and furnish by contract. Aristophanes, in his Thesmophoriazusae, says -
  To make up twenty synthēmatiaioi garlands.

We find also the word chorōnon. Apion, in his treatise On the Roman Dialect, says that formerly a garland was called chorōnon, from the fact of the members of the chorus in the theatres using it; and that they wore garlands and contended for garlands. And one may see this name given to garlands in the Epigrams of Simonides - 
  Phoebus doth teach that song to the Tyndaridae,
  Which tuneless grasshoppers have crowned with a chorōnon.

There are akinioi too. There are some garlands made of the basil thyme {akinos} which are called by this name, as we are told by Andron the physician, whose words are quoted by Parthenius the pupil of Dionysius, in the first book of his treatise On the Words which occur in the Historians.

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