Athenaeus 1

Book I. 3 d
The rest of your rich men ought to be like that. For to those who do not practise such hospitality one may say, “Why are you so niggardly? ‘Surely thy tents are full of wine; spread a bountiful feast for the elders. It is fitting for thee.*’ ” Such was Alexander the Great in his munificence.

* Loosely quoted from Iliad IX. 70, VII. 475

Book I. 17 e – 18 a
But in Homer the nobles dine decently in Agamemnon’s tent, and though, in the Odyssey, Achilles and Odysseus quarrel and Agamemnon “was secretly glad thereat.” Still their disputes were useful when they were debating whether Ilium was to be taken by stratagem or battle. But even when Homer introduces the suitors as drunk, he does not portray such indecent conduct as Sophocles and Aeschylus have done, but merely mentions the hurling of an ox’s foot at Odysseus.

In their gatherings at dinner the heroes sit instead of reclining, and this sometimes happened at King Alexander’s court, according to Duris. Once, at any rate, when he entertained nearly six thousand officers, he seated them on silver stools as well as on couches, spreading purple robes on the seats. Hegesander, too, says that in Macedonia it was not customary for anyone to recline at dinner unless he had speared a wild boar without using a hunting-net. Until then they must eat sitting. Cassander, therefore, at the age of thirty-five continued to sit at meals with his father, being unable to accomplish the feat, though he was brave and a good hunter.

Book I. 18 d – e
And Phylarchus says that among the presents which the Indian king Sandrocottus sent to Seleucus there were aphrodisiacs so potent that when placed under the feet of lovers they caused in some, ejaculations like those of fowls, but in others they inhibited them altogether.

Book I. 19 a - c
Aristonicus of Carystus, Alexander’s ball-player, was made a citizen by the Athenians because of his skill, and a statue was erected to him. For in later times the Greeks came to esteem vulgar skill of hand very highly, more than the ideas of the cultivated intellect. The people of Hestiaea, at any rate, and of Oreus, raised a bronze statue in the theatre of the juggler* Theodorus, holding a pebble in his hand. Similarly the Milesians erected one of Archelaus the lyre-player, and although there is no statue of Pindar at Thebes, there is one of the singer Cleon, on which is the inscription: “Behold here the son of Pytheas, Cleon, bard of Thebes, who hath placed upon his brow more laurels than any other mortal, and his fame hath reached the skies. Farewell, Cleon; thou hast glorified thy native land of Thebes.” According to Polemon, when Alexander razed Thebes to the ground, a refugee placed some money in the hollow cloak of this statue, and when the city was rebuilt he returned and found the money thirty years after.

* Lit. “pebble-thief,” answering to the modern card-juggler.

Book I. 20 a.
There were celebrated jugglers also at Alexander’s court – Scymnus of Tarentum, Philistides of Syracuse, and Heracleitus of Mitylene.

Book I. 22 b - d
National dances are the following: Laconian, Troezenian, Epizephyrian, Cretan, Ionian, and Mantinean; these last were preferred by Aristoxenus because of the motion of the arms. Dancing was held in such esteem and involved such art that Pindar calls Apollo “dancer” : “Dancer, Lord of Beauty, thou of the broad quiver, Apollo!” And Homer, or one of the Homeridae, in the Hymn to Apollo says, “Apollo, with lyre in hand, harped sweetly the while he stepped forth high and gracefully.” And Eumelus of Corinth (or was it Arctinus?) introduces Zeus as a dancer with the words: “And in their midst danced the father of gods and men.” But Theophrastus says that Andron, the flute-player of Catana, was the first to add rhythmical motions of the body to the playing of the flute; hence, “to do the Sicel” meant “to dance” among the ancients. After him there was Cleolas of Thebes. Famous dancers also were Bolbus, mentioned by Cratinus and Callias, and Zeno of Crete, a great favourite of Artazerxes, mentioned by Ctesias. Alexander, too, in his letter to Philoxenus, mentions Theodorus and Chrysippus.

Book I. 27 d
Among the Indians a divinity is worshipped – so Chares of Mitylene says – whose name is Soroadeios; it is interpreted in Greek to mean wine-maker.

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