University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

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

Book XII,   pp. 818-888

Page 849

The time that men do live on earth was brief, 
And liable to many sudden changes, 
Reverses, and calamities. Now others 
Will have th' enjoyment of my luxuries, 
Which I do leave behind me. For these reasons 
I never ceased one single day from pleasure. 
But Clitarchus, in the fourth book of his History of Alexander, 
says that Sardanapalus died of old age after he. had lost 
the sovereignty over the Syrians. And Aristobulus says- 
"In Anchiale, which was built by Sardanapalus, did Alex- 
ander, when he was on his expedition against the Persians, 
pitch his camp. And at no great distance was the monument 
of Sardanapalus, on which there was a marble figure putting 
together the fingers of its right band, as if it were giving 
a fillip. And there was on it the following inscription in 
Assyrian characters- 
The king, and son of Anacyndaraxes, 
In one day built Anchiale and Tarsus. 
Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth e'en this,- 
by "this" meaning the fillip he was giving with his fingers. 
- 40. But Sardanapalus was not the only king who was very 
luxurious, but so was also Androcotus the Phrygian. For he 
also used to wear a robe embroidered with flowers; and to 
adorn himself more superbly than a woman, as Mnaseas 
relates, in the third book of his History of Europe. But 
Clearchus, in the fifth book of his Lives, says that Sagaus the 
king of the Mariandyni used, out of luxui y, to eat, till he 
arrived at old age, out of his nurse's mouth, that he might not 
have the trouble of chewing his own food; and that he never 
put his hand lower than his navel; on which account Aris- 
totle, laughing at Xenocrates the Chalcedonian, for a similar 
preposterous piece of laziness, says- 
His hands are clean, but sure his mind is not. 
And Ctesias relates that Annarus, a lieutenant of the king of 
Persia, and governor of Babylon, wore the entire dress and 
ornaments of a woman; and though he was only a slave of 
the king, there used to come into the room while he was at 
supper a hundred and fifty women playing the lyre and 
singing. And they played and sang all the time that he was 
eating. And Phoenix of Colophon, the poet, speaking of 
Ninus, in the first book of his lambics, says- 
ATI.-VOL. II.           3 I 
C7. - 40.] 

Go up to Top of Page