Book XIII: Concerning Women
Translated by Charles Burton Gulick for the Loeb Classical Library, 1937
Prefatory note: In an essay written in 1867 James Russel Lowell took occasion to say: "The somewhat greasy heap of a literary rag-and-bone-picker, like Athenaeus, is turned to gold by time." In this volume the reader will find that Athenaeus goes further, and presents "a rag and bone and a hank o' hair" with embarrassing frankness...
--C.B.G., Harvard University, March 1937.
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."
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