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Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume I: Books I-VII

Book V,   pp. 287-352


Page 288

which account the ancients did not ask who a man was before 
drinking, but afterwards; as honouring the laws of hospitality 
itself, and not this or that particular individual. But the 
lawgivers, taking care beforehand of the banquets of the pre- 
sent day, have appointed feasts for the tribe, and feasts for the 
borough; and also general banquets, and entertainments to 
the ward, and others also called orgeonica. And there are 
many meetings of philosophers in the city, some called the 
pupils of Diogenes, and others, pupils of Antipater, others 
again styled disciples of Panmetius. And Theophrastus be- 
queathed money for an entertainment of that sort. Not, by 
Jove, in order that the philosophers assembled might indulge 
in intemperance, but in order that during the banquet they 
might have a wise and learned conversation. And the Pry- 
tanes were accustomed every day to meet in well-regulated 
banquets, which tended to the advantage of the state. And 
it was to such a banquet as that Demosthenes says the news 
of the taking of Elatea was brought. " For it was evening, and 
a man came bringing news to the Prytanes that Elatea was 
taken." And the philosophers used to be careful to collect 
the young men, and to feast with them according to some well- 
considered and carefully laid down law. Accordingly, there 
were some laws for banquets laid down by Xenocrates, in the 
Academy, and again by Aristotle. 
But the Phiditia in Sparta, and the Andrea, or man's feasts, 
among the Cretans, were celebrated in their respective cities 
with all imaginable care. On which account some one said 
not unwisely- 
Dear friends should never long abstain from feasts, 
For e'en the memory of them is delightful. 
And Antipater the philosopher- once assembled a banqueting 
party, and invited all the guests on the understanding that, 
they were to discuss subtle questions. And they say that 
Arcesilaus, being once invited to a banquet, and sitting next 
to a man who ate voraciously, while he himself was unable to 
enjoy anything, when some one of those who were present 
offered him something, said- 
May it be well with you; be this for Telephus: 
for it so happened that the epicure by his side was named 
lelephus. But Zeno, when some epicure who was at the 
same party with him snatched away the upper half of the fish 
[B. V., 
288 
THE DEIPNOSOP.HISTS. 


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