Athenaeus of Naucratis / Volume III: Books XII-XV
Book XII, pp. 818-888
certain extent secured; to those who are asked for them, by their being addressed, and to those who give them, because they give an intimation beforehand, that they must give of their beauty in exchange. For a request for beautiful flowers and fruits, intimates that those who receive them are prepared to give in return the beauty of their persons. Perhaps also people are fond of those things, and carry them about them in order to comfort and mitigate the vexation which arises from the neglect or absence of those whom they love. For by the presence of these agreeable objects, the desire for those persons whom we love is blunted; unless, indeed, we may rather say that it is for the sake of personal ornament that people carry those things, and take delight in them, just as they wear anything else which tends to ornament. For not only those people who are crowned with flowers, but those also who carry them in their hands, -find their whole appear- ance is improved by them. Perhaps also, people carry them simply because of their love for any beautiful object. For the love of beautiful objects shows that we are inclined to be fond of the productions of the seasons. For the face of spring and autumn is really beautiful, when looked at in their flowers and fruits. And all persons who are in love, being made, as it were, luxurious by their passion, and inclined to admire beauty, are softened by the sight of beauty of any sort. For it is something natural that people who fancy that they themselves are beautiful and elegant, should be fond of flowers; on which account the companions of Proser- pine are represented as gathering flowers. And Sappho says- I saw a lovely maiden gathering flowers. 80. But in former times men were so devoted to luxury, that they dedicated a temple to Venus Callipyge on this account. A certain countryman had two beautiful daughters; and they once, contending with one another, went into the public roads, disputing as they went, which had the most beautiful buttocks. And as a young man was passing, who had an aged father, they showed themselves to him also. And he, when he had seen both, decided in favour of the elder; and falling in love with her, he returned into the city and fell ill, and took to his bed, and related what had happened to his brother, who was younger than he; and he also, going into the fields and seeing the damsels himself, fell in love with the 887 a. 80.] V:ENUS CALLIPYGE.
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code). For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright