Gelōtopoios

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Ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὖν σιωπῇ ἐδείπνουν, ὥσπερ τοῦτο ἐπιτεταγμένον αὐτοῖς ὑπὸ κρείττονός τινος. Φίλιππος δ’ ὁ γελωτοποιὸς κρούσας τὴν θύραν εἶπε τῷ ὑπακούσαντι εἰσαγγεῖλαι ὅστις τε εἴη καὶ δι’ ὅ τι κατάγεσθαι βούλοιτο, συνεσκευασμένος τε παρεῖναι ἔφη πάντα τὰ ἐπιτήδεια ὥστε δειπνεῖν τἀλλότρια, καὶ τὸν παῖδα δὲ ἔφη πάνυ πιέζεσθαι διά τε τὸ φέρειν μηδὲν καὶ διὰ τὸ ἀνάριστον εἶναι. ὁ οὖν Καλλίας ἀκούσας ταῦτα εἶπεν· “ἀλλὰ μέντοι, ὦ ἄνδρες, αἰσχρὸν στέγης γε φθονῆσαι· εἰσίτω οὖν.” καὶ ἅμα ἀπέβλεψεν εἰς τὸν Αὐτόλυκον, δῆλον ὅτι ἐπισκοπῶν τί ἐκείνῳ δόξειε τὸ σκῶμμα εἶναι. ὁ δὲ στὰς ἐπὶ τῷ ἀνδρῶνι ἔνθα τὸ δεῖπνον ἦν εἶπεν· “ὅτι μὲν γελωτοποιός εἰμι ἴστε πάντες· ἥκω δὲ προθύμως νομίσας γελοιότερον εἶναι τὸ ἄκλητον ἢ τὸ κεκλημένον ἐλθεῖν ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον.” “κατακλίνου τοίνυν,” ἔφη ὁ Καλλίας· “καὶ γὰρ οἱ παρόντες σπουδῆς μέν, ὡς ὁρᾷς, μεστοί, γέλωτος δὲ ἴσως ἐνδεέστεροι.” δειπνούντων δὲ αὐτῶν ὁ Φίλιππος γελοῖόν τι εὐθὺς ἐπεχείρει λέγειν, ἵνα δὴ ἐπιτελοίη ὧνπερ ἕνεκα ἐκαλεῖτο ἑκάστοτε ἐπὶ τὰ δεῖπνα. ὡς δ’ οὐκ ἐκίνησε γέλωτα, τότε μὲν ἀχθεσθεὶς φανερὸς ἐγένετο. αὖθις δ’ ὀλίγον ὕστερον ἄλλο τι γελοῖον ἐβούλετο λέγειν. ὡς δὲ οὐδὲ τότε ἐγέλασαν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ, ἐν τῷ μεταξὺ παυσάμενος τοῦ δείπνου συγκαλυψάμενος κατέκειτο. καὶ ὁ Καλλίας, “τί τοῦτ’,” ἔφη, “ὦ Φίλιππε; ἀλλ’ ἢ ὀδύνη σε εἴληφε;” καὶ ὃς ἀναστενάξας εἶπε· “ναὶ μὰ Δί’,” ἔφη, “ὦ Καλλία, μεγάλη γε· ἐπεὶ γὰρ γέλως ἐξ ἀνθρώπων ἀπόλωλεν, ἔρρει τὰ ἐμὰ πράγματα. πρόσθεν μὲν γὰρ τούτου ἕνεκα ἐκαλούμην ἐπὶ τὰ δεῖπνα, ἵνα εὐφραίνοιντο οἱ συνόντες δι’ ἐμὲ γελῶντες· νῦν δὲ τίνος ἕνεκα καὶ καλεῖ μέ τις; οὔτε γὰρ ἔγωγε σπουδάσαι ἂν δυναίμην μᾶλλον ἤπερ ἀθάνατος γενέσθαι, οὔτε μὴν ὡς ἀντικληθησόμενος καλεῖ μέ τις, ἐπεὶ πάντες ἴσασιν ὅτι ἀρχὴν οὐδὲ νομίζεται εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν οἰκίαν δεῖπνον προσφέρεσθαι.” καὶ ἅμα λέγων ταῦτα ἀπεμύττετό τε καὶ τῇ φωνῇ σαφῶς κλαίειν ἐφαίνετο. πάντες μὲν οὖν παρεμυθοῦντό τε αὐτὸν ὡς αὖθις γελασόμενοι καὶ δειπνεῖν ἐκέλευον, Κριτόβουλος δὲ καὶ ἐξεκάγχασεν ἐπὶ τῷ οἰκτισμῷ αὐτοῦ. ὁ δ’ ὡς ᾔσθετο τοῦ γέλωτος, ἀνεκαλύψατό τε καὶ τῇ ψυχῇ παρακελευσάμενος θαρρεῖν, ὅτι ἔσονται συμβολαί, πάλιν ἐδείπνει.”
(Xenophon, Symp. 1.11-16)

The company, then, were feasting in silence, as though at the command of some greater authority, when Philip the comedian knocked at the door and told the porter to announce who he was and why he desired to be admitted; he declared that with regard to food he had come fully equipped with everything needed to dine at someone else’s expense, and that his servant was in great distress at having no loadto carry and at having had no lunch. Hearing this, Callias said, “Well, gentlemen, we can’t decently begrudge him at the least the shelter of our roof; so let him come in.” At the same time he cast a glance at Autolycus, obviously trying to make out what he had thought of the joke. But Philip, standing at the threshold of the men’s hall where the banquet was served, announced: “You all know that I am a comedian; and so I’ve come here in the firm belief that it’s funnier to come to your dinner uninvited than invited.” “Well, then,” said Callias, “take a seat; for the guests, though well fed, as you can see, on seriousness, are perhaps rather ill supplied with laughter.” No sooner were they engaged in their dinner than Philip tried making a joke, with a view to rendering the service that secured him a dinner engagement every time; but when he failed to get a laugh he was visibly annoyed. A little later he tried another joke; but when they would not laugh at it this time either, he stopped in the middle of his dinner, covered his head with his cloak, and stretched out on his couch. “What’s the matter, Philip?” Callias asked. “Are you in pain?” Philip replied with a groan, “Zeus yes, Callias, severe pain; for since laughter has perished from the world, my business is ruined. For in times past, the reason I got invitations to dinner was because I might arouse laughter among the guests and put them in a good mood; but why will anyone want to invite me now? For I could no more turn serious than I could become immortal; and certainly no one will invite me in hope of a return invitation, since every one knows it’s simply never been customary at my house even to send out for dinner.” As he said this, he wiped his nose, and to judge by the sound, he was evidently weeping. All tried to comfort him with the promise that they would laugh next time, and urged him to eat; and Critobulus actually burst into a guffaw at his display of self-pity. The moment Philip heard the laughter he uncovered his head, and exhorting his spirit to be of good courage—there will be contributions!*—he fell to eating again.

* Punning on symbolai, which can mean hostile encounters, agreed terms, and potluck contributions (in this case, jokes from him, laughter from the guests, food from the host).

(tr. Edgar Cardew Marchant & Otis Johnson Todd, revised by Jeffrey Henderson, with his note)

Philōn

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Ἤκουσα δέ ποτε αὐτοῦ καὶ περὶ φίλων διαλεγομένου, ἐξ ὧν ἔμοιγε ἐδόκει μάλιστ’ ἄν τις ὠφελεῖσθαι πρὸς φίλων κτῆσίν τε καὶ χρείαν. τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ δὴ πολλῶν ἔφη ἀκούειν, ὡς πάντων κτημάτων κράτιστον ἂν εἴη φίλος σαφὴς καὶ ἀγαθός· ἐπιμελομένους δὲ παντὸς μᾶλλον ὁρᾶν ἔφη τοὺς πολλοὺς ἢ φίλων κτήσεως. καὶ γὰρ οἰκίας καὶ ἀγροὺς καὶ ἀνδράποδα καὶ βοσκήματα καὶ σκεύη κτωμένους τε ἐπιμελῶς ὁρᾶν ἔφη καὶ τὰ ὄντα σῴζειν πειρωμένους, φίλον δέ, ὃ μέγιστον ἀγαθὸν εἶναί φασιν, ὁρᾶν ἔφη τοὺς πολλοὺς οὔτε ὅπως κτήσωνται φροντίζοντας οὔτε ὅπως οἱ ὄντες αὐτοῖς σῴζωνται. ἀλλὰ καὶ καμνόντων φίλων τε καὶ οἰκετῶν ὁρᾶν τινας ἔφη τοῖς μὲν οἰκέταις καὶ ἰατροὺς εἰσάγοντας καὶ τἆλλα τὰ πρὸς ὑγίειαν ἐπιμελῶς παρασκευάζοντας, τῶν δὲ φίλων ὀλιγωροῦντας, ἀποθανόντων τε ἀμφοτέρων ἐπὶ μὲν τοῖς οἰκέταις ἀχθομένους τε καὶ ζημίαν ἡγουμένους, ἐπὶ δὲ τοῖς φίλοις οὐδὲν οἰομένους ἐλαττοῦσθαι, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἄλλων κτημάτων οὐδὲν ἐῶντας ἀθεράπευτον οὐδ᾽ ἀνεπίσκεπτον, τῶν δὲ φίλων ἐπιμελείας δεομένων ἀμελοῦντας. ἔτι δὲ πρὸς τούτοις ὁρᾶν ἔφη τοὺς πολλοὺς τῶν μὲν ἄλλων κτημάτων καὶ πάνυ πολλῶν αὐτοῖς ὄντων, τὸ πλῆθος εἰδότας, τῶν δὲ φίλων, ὀλίγων ὄντων οὐ μόνον τὸ πλῆθος ἀγνοοῦντας, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς πυνθανομένοις τοῦτο καταλέγειν ἐγχειρήσαντας οὓς ἐν τοῖς φίλοις ἔθεσαν, πάλιν τούτους ἀνατίθεσθαι· τοσοῦτον αὐτοὺς τῶν φίλων φροντίζειν.
(Xenophon, Mem. 4.1-4)

Again, I once heard a conversation of his* about friendship that I thought likely to be of great help in acquiring and making use of friends. For he said that he often heard it stated that of all possessions the most precious is a good and sincere friend. “And yet,” he said, “there is no transaction most men are so careless about as the acquisition of friends. For I find that they are careful about getting houses and lands and slaves and cattle and furniture, and anxious to keep what they have; but though they claim that a friend is the greatest blessing, I find that most men take no thought how to get new friends or how to keep their old ones. Indeed, if one of their friends and one of their servants get sick at the same time, I find that some call in the doctor to attend the servant and are careful to provide everything that may contribute to his recovery, whereas they pay no attention to the friend. In the event that both die, they are annoyed at losing the servant and consider it a loss, but don’t feel that the death of the friend matters in the least. And though none of their other possessions is uncared for and unconsidered, they neglect their friends’ need of attention. And besides all this, I find that most men know the number of their other possessions, however great it may be, yet cannot tell the number of their friends, few as they are, and if asked to try to make a list they will insert names and presently remove them. So much for the thought they give to their friends!

* i.e. Socrates’.

(tr. Edgar Cardew Marchant & Otis Johnson Todd, revised by Jeffrey Henderson)

Kalos

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Ὁ δὲ Κριτόβουλος, “οὐκοῦν αὖ ἐγὼ λέξω, ἔφη, ἐξ ὧν ἐπὶ τῷ κάλλει μέγα φρονῶ;”— “λέγε”, ἔφασαν. “εἰ μὲν τοίνυν μὴ καλός εἰμι, ὡς οἴομαι, ὑμεῖς ἂν δικαίως ἀπάτης δίκην ὑπέχοιτε· οὐδενὸς γὰρ ὁρκίζοντος ἀεὶ ὀμνύοντες καλόν μέ φατε εἶναι. κἀγὼ μέντοι πιστεύω. καλοὺς γὰρ καὶ ἀγαθοὺς ὑμᾶς ἄνδρας νομίζω. εἰ δ’ εἰμί τε τῷ ὄντι καλὸς καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ αὐτὰ πρὸς ἐμὲ πάσχετε οἷάπερ ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν ἐμοὶ δοκοῦντα καλὸν εἶναι, ὄμνυμι πάντας θεοὺς μὴ ἑλέσθαι ἂν τὴν βασιλέως ἀρχὴν ἀντὶ τοῦ καλὸς εἶναι. νῦν γὰρ ἐγὼ Κλεινίαν ἥδιον μὲν θεῶμαι ἢ τἆλλα πάντα τὰ ἐν ἀνθρώποις καλά· τυφλὸς δὲ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων μᾶλλον δεξαίμην ἂν εἶναι ἢ Κλεινίου ἑνὸς ὄντος· ἄχθομαι δὲ καὶ νυκτὶ καὶ ὕπνῳ ὅτι ἐκεῖνον οὐχ ὁρῶ, ἡμέρᾳ δὲ καὶ ἡλίῳ τὴν μεγίστην χάριν οἶδα ὅτι μοι Κλεινίαν ἀναφαίνουσιν. ἄξιόν γε μὴν ἡμῖν τοῖς καλοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖσδε μέγα φρονεῖν, ὅτι τὸν μὲν ἰσχυρὸν πονοῦντα δεῖ κτᾶσθαι τἀγαθὰ καὶ τὸν ἀνδρεῖον κινδυνεύοντα, τὸν δέ γε σοφὸν λέγοντα· ὁ δὲ καλὸς καὶ ἡσυχίαν ἔχων πάντ’ ἂν διαπράξαιτο.”
(Xenophon, Symp. 4.10-13)

Then Critobulus said, “Shall I take my turn now and tell you my reasons for taking pride in my handsomeness?”
“Do,” they said.
“Well then, if I am not handsome, as I think I am, you could fairly be sued for misrepresentation; for though no one puts you under oath, you’re always swearing that I’m handsome. And I believe you, for I consider you to be real gentlemen. But if I really am handsome and you feel about me what I feel about I consider handsome , I swear by all the gods that I wouldn’t trade being handsome for the King’s empire. For as it is, I would rather gaze at Cleinias* than at everything else the world considers handsome. I would rather be blind to everything else than to Cleinias alone. I’m annoyed by both night and sleep because then I can’t see him; I feel the deepest gratitude to day and the sun because they reveal Cleinias to me. We handsome people have a right to be proud of this fact too: that whereas the strong man must get the good things he wants by toiling, and the brave man by running risks, and the sage man by speaking, the handsome man can have it all without doing anything.”

* Probably the young cousin of Alcibiades; cf. Mem. 1.3.8.

(tr. Otis Johnson Todd with his note; revised by Jeffrey Henderson)

Thronon

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The Naderi throne of Iran (ca. 1800 AD)

Ἐνταῦθα δὴ κατά τε τοῦ Τισσαφέρνους ἔλεγον ἃ πεποιηκὼς εἴη, αὐτοῦ τε Κύρου ἐδέοντο ὡς προθυμοτάτου πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον γενέσθαι.Κῦρος δὲ τόν τε πατέρα ἔφη ταῦτα ἐπεσταλκέναι καὶ αὐτὸς οὐκ ἄλλ᾽ ἐγνωκέναι, ἀλλὰ πάντα ποιήσειν· ἔχων δὲ ἥκειν τάλαντα πεντακόσια· ἐὰν δὲ ταῦτα ἐπιλίπῃ, τοῖς ἰδίοις χρήσεσθαι ἔφη, ἃ ὁ πατὴρ αὐτῷ ἔδωκεν· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ταῦτα, καὶ τὸν θρόνον κατακόψειν ἐφ᾽ οὗ ἐκάθητο, ὄντα ἀργυροῦν καὶ χρυσοῦν. οἱ δὲ ταῦτά τε ἐπῄνουν καὶ ἐκέλευον αὐτὸν τάξαι τῷ ναύτῃ δραχμὴν Ἀττικήν, διδάσκοντες ὅτι, ἂν οὗτος ὁ μισθὸς γένηται, οἱ τῶν Ἀθηναίων ναῦται ἀπολείψουσι τὰς ναῦς, καὶ μείω χρήματα ἀναλώσει. ὁ δὲ καλῶς μὲν ἔφη αὐτοὺς λέγειν, οὐ δυνατὸν δ᾽ εἶναι παρ᾽ ἃ βασιλεὺς ἐπέστειλεν αὐτῷ ἄλλα ποιεῖν. εἶναι δὲ καὶ τὰς συνθήκας οὕτως ἐχούσας, τριάκοντα μνᾶς ἑκάστῃ νηὶ τοῦ μηνὸς διδόναι, ὁπόσας ἂν βούλωνται τρέφειν Λακεδαιμόνιοι. ὁ δὲ Λύσανδρος τότε μὲν ἐσιώπησε· μετὰ δὲ τὸ δεῖπνον, ἐπεὶ αὐτῷ προπιὼν ὁ Κῦρος ἤρετο τί ἂν μάλιστα χαρίζοιτο ποιῶν, εἶπεν ὅτι Εἰ πρὸς τὸν μισθὸν ἑκάστῳ ναύτῃ ὀβολὸν προσθείης. ἐκ δὲ τούτου τέτταρες ὀβολοὶ ἦν ὁ μισθός, πρότερον δὲ τριώβολον.
(Xenophon, Hell. 1.5.2-7)

Then and there they told Cyrus of the deeds of which Tissaphernes had been guilty, and begged him to show the utmost zeal in the war. Cyrus replied that this was what his father had instructed him to do, and that he had no other intention himself, but would do everything possible; he had brought with him, he said, five hundred talents; if this amount should prove insufficient, he would use his own money, which his father had given him; and if this too should prove inadequate, he would go so far as to break up the throne whereon he sat, which was of silver and gold. The ambassadors thanked him, and urged him to make the wage of each sailor an Attic drachma a day, explaining that if this were made the rate, the sailors of the Athenian fleet would desert their ships, and hence he would spend less money. He replied that their plan was a good one, but that it was not possible for him to act contrary to the King’s instructions; besides, the original compact ran in this way, that the King should give thirty minae per month to each ship, whatever number of ships the Lacedaemonians might wish to maintain. Lysander accordingly dropped the matter for the moment; but after dinner, when Cyrus drank his health and asked him by what act he could gratify him most, Lysander replied: “By adding an obol to the pay of each sailor.” And from this time forth the wage was four obols, whereas it had previously been three. (tr. Carleton L. Brownson)

Anthemia

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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, Anab. 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)

Hupischnei

Ἐνταῦθα Γαυλίτης παρὼν φυγὰς Σάμιος, πιστὸς δὲ Κύρῳ, εἶπε· “καἱ μήν, ὦ Κῦρε, λέγουσί τινες ὅτι πολλὰ ὑπισχνεῖ νῦν διὰ τὸ ἐν τοιούτῳ εἶναι τοῦ κινδύνου προσιόντος, ἂν δὲ εὖ γένηταί τι, οὐ μεμνήσεσθαί σέ φασιν· ἔνιοι δὲ οὐδ’ εἰ μεμνῇό τε καὶ βούλοιο δύνασθαι ἂν ἀποδοῦναι ὅσα ὑπισχνεῖ.” ἀκούσας ταῦτα ἔλεξεν ὁ Κῦρος· “Ἀλλ’ ἔστι μὲν ἡμῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες, ἡ ἀρχὴ ἡ πατρῴα πρὸς μὲν μεσημβρίαν μέχρι οὗ διὰ καῦμα οὐ δύνανται οἰκεῖν ἄνθρωποι, πρὸς δὲ ἄρκτον μέχρι οὗ διὰ χειμῶνα· τὰ δ’ ἐν μέσῳ τούτων ἅπαντα σατραπεύουσιν οἱ τοῦ ἐμοῦ ἀδελφοῦ φίλοι. ἢν δ’ ἡμεῖς νικήσωμεν, ἡμᾶς δεῖ τοὺς ἡμετέρους φίλους τούτων ἐγκρατεῖς ποιῆσαι. ὥστε οὐ τοῦτο δέδοικα, μὴ οὐκ ἔχω ὅ τι δῶ ἑκάστῳ τῶν φίλων, ἂν εὖ γένηται, ἀλλὰ μὴ οὐκ ἔχω ἱκανοὺς οἷς δῶ.”
(Xenophon, Anab. 1.7.6-7)

Hereupon Gaulites, a Samian exile who was there and was in the confidence of Cyrus, said: “And yet, Cyrus, there are those who say that your promises are big now because you are in such a critical situation—for the danger is upon you—but that if any good fortune befall, you will fail to remember them; and some say that even if you should remember and have the will, you would not have the means to make good all your promises.” Upon hearing these words Cyrus said: “Well, gentlemen, my father’s realm extends towards the south to a region where men cannot dwell by reason of the heat, and to the north to a region where they cannot dwell by reason of the cold; and all that lies between these limits my brother’s friends rule as satraps. Now if we win the victory, we must put our friends in control of these provinces. I fear, therefore, not that I shall not have enough to give to each of my friends, if success attends us, but that I shall not have enough friends to give to.” (tr. Carleton L. Brownson, revised by John Dillery)