Anthemia

Ἐπεὶ δὲ πορευόμενοι ἐν τοῖς φίλοις ἦσαν, ἐπεδείκνυσαν αὐτοῖς παῖδας τῶν εὐδαιμόνων σιτευτούς, τεθραμμένους καρύοις ἑφθοῖς, ἁπαλοὺς καὶ λευκοὺς σφόδρα καὶ οὐ πολλοῦ δέοντας ἴσους τὸ μῆκος καὶ τὸ πλάτος εἶναι, ποικίλους δὲ τὰ νῶτα καὶ τὰ ἔμπροσθεν πάντα ἐστιγμένους ἀνθέμια. ἐζήτουν δὲ καὶ ταῖς ἑταίραις ἃς ἦγον οἱ Ἕλληνες, ἐφανῶς συγγίγνεσθαι· νόμος γὰρ ἦν οὗτός σφισι. λευκοὶ δὲ πάντες οἱ ἄνδρες καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες. τούτους ἔλεγον οἱ στρατευσάμενοι βαρβαρωτάτους διελθεῖν καὶ πλεῖστον τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν νόμων κεχωρισμένους. ἔν τε γὰρ ὄχλῳ ὄντες ἐποίουν ἅπερ ἂν ἄλλοι ἐν ἐρημίᾳ ποιήσειαν, μόνοι τε ὄντες ὅμοια ἔπραττον ἅπερ ἂν μετ’ ἄλλων ὄντες, διελέγοντό τε αὑτοῖς καὶ ἐγέλων ἐφ’ ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ὠρχοῦντο ἐφιστάμενοι ὅπου τύχοιεν ὥσπερ ἄλλοις ἐπιδεικνύμενοι.
(Xenophon, Anabasis 5.4.32-34)

 

And when the Greeks, as they proceeded, were among the friendly Mossynoecians, they would exhibit to them fattened children of the wealthy inhabitants, who had been nourished on boiled nuts and were soft and white to an extraordinary degree, and pretty nearly equal in length and breadth, with their backs adorned with many colours and their fore parts all tattooed with flower patterns. These Mossynoecians wanted also to have intercourse openly with the women who accompanied the Greeks, for that was their own fashion. And all of them were white, the men and the women alike. They were said by the Greeks who served on the expedition as the most uncivilized people whose country they traversed, the furthest removed from Greek customs. For they habitually did in public the things that other people would do only in private, and when they were alone they would behave just as if they were in the company of others, talking to themselves, laughing at themselves, and dancing in whatever spot they chanced to be, as though they were giving an exhibition to others. (tr. Carleton L. Brownson, revised by John Dillery)

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