Καὶ τῆς Ἀρχελάου δ’ ἐπιθέσεως Δεκάμνιχος ἡγεμὼν ἐγένετο, παροξύνων τοὺς ἐπιθεμένους πρῶτος· αἴτιος δὲ τῆς ὀργῆς ὅτι αὐτὸν ἐξέδωκε μαστιγῶσαι Εὐριπίδῃ τῷ ποιητῇ· ὁ δ’ Εὐριπίδης ἐχαλέπαινεν εἰπόντος τι αὐτοῦ εἰς δυσωδίαν τοῦ στόματος.
(Aristotle, Poet. 1311b13)

Also Decamnichus took a leading part in the attack upon Archelaus, being the first to stir on the attackers; and the cause of his anger was that he had handed him over to Euripides the poet to flog, Euripides being angry because he had made a remark about his breath smelling. (tr. Harris Rackham)


Ὦ παῖ, τέλος μὲν Ζεὺς ἔχει βαρύκτυπος
πάντων ὅσ᾽ ἐστὶ καὶ τίθησ᾽ ὅκῃ θέλει,
νοῦς δ᾽ οὐκ ἐπ᾽ ἀνθρώποισιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπήμεροι
ἃ δὴ βοτὰ ζώομεν, οὐδὲν εἰδότες
ὅκως ἕκαστον ἐκτελευτήσει θεός.
ἐλπὶς δὲ πάντας κἀπιπειθείη τρέφει
ἄπρηκτον ὁρμαίνοντας· οἱ μὲν ἡμέρην
μένουσιν ἐλθεῖν, οἱ δ᾽ ἐτέων περιτροπάς·
νέωτα δ᾽ οὐδεὶς ὅστις οὐ δοκεῖ βροτῶν
πλούτῳ τε κἀγαθοῖσιν ἵξεσθαι φίλος.
φθάνει δὲ τὸν μὲν γῆρας ἄζηλον λαβὸν
πρὶν τέρμ᾽ ἵκηται, τοὺς δὲ δύστηνοι βροτῶν
φθείρουσι νοῦσοι, τοὺς δ᾽ Ἄρει δεδμημένους
πέμπει μελαίνης Ἀΐδης ὑπὸ χθονός·
οἱ δ᾽ ἐν θαλάσσῃ λαίλαπι κλονεόμενοι
καὶ κύμασιν πολλοῖσι πορφυρῆς ἁλὸς
θνήσκουσιν, εὖτ᾽ ἂν μὴ δυνήσωνται ζόειν·
οἱ δ᾽ ἀγχόνην ἅψαντο δυστήνῳ μόρῳ
καὐτάγρετοι λείπουσιν ἡλίου φάος.
οὕτω κακῶν ἄπ᾽ οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ μυρίαι
βροτοῖσι κῆρες κἀνεπίφραστοι δύαι
καὶ πήματ᾽ ἐστίν. εἰ δ᾽ ἐμοὶ πιθοίατο,
οὐκ ἂν κακῶν ἐρῷμεν, οὐδ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἄλγεσιν
κακοῖς ἔχοντες θυμὸν αἰκιζοίμεθα.
(Semonides fr. 1)

Boy, loud-thundering Zeus controls the outcome of everything there is and disposes it as he wishes. There is no intelligence among men, but we live like grazing animals, subject to what the day brings, with no knowledge of how the god will bring each thing to pass. Yet hope and confidence nourish all in our eagerness for the impossible. Some wait for the morrow to come, others for the revolving seasons, and there is no one who does not expect that he will arrive at the next year as the friend of wealth and prosperity. But unenviable old age comes first and seizes one man before he reaches his goal, while the miserable illnesses that beset mortals destroy others, and Hades sends beneath the dark earth others laid low by the war god. Others die at sea tossed about by a gale and the turbulent sea’s many waves, whenever they are unable to gain a livelihood (on land), and others fasten a noose in a wretched death, leaving the sun’s light by their own choice. Thus nothing is without misery, but countless death spirits and unforeseen sorrows and disasters exist for mortals. But if they were to take my advice, we would not long for misfortune nor would we torment ourselves by having our hearts set on bitter pain. (tr. Douglas E. Gerber)


Ταύτας, ἔφην, ἐγὼ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς λαβὼν τὰς ἐντολὰς ἄχρι δεῦρο διαφυλάττω, μήτ’ ἀφ’ αἱρέσεώς τινος ἐμαυτὸν ἀναγορεύσας, ὧν σπουδῇ πάσῃ ἀκριβῆ τὴν ἐξέτασιν ἔχω, ἀνέκπληκτός τε πρὸς τὰ κατὰ τὸν βίον ὁσημέραι συμπίπτοντα διαμένων, ὥσπερ ἑώρων τὸν πατέρα. οὔτ’ οὖν ἀπώλειά τινος ἱκανὴ λυπῆσαί με, πλὴν εἰ παντελῶς ἀπολέσαιμι τὰ κτήματα (τοῦτο γὰρ οὐδέπω πεπείραμαι), δόξης τε καὶ τιμῆς ὁ πατὴρ εἴθισέ με καταφρονεῖν ἀλήθειαν μόνην τιμῶντα. λυπουμένους δ’ ὁρῶ τοὺς πολλούς, ὅταν ἠτιμάσθαι δοκῶσιν ὑπό τινος, ἢ χρημάτων ἀπωλείᾳ. κατὰ τοῦτ’ οὖν, ἔφην, οὐδὲ λυπούμενον εἰδές μέ ποτε, <εἴ γε> μήτε χρημάτων ἀπώλεια συνέπεσέ μοι μέχρι δεῦρο τηλικαύτη τὸ μέγεθος, ὡς μηκέτ’ ἔχειν ἐκ τῶν ὑπολοίπων ἐπιμελεῖσθαι τοῦ σώματος ὑγιεινῶς, μήτ’ ἀτιμία τις, <ὡς> ὁρῶ <τοὺς> τοῦ συνεδρίου τῆς τιμῆς ἀφαιρεθέντας. εἰ δέ τινας ἀκούσαιμι ψέγειν με, τούς μ’ ἐπαινοῦντας αὐτοῖς ἀντιτίθημι καὶ νομίζω τὸ πάντας ἀνθρώπους ἐπαινοῦντας ἐπιθυμεῖν ἔχειν ἐοικέναι τῷ τὰ πάντα ἔχειν ἐθέλειν κτήματα.
(Galen, De Propriorum Animi Cuiuslibet Affectuum Dignotione et Curatione 8.8-9)

These, I said, were the injunctions I received from my father, and I have observed them up to the present day. I did not proclaim myself a member of any of those sects of which, with all earnestness, I made a careful examination, but I continued undaunted in the face of day by day occurrences throughout my life, just as I had seen my father do. No loss was enough to cause me grief. I do not know if I would grieve if I should lose all my possessions, for I have never yet experienced such a large loss. My father also accustomed me to look with scorn on glory and honor and to hold only the truth in esteem. But I see many men grieving when they think that someone has dishonored them or because of the loss of money. In a matter of this sort, you would never see me grieving, unless I incurred a loss of money so great that I was no longer able with what was left to take care of my bodily health, or unless I incurred some dishonor such as I see in the case of those who have been deprived of the honor of their seats in the Council. If I should hear that some men find fault with me, I oppose to them those who praise me, and I consider that the desire to have all men praise me is like the desire to possess all things. (tr. Paul W. Harkins)



Phoenicopterum eliberas, lavas, ornas, includis in caccabum, adicies aquam, salem, anethum et aceti modicum. dimidia coctura alligas fasciculum porri et coriandri, ut coquatur. prope cocturam defritum mittis, coloras. adicies in mortarium piper, cuminum, coriandrum, laseris radicem, mentam, rutam, fricabis, suffundis acetum, adicies caryotam, ius de suo sibi perfundis. reexinanies in eundem caccabum, amulo obligas, ius perfundis et inferes. idem facies et in psittaco.
(Apicius, De Re Coquinaria 6.6.1)

Scald the flamingo, wash and dress it, put it in a pot, add water, salt, dill, and a little vinegar, to be parboiled. Finish cooking with a bunch of leeks and coriander, and add some reduced must to give it color. In the mortar crush pepper, cumin, coriander, laser root, mint, rue, moisten with vinegar, add dates, and the fond of the braised bird, thicken, [strain,] cover the bird with the sauce and serve. Parrot is prepared in the same manner (tr. Joseph Dommers Vehling)



Leonum simul plurium pugnam Romae princeps dedit Q. Scaevola P. f. in curuli aedilitate, centum autem iubatorum primus omnium L. Sulla, qui postea dictator fuit, in praetura; post eum Pompeius Magnus in circo DC, in iis iubatorum CCCXV, Caesar dictator CCCC. capere eos ardui erat quondam operis, foveisque maxime. principatu Claudii casus rationem docuit pudendam paene talis ferae nomine pastorem Gaetuliae, sago contra ingruentis impetum obiecto, quod spectaculum in harenam protinus translatum est, vix credibili modo torpescente tanta illa feritate quamvis levi iniectu operto capite, ita ut devinciatur non repugnans. videlicet omnis vis constat in oculis, quo minus mirum fit a Lysimacho Alexandri iussu simul incluso strangulatum leonem.
(Pliny the Elder, Nat. Hist. 8.53-54)

A fight with several lions at once was first bestowed on Rome by Quintus Scaevola, son of Publius, when consular aedile, but the first of all who exhibited a combat of 100 maned lions was Lucius Sulla, later dictator, in his praetorship. After Sulla Pompey the Great showed in the Circus 600, including 315 with manes, and Caesar when dictator 400. Capturing lions was once a difficult task, chiefly effected by means of pitfalls. In the principate of Claudius accident taught a Gaetulian shepherd a method that was almost one to be ashamed of in the case of a wild animal of this nature: when it charged he flung a cloak against its onset – a feat that was immediately transferred to the arena as a show, – the creature’s great ferocity abating in an almost incredible manner when its head is covered with even a light wrap, with the result that it is vanquished without showing fight. The fact is that all its strength is concentrated in its eyes, which makes it less remarkable that when Lysimachus by order of Alexander was shut up in a lion’s cage he succeeded in strangling it. (tr. Harris Rackham)


“Mens bona, fama, fides,” haec clare et ut audiat hospes;
illa sibi introrsum et sub lingua murmurat: “o si
ebulliat patruus, praeclarum funus!” et “o si
sub rastro crepet argenti mihi seria dextro
Hercule! pupillumve utinam, quem proximus heres
impello, expungam! nam et est scabiosus et acri
bile tumet. Nerio iam tertia conditur uxor.”
haec sancte ut poscas, Tiberino in gurgite mergis
mane caput bis terque et noctem flumine purgas.
heus age, responde (minimum est quod scire laboro)
de Iove quid sentis?
(Persius, Sat. 2.8-17)

“Good sense, reputation, credit” – that’s what he says out loud, even for strangers to hear, but this is what he mutters to himself under his tongue: “Oh, if only uncle would pop off, I’d give him a splendid funeral!” and “If only Hercules would favour me and make a pot of silver chink beneath my hoe!”* Or “I wish I could wipe out my ward – I’m right behind him, the next to inherit. After all, he suffers from eczema and is swollen with jaundice. Nerius is already burying his third wife.” To make these requests piously, you plunge your head twice and three times in the morning in Tiber’s flow and clean away the night’s thoughts in river water. Hey then, tell me (it’s a tiny thing I strive to know), what is your view of God?”

* Hercules was the god associated with hidden treasure.

(tr. Susanna Morton Braund, with her note)



Ἐζητεῖτο περὶ τῶν γερόντων, διὰ τί μᾶλλον ἀκρατοτέρῳ τῷ ποτῷ χαίρουσιν. οἱ μὲν οὖν κατεψυγμένην τὴν ἕξιν αὐτῶν καὶ δυσεκθέρμαντον οὖσαν οἰόμενοι διὰ τοῦτο τῇ σφοδρότητι τῆς κράσεως ἐναρμόττειν ἐφαίνοντο κοινόν τι καὶ πρόχειρον οὐχ ἱκανὸν δὲ πρὸς τὴν αἰτίαν οὐδ’ ἀληθὲς λέγοντες· καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων αἰσθήσεων τὸ αὐτὸ συμβέβηκεν· δυσκίνητοι γάρ εἰσι καὶ δυσμετάβλητοι πρὸς τὰς ἀντιλήψεις τῶν ποιοτήτων, ἂν μὴ κατάκοροι καὶ σφοδραὶ προσπέσωσιν.
(Plutarch, Sumposiaka 625a)

Under discussion was the question why old men are very fond of drink that is rather strong. Some thought the constitution of old men, being chill and hard to warm, was on this account compatible with a strong mixture of wine and water; obviously their argument was platitudinous and facile, and neither an adequate nor an accurate analysis of the causation. For the same thing occurs in regard to an old man’s perception of other stimuli; in apprehending sensations he is hard to stir and hard to rouse, unless they strike him with excessive strength. (tr. Paul A. Clement & Herbert H. Hoffleit)