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

Book XIII,   pp. 888-978


Page 973

PRAISE OF MODESTY. 
even to this day this contest is continued; and the women 
who contend in it are called Goldbearing. And Theophrastus 
says that there is also a contest of beauty which takes place 
among the Eleans, and that the decision is come to with 
great care and deliberation; and that those who gain the 
victory receive arms as their prize, which Dionysius of 
Leuctra says are offered up to Minerva. And he says, too, 
that the victor is adorned with fillets by his friends, and 
goes in procession to the temple; and that a crown of myrtle 
is given to him (at least this is the statement of Myrsilus, in 
his Historical Paradoxes). "But in some places," says the 
same Theophrastus, "there are contests between the women 
in respect of modesty and good management, as there are 
among the barbarians; and at other places also there are 
contests about beauty, on the ground that this also is 
entitled to honour, as for instance, there are in Tenedos and 
Lesbos. But they say that this is the gift of chance, or of 
nature; but that the honour paid to modesty ought to be one 
of a greater degree. For that it is in consequence of modesty 
that beauty is beautiful; for without modesty it is-apt to be 
subdued by intemperance." 
91. Now, when Myrtilus had said all this in a connected 
statement; and when all were marvelling at his memory, 
Cynulcus said- 
Your multifarious learning I do wonder at- 
Though there is not a thing more vain and useless, 
says Hippon the Atheist. But the divine Heraclitus also 
says-"A great variety of information does not usually give 
wisdom." And Timon said- 
There is great ostentation and parade 
Of multifarious learning, than which nothing 
Can be more vain or useless. 
For what is the use of so many names, my good grammarian, 
which are more calculated to overwhelm the hearers than to 
do them any good? And if any one were to inquire of you, 
who they were who were shut up in the wooden horse, you 
would perhaps be able to tell the nlames of one or two; and 
even this you would not do out of the verses of Stesichorus, 
(for that could hardly be,) but out of the Storming of Troy, 
by Sacadas the Argive; for he has given a catalogue of a 
great number of names. Nor indeed could you properly 
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