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Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists

BOOK 5, Pages 193-203

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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[21.] G   [193] What then, my friends, shall we call the entertainment which Antiochus, who was surnamed Epiphanes (but who was more rightly called Epimanes ["crazy"] from his actions) gave? Now he was king of the Syrians, being one of the Seleucids. And Polybius says of him [ 26.1 ], He, escaping out of the palace without the knowledge of the attendants, was often found with one or two companions wandering about the city wherever he might chance to take it into his head to go. And he was, above all other places, frequently found at the shops of the engravers of silver and of the goldsmiths, conversing on the subject of their inventions with, and inquiring into the principle of their art from, the engravers and other artists. And besides this, he often used to go among the common people, conversing with whomsoever he might chance to meet; and he would drink with the lowest and poorest strangers. And whenever he heard of any young men having a banquet, without having given any notice of his intention, he would come to join in their feast with a flute and music, behaving in a most lascivious manner; so that many used to rise up and depart, being alarmed at his strange behaviour. Often, also, be would lay aside his royal robes, and put on a common cloak, and so go round the market, like a man who was a candidate for some office: and taking some people by the hand, and embracing others, he would solicit them to vote for him, sometimes being to be made aedile, and sometimes tribune; and when he was elected, sitting in his ivory curule chair, according to the fashion which prevails among the Romans, he would hear all the causes which were pleaded in the forum, and decide them with great attention and earnestness, by which conduct he greatly perplexed sensible men. For some thought him a man of very simple tastes, and others considered him mad. And his conduct with respect to presents was very much the same. [194] For he would give some people dice of antelope’s bones, and some he would present with dates, and to others he would give gold. And even if he met people in the street whom he had never seen, he would give them presents unexpectedly. And in his sacrifices, which were offered up in the different cities, and in the honours offered to the gods, he surpassed all the kings who had ever existed. And any one may conjecture this from the temple raised to Olympian Zeus at Athens, and from the statues around the altar at Delos. And he used to bathe in the public baths, often when they were completely full of the citizens, and then he would have earthen pans of the most expensive perfumes brought to him. And on one of these occasions, when someone one said to him, "Happy are you kings, who use all these things and smell so sweet," he made the man no answer at the time; but coming the next day to the place where he was bathing, he caused him to have a pan of the largest size of that most precious ointment called στακτὴ poured over his head, so that when that had been done, every one near got up and hastened to get a little of the ointment, and as they fell down in their haste, by reason of the slipperiness of the floor, every one laughed, as did the king himself.

[22.] G   "And this same king," continues Polybius [ 30.25 ], "having heard of the games which had been celebrated in Macedonia by Aemilius Paullus the Roman general, wishing to surpass Paullus in his magnificence and liberality, sent ambassadors and delegates [theoroi] to the different cities to proclaim that games were going to be exhibited by him at Daphne, so that the Greeks all hastened with great eagerness to come to him to see them. And the beginning of the exhibition was a splendid procession, arranged in this way:— Some men led the way armed in the Roman fashion, in breastplates of chain armour, all men in the flower of their youth, to the number of five thousand; immediately after them, five thousand Mysians followed; and then three thousand Cilicians, armed in the fashion of light-armed skirmishers, having golden crowns; and after them three thousand Thracians and five thousand Galatians; these were followed by twenty thousand Macedonians, and by five thousand men armed with brazen shields, and as many more with silver shields; they were followed by two hundred and forty pairs of gladiators to fight in single combat; behind these came a thousand Nisaean cavalry, and three thousand men of the city guard, the greatest part of whom had golden trappings and golden crowns, but some had silver trappings; to these succeeded the cavalry who are called the King’s Companions; these amounted to one thousand men, all equipped with golden trappings; next to these was the battalion of the King’s Friends, of the same number and the same equipment; after these a thousand picked man; and they were followed by what was called the Agema, which was considered to be the most excellent squadron of all the cavalry, to the number of a thousand men; last of all came the cataphracts, having their name from the fact that both men and horses were completely enveloped in armour; they were in number fifteen hundred men. And all the above-mentioned soldiers had purple cloaks, and many had them also embroidered with gold or painted with figures of living animals. Besides all this, there were a hundred chariots with six horses, and forty with four homes; then a chariot drawn by four elephants, and another by two; [195] and last of all, six-and-thirty elephants, all handsomely appointed, followed one by one.

[23.] G   "The rest of the procession was such as it is difficult adequately to describe, and it must be enumerated in a summary manner. For youths walked in the procession to the number of eight hundred, all having golden crowns; and fat oxen to the number of one thousand; and deputations to see to the performance of separate sacrifices, very little short of three hundred; and there were eight hundred elephants’ tusks carried by, and such a multitude of statues as it is beyond any one’s power to enumerate. For images were carried in the procession of all who are ever said or thought by men to be gods, or deities, or demigods, or heroes; some gilt all over, and some arrayed in golden-broidered robes. And to all of them suitable inscriptions according to the accounts commonly received of them were attached, carved in the most expensive materials. And they were followed by an image of Night and another of Day; and of the Earth, and of Heaven, and of Morning, and of Noon. And the vast quantity of gold plate and silver plate was such as perhaps a man may form a guess at from the following account. For a thousand slaves belonging to Dionysius the secretary and amanuensis of the king joined in the procession, each carrying articles of silver plate, of which there was not one weighing less than a thousand drachmas. And there were six hundred slaves belonging to the king himself carrying articles of gold plate. And besides them there were women to the number of two hundred sprinkling every one with perfumes out of golden water-pots. And they were succeeded by eighty women magnificently apparelled, borne on litters with golden feet, and five hundred borne on litters with silver feet. And this was the most important portion of the procession.

[24.] G   "But after the games were over and the single combats and the hunting, during the whole thirty days which he exhibited these shows, on the first five days every one who came into the gymnasium was anointed with a saffron perfume shed upon him out o1 golden dishes. And there were fifteen of those golden dishes full of equal quantities of cinnamon and spikenard. And in a similar manner in the five next days there was brought in essence of fenugreek, and of marjoram, and of lilies, all differing in their scent; and some days there were laid a thousand triclinia for the banquet; and some days fifteen hundred all laid in the most expensive possible manner. And the arrangement of the whole business was superintended by the king himself. For having a very fine horse he went up and down the whole procession, commanding some to advance, and others to halt. And stopping at the entrances of the rooms where the drinking was going on he brought some in, and to others he assigned places on the couches. And he himself conducted in the attendants who brought in the second course. And he went round the whole banquet, sometimes sitting down in one place, and presently lying down in another place. And sometimes even while he was eating he would lay down what he was eating or his cup, and jump up and go away to another part of the room. And he would go all round the company, at times, pledging some of the guests in a standing posture; and at times entertaining himself with the jesters or with the music. And when the entertainment had lasted a long time and many of the guests had gone away, then the king would be brought in by buffoons all covered up, and laid on the ground as if he had been one of their band. And when the music excited him, he would jump up and dance, and act with the mummers, so that every one felt ashamed for him and fled away. And all this was done partly with the treasure which he brought out of Egypt, having plundered Ptolemy Philometor the king there, in defiance of his treaty with him when he was but a little boy; and some of the money too was contributed by his friends. And he had also sacrilegiously plundered most of the temples in his dominions."

[25.] G   And while all the guests marvelled at the conduct of the king, seeing that he was not illustrious but absolutely mad, [196] Masurius brought forward Callixeinus the Rhodian, who in the fourth book of his History of Alexandria has given an account of a spectacle and procession which was exhibited by that most admirable of all monarchs, Ptolemy Philadelphus. And he says:— "But before I begin, I will give a description of the tent which was prepared within the circuit of the citadel, apart from the place provided for the reception of the soldiers, and artisans, and foreigners. For it was wonderfully beautiful, and worth hearing about. Its size was such as to be able to hold a hundred and thirty couches placed in a circle, and it was furnished in the following manner:— There were wooden pillars at intervals, five on each side of the tent longwise, fifty cubits high, and something less than one cubit broad. And on these pillars at the top was a capital, of square figure, carefully fitted, supporting the whole weight of the roof of the banqueting room. And over this was spread in the middle a scarlet veil with a white fringe, like a canopy; and on each side it had beams covered over with turreted veils, with white centres, on which canopies embroidered all over the centre were placed. And of the pillars four were made to resemble palm-trees, and they had in the centre a representation of thyrsi. And on the outside of these a portico ran, adorned with a peristyle on three sides, with a vaulted roof. And in this place it was intended that the company of the feasters should sit down. And the interior of it was surrounded with scarlet curtains. But in the middle of the space there were strange hides of beasts, strange both as to their variegated colour and their size, suspended. And the part which surrounded this portico in the open air was shaded by myrtle-trees and laurels, and other suitable shrubs. And the whole floor was strewed with flowers of every description. For Egypt, on account of the temperate character of the atmosphere which surrounds it, and on account of the fondness of the inhabitants for gardening, produces in great abundance, and all the year round, those things which in other countries are rarely found and only at particular seasons. And roses, and white lilies, and numberless other flowers are never wanting in that country. On which account, though this entertainment took place in the middle of winter, still there was a show of flowers which was quite incredible to the foreigners. For flowers of which one could not easily have found enough to make one chaplet in any other city were supplied in the greatest abundance here, to make chaplets for every one of the nests at this entertainment, and were strewed thickly over the whole floor of the tent; so as really to give the appearance of a most divine meadow.

[26.] G   "And by the posts round the entire teat there were placed animals carved in marble by the foremost artists, a hundred in number. And in the spaces between the posts there were pictures hung by the Sicyonian painters; and alternately with these there were carefully selected images of every kind; and garments embroidered with gold, and most exquisite cloaks, some of them having portraits of the kings of Egypt embroidered on them; and some, stories taken from the mythology. Above them were placed gold and silver shields alternately; and on the spaces above those shields, which wore eight cubits high, caves were made, six on each side of the tent longwise, and four at each end. There were likewise in them representations of eating parties opposite to one another, of tragic, and comic, and satyric animals, having on real clothes. [197] And before them were placed golden goblets. And in the middle of the caves were placed nymphaea, and on them there lay golden Delphian tripods, having pedestals of their own. And along the highest part of the roof were golden eagles all facing one another, each fifteen cubits large. There were also golden couches, with feet made like sphinxes, on the two sides of the tent, a hundred on each side. For the front of the tent was left open. And under these there were strewed purple carpets of the finest wool, with the carpet pattern on both sides. And there were handsomely embroidered rugs very beautifully elaborated on them. Besides this, thin Persian cloths covered all the centre space where the guests walked, having most accurate representations of animals embroidered on them. And by them were placed tripods for the guests, made of gold, two hundred in number, so that there were two for every couch, and they rested on silver pedestals. And behind, out at sight, then, were a hundred flat dishes of silver, and an equal number of layers. On the opposite side of the sitting-room there was fixed another sideboard, opposite to that on which the cups and goblets were placed; and on that wore all the rest of the things which had been prepared for, or could come into use. And they were all made of gold, and studded with precious stones; admirably carved and wrought. And it has appeared to me too long a task to undertake to enumerate every article of the furniture, and even all the different kinds separately. But the entire weight of all the plate and valuables there exhibited came to ten thousand talents.

[27.] G   "But now that we have gone over everything that was to be seen in the tent, we will proceed to the shows and processions exhibited. For it passed through the stadium which there is in the city. And first of all went the procession of the Morning Star. For it began at the time when that star first appears. After that came the procession which bore the name of the parents of the kings. And next came the processions sacred to all the gods respectively, each having an arrangement appropriate to the history of each separate deity. Last of all came the procession of Hesperus, as the hour of that one starting coincided with that time. But if any one wishes to know the separate particulars, he may take the description of the quinquennial games and consider them. But in the Dionysiac procession first of all there went the Sileni who keep off the multitude, some clad in purple cloaks, and some in scarlet ones. And these were followed by Satyrs, twenty in each division of the stadium, bearing gilded lamps made of ivy-wood. And after them came images of Victory, having golden wings, and they bore in their hands incense-burners six cubits in height, adorned with branches made of ivy-wood and gold, clad in tunics embroidered with figures of animals, and they themselves also had a great deal of golden ornament about them. And after them there followed an altar of six cubits in height, a double altar, covered all over with ivy-leaves gilded, having a crown of vine-leaves on it all gold, enveloped in bandages with white centres. And that was followed by boys in purple tunics, bearing frankincense, and myrrh, and saffron, on golden dishes. And after them came forty Satyrs,, crowned with ivy garlands made of gold. And they were painted as to their bodies, some with purple, some with vermilion, and some with other colours. And these also wore each a golden crown made to imitate vine-leaves and ivy-leaves. [198] And after them came two Sileni in purple cloaks and white fringes to them. And one of them had a petasus and a golden caduceus, and the other had a trumpet. And between them went a man of gigantic size, four cubits high, in a tragical dress and ornaments, bearing the golden horn of Amaltheia. And his name was The Year. And he was followed by a woman of great beauty and of more than ordinary size, adorned with quantities of gold and a superb dress; bearing in one of her hands a garland of peach blossoms, and in her other hand a branch of the palm-tree. And she was called Penteteris. And she was succeeded by the Four Seasons dressed in character, and each of them bearing its appropriate fruits. Next to them came two incense-burners made of ivy-wood, covered with gold, and six cubits in height, and a large square golden altar in the middle of them. And then again Satyrs, having garlands of ivy-leaves made of gold, and clad in purple robes. And some of them bore golden wine-jars, and others bore goblets. After them marched Philiscus the poet, being a priest of Dionysus, and with him all the artisans who were concerned in the service of Dionysus. And next to them were carried the Delphian tripods as prizes for the trainers of the athletes; the one for the trainer of the boys nine cubits in height, and the other, twelve cubits in height, for the trainer of the men.

[28.] G   "After them was a four-wheeled wagon fourteen cubits long, and eight cubits wide; and it was drawn by a hundred and eighty men; and in it was placed an image of Dionysus ten cubits high, pouring libations of wine out of a golden goblet, having on a purple tunic reaching down to the feet; and he was clad in a purple garment embroidered with gold; and in front of him there lay a golden Lacedaemonian goblet, holding fifteen measures of wine, and a golden tripod, in which was a golden incense-burner, and two golden bowls, full of cassia and saffron; and a shade covered it round adorned with ivy-leaves and vine-leaves, and all sorts of other green leaves; and to it were fastened chaplets, and fillets, and thyrsi, and drums, and turbans, and satyric and comic and tragic masks. And the wagon was followed by priests and priestesses, and newly initiated votaries, and by companies of every nation, and by people bearing the mystic fan. And after this came the Macedonian bacchants, called Mimallones, and Bassarae, and Lydian women, with dishevelled hair, and wearing garlands, some of snakes, and others of branches of yew and of vine-leaves and ivy-leaves, and some held daggers in their hands, and others held snakes. And after them another four-wheeled wagon was drawn, of the width of eight cubits, and it was drawn by sixty men; and in it was a statue of Nysa, of eight cubits high, in a sitting posture, clothed in a box-coloured tunic embroidered with gold, and it was also clad in a Laconian cloak; and this statue rose up by mechanism, without any one applying his hand to it; and it poured libations of milk out of a golden bottle, and then it sat down again; and in its left band it bore a thyrsus wrapped round with turbans, and it was crowned with a garland of ivy-leaves, made of gold, and with gorgeous bunches of grapes inlaid with precious stones; and it had a parasol over it; and on the corners of the wagon were fastened four golden lamps.

[199] "And next to that another four-wheeled wagon was drawn along, twenty cubits in length and sixteen in width, mad it was drawn by three hundred men. And on it there was a wine-press twenty-four cubits in length and fifteen in breadth, full of grapes; and sixty Satyrs were trampling on the grapes, singing a song in praise of the wine-press, to the music of a flute. And Silenus presided over them; and the new wine ran out over the whole road. Next to that was drawn along a wagon, twenty-five cubits long and fourteen broad; and that was drawn by six hundred men. And on this wagon was a sack holding three thousand measures of wine, consisting of leopards’ skins, sewn together. And this too allowing its liquor to escape, gradually flowed over the whole road. And it was followed by Satyrs and Sileni, to the number of a hundred and twenty, all wearing garlands, and carrying some casks of wine, and some bowls, and some large Thericlean goblets, all made of gold.

[29.] G   And next to that was carried a silver vessel containing six hundred measures of wine, being drawn on a four-wheeled wagon by six hundred men. And under its lips, and under its ears, and under its bottom, it had figures of animals engraved; and in the middle it was crowned with a golden crown, inlaid with precious stones. Next to that there were carried two silver goblets, twelve cubits in circumference and six cubits in height; and these had figures standing out in relief above, and also on their round parts all round. And on their feet they had chased figures of animals two cubits and a half long and a cubit high, in great numbers: and ten large bathing-vessels, and sixteen ewers, of which the larger ones contained thirty measures, and the smaller ones five; then twenty-four cauldrons with acorn bosses, on five side-boards; and two silver wine-presses, on which were twenty-four urns; and a table of solid silver twelve cubits round; and thirty other tables six cubits each in circumference: and in addition to this, four tripods, one of which was sixteen cubits in circumference, and was made entirely of silver; but the other three, which were less, were studded with precious stones in the middle. And after these there were carried some Delphic tripods, made of silver, eighty in number, smaller than those previously described, being also of a square, or four-cornered shape. And six-and-twenty water-cans, and sixteen Panathenaic jars, and a hundred and sixty wine-coolers, the largest of which contained six measures and the smallest contained two; and all these were made of silver.

[30.] G   "And next to them, those men followed in the procession who carried the articles of gold-plate,— four Lacedaemonian goblets, having crowns on them made to represent vine-leaves, each containing four measures; and two of Corinthian workmanship placed on sideboards, and these had figures of animals in richly chased work of great beauty, in a sitting posture, and on their necks and on their bellies were other reliefs curiously wrought, and each of them contained eight measures. And there was a wine-press in which there were ten urns, and two jars, each holding five measures, and two flagons, each holding two measures, and twenty-two wine-coolers, the largest of which contained thirty measures, and the smallest one measure. There were also exhibited four large golden tripods, and a large sideboard for gold plate, that being also made of gold itself and studded with precious stones, ten cubits in height, having six rows of shelves in it, on which were figures of animals of the size of four palms, most exquisitely wrought, in very great numbers; and two goblets, and two crystal goblets mounted in gold; and four more sideboards, two of them four cubits high; [200] and three others which were smaller, and ten water-cans, and an altar three cubits high, and twenty-five dishes for holding barley loaves.

"After this had been carried by, there walked sixteen hundred boys clad in white tunics, and crowned some with ivy, and some with pine, of whom two hundred and fifty carried golden pitchers and four hundred carried silver ones; and of the rest three hundred and twenty carried golden wine-coolers, and some carried silver ones. And after them other boys carried jars, for the purpose of drinking sweet wine out of, twenty of which were gold, and fifty silver, and three hundred were painted with every kind of colour and hue; and all the spectators who were present in the stadium took a moderate draught of the sweet wine, which was mixed in these ewers and casks."

[31.] G   After these things he enumerates tables four cubits high, on which were many things worth looking at, which were all carried round for the spectators to see, being beautifully wrought. "And among them was a representation of the bed-chamber of Semele, in which were seen statues clad in golden tunics, inlaid with precious stones of the greatest value. And it would not be right to pass over this four-wheeled wagon, of the length of twenty-two cubits and of the breadth of fourteen, drawn by five hundred men. And on it was a cave exceedingly deep, overgrown with ivy and yew, and out of it flew doves, and pigeons, and turtle-doves all along the road as the wagon proceeded, having their feet tied with slight threads, so as to be easily caught by the spectators. And out of the cave there also rose two fountains, one of milk and one of wine, and around it all the nymphs had garlands of gold, and Hermes had a golden herald’s wand, and very superb raiment. And on another four-wheeled wagon, on which the return of Dionysus from the Indians was represented, there was a figure of Dionysus twelve cubits high, riding upon an elephant, clad in a purple robe, and having on a crown of vine-leaves and ivy-leaves of gold, and bearing in his hands a spear like a thyrsus, made also of gold; and he wore sandals embroidered with golden figures. And there sat before him, on the neck of the elephant, a Satyr five cubits in height, crowned with a chaplet of golden pine-leaves, and holding in his right hand a goat’s horn made of gold, with which he appeared to be blowing signals. And the elephant had golden trappings; and on his neck he had a crown of ivy-leaves made of gold; and he was followed by five hundred maidens dressed in purple tunics, with golden girdles; and those who went first, to the number of a hundred and twenty, wore crowns of pine-leaves made of gold; and they were succeeded by a hundred and twenty Satyrs clad in complete armour, some of silver and some of brass. And after them there marched five troops of asses, on which rode Sileni and Satyrs, all wearing crowns. And of the asses some had gold and some silver frontlets and harnesses.

[32.] G   And after them came twenty-four chariots drawn by four elephants each, and sixty chariots each drawn by a pair of goats, and twelve chariots by antelopes, and seven by oryxes, and fifteen by buffaloes, eight by pairs of ostriches, and seven by gnus, and four by pairs of zebras, and four chariots also drawn each by four zebras. And on all these animals rode boys wearing the garments of charioteers, and the broad hats called petasi; and besides them were little girls, armed with small shields, and thyrsi-spears, and they also were dressed in golden-broidered garments; and the boys who were acting as charioteers were crowned with pine-leaf chaplets, and the girls with ivy-leaves. And besides this there were three pairs of camels, on either side three, and they were followed by carts drawn by mules; and these had on them barbaric palanquins, [201] on which sat women from India and other countries, dressed as prisoners. And of the camels, some bore three hundred minae weight of frankincense, and three hundred of myrrh, and two hundred of saffron, and cassia, and cinnamon, and iris, and two hundred of other spices. And next to them came some Ethiopians bearing presents, same of whom carried six hundred elephant’s tusks, and others carried two thousand fagots of ebony, and others carried sixty gold and silver goblets, and a quantity of gold-dust. And after them came two huntsmen, having hunting-spears with golden points; and twenty-four hundred dogs were led in the procession, some Indian dogs, and others Hyrcanian and Molossian hounds, and hounds of other breeds too.

"After them came a hundred and fifty men carrying trees from which were suspended birds and beasts of every imaginable country and description; and then were carried a lot of cages, in which were parrots, and peacocks, and guinea-fowls, and pheasants, and other Ethiopian birds in great numbers."

And when he had mentioned many other things, and enumerated herds of animals, he continued, "A hundred and thirty Ethiopian sheep, three hundred Arabian sheep, twenty Euboean sheep, some white hornless cattle, six-and-twenty Indian cows, eight Ethiopian oxen, one immense white bear, fourteen leopards, sixteen panthers, four lynxes, three bear-cubs, one cameleopard, and one rhinoceros from Ethiopia.

[33.] G   "And after these beasts came an image of Dionysus flying to the altar of Rhea when he was pursued by Hera, having on a golden crown, Priapus standing by him crowned with a crown of ivy-leaves of gold, and the statue of Hera had also a golden crown on its head. And there were images of Alexander and of Ptolemy, crowned with chaplets of ivy leaves made of gold. And the statue of Virtue, which stood by the side of that of Ptolemy, had a golden crown of olive-leaves. And Priapus was with them, having a crown of ivy-leaves made of gold. And the city of Corinth had a large image there, standing by the side of Ptolemy, and that also wore a golden diadem; and by all these lay a large golden stand full of articles of gold plate, and a golden goblet containing five measures. And this wagon was followed by women having very sumptuous dresses and ornaments, and they bore the names of cities, some of cities of Ionia, and other Greek towns, as many as, occupying the islands, and the coast of Asia, were made subject to the Persians; and they all wore golden crowns. And on other chariots there was borne a golden thyrsus ninety cubits long, and a silver spear sixty cubits long; and on another a golden phallus, a hundred and twenty cubits long, chased all over, and wreathed with golden garlands, having on the end a golden star, the circumference of which was six cubits.

"Now in all the numerous things which we have enumerated as forming part of this procession, we have selected these only in which gold and silver were contained. But there were numerous other articles and parts of the exhibition well worth seeing, and vast numbers of beasts and of horses, and twenty-four enormous lions. There wore also other four-wheeled wagons in great numbers, bearing not only statues of kings, but also full of images of the gods. And after them proceeded a band of six hundred men, among whom were three hundred harp-players playing on their instruments, having harps made entirely of gold, and golden crowns on their heads; [202] and after them came two thousand bulls all of the same colour, with gilded horns, and having frontlets of gold, and crowns in the middle of their foreheads, and necklaces and breastplates on their necks and chests, and these were all made of gold.

[34.] G   "And after this came a procession in honour of Zeus and of many other gods; and after all these, came a procession in honour of Alexander, who had a golden statue, borne on a chariot drawn by real elephants, having Victory and Athene on each side of him. And numbers of thrones were borne in the procession, made of ivory and gold, on one of which lay a crown of gold; on another a pair of horns made of gold; on another was a golden chaplet; and on another a single horn made of solid gold. And on the throne of Ptolemy Soter lay a crown which had been made of ten thousand pieces of gold money. And there were also carried in the procession three hundred and fifty golden incense burners, and golden altars, all crowned with golden crowns, on one of which were firmly placed four golden lamps ten cubits high. There were also carried twelve stoves with golden tops, one of which was twelve cubits in circumference and forty cubits in height; and another was fifteen cubits high. There were also carried nine Delphic tripods made of gold, each four cubits high, and eight others six cubits high; another thirty cubits high, on which were figures of animals carved in gold, four cubits high, and a crown of vine-loaves of gold going all round. There were also carried in the procession seven palm-trees overlaid with gold, eight cubits high, and a golden herald’s staff forty-five cubits long, and a thunderbolt overlaid with gold forty cubits in size, and a gilt thrice, the circumference of which was forty cubits; and besides all this, a pair of horns eight cubits long. And an immense number of gilded figures of animals was also exhibited, the greater part of which were twelve cubits high; and beasts of enormous size, and eagles twenty cubits high. And golden crowns were also exhibited to the number of three thousand and two hundred. And there was a separate mystic crown made of gold studded with valuable stones, eighty cubits high. This was the crown which was placed at the door of the temple of Berenice; and there was also an aegis of gold. There were also exhibited a vast number of golden chaplets, which were borne by young maidens sumptuously attired, one of which was two cubits high and sixteen cubits in circumference.

"There was also exhibited a golden breastplate twelve cubits broad, and another breastplate of silver eighteen cubits broad, having on it two golden thunderbolts of the size of ten cubits each, and a garland of oak-leaves studded with precious stones; and twenty golden shields, and sixty-four suits of complete armour also of gold, and two golden greaves three cubits in height, and twelve golden dishes and a most countless number of flagons, and thirty-six vessels for wine and ten large anointing vessels, and twelve ewers, and fifty large dishes for barley loaves, and tables of different sorts, and five repositories for gold plates, and a horn thirty cubits long made of solid gold. And all these articles of gold plate were exclusive of those carried in the procession of Dionysus. Then there were four hundred wagons of silver plate, and twenty wagons of gold plate, and eight hundred of perfumes and spices.

[35.] G   "And after all these things came a procession of troops, both cavalry and infantry, all armed and appointed in a most superb manner: [203] infantry to the number of fifty-seven thousand six hundred; and cavalry to the number of twenty-three thousand two hundred. And all these marched in the procession, all clad in suitable apparel, and all having their appropriate armour; and there were also great numbers of suits of armour besides lying for inspection, too numerous for any one to count, (but Callixeinus has made a catalogue of them;) and they were also crowned in the assembly with twenty golden crowns. And first of all Ptolemy and Berenice were crowned with twenty-three, standing on golden chariots, in the sacred precincts of Dodona. And the expense of money which was incurred on this occasion, amounted to two thousand two hundred and thirty-nine talents, and fifty minae; and this was all counted by the clerks of the treasury, owing to the eagerness of those who had given the crowns, before the spectacle came to an end. But Ptolemy Philadelphus, their son, was crowned with twenty golden crowns, two of them on golden chariots, and one six cubits high on a pillar, and five five cubits high, and six four cubits high."

[36.] G   Now my friends and fellow-banqueters, what kingdom ever possessed such quantities of gold as this? For Egypt did not acquire all this by taking money from the Persians and from Babylon, or by working mines, or by having a river Pactolus, bearing down gold-dust in its waters. For its only river is that which can really be called the Golden Stream — the Nile, which together with its boundless supplies of food does bring down gold without alloy, which is dug up out of the soil without danger, in quantities sufficient for all men, diffused over the whole soil like the gifts of Triptolemus. On which account the Byzantine poet, who had the name of Parmenon given to him, says -
  O god of Egypt, mighty Nile.

But king Philadelphus surpassed most kings in riches; and he pursued every kind of manufacturing and trading art so zealously, that he also surpassed every one in the number of his ships. Now the largest ships which he had were these:— two of thirty banks of oars, one of twenty, four of thirteen, two of twelve, fourteen of eleven, thirty of nine, thirty-seven of seven, five of six, seventeen of five. And from quadriremes down to light half-decked triremes, for purposes of war, be had twice as many as all these put together. And the vessels which were sent to the different islands and to the other cities under his dominion, and to Libya, amounted to more than four thousand. And concerning the number of his books, and the way in which he furnished his libraries, and the way in which he collected treasures for his Museium, why need speak? for every one remembers all these things.

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