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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 819

c. 3.]              LOVE OF PLEASURE.                  819 
And Menander, in his Harp-player, speaking of some one 
who was very fond of music, says- 
He wvas to music much devoted, and 
Sought ever pleasing sounds to gratify 
His delicate taste. 
3. And yet some people say that the desire of pleasure is 
a natural desire, as may be proved by all animals becoming 
enslaved by it; as if cowardice, and fear, and all sorts of 
other passions were not also common to all animals, and yet 
these are rejected by all who use their reason. Accordingly, 
to be very eager in the pursuit of pleasure is to go hunting 
for pain. On which account Homer, wishing to represent 
pleasure in an odious light, says that the greatest of the gods 
receive no advantage from their power, but are even much 
injured by it, if they will allow themselves to be hurried 
away by the pursuit of pleasure. For all the anxiety which 
Jupiter, when awake, lavished on the Trojans, was lost in 
open day, when he abandoned himself to pleasure. And 
Mars, who was a most valiant deity, was put in chains by 
Yulcan, who was very powerless, and incurred great disgrace 
Iand punishment, when he had given himself up to irrational 
love; and therefore he says to the Gods, when they came 
to see him in fetters- 
Behold, on wrong 
Swift vengeance waits, and art subdues the strong. 
Dwells there a god on all th' Olympian brow 
More swift than Mars, and more than Vulcan slow ? 
Yet Vulcan conquers, and the God of arms 
Mulst pay the penalty for lawless charms.' 
But no one ever calls the life of Aristides a life of pleasure 
(c8VS), but that is an epithet they apply to Smindyrides the 
Sybarite, and to Sardanapalus, though as far as glory went, 
as Theophrastus says in his book on Pleasure, it was a far 
more splendid one; but Aristides never devoted himself to 
luxury as those other men did. Nor would any one call the 
life of Agesilaus the king of the Lacedcemonians r&8' ; but 
this name they would apply rather to the life of Ananis, 
a man who, as far as real glory is concerned, is totally un- 
known. Nor would one call the life of the heroes who :fought 
This is a blunder of Athenmus. Mars does not say this, but it is 
the observation made by the.gods to each other. 
dQrBEts E'breOIE 1UGl 4S iryiov dAXov. Odys. viii. 32. 
3 G2 


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