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These, O Cynulcus, are the words of Lysias. But I, in the words of Aristarchus the tragic poet,

Saying no more, but this in self-defence,

will now cease my attack upon you and the rest of the Cynics.


1. Most people, my friend Timocrates, call Bacchus frantic, because those who drink too much unmixed wine become violent.

To copious wine this insolence we owe,
And much thy betters wine can overthrow
The great Eurytion, when this frenzy stung,
Pirithous' roofs with frantic riot rung:
Boundless the Centaur raged, till one and all
The heroes rose and dragg'd him from the hall;
His nose they shorten'd, and his ears they slit,
And sent him sober'd home with better wit.'

For when the wine has penetrated down into the body, as
Herodotus says, bad and furious language is apt to rise to
the surface. And Clearchus the comic poet says in his

If all the men who to get drunk are apt,
Had every day a headache ere they drank
The wine, there is not one would drink a drop:
But as we now get all the pleasure first,

And then the drink, we lose the whole delight
In the sharp pain which follows.

And Xenophon represents Agesilaus as insisting that a man ought to shun drunkenness equally with madness, and immoderate gluttony as much as idleness. But we, as we are not of the class who drink to excess, nor of the number of those who are in the habit of being intoxicated by midday, have come rather to this literary entertainment; for Ulpian, who is always finding fault, reproved some one just now who said, I am not drunk (gowos), saying,—Where do you find that word soos? But he rejoined,-Why, in Alexis, who, in his play called the New Settler, says—

He did all this when drunk (ěžoivos).

1 Odyss. xxi. 293.

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2. But as, after the discussion by us of the new topics which arise, our liberal entertainer Laurentius is every day constantly introducing different kinds of music, and also jesters and buffoons, let us have a little talk about them. Although I am aware that Anacharsis the Scythian, when on one occasion jesters were introduced in his company, remained without moving a muscle of his countenance; but afterwards, when a monkey was brought in, he burst out laughing, and said, "Now this fellow is laughable by his nature, but man is only so through practice." And Euripides, in his Melanippe in Chains, has said

But many men, from the wish to raise a laugh,
Practise sharp sayings; but those sorry jesters
I hate who let loose their unbridled tongues
Against the wise and good; nor do I class them
As men at all, but only as jokes and playthings.
Meantime they live at ease, and gather up

Good store of wealth to keep within their houses.

And Parmeniscus of Metapontum, as Semus tells us in the fifth book of his Delias, a man of the highest consideration both as to family and in respect of his riches, having gone down to the cave of Trophonius, after he had come up again, was not able to laugh at all. And when he consulted the oracle on this subject, the Pythian priestess replied to himYou're asking me, you laughless man, About the power to laugh again; Your mother 'll give it you at home, If you with reverence to her come.

So, on this, he hoped that when he returned to his country he should be able to laugh again; but when he found that he could laugh no more now than he could before, he considered that he had been deceived; till, by some chance, he came to Delos; and as he was admiring everything he saw in the island, he came into the temple of Latona, expecting to see some very superb statue of the mother of Apollo; but when he saw only a wooden shapeless figure, he unexpectedly burst out laughing. And then, comparing what had happened with the oracle of the god, and being cured of his infirmity, he honoured the goddess greatly.

3. Now Anaxandrides, in his Old Man's Madness, says that it was Rhadamanthus and Palamedes who invented the fashion of jesters; and his words are these:


And yet we labour much.

But Palamedes first, and Rhadamanthus,

Sought those who bring no other contribution,
But say amusing things.

Xenophon also, in his Banquet, mentions jesters; introducing Philip, of whom he speaks in the following manner: -"But Philip the jester, having knocked at the door, told the boy who answered, to tell the guests who he was, and that he was desirous to be admitted; and he said that he came provided with everything which could qualify him for supping at other people's expense. And he said, too, that his boy was in a good deal of distress because he had brought nothing, and because he had had no dinner." And Hippolochus the Macedonian, in his epistle to Lynceus, mentions the jesters Mandrogenes and Strato the Athenian. And at Athens there was a great deal of this kind of cleverness. Accordingly, in the Heracleum at Diomea' they assembled to the number of sixty, and they were always spoken of in the city as amounting to that number, in such expressions as-"The sixty said this," and, "I am come from the sixty." And among them were Callimedon, nicknamed the Crab, and Dinias, and also Mnasigeiton and Menæchmus, as Telephanes tells us in his treatise on the City. And their reputation for amusing qualities was so great, that Philip the Macedonian heard of it, and sent them a talent to engage them to write out their witticisms and send them to him. And the fact of this king having been a man who was very fond of jokes is testified to us by Demosthenes the orator in his Philippics.

Demetrius Poliorcetes was a man very eager for anything which could make him laugh, as Phylarchus tells us in the sixth book of his History. And he it was who said, "that the palace of Lysimachus was in no respect different from a comic theatre; for that there was no one there bigger than a dissyllable;"" (meaning to laugh at Bithys and Paris, who had more influence than anybody with Lysimachus, and at some others of his friends;) "but that his friends were

1 Diomea was a small village in Attica, where there was a celebrated temple of Hercules, and where a festival was kept in his honour: Aristophanes says→→

“Οποθ' Ηράκλεια τὰ 'ν Διομείοις γίγνεται.—Ranæ, 651.

2 Because slaves (and the actors were usually slaves) had only names of one, or at most two syllables, such as Davus, Geta, Dromo, Mus.

Peucesteses, and Menelauses, and Oxythemises." But when Lysimachus heard this, he said,-" I, however, never saw a prostitute on the stage in a tragedy;" referring to Lamia the female flute-player. And when this was reported to Demetrius, he rejoined," But the prostitute who is with me, lives in a more modest manner than the Penelope who is with him."

4. And we have mentioned before this that Sylla, the general of the Romans, was very fond of anything laughable. And Lucius Anicius, who was also a general of the Romans, after he had subdued the Illyrians, and brought with him Genthius the king of the Illyrians as his prisoner, with all his children, when he was celebrating his triumphal games at Rome, did many things of the most laughable character possible, as Polybius relates in his thirtieth book :-" For having sent for the most eminent artists from Greece, and having erected a very large theatre in the circus, he first of all introduced all the flute-players. And these were Theodorus the Boeotian, and Theopompus, and Hermippus, surnamed Lysimachus, who were the most eminent men in their profession. And having brought these men in front of the stage after the chorus was over, he ordered them all to play the flute. And as they accompanied their music with appropriate gestures, he sent to them and said that they were not playing well, and desired them to be more vehement. And while they were in perplexity, one of the lictors told them that what Anicius wished was that they should turn round so as to advance towards each other, and give a representation of a battle. And then the flute-players, taking this hint, and adopting a movement not unsuited to their habitual wantonness, caused a great tumult and confusion; and turning the middle of the chorus towards the extremities, the flute-players, all blowing unpremeditated notes, and letting their flutes be all out of tune, rushed upon one another in turn: and at the same time the choruses, all making a noise to correspond to them, and coming on the stage at the same time, rushed also upon one another, and then again retreated, advancing and retreating alternately. But when one of the chorus-dancers tucked up his garment, and suddenly turned round and raised his hands against the flute-player who was coming towards him, as if he was going to box with him, then there arose an extraordinary

carring and shouting on the part of the mectators. And
while all these men vere ighting as if in regular battle. two
dancers vere introduced into the orchestra with a symphony,
and four boxers mounted the stage, with trumpeters and
horn-players: and when all these men were striving together,
the spectacle was quite indescribable: and as for the trage-
dians," says Polybius, f I were to attempt to describe what
took place with respect to them, I should be thought by some
people to be jesting"
5. Now when pian had said thus much, and when all
were laughing at the idea of this exhibition of Anicius, a dis-
cussion arose about the men who are called Auvo And the
question was asked, Whether there was any mention of these
men in any of the ancient authors for of the jugglers
(Gavuaronowi) we have already spoken: and Magnus said.-
Dionysius of Since, the comic poet, in his play entitled
the Namesakes, mentions Cephiscdcrus the ravos in the
following terms :—

They say that once there was a man at Athens,
A Távos, named Cephisodorus, whe
Devoted all his life to this pursuit ;

And he, whenever to a hill he came,

Ran straight up to the top; but then descending
Came slowly down, and leaning on a stick.

And Nicostratus also mentions him in his Syrian

They say the rhávos Cephisodorus once
Most wittily station'd in a narrow lane

A crowd of men with bundles of large faggots,
So that no one else could pass that way at all.

There was also a man named Pantaleon, who is mentioned by Theognetus, in his Slave devoted to his Master—

Pantaleon himself did none deceive (èrλdva)
Save only foreigners, and those, too, such
As ne'er had heard of him: and often he,
After a drunken revel, would pour forth
All sorts of jokes, striving to raise a laugh
By his unceasing chattering.

And Chrysippus the philosopher, in the fifth book of his treatise on Honour and Pleasure, writes thus of Pantaleon:

But Pantaleon the λávos, when he was at the point of death, deceived every one of his sons separately, telling each of them that he was the only one to whom he was revealing the place where he had buried his gold; so that they after

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