The Deipnosophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis
Book XIII: Concerning Women
PERSONS of the Dialogue:
AEMILIANUS MAURUS, grammarian; ALCEIDES OF ALEXANDRIA, musician; AMOEBUS, harp-player and singer; ARRIAN, grammarian; ATHENAEUS OF NAUCRATIS, the author; CYNULCUS, nickname of a Cynic philosopher, Theodorus; DAPHNUS OF EPHESUS, physician; DEMOCRITUS OF NICOMEDIA, philosopher; DIONYSOCLES, physician; GALEN OF PERGAMUM, physician; LARENSIS (P. Livius Larensis), Roman official; LEONIDAS OF ELIS, grammarian; MAGNUS, probably a Roman; MASURIUS, jurist, poet, musician; MYRTILUS OF THESSALY, grammarian; PALAMEDES THE ELEATIC, lexicographer; PHILADELPHUS PTOLEMAEENSIS, philosopher; PLUTARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, grammarian; PONTIANUS OF NICOMEDIA, philosopher; RUFINUS OF NICAEA, physician; TIMOCRATES, to whom Athenaeus relates the story of the banquet; ULPIAN OF TYRE, Roman jurist and official; VARUS, grammarian; ZOILUS, grammarian.
The comic poet Antiphanes, friend Timocrates, was once reading one of his plays to King Alexander, who, however, made it plain that he did not altogether like it. "No wonder, sire," the poet said; "for the man who likes this play of mine must have dined often at contribution-dinners, and he must have received and given even oftener hard knocks over a courtesan;" this we have on the authority of Lycophron of Chalcis in his work On Comedy. As for us, then, now that we are on the point of setting down our stories of love and lovers (for we often indulged in conversation on the subject of married women and courtesans as well), and since experts will listen to our history, the Muse we must invoke to come to the aid of our memory in that long erotic muster-roll is Erato; and we shall make the auspicious beginning with this line: "Come now I pray thee, Erato, stand beside me and tell me" what words were spoken concerning love itself, and love affairs.
In the course of his encomium of married women, our noble host quoted Hermippus as recording, in his work On Lawgivers, that in Lacedaemon all the young girls used to be shut up in a dark room, the unmarried young men being locked up with them; and each man led home, as his bride without dower, whichever girl he laid hold of. Hence they punished Lysander with a fine because he abandoned the first girl and plotted to marry another who was much prettier. Clearchus of Soli says in his work On Proverbs: "In Lacedaemon at a certain festival the married women pull the bachelors round the altars and thrash them, the object being that the young men in trying to avoid the humiliation of this treatment may yield to the natural affections, and enter upon marriage in good season. In Athens Cecrops was the first to join one woman to one man; before his time unions had been loose and promiscuity was general. This is why, as some have thought, he is regarded as having a two-fold nature; earlier men did not know who was their own father, there were so many." Proceeding, then, from this fact, one may find fault with those writers who ascribe to Socrates two wedded wives, Xanthippe and Myrto, daughter of Aristeides; not the one who was called the Just (since chronology is against that), but the third in descent from him. These writers are Callisthenes, Demetrius of Phalerum, Satyrus the Peripatetic, and Aristoxenus, and it was Aristotle who gave them the keynote by telling this story in his treatise On Noble Birth; a story we may doubt unless, to be sure, this bigamy was made allowable by special decree at that time because of the scarcity of people, so that any one who so desired was permitted to have two wives; this would explain why the comic poets passed it over in silence, although they often mention Socrates. Hieronymus of Rhodes has quoted a decree pertaining to women which I will send over to you when I have procured his book. But Panaetius of Rhodes has given the lie to those who talk about the wives of Socrates.
Among the Persians the queen tolerates the large number of concubines because the king rules his wife as absolute monarch, and for another reason, according to Dinon in his History of Persia, because the queen is treated with reverence by the concubines; at any rate they do obeisance to her. So, too, Priam has many wives, and Hecuba feels no annoyance. Priam, for example, says: "Nineteen sons were born to me of one womb, but all the rest were born by the women within my halls." But among the Greeks the mother of Phoenix does not tolerate the concubine of Amyntor. And Medea, though she knows that the practice of concubinage obtains among the barbarians, cannot put up with the marriage of Glauce any the better because she has now changed her habits of life so as to accord with habits more civilized and Greek. Again, Clytaemnestra flew into a passion and killed Cassandra along with Agamemnon himself, because her lord and master had brought Cassandra with him to Greece, having become used to barbarian marriage customs. "And one may feel surprise," says Aristotle, "that nowhere in the Iliad has Homer represented a concubine as sleeping with Menelaus, although he has assigned women to all the men. In his poem, for example, even the old men, Nestor and Phoenix, sleep with women. For these two had not allowed their bodies to become enervated in the period of their youth either by hard drinking or by sexual indulgence or by digestive disorders arising from gluttony; hence, of course, they were vigorous in their old age. It is plain, then, that the Spartan had respect for Helen, his wedded wife, for whose sake, in fact, he had gathered the expedition together; hence he refrains from any association with another woman. Agamemnon, on the other hand, is taunted by Thersites with having numerous women: 'Verily thy huts are full of bronze, and many women are in thy huts -- chosen women whom we Achaeans give to thee first of all.' Yet it is not probable (Aristotle continues) that the great number of women were given to him for concubinage, but rather as a mark of honour, any more than that he procured his large quantities of wine for the purpose of getting drunk."
Heracles, who won the reputation of having had very many wives (he was, in fact, very fond of women), had them in succession, as would be natural in one who was always marching on expeditions and arriving in various localities; that is why he had such a large number of children. Yet it is true that in the space of five days he deflowered fifty daughters of Thestius, as Herodorus records. Aegeus, again, was another hero who had many wives; the first that he married was the daughter of Hoples; after her he married one of Chalcodon's daughters. But after yielding them both to friends Aegeus kept company with many women without marrying them. Later he took to wife Aethra, the daughter of Pittheus, and after her Medea. As for Theseus, he carried off Helen, and soon thereafter carried off Ariadne also. Istrus, at any rate, when giving a list of the women associated with Theseus, in the fourteenth book of his History of Attica, says that some of them became his through love, others by rape, and still others through lawful wedlock; by rape, Helen, Ariadne, Hippolyte, and the daughters of Cercyon and Sinis; but he married lawfully Meliboea, the mother of Ajax. But Hesiod says that Theseus also married Hippe and Aegle, for whose sake he even violated his sworn promises to Ariadne, according to Cecrops. Pherecydes adds Phereboea as well. But before his adventure with Helen he had also carried off Anaxo from Troezen. After Hippolyte he married Phaedra.
Philip of Macedon did not, to be sure, take women along with him on his campaigns, as did Darius, the one who was deposed by Alexander; for Darius, although engaged in a war in which his entire empire was at stake, took round with him three hundred and sixty concubines, according to the account given by Decaearchus in the third book of his History of Greece. Yet Philip always married a new wife with each new war he undertook. "In the twenty-two years of his reign, at any rate," as Satyrus says in his Life of him, "he married Audata of Illyria, and had by her a daughter, Cynna; he also married Phila, a sister of Derdas and Machatas. Wishing to put in a claim to the Thessalian nation as his own besides others, he begot children by two women of Thessaly, one of whom was Nicesipolis of Pherae, who bore to him Thettalonice, while the other was Philinna of Larisa, by whom he became the father of Arrhidaeus. Further, he acquired also the kingdom of the Molossians by marrying Olympias, by whom he had Alexander and Cleopatra. Again, when he subjugated Thrace, there came over to his side Cothelas the Thracian king, who brought with him his daughter Medea and a large dowry. By marrying her he thus brought home a second wife after Olympias. After all these women he married Cleopatra, with whom he had fallen in love, the sister of Hippostratus and niece of Attalus; and by bringing her home to supplant Olympias, he threw the entire course of his life into utter confusion. For immediately, during the celebration of the wedding itself, Attalus remarked, 'But now, I warn you, princes will be born who will be legitimate, and not bastards.' Alexander, on hearing that, threw the goblet which he held in his hand at Attalus, and he retaliated upon Alexander with his own cup. After this Olympias fled to the country of the Molossians, while Alexander went to Illyria. Cleopatra, in her turn, bore to Philip a daughter, the one who was called Europa."
Another man who was fond of women was the poet Euripides. At any rate, Hieronymous in Historical Notes puts it as follows: "When somebody remarked to Sophocles that Euripides was a woman-hater, Sophocles answered: 'Yes, in his tragedies; for certainly when he is in bed he is a woman-lover.'"
Now our married women are not like those described by Eubulus in The Wreath-Sellers: "They are not, Zeus knows, plastered over with layers of white lead, and they have not, like you, their jowls smeared with mulberry juice. And if you go out on a summer's day, two rills of inky water flow from your eyes, and the sweat rolling from your cheeks upon your throat makes a vermilion furrow, while the hairs blown about on your faces look grey, they are so full of white lead." And Anaxilas says in The Chick: "Any man who has ever had an affair with a harlot would be unable to name a more lawless creature. For what savage dragon, what fire-breathing Chimaera, or Charybdis, or three-headed Scylla, that sea-bitch, or Sphinx, Hydra, she-lion, viper, and the winged broods of Harpies, have ever succeeded in surpassing that abominable class? It can't be done; these women surpass all the pests in the world. We may pass them in review, starting first with Plangon, who, just like the Chimaera, sets all the foreigners afire; but one cavalier alone purloined her substance; he left her house dragging all her furniture after him. Again, isn't it true that the men who keep company with Sinope are now keeping company with a Hydra? She herself, to be sure, is an old hag, but Gnathaena is an offshoot from her just next door, so that when they have quitted the first, they have a pest that's twice as bad. As for Nannion, how do you think she differs today from Scylla? Didn't she throttle two of her companions, and isn't she still on the hunt to catch the third? But his barque landed him safely with the help of his pine oar. And Phryne, somewhere not so far away, acts the part of Charybdis, and grabbing the skipper has swallowed him up, ship and all. Is not Theano a defeathered Siren? The eye and voice of a woman, but her legs are the legs of a grackle. You may call every harlot a Theban Sphinx; they babble not in simple language, but in riddles, of how they like to love and kiss and come together. And one says, 'Let me have a four-footed bed or chair'; another, 'Make it a tripod'; still another, 'a two-footed girlie.' Now the man who understands these riddles, like Oedipus, quickly goes away, and saves himself, though reluctantly -- the only man who does. But other men, expecting to enjoy love, are quickly swept off their feet and borne aloft to the winds. To cut it short, not one of the wild beasts is more devastating than a harlot."
After Larensis had recited many lines of this sort, Leonides, spurning the very thought of marriage, cited this group of verses from The Soothsayers of Alexis: "Oh, unlucky we, men who are married! We have sold our right of free speech and our comfort in life, and live as slaves to wives instead of being free. But then, you say, in holding the dowry do we not submit to paying the price? Ay, dowry! Bitter that, and filled with woman's bile. For a husband's bile is honey compared with hers; men, when injured, will forgive, but these dames add insult to injury: they, when they injure, throw the blame for it on the husband. Whom they should not they rule, and whom they should rule they neglect; they forswear themselves, and though they have nothing at all the matter with them, they always say they are ill." And Xenarchus says in Sleep: "Are not the male cicadas a happy lot? Their females haven't a bit of voice in them." Philetaerus in Playing the Corinthian: "How melting, great Zeus, and soft is her eye! No wonder there is a shrine to the Companion everywhere, but nowhere in all Greece is there one to the Wife." And Amphis in Athamas: "Besides, is not a companion more kindly than a wedded wife? Yes, far more, and with very good reason. For the wife, protected by the law, stays at home in proud contempt, whereas the harlot knows that a man must be bought by her fascinations or she must go out and find another."
Eubulus says in Chrysilla: "To perdition go the wretch, whoever he was, who was the second man to marry a wife; the first man I will not blame. For he, I fancy, had had no experience of the evil, but the second must have learned what an evil a wife is." And going on, he says: "O most worshipful Zeus! Shall I then ever blame women? I swear, may I die if I do, she is the best of all our possessions. Even if Medea was an evil woman, yet Penelope, at least, was of great worth. Someone will say that Clytaemnestra was an evil woman; I match against her the good Alcestis. But perhaps one will blame Phaedra; surely there must have been some good woman; -- yes, but who? Unlucky that I am, alas, the the good women have given out all too quickly for me, while I still have many bad women to tell of." And Aristophon in Callonides: "To perdition go the wretch who was the second mortal to marry. The first man did no wrong; for he did not know as yet what an evil thing he took when he took a wife; but the one who married afterwards hurled himself with full knowledge into manifest evil." Again, Antiphanes in Fond of his Father: "A. He is married, I tell you! B. What's that you say? He's really married -- the man I left alive and walking?" Menander, in the Symbol-Bearer or The Flute Girl says: "A. You won't marry if you have any sense, abandoning the life you now lead! For I've been married myself; for that reason I advise you not to marry. B. The thing is settled; let the die be cast for once and all. A. All right, go ahead, but I hope you come out safe! As it is, you'll be hurling yourself into a veritable sea of troubles -- not the Libyan, not the Aegean..., where three boats out of thirty escape destruction; but not one man who is married has ever been saved, not one!" And in She Set Herself on Fire: "Perish the man, root and branch, who was the first to marry, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, and then -- Metagenes!" Again, the tragic poet Carcinus says in Semele, a play beginning "O watches of the night": "O Zeus, why need one say evil of women in detail? It were enough if you say merely 'woman.'"
Nor do even men of advanced age, who marry young wives, perceive that they are hurling themselves into manifest evil, although the poet of Megara has given the warning: "Surely a young wife is not suited to an aged husband; for she obeys not the rudder like a boat, nor do the anchors hold; breaking away from her moorings, oft-times in the nightwatches she finds another haven." So, too, Theophilus said in Neoptolemus: "A young wife is not suited to an old man. She's like a boat which obeys not even in the slightest one rudder, but breaks her cable and is found at night in another haven." I think that none of you, my friends, are unaware that even the gravest wars have broken out because of women. Helen was the cause of the Trojan War, Chryseis of the pestilence, Briseis of Achilles' wrath: and the so-called Sacred War, as Duris says in the second book of his Histories, was caused by another married woman, a Theban by birth, named Theano, who had been carried off by a Phocian. This war, like the Trojan, lasted ten years, but in the tenth year it came to an end when Philip entered into alliance with the Thebans; for then the Thebans overcame Phocis. And again, the war called Cirrhaean, as Callisthenes says in his book On the Sacred War, at the time when the men of Cirrha went to war against the Phocians, lasted ten years, the Cirrhaeans having carried away Megisto, daughter of the Phocian Pelagon, as well as the daughters of Argives who were on their way home from the Delphic shrine. But in the tenth year Cirrha also was overcome. And even entire households have been overthrown through women: that of Philip, Alexander's father, by his marriage with Cleopatra; of Heracles, by his subsequent marriage with Iole, the daughter of Eurytus; of Theseus, on account of Phaedra, the daughter of Minos; of Athamas, by his marriage with Themisto, the daughter of Hypseus; of Jason, by his marriage with Glauce, the daughter of Creon; and of Agamemnon, on account of Cassandra. Even the expedition of Cambyses against Egypt, as Ctesias says, occurred on account of a woman. For Cambyses, hearing that Egyptian women excelled all others in passionate embraces, sent to Amasis, the king of Egypt, a demand for one of his daughters in marriage. But Amasis did not give one of his own, suspecting that she would not have the station of a wife, but that of a concubine; and so he sent the daughter of Aprias, Neitetis. Now Aprias had been deposed from his kingship over Egypt because of his defeat at the hands of the Cyrenaeans, and had been killed by Amasis. Cambyses, then, having found pleasure in Neitetis and being very much stirred up by her, learned the whole story from her, and when she entreated him to avenge the murder of Aprias he consented to make war on the Egyptians. But Dinon in his Persian History and Lyceas of Naucratis in the third book of his Egyptian History say that Neitetis was sent by Amasis to Cyrus; Cambyses was her son, and it was to avenge his mother that he undertook an expedition against Egypt. Duris of Samos says that the first war between two women was that waged by Olympias and Eurydice; in it Olympias marched forth rather like a Bacchant, to the accompaniment of tambourines, whereas Eurydice was armed cap-a-pie in Macedonian fashion, having been trained in military matters by Cynna, the princess from Illyria.
Following this discussion the philosophers present decided to say something on their own account concerning love and personal beauty. And many indeed were the philosophic words that were spoken, in the course of which some called to mind songs of that philosopher of the stage, Euripides, including the following: "Eros, nursling of wisdom, is more than aught else the inspiration of virtue, and this divinity is the sweetest of all for mortals to consort with. For, with joy that knows no pain he leads on to hope. With those who know not the labors of his mystic rites may I have no part, and may I dwell far from the ways of the churlish. Love! I warn the young never to shun it, but enjoy it rightly whensoever it shall come." And another guest also quoted Pindar: "Be it mine to love and to yield to love in due season." Still another added these lines from the works of Euripides: "As for thee, Eros, lord of gods and men, either teach us not to deem fair things fair or else help to a happy issue the lovers who toil in the toils of which thou art the artificer. And in doing that thou shalt be honoured in the eyes of mortals, but doing it not thou shalt be robbed, by the very act of learning to love, of the graces wherewith they honour thee."
Thereupon Pontianus said that Zeno of Citium conceived Eros to be a god who prepared the way for friendship and concord and even liberty, but nothing else. Hence, in his Republic, Zeno has said that Eros is a god who stands ready to help in furthering the safety of the State. But that others, also, who preceded Zeno in philosophic speculation knew Eros as a holy being far removed from anything ignoble is clear from this, that in the public gymnasia he is enshrined along with Hermes and Heracles, the first presiding over eloquence, the second over physical strength; when these are united, friendship and concord are born, which in turn join in enhancing the noblest liberty for those who pursue the quest of them. And the Athenians were so far removed from apprehending Eros as a god presiding over sexual intercourse, that right in the Academy, which was quite obviously consecrated to Athena, they enshrined Eros and joined his sacrifices with hers. Further, the people of Thespiae celebrate the Erotidia as religiously as Athenians the Athenaea or Elians the Olympia or Rhodians their Halieia. And speaking generally, Eros is honoured at all public sacrifices. Thus the Lacedaemonians offer preliminary sacrifices to Eros before the troops are drawn up in battle-line, because they think that their safe return and victory depend upon the friendship of the men drawn up. So, too, the Cretans post their handsomest citizens in the battle-lines and through them offer sacrifice to Eros, as Sosicrates records. Again, the so-called Sacred Band in Thebes is composed of lovers and their favourites, thus indicating the dignity of the god Eros in that they embrace a glorious death in preference to a dishonourable and reprehensible life. And the people of Samos, as Erxias says in his History of Colophon, on dedicating a gymnasium to Eros, called the festival held in his honour the Eleutheria; and it was through this god that the Athenians also obtained their liberty, and so the Peisistratidae, after they were ejected, were the first to enter upon the practice of defaming the acts which pertain to this god.
After these remarks Plutarch recited from memory the verses from Phaedrus by Alexis: "As I was walking up from the Peiraeus, I was moved by perplexity over my troubles to meditate in philosophic mood. And I think that the painters, or, to put it most concisely, all who make images of this god, are unacquainted with Eros. For he is neither female nor male; again, neither god nor man, neither stupid nor yet wise, but rather composed of elements from everywhere, and bearing many qualities in a single frame. For his audacity is that of a man, his timidity a woman's; his folly argues madness, his reasoning good sense, his impetuousity is that of a wild animal, his persistence that of adamant, his love of honour that of a god. Now all this, Athena and the gods are my witnesses, I cannot explain, but still it is something like this, and I've come close to the general idea." And Eubulus, or Araros, says in The Hunchback: "Who was the fellow, I wonder, who first painted or modelled Eros with wings? He didn't know anything but how to paint swallows; on the contrary, he was utterly ignorant of the god's character. For the god is neither light nor easy to throw off when one is carrying the pest, but he is out-and-out heavy. How, then, can such a thing have wings? It's nonsense, no matter if one has said it." And Alexis in Cut Loose: "It is commonly said by the wiseacres that the god Eros cannot fly, but that lovers can; and that he is falsely charged with being winged, and the painters knew nothing about it when they depicted him as having wings."
Theophrastus, in hs essay On Love, quotes the tragic poet Chaeremon as saying that just as wine is mixed to suit the character of the drinkers, so also is the emotion inspired by Eros; when he comes in moderation, he is gracious, but when he comes too intensely and puts men to utter confusion, he is most cruel...Wherefore this poet, aptly distinguishing the influences of Eros, says: "With two arrows (verily) from the Graces he stretches his bow, the one bringing a happy lot, the other, utter confounding of life."
Now this same poet speaks of lovers in the play entitled The Wounded Man as follows: "Who denies that lovers live at hard labour? Why, in the first place, they must ever be on the war-path, their bodies must be able to endure toil to the utmost, and they must be most patient in pursuing their desire; inventive, impulsive, eager, skilfully managing the unmanageable, in utter misery while they live!" And Theophilus in He Liked to Play the Flute: "Who says that lovers have no sense? Surely, it must be somebody whose make-up is stupid. For if one take away from life its pleasures, there's nothing else left to do but die. Take my own case; in loving a harp-girl, a little maid, haven't I sense, in the gods' name? In beauty beautiful, in stature stately, in art clever; just to look at her is pleasanter than working for you all the time when you have the price of admission." And Aristophon in The Disciple of Pythagoras: "And so is it not right and fitting that Eros has been banished by the twelve gods from their company? For he used to upset even them by the quarrels he provoked when he lived among them. And since he was so very bold and haughty, they cut off his wings to keep him from flying back to Heaven, drove him hither into exile among us down below, while they gave the wings which he had worn to Victory to wear -- manifest booty taken from the enemy." And on the subject of love Amphis says in Dithyrambus: "What's that you say? Do you expect to convince me of this, that there is any lover who, loving a handsome boy, is a lover of his character, without regard to his looks? A silly fool, really! I do not believe that any more than I believe that a pauper who often bothers the rich does not want to get something."
And yet Alexis says in Helen: "For anyone who loves only the ripe beauty of the body, but knows no other reason for loving, is a lover of his pleasure, not of his friends, and though a mortal, plainly wrongs Eros, a god, because he makes Eros distrusted by all the pretty boys." After Myrtilus had recited these lines from Alexis, he then cast a glance at those who hold to the principles of the Porch, first quoting the verses from the Iambics of Hermeias of Curium: "Hear, ye Styacs, vendors of twaddle, hypocritical mouthers of words who alone by yourselves gobble up everything on the platters before a wise man can get a share, and then are caught doing the very opposite of what you solemnly chant;" oglers of boys you are, and in that alone emulating the founder of your philosophy, Zeno the Phoenician, who never resorted to a woman, but always to boy-favourites, as Antigonus of Carystus records in his Biography of him. For you are always repeating that one should not love bodies but soul; you, who say that favourites should be retained until twenty-eight years old. And it seems to me that the Peripatetic Ariston of Ceos, in the second book of his Erotic Likenesses, made a good retort to an Athenian who was pointing out a certain person, named Dorus, large in stature, as being handsome; he said: "Methinks I can apply to you the answer which Odysseus made to Dolon: 'Surely now thy heart was eager for large rewards.'"
Hegesander in his Commentaries says that all persons love the sauces, not the meat or the fish; at any rate, if they be absent, no one any longer likes to take meat or fish, and no one wants them raw and unseasoned.
It is a fact that even in ancient times they loved boys, as Ariston has said, whence it came about that those who were loved were called "paidika." For in truth, as Clearchus says in the first book of his Love Stories, quoting Lycophronides: "Neither in boy, nor in gilded maid, nor in deep-bosomed matron is the countenance fair if it be not modest. For it is modesty that sows the seed of beauty's flower." And Aristotle also has said that lovers look to no other part of their favourite's body than the eyes, in which dwells modesty. And Sophocles, I believe, representing Hippodameia as discoursing on the beauty of Pelops, says: "Such is the charm to ensnare love, a kind of lightning-flash that Pelops has in his eyes; with it he is warmed himself, but scorches me with flame, measuring me with even glance of eye, just as the craftsman's rule is laid straight when he proceeds according to pattern-line."
Licymnius of Chios, after explaining that Sleep was in love with Endymion, says that Sleep does not cover the eyes of Endymion when he slumbers, but lays his beloved to rest with eyelids wide opened, that he may enjoy the delight of gazing upon them continually. His words are: "Sleep, joying in the light of his eyes, was wont to lay the boy to rest with lids wide open." And Sappho, too, says to the man who is extravagantly admired for his beauty and commonly deemed fair: "Stand thou even before me, dear one, and open wide the charm that lies in thine eyes." And what says Anacreon? "O lad with eyes of a maiden, I seek for thee, but thou heedest not, not knowing that thou holdest the reins of my heart." And Pindar, the most grandiloquent of all: "But whosoever, once he hath seen the rays flashing from the eyes of Theoxenus, is not tossed on the waves of desire, hath a black heart forged, in cold flame, of adamant or of iron." But the Cyclops of Philoxenus of Cythera, in love with Galateia and praising her beauty, has a premonition of his own blindness, and so praises everything else about her rather than mention her eyes; he says: "O thou of fair countenance, Galateia, with golden curls and voice that charms, a beauty among the Loves!" Blind this praise is, and nothing like that which Ibycus utters: "Euryalus, scion of the blue-eyed Graces...darling of the fair-haired Muses, thee did Cypris and Persuasion of the tender eyes rear amid the flowers of the rose." And so Phrynichus said of Troilus: "There shines upon his crimson cheeks the light of love."
Now you Stoics take your favourites about with their chins shaven; shaving the beard came into fashion under Alexander, as your Chrysippus says in the fourth book of his work On Pleasure and the Good. It will not be inappropriate, I am convinced, if I recall his exact words; for I like the man very much for his wide learning and respectable character. The philosopher speaks as follows: "The custom of shaving the beard increased under Alexander, although the foremost men did not follow it. Why, even the flute-player Timotheus wore a long beard when he played the flute. And at Athens they maintain that it is not so very long ago that the first man shaved his face all around, and had the nickname 'Shaver.'" Hence, also, Alexis said, I believe: "If you see a man whose hair has been removed by pitch or by shaving, one or other of two things ails him: either he plainly means to 'go on a campaign' and do all kinds of things inconsistent with a beard, or else some vice peculiar to a rich man is descending upon him. For really, what harm do our hairs do us, in the gods' name? By them each one of us shows himself a real man, unless you secretly intend to do something which conflicts with them." -- "Again, Diogenes, seeing a man with a chin in that condition, said: 'It cannot be, can it, that you have any fault to find with nature, because she made you a man instead of a woman?' And seeing another person on horse-back in nearly the same condition, reeking with perfume and dressed in the style of clothing to match these practices, he said that he had often before asked what the word 'horse-bawd' meant, but now he had found out. At Rhodes, although there is a law which forbids shaving, there is not so much as a single prosecutor who will try to stop it, because everybody shaves. And in Byzantium, although a fine is imposed on the barber who has a razor, everybody resorts to him just the same." These, then, are the remarks of the admirable Chrysippus.
As for your wise Zeno, says Antigonus of Carystus, he, having a premonition, as it would seem, of the lives you were to lead, and of your hypocritical profession, asserted that they who listened casually to his precepts and failed to understand them would be filthy and mean, just as those who have gone wrong in respect of the principles of Aristippus are prodigal and insolent. And so most of you are like that, all wizened and foul not only in your manners but also in your morals. For, professing to clothe yourselves in the garments of independence and economy, you are discovered living squalidly at the gates of avarice, while you wrap yourselves about with worn cloaks too small for you, and fill the soles of your shoes with hobnails, and give the name of 'sodomite' to those who either put on a little perfume or dress in garments a little too dainty. You ought not, therefore, when rigged up in that fashion, to be in such a flutter over money, or take about in your train lovers with shaven chins and posteriors, the lads who follow along "in the Lyceum in the company of the Sophists -- Heaven save the mark! -- skinny, unfed, mere skin and bones," as Antiphanes put it.
And yet I too praise beauty. Indeed, in the contests of physical fitness they select the handsomest boys and command them to be the first among the carriers. But in Elis there is actually held a contest of beauty, and to the winner of the first prize is assigned the duty of carrying the vessels of the goddess, to the winner of the second, leading the ox, while the winner of the third lays the preliminary offerings on the fire. Further, Heracleides Lembus records that in Sparta the handsomest man and the prettiest woman are admired above all things, the prettiest women in the world being born in Sparta. Hence they say of King Archidamus, that when a beautiful woman was presented to him, along with another who was ugly and rich, and he showed an inclination to take the rich woman, the Ephors fined him, adding the remark that he was preferring to "beget princelings instead of princes for Sparta." Euripides has said: "First of all, a form that is worthy of kingly rule;" and even the elders of the people in Homer say, as they admire Helen's beauty: "'Tis no cause for anger that Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans should suffer woes a long time for such a woman as she; for she is marvellously like the deathless goddesses in countenance." Even Priam himself, at any rate, is struck with admiration of the woman's beauty, although he is in the midst of dangers. At least he admires Agamemnon for beauty, uttering praise such as this: "Yet I have never beheld with my eyes one so beautiful or so majestic; for he is like unto a king." And many people have set upon the throne their handsomest men as kings, as, for instance, the Ethiopians called the Immortals, who do it to this day, as Bion says in his Ethiopian History. In fact, it would seem that beauty is a special attribute of kingship. Goddesses quarrelled with one another on the question of their beauty, and because of his beauty the gods "caught up and carried off" Ganymede to be Zeus's cupbearer, "for the sake of his beauty, that he might dwell among the immortals." As for the goddesses, whom do they carry off? Is it not the most beautiful men? Certainly they live together with them: Dawn with Cephalus, Cleitus, and Tithonus, Demeter with Iasion, Aphrodite with Anchises and Adonis. Attracted by beauty, too, the highest of the gods goes through roof-tiles in the form of gold, or turns into a bull, or as an eagle frequently sprouts feathers, as when he went to get Aegina. Is not even the philosopher Socrates, who scorns all things, overcome by the beauty of Alcibiades? Even so the most august Aristotle, by that of his pupil from Phaselis. As for ourselves, do we not prefer even those inanimate objects which are most beautiful? The Spartan custom, also, of stripping young girls before strangers is highly praised. And on the island of Chios it is very pleasant just to walk to the gymnasia and running-tracks and watch the young men wrestling with the girls.
Whereupon Cynulcus burst forth in Cratinus's words: "This you dare to say to me?" though you are not "rosy-fingered," but rather you have one leg made of cow-dung, while the shank which you carry about is that of the poet, your namesake; for you spend all your time in the wineshops and the public houses, although the orator Isocrates has said in his Areopagiticus: "No one, not even a slave, would have stooped to eat or drink in a wineshop. For they used to study dignity, not vulgarity." And Hypereides, in the speech Against Patroclus, if that speech be genuine, says that the Areopagites debarred anyone who had lunched in a wineshop from being promoted to the Court of the Areopagus. But you, my professor of wisdom, wallow in the wineshops, not with male friends, but with mistresses, keeping around you not a few female pimps, and always carrying round books of that sort, by Aristophanes, Apollodorus, Ammonius, and Antiphanes; further, Gorgias of Athens; all these have written treatises On the Prostitutes at Athens. Ah, that beautiful erudition of yours! How true it is that you are not in the least like Theomander of Cyrene, of whom Theophrastus says, in his book On Happiness, that he went about professing to teach happiness, you teacher of lust! So you differ in no respect from Amasis of Elis, who, Theophrastus tells us in his essay On Love, was an adept in love affairs. One would make no mistake in calling you a pornographer also, like the painters Aristeides and Pausias and again Nicophanes. They are mentioned as good painters of these subjects by Polemon in his work On the Painted Tablets of Sicyon. Ah, the beautiful erudition, my dear friends, of our scholar here, who does not even veil his face in shame, but ever speaks right out the words of Eubulus in The Cercopes: "I went to Corinth. There, finding pleasure somehow in tasting a sweet morsel named Ocimon, I came to grief; and there in idle chat I lost my shirt." Noble, at the least, is this sophist of the Corinthians, who informs his pupils that Ocimon is the name of a prostitute. And many dramas, besides, you shameless one, have taken their titles from prostitutes: Thalatta by Diocles, Corianno by Pherecrates, Anteia by Eunicus or Philyllius, Thais and Phanion by Menander, Opora by Alexis, Clepsydra by Eubulus. Now this last prostitute got her name because she timed her favours by the water-clock, stopping when it was emptied, as Asclepiades, the son of Areius, records in his History of Demetrius of Phalerum, alleging that her real name was Metiche.
"Now a courtesan," as Antiphanes says in The Farmer, "is a calamity to the man who keeps her; indeed, he rejoices in keeping a mighty pest in the house." Wherefore a man is brought on the scene by Timocles in Neaera bemoaning his fate: "But I, unlucky that I was, fell in love with Phryne in the days when she was picking up capers here and there and did not yet have all the wealth she has today; and in spending huge sums for each visit I came to be excluded from her door." And in the play entitled Orestautocleides the same Timocles says: "Around this abject creature sleep old hags like Nannion, Plangon, Lyca, Gnathaena, Phryne, Pythionice, Nyrrhine, Chrysis, Conalis, Hierocleia, and Lopadion." These prostitutes are mentioned also by Amphis in The Tirewoman; he says: "I'm sure that Plutus is blind, because he never visits this girl here, but sits paralysed in the house of Sinope, or Lyca, or Nannion, and other traps of this sort set to catch a man's substance, and never goes out of their doors." Alexis, in the play entitled Fair Measure, sets forth the elaborate devices of the prostitutes and the artful tricks by which they care for their bodies in these words: "First of all, to make their gains and plunder their neighbors, they count all other means as trivial, but stitch plots against all. And once they have become rich, they take into their houses fresh prostitutes, who are making their first trial of the profession. They straightway remodel these girls, so that they retain neither their manners nor their looks as they were before. Suppose that one girl is too small: a cork sole is stitched into her dainty shoes. Another is too tall: she wears a thin slipper, and cocks her head on one side when she walks around. This reduces her height. One has no hips: she sews together a bustle and puts it on beneath her dress, so that all who catch sight of the fine curves of her back cry out in applause. One has a stomach that is too fat: such have bosoms made of the stuff comic actors use; padding themselves straight out in such fashion, they then pull forward, as with punting-poles, the covering of their stomachs. Another woman has eyebrows too light: they paint them with lamp-black. Still another, as it happens, is too dark: she plasters herself over with white lead. One has a complexion too white: she rubs on rouge. A part of one's body is beautiful: this part she displays bare. She has pretty teeth: she must, of course, laugh, that the company present may see what a nice mouth she has. But if she doesn't like to laugh, she must spend the whole day indoors, and like the wares always displayed by the butchers, when they offer goats' heads for sale, she must keep a thin piece of myrtle wood upright between her lips; hence in course of time, she opens her mouth in a grin, whether she wants to or not. It is by such artful devices that they make up their bodies and faces."
Wherefore I advise you, "Thessalian of the decorated chariot-board," to limit your embraces to the ladies who run the houses and not squander unprofitably the cash belonging to your sons. For it is really true that "the lame man rides best," meaning you, whose cobbler-father often whipped you and taught you "to wear a hang-dog look." Or don't you know, to quote The Vigil of Eubulus, that "those trained fillies, stripped for action and posted in battle-line, stand in scarfs of finest weaving, like the maidens whom the Eridanus refreshes with his pure waters? From them, constantly and securely, you may purchase your pleasure for a little coin." Again, in Nannion, if that is by Eubulus and not by Philip, the poet says: "Whosoever privily seeks unions in the dark, is he not the most pitiable man in the world? For he may, in the broad sunlight, gaze at girls stripped for action and posted in battle-line, standing in scarfs of the finest weaving, like the maidens whom the Eridanus refreshes with his pure waters; and he may purchase his pleasure for a little coin, and not pursue a clandestine love -- most scandalous of all maladies -- to gratify his rioting, not his desire. 'For my part, I mourn for our wretched Greece' for sending forth Cydias as admiral of the fleet." Xenarchus, also, in The Pentathlum condemns those who live as you do and are devoted to high-priced mistresses and freeborn married women in these words: "Dreadful, dreadful, and utterly intolerable, are the practices of the young men in our city. For here there are very pretty lasses at the brothels, whom the boys may see basking in the sun, their breasts uncovered, stripped for action and posted in battle-line; of these one may select the girl that pleases his fancy, thin or fat, tubby or tall or squat, young, old, middle-aged, over-ripe, and not be obliged to set up a ladder and climb in secretly, nor crawl in through the smoke-hole below the roof, nor be trickily carried in under a heap of straw. Not at all! For the girls themselves use force and pull them in, dubbing those who are old, Daddy, and those who are younger, Big Boy. And any one of these may be visited fearlessly, cheaply, by day, at evening, in any manner desired; but the married women you either cannot see, or if seen, you cannot see them plainly, but always in a state of tremor and fright...in fear, and carrying your life in your hands. How then, pray, O mistress Aphrodite of the Sea, can the men press their attentions too far, once they remember the laws of Draco while dandled in the woman's embraces?"
Now Philemon, also, in Brothers, records incidentally that Solon, impelled by the crisis which comes in young men's lives, purchased and established wenches in houses of resort; just so Nicander of Colophon records the same in the third book of his History of Colophon; Nicander alleges that Solon was the first to found a temple of Aphrodite Pandemus from the profits taken in by the women in charge of the houses. But to return to Philemon, he, at least, says: "But you found a law for the use of all men; for you, they say, Solon, were the first to see this -- a thing democratic, Zeus is my witness, and salutary (yes, it is fitting that I should say this, Solon); seeing our city full of young men, seeing, too, that they were under the compulsion of nature, and that they went their erring way in a direction they should not, purchased and stationed women in various quarters, equipped and ready for all alike. They stand in nakedness, lest you be deceived; take a look at everything. Perhaps you are not feeling quite up to your form; maybe you have something that distresses you. But their door stands open. Price, one obol; hop in! There isn't a bit of prudishness or nonsense, nor does she snatch herself away; but straight to it, as you wish and in whatever way you wish. You come out; you can tell her to go hang, she is nothing to you." Even Aspasia, who belonged to the Socratic circle, imported large numbers of beautiful women, and Greece came to be filled with her prostitutes, as the witty Aristophanes notes in passing, when he says of the Peloponnesian War that Pericles fanned its terrible flame because of his love for Aspasia and the serving-maids who had been stolen from her by Megarians: "Some young fellows, made drunk at too many games of cottabos, went to Megara and stole a whore named Simaetha; thereupon the Megarians, in agonies of excitement, as though stuffed with garlic, stole in revenge two whores of Aspasia; and with that began the war which broke out over all Greece, caused by three strumpets."
So, then, most learned grammarian, I urge you to keep away from the high-priced prostitutes, because "you may see all the other flute-girls playing Apollo's tune... Zeus's tune; but these ladies play nothing but the Hawk's tune;" so says Epicrates in Anti-Lais, in which play he has this also to say about the notorious Lais: "Now Lais herself is lazy and bibulous, having an eye only for her daily drinks and food, and she seems to me to have had the same things happen to her that the eagles have; for these when they are young snatch up in their strength and carry off in mid-air the sheep and hares from the mountain side to devour; but when they begin to grow old they then perch in miserable hunger upon the temples of the gods; and this act of theirs is thereupon accounted a portent. So Lais, too, must rightly be accounted a portent. For when she was a fresh young chick, she was made wild and untamed by all her golden fees, and you could have got a sight of Pharnabazus sooner than of her; but since she has now run the long course in years, and the symmetries of her body are becoming distorted, it is easier to see her than to spit; what is more, she now goes out everywhere on the wing, and will accept a sovereign or a thrippence, and submits to old man and young alike. She has become so tamed, my very dear sir, that she now will take the money right out of your hand." Lais is mentioned also by Anaxandrides in Old Men's Madness, and he joins with her in a list other courtesans in these lines: "A. You know Lais, who came from Corinth? B. Of course! A. She had a friend named Anteia. B. Yes, she also was a pet of ours. A. Zeus knows, in those days flourished Lagisce, flourished also Theolyte, who had a very pretty face and was lovely, and gave promise of becoming a very splended Ocimon." This, friend Myrtilus, is the advice I have to offer you. And adapting the words of Philetaerus in The Huntress: "Cease your ways, now that you are an old man. Don't you know that it is not the most delightful thing to die in the act of coition, as they say Phormisius died?" Or do you find it most delightful, as Timocles puts it in The Marathonians: "What a great difference there is between sleeping at night with a nice girl and with a strumpet! Ah! Her firm, young body, her complexion, her sweet breath, ye gods! Everything not being so very ready for business but that one has to struggle a bit, be slapped and receive blows from soft hands; it is pleasant indeed, by Zeus most mighty."
Although Cynulcus desired to say a great deal more, and Ulpian wanted to rebuke him in vindication of Myrtilus, the latter anticipated him (for he thoroughly hated the Syrian) and said, quoting Callimachus: "Our hopes have not sunk so far in wretchedness that we should summon help from our enemies." Are we not, in fact, able to defend ourselves alone, Cynulcus? "How stupid you are, and boorish, and given to foul language; ah! you carry your tongue on the left side of your mouth," as Ephippus says in Philyra. It seems to me that you are one of those "whom the Muses have taught left-handed letters," as one of the parodists has said. As for myself, fellow-banqueters, I have not discussed courtesans after the manner of Metagenes' Breezes, or The Blockhead of Aristagoras: "I told you first of beautiful dancing prostitutes, and now I do not speak to you of flute-girls just beginning to be ripe, who have very quickly, and for a price, undermined the strength of sailors aboard the freighters;" no, I have spoken of the real "companions," that is, those who are capable of preserving strictly a friendship without trickery, and whom Cynulcus insolently reviles, although they are the only women in all the world who are addressed by the title of "friendly," or who derive their name from that Aphrodite who, among the Athenians, is called "the Companion Aphrodite." Concerning her, Apollodorus of Athens says in his work On the Gods: "The Companion Aphrodite is she who brings companions together, male and female; that is, women friends." At any rate, even freeborn matrons, to this day, and young girls as well, call their intimate and dear friends "companions," as does Sappho: "These joyous songs I will sing well today in honour of my companions." And again: "Leto and Niobe were indeed very dear companions." Still it is true that they call the women also who make a business of love "companions," and taking pay for their favours they call "to companion," not so much with reference to the original sense of the word, as for greater decency; wherefore Menander also, while distinguishing in The Deposit male friends from female prostitutes, says: "You, dear women, have verily done a deed, Zeus knows, more becoming to prostitutes than to friends; for although the letters are the same, they make the appellation not very decent."
Now concerning prostitutes Ephippus has the following to say in Merchandise: "And then, let me tell you, if one of us happen to come in feeling downcast, she greets him with pleasant flattery; she kisses him, not tightly pressing her lips together, as if he were hateful to her, but opening her mouth as fledgling sparrows do; she gives him a chair, she speaks consoling words, she makes him cheerful, and soon takes away all his gloom, and renders him jolly again." Also Eubulus in The Hunchback, when bringing on a well-behaved prostitute, describes her thus: "How well-behaved she was at the dinner-table! Not like other women, who stuffed their jaws with leeks which they rolled up in balls, and greedily bit off pieces of meat in ugly fashion; no! from each portion she would take a small taste, as demurely as a young girl from Miletus." Compare Antiphanes in The Water Jar: "This lad of whom I speak saw a prostitute who lived in a neighbour's house and fell in love with her; she was of the citizen class, but destitute of guardian and kinsmen; she had a character of golden excellence, a real pal. For all the other women of her profession spoil by their manners that name which is really so fair." Anaxilas in The Chick: "A. But if a girl who is tolerably well off as to money submits herself in service free to those who ask for certain favours, she gets from that act of companionship the name of 'companion.' And so in this instance, the girl with whom you have fallen in love is not, as you say, a common woman, but a companion; but is she, at the least, really so single-minded? B. More than that; she's a lady, so help me Zeus!"
Now your philosopher-boy-lover is of the same breed that Alexis or Antiphanes brings on the stage in Sleep: "For these reasons this male whore on all occasions at dinner with us never took any leeks either; this was because he did not want to offend his lover when he kissed him." And Ephippus in Sappho puts it well concerning such persons: "For when one who is young furtively enters another man's house and lays upon the food a hand that does not pay its share, you may believe he pays the reckoning for the night." The orator Aeschines says the same thing in his speech Against Timarchus.
Concerning the professional "companions" Philetaerus says this in The Huntress: "No wonder there is a shrine to the Companion everywhere, but nowhere in all Greece is there one to the Wife." But I know also of a festival, the Hetairideia, celebrated in Magnesia, not in honour of these "companions" (hetaerae), but for a different reason, which is mentioned by Hegesander in his Commentaries, writing thus: "The Magnesians celebrate the festival of the Hetairideia. The record that Jason the son of Aeson, after gathering the Argonauts together, was the first to sacrifice to Zeus Hetaireios and that he called the festival Hetairideia. And the kings of Macedonia also celebrate with sacrifices the Hetairideia." There is a sanctuary of Harlot Aphrodite in Abydus, according to Pamphilus; for when that city was oppressed by slavery, the guards in it once offered sacrifice, as recorded by Neanthes in his Legends, and having got drunk, they had their will of a number of harlots, one of whom, seeing that the guards had fallen asleep, picked up the keys, and climbing over the wall, she reported to the Abydenes. They immediately came with weapons, and after killing the guards they got possession of the walls, and having recovered their liberty, they, by way of rendering thanks to the harlot, founded a temple of Harlot Aphrodite. Alexis of Samos, in the second book of his Samian Annals, says: "The Aphrodite of Samos, whom some call by the title 'In the Reeds,' others, 'In the Swamp,' was dedicated by Athenian prostitutes who accompanied the army of Pericles when he was laying siege to Samos, after they had earned sufficient funds by their seductions." And Eualces in his Ephesian Chronicles says that in Ephesus also there was a sanctuary dedicated to "Companion" Aphrodite. Again, Clearchus, in the first book of his Love Stories, says: "Gyges, the king of Lydia, became notorious for his devotion to his mistress, not only during her lifetime, giving himself and his empire entirely into her hands; but more than that, when she died he gathered all the Lydians of the country together and reared the monument which is to this day still named after the 'Companion,' raising it so high that when he made his royal progresses within the region of Mt. Tmolus, wherever he chanced to turn, he could see the monument, and it was visible to all the inhabitants of Lydia." The orator Demosthenes, in the speech Against Neaera, if it be genuine, says -- the speech was actually delivered by Apollodorus: "We keep mistresses for pleasure, concubines for daily concubinage, but wives we have in order to produce children legitimately and to have a trustworthy guardian of our domestic property."
Now I am going to recite for your benefit, Cynulcus, a kind of Ionian speech, "spinning it out far," as Aeschylus's Agamemnon would say, on the subject of prostitutes; I will begin with the beautiful city of Corinth, since you have referred with insults to my residence there as a sophist. It is an ancient custom in Corinth, as Chamaeleon of Heracleia records in his book On Pindar, whenever the city prays to Aphrodite in matters of grave importance, to invite as many prostitutes as possible to join in their petitions, and these women add their supplications to the goddess and later are present at the sacrifices. When, accordingly, the Persian invaded Greece, as Theopompus records, likewise Timaeus in the seventh book, the Corinthian prostitutes entered the temple of Aphrodite and prayed for the salvation of the Greeks. Hence also, when the Corinthians dedicated in honour of the goddess the tablet which is preserved even to this day, recording separately the names of the prostitutes who had made supplication on that occasion and were later present at the sacrifices, Simonides composed the following epigram: "These women were dedicated to pray to Cypris, with Heaven's blessing, for the Greeks and their fair-fighting fellow-citizens. For the divine Aphrodite willed it not that the citadel of Greece should be betrayed into the hands of the Persian bowmen." Even private citizens vow to the goddess that, if those things for which they make petition are fulfilled, they will even render courtesans to her. Such, then, being the custom regarding the goddess, Xenophon of Corinth also, when he went forth to Olympia to take part in the contest, vowed that he would render courtesans to the goddess, if he won the victory. And so Pindar at first wrote in Xenophon's honour the eulogy which begins with the words, "Thrice victorious at Olympia is the house which I praise;" and later he wrote also the round which was sung at the sacrificial feast, in which, at its very beginning, he has addressed the courtesans who joined in the sacrifice when Xenophon was present and offered it to Aphrodite. That is why he has said: "O Queen of Cyprus! Hither to thy sanctuary Xenophon hath brought a troupe of one hundred girls to browse, gladdened as he is by his vows now fulfilled." But the beginning of the lyric is as follows: "Young girls, who welcome many strangers with your hospitality, ministrants of Persuasion in rich Corinth--who on the altar send up in smoke the auburn tears of fresh frankincense the many times that ye fly in thought up to the Mother of the Loves, heavenly Aphrodite; upon you, my children, free from reproach, she hath bestowed the right to cull the fruit of soft beauty in your desired embraces. When Necessity requires it, all things are fair." And so, having begun in this way, Pindar continues: "And yet I wonder what the lords of the Isthmus will say of me, seeing that I have devised such a prelude as this to a glee with honeyed words, linking myself with common women." It is indeed plain that in addressing himself to these prostitutes the poet was anxious as to how the affair was going to appear in the eyes of the Corinthians. But having full confidence in his own integrity, as it would seem, he straightway adds: "We have taught how to test gold by a pure touchstone." But that the prostitutes also celebrate their own festival of Aphrodite at Corinth is shown by Alexis in The Girl in Love: "The city celebrated a festival of Aphrodite for the prostitutes, but it is a different one from that held separately for freeborn women. On these days it is customary for the prostitutes to revel, and it is quite in the mode for them to get drunk here in our company."
Now in Lacedaemon, as Polemon the geographer says in his work, On the dedicatory offerings in Lacedaemon, there is an image of the notorious courtesan Cottina who, he says, dedicated a bronze cow; he writes as follows: "Further, there is the small image of the courtesan Cottina, who made such a sensation that even today a brothel is named after her, very near Colone, where the temple of Dionysus is; the house is conspicuous and well-known to many inhabitants of the city. Her votive offering, beyond the statue of Athena of the Bronze House, consists of a small bronze cow and the small image of herself before mentioned." Now Alcibiades the beauty, -- of whom a comic poet has said: "Alcibiades, that dainty one, Oh Earth and Gods! whom Lacedaemon wants to arrest as an adulterer," -- although he was loved by the wife of Agis, used to leave the married women of Sparta and Attica alone to break in at the doors of prostitutes. For example, he conceived a passion for Medontis of Abydus on mere report of her charms, and sailing to the Hellespont in company with Axiochus, who was captivated by Alcibiades' beauty, as the orator Lysias asserts in the speech against him, he shared her with Axiochus. And further, Alcibiades always led about with him two other prostitutes, Damasandra, mother of the younger Lais, and Theodote; the latter, when he died as the result of a plot by Pharnabazus, gave him burial in Melissa, a village of Phrygia. We, too, saw the monument to Alcibiades in Melissa when we were on our way from Synnada to Metropolis; at this monument an ox is sacrificed every year by express command of the Emperor Hadrian, most noble in all things, who even set up at the monument an image of Alcibiades in Parian marble.
We need not wonder that people have fallen in love with others on mere report, seeing that Chares of Mytilene in the tenth book of his Histories of Alexander asserts that many, having seen in a dream certain persons whom they had never seen before, fell in love with them; he writes as follows: "Hystaspes had a younger brother named Zariadres; concerning both of them the natives say that they were the sons of Aphrodite and Adonis. Now Hystaspes was overlord of Media and the territory below it, whereas Zariadres ruled over the region above the Caspian gates, as far as the Tanais river. And Homartes, who was king of the Marathi, beyond the Tanais, had a daughter named Odatis; of her it is recorded in the histories that she saw Zariadres in a dream and became enamoured of him, while the same passion for her attacked him in the same way. At any rate they continued to long for each other in the imaginings of sleep. Now Odatis was the most beautiful woman in Asia, and Zariadres also was handsome. So Zariadres sent to Homartes in his eager desire to marry the woman, but Homartes would not agree to the match, because he lacked male children and wanted to give her to a male of his own household. After a brief interval Homartes gathered the princes of the kingdom together with his friends and relatives, and proceeded to celebrate the nuptials without announcing to whom he intended to give his daughter. Well, when the drinking was at its height the father summoned Odatis to the symposium, and in the hearing of the guests he said: 'My daughter Odatis, today we are celebrating your nuptials. Look around, therefore, and after inspecting all the men take a gold cup, fill it with wine, and give it to the man to whom you wish to be married; for his wife you shall be called.' And the poor girl, after looking all around, turned away in tears, yearning as she did to see Zariadres; for she had warned him that the nuptials were to be celebrated. He, meanwhile, was encamped at the Tanais river, which he crossed without the knowledge of his army, and accompanied solely by his chariot-driver he started off at night in his chariot, traversing a large territory for a distance of about 800 stades. And getting near the village in which they were celebrating the nuptials he left the chariot-driver with the chariot in a certain place and proceeded on his way disguised in Scythian clothes. Passing into the court he spied Odatis standing in front of the sideboard weeping, while she slowly mixed the cup; and taking his stand beside her he said, 'Odatis, I am here according to your desire, I, Zariadres.' And she, perceiving a stranger there who was at once handsome and like the one she had seen in her sleep, was overjoyed, and gave the cup to him; he, catching her up, carried her off to his chariot and escaped with Odatis as his bride. Meanwhile the slaves and the serving-maids, conscious that this was a love affair, lapsed into silence, and although the father commanded them to speak out they professed not to know where the young man had gone. Now this love affair is held in remembrance among the barbarians who live in Asia and it is exceedingly popular; in fact they picture this story in their temples and palaces and even in private dwellings; and most princes bestow the name Odatis on their own daughters."
Aristotle, also, records the occurrence of a similar affair in his Constitution of Massilia, writing as follows: "The people of Phocaea, in Ionia, devoted as they were to commerce, founded Massilia. Euxenus of Phocaea was a friend of the king, Nannus (for that was his name). This Nannus was celebrating his daughter's nuptials when, by chance, Euxenus arrived and was invited in to attend the festival banquet. Now the marriage was to be conducted in the following manner: after the dinner the girl was to come in and mix a cup and give it to any one of the suitors present that she desired; and he to whom she gave it was to be bridegroom. When the girl entered she gave the cup, whether by accident or for some other reason, to Euxenus; the girl's name was Petta. When this befell, the father, believing that her giving the cup had been done by divine sanction, thought it only right that Euxenus should have her, so he took her to wife and lived with her, after changing her name to Aristoxene. And there is a clan in Massilia to this day descended from the woman and called Protiadae; for Protis was the son of Euxenus and Aristoxene."
Further, did not Themistocles, as Idomeneus says, yoke a chariot with prostitutes and drive them into the city when the market-place was crowded? They were Lamia, Scione, Satyra, and Nannion. Was not Themistocles himself born of a prostitute named Abrotonon? So Amphicrates records in his treatise On Famous Men: "Abrotonon was a woman Thracian-born; yet, they say, she brought forth Themistocles, that mighty hero of Greece." But Neanthes of Cyzicus, in the third and fourth books of his History of Greece, says that Themistocles was the son of Euterpe. And as for Cyrus, who made the expedition against his brother, did he not have with him on the expedition the woman of Phocaea, who was a prostitute, though she was called the most wise and most beautiful? Of her Zenophanes says that she formerly had been called Milto, but her name was changed to Aspasia. Cyrus was also accompanied by the concubine from Miletus. And did not Alexander the Great keep with him Thais, the Athenian prostitute? Cleitarchus speaks of her as having occasioned the burning of the palace at Persepolis. This Thais, after Alexander's death, was married to Ptolemy, the first king of Egypt, and bore to him Leontiscus and Lagus, also a daughter, Irene, who was married to Eunostus, the king of Soli in Cyprus. Again, the second king of Egypt surnamed Philadelphus, according to Ptolemy Euergetes in the third book of his Commentaries, had a very great number of mistresses: Didyme, one of the native Egyptian women, of very extraordinary beauty, and Bilistiche, also Agathocleia, and Stratonice, whose great monument used to stand on the seashore near Eleusis; also Myrtion and very many others, since Ptolemy had a more than ordinary leaning to affairs of love. Polybius, in the fourteenth book of his Histories, says that many images of Cleino, the girl who was his cupbearer, are set up in Alexandria, wearing only a tunic and holding a drinking-horn in her hand. And are not the finest houses, Polybius asks, named after Myrtion and Mnesis and Potheine? And yet Mnesis was a flute-girl, Potheine also was a flute-girl, while Myrtion was one of the most notorious variety-actresses before the public. And did not the prostitute Agathocleia hold sway over King Ptolemy Philopator--she who overturned his throne entirely? Eumachus of Neapolis, in the second book of his Histories of Hannibal, says that Hieronymous, the tyrant of Syracuse, took to wife one of the prostitutes from a brothel, named Peitho, and made her queen.
Timotheus, the Athenian general, was known to be the son of a prostitute of Thracian birth, otherwise respectable in her manners. For when such women change to a life of sobriety they are better than the women who pride themselves on their respectability. And when Timotheus was once jeered at because he came from such a mother he answered, "Yes, and what is more, I am grateful to her because she made me the son of Conon." Again, Philetaerus, who was king of Pergamum and that country known as Caene, is said to have been the son of a flute-girl named Boa, a prostitute of Paphlagonian birth, according to Carystius of Pergamum in his Historical Notes. And the orator Aristophon, the same who in the archonship of Eucleides proposed the law that whoever was not born of a citizen mother should be accounted illegitimate, was himself shown by the comic poet Calliades to have had children by the prostitute Choregis, as Carystius again records in the third book of his Notes. And was not Demetrius Poliorcetes passionately in love with the flute-girl Lamia, by whom also he had a daughter, Phila? Of Lamia Polemon says, in his book On the Painted Porch in Sicyon, that she was the daughter of Cleanor of Athens, and that she built for the Sicyonians the Porch in question. But Demetrius was also in love with Leaena, also an Athenian prostitute, and with a good many other women besides.
Now Machon the comic poet, in the collection entitled Bright Sayings, has the following: "With exquisite art Leaena, in lioness attitude, offered herself readily, and found much favour with Demetrius; they say that Lamia also once bestrode the king with graceful art, and received praise therefor. And she made answer thus: 'In view of that, take on Leaena too if you like!'" For Lamia was very quick and witty in repartee, like Gnathaena, of whom we shall speak. But of Lamia, again, Machon writes thus: "Once upon a time at a drinking-party, King Demetrius was showing all kinds of perfumes to Lamia. Now Lamia was a flute-girl whom, they say, Demetrius was very sweet on and for whom he itched greatly. But she rejected all the perfumes and looked with very haughty disdain upon the king; so with a nod he ordered some spikenard to be brought and kept ready, while with his hand penem fricans tangensque digitis, 'Hoc quidem, inquit, olfacito, Lamia, et senties quantum praestet aliis omnibus unguentis.' And she, with a laugh, replied, 'You wretch, I think this smells by far the most putrid of all.' But Demetrius answered: 'Yes, but as the gods are my witnesses, Lamia, I would have you know that this is made from a royal gland.'"
Ptolemy, the son of Agesarchus, in his Histories of Philopator, when giving a list of the king's mistresses says: "The mistress of Philip, who raised Macedonia to power, was the dancing-girl Philinna, by whom he became the father of Arrhidaeus, who succeeded to the throne after Alexander; of Demetrius Poliorcetes, after the women mentioned above, there was Mania; of Antigonus, Demo, who bore him Alcyoneus; and of Seleucus the Younger, there were Mysta and Nysa." But Heracleides Lembus in the thirty-sixth book of his Histories says the Demo was the mistress of Demetrius; with her, he says, Demetrius's father Antigonus fell madly in love, and he put to death Oxythemis for sharing in the many crimes of Demetrius and because Oxythemis had put to death on the rack the female attendants of Demo.
Now regarding the name Mania just mentioned, Machon has the following: "But perhaps one of my present hearers may ask, and with good reason, too, may doubt whether a woman of Attic birth was ever named or regularly called Mania. For it is scandalous, you say, that a woman should bear a Phrygian name, especially when she comes from the center of Greece, even though she be a prostitute; scandalous that the city of Athens, by whose authority all men are kept in order, should not prevent it somehow. Now the name that had been given to her from babyhood was Melitta. In height, to be sure, she fell somewhat short of the other women of her age; but with voice and conversation she was well supplied; very good-looking too, and stunning, with many lovers, both citizens and foreigners. Wherever any talk arose over this woman people would say, 'It's madness, how beautiful Melitta is!' And then she would herself proceed to put the word to further use. For whenever one made a joke she would straightway cry out that little word 'madness!' And when she herself praised anyone, or again blamed him, to both of her sentences she added 'madness.' Hence, it seems, one of her lovers lengthened the word mania (madness) and called her Mania; and so this by-word came to prevail more than her own name.
"Now it seems, as is reported, that Mania suffered from the stone; but Gnathaena, because she soiled the bedclothes, was chastised somehow for this by Diphilus. And once after this Gnathaena was reviling Mania and said, 'How about this, sister, even if you did have a stone?' Mania retorted, 'I should have given it to you, you wretch, that you might have had something with which to cleanse yourself.'"
To show that Mania was witty in her answers Machon records the following about her: "The pancratiast Leontiscus was once the lover of Mania, and kept her for himself alone like a wedded wife. He later discovered that she was being seduced by Antenor, and was very angry. But she said: 'Let that not bother you at all, sweetheart; for I just wanted to make sure and find out for myself what two athletes, victors at Olympia, could do, stroke for stroke, in a single night.'
"They say that Mania, cum clunes eius aliquando poposcisset rex Demetrius, demanded in return a favour from him. And when the king had conferred it she, after a little, turned about and said, 'Son of Agamemnon, now you may have that which you desired.'
"A foreigner who was supposed to be a slacker and had come to live in Athens once sent for Mania, paying her all that she asked. And to his drinking-party he had invited some others from the town, men accustomed to laugh always with approval in gratitude to their patrons for all they gave. The host was eager to show himself both subtle and witty, while Mania played her very best tricks, but frequently had to retire; and he, intending to jeer at her as at some scurrying hare said, 'In the name of the gods, my lads, what wild animal in the forest do you think can run the fastest?' But Mania replied, 'The slacker, my fine fellow.' When Mania, after this, had entered the room once more, she began to jeer at the slacker and said he had been a shield-caster on the occasion of some attack. The soldier, scowling not a little at this, sent her home; but after a day's interval she said, 'Don't be disturbed, dearie, at what I have said; for, as Aphrodite is my witness, it wasn't you who lost the shield when you fled, but it was the man who lent it to you that day.'
"And at a symposium, so they say, in Mania's house, one of the guests, a very vicious man, took his turn to embrace her. And when he asked, 'Do you wish to come together from before or from behind?' she said with a laugh, 'From before, good sir. For I am rather afraid that otherwise you will bite off my braids.'"
Machon has collected memorable sayings of other prostitutes as well, which it will not be out of place to record in order here. Of Gnathaena he has the following: "Diphilus, drinking once at Gnathaena's house, remarked, 'That vessel you have is cold, Gnathaena.' 'Yes,' she said, 'we make it so on purpose; for we always pour in some of your plays, Diphilus.'
"Once upon a time Diphilus was invited to Gnathaena's house, to dine, so they say, in celebration of the festival of Aphrodite; he, being the most esteemed of all her lovers (and he delighted in her passionate love for him), came with two jars of Chian, four of Thasian, perfume, wreaths, nuts, and raisins, a kid, ribbons, relishes, a cook, and after all that a flute-girl. And one of her lovers, a stranger from Syria, had sent her some snow and one saperda; she, being ashamed if any one should learn of such gifts, and most of all fearing that Diphilus might punish her by putting her in one of his comedies afterwards, ordered the dried fish to be quickly carried away to those who were indubitably in want of a dole, while the snow was to be secretly shaken up in the unmixed wine; then she directed the slave to pour out about a pint and offer the cup to Diphilus. Overjoyed, Diphilus quickly drank out the cup, and overcome by the surprising effect he cried, 'I swear, Athena and the gods bear me witness, Gnathaena, that your wine-cellar is indubitably cold.' And she replied, 'Yes, for we always take care to pour in the prologues of your plays.'
"It so happened that a rogue with the scars of a flogging rising high on his back went to bed with Gnathaena. And discovering in her embrace how rough his back was everywhere she said, 'Wretched, wretched man, how did you get these bruises?' And he answered her curtly that he got them once when he was a boy playing with some of his mates and fell into a funeral-pyre. 'Yes, by the dear Demeter,' said she; 'it was quite right, you rascal, that you should have your skin peeled off, lecher that you are.'
"Once Gnathaena was at dinner with the courtesan Dexithea, and when the latter set aside almost all the choices relishes for her mother, Gnathaena said, 'By Artemis, if I had known of this, I should have taken dinner with your mother, instead of with you, woman.'
"After Gnathaena had advanced in years and was by that time, as all agreed, nothing but a perfect corpse, they say she went out into the market-place, and as she gazed at the dainties there she kept asking how much each cost. Finally she chanced to see a very nice butcher's boy, very young in years, at the meat-scales, and she said: 'You, there, my lad, you pretty one, tell me in the gods' name how you weigh your meat?' And he replied with a smile, 'Stooping over, at the cost of threepence.' 'But who,' she said, 'will allow you, you wretch, to use Carian measures when you are in Athens?'
"Stratocles once offered to his acquaintances two kids as a free gift, but added some dishes highly seasoned with salt, expecting a redoubled thirst on the morrow on the part of those who wanted to continue their drinking into the early morning; he could then, he thought, exact the payment of large contributions. And Gnathaena, seeing one of her lovers haggling over the payments said to him, 'Stratocles can raise a storm over the kids.'
"Seeing a lad who was very lean, dark, and to all appearances exceedingly weak and emaciated, moreover shorter than the lads of his age, Gnathaena derisively called him Adonis. But when the lad jostled against her in a rude and truculent manner, she gave a meaning look at her daughter, who was walking with her, and said: 'By the two goddesses, my child, it would have been more correct...' (supply perhaps "to call him not Adonis but the Boar.")
"They say that a stripling from Pontus went to bed with Gnathaena, and when morning came he demanded clunes ut ei semel praeberet; whereat she said, 'You wretch! tu a me clunes postulas, when it is now high time you were driving out the pigs to pasture?'"
And then again, Machon records these sayings of Gnathaenion, the granddaughter of Gnathaena: "A stranger came to live in Athens, a nabob very old -- about ninety years -- who at the festival of Cronus saw Gnathaenion with Gnathaena leaving the temple of Aphrodite; and after studying her figure with its symmetries he asked how much she charged as fee for the night. Gnathaena, having an eye to his purple cloak and his lances, set the price at a thousand drachmas. But he, struck with this sudden body-blow, said, 'Alas, woman, you treat me like a prisoner of war because of my military appearance; let's make a truce; take five minae and spread a couch for us inside.' And she, since the nabob was so eager to show his powers, took him in and said: 'To me you may give anything you like, gaffer; for I know certainly and am quite confident that as the night draws on you will give it to my little girl doubled over.'
"In Athens there was a very gifted coppersmith; now Gnathaenion had about retired from her profession, and no longer wanted to be a common prostitute because she was content with Andronicus, the actor; but at the time he was away on tour -- from him she had had a male child; although, as I say, Gnathaenion did not wish to earn any fee, the coppersmith by entreaty and importunity finally won her, expending upon her a vast deal of gold. But being a rude person, completely vulgar, he, as he sat with some others in a cobbler's shop, passed the time in slandering Gnathaenion, saying that he had never consorted with her in any other way, sed ab illa se quinquies deinceps inequitatum esse. Andronicus, hearing soon after of what had happened, for he had just returned from Corinth, was angry, and in bitter reproach he said to Gnathaenion while they were drinking together, that although he had asked for this favour she had never granted him that posture, whereas others, rascally jail-birds, had revelled in it. Thereupon, they say, Gnathaenion replied: 'I did not thnk fit, you poor fool, to clasp in my arms a man who was covered with soot up to his mouth; so I gave way, after receiving a large sum in gold, and I cleverly contrived to touch the part of his person which projects farthest and is smallest.'
"Sometime afterwards, they say, Gnathaenion refused to kiss Andronicus when they were drinking together as she had always done in days gone by; she was angry because he gave her nothing. So then the actor said to her granny: 'Don't you see, Gnathaena, that your girl is treating me shamefully?' The old woman, indignant at her, said: 'You foolish child, embrace him and kiss him if he wants it.' But she replied, 'Mother, how can I kiss that fellow who is no good, that man who wants to have as a free gift under one roof all "hollow Argos"?'
"On the occasion of some festival Gnathaenion started down to the Peiraeus to meet a foreign merchant who was her lover; she did the journey cheaply on a litter, with three donkeys in all in her train, three maidservants and one young nurse. Thereupon, at a narrow place on the road, they were met by a poor wrestler, one of those who always contrive, on purpose, to be beaten in the contests. He, unable to get by them at that point easily, and jostled into a narrow corner, cried out, 'You thrice-damned ass-driver, if you don't just get out of the road I'll throw to the ground these wenches here, donkeys and litters and all.' But Gnathaenion said, 'You poor fool, not you sir! For that is something you have never yet done.'"
Continuing, Machon records this also: "They say that Lais, the Corinthian courtesan, once saw Euripides in a garden, with his writing-tablet and stilus hanging to his belt. 'O poet,' said she, 'answer, what did you mean when you wrote in a tragedy, "To perdition, you perpetrator of foul deeds?"' And Euripides, amazed at her impudence, said, 'Why, what are you yourself, woman? Are you not a perpetrator of foul deeds?' But she responded with a laugh, 'What is foul, if it seems not so to those who indulge in it?'
"Glycerium had received from one of her lovers a new summer dress (ledion, ladion) with purple border, Corinthian style, and sent it to the fuller's; later, when she thought it must be finished, she sent her maidservant with the price, bidding her fetch home the garment. But the fuller said, 'If you will hand over besides three-fourths of the oil (eladion) you may take the dress. For that is the only thing which prevents me.' When the maid reported this, Glycerium said, 'Unhappy I am with all this bother; for he must be going to fry my dress like a dish of sprats.'
"Demophon, the favourite of Sophocles, once kept as his mistress, when he himself was still young, the 'she-goat' Nico, although she was older. She was nicknamed She-goat because she had once devoured that tall lover, Greensprout Thallus; for he had come to Athens to buy dried russet-figs and take away a cargo of Hymettus honey. Now the woman in question is said to have had a very beautiful derriere, which Demophon once desired to possess. And she said with a laugh, 'Very good, dearie; take it from me and pass it on to Sophocles.'
"Callistion, who was called the Sow, was once quarrelling with her mother, whose nickname was the Crow. Gnathaena tried to reconcile them. Being asked what they were quarrelling about, she replied, 'What else, to be sure, than that the daughter of the Crow blames her for one thing, while she blames the girl for something else?'
"They say that the courtesan Hippe had as a lover Theodotus, who at that time had become Keeper of the Provender. She once, at a late hour of the day, went into the palace to have a cup with King Ptolemy; for she was in the habit of drinking with him constantly. Anyway, as she came in, very much behind time, she said: 'Ptolemy, old dear, I am awfully thirsty. Do let someone pour out for me four cups to drink, in the big jug.' Thereupon the king said: 'You mean, rather, into the feed-pan; for it seems to me, Hippe, that you have eaten up a very large bag of Provender.'
"Moerichus was asking Phryne, the courtesan from Thespiae, for her favours; when she then demanded a mina, Moerichus said, 'Too much; didn't you, the other day, stay with a stranger after you had received only two gold pieces?' 'Well then,' said she, 'you too wait until I feel like indulging myself, and I will accept that amount.'
"The story is told of Nico, the 'she-goat,' that when a man named Python had at one time abandoned her and taken up with the fat woman Euardis, only, it seems, to send for Nico again at a later time, she said to the slave who came to get her: 'Now that Python has become chockfull of pork-tenderloin, is he fit to switch round again to goat-meat?'"
Up to this point I have been giving the sayings of Machon. For our beautiful Athens produced such a quantity of courtesans, about whom I shall go on further to tell, so far as I can -- a throng such as no populous city ever yet had. At any rate, Aristophanes of Byzantium has made a list of one hundred and thirty-five; Apollodorus gives more than that, and Gorgias still more, both declaring that in the list of numerous courtesans Aristophanes has omitted the following: ..., nicknamed Tipsy, besides Lampyris and Euphrosyne; this last was a fuller's daughter. He has failed to record also Megiste, Agallis, Thaumarion, Theocleia (she was nicknamed Crow), Lenaetocystus, Astra, Gnathaena and her granddaughter Gnathaenion, besides Sige, Synoris nicknamed Lamp, Eucleia, Grymea, Thryallis, and Chimaera and Lampas. As for Gnathaena, she was madly loved by the comic poet Diphilus, as has been said before, and as Lynceus of Samos also records in his Reminiscences. Once in a dramatic contest it happened that he was shamefully defeated and 'lifted' out of the theatre, yet none the less he went to visit Gnathaena. As Diphilus bade her wash his feet Gnathaena asked, "Why need I, indeed? Haven't you come to me on your head?" Gnathaena was very quick in repartee. There were other courtesans also who thought very highly of themselves, going in for culture and apportioning their time to learned studies; hence they also were quick in making answers. For example, Stilpo was once accusing Glycera, while they were drinking together, of corrupting the young men, as Satyrus tell in his Lives, when Glycera interrupted: "We both fall under the same charge, Stilpo. For they say that you corrupt all who meet you by teaching them good-for-nothing, eristic sophistries, while I in like manner teach them erotic. It makes no difference, therefore, to people who are ruined and injured, whether they live in the company of a philosopher or of a courtesan." In fact, as Agathon says: "Truly a woman, just because she is inactive in body, need not for that reason carry an inactive mind within her."
Lynceus has recorded many of Gnathaena's retorts. To a parasite who was kept by an old woman and who was very stout of body, Gnathaena said, "Your body is in very nice condition, laddie." "What, then, do you think it would be if I didn't have another bedfellow to sleep with?" "You would have died of famine." When Pausanias, the "Tank," fell into a jar as he was dancing she said, "The tank has fallen into the jar." When some one poured into her cup, which was small, some small wine, with the remark that it was sixteen years old, she said, "It's small indeed, considering how many years old it is." When some lads in their cups had come to blows with each other in a quarrel over her, she said to the one who was beaten, "Cheer up, kid; for the prize of this contest is not laurel, but silver." Since the man who had paid the pound to her daughter failed to bring any more, but still kept coming to her empty-handed, she said, "Kid, do you think you can keep on coming to her as you would to Hippomachus the athletic trainer, when you have paid only a pound?"
Once Phryne said rather sourly to her, "Suppose you had the stone?" She retorted, "I'd have given it to you to wipe yourself with." For it so happened that one of them was reputed to have the stone, while the other was said to suffer from diarrhoea. When the men who were drinking in her house crashed into a dish of bulbs and lentils, the slave girl, while cleaning it up, thrust some of the lentils into her bosom, at which Gnathaena remarked, "She's planning to make a dish of bosom-lentils." Andronicus, the tragic actor, after a performance of the Epigoni in which he had won applause, proposed to have a drinking-bout in her house; when his slave bade Gnathaena to pay the expenses in advance she quoted, "'Cursed slave, what word hast thou spoken!'" To a garrulous person who was relating that he had come all the way from the Hellespont she said, "How, then, did you fail to reach the first town on that route?" He asked, "Which town?" She said, "Sigeium." Once a man who entered her house saw some eggs on a platter and asked, "Are these raw, Gnathaena, or boiled?" She said, "They are bronzed, laddie." When Chaerephon came to dinner uninvited, Gnathaena pledged a cup to him and said, "Take it, proud man." And he, "I, proud?" "Who more so," said Gnathaena, "seeing that you don't even come invited?" Nico, the woman who was nicknamed She-Goat, as Lynceus says, met a parasite who was thin as a result of illness and said to him, "How skinny you are!" "Why, yes; what do you think I have had to eat in the last three days?" "Either your oil bottle," she said, "or your shoes."
The courtesan Metaneira, when the parasite Democles, nicknamed Hardbottle, tumbled into a heap of plaster, said to him, "Really, you have consigned yourself to a place where there are plenty of pebbles." And when he leaped across to the neighbouring couch she said, "Look out that you don't get upset." This is recorded by Hegesander. And Aristodemus, in the second book of his Ludicrous Memoirs, says of Gnathaena: "Two men, a soldier and a jail-bird, engaged her services; the soldier very rudely called her a lake, at which she asked, 'Just how do you mean? Is it because you two streams empty into me, -- the Wolf River and the Free River?' Some indigent lovers assailed in drunken revel the daughter of Gnathaena, threatening to demolish her house; for, said they, they had brought mattocks and picks. 'If you really had them,' said Gnathaena, 'you might have put them in pawn and so sent us our pay.'" For Gnathaena was very adept and humorous in making reply; she had, in fact, compiled a Rule for Dining in Company (which lovers who came to her and to her daughter must follow) in imitation of the philosophers who have drawn up similar rules. Callimachus has recorded it in the third "tablet" of his Rules, citing the beginning of it as follows: "The Rule here written down is equal and fair for all" -- three hundred and twenty-three lines.
Callistion, she who was nicknamed Beggar-Helen, was once engaged by a jail-bird. It being summer, he lay down stripped so that she saw the marks of flogging and asked, "How did you get these, you poor wretch?" He replied, "When I was a lad some hot broth was spilled on me." She said, "Obviously veal-broth." The poet Menander having met with bad luck entered the house of Glycera, who brought him some boiled milk and urged him to drink it down. But he said, "I don't want it." For there was scum on the top of it. She said, "Blow it off and use what's underneath." To a bragging lover who had borrowed cups from many persons and who said that he wanted to smash them up and make others of them, Thais said, "You will only spoil the peculiar character of each." Leontion was reclining at dinner with a lover when Glycera came into the symposium later; and when the lover paid more devoted attention to her, Leontion looked downcast. Her friend, turning toward her, asked what pained her. She replied, "The last comer gives me a pain!" A lover once sent his seal to Lais of Corinth with the command to attend him. But she said, "I can't; it's only clay." Thais was once on her way to a lover who smelt like a goat, and when some one asked her where she was going she said: "To stay with Aegeus the son of Pandion." Phryne, dining once with a man who smelt like a goat, picked up a piece of skin from a pig and said, "Take that and eat it." When one of her friends sent her some wine which, though good, was small in quantity, explaining that it was ten years old, she said, "Small indeed, considering how many years old it is." A question being raised at a drinking-party why people hang up wreaths, she said, "Because they lure the spirits." A certain jail-bird tried to tease her by saying that he had been embraced by many, whereupon she affected to be downcast. When he asked her the reason she said "I am provoked at you for having so many." A stingy lover, by way of flattery, said to her, "You are Praxiteles' little Aphrodite." She retorted, "You are Pheidias's Cupid."
Inasmuch as I know, too, of some statesmen who mention courtesans either by way of accusation or of defence, I will quote the statesmen also. Demosthenes, for example, in his Speech against Androtion mentions Sinope and Phanostrate. Concerning Sinope Herodicus, of the school of Crates, says in the sixth book of his Persons Mentioned In Comedy that she was called Abydus because she was an old hag. She is mentioned also by Antiphanes in The Arcadian, The Gardener, The Sempstress, She Goes a-Fishing, and The Chick; by Alexis in Cleobuline, and by Callicrates in Moschion. Concerning Phanostrate Apollodorus in his work On the Athenian Courtesans says the she was nicknamed Louse-Gate because she picked lice from herself as she stood at her door. Hypereides says in the Speech against Aristagora: "And again, the women who are called 'Anchovies' -- you called her by the same name." "Anchovies" is a name given to courtesans, of whom Apollodorus, whom I have just quoted, says: "Stagonion and Anthis were sisters; they were called Anchovies because they were of light colour, thin, and had large eyes." And Antiphanes in his work On Courtesans says that Nicostratis was nicknamed Anchovy for the same reason. Hypereides, again, in the Speech against Mantitheus, in an action for assault, has this to say about Glycera: "Taking with him Glycera, daughter of Thalassis, in a chariot and pair." It is uncertain whether she is the Glycera who lived with Harpalus; of her Theopompus says, in his treatise On the Chian Letter, that after the death of Pythionice Harpalus summoned Glycera from Athens; on her arrival she took up her residence in the palace at Tarsus and had obeisance done to her by the populace, being hailed as queen; further, all persons were forbidden to honour Harpalus with a crown unless they also gave a crown to Glycera. In Rhossus they even went so far as to set up an image of her in bronze beside his own. The like is recorded also by Cleitarchus in his Histories of Alexander. The author of Agen, the little satyric drama, whether it be Python of Catana or King Alexander himself, say: "A. And yet I hear that Harpalus has sent over to them thousands of bushels of grain, as many as Agen sent, and so was made a citizen. B. This grain was Glycera's, but it will doubtless turn out to be their death-warrant, and not merely a whore's earnest money."
Lysias in the Speech against Lais, if it is really genuine, mentions these courtesans: "Phylira, at least, ceased whoring when still a young woman, and so did Scione, Hippaphesis, Theocleia, Psamathe, Lagisca, and Antheia." Perhaps for Antheia we should write Anteia. For we cannot find in any author the name Antheia recorded as that of a courtesan, whereas from Anteia an entire play takes its title, as I have said above, the Anteia of Eunicus or Philyllius. And the writer of the Speech against Neaera also mentions her. In the Speech against Philonides, an action for forcible seizure, Lysias, if it be genuine, mentions also the courtesan Nais, and in that Against Medon, an action for perjury, Anticyra. Now this was an epithet given to the courtesan; for her real name was Oia, as Aristophanes says in his work On Courtesans, alleging that she was called Anticyra either because she joined the drinking bouts of men who were insane with passion, or because the physician Nicostratus took her up and at his death bequeathed to her a large quantity of hellebore, but nothing else. Lycurgus, further, in his Speech against Leocrates, mentions a courtesan named Eirenis as one who was kept by Leocrates. As for Nannion, Hypereides mentions her in the Speech against Patrocles. That she was nicknamed Goat because she had wasted the substance of Sprout the huckster we have stated above. Now that she-goats enjoy a green branch, for which reason the creature is not allowed to range on the Acropolis and consequently is never sacrificed to Athena at all, will be a matter for another discussion. Sophocles, at least, says in The Shepherds that the creature is a branch-eater in these words: "Early in the morning, indeed, before I could see any of the farmer-folk about, I was offering a fresh-cut branch to a she-goat when I saw an army marching along the height by the sea." Nannion is mentioned also by Alexis in The Tarentines thus: "And Nannion is mad over Dionysus," thus satirizing her as a drunken tippler. Also Menander in Sham-Heracles says: "Did he not try to rape Nannion?" Antiphanes in his work On Courtesans says: "Nannion was nicknamed Proscenium because, although she had a pretty face and wore gold jewelry and expensive clothes, when she stripped she was very ugly. Now there was a daughter of Nannion named Corone (Crow) who acquired the name Grandmother because she was a whore throughout three generations." Again, Nemeas the flute-girl is mentioned by Hypereides in the Speech against Patrocles. Concerning her one may rightly wonder how the Athenians permitted the whore to be so called, since the name she had assumed was that of a highly-revered festival; for the adoption of such names as these had been forbidden, not only to women practising prostitution, but also to other women of the slave class, as Polemon declares in his work On the Acropolis. And my own Ocimon, as you call her, Cynulcus, is mentioned by Hypereides in the second Speech against Aristagora, in these words: "Wherefore, Lais, who was reputed to excel in looks all women who had ever yet lived, and Ocimon, and Metaneira,..." Also Nicostratus, the poet of the Middle Comedy, in Pandrosus, speaking as follows: "After that, says he, go by the same street to Aerope and bid her send spreads for the couches, and from Ocimon get bronze dishes." Menander, again, in The Flatterer, gives a list of courtesans as follows: "Chrysis, Corone, Anticyra, Ischas, and tiny Nannion you have possessed -- the last a very great beauty." Philetaerus in The Huntress: "Has not Cercope by this time grown to be three thousand years old, and Diopeithes' foul Telesis another ten thousand? As for Theolyte, nobody even knows the time when she first came to birth. Did not Lais die at the end from excessive commerce? and have not Isthmias and Neaera and Phila rotted away? As for all the Cossyphes, Galenes, and Corones, I say nothing; and concerning Nais I am dumb; she has no molars left." Theophilus in He Liked to Play the Flute: "To prevent him from falling pell-mell into the clutches of Lais or Meconis or Sisymbrion or Barathron or Thallusa or one of those women, in whose nets the pimps entangle one,... or Nausion or Malthace."
After this long recital, spoken with some volubility, Myrtilus said: I hope you philosophers will not be like that -- you who in your own lives anticipated the so-called Voluptuaries in "undermining the wall of Pleasure," as Eratosthenes has expressed it somewhere. As for me, let the clever retorts of courtesans be brought to a close at this point; for I am going to shift the discussion to another topic. And first of all I will recall Epicurus, who is distinguished for his candour; for, being himself unitiated in the mysteries of a general education, he congratulated those who went in for philosophy as he had, giving vent to such words as these: "I congratulate you, sir, on having gone in for philosophy while innocent of all education." Whence Timon even calls him "pettifogging school-teacher, most ill-bred of living men." Well, did not this same Epicurus keep Leontion as his mistress, the woman who had become notorious as a strumpet? Why! Even when she began to be a philosopher, she did not cease her strumpet ways, but consorted with all the Epicureans in their gardens, and even before the very eyes of Epicurus; wherefore he, poor devil, was really worried about her, as he makes clear in his Letters to Hermarchus.
Then there was Lais from Hyccara (this is a Sicilian town, from which she was brought as a captive to Corinth, as recorded by Polemon in the sixth book of his Reply to Timaeus; she became the mistress of Aristippus, of the orator Demosthenes, and of Diogenes the Cynic; to her the Aphrodite of Corinth, who is called Melaenis, appeared by night and revealed the coming of wealthy lovers); does not Hypereides mention her in his second Speech against Aristagora? The painter Apelles caught sight of her when she was still a maid carrying water from the fountain of Peirene, and, struck by her beauty, he took her with him once to a symposium of his friends. And when they jeered at him for having brought to a symposium not a professional courtesan, but a maid, he replied, "Don't be surprised; for I want to show you that her beauty is a promise of enjoyment to come in less, altogether, than three years." Socrates, also, divined the same promise in the case of Theodote of Athens, as Xenophon says in his Memorabilia: "When someone remarked that she was very beautiful and had a bosom beyond the power of any tongue to describe Socrates said, 'We must go to see the woman; for it is not possible to judge her beauty by hearsay.'" So beautiful was Lais that painters came to her and copied her breasts and chest. In her rivalry with Phryne at one time she had a large crowd of lovers, making no distinction between rich and poor, nor treating them disdainfully.
Aristippus every year spent two months with Lais in Aegina, at the time of Poseidon's festival; and being reproached by Hicetas because, as he said, "you give her so much money, whereas she wallows with Diogenes the Cynic for nothing," he answered: "I give Lais many bounties that I may enjoy her myself, not that I may prevent another from doing so." When Diogenes said to him: "Aristippus, you cohabit with a common whore. Either, then, you should be a Cynic like me, or stop it entirely," Aristippus said, "You don't think it out of place, Diogenes, to live in a house in which other men have lived before?" "Not at all," he replied. "How about sailing in a ship in which many have sailed?" "Nor that either," he said. "That being the case, then, it isn't out of place to consort with a woman whom many have enjoyed."
Nymphodorus of Syracuse, in The Wonders of Sicily, says that Lais came from Hyccarum, a Sicilian outpost. But Strattis in The Macedonians or Pausanias, says she was a Corinthian, in these lines: "A. Whence come these girls, and who are they? B. Just now they have come from Megara, but they are Corinthian; first there is Lais here, belonging to Megacles." Timaeus, however, says in the thirteenth book of his Histories that she was from Hyccara; this agrees with Polemon, who says that she was murdered by some women in Thessaly; she had fallen in love with a Thessalian named Pausanias, and through envy and jealousy was beaten to death with wooden footstools in a temple of Aphrodite. Hence, he further says, the precinct came to be called that of Sinful Aphrodite. Her tomb is shown beside the Peneius river, bearing a stone water-jar and the following epigram: "Time was when proud Hellas, invincible in might, was enslaved by the divine beauty of Lais here, whom Eros begot and Corinthus nourished; now she lies in the glorious plains of Thessaly." Hence those who say that she is buried in Corinth beside the Cornel Grove are inventing the story.
As for Aristotle of Stageira, did he not beget Nicomachus from the courtesan Herpyllis and live with her until his death? So says Hermippus in the first book of his work On Aristotle, adding that she received fitting provision by the terms of the philosopher's will. And was not our noble Plato in love with Archeanassa, the courtesan of Colophon? So much so that he sang these lines to her: "Archeanassa, the courtesan of Colophon, is mine, though upon her wrinkles now rests a passion bitter. Ah, ye wretches who encountered her youth in its first course, through what hot flame did ye pass!" Again, take the Olympian Pericles, as Clearchus says in the first book of his Love Stories: "On account of Aspasia -- not the younger, but the one who associated with Socrates -- although he had acquired so eminent a reputation for political sagacity and influence, did he not for her sake, throw all Greece into turmoil? He was a man in fact very prone to love affairs. Why! He even consorted with his son's wife, as Stesimbrotus of Thasos, who lived at the same period as Pericles and had seen him, records in the book entitled On Themistocles, Thucydides, and Pericles. Antisthenes the Socratic says that when in love with Aspasia he would go in and out of her house twice a day to greet the wench, and once, when she was prosecuted on a charge of impiety he, while pleading in her behalf, wept more tears than when his life and property were endangered. Again, when Cimon consorted unlawfully with his sister Elpinice and she was later given in marriage to Callias, after Cimon had been sent into exile, Pericles took as the price of Cimon's restoration the privilege of lying with Elpinice. Pythaenetus in the third book of his work On Aegina says that Periander saw in Epidauras the daughter of Procles, Melissa, dressed in the Peloponnesian fashion (that is, she wore no cloak, but was clad in a simple tunic while she acted as wine-pourer for the workmen in the fields) and falling in love he married her. As for Pyrrhus, the king of Epeirus, third in descent from the Pyrrhus who invaded Italy, his mistress was Tigris of Leucadia, whom Olympias, the young man's mother, murdered with poison."
Thereupon Ulpian, as though pouncing upon a lucky find, asked, while Myrtilus was still speaking, where we have the word 'tigris' (tiger) used as a masculine. For I know that Philemon has the following in Neaera: "A. Just as Seleucus sent hither the tigress, which we ourselves have seen, so we in turn ought to send to Seleucus some beast of ours. B. Ha, a wild trygeranus! For that monster isn't found there." In answer to Ulpian Myrtilus said: Since you broke in upon us when I was making a catalogue of women -- though not comparable with the Or Such Men As of Sosicrates of Phanagoreia or the Catalogue of Women by Nicaenetus of Samos or Abdera -- I will pause for a bit and attend to your question, Phoenix, my venerable father." Learn, therefore, that 'tiger' occurs as a masculine word in Alexis's Fire-Lighter thus: "Open the door, open! Long have I been going about without knowing that I was a mere statue, a grindstone, a hippopotamus, a wall, Seleucus's tiger." But though I have other testimony, I postpone quoting it for the present until I have recited the list of beautiful women. For Clearchus has the following about Epameinondas: "Epameinondas of Thebes was wont to speak more solemnly than these whom I have mentioned, yet in his actual relations with women he by indecency failed to measure up to his sentiments, if one considers what he did in the affair with the Lacedaemonian's wife." And Hypereides the orator, after casting away his son Glaucippus from the ancestral home, took up with Myrrhine, the most costly of all prostitutes, and kept her in Athens, while in the Peiraeus he kept Aristagora, and in Eleusis Phila, whom he purchased for a very large sum of money and kept as a freed-woman, later making her even mistress of his household, as Idomeneus records. In his speech, also, In Defence of Phryne, he confesses that he was in love with the woman and had not even then ceased from his passion when he brought the aforesaid Myrrhine into his house.
Now Phryne came from Thespiae. When she was brought to trial by Euthias on a capital charge she was acquitted; this so enraged Euthias that he never afterwards pleaded another case at law, according to Hermippus. As Hypereides, while defending Phryne, was making no progress in his plea, and it became apparent that the judges meant to condemn her, he caused her to be brought where all could see her; tearing off her undervests he laid bare her bosom and broke into such piteous lamentation in his peroration at the sight of her, that he caused the judges to feel superstitious fear of this handmaid and ministrant of Aphrodite, and indulging their feeling of compassion, they refrained from putting her to death. And after she had been acquitted a decree was passed that no person speaking in a defendant's behalf should indulge in lamentation, nor should the accused man or woman on trial be bared for all to see. As a matter of fact, Phryne was more beautiful in the unseen parts. Hence one could not easily catch a glimpse of her naked; for she always wore a tunic which wrapped her body closely, and she did not resort to the public baths. At the great assembly of the Eleusinia and at the festival of Poseidon, in full sight of the whole Greek world, she removed ony her cloak and let down her long hair before stepping into the water; she was the model for Apelles when he painted his Aphrodite Rising from the Sea. So, too, the sculptor Praxiteles, being in love with her, modelled his Cnidian Aphrodite from her, and on the pedestal of his Eros below the stage of the theatre he wrote an epigram: "Praxiteles hath portrayed to perfection the Passion (Eros) which he bore, drawing his model from the depths of his own heart and dedicating Me to Phryne as the price of Me. The spell of love which I cast comes no longer from my arrow, but from gazing upon Me." He also gave her a choice of his statues, to see whether she wished to take his Eros, or his Satyr, which stood in the Street of the Tripods. She chose the Eros and set it up as a votive offering in Thespiae. Of Phryne herself the neighbors made and set up a golden statue at Delphi, on a pillar of Pentelic marble; Praxiteles executed the work. When the Cynic Crates saw it he called it an offering dedicated to Greek incontinence. This image stands midway between that of Archidamus, king of Lacedaemon, and that of Philip, the son of Amyntas, and bears a label, "Phryne, daughter of Epicles, of Thespiae"; so says Alcetas in the second book of his work On the Dedicatory Offerings at Delphi. Now Apollodorus in his book On Courtesans records that there were two Phrynes, one of whom, he says, was nicknamed Teary-Smile, the other Goldfish. But Herodicus in the sixth book of his Persons Mentioned in Comedy says that in the orators the one was called Sestus because she sifted (sethein) and stripped all who resorted to her, whereas the other was the Thespian. Now Phryne was very rich, and used to promise that she would build a wall about Thebes if the Thebans would write an inscription upon it, that "Whereas Alexander demolished it, Phryne the courtesan restored it"; so records Callistratus in his book On Courtesans. Her wealth is spoken of by the comic poet Timocles in Neaera (his testimony has been cited above) and by Amphis in The Tire-Woman. Yet Gryllion, a member of the Areopagus, played the parasite at Phryne's board, as Satyrus, the actor from Olynthus, did at Pamphila's. Aristogeiton, in the speech Against Phryne, says that her real name was Mnesarete. I am not unaware that the speech against her which is ascribed to Euthias is said by Diodorus the Geographer to be by Anaximenes. Now the comic poet Poseidippus says of her these words, in The Woman from Ephesus: "Phryne was once the most illustrious of us courtesans by far. And even though you are too young to remember that time, you must at least have heard of her trial. Although she was thought to have wrought too great injury to men's lives, she nevertheless captured the court when tried for her life, and, clasping the hands of the judges, one by one, she with the help of her tears saved her life at last."
You know, too, that the orator Demades begot Demeas from a flute-playing prostitute. Demeas, once, when proudly ranting on the platform, had his mouth stopped by Hypereides, who said: "Silence, lad! You've got a 'blow' louder than your mother's." And Bion also, the philosopher from the Borysthenes, was a son of the Lacedaemonian courtesan Olympia, according to Nicias of Nicaea in his Succession of Philosophers. Even Sophocles, the tragic poet, when he was already an old man, fell in love with Theoris the courtesan. Accordingly, he supplicated Aphrodite, reciting: "Hearken unto me when I pray, Nurse of children; grant that this woman may refuse to young men the couch of dalliance, but let her find joy in old men whose temples are grey, whose powers, to be sure, are blunted, but whose spirit is keen." These verses are from the collection attributed to Homer. Theoris he mentions in a certain choral ode in the following words: "Verily Theoris is dear." Being in his declining years, as Hegesander says, Sophocles fell in love with the courtesan Archippe and made her in his will heiress to his property. And that Sophocles was old when Archippe lived with him is proved by what her former lover Smicrines wittily said when asked what Archippe was doing: "As the owls sit upon tombs, so sits she."
But another instance: even Isocrates, the most modest of the orators, kept Metaneira as his mistress, as well as Lagisca; so Lysias records in his Letters. But Demosthenes in his speech Against Neaera says that Metaneira was the mistress of Lysias. And Lysias was also smitten with the courtesan Lagis, a eulogy of whom was written by the orator Cephalus; similarly Alcidamas of Elaea, the pupil of Gorgias, wrote in his turn a eulogy of the courtesan Nais. As to this Nais, Lysias in the speech Against Philonides, an action for forcible rescue, if the speech be genuine, says that she became the mistress of Philonides; he writes as follows: "There is, then, a woman named Nais, a courtesan, whose guardian is Archias, whose intimate is Hymenaeus, and whom Philonides admits he loves." Aristophanes mentions her in his Gerytades. And perhaps also in Plutus, in which play he says, "Is it not because of you that Lais loves Philonides?" we should write 'Nais,' and not 'Lais.' Hermippus, in his work On Isocrates, says that Isocrates, when considerably advanced in years, took the courtesan Lagisca into his house, and from her there was born to him a daughter. She is mentioned by Strattis in these lines: "Methought I saw Lagisca, Isocrates' concubine, tickling me while she was still in bed, and then the flute-borer himself came in with a rush." Lysias also, in the speech Against Lais, if it be genuine, mentions her in giving a list of other courtesans besides; her are his words: "Philyra, at leased, ceased whoring when still a young woman, and so also did Scione, Hippaphesis, Theocleia, Psamathe, Lagisca, Antheia, and Aristocleia."
That the orator Demosthenes had children by a courtesan is common report. He himself, at any rate, in the course of his speech On the Bribe of Gold, brought the children out before the court to excite compassion through them, unaccompanied by their mother, although it was customary for defendants in a trial, if they had wives, to produce them; but this he did from shame, to avoid the scandal. The orator was unbridled in sexual matters, according to Idomeneus. At any rate, having fallen in love with a lad named Aristarchus, because of him he attacked Nicodemus in a drunken fit and gouged out his eyes. It is a well-known tradition that he spent money lavishly on dainty foods, young boys, and women. Hence his clerk once said: "What can one say of Demosthenes? For all that it has taken him a year of industry to acquire, one woman in one night has spoilt completely." He is said, at any rate, to have taken even into his house a young lad named Cnosion, although he had a wife; she, in turn, lay with Cnosion to show her resentment.
Myrrhine, the Samian courtesan, was kept by Demetrius, the one who was the last king of the succession; and though he did not give her the crown, he gave her a share in his royal state, according to Nicolas of Damascus. And Ptolemy, the one who commanded a guard at Ephesus, a son of King Philadelphus, kept the courtesan Eirene; she, when Thracians in Ephesus plotted against Ptolemy and he took refuge in the temple of Artemis, shared in the flight; and after they had killed him she, clinging to the knockers of the temple doors, splashed the altars with her blood until they had despatched her also. Again, Danae, the daughter of the Epicurean Leontion, was a courtesan kept by Sophron, the commandant at Ephesus; it was through her that he himself was saved when plotted against by Laodice, while she was thrown down a precipice, as Phylarchus writes in his twelfth book. His words are these: "Laodice's associate was Danae, trusted by her in all matters; she was the daughter of Leontion, who studied under Epicurus, the natural philosopher, and had previously been the mistress of Sophron; when she understood that Laodice wanted to kill Sophron, she by nods and gestures disclosed the plot. And he, catching her meaning, pretended to agree to Laodice's proposals, but asked for two days in which to consider them; and when she agreed, he fled by night to Ephesus; when Laodice learned what Danae had done, she threw the poor woman over a precipice, taking no thought whatever of past acts of kindness. And they say that Danae, on perceiving the danger that impended over her, though rigorously questioned by Laodice, did not even think her worthy of an answer; and as she was led away to the precipice she said it was no wonder that most men made light of divine power, seeing that 'I (she said) saved him who was once my man, and yet receive such a requital from the deity, whereas Laodice, after killing her own man, is thought worthy of such great honour.'" The same Phylarchus records the following concerning Mysta in his fourteenth book: "Mysta was the mistress of King Seleucus; she, when Seleucus had been defeated by the people of Galatia and had barely escaped from the rout with his life, took off her royal garments, and put on the rags of an ordinary maidservant; she was captured and led off with the other prisoners, and on being sold just like her own maidens she came to Rhodes; there, having revealed who she was, she was sent with all due care by the Rhodians across to Seleucus."
Demetrius of Phalerum, who was in love with Lampito, the Samian courtesan, was for her sake quite content to be called Lampito, as Diyllus declares; he was also called Pretty Eyes. Nicarete the courtesan was the mistress of the orator Stephanus, and Metaneira of the sophist Lysias. These women were slaves, belonging to Casius of Elis, along with other courtesans, Anteia, Stratola, Aristocleia, Phila, Isthmias, and Neaera. Now Neaera was the mistress of Xenocleides the poet, of Hipparchus the actor, and of Phrynion, who came from the deme Paeania and was the son of Demon and nephew of Demochares. Neaera was possessed on alternate days by Phrynion and the orator Stephanus, their friends having acted as arbitrators in the matter; and Neaera's daughter Strymbele, later called Phano, was given in marriage by Stephanus, as though she were his own daughter, to Phrastor of the deme Aegilia as Demosthenes declares in the speech Against Neaera. He has this to say also about the courtesan Sinope: "You punished Archias the hierophant when he was convicted in court of impiety and of offering sacrifices in a manner contrary to ancestral ritual; among other accusations brought against him was this, that at the Haloa he sacrificed a victim, brought by the courtesan Sinope, and in her behalf, on the altar in the court at Eleusis, although it was by law forbidden to sacrifice a victim on that particular day, and the offering of the sacrifice was not his business, but that of the priestess."
A celebrated courtesan, also, was Plangon of Miletus; she was of extraordinary beauty, and loved by a Colophonian lad, who had as mistress Bacchis of Samos. When the lad made proposals to Plangon, she, hearing of the beauty of Bacchis and wishing to divert the lad from his passion for herself, demanded, since that proved impossible, the necklace of Bacchis was the price of an assignation, the necklace being celebrated. And he being passionately in love entreated Bacchis not to permit him to die. So Bacchis, when she saw the young man's eagerness, gave him the necklace. But Plangon, seeing the unselfishness of Bacchis, sent the necklace back to her, and consorted with the young man. And from that time on the girls were friends, entertaining their lover in common. In admiration of these acts the Ionians, according to Menetor in his work On Votive Offerings, called Plangon "Pasiphile." Archilochus is a witness to her in these lines: "Like a fig-tree among the rocks, which feeds many crows, Pasiphile of easy virtue welcomes strangers." That the poet Menander, also, was in love with Glycera is a matter of common knowledge. But he became angry at her; for when Philemon fell in love with a courtesan and called her in his play "good," Menander in answer wrote that no woman is good.
Harpalus, the Macedonian who plundered large sums from Alexander's funds and then sought refuge in Athens, fell in love with Pythionice and squandered a great deal on her, though she was a courtesan; and when she died he erected a monument to her costing many talents. "And so, when he bore her to the place of burial," as Poseidonius declares in the twenty-second book of his Histories, "he escorted the corpse with a large choir of the most distinguished artists, with all kinds of instruments and sweet tones." And Dicaearchus, in his books On the Descent into the Cave of Trophonius, says: "One would feel the same when going up to the city of Athens by way of the Sacred Road, as it is called, from Eleusis. For there, stationing himself at the point from which the temple of Athena and the citadel are first seen in the distance, he will observe a monument, built right beside the road, the like of which, in its size, is not even approached by any other. One would naturally declare quite positively, at first, that this was a monument to Miltiades, or Pericles, or Cimon, or some other man of noble rank and character and, in particular, that it had been erected by the state at public expense or, failing that, that permission to erect it had been given by the state. But when, on again looking, one discovers that it is a monument to Pythionice the courtesan, what must one be led to expect?" Again, Theopompus, when denouncing in his Letter to Alexander the licentiousness of Harpalus, says: "Consider and learn clearly from our agents in Babylon how he ordered the funeral of Pythionice when she died. She, to be sure, was a slave of the flute-girl Bacchis, who in turn was a slave of the Thracian woman Sinope, who had transferred her practice of harlotry from Aegina to Athens; hence Pythionice was not only triply a slave, but also triply a harlot. Now, with the sum of more than two hundred talents he erected two monuments to her; the thing that surprised everyone is this, that whereas for the men who died in Cilicia defending your kingdom and the liberty of Greece neither he nor anyone else among the officials has as yet erected a proper tomb, for the courtesan Pythionice the monument at Athens and the other in Babylon have already stood completed a long time. Here was a woman who, as everybody knew, had been shared by all who desired her at the same price for all, and yet for this woman the man who says he is your friend has set up a shrine and a sacred enclosure and has called the temple and the altar by the name of Aphrodite Pythionice, by one and the same act showing his contempt for the vengeance of the gods and endeavouring to heap insult on the offices you bestow." These persons are also mentioned by Philemon in The Man of Babylon: "You shall be queen of Babylon, if luck so falls; you have heard of Pythionice and Harpalus." And Alexis also mentions her in Lyciscus.
And yet, after the death of Pythionice Harpalus sent for Glycera, who was also a courtesan, to come to him, as Theopompus records, adding that Harpalus forbade anyone to offer him a crown unless he crowned the harlot also. "Further, he has set up a bronze portrait of Glycera in Rhossus, Syria, where he purposes to rear a monument to you and to himself. More, he has given her the privilege of residing in the royal palace at Tarsus, and permits her to be worshipped by the people and hailed as queen and honoured by other emoluments which were more fittingly bestowed upon your mother and your consort." All this is confirmed by the testimony of the writer who made the little satyric play Agen, which was produced when the Dionysia were celebrated at the Hydaspes river, whether the author was Python of Catana (or Byzantium) or the king himself. The play was produced after Harpalus had fled to the coast and revolted. Pythionice is mentioned as already dead, whereas Glycera is mentioned as living with Harpalus and as creating the accusation against the Athenians of receiving bribes from Harpalus; he says: "A. There is, in the place where this reed grows, a fortress too high for the birds; on the other side, at the left here, is a harlot's famous temple, which 'Pallides' built before he condemned himself to flight because of his plot. There, accordingly, some magi among the barbarians, seeing him in utterly despondent mood, persuaded him that they could lure the spirit of Pythionice to the upper world." In this passage the writer calls Harpalus "Pallides." But in the next verse he calls him by his real name and says: "B. I long to learn from you, since I live so far away from there, what fortunes control the Attic land, and what the folk do there. A. At the time when, they alleged, they had taken on a life of slavery, they had enough for dinner; but to-day they are eating only vetch and fennel, but wheat not at all. B. And yet I hear that Harpalus has sent over to them thousands of bushels of grain, as many as Agen sent, and so was made a citizen. A. This grain was Glycera's, and it will doubtless turn out to be their death-warrant, and not merely a whore's earnest money."
Famous courtesans, distinguished for beauty, were produced by Naucratis also; among them was Doricha, who became the mistress of the fair Sappho's brother Charaxus when he went to Naucratis on business, and whom Sappho denounced in her poetry for having robbed him of a lot of money. But Herodotus calls her Rhodopis, being unaware that she is different from Doriche, the woman who dedicated, at Delphi, the famous spits which Cratinus mentions in these verses: [gap]. . . . . Poseidippus composed the following epigram on Doriche, although he often mentioned her also in his Aesopeia. It is this: "True, Doricha, thy bones are adorned with a band for thy soft tresses, and with the perfume-breathing shawl in which thou didst wrap the handsome Charaxus, flesh to flesh, until the time of the morning bowl. But the white ringing pages of Sappho's lovely song abide and will still abide. Thy name is blessed, since Naucratis will thus treasure it so long as a sea-going ship shall fare over Nile's lagoons." Archedice also was from Naucratis, and she was another beautiful courtesan. For somehow Naucratis, as Herodotus says, is apt to contain courtesans of especial charm.
Again, the courtesan from Eresus, who bore the same name as the poetess, Sappho, was famous as having loved the handsome Phaon, according to Nymphodorus in his Voyage 'Round Asia. And Nicarete of Megara was a courtesan of no mean birth, but, so far as parentage and culture go, she was very desirable; she had studied with the philosopher Stilpon. Again, Bilistiche, the Argive courtesan, was of high repute, deriving her ancestry from the Atreidae, as the writers on Argive history record. Of high repute also is the courtesan Leaena, mistress of Harmodius the tyrannicide; she, when put to the torture by the agents of Hippias, the tyrant, died in torment without uttering a word. The orator Stratocles kept as his mistress the courtesan nicknamed Leme, the one who was called Parorama and Didrachmon because she visited any one who desired her for two drachmas, according to Gorgias in his work On Courtesans.
At this Myrtilus was on the point of stopping when he said: But, my friends, I almost forgot to tell you of Antimachus's Lyde, and also of the like-named courtesan Lyde who was loved by Lamynthius of Miletus. For each of these two poets, according to Clearchus in his Love Stories, in their passion for the foreign girl Lyde, composed the poem called Lyde, the one in elegiac couplets, the other in lyrics. I also omitted Mimnermus's flute-girl, Nanno, and the Leontion of Hermesianax of Colophon; inspired by her after she became his mistress he wrote three books of elegiacs, in the last of which he gives a catalogue of love affairs in the following manner:
"Such was she whom the dear son of Oeagrus, armed only with the lyre, brought back from Hades, even the Thracian Agriope. Ay, he sailed to that evil and inexorable bourne where Charon drags into the common barque the souls of the departed; and over the lake he shouts afar, as it pours its flood from out the tall reeds. Yet Orpheus, though girded for the journey all alone, dared to sound his lyre beside the wave, and he won over gods of every shape; even the lawless Cocytus he saw, raging beneath his banks; and he flinched not before the gaze of the Hound most dread, his voice baying forth angry fire, with fire his cruel eye gleaming, an eye that on triple heads bore terror. Whence, by his song, Orpheus persuaded the mighty lords that Agriope should recover the gentle breath of life.
"Nor did the son of Mene, Musaeus, master of the Graces, cause Antiope to go without her meed of honour. And she, beside Eleusis's strand, expounded to the initiates the loud, sacred voice of mystic oracles, as she duly escorted the priest through the Rarian plain to honour Demeter. And she is known even in Hades.
"I say, too, that Boeotian Hesiod, master of all lore, left his hall and went to the Heliconian village of the Ascraeans, because he was in love; whence, in wooing Eoee, maid of Ascra, he suffered many pangs; and as he sang, he writ all the scrolls of his Catalogues, ever proceeding from a girl's name first.
"But that bard himself, whom the decree of Zeus for ever ordains to be the sweetest divinity among all poets, godlike Homer, languished to thinness, and set Ithaca in the strains of song for love of wise Penelope; for her sake he went, with many sufferings, to that small isle, far from his own wide country; and he celebrated the kin of Icarius, the folk of Amyelas, and Sparta too, ever mindful of his own misfortunes.
"And Mimnermus, who discovered, after much suffering, the sweet sound and spirit breathed from the languorous pentameter, burned for Nanno; yet oft upon his venerable flute, bound to his lips, he with Hexamyles would hold revel. But he quarrelled with Hermobius, the ever cruel, and Pherecles, too, his foe, whom he loathed for the taunts which he hurled against him.
"Antimachus, too, smitten with love for the Lydian girl Lyde, trod the ground where the Pactolus river flows; and when she died, in his helplessness he placed her in the hard earth, weeping the while, and in his woe he left her there and returned to lofty Colophon; then he filled his pious scrolls with plaints, and rested after all his pain.
"As for the Lesbian Alcaeus, thou knowest in how many revels he engaged, when he smote his lyre with yearning love for Sappho. And the bard who loved that nightingale caused sorrow, by the eloquence of his hymns, to the Teian poet. Yea, for the honey-voiced Anacreon contended for her, whose beauty was supreme among the many women of Lesbos. And at times he would leave Samos, at times again his own city, that nestles against the vine-covered hill, and visit Lesbos, rich in wine; and oft he gazed upon Lectum, the Mysian headland across the Aeolian wave.
"How, too, the Attic bee left Colone of the many hillocks, and sang with choruses marshalled in tragedy -- sang of Bacchus and of his passion for Theoris and for Erigone, whom Zeus once gave to Sophocles in his old age.
"I say, too, that that man who had ever guarded himself against passion, and had won the hatred of all men by his railings concerning all women, was none the less smitten by the treacherous bow, and could not lay aside his pangs by night; nay, in Macedonia he traversed all the by-ways in his woe, and became dependant on the steward of Archelaus; until at last Fate found destruction for Euripides, when he met the cruel hounds from Arribius.
"And that poet from Cythera, whom the nurses of Bacchus reared, and the Muses taught to be the most faithful steward of the flute, Philoxenus, -- thou knowest how he was racked with pain, and passed through our city to Ortygia; for thou hast heard of his mighty yearning, which Galateia esteemed less than the very firstlings of the flock.
"Thou knowest also of that bard in whose honour the townsmen of Eurypylus, the men of Cos, raised a bronze statue beneath the plane-tree; he, Philitas, sang his love for the nimble Bittis, versed as he was in all the terms of love and in all its speech.
"Yea, not even all the mortals who ordained for themselves a life austere, seeking to find the dark things of wisdom, whom their very craft caused to choke in the shrewd contests of debate, and their dread skill, which bestowed its care upon eloquence, -- not even they could turn aside the awful, maddened turmoil of Love, but they fell beneath the power of that dread charioteer.
"Such was the madness for Theano that bound with its spell the Samian Pythagoras; yet he had discovered the refinements of geometric spirals, and had modelled in a small globe the mighty circuit of the enveloping aether.
"And with what fiery power did Cypris, in her wrath, heat Socrates, whom Apollo had declared to be supreme among all men in wisdom! Yea, though his soul was deep, yet he laboured with lighter pains when he visited the house of Aspasia; nor could he find any remedy, though he had discovered the many cross-paths of logic.
"Even the man of Cyrene, keen Aristippus, was drawn by overpowering love beyond the Isthmus, when he fell in love with Lais of Apidane; in his flight he renounced all discourse, and expounded a life of worthlessness."
In these lines Hermesianax makes the mistake of supposing that Sappho and Anacreon belonged to the same period, for he flourished in the time of Cyrus and Polycrates, whereas she belonged to the time of Alyattes, the father of Croesus. Yet Chamaeleon, in his book On Sappho, asserts that some say it was to her that the following verses were addressed by Anacreon: "Now golden-haired Eros tosses at me his purple ball, and challenges me to sport with the maiden of the broidered sandal. But she -- for she is from fair Lesbos -- finds fault with my hair, for it is white, and is all agape for another -- a woman!" And Chamaeleon further says that Sappho spoke to Anacreon these lines: "The hymn which thou didst utter, O Muse of the golden throne, is that which the Teian, glorious old man from the goodly land of fair women, sang to our delight." But that this song is not by Sappho is plain, I imagine, to any one. In fact I think that Hermesianax was joking as regards the love affair. For the comic poet Diphilus, in his play, Sappho, has even made Archilochus and Hipponax lovers of Sappho!
In all this, my friends, methinks I have constructed for you, not without care, a catalogue of lovers, not being myself so love-mad, as Cynulcus has insultingly called me, though I admit that I am a lover, but not "love-mad." "What need is there to make oneself unhappy by more words when one may keep silence and hide all this in darkness?" So said Aeschylus of Alexandria in his Amphitryo. This Aeschylus is the one who composed the Epic of Messenia; he was a great man of learning.
Since, then, I believe that Eros is a mighty and most powerful divinity, as is also Aphrodite "the golden," I will recite the lines of Euripides as I remember them: "Dost thou not see how great a goddess is Aphrodite? Of her thou canst not tell, thou canst not measure how great she is, or how far her power extends. She it is who nurtures you and me and all mortals. And a proof (that you may not learn it from words alone, and that I may show the goddess's power by facts): the earth is in love with the rain, whensoe'er the dry ground, fruitless in drought, hath need of moisture. And the august heaven, filled with rain, casts itself upon the earth through Aphrodite's spell. And when the twain mingle as one, they cause all things to grow for us, and nurture them as well,--all things by which the race of mortals lives and flourishes." Again, the most august Aeschylus, in his Danaids, introduces Aphrodite herself saying: "The chaste heaven loves to violate the earth, and love lays hold on earth to join in wedlock. The rain from the streaming heaven falls down and impregnates the earth; and she brings forth for mortals the pasturage of sheep and Demeter's sustenance; and the ripe season for the trees is perfected by the watery union. Of all this I am the cause."
In the Euripidean Hippolytus, again, Aphrodite declares: "And all who dwell between the Pontus and the bounds of Atlas, looking upon the light of the sun--those who reverence my power I honour, but I bring low all who think presumptuous thoughts against me." A young man who possessed every virtue, beset only by this error, that he failed to honour Aphrodite -- to him she became the cause of his destruction; and neither Artemis, who loved him exceedingly, nor any other god or spirit could aid him. And so, as the same poet puts it: "Whoever judges not Eros to be a mighty god is either stupid or, having no experience of good things, knows not of the god who is the mightiest power among men." Yes, he is the god of whom Anacreon, the poet on every man's lips, is constantly singing. Hence the most excellent Critias says of him: "Teos brought to Hellas that poet who once wove the strains of song with Woman as his theme, delightful Anacreon, flame of drinking-parties, cheater of women, of flutes the foe, lover of the lyre, full of delight, healer of pain. Never shall love of thee grow old or die, so long as a slave-boy solemnly bears round water and wine mingled for the cups, dispensing toasts from left to right, -- so long as feminine choirs do their ministry in holy night- long vigils, and the scale-pan, daughter of bronze, sits upon the high peak of the cottabos to receive the drops of Bromian."
Archytas -- the one who wrote on the theory of music -- says, according to Chamaeleon, that Alcman led the way as a composer of erotic songs, and was the first to publish a licentious song, being prone in his habits of life to the pursuit of women and to poetry of that kind. Hence he says, in one of his songs: "Once again sweet Eros, to grace Cypris, overflows and melts my heart." He says, too, that Alcman fell immoderately in love with Megalostrate, who was a poetess and able to attract lovers to her by her conversation. He speaks thus of her: "This is the gift of the sweet Muses, which she, happy maiden, the golden-haired Megalostrata, hath shown forth." Stesichorus, also, was immoderately erotic and has composed that type of songs; these, as is well known, were of old called "paideia" and "paidika." So active was the pursuit of love-affairs, since no one regarded erotic persons as vulgar, that even a great poet like Aeschylus, and Sophocles, introduced in the theatre love themes in their tragedies -- the first, that of Achilles and Patroclus, the second, that of the boys in Niobe: hence some call the tragedy "Paederastria;" and the audience gladly accepted such stories.
And Ibycus of Rhegium, also, cries out and shouts aloud: "Only in spring grow the quinces and pomegranates, watered by streams in the inviolate garden of the Maidens, and the swelling grape-blossoms thrive beneath the shade of the vine-shoots; but for me there is no season when love lies quiet; all aflame, like Thracian Boreas 'mid the lightning-flash, he from my boyhood hath darted love upon me from Cypris, darkling, unflinching, with scorching madness, and hath kept my heart under fierce sway." Pindar, too, being immoderately erotic, says: "May it be mine to love and to yield to love in due season. Pursue not, my heart, that action as something to be esteemed beyond measure." Wherefore Timon in his Satires has said: "There is a time to love, a time to marry, and a time to stop it for good," and not wait until some one utters the line of this same philosopher: "Now, when his sun out to be declining, he begins to recline in the lap of pleasure." When Pindar calls to mind Theoxenus of Tenedos, with whom he was in love, what does he say? "Meet it were, my heart, to cull the flowers of love in due season, in thy prime; but whosoever, once he hath seen the rays flashing from the eyes of Theoxenus, is not tossed on the waves of desire, hath a black heart forged, in cold flame, of adamant or of iron, and having no honour from Aphrodite of the quick glance, he either toileth brutally for wealth, or else through some woman's boldness his soul is borne along on every path while he serves her. But I, to grace the goddess, like wax of the sacred bees when smitten by the sun, am melted when I look at the young limbs of boys. And so, even in Tenedos, Persuasion came to dwell, and Charm reared the son of Hagesilas." Altogether, many persons prefer liaisons with males to those with females. For they maintain that this practice is zealously pursued in those cities throughout Hellas which, as compared with others, are ruled by good laws. The Cretans, for example, as I have said, and the people of Chalcis in Euboea, have a marvellous passion for such liaisons. Echemenes, at any rate, says in his History of Crete that it was not Zeus who carried off Ganymede, but Minos. But the Chalcidians just mentioned assert that Ganymede was carried off by Zeus in their own country, and they point out the place, calling it Harpagion; in it grow excellent myrtle-trees. Even his quarrel with the Athenians was given up by Minos, though it had arisen over the murder of his son, because he loved Theseus and gave him his daughter Phaedra to be his wife, according to Zenis (or Zeneus) of Chios in the History of his native land.
Hieronymous the Peripatetic declares these love affairs with boys became widespread because it often happened that the vigour of the young men, joined to the mutual sympathy of their companionship, brought many tyrannical governments to an end. For if their favourites were present, lovers would choose to suffer anything whatever rather than incur a reputation for cowardice in the mind of their favourites. This was proved, at any rate, by the Sacred Band organized at Thebes by Epameinondas, and by the murderous attempt on the Peisistratidae made by Harmodius and Aristogeiton; and again in Sicily at Agrigentum, by the love of Chariton and Melanippus. The latter was Chariton's favourite, according to Heracleides of Pontus in his work On Love Affairs. It transpired that they were plotting against Phalaris, but on being put to the torture and compelled to speak, they not only refused to name their accomplices but even moved Phalaris to pity for their tortures, so that he released them with hearty praise. Wherefore Apollo, pleased at this action, favoured Phalaris with a postponement of his death, making a declaration of this to those who inquired of the Pythian priestess how they should attack Phalaris; Apollo also gave forth an oracle concerning Chariton and his followers, putting the pentameter before the hexameter, according to the method later followed by Dionysius of Athens, nicknamed the Bronze, in his Elegies. The oracle is as follows: "Happy were Chariton and Melanippus, guides for mortals in divine loving." Notorious are also the things that happened in the case of Cratinus of Athens; for he was a handsome lad at the time when Epimenides was purifying Attica by the sacrifice of human blood, because of some ancient acts of abomination, as recorded by Neanthes of Cyzicus in the second book of his work On the Rituals of Initiation; and Cratinus voluntarily gave himself up in behalf of the land that had nurtured him; following him his lover Aristodemus also died, and so the terrible act was atoned for. Because of these love affairs, then, tyrants, to whom such friendships are inimical, tried to abolish entirely relations between males, extirpating them everywhere. Some even went so far as to set fire to the wrestling-schools, regarding them as counter-walls to their own citadels, and so demolished them; this was done by Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos.
Among the Spartans, as Hagnon the Academic philosopher says, it was customary for girls before their marriage to be treated like favourite boys. Why, even the lawgiver Solon said: "With longing glance at thighs and sweet lips." Likewise Aeschylus and Sophocles quite frankly said -- the first in The Myrmidons: "For the pure honour of the thighs thou hadst no reverence, O thankless one for those frequent kisses!" while the other, in The Colchian Women, speaking of Ganymede: "Setting Zeus's majesty aflame with his thighs." But I am not ignorant that Polemon the Geographer asserts in his Replies to Neanthes that the story of Cratinus and Aristodemus is a fiction. But you, Cynulcus, believe these stories to be true even if they are false, and you practice in private all such things in the poems as have to do with the love of boys . . . . [gap?] The practice of paederasty came into Greece from the Cretans first, according to Timaeus. But other declare that Laius initiated such love-practices when he was the guest of Pelops; he became enamoured of Pelops's son, Chrysippus, whom he seized and placed in his chariot, and then fled to Thebes. Yet Praxilla of Sicyon says that Chrysippus was carried off by Zeus. And among the barbarians the Celts also, though they have very beautiful women, enjoy boys more; so that some of them often have two lovers to sleep with on their beds of animal skins. As for the Persians, Herodotus says they learned the use of boys from the Greeks.
King Alexander also was madly devoted to boys. Dicaearchus, at any rate, in his book On the Sacrifice at Ilium, says that he was so overcome with love for the eunuch Bagoas that, in full view of the entire theatre, he, bending over, caressed Bagoas fondly, and when the audience clapped and shouted in applause, he, nothing loath, again bent over and kissed him. But Carystius in Historical Notes says: "Charon of Chalcis had a beautiful boy who was dear to him. But when Alexander, at a drinking-party in the house of Craterus, praised the boy, Charon bade him kiss Alexander; and he said, 'Not so! For that will not delight me so much as it will pain you.' For, passionate as this king was, he was in like measure self-controlled when it came to the observance of decency and the best form. When, for example, he had taken captive the daughters of Darius and his wife as well, a woman of very distinguished beauty, he not only kept his hands off them, but he even refrained from letting them know that they were captives, and ordered that everything be done for them just as if Darius were still king. Therefore Darius, on learning this, raised his arms and prayed to the Sun that either he or Alexander might be king." As for the righteous Rhadamanthys, Ibycus says that Talos was his lover. And Diotimus in the Epic of Heracles says that Eurystheus was the favourite of Heracles, and for that reason Heracles patiently undertook his Labours. Again, Agamemnon loved Argynnus, so the story goes, having seen him swimming in the Cephisus river; in which, in fact, he lost his life (for he constantly bathed in this river), and Agamemnon buried him and founded there a temple of Aphrodite Argynnis. Licymnius of Chios in his Dithyrambs says that Hymenaeus was the beloved of Argynnus. Aristocles the harp-singer was the beloved of King Antigonus, concerning whom Antigonus of Carystus, in his Life of Zeno, writes as follows: "King Antigonus used to have revels at the house of Zeno. On one occasion, coming away from a drinking-party at daybreak, he rushed to the house of Aristocles the harp-singer, whom the king loved greatly."
Sophocles was fond of young lads, as Euripides was fond of women. The poet Ion, at any rate, in the work entitled Sojournings, writes as follows: "I met Sophocles the poet at Chios when he was sailing as general to Lesbos; he was playful in his cups, and clever. A Chian friend of his, Hermesilaus, who was the proxenus of Athens, entertained him, when there appeared, standing beside the fire, the wine-pourer, a handsome, blushing boy; Sophocles was plainly stirred and said: 'Do you want me to drink with pleasure?' And when the boy said 'Yes' he said, 'Then don't be too rapid in handing me the cup and taking it away.' When the boy blushed still more violently he said to the man who shared his couch: 'That was a good thing Phrynichus wrote when he said: "There shines upon his crimson cheeks the light of love."' To this the man from Eretria (or Erythrae), who was a schoolmaster, made answer: 'Wise you are, to be sure, Sophocles, in the art of poetry; nevertheless Phrynichus did not express himself happily when he described the handsome boy's cheeks as crimson. For if a painter should brush a crimson colour on this boy's cheeks he would no longer look handsome. Surely one must not compare the beautiful with what is obviously not beautiful.' Laughing loudly at the Eretrian Sophocles said: 'So, then, stranger, you don't like that line of Simonides, either, though the Greeks think it very well expressed: "From her crimson lips the maiden uttered speech"; nor again the poet who speaks of "golden-haired Apollo"; for if a painter had made the god's locks golden instead of black, the picture would not be so good. And so for the poet who said "rosy-fingered"; for if one should dip his fingers into a rose-dye, he would produce the hands of a purple-dyer and not those of a lovely woman.' There was a laugh at this, and while the Eretrian was squelched by the rebuke, Sophocles returned to his conversation with the boy. He asked him, as he was trying to pick off a straw from the cup with his little finger, whether he could see the straw clearly. When the boy declared he could see it Sophocles said, 'Then blow it away, for I shouldn't want you to get your finger wet.' As the boy brought his face up to the cup, Sophocles drew the cup nearer to his own lips, that the two heads might come closer together. When he was very near the lad, he drew him close with his arm and kissed him. They all applauded, amid laughter and shouting, because he had put it over the boy so neatly; and Sophocles said, 'I am practising strategy, gentlemen, since Pericles told me that whereas I could write poetry, I didn't know how to be a general. Don't you think my stratagem has turned out happily for me?' Many things of this sort he was wont to say and do cleverly when he drank or when he did anything. In civic matters, however, he was neither wise nor efficient, but like any other individual among the better class of Athenians."
Hieronymus of Rhodes says in his Historical Notes that Sophocles lured a handsome boy outside the city wall to consort with him. Now the boy spread his own cloak on the grass, while they wrapped themselves in Sophocles' cape. When the meeting was over the boy seized Sophocles' cape and made off with it, leaving behind for Sophocles his boyish cloak. Naturally the incident was much talked of; when Euripides learned of the occurence he jeered, saying that he himself had once consorted with this boy without paying any bonus, whereas Sophocles had been treated with contempt for his licentiousness. When Sophocles heard that, he addressed to him the following epigram, which refers to the fable of the Sun and the North Wind, and also alludes lightly to Euripides' practice of adultery: "Helios it was, and not a boy, Euripides, who by his heat stripped me of my cape; but with you, when you were embracing another man's wife, Boreas consorted. So you are not so clever, because when sowing in another's field, you bring Eros into court for thieving."
Theopompus in his treatise On the Funds Plundered from Delphi says that Asopichus, the favourite of Epameinondas, had the trophy erected at Leuctra pictured on his shield, and that he risked extraordinary dangers; this shield was dedicated as a votive offering in the colonnade at Delphi. In the same treatise Theopompus says that Phayllus, the tyrant of Phocis, was fond of women, Onomarchus, of boys; and from the treasures of Apollo the latter gave the offerings of the Sybarites, four golden strigils, to . . . [gap], the son of Pythodorus of Sicyon, who had come to Delphi to dedicate his shorn locks, and who, being beautiful, had accorded his favours to Onomarchus. To the flute-girl Bromias, daughter of Deiniades, Phayllus gave a silver karchesion, a votive offering of the Phocaeans, and an ivy wreath of gold, the offering of the Peparethians. "This girl," Theopompus says, "would even have played the flute- accompaniment to the Pythian Games had she not been prevented from doing so by the populace. And (he adds) to Physcidas, the son of Lycolas of Trichoneium, a beautiful boy, Onomarchus gave a laurel wreath of gold, votive offering of the Ephesians. This boy was taken to Philip by his father and was there prostituted, and afterwards dismissed without reward. To Damippus, the son of Epilycus of Amphipolis, a beautiful boy, Onomarchus gave. . . [gap], a votive offering of Pleisthenes. To Pharsalia, the Thessalian dancing-girl, Philomelus gave a laurel crown of gold, a votive offering of the Lampsacenes. This Pharsalia lost her life in Metapontium at the hands of the soothsayers in the market-place; for a voice had issued from the bronze bay-tree which the Metapontines had set up when Aristeas of Proconesus visited them and declared that he had come from the land of the Hyperboreans; and no sooner was she spied setting foot in the market-place than the soothsayers became furious, and she was pulled to pieces by them. And when people later came to look into the cause it was found that she had been killed because of the wreath which belonged to the god."
So beware, you philosophers who indulge in passion contrary to nature, who sin against the goddess of love, -- beware lest you also are destroyed in the same manner. For even boys are handsome, as the courtesan Glycera, in the account given by Clearchus, was wont to say, only so long as they look like a woman. It was, in my opinion, quite in accordance with nature that Cleonymus the Spartan acted when he, the first of men to do so, took as hostages from the Metapontines two hundred of their most eminent and beautiful matrons and maidens, as Duris of Samos records in the third book of his History of Agathocles and His Times; and what is more, to put it as Epicrates does in Anti-Lais: "I have learned completely all the love-affairs of Sappho, Meletus, Cleomenes, and Lamynthius." But do you, my philosophers, if you ever fall in love with women and then see that it is impossible to attain your object, learn that it then comes to an end, as Clearchus asserts. For example, a bull once mounted the bronze cow of Peirene; and a painted bitch, pigeon and goose were approached, in the one case, by a dog, in the other, by a pigeon, in the last, by a gander leaping upon them; but when it became clear to all these creatures that their desires were impossible, they desisted, like Cleisophus of Selymbria. For he, becoming enamoured of the statue in Parian marble at Samos, locked himself up in the temple, thinking he should be able to have intercourse with it; and since he found that impossible on account of the frigidity and resistance of the stone, he then and there desisted from that desire and placing before him a small piece of flesh he consorted with that. This deed is mentioned by the poet Alexis in the play entitled A Picture: "Another case of a like sort occurred, they say, in Samos. A man conceived a passion for a stone maiden, and locked himself up in the temple." And Philemon, mentioning the same, says: "Why, once on a time, in Samos, a man fell in love with a stone image; thereupon he locked himself in the temple." Now the statue is the work of Ctesicles, as Adaeus of Mytilene says in his work On Sculptors. But Polemon, or whoever wrote the work entitled Of Hellas, says that "at Delphi, in the treasury of the Spinatae, are two lads carved in stone; for one of these, the Delphians say, a pilgrim to the shrine once conceived a passion and locked himself up with it, leaving behind him a wreath as the price of the intercourse. When his act was detected the god ordained to the Delphians who consulted his oracle that they should release the fellow; for, the god declared, he had paid the price."
What is more, dumb animals have fallen in love with human beings: a cock fell in love with a certain Secundus, royal wine-pourer; the cock was called Centaur, and Secundus was a slave of Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, as recorded by Nicander in the sixth book of his Catastrophes. In Aegium a goose fell in love with a boy, as Clearchus records in the first book of his Love Stories. Of this boy Theophrastus in his essay On Love says that he was named Amphilochus and that his family was from Olene: and Hermeias, the son of Hermodorus, a Samian by birth, says that a goose became enamoured of the philosopher Lacydes. In Leucadia, again, Clearchus says, a peacock was so much in love with a maiden that when she departed this life it died with her. There is a story in Iasus that a dolphin fell in love with a boy, as Duris records in his ninth book. He is talking about Alexander, and his account follows: "He summoned also the boy of Iasus. For near this city lived a boy named Dionysius who, in company with the other boys of the wrestling-school, went to the seashore and began to dive in. A dolphin came up to him out of the sea, and taking him on his back swam off with him a very great distance, setting him down again safely on the shore." Moreover, the dolphin is a most friendly animal to man and extremely intelligent, and knows how to repay kindness with gratitude. Phylarchus, at any rate, says in the twelfth book: "Coeranus of Miletus saw that some fishermen had caught a dolphin in their net and were on the point of cutting it up; after entreating them and paying them money he let the dolphin go in the sea. Some time later he met with shipwreck off Myconos, and when all the rest were lost, Coeranus alone was saved by a dolphin. When he died in old age in his native city his funeral chanced to take place in Miletus by the seashore; and a school of dolphins appeared that day in the harbour, a short distance from the company attending the remains of Coeranus, just as if they were joining in the funeral and the mourning for the man." Phylarchus, again, records in the twentieth book what great affection the animal known as the elephant had for a baby. He writes as follows: "With this elephant was kept a female elephant which they called Nicaea; when the wife of the Indian keeper was dying she placed her month-old baby in its care. On the woman's death a remarkable affection for the child arose in the animal; in fact she could not endure the baby's being separated from her, and she was distressed whenever the baby was out of her sight. So, whenever the nurse had satisfied the child with milk, she would place it in its cradle right between the animal's feet. Whenever she failed to do this, the elephant would refuse to take food. Then, throughout the livelong day, she would take the stalks from the fodder set before her and brush away the flies from the baby while it slept; and whenever it cried, she would rock the cradle with her trunk and put it to sleep. And the same thing was often done by the male elephant also."
You, however, my philosophers, are more cruel and more untamed in your hearts than dolphins and elephants, although Persaeus of Citium in his Convivial Notes loudly proclaims that "it is appropriate for a man in his cups to make mention of sexual matters; for (he said) we are naturally prone to this when we tipple. In those circumstances those who indulge in them in a gentlemanly and moderate fashion are to be praised, but those who do it in beastly and insatiate ways are to be blamed. And if men skilled in dialectic should converse on the subject of syllogisms when they have gathered for a drinking-party, one might protest that they were acting in a way alien to the occasion, when even a polite gentleman might get drunk. Moreover, people who desire very earnestly to be sober maintain that ideal up to a certain point in their drinking-parties; later, when the spirit of the wine insinuates itself, then they display the entire picture of indecency; this actually happened the other day when the delegation from Arcadia visited Antigonus. For they were breakfasting very solemnly and decently, according to their notions, not only not glancing at any of us, but even casting no looks at one another. But when the drinking was going on apace and there entered, among other entertaining shows, those Thessalian dancing-girls who danced, as their custom is, in loincloths without other covering, the men could no longer restrain themselves, but started up from their couches and shouted aloud at the wonderful sight they were seeing; and they hailed the king as a happy man because he was privileged to enjoy these things, and they proceeded to commit very many other vulgarities similar to that. There was a philosopher drinking with us; and when a flute-girl entered and desired to sit beside him, although there was plenty of room for the girl at his side, he refused to permit it, and assumed an attitude of insensibility. But later, when the flute-girl was put up for the highest bidder, as is the custom in drinking-bouts, he became very vehement during the bargaining, and when the auctioneer too quickly assigned the girl to some one else, he expostulated with him, denying that he had completed the sale, and finally that insensible philosopher came to blows, although at the beginning he would not permit the flute-girl even to sit beside him." Possibly it was Persaeus himself who got into the fist-fight over the flute-girl; for Antigonus of Carystus mentions him in his work On Zeno, writing as follows: "Zeno of Citium, when Persaeus bought a little flute-player at a drinking-party, but hesitated to take her home because he lived in the same house with Zeno, no sooner perceived this than he pulled the lass into the house and shut her up with Persaeus." I know, too, of Polystratus of Athens, nicknamed the Etruscan, and a disciple of Theophrastus, that he used to clothe himself in the garments of the flute-girls.
Even princes were often excited over flute-girls and harp-girls, as is made clear by Parmenio in the Letter to Alexander dispatched to him after the capture of Damascus, when he came into possession of Darius's household goods. Having caused an inventory to be made of the captured stuff, he writes also the following: "I discovered concubines of the king who played musical instruments, to the number of 329; men employed to weave chaplets, 46; caterers, 277; kettle-tenders, 29; pudding-makers, 13; bartenders, 17; wine-clarifiers, 70; perfume- makers, 14."
And to you, my companions, I say that there is nothing so likely to delight the eye as a woman's beauty. The tragic poet Chaeremon's Oeneus, at any rate, in describing some girls whom he was gazing at, says in the play which bears his name: "One lay there displaying to the moonlight her white breast, her tunic slipped from her shoulder; of another girl, again, the left side had been loosed to view by the dance; bared to the eyes of the sky, it showed a living picture; its colour, so white to my eyes, outshone the effect of the shadowy darkness. Another girl had bared her fair arms and shoulders as she clasped the delicate neck of her companion; she, meanwhile, her robes all torn, showed her thigh from beneath its folds, and desire for that smiling loveliness was stamped upon my mind, but without hope. For-done with sleep they lay where they had thrown themselves, on beds of calamint, after twining together the darkling petals of violets and the crocus, which had rubbed its sunny likeness into the woven texture of their robes, and there sweet marjoram, lush-grown by the dew, stretched forth its tender stalks in the meadows."
Now this poet, being attracted to flowers, has this also to say in Alphesiboea: "Radiant and magnificent, her white skin shone resplendent in the vision of her body, yet modesty tempered the gentle blush with which she covered her brightness of colour; her long tresses, curls and all, as of some statue fashioned of wax, were tossed about luxuriantly in the humming breezes." And in his Io he called flowers "the children of the spring-time": "The men had strewn all about the children of the spring-time." But in The Centaur, a play written in many metres, they are "children of the meadow": "Thereupon some of the maidens charged upon the unnumbered, spearless host of flowers, hunting in their delight the lush children of the meadows." Again, in Dionysus: "Ivy, that lover of the dancing choirs, child of the year." And of roses he speaks in his Odysseus as follows: "In their long hair they wore the eyes of the Horae, lovely-flowered roses, splendid nurselings of the spring-time." In Thyestes: "Roses of bright lustre, together with white lilies." And in The Minyae: "Love's fruit was there to be seen in abundance, darkling to the ripeness of youthful bloom at time's decree."
Many women have been renowned for their beauty (indeed, as Euripides says, "an aged bard can still celebrate Memory"). Among them was Thargelia of Miletus, who had been married fourteen times, and who was very beautiful in looks as well as clever, according to the Sophist Hippias in his work entitled A Collection. Dinon, in the fifth book of his Persian History, first part, says that the wife of Bagabazus, who was a step-sister of Xerxes by the same father, and named Anoutis, was the most beautiful of all the women in Asia, and the most licentious. Phylarchus, in his nineteenth book, says that Timosa, the concubine of Oxyartes, surpassed all other women in beauty. This girl had been sent as a present by the king of Egypt to Statira, the king's wife. Again, Theopompus, in the fifty-sixth book of his Histories, says that Xenopeitheia, the mother of Lysandridas, was more beautiful than all the other women of Peloponnesus. But the Lacedaemonians murdered her and her sister Chryse when King Agesilaus, having defeated Lysandridas, who was his personal enemy, in party quarrels, caused him to be banished by the Lacedaemonians. Very beautiful, also, was Pantica of Cyprus, concerning whom Phylarchus says, in the tenth book of his Histories, that when she was living at the court of Olympias, Alexander's mother, she was demanded in marriage by Monimus, the son of Pythion. But since the woman was licentious, Olympias said to him: "You poor fool, you are marrying with your eyes and not with your reason." Then again, there was the woman who restored Peisistratus to supreme power, as having the likeness of Athena Pallenis, and who, Phylarchus says, was beautiful, seeing that she resembled the goddess in looks. She had been a flower-girl; and Peisistratus gave her in marriage to his son Hipparchus, as Anticleides records in the eighth book of his Returns: "He also gave in marriage to his son Hipparchus the woman who had driven beside him, Phya the daughter of Socrates, and for Hippias, who assumed the tyranny after him, he took the daughter of the former polemarch Charmus, a very beautiful girl. It happened, he says, that Charmus had been the lover of Hippias and had been the first to establish the Eros near the Academy, on which is the inscription: 'Eros of many devices, for thee hath Charmus established this altar here at the shadowy limits of the Gymnasium.'" Again, Hesiod in the third book of his Epic of Melampus has called Chalcis, in Euboea, the city of lovely women. The women there are indeed good- looking, as Theophrastus also testifies. And Nymphodorus, in his Voyage in Asia, says that women more beautiful than women anywhere else are found in Tenedos, the island near Troy.
I know also of a contest of feminine beauty that was instituted once; Nicias, recounting this in his History of Arcadia, says that Cypselus instituted it after founding a city in the plain of the Alpheius river; in it he settled some Parrhasians and dedicated a precinct and altar to Demeter of Eleusis, in whose festival he held the beauty contest; and on the first occasion his own wife Herodice won the prize. This contest is held even to the present day, and the women who enter are called "Chrysophoroe." Theophrastus, too, says that there is a beauty contest of men in Elis, that the trial is held with all solemnity, and that the winners receive weapons as prizes; these, says Dionysius of Leuctra, are dedicated to Athena, and the winner, beribboned by his friends, leads the procession which marches to her temple. But the crown given to the winners is of myrtle, as Myrsilus records in his Historical Paradoxes. In some places, the same Theophrastus says, there were female contests also of sobriety and housekeeping, as among the barbarians; in other places, of beauty, as though this also deserved a reward of honour, as among the people of Tenedos and of Lesbos; but, he says, this honour is a matter of chance or of nature, whereas a special reward for sobriety should be offered. For only so is beauty an honourable thing, otherwise there is danger that it will lead to licentiousness.
After this long catalogue had been given in order by Myrtilus, and all the others had expressed their admiration for his powers of memory, Cynulcus said: "Learning, much learning -- than which there is nothing more empty!" So said the godless Hippon. But even the divine Heracleitus says: "Much learning teaches not how to possess wisdom." And Timon, also, said: "And the boasting of much learning withal, than which there is nothing more empty." What, really, is the use of all these names, you pedant -- more likely to obstruct than to instruct your hearers? Why, if one should ask you who the men were who shut themselves up in the Wooden Horse, you would perhaps tell at most the name of one or two; and you couldn't get even that number from the poems of Stesichorus -- hardly! -- but from the Sack of Troy by Sacadas of Argos: he, to be sure, has given a list of a great many. What is more, you probably couldn't recite so glibly the names of Odysseus's companions, and who among them were devoured by the Cyclops, or by the Laestrygones, or whether they really were devoured; well then, you don't even know this, though you continually quote Phylarchus, that in the towns of Ceos neither courtesans nor flute-girls are to be seen.
Thereupon Myrtilus asked: Where has Phylarchus said this? For I have read his History from one end to the other. When Cynulcus replied, In the twenty-third book, Myrtilus said: Then am I not right in hating all of you philosophers, seeing that you hate literature? You are the persons whom not only King Lysimachus drove by proclamation from his kingdom, as Carystius declares in his Historical Notes, but the Athenians did it as well. Alexis, at any rate, says in The Horseman: "So this is what the Academy is, this is Xenocrates? May the gods grant many blessings to Demetrius and the legislators, for they have hurled to perdition out of Attica the men who transmit to our youth the power of discourse, as they call it." A man named Sophocles also drove out of Attica all philosophers by a decree; against him Philon, a disciple of Aristotle, wrote a speech, after Demochares, the cousin of Demosthenes, had made a speech defending Sophocles. And the Romans, too, the most virtuous of men in all things, cast out the Sophists from Rome on the ground that they corrupted the young men; later, for some reason or other, they took them back. The comic poet Anaxippus brings out clearly your foolishness when he says, in Thunder-struck: "Woe's me, you go in for philosophy! But I find philosophers are wise only when it is a matter of words, but when it comes to actions I see they are fools."
With good reason, therefore, many states, including especially the Lacedaemonian (so says Chamaeleon in his work On Simonides), refuse to permit the teaching either of rhetoric or philosophy because of the envious strife in which you indulge in your debates, and because of your untimely arguments; because of which, in fact, Socrates lost his life -- he who, in the presence of the very men who were assigned by lot to jury-duty, used arguments of the most knavish sort, though his theme was justice; on this account, also, Theodorus the atheist lost his life, and Diagoras was sent into exile; on which occasion, when he was sailing away, he met with shipwreck; again, Diotimus, who wrote the books attacking Epicurus, was sought out by Zeno the Epicurean and put to death, as Demetrius of Magnesia tells us in Like-named Poets. To put it concisely in the words of Clearchus of Soli, you do not pursue a life of dogged endurance, but rather you live truly the life of the Cynic dogs; although this animal possesses a nature that is extraordinary for four qualities, of which you share and keep only the worst. For example, in his powers of perception, with reference to his sense of smell, and with reference to the familiar and the unfamiliar, the dog is remarkable; and in his association with man as the guardian of the house, and in his capacity to watch over the lives of all who treat him well, he is most extraordinary; but neither of these two last qualities belongs to you, who imitate the life of Cynic dogs. For you neither associate with men, nor can you discern the character of anyone with whom you deal, and further, you lag far behind the dog in your powers of perception, and live idly and unguardedly. But the dog is also by nature snarling and voracious, and what is more, he lives an abject and naked life, and both these qualities you diligently affect, for you are given to abuse, you are voracious, and in addition to this, you live on, homeless and hearthless. As a result of all this you are aliens to virtue, and futile when it comes to a useful life. In fact, there is nothing more unphilosophic than the so-called philosophers. For who ever expected Aeschines, the disciple of Socrates, to prove himself such a character as the orator Lysias describes in his speeches On Contracts? We admire Aeschines as a good, sober man, to judge him by his dialogues published under his name, unless, to be sure, they are really compositions of the wise Socrates presented to Aeschines as a token of esteem by Xanthippe, Socrates's wife, after his death, as Idomeneus and others of his group assert.
However that may be, in the speech bearing the title Against Aeschines the Socratic, for debt -- I will quote it, although what he says is lengthy, to match your loud swaggering, my philosophers! -- the orator begins thus: "I should never have expected Aeschines, gentlemen of the court, to hazard a verdict in a case so scandalous as this, and I do not think he could easily find another case that smelt more of blackmail than this does. For the plaintiff here, gentlemen of the court, owed money, with interest at three drachmas a month, to the banker Sosinomus and to Aristogeiton, and he came to me with the entreaty not to permit him to be evicted from his property, because of the defaulted interest. 'I am setting up,' said he, 'the business of distilling perfumes; I require capital, and I will pay you nine obols per mina a month interest.'" Glorious, indeed, is the philosopher's goal of happiness, this business of distilling perfumes, the natural sequence, too, of the Socratic philosophy! For Socrates was a man who actually disapproved of such a use of perfumes, and Solon the lawgiver would not so much as permit a male to superintend that kind of business; hence Pherecrates, too, says in The Oven or The Vigil: "And besides, what is a man thinking of that he should keep a perfume-stall, loftily seated under an awning, his establishment just a gathering-place for lads to gossip in the livelong day?" Then he goes on to say: "For example, no one has ever yet seen a butcheress or a fishmongeress." He means that the various arts should be adapted appropriately to each sex. Well, following the words given above the orator continues: "I was persuaded by this plea of his, believing at the same time that as he had been a disciple of Socrates and had been giving many solemn lectures on justice and virtue, he would never undertake or venture upon those acts which only the most depraved and dishonest men undertake to practise."
After this the orator again attacks him for the manner in which he had borrowed the money: he had paid neither interest nor principal; he had let the day of payment lapse, and by a court verdict had been adjudged in default; and a branded slave of his had been seized as security; finally, after many other accusations against him Lysias concludes: "But enough of this, gentlemen of the court; not towards me alone has he been that sort of man, but towards all others who have had dealings with him. Do not the retail-dealers who live near him, and from whom he gets credit without paying his bills, shut up their shops and go to law with him, while his neighbours are so ill-treated by him that they abandon their own houses and hire others far away? And as for all the club-contributions which he has collected -- he does not pay out the sums left over, but they are as completely ruined by this swindling peddler as (a chariot which crashes when) rounding the turning-post. And so many people go to his house at day-break to claim what is owing to them that the passers-by imagine that he is dead, and that they have come to attend his funeral. Moreover, the Peiraeus merchants are in such a state of mind that it seems much safer to them to send a ship to the Adriatic than to lend money to him. For in fact he regards what he borrows as far more his own than what his father bequeathed to him. Why! Has he not acquired the property of Hermaeus the perfume-seller, after seducing his wife, who was seventy years old? Pretending to be in love with her, he put her in such a state of mind that he made beggars of her husband and her sons, and promoted himself from the condition of peddler to that of perfume-seller; with such erotic passion did he treat 'the girlie' the while he enjoyed her 'youth.' Why! It was easier to count her teeth than the fingers of one's hand, so much fewer were they. Witnesses of these facts, step up on the platform. -- So the life of the sophist is as I have described it." So much, then, for what Lysias has said, my Cynulcus. As for myself, I have spoken, to quote the tragic poet Aristarchus, "Not as the aggressor in these things, but as the avenger," and I will now bring to a close the speech here spoken against you and the other Cynic-Dogs.