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

Book IV,   pp. 210-287


Page 280

And Axionicus says, in his Phileuripides- 
For they are both so sick with love 
Of the melodious strains of soft Euripides, 
That every other music seems to them 
Shrill as the gingras, and a mere misfortune. 
77. But how much better, 0 most sagacious Ulpian, is 
this hydraulic organ, than the instrument which is called 
nabla; which Sopater the parodist, in his drama entitled 
Pylke, says is also an invention of the Phcenicians, using the 
following expressions- 
Nor is the noise of the Sidonian nabla, 
Which from the throat doth flow, at all impair'd. 
And in the Slave of Mystacus we find- 
Among the instruments of harmony 
The nablas comes, not over soft or sweet; 
By its long sides a lifeless lotus fix'd 
Sends forth a breathed music; and excites men, 
Singing in Bacchic strain a merry song. 
And Philemon says, in his Adulterer- 
A. There should, 0 Parmeno, he here- among us 
A nablas or a female flute-player. 
B. What is a nablas ? 
A. Don't you know ? you idiot! 
B. Indeed I don't. 
A. What, do not know a nablas' 
You know no good; perhaps a sambucistria 
You ne'er have heard of either 
There is also an instrument called the triangle, which Juba 
mentions in the fourth book of his Theatrical History, and 
says it is an invention of the Syrians; as is also . the 
sambuca, which is called Avpooqotvt.  But this instrument 
Neanthes the Cyzicene, in the first book of his Seasons, says 
is an invention of Ibycus the Rhegian poet; as also the lyre 
called barbitos was of 'Anacreon. But since you are running 
all us Alexandrians down as unmusical, and keep mentioning 
the monaulos as our only national instrument, listen ilow to 
what I can tell you offhand about that. 
78. For Juba, in the before-mentioned treatise, says that 
the Egyptians call the monaulos an invention of Osiris, just 
as they say that kind of plagiaulos is, which is called photinx, 
and that, too, I will presently show you is mentioned by a 
very illustrious author; for the photinx is the same as the 
flute, which is a national instrument.  But Sophocles, in his 
Thamyras, speaks of the monaulos, saying- 
28 0 
[B. IV. 
THIE DEIPNOS OPHISTS. 


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