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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

C. D. Y.
Preface,   pp. [unnumbered]-iv


PREFACE. 
'THE author of the DEIPoSOPmHISTS was an Egyptian, born 
in Naucratis, a town on the left side of the Canopic Mouth 
of the Nile.  The age in which he lived is somewhat 
uncertain, but his work, at least the latter portion of it, 
must have been written after the death of Ulpian the lawyer, 
which happened A.D. 228. 
Athenzeus appears to have been imbued with a great love 
of learning, in the pursuit of which he indulged in the most 
extensive and multifarious reading; and the principal value 
of his work is, that by its copious quotations it preserves 
to us large fragments from the ancient poets, which would 
otherwise have perished. There are also one or two curious 
and interesting extracts in prose; such, for instance, as the 
account of the gigantic ship built by Ptolemmus Philopator, 
extracted from a lost work of Callixenus of Rhodes. 
The work commences, in imitation of Plato's Pheado, with 
a dialogue, in which Athenmeus and Timocrates supply the 
place of Phwedo and Echecrates. The former relates to his 
friend the conversation which passed at a banquet given at 
the house of Laurentius, a noble Roman, between some of 
the guests, the best known of whom are Galen and Ulpian. 


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