Deipnon

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Ἑξῆς δὲ λεκτέον καὶ περὶ τῶν Λακωνικῶν συμποσίων. Ἡρόδοτος μὲν οὖν ἐν τῇ ἐνάτῃ τῶν ἱστοριῶν περὶ τῆς Μαρδονίου παρασκευῆς λέγων καὶ μνημονεύσας Λακωνικῶν συμποσίων φησί· Ξέρξης φεύγων ἐκ τῆς Ἑλλάδος Μαρδονίῳ τὴν παρασκευὴν κατέλιπε τὴν αὑτοῦ. Παυσανίαν οὖν ἰδόντα τὴν τοῦ Μαρδονίου παρασκευὴν χρυσῷ καὶ ἀργύρῳ καὶ παραπετάσμασι ποικίλοις κατεσκευασμένην κελεῦσαι τοὺς ἀρτοποιοὺς καὶ ὀψοποιοὺς κατὰ ταὐτὰ καθὼς Μαρδονίῳ δεῖπνον παρασκευάσαι. ποιησάντων δὲ τούτων τὰ κελευσθέντα τὸν Παυσανίαν ἰδόντα κλίνας χρυσᾶς καὶ ἀργυρᾶς ἐστρωμένας καὶ τραπέζας ἀργυρᾶς καὶ παρασκευὴν μεγαλοπρεπῆ δείπνου ἐκπλαγέντα τὰ προκείμενα κελεῦσαι ἐπὶ γέλωτι τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ διακόνοις παρασκευάσαι Λακωνικὸν δεῖπνον. καὶ παρασκευασθέντος γελάσας ὁ Παυσανίας μετεπέμψατο τῶν Ἑλλήνων τοὺς στρατηγοὺς καὶ ἐλθόντων ἐπιδείξας ἑκατέρου τῶν δείπνων τὴν παρασκευὴν εἶπεν· “ἄνδρες Ἕλληνες, συνήγαγον ὑμᾶς βουλόμενος ἐπιδεῖξαι τοῦ Μήδων ἡγεμόνος τὴν ἀφροσύνην, ὃς τοιαύτην δίαιταν ἔχων ἦλθεν ὡς ἡμᾶς οὕτω ταλαίπωρον ἔχοντας.” φασὶ δέ τινες καὶ ἄνδρα Συβαρίτην ἐπιδημήσαντα τῇ Σπάρτῃ καὶ συνεστιαθέντα ἐν τοῖς φιδιτίοις εἰπεῖν: “εἰκότως ἀνδρειότατοι ἁπάντων εἰσὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι· ἕλοιτο γὰρ ἄν τις εὖ φρονῶν μυριάκις ἀποθανεῖν ἢ οὕτως εὐτελοῦς διαίτης μεταλαβεῖν.”
(Athenaeus, Deipn. 4.138b-e)

The next topic that requires discussion is Spartan symposia. Now Herodotus in Book IX (82) of his Histories describes Mardonius’ personal property and mentions Spartan symposia, saying: When Xerxes was fleeing Greece, he left his personal property to Mardonius. So when Pausanias saw Mardonius’ property, which was adorned with gold and silver and embroidered tapestries, he ordered the bakers and cooks to prepare a dinner exactly as they did for Mardonius. They did what they were told; and when Pausanias saw the gold and silver couches covered with bed-clothes, the silver tables, and the ostentatious preparations for dinner, he was astonished at what lay before him, and as a joke he ordered his own attendants to prepare a Spartan dinner. When it was ready, Pausanias laughed and sent for the Greek generals. When they arrived, he showed them how each dinner had been prepared and said: “Greeks sirs, I assembled you because I wanted to show you the folly of the Median commander who, although he lives like this, attacked us, who are so poor.” Some authorities also report that a Sybarite who had spent time in Sparta and eaten with them in the public messes said: “It’s no surprise that the Spartans are the bravest men there are; anyone with any sense would rather die a million times than share such a miserable life!” (tr. Stuart Douglas Olson)

Kallipugoi

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Οὕτω δ’ ἐξήρτηντο τῶν ἡδυπαθειῶν οἱ τότε ὡς καὶ Καλλιπύγου Ἀφροδίτης ἱερὸν ἱδρύσασθαι ἀπὸ τοιαύτης αἰτίας. ἀνδρὶ ἀγροίκῳ ἐγένοντο δύο καλαὶ θυγατέρες· αὗται φιλονικήσασαί ποτε πρὸς ἑαυτὰς προελθοῦσαι ἐπὶ τὴν λεωφόρον διεκρίνοντο ποτέρα εἴη καλλιπυγοτέρα. καί ποτε παρίοντος νεανίσκου πατέρα πρεσβύτην ἔχοντος ἐπέδειξαν ἑαυτὰς καὶ τούτῳ· καὶ ὃς θεασάμενος ἔκρινε τὴν πρεσβυτέραν· ἧς καὶ εἰς ἔρωτα ἐμπεσὼν ἐλθὼν εἰς ἄστυ κλινήρης γίνεται καὶ διηγεῖται τὰ γεγενημένα τῷ ἀδελφῷ ἑαυτοῦ ὄντι νεωτέρῳ. ὁ δὲ καὶ αὐτὸς ἐλθὼς εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς καὶ θεασάμενος τὰς παῖδας ἐρᾷ καὶ αὐτὸς τῆς ἑτέρας. ὁ δ’ οὖν πατὴρ ἐπεὶ παρακαλῶν αὐτοὺς ἐνδοξοτέρους λαβεῖν γάμους οὐκ ἔπειθεν, ἄγεται ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ τὰς παῖδας αὐτοῖς, πείσας ἐκείνων τὸν πατέρα, καὶ ζεύγνυσι τοῖς υἱοῖς. αὗται οὖν ὑπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν Καλλίπυγοι ἐκαλοῦντο, ὡς καὶ ὁ Μεγαλοπολίτης Κερκιδᾶς ἐν τοῖς Ἰάμβοις ἱστορεῖ λέγων·
ἦν καλλιπύγων ζεῦγος ἐν Συρακούσαις. [fr. 14]
αὗται οὖν ἐπιλαβόμεναι οὐσίας λαμπρᾶς ἱδρύσαντο Ἀφροδίτης ἱερὸν καλέσασαι Καλλίπυγον τὴν θεόν, ὡς ἱστορεῖ καὶ Ἀρχέλαος ἐν τοῖς Ἰάμβοις.
(Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 12.554c-e)

People in those days were so attached to a life of luxury that they actually dedicated a temple to Aphrodite Kallipugos (“of the Beautiful Ass”), for the following reason. A farmer had two beautiful daughters, who got into an argument with one another one day and went out to the road and began soliciting opinions as to which of them had the nicer ass. A young fellow, whose father was an old man, came along at that point, and they showed themselves off to him. After he saw them, he voted for the older girl and fell in love with her; and after he reached the city he got sick, and told his brother, who was younger than him, what had happened. His brother also went out into the country, and after he got a look at the girls, he fell in love with the other one. Their father tried to convince them to marry someone more respectable; but when he failed to convince them, he fetched the girls for them from the countryside, having persuaded their father, and joined them to his sons in marriage. The inhabitants of the city accordingly referred to them as the Kallipugoi (“Women with Beautiful Asses”), as Cercidas of Megalopolis reports in his Iambs, where he says:
There were a pair of kallipugoi in Syracuse.
After the became owners of some valuable property, therefore, they dedicated a temple to Aphrodite and called the goddess Kallipugos, according to Archelaus in his Iambs (SH 131). (tr. Stuart Douglas Olson)

Hugiainein

Ὑγιαίνειν μὲν ἄριστον ἀνδρὶ θνητῷ,
δεύτερον δὲ καλὸν φυὰν γενέσθαι,
τὸ τρίτον δὲ πλουτεῖν ἀδόλως,
καὶ τὸ τέταρτον ἡβᾶν μετὰ τῶν φίλων.

ᾀσθέντος δὲ τούτου καὶ πάντων ἡσθέντων ἐπ’ αὐτῷ καὶ μνημονευσάντων ὅτι καὶ ὁ καλὸς Πλάτων αὐτοῦ μέμνηται ὡς ἄριστα εἰρημένου [Gorg. 451e] ὁ Μυρτίλος ἔφη Ἀναξανδρίδην αὐτὸ διακεχλευακέναι τὸν κωμῳδιοποιὸν ἐν Θησαυρῷ λέγοντα οὕτως [fr. 18 K.-A.]·

ὁ τὸ σκόλιον εὑρὼν ἐκεῖνος, ὅστις ἦν,
τὸ μὲν ὑγιαίνειν πρῶτον ὡς ἄριστον ὂν
ὠνόμασεν ὀρθῶς· δεύτερον δ’ εἶναι καλόν,
τρίτον δὲ πλουτεῖν, τοῦθ’, ὁρᾷς, ἐμαίνετο·
μετὰ τὴν ὑγίειαν γὰρ τὸ πλουτεῖν διαφέρει·
καλὸς δὲ πεινῶν ἐστιν αἰσχρὸν θηρίον.

(Athenaeus, Deipn. 15.694e-f)

To be healthy is best for mortal man, second is to be handsome in body, third is to be wealthy without trickery, fourth, to be young with one’s friends.

When this song had been sung and everyone had enjoyed it and commented that the excellent Plato mentions it as a splendid composition (Gorg. 451e)*, Myrtilus pointed out that the comic poet Anaxandrides made fun of it in his Treasure in these lines:

The man who devised the scolion, whoever he was, was right to name health first as the best thing; but when he put a handsome body second and wealth third he was out of his mind, of course, for wealth is next best to health: a handsome man who is hungry is an ugly beast.

* The scholiast on Plato says it was sometimes attributed to Simonides (see fr. 651), sometimes to Epicharmus (cf. fr. 262 Kaibel); Clement of Alexandria ascribed it to Simonides and Aristotle, Stobaeus to an unknown Sclerias.

(tr. David A. Campbell, with his note)

Note: K.-A. = R. Kassel & C. Austin (edd.), Poetae Comici Graeci, vol. II, Berlin / New York 1991.