Deipnon

unwell-7_wide

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)

Phrontis

hippocleides

Ὡς δὲ ἡ κυρίη ἐγένετο τῶν ἡμερέων τῆς τε κατακλίσιος τοῦ γάμου καὶ ἐκφάσιος αὐτοῦ Κλεισθένεος τὸν κρίνοι ἐκ πάντων, θύσας βοῦς ἑκατὸν ὁ Κλεισθένης εὐώχεε αὐτούς τε τοὺς μνηστῆρας καὶ Σικυωνίους πάντας. ὡς δὲ ἀπὸ δείπνου ἐγίνοντο, οἱ μνηστῆρες ἔριν εἶχον ἀμφί τε μουσικῇ καὶ τῷ λεγομένῳ ἐς τὸ μέσον. προϊούσης δὲ τῆς πόσιος κατέχων πολλὸν τοὺς ἄλλους ὁ Ἱπποκλείδης ἐκέλευσέ οἱ τὸν αὐλητὴν αὐλῆσαι ἐμμελείην, πειθομένου δὲ τοῦ αὐλητέω ὀρχήσατο. καί κως ἑωυτῷ μὲν ἀρεστῶς ὀρχέετο, ὁ Κλεισθένης δὲ ὁρέων ὅλον τὸ πρῆγμα ὑπώπτευε. μετὰ δὲ ἐπισχὼν ὁ Ἱπποκλείδης χρόνον ἐκέλευσε τινὰ τράπεζαν ἐσενεῖκαι, ἐσελθούσης δὲ τῆς τραπέζης πρῶτα μὲν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς ὀρχήσατο Λακωνικὰ σχημάτια, μετὰ δὲ ἄλλα Ἀττικά, τὸ τρίτον δὲ τὴν κεφαλὴν ἐρείσας ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν τοῖσι σκέλεσι ἐχειρονόμησε. Κλεισθένης δὲ τὰ μὲν πρῶτα καὶ τὰ δεύτερα ὀρχεομένου, ἀποστυγέων γαμβρὸν ἄν οἱ ἔτι γενέσθαι Ἱπποκλείδεα διὰ τήν τε ὄρχησιν καὶ τὴν ἀναιδείην, κατεῖχε ἑωυτόν, οὐ βουλόμενος ἐκραγῆναι ἐς αὐτόν· ὡς δὲ εἶδε τοῖσι σκέλεσι χειρονομήσαντα, οὐκέτι κατέχειν δυνάμενος εἶπε “ὦ παῖ Τισάνδρου, ἀπορχήσαό γε μὲν τὸν γάμον.” ὁ δὲ Ἱπποκλείδης ὑπολαβὼν εἶπε “οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ.” ἀπὸ τούτου μὲν τοῦτο ὀνομάζεται.
(Herodotus, Hist. 6.129)

On the day appointed for the marriage ceremony—the day when Cleisthenes had promised he would make known which one of the suitors he preferred—he sacrificed a hundred cattle and held a feast not just for the suitors themselves, but for the whole city of Sicyon. After the meal, the suitors competed with one another at singing and at public speaking. As the drinking progressed, Hippoclides had a clear lead over the others, but then he told the pipe-player to strike up a tune, and when the musician did so he began to dance. Now, although Hippoclides liked his own dancing a lot, Cleisthenes was beginning to look on the whole business askance. After a while, Hippoclides stopped momentarily and asked for a table to be brought in. When the table arrived there, he first danced a Laconian dance on it, then some Attic figures, and finally stood on his head on the table and waggled his feet around. Hippoclides’ uninhibited dancing of the first and second sets of figures had already put Cleisthenes off having him as a son-in-law, but he kept silent because he did not want to scold him. When he saw him waggling his legs around, however, he could no longer restrain himself. ‘Son of Tisander,’ he said, ‘you have danced away your marriage.’ The young man replied, ‘Hippoclides doesn’t care!’—and that is how the proverb arose. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Apokruptousi

Arrows blotting out the sun-2

Λακεδαιμονίων δὲ καὶ Θεσπιέων τοιούτων γενομένων ὅμως λέγεται ἀνὴρ ἄριστος γενέσθαι Σπαρτιήτης Διηνέκης· τὸν τόδε φασὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ ἔπος πρὶν ἢ συμμεῖξαί σφεας τοῖσι Μήδοισι, πυθόμενον πρός τευ τῶν Τρηχινίων ὡς ἐπεὰν οἱ βάρβαροι ἀπίωσι τὰ τοξεύματα, τὸν ἥλιον ὑπὸ τοῦ πλήθεος τῶν ὀϊστῶν ἀποκρύπτουσι· τοσοῦτο πλῆθος αὐτῶν εἶναι· τὸν δὲ οὐκ ἐκπλαγέντα τούτοισι εἰπεῖν, ἐν ἀλογίῃ ποιεύμενον τὸ τῶν Μήδων πλῆθος, ὡς πάντα σφι ἀγαθὰ ὁ Τρηχίνιος ξεῖνος ἀγγέλλοι, εἰ ἀποκρυπτόντων τῶν Μήδων τὸν ἥλιον ὑπὸ σκιῇ ἔσοιτο πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἡ μάχη καὶ οὐκ ἐν ἡλίῳ.
(Herodotus, Hist. 7.226)

Such were the proofs of valour given by the Lacedemonians and Thespians; yet the Spartan Dienekes is said to have proved himself the best man of all, the same who, as they report, uttered this saying before they engaged battle with the Medes:—being informed by one of the men of Trachis that when the Barbarians discharged their arrows they obscured the light of the sun by the multitude of the arrows, so great was the number of their host. He was not dismayed by this, but making small account of the number of the Medes, he said that their guest from Trachis brought them very good news, for if the Medes obscured the light of the sun, the battle against them would be in the shade and not in the sun. (tr. George Campbell Macaulay, revised by Donald Lateiner)

Hairesin

gyges1

Ὡς δὲ ὁ Γύγης ἀπίκετο, ἔλεγε ἡ γυνὴ τάδε. “νῦν τοι δυῶν ὁδῶν παρεουσέων, Γύγη, δίδωμι αἵρεσιν, ὁκοτέρην βούλεαι τραπέσθαι. ἢ γὰρ Κανδαύλεα ἀποκτείνας ἐμέ τε καὶ τὴν βασιληΐην ἔχε τὴν Λυδῶν, ἢ αὐτόν σε αὐτίκα οὕτω ἀποθνῄσκειν δεῖ, ὡς ἂν μὴ πάντα πειθόμενος Κανδαύλῃ τοῦ λοιποῦ ἴδῃς τὰ μὴ σε δεῖ. ἀλλ’ ἤτοι κεῖνόν γε τὸν ταῦτα βουλεύσαντα δεῖ ἀπόλλυσθαι, ἢ σε τὸν ἐμὲ γυμνήν θεησάμενον καὶ ποιήσαντα οὐ νομιζόμενα.” ὁ δὲ Γύγης τέως μὲν ἀπεθώμαζε τὰ λεγόμενα, μετὰ δὲ ἱκέτευε μή μιν ἀναγκαίῃ ἐνδέειν διακρῖναι τοιαύτην αἵρεσιν. οὐκ ὦν δὴ ἔπειθε, ἀλλ’ ὥρα ἀναγκαίην ἀληθέως προκειμένην ἢ τὸν δεσπότεα ἀπολλύναι ἢ αὐτὸν ὑπ’ ἄλλων ἀπόλλυσθαι· αἱρέεται αὐτὸς περιεῖναι. ἐπειρώτα δὴ λέγων τάδε. “ἐπεί με ἀναγκάζεις δεσπότεα τὸν ἐμὸν κτείνειν οὐκ ἐθέλοντα, φέρε ἀκούσω τέῳ καὶ τρόπῳ ἐπιχειρήσομεν αὐτῷ.” ἣ δὲ ὑπολαβοῦσα ἔφη “ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μὲν χωρίου ἡ ὁρμὴ ἔσται ὅθεν περ καὶ ἐκεῖνος ἐμέ ἐπεδέξατο γυμνήν, ὑπνωμένῳ δὲ ἡ ἐπιχείρησις ἔσται.”
(Herodotus, Hist. 1.11.2-5)

When he arrived she said to him: ‘Gyges, there are now two paths before you: I leave it up to you which one you choose to take. Either you can kill Candaules and have me and the kingdom of Lydia for your own, or you must die yourself right now, so that you will never again do exactly what Candaules wants you to do and see what you should not see. Yes, either he or you must die—either the one whose idea this was or the one who saw me naked when he had no right to do so.” At first, Gyges was too astonished to reply, but then he begged her not to force him to make such a choice. She could not be moved, however. He saw that he really was faced with choosing between killing his master or being killed himself by others—and he chose to survive. So he had a question for her. ‘It’s not as if I want to kill my own master,’ he said, ‘but since you’re forcing me to do so, please tell me how we’re going to attack him.’ ‘The place from where he showed me to you naked’, she replied, ‘will be the place from which to launch the attack against him. The attack will happen when he’s asleep. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Emakarizon

cleobisbiton

Ὣς δὲ τὰ κατὰ τὸν Τέλλον προετρέψατο ὁ Σόλων τὸν Κροῖσον εἴπας πολλά τε καὶ ὀλβία, ἐπειρώτα τίνα δεύτερον μετ’ ἐκεῖνον ἴδοι, δοκέων πάγχυ δευτερεῖα γῶν οἴσεσθαι. ὃ δ’ εἶπε ‘Κλέοβίν τε καὶ Βίτωνα. τούτοισι γὰρ ἐοῦσι γένος Ἀργείοισι βίος τε ἀρκέων ὑπῆν καὶ πρὸς τούτῳ ῥώμη σώματος τοιήδε·  ἀεθλοφόροι τε ἀμφότεροι ὁμοίως ἦσαν, καὶ δὴ καὶ λέγεται ὅδε ὁ λόγος. ἐούσης ὁρτῆς τῇ Ἥρῃ τοῖσι Ἀργείοισι ἔδεε πάντως τὴν μητέρα αὐτῶν ζεύγεϊ κομισθῆναι ἐς τὸ ἱρόν, οἱ δέ σφι βόες ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ οὐ παρεγίνοντο ἐν ὥρῃ· ἐκκληιόμενοι δὲ τῇ ὥρῃ οἱ νεηνίαι ὑποδύντες αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τὴν ζεύγλην εἷλκον τὴν ἅμαξαν, ἐπὶ τῆς ἁμάξης δέ σφι ὠχέετο ἡ μήτηρ· σταδίους δὲ πέντε καὶ τεσσεράκοντα διακομίσαντες  ἀπίκοντο ἐς τὸ ἱρόν. ταῦτα δέ σφι ποιήσασι καὶ ὀφθεῖσι ὑπὸ τῆς πανηγύριος τελευτὴ τοῦ βίου ἀρίστη ἐπεγένετο, διέδεξέ τε ἐν τούτοισι ὁ θεὸς ὡς ἄμεινον εἴη ἀνθρώπῳ τεθνάναι μᾶλλον ἢ ζώειν. Ἀργεῖοι μὲν γὰρ περιστάντες ἐμακάριζον τῶν νεηνιέων τὴν ῥώμην, αἱ δὲ Ἀργεῖαι τὴν μητέρα αὐτῶν, οἵων τέκνων ἐκύρησε· ἡ δὲ μήτηρ περιχαρής ἐοῦσα τῷ τε ἔργῳ καὶ τῇ φήμῃ, στᾶσα ἀντίον τοῦ ἀγάλματος εὔχετο Κλεόβι τε καὶ Βίτωνι τοῖσι ἑωυτῆς τέκνοισι, οἵ μιν ἐτίμησαν μεγάλως, τὴν θεὸν δοῦναι τὸ άνθρώπῳ τυχεῖν ἄριστον ἐστί. μετὰ ταύτην δὲ τὴν εὐχὴν ὡς ἔθυσάν τε καὶ εὐωχήθησαν, κατακοιμηθέντες ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ ἱρῷ οἱ νεηνίαι οὐκέτι ἀνέστησαν ἀλλ’ ἐν τέλεϊ τούτῳ ἔσχοντο. Ἀργεῖοι δὲ σφέων εἰκόνας ποιησάμενοι ἀνέθεσαν ἐς Δελφοὺς ὡς ἀριστῶν γενομένων.’
(Herodotus, Hist. 1.31)

“Croesus’ attention was engaged by Solon’s ideas about all the ways in which Tellus was well off, so he asked who was the second happiest person Solon knew; he had absolutely no doubt that he would carry off the second prize, at least. But Solon replied, ‘Cleobis and Biton, because these Argives made an adequate living and were also blessed with amazing physical strength. It’s not just that the pair of them were both prize-winning athletes; there’s also the following story about them. During a festival of Hera at Argos, their mother urgently needed to be taken to the sanctuary on her cart, but the oxen failed to turn up from the field in time. There was no time to waste, so the young men harnessed themselves to the yoke and pulled the cart with their mother riding on it. The distance to the temple was forty-five stades, and they took her all the way there. After this achievement of theirs, which was witnessed by the people assembled for the festival, they died in the best possible way; in fact, the god used them to show that it is better for a person to be dead than to be alive. What happened was that while the Argive men were standing around congratulating the young men on their strength, the women were telling their mother how lucky she was in her children. Their mother was overcome with joy at what her sons had done and the fame it would bring, and she went right up to the statue of the goddess, stood there and prayed that in return for the great honour her children Cleobis and Biton had done her, the goddess would give them whatever it is best for a human being to have. After she had finished her prayer, they participated in the rites and the feast, and then the young men lay down inside the actual temple for a rest. They never got to their feet again; they met their end there. The Argives had statues made of them and dedicated them at Delphi, on the grounds that they had been the best of men. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Apeirēton

298_xerxes-_david_farrar_300spartanwarriors

Σοὶ δὲ δὴ μέλλει τίς ὦ βασιλεῦ ἀντιώσεσθαι πόλεμον προφέρων, ἄγοντι καὶ πλῆθος τὸ ἐκ τῆς Ἀσίης καὶ νέας τὰς ἁπάσας; ὡς μὲν ἐγὼ δοκέω, οὐκ ἐς τοῦτο θράσεος ἀνήκει τὰ Ἑλλήνων πρήγματα· εἰ δὲ ἄρα ἔγωγε ψευσθείην γνώμῃ καὶ ἐκεῖνοι ἐπαερθέντες ἀβουλίῃ ἔλθοιεν ἡμῖν ἐς μάχην, μάθοιεν ἂν ὡς εἰμὲν ἀνθρώπων ἄριστοι τὰ πολέμια. ἔστω δ’ ὦν μηδὲν ἀπείρητον· αὐτόματον γὰρ οὐδέν, ἀλλ’ ἀπὸ πείρης πάντα ἀνθρώποισι φιλέει γίνεσθαι.
(Herodotus, Hist. 7.9γ)

So, my lord, who is going to oppose you? Who is going to threaten you with war when you come from Asia at the head of a massive army and with your whole fleet? I am sure that the Greeks are not so foolhardy. But suppose I’m mistaken in this opinion; suppose their rash foolishness encourages them to confront us in battle. Then they will discover that when it comes to military matters there is no one in the world to match us. Anyway, we should leave nothing untried. Nothing comes of its own accord; people invariably get things as a result of their own efforts. (tr. Robin Waterfield)

Diabēsetai

boatbridge
One of Xerxes’ boat bridges over the Hellespont (480 BC)

Ἐς ταύτην ὦν τὴν ἀκτὴν ἐξ Ἀβύδου ὁρμώμενοι ἐγεφύρουν τοῖσι προσέκειτο, τὴν μὲν λευκολίνου Φοίνικες, τὴν δ᾽ ἑτέρην τὴν βυβλίνην Αἰγύπτιοι. ἔστι δὲ ἑπτὰ στάδιοι ἐξ Ἀβύδου ἐς τὴν ἀπαντίον. καὶ δὴ ἐζευγμένου τοῦ πόρου ἐπιγενόμενος χειμὼν μέγας συνέκοψέ τε ἐκεῖνα πάντα καὶ διέλυσε. ὡς δ᾽ ἐπύθετο Ξέρξης, δεινὰ ποιεύμενος τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον ἐκέλευσε τριηκοσίας ἐπικέσθαι μάστιγι πληγὰς καὶ κατεῖναι ἐς τὸ πέλαγος πεδέων ζεῦγος. ἤδη δὲ ἤκουσα ὡς καὶ στιγέας ἅμα τούτοισι ἀπέπεμψε στίξοντας τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον. ἐνετέλλετο δὲ ὦν ῥαπίζοντας λέγειν βάρβαρά τε καὶ ἀτάσθαλα· ‘ὦ πικρὸν ὕδωρ, δεσπότης τοι δίκην ἐπιτιθεῖ τήνδε, ὅτι μιν ἠδίκησας οὐδὲν πρὸς ἐκείνου ἄδικον παθόν. καὶ βασιλεὺς μὲν Ξέρξης διαβήσεταί σε, ἤν τε σύ γε βούλῃ ἤν τε μή· σοὶ δὲ κατὰ δίκην ἄρα οὐδεὶς ἀνθρώπων θύει ὡς ἐόντι καὶ θολερῷ καὶ ἁλμυρῷ ποταμῷ.’ τήν τε δὴ θάλασσαν ἐνετέλλετο τούτοισι ζημιοῦν καὶ τῶν ἐπεστεώτων τῇ ζεύξι τοῦ Ἑλλησπόντου ἀποταμεῖν τὰς κεφαλάς.
(Herodotus, Hist. 7.34-35)

To this foreland they on whom this work was laid were making their bridges, starting from Abydos, the Phenicians constructing the one with ropes of white flax, and the Egyptians the other, which was made with papyrus rope. Now from Abydos to the opposite shore is a distance of seven furlongs. But when the strait had been bridged over, a great storm came on and dashed together all the work that had been made and broke it up. Then when Xerxes heard it he was exceedingly enraged, and bade them scourge the Hellespont with three hundred strokes of the lash and let down into the sea a pair of fetters. Nay, I have heard further that he sent branders also with them to brand the Hellespont. However this may be, he enjoined them, as they were beating, to say Barbarian and presumptuous words as follows: “Thou bitter water, thy master lays upon thee this penalty, because thou didst wrong him not having suffered any wrong from him: and Xerxes the king will pass over thee whether thou be willing or no; but with right, as it seems, no man doeth sacrifice to thee, seeing that thou art a treacherous and briny stream.” The sea he enjoined them to chastise thus, and also he bade them cut off the heads of those who were appointed to have charge over the bridging of the Hellespont. (tr. George Campbell Macaulay)