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Athenaeus of Naucratis / The deipnosophists, or, Banquet of the learned of Athenæus
volume III (1854)

Book XII,   pp. 818-888


Page 818

THE DEIPNOSOPHISTS. 
BOOEK XII. 
1. You appear to me, my good friend Timocrates, to be a 
man of Cyrene, according to the Tyndareus of Alexis 
For there if any man invites another 
To any banquet, eighteen others come; 
Ten chariots, and fifteen pairs of horses, 
And for all these you must provide the food, 
So that 'twere better to invite nobody 
And it would be better for me also to hold my' tong-e, and 
not to add anything more to all that has been said already; 
but since you ask me very earnestly for a discussion on those 
men who have been notorious for luxury, and on their effemi- 
nate practices, you must be gratified. 
2. For enjoyment is connected, in the first instance, with 
appetite; adi in the second place, with pleasure. And Sopho- 
cles the poet, being a man fond of enjoyment, in order to 
avoid accusing old age, attributed his impotence in amatory 
pleasures to his temperance, sayring thoat he was glad to be re- 
leased from them as from some hard master. But I say that 
the Judgment of Paris is a tale originally invented by the 
ancients, as a comparison between pleasure and virtue.  Ac-- 
cordingly, when Venus, that is to say pleasure, was preferred, 
everything -was thrown into confusion.  And that excellent 
writer Xenophon seems to me to have invented his fable 
about Hercules and Virtue on the same principle.    For ac- 
;cording to' Empedocles- 
Mars was no god to them, nor gallant War, 
Nor Jupiter the king, nor Saturn old, 
Nor Neptune; Venus was their only queen. 
Her they propitiate and duly worship 
With pious images, with beauteous figures 
Skilfully carved; with fragrant incenses, 
And holy offerings of unmix'd myrrh, 
And sweetly smelling-frankinoense; -and many 
A pure libation of fresh golden honey 
They pour'd along the floor. 
[B. XII. 
818 


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