Plutarch’s Morals: “On Love”, 75 A.C.E.
Flavianus And Autobulus, The Openers Of The Dialogue, Are Brothers. The Other Speakers Are Their Father, Daphnæus, Protogenes, Pisias, And Others.
§ i. Flavianus.—You say that it was on Mount Helicon, Autobulus, that those conversations took place about Love, which you are now about to narrate to us at our request, as you either wrote them down, or at least remember them from frequently asking our father about them.
Autobulus.—It was on Mount Helicon among the Muses, Flavianus, when the people of Thespiæ were celebrating their Festival to the God of Love, which they celebrate very magnificently and splendidly every five years to that God, as also to the Muses.
Flavianus.—Do you know what all of us who have come to this audience intend to ask of you?
Autobulus.—No, but I shall know if you tell me.
Flavianus.—Remove from your discourse for this once the poet’s meadows and shades, and talk about ivy and yews, and all other commonplaces of that kind that writers love to introduce, with more zeal than discretion, in imitation of Plato’s Ilissus and the famous willow and the gentle slope of grass.62
Autobulus.—My dear Flavianus, my narrative needs not any such exordium. The occasion that caused the conversation simply demands a chorus for the action and a stage, nothing else is wanting to the drama, let us only pray to the Mother of the Muses to be propitious, and give me memory for my narrative.
§ ii. Long ago our father, before we were born, having lately married our mother, had gone to sacrifice to the God of Love, in consequence of a dispute and variance that broke out among their parents, and took our mother to the Festival, for she also had her part in the vow and sacrifice. Some of their intimate friends journeyed with them from the town where they lived, and when they got to Thespiæ 30they found there Daphnæus the son of Archidamus, a lover of Lysandra the daughter of Simo, and of all her suitors the one who stood highest in her favour, and Soclarus the son of Aristio, who had come from Tithorea. And there were there also Protogenes of Tarsus, and Zeuxippus from Sparta, strangers, and my father said most of the most notable Bœotians were there also. For two or three days they went about the town in one another’s company, as it was likely they would do, quietly carrying on philosophical discussions in the wrestling-schools and theatres: after that, to avoid a wearisome contest of harpers, decided beforehand by canvassing and cabal, most broke up their camp as if they had been in a hostile country, and removed to Mount Helicon, and bivouacked there with the Muses. In the morning they were visited by Anthemion and Pisias, both men of good repute, and very great friends of Baccho, who was surnamed the Handsome, and also rivals of one another somewhat through their affection for him. Now you must know that there was at Thespiæ a lady called Ismenodora, famous for her wealth and good family, and of uncommon good repute for her virtuous life: for she had been a widow some time without a breath of slander lighting upon her, though she was young and good-looking. As Baccho was the son of a friend and crony of hers, she had tried to bring about a marriage between him and a maiden who was her own relation, but by frequently being in his company and talking to him she had got rather smitten with him herself. And hearing much in his favour, and often talking about him, and seeing that many noble young men were in love with him, she fell violently in love with him, and, being resolved to do nothing unbecoming to her fair fame, determined to marry and live openly with him. And the matter seeming in itself rather odd, Baccho’s mother looked rather askance at the proposed matrimonial alliance as being too high and splendid for her son, while some of his companions who used to go out hunting with him, frightening him and flouting him with Ismenodora’s being rather too old for him, really did more to break off the match than those who seriously opposed it. And Baccho, being only a youth, somehow felt a little ashamed at the idea of31 marrying a widow, but, neglecting the opinions of everybody else, he submitted the decision as to the expediency of the marriage to Pisias and Anthemion, the latter being his cousin, though older than him, and the former the gravest63 of his lovers. Pisias objected to the marriage, and upbraided Anthemion with throwing the youth away on Ismenodora. Anthemion replied that it was not well in Pisias, being a good fellow in other respects, to imitate depraved lovers by shutting out his friend from house and marriage and wealth, merely that he might enjoy the sight of him as long as possible naked and in all his virgin bloom at the wrestling-schools.
§ iii. To avoid getting estranged by provoking one another on the question, they came and chose our father and his companions as umpires on the matter. And of the other friends, as if by concerted arrangement, Daphnæus espoused the view of Anthemion, and Protogenes the view of Pisias. And Protogenes inveighing somewhat too freely against Ismenodora, Daphnæus took him up and said, “Hercules, what are we not to expect, if Protogenes is going to be hostile to love? he whose whole life, whether in work or at play, has been devoted to love, in forgetfulness of letters, in forgetfulness of his country, not like Laius, away from his country only five days, his was only a torpid and land love: whereas your love ‘unfolding its swift wings,’ flew over the sea from Cilicia to Athens, merely to gaze at and saunter about with handsome boys. For that was the original reason, doubtless, of Protogenes’ journey abroad.”
§ iv. And some laughter ensuing, Protogenes replied, “Do I really seem to you now to be hostile to love, and not to be fighting for love against ungovernable lust, which with most disgraceful acts and emotions assumes the most honourable of titles?” Whereupon Daphnæus, “Do you call the marriage and union of man and woman most disgraceful, than which no holier tie exists nor ever 32did?” Protogenes replied, “Why, as all this is necessary for the human race to continue, our legislators do not act amiss in crying up marriage and eulogizing it to the masses, but of genuine love there is not a particle in the woman’s side of a house;64 and I also say that you who are sweet on women and girls only love them as flies love milk, and bees the honey-comb, and butchers and cooks calves and birds, fattening them up in darkness.65 But as nature leads one to eat and drink moderately and sufficiently, and excess in this is called gluttony and gormandizing, so the mutual desires between men and women are natural; but that headlong, violent, and uncontrollable passion for the sex is not rightly called love. For love, when it seizes a noble and young soul, ends in virtue through friendship; but these violent passions for women, at the best, aim only at carnal enjoyment and reaping the harvest of a beauteous prime, as Aristippus showed in his answer to one who told him Lais loved him not, ‘No more,’ he said, ‘do meat and wine love me, but I gladly enjoy both.’66 For the end of passion is pleasure and fruition: but love, when it has once lost the promise of friendship, will not remain and continue to cherish merely for beauty that which gives it pain, where it gives no return of friendship and virtue. You remember the husband in the play saying to his wife, ‘Do you hate me? I can bear that hatred very easily, since of my dishonour I make money.’ Not a whit more really in love than this husband is the one, who, not for gain but merely for the sexual appetite, puts up with a peevish and unsympathetic wife, as Philippides, the comic poet, ridiculed the orator, Stratocles, ‘You scarce can kiss her if she turns her back on you.’ If, however, we ought to give the name of love to this passion, then is it an effeminate and bastard love, and like at Cynosarges,67 taking us to the woman’s side of the house: or rather as 33they say there is a genuine mountain eagle, which Homer called ‘black, and a bird of prey,’ and there are other kinds of spurious eagles, which catch fish and lazy birds in marshes, and often in want of food emit an hungry wail: so the genuine love is the love of boys, a love not ‘flashing with desire,’ as Anacreon said the love of maidens was, nor ‘redolent of ointment and sprightly,’ but you will see it plain and without airs in the schools of the philosophers, or perhaps in the gymnasiums and wrestling-schools, keenly and nobly pursuing youths, and urging on to virtue those who are well worthy of attention: but that soft and stay-at-home love, spending all its time in women’s bosoms and beds, always pursuing effeminate delights, and enervated by unmanly, unfriendly, and unimpassioned pleasures, we ought to condemn as Solon condemned it: for he forbade slaves to love boys or to anoint them with oil, while he allowed them to associate with women. For friendship is noble and refined, whereas pleasure is vulgar and illiberal. Therefore, for a slave to love boys is neither liberal or refined: for it is merely the love of copulation, as the love of women.”
§ v. Protogenes was intending to go on at greater length, when Daphnæus stopped him and said, “You do well, by Zeus, to mention Solon, and we too may use him as the test of an amorous man. Does he not define such a one in the lines, ‘As long as you love boys in the glorious flower of their youth for their kisses and embraces.’ And add to Solon the lines of Æschylus, ‘You did not disdain the honour of the thighs, O thankless one after all my frequent kisses.’68 For some laugh at them if they bid lovers, like sacrificing priests and seers, to inspect thighs and loins; but I think this a mighty argument in behalf of the love of women. For if the unnatural commerce with males does not take away or mar the amorous propensity, much more likely is it that the natural love of women will end in friendship after the favour. For, Protogenes, the yielding of the female to the male was called by the ancients the favour. Thus Pindar says Hephæstus was the son of Hera 34’without any favours’:69 and Sappho, addressing a girl not yet ripe for marriage, says to her, ‘You seemed to me a little girl, too young for the favour.’ And someone asks Hercules, ‘Did you obtain the girl’s favour by force or by persuasion?’ But the love of males for males, whether rape or voluntary—pathicks effeminately submitting, to use Plato’s words, ‘to be treated bestially’—is altogether a foul and unlovely favour. And so I think Solon wrote the lines quoted above ‘in his hot youth,’ as Plato puts it; but when he became older wrote these other lines, ‘Now I delight in Cyprus-born Aphrodite, and in Dionysus, and in the Muses: all these give joys to men’: as if, after the heat and tempest of his boyish loves, he had got into a quiet haven of marriage and philosophy. But indeed, Protogenes, if we look at the real facts of the case, the love for boys and women is really one and the same passion: but if you wish in a disputatious spirit to make any distinction, you will find that this boy-love goes beyond all bounds, and, like some late-born and ill-begotten bastard brat, seeks to expel its legitimate brother the older love, the love of women. For indeed, friend, it is only yesterday or the day before, since the strippings and exposures of the youths in the gymnasiums, that this boy-love crept in, and gently insinuated itself and got a footing, and at last in a little time got fully-fledged in the wrestling-schools, and has now got fairly unbearable, and insults and tramples on conjugal love, that love that gives immortality to our mortal race, when our nature has been extinguished by death, kindling it again by new births. And this boy-love denies that pleasure is its aim: for it is ashamed and afraid to confess the truth: but it needs some specious excuse for the liberties it takes with handsome boys in their prime: the pretext is friendship and virtue. So your boy-lover wallows in the dust, bathes in cold water, raises his eyebrows, gives himself out for a philosopher, and lives chaste abroad because of the law: but in the stillness of night
‘Sweet is the ripe fruit when the guard’s withdrawn.’70
35 But if, as Protogenes says, there is no carnal intercourse in these boy-familiarities, how is it Love, if Aphrodite is not present, whom it is the destiny of Love to cherish and pay court to, and to partake of just as much honour and power as she assigns to him? But if there is any Love without Aphrodite, as there is drunkenness without wine in drinks made from figs and barley, the disturbing it will be fruitless and without effect, and surfeiting and disgusting.”
§ vi. At the conclusion of this speech, it was clear that Pisias was vexed and indignant with Daphnæus; and after a moment’s silence he began: “O Hercules! what levity and audacity for men to state that they are tied to women as dogs to bitches, and to banish the god of Love from the gymnasiums and public walks, and light of day and open intercourse, and to restrict him to brothels71 and philtres and incantations of wanton women: for to chaste women, I am sure, it belongs not either to love or be loved.” At this point our father told me he interposed, and took Protogenes by the hand, and said to him:
“‘This word of yours rouses the Argive host,’
and of a verity Pisias makes us to side with Daphnæus by his extravagant language, charging marriage with being a loveless intercourse, and one that has no participation in divine friendship, although we can see that it is an intercourse, if erotic persuasion and favour fail, that cannot be restrained by shame and fear as by bit and bridle.” Thereupon Pisias said, “I care little about his arguments; but I see that Daphnæus is in the same condition as brass: for, just as it is not worked upon so much by the agency of fire as by the molten and liquid brass fused with it, so is he not so much captivated by the beauty of Lysandra as by his association with one who is the victim of the gentle passion; and it is plain that, if he doesn’t take refuge with 36us, he will soon melt away in the flame altogether. But I see, what Anthemion would very much like, that I am offending the Court, so I stop.” “You amuse us,” said Anthemion: “but you ought from the first to have spoken to the point.”
§ vii. “I say then,” continued Pisias, “and give it out boldly, as far as I am concerned, let every woman have a lover; but we ought to guard against giving the wealth of Ismenodora to Baccho, lest, if we involve him in so much grandeur and magnificence, we unwittingly lose him in it, as tin is lost in brass. For if the lad were to marry quite a plain and insignificant woman, it would be great odds whether he would keep the upper hand, as wine mixed with water; and Ismenodora seems already marked out for sway and command; for otherwise she would not have rejected such illustrious and wealthy suitors to woo a lad hardly yet arrived at man’s estate, and almost requiring a tutor still. And therefore men of sense prune the excessive wealth of their wives, as if it had wings that required clipping; for this same wealth implants in them luxury, caprice, and vanity, by which they are often elated and fly away altogether: but if they remain, it would be better to be bound by golden fetters, as in Ethiopia, than to a woman’s wealth.”
§ viii. Here Protogenes put in, “You say nothing about the risk we run of unseasonably and ridiculously reversing the well-known advice of Hesiod:
‘If seasonable marriage you would make,
Let about thirty be the bridegroom’s age,
The bride be in the fifth year of her womanhood:’72
if we thus marry a lad hardly old enough for marriage to a woman so many years older, than himself, as dates and figs are forced. You will say she loves him passionately: who prevents her, then, from serenading at his doors, singing her amorous ditty, putting garlands on his statues, and wrestling and boxing with her rivals in his affections? For all these are what people in love do. And let her lower her eyebrows, and give up the airs of a coquette, and 37assume the appearance of those that are deeply smitten. But if she is modest and chaste, let her decorously stay at home and await there her lovers and sweethearts; for any sensible man would be disgusted and flee from a woman who took the initiative in love, far less would he be likely to marry her after such a barefaced wooing.”
§ ix. When Protogenes had done speaking, my father said, “Do you see, Anthemion, that they force us to intervene again, who have no objection to dance in the retinue of conjugal Love?” “I do,” said Anthernion, “but pray defend Love at some length, as you are on his side, and moreover come to the rescue of wealth,73 with which Pisias seeks to scare us.” Thereupon my father began, “What on earth will not be brought as a charge against a woman, if we are to reject Ismenodora because she is in love and has money? Granted she loves sway and is rich? What then, if she is young and handsome? And what if she plumes herself somewhat on the lustre of her race? Have not chaste women often something of the morose and peevish in their character almost past bearing? Do they not sometimes get called waspish and shrewish by virtue of their very chastity? Would it be best then to marry off the street some Thracian Abrotonus, or some Milesian Bacchis, and seal the bargain by the present of a handful of nuts? But we have known even such turn out intolerable tyrants, Syrian flute-girls and ballet-dancers, as Aristonica, and Œnanthe with her tambourine, and Agathoclea, who have lorded it over kings’ diadems.74 Why Syrian Semiramis was only the servant and concubine of one of king Ninus’s slaves, till Ninus the great king seeing and falling in love with her, she got such power over him that she thought so cheap of him, that she asked to be allowed one day to sit on the royal throne, with the royal diadem on her head, and to transact state affairs. And 38Ninus having granted her permission, and having ordered all his subjects to obey her as himself, she first gave several very moderate orders to make trial of the guards; but when she saw that they obeyed her without the slightest hesitation, she ordered them to seize Ninus and put him in fetters, and at last put him to death; and all her commands being obeyed, she ruled over Asia for a long time with great lustre. And was not Belestiche a foreign woman off the streets, although at Alexandria she has shrines and temples, with an inscription as Aphrodite Belestiche, which she owes to the king’s love? And she who has in this very town75 a temple and rites in common with Eros, and at Delphi stands in gold among kings and queens, by what dowry got she her lovers? But just as the lovers of Semiramis, Belestiche, and Phryne, became their prey unconsciously through their weakness and effeminacy, so on the other hand poor and obscure men, having contracted alliances with rich women of rank, have not been thereby spoilt nor merged their personality, but have lived with their wives on a footing of kindness, yet still kept their position as heads of the house. But he that abases his wife and makes her small, like one who tightens the ring on a finger too small for it fearing it will come off,76 is like those who cut their mares’ tails off and then take them to a river or pond to drink, when they say that sorrowfully discerning their loss of beauty these mares lose their self-respect and allow themselves to be covered by asses.77 To select a wife for wealth rather than for her excellence or family is dishonourable and illiberal; but it is silly to reject wealth when it is accompanied by excellence and family. Antigonus indeed wrote to his officer who had garrisoned Munychia78 to make not only the collar strong but the dog lean, that he might undermine the strength of the Athenians; but it becomes not the husband of a rich or handsome woman to make his wife poor or ugly, but by his self-control39 and good sense, and by not too extravagantly showing his admiration for her, to exhibit himself as her equal not her slave, and (to borrow an illustration from the scales) to add just so much weight to his character as shall over-balance her, yet only just. Moreover, both Ismenodora and Baccho are of a suitable age for marriage and procreation of children; Ismenodora, I hear, is still in her prime, and” (here my father smiled slily at Pisias) “she is certainly not a bit older than her rivals, and has no grey hairs, as some of those who consort with Baccho have. And if their union is seasonable, who knows but that she may be a better partner for him than any young woman? For young couples do not blend and mix well together, and it takes a long time and is not an easy process for them to divest themselves of their pride and spirit, and at first there’s a good deal of dirty weather and they don’t pull well together, and this is oftenest the case when there’s love on both sides, and, just as a storm wrecks the ship if no pilot is on board, so their marriage is trouble and confusion, neither party knowing how either to rule or to give way properly. And if the baby is under the nurse, and the boy under the master, and the lad under the master of the gymnasium, and the youth under his lover, and the full-grown man under the law and magistrate, and no one is his own master and exempt from obedience to someone, what wonder would it be if a sensible woman rather older than her husband would direct well the life of a young man, being useful to him by reason of her superior wisdom, and acceptable to him for her sweetness and gentleness? And to sum up the whole matter,” said he, “we Bœotians ought to revere Hercules, and so find no fault in any inequality of age in marriages, seeing that he gave his own wife Megara in marriage to Iolaus, though he was only sixteen and she three-and-thirty.”79
§ x. As the conversation was going on, our father said that a friend of Pisias came galloping up from the town to report an act of marvellous audacity. Ismenodora, it appears, thinking Baccho had no personal dislike to the 40match, but only stood in awe of his friends who tried to dissuade him from it, determined that she would not let the young fellow slip through her fingers. Accordingly, she sent for the most active and intimate80 of her male friends, and for some of her female cronies, and instructed them as to what part they should play, and waited for the hour when Baccho was accustomed regularly to pass by her house on his way to the wrestling-school. And as he passed by on this occasion with two or three of his companions, anointed for the exercise, Ismenodora met him at the door and just touched his cloak, and her friends rushed out all together and prettily seized the pretty fellow as he was in his cloak and jersey,81 and hurried him into the house and at once locked the doors. And the women inside at once divested him of his cloak and put on him a bridal robe; and the servants ran about the town and put olive wreaths and laurel garlands at the doors of Baccho’s house as well as Ismenodora’s, and a flute-girl went up and down the street playing and singing the wedding-song. And some of the inhabitants of Thespiæ and the strangers laughed, others were indignant and tried to make the superintendents of the gymnasium move in the matter, for they have great power in Thespiæ over the youths, and pay great attention to their actions. And now there was no more talk about the sports, but everyone left the theatre for the neighbourhood of Ismenodora’s house, and there stood in groups talking and disputing about what had happened.
§ xi. Now when Pisias’ friend had come up like an aide-de-camp in war, “bloody with spurring, fiery red with haste,” to report this news that Ismenodora had seized Baccho, my father said that Zeuxippus smiled, and being a great lover of Euripides repeated the line,
“Lady, though rich, thou hast thy sex’s feelings.”
But Pisias jumped up and cried out, “Ye gods, what will be the end of license like this which will overthrow our town? Already we are fast tending to lawlessness through our independence. And yet it is perhaps ridiculous to be indignant about law and justice, when nature itself is trampled upon by being thus subjected to women? Saw even Lemnos ever the like of this?82 Let us go,” he continued, “let us go and hand over to the women the gymnasium and council-hall, if the townsmen have lost all their nerve.” Pisias then left the company, and Protogenes went with him, partly sympathizing with his indignation, but still endeavouring to cool him. And Anthemion said, “‘Twas a bold deed and certainly does savour somewhat of Lemnos—I own it now we are alone—this Ismenodora must be most violently in love.” Hereupon Soclarus said, with a sly smile, “You don’t think then that this rape and detention was an excuse and stratagem on the part of a wily young man to escape from the clutches of his lovers, and fly of his own volition to the arms of a rich and handsome widow?” “Pray don’t say so, Soclarus,” said Anthemion, “pray don’t entertain any such suspicions of Baccho, for even if he were not by nature most simple and naïve, he would not have concealed the matter from me to whom he divulges all his secrets, especially as he knows that I have always been very anxious he should marry Ismenodora. But as Heraclitus says truly, It is more difficult to control love than anger; for whatever love has a fancy to, it will buy even at the cost of life, money, and reputation. Who lives a more quiet life in our town than Ismenodora? When did ever any ugly rumour attach itself to her? When did ever any breath of suspicion sully her house? Some divine inspiration, beyond human calculation, seems now to have possessed her.”
§ xii. Then Pemptides laughed and said, “Of course you know that there is a certain disease of the body called the sacred disease.83 It is no wonder, therefore, if some call the greatest and most insane passion of the soul sacred and divine. However, as in Egypt I once saw two neighbours disputing when a serpent passed by them on the road, both calling it a good omen, but each claiming the blessing as his alone; so seeing lately that some of you drag Love to the men’s apartments, while others confine it to the women’s side of the house, while all of you regard it as a divine and superlative blessing, I do not wonder, since it is a passion that has such power and honour, that those who ought to banish it from every quarter and clip its wings do themselves add to its influence and power. And hitherto I held my peace, for I saw that the discussion turned rather on private than public interests, but now that we have got rid of Pisias, I would gladly hear from you to what they had an eye who first called Love a god.”
§ xiii. Just as Pemptides had left off, and our father was about to answer his question, another messenger came from the town, sent by Ismenodora to summon Anthemion, for the tumult had increased, and there was a difference of opinion between the superintendents of the gymnasium, one thinking they ought to demand the liberation of Baccho, the other thinking they ought not to interfere. Anthemion got up at once and went off. And our father, addressing Pemptides especially, said, “You seem to me, my dear Pemptides, to be handling a great and bold matter, or rather to be discussing things that ought not to be discussed, in asking for a reason in each case for our opinion about the gods. Our ancient and hereditary faith is sufficient, a better argument than which we cannot either utter or find,
‘Not e’en if wisdom in our brains resides;’84
but if this common foundation and basis of all piety be disturbed, and its stability and time-honoured ideas be unsettled, it becomes undermined and is suspected by everybody. You have heard, of course, what hot water Euripides got into, when he wrote at the beginning of his ‘Melanippe,’
‘Zeus, whosoe’er he is, I do not know
Except by hearsay,’85
but if he changed the opening line, he had confidence, 43it seems, that his play would go down with the public uncommonly well,86 so he altered it into
‘Zeus the divine, as he is truly called.’87
And what difference is there between calling in question the received opinion about Zeus or Athene, and that about Love? For it is not now for the first time that Love asks for an altar and sacrifices, nor is he a strange god introduced by foreign superstition, as some Attis or Adonis, furtively smuggled in by hermaphrodites and women, and secretly receiving honours not his own, to avoid an indictment among the gods for coming among them under false pretences. And when, my friend, you hear the words of Empedocles,
‘Friendship is there too, of same length and breadth,
But with the mind’s eye only can you see it,
Till with the sight your very soul is thralled,’
you must suppose that they refer to Love. For this god is invisible, but to be extolled by us as one of the very oldest gods. And if you demand proofs about every one of the gods, laying a profane hand on every temple, and bringing a learned doubt to every altar, you will scrutinize and pry into everything. But we need not go far to find Love’s pedigree.
‘See you how great a goddess Aphrodite is?
She ’tis that gave us and engendered Love,
Whereof come all that on the earth do live.’88
And so Empedocles calls Aphrodite Life-giving,89 and Sophocles calls her Fruitful, both very appropriate epithets. And though the wonderful act of generation belongs to Aphrodite only, and Love is only present in it as a subordinate, yet if he be absent the whole affair becomes undesirable, and low, and tame. For a loveless coition brings only satiety, as the satisfaction of hunger and thirst, and has nothing noble resulting from it, whereas by Love Aphrodite removes the cloying element in pleasure, and 44produces harmonious friendship. And so Parmenides declares Love to be the oldest of the creations of Aphrodite, writing in his Cosmogony,
‘Of all the gods first Love she did contrive.’
But Hesiod, more naturally in my opinion, makes Love the most ancient of all, so that all things derive their existence from him.90 If we then deprive Love of his ancient honours, those of Aphrodite will be lost also. For we cannot argue that, while some revile Love, all spare Aphrodite, for on the same stage we hear of Love,
‘Love is an idle thing and for the idle:’91
and again of Aphrodite,
‘Cypris, my boys, is not her only name,
For many names has she. She is a hell,
A power remorseless, nay a raging madness.’92
Just as in the case of the other gods there is hardly one that has not been reviled, or escaped the scurrility of ignorance. Look, for example, at Ares, who may be considered as it were the counterpart of Love, what honours he has received from men, and again what abuse, as
‘Ares is blind, ye women, has no eyes,
And with his pig’s snout roots up all good things.’93
And Homer calls him ‘blood-stained’ and ‘fickle.’94
And Chrysippus brings a grievous charge against him, in defining his name to mean destroyer,95 thereby giving a handle to those who think that Ares is only the fighting, wrangling, and quarrelsome instinct among mankind. Others again will tell us that Aphrodite is simply desire, and Hermes eloquence, and the Muses the arts and sciences, and Athene wisdom. You see what an abyss of impiety opens up before us, if we describe each of the gods, as only a passion, a power, or a virtue!”
§ xiv. “I see it,” said Pemptides, “and it is impious either to make the gods passions, or to do just the contrary, and make the passions gods.” “What then?” said my father, “do you consider Ares a god, or only a human passion?” And Pemptides, answering that he looked on Ares as god of the passionate and manly element in mankind, “What,” cried my father, “shall the passionate and warlike and antagonistic instincts in man have a god, but the affectionate and social and clubable have none? Shall Ares, under his names of Enyalius and Stratius, preside over arms and war and sieges and sacks of cities, and shall there be no god to witness and preside over, to direct and guide, conjugal affection, that friendship of closest union and communion? Why even those who hunt gazelles and hares and deer have a silvan deity who harks and halloos them on, for to Aristæus96 they pay their vows when in pitfalls and snares they trap wolves and bears,
‘For Aristæus first set traps for animals.’
And Hercules invoked another god, when he was about to shoot at the bird, as the line of Æschylus shows,
‘Hunter Apollo, make my bolt go straight!’97
And shall no god or good genius assist and prosper the man who hunts in the best chase of all, the chase of friendship? For I cannot for my part, my dear Daphnæus, consider man a less beautiful or important plant than the oak, or sacred olive, or the vine which Homer glorifies,98 seeing that man too has his growth and glorious prime alike of soul and body.”
§ xv. Then said Daphnæus, “In the name of the gods, who thinks differently?” “All those certainly must,” answered my father, “who think that the gods care only about ploughing and planting and sowing. Have they not Nymphs attending upon them, called Dryads, ‘whose age is coeval with the trees they live in: and Dionysus the mirth-giving does he not increase the yield of the trees, the sacred splendour of Autumn,’ as Pindar says?99 And if they care about all this, is there no god or genius who is interested in the nurture and growth of boys and youths in all their glorious flower? is there no one that cares that the growing man may be upright and virtuous, and that the nobility of his nature may not be warped and corrupted, either through want of a guardian or by the depravity of those he associates with? Is it not monstrous and thankless to say so, seeing that we enjoy the divine bounty, which is dealt out to us richly, and never abandons us in our straits? And yet some of these same straits have more necessity than beauty. For example, our birth, in spite of the unpleasant circumstances attending it, is witnessed by the divine Ilithyia and Artemis: and it would be better not to be born at all than to become bad through want of a good guardian and guide. Moreover in sickness the god who is over that province does not desert us, nor even in death: for even then there is a conductor and guide for the departed, to lay them to sleep, and convey their souls to Hades,100 as the poet says,
‘Night bore me not to be lord of the lyre,
Nor to be seer, or healer of diseases,
But to conduct the souls of the departed.’
And yet these duties involve much unpleasantness, whereas we cannot mention a holier work, nor any struggle or contest more fitting for a god to attend and play the umpire in, than the guidance of the young and beautiful in the prosecution of their love-affairs. For there is here nothing of an unpleasant nature, no compulsion of any kind, but persuasion and grace, truly making toil sweet and labour delightful, lead the way to virtue and friendship, and do not arrive at that desired goal without the deity, for they have as their leader and lord no other god than Love, the companion of the Muses and Graces and Aphrodite. For Love ‘sowing in the heart of man the sweet harvest of desire,’ to borrow the language of Melanippides, mixes the sweetest and most beautiful things together. But perhaps you are of a different opinion, Zeuxippus.”
§ xvi. “Not I, by Zeus,” replied Zeuxippus. “To have a different opinion would be ridiculous.” “Then,” continued my father, “is it not also ridiculous, if there are four kinds of friendship, for so the ancients distinguished, the natural first, the second that to one’s kindred, the third that to one’s companions, the fourth the friendship of love, and each of the first three have a god as patron, either a god of friendship, or a god of hospitality, or a god of the family, or a god of the race,101 whereas the friendship of love only, as something altogether unholy, is left without any patron god, and that, too, when it needs most of all attentive direction?” “It is,” said Zeuxippus, “highly ridiculous.” My father continued, “The language of Plato is very suggestive here, to make a slight digression. One kind of madness (he says) is conveyed to the soul from the body through certain bad temperaments or mixtures, or through the prevalence of some noxious spirit, and is harsh, difficult to cure, and baneful. Another kind of madness is not uninspired or from within, but an afflatus from without, a deviation from sober reason, originated and set in motion by some higher power, the ordinary characteristic of which is called enthusiasm. For, as one full of breath is called ἔμτνοος, and as one full of sense is called ἔμφρων, so the name enthusiasm is given to the commotion of the soul caused by some Divine agency.102 Thus there is the prophetic enthusiasm which proceeds from Apollo, and the Bacchic enthusiasm which comes from Dionysus, to which Sophocles alludes where he says, ‘Dance with the Corybantes;’ for the rites of Cybele and Pan have great affinities to the orgies of Bacchus. And the third madness proceeds from the Muses, and possesses an impressionable and pure soul, and stirs up the poetry and music in a man. As to the martial and warlike madness, it is well known from what god it proceeds, namely, Ares, ‘kindling tearful war, that puts an end to the dance and the song, and exciting civic strife.’103 There remains, Daphnæus, one more kind of madness in man, neither obscure nor tranquil, as to which I should like to ask Pemptides here,
‘What god it is that shakes the fruitful thyrsus?’
I refer to that love-fury for modest boys and chaste women, 48which is far the keenest and fiercest passion of all. For have you not observed how the soldier, when he lays aside his arms, ceases from his warlike fury, as the poet says,
‘Then from him
Right gladly did his squires remove the armour,’104
and sits down a peaceful spectator of others?105
The Bacchic and Corybantic dances one can also modulate and quell, by changing the metre from the trochaic and the measure from the Phrygian. Similarly, too, the Pythian priestess, when she descends from her tripod, possesses her soul in peace. Whereas the love-fury, when once it has really seized on a man and inflamed him, can be laid by no Muse, no charm or incantation, no change of place; but present they burn, absent they desire, by day they follow their loves about, by night they serenade them, sober call for them, and drunken sing about them. And he who said that poetic fancies, owing to their vividness, were dreams of people awake, would have more truly spoken so of the fancies of lovers, who, as if their loves were present, converse with them, greet them, chide them. For sight seems to paint all other fancies on a wet ground, so soon do they fade and recede from the memory, but the images of lovers, painted by the fancy as it were on encaustic tiles, leave impressions on the memory, that move, and live, and speak, and are permanent for all time. The Roman Cato, indeed, said that the soul of the lover resided in the soul of the loved one, and I should extend the remark to the appearance, the character, the life, and the actions, conducted by which he travels a long journey in a short time, as the Cynics say they have found a short cut and, as it were, forced march to virtue, for there is also a short cut to friendship and love when the god is propitious. To sum up, the enthusiasm of lovers is not a thing uninspired, and the god that guides and governs it is none other than the god whose festival we are now keeping, and to whom we are now sacrificing. Nevertheless, as we judge of a god mainly from his power and usefulness (as among human advantages we reckon and call these two the most divine, 49dominion and virtue), it is high time to consider, before we proceed any further, whether Love yields to any of the gods in power. Certainly, as Sophocles says, ‘Wonderful is the power which the Cyprian Queen exerts so as always to win the victory:’106 great also is the might of Ares; and in some sort we see the power of all the other gods divided among these two; for Aphrodite has most intimate connection with the beautiful, and Ares is in our souls from the first to combat against the sordid, to borrow the idea of Plato. Let us consider, then, to begin with, that the venereal delight can be purchased for six obols, and that no one ever yet put himself into any trouble or danger about it, unless he was in love. And not to mention here such famous courtesans as Phryne or Lais, Gnathænium, ‘kindling her lamp at evening time,’ on the look-out for lovers and inviting them, is often passed by; ‘yet, if some sudden whiff arise’ of mighty love and desire, it makes this very delight seem equal to the fabled wealth of Tantalus and his domains. So feeble and cloying is the venereal indulgence, if Love inspires it not. And you will see this more plainly still from the following consideration. Many have allowed others to share in their venereal enjoyments, prostituting not only their mistresses but their wives, like that Roman Galba, who used to ask Mæcenas to dinner, and when he saw from his nods and winks that he had a mind to do with his wife, turned his head gently aside as if asleep; but when one of his slaves came up to the table and stole some wine, his eyes were wide open enough, and he said, ‘Villain, don’t you know that I am asleep only for Mæcenas?’107 But this is not perhaps so strange, considering Galba was a buffoon. But at Argos Nicostratus and Phayllus were great political rivals: so when King Philip visited that city, Phayllus thought if he prostituted his wife, who was very handsome, to the King, he would get from him some important office or place. And Nicostratus getting wind of this, and walking about the doors of Phayllus’ house with some of his servants on the qui vive, Phayllus made his wife put on men’s boots, and a military cloak, and a Macedonian broad-brimmed hat, and so smuggled her into the King, without being detected, as one of the King’s young men. But, of all the multitude of lovers, did you ever hear of one that prostituted his boy-love even for the honours of Zeus? I think not. Why, though no one will generally either speak or act against tyrants, many will who find them their rivals and are jealous about their handsome minions. You must have heard how Aristogiton of Athens, and Antileon of Metapontum, and Melanippus of Agrigentum, rose not against tyrants, although they saw how badly they managed affairs, and what drunken tricks they played, yet, when they attempted the chastity of their boy-loves, they retaliated on them, jeoparding their lives, as if they were defending the inviolability of temples and sanctuaries. It is also recorded that Alexander wrote to Theodoras, the brother of Proteas, ‘Send me your singing-girl, unless you love her yourself, and I will give you ten talents;’ and when Antipatridas, one of his companions, came to revel with him, bringing with him a female harper, he fancied the girl not a little, and asked Antipatridas if he cared very much about her. And when he replied that he did immensely, Alexander said, ‘Plague take you,’ but nevertheless abstained from touching the girl.
§ xvii. “Consider also how Love excels in warlike feats, and is by no means idle, as Euripides called him,108 nor a carpet-knight, nor ‘sleeping on a maiden’s soft cheeks.’109 For a man inspired by Love needs not Ares to help him when he goes out as a warrior against the enemy, but at the bidding of his own god is ‘ready’ for his friend ‘to go through fire and water and whirlwinds.’ And in Sophocles’ play,110 when the sons of Niobe are being shot at and dying, one of them calls out for no helper or assister but his lover. And you know of course how it was that Cleomachus the Pharsalian fell in battle?” “We certainly don’t,” said Pemptides and those near him, “but we should very much like to.” “Well,” said my father, “the tale’s worth hearing. When the war between the Eretrians and Chalcidians was at its height, Cleomachus had come to aid the latter with a Thessalian force; and the Chalcidian infantry seemed strong enough, but they had great difficulty in repelling the enemy’s cavalry. So they begged that high-souled hero Cleomachus to charge the Eretrian cavalry first. And he asked his boy-love, who was by, if he would be a spectator of the fight, and he saying he would, and affectionately kissing him and putting his helmet on his head, Cleomachus with a proud joy put himself at the head of the bravest of the Thessalians, and charged the enemy’s cavalry with such impetuosity that he threw them into disorder and routed them; and the Eretrian infantry also fleeing in consequence, the Chalcidians won a splendid victory. However, Cleomachus got killed, and they show his tomb in the market-place at Chalcis, over which a huge pillar stands to this day, and whereas before that the people of Chalcis had censured boy-loves, from that time forward they preferred that kind of love to the normal love. Aristotle gives a slightly different account, namely, that this Cleomachus came not from Thessaly, but from Chalcis in Thrace, to the help of the Chalcidians in Eubœa; and that that was the origin of the song in vogue among the Chalcidians,
‘Ye boys, who come of noble sires and beauteous are in face,
Grudge not to give to valiant men the joy of your embrace:
For Love that does the limbs relax combined with bravery
In the Chalcidian cities has fame that ne’er shall die.’
But according to the account of the poet Dionysius, in his ‘Causes,’111
the name of the lover was Anton, and that of the boy-love was Philistus. And among you Thebans, Pemptides, is it not usual for the lover to give his boy-love a complete suit of armour when he is enrolled among the men? And did not the erotic Pammenes change the disposition of the heavy-armed infantry, censuring Homer as knowing nothing about love, because he drew up the Achæans in 52order of battle in tribes and clans, and did not put lover and love together, that so
‘Spear should be next to spear, helmet to helmet,’112
seeing that Love is the only invincible general.113 For men in battle will leave in the lurch clansmen and friends, aye, and parents and sons, but what warrior ever broke through or charged through lover and love, seeing that even when there is no necessity lovers frequently display their bravery and contempt of life. As Thero the Thessalian, who put his left hand on a wall, and drew his sword, and chopped off his thumb, and challenged his rival to do the same. And another in battle falling on his face, as his enemy was about to give him the coup-de-grace, begged him to wait a little till he could turn round, that his love should not see him with a wound in his back. And not only are the most warlike nations most amorous, as the Bœotians the Lacedæmonians and the Cretans, but also of the old heroes, who were more amorous than Meleager, Achilles, Aristomenes, Cimon, and Epaminondas. Why, Epaminondas had as his boy-loves Asopichus and Cephisodorus, the latter of whom fell with him at Mantinea, and is buried near him. As to …, who was most formidable and a source of terror to the enemy, Eucnamus of Amphissa, who first stood up against him and smote him, received hero honours from the Phocians for his exploit. And as to all the loves of Hercules, it would take up too much time to enumerate them, but those who think that Iolaus was one of them do up to this day worship and honour him, and make their loves swear fidelity at his tomb. Hercules is also said, having understood the art of healing, to have preserved the life of Alcestis, when she was given up by the doctors, to gratify Admetus, who passionately loved his wife, and was Hercules’ minion. They say also in legend that Apollo was enamoured of Admetus,
‘And was his hired slave for one long year.’
It was a happy thought our remembering Alcestis, for though women have not much of Ares in them, yet when possessed by Love they are bold even to the death, beyond what one would expect from their nature. For if we may credit legendary lore, the stories about Alcestis, and Protesilaus, and Eurydice the wife of Orpheus, show that the only one of the gods that Hades pays attention to is Love; although to everybody else, as Sophocles says, “he knows of no forbearance or favour, or anything but strict justice; “yet before lovers his genius stands rebuked, and they alone find him neither implacable nor relentless. Wherefore although, my friend, it is an excellent thing to be initiated in the Eleusinian mysteries, yet I see that the votaries and initiated of Love have a better time of it in Hades than they have, * *114 though in regard to legendary lore I stand in the position of one who neither altogether believes nor altogether disbelieves. For legendary lore speaks well, and by a certain wonderful good fortune lights upon the truth, in saying that lovers have a return from Hades to the light of day, but it knows not by what way or how, having as it were got benighted on the road which Plato first discovered by philosophy. There are, indeed, some slender and obscure particles of truth scattered about in the mythology of the Egyptians, but they require a clever man to hunt them out, a man capable of getting great results from small data. Wherefore let that matter pass. And now next to the mighty power of Love let us consider its good will and favour to mankind, I do not mean as to whether it bestows many gifts on its votaries—that is palpable to all—but whether they derive any further advantage from it. For Euripides, though very amorous, admired a very small matter, when he wrote the line—
‘Love teaches letters to a man unlearn’d.’115
For it makes one previously sluggish quick and intelligent, and, as has been said before, it makes the coward brave, as people harden wood in the fire and make it strong from being weak. And every lover becomes liberal and genuine 54and generous, even if he was mean before, his littleness and miserliness melting away like iron in the fire, so that they rejoice to give to their loves more than they do to receive themselves from others. You know of course that Anytus, the son of Anthemion, was in love with Alcibiades, and was on one occasion sumptuously entertaining several of his friends, when Alcibiades broke in and took from the table half the cups and went away again; and when some of the guests were indignant and said, ‘The stripling has used you most insolently and contemptuously,’ Anytus replied, ‘Nay, rather, he has dealt kindly with me, for when he might have taken all he has left me half.'”
§ xviii. Zeuxippus was pleased with this story, and said, “O Hercules, you have been within an ace of making me forget my hereditary hatred to Anytus for his behaviour to Socrates and philosophy,116 since he was so mild and noble to his love.” “Be it so,” said my father, “Love also makes peevish and gloomy persons kind and agreeable to those they live with; for as ‘when the fire blazes the house looks brighter,’117 so man, it seems, becomes more cheerful through the heat of love. But most people are affected rather curiously; if they see by night a light in a house, they look on it with admiration and wonder; but if they see a little, mean, and ignoble soul suddenly filled with noble-mindedness, freedom, dignity, grace, and liberality, they do not feel constrained to say with Telemachus, ‘Surely, some god is there within.’118 And is it not wonderful, Daphnæus,” continued my father,119 “in the name of the Graces, that the lover who cares about hardly anything, either his companions and friends, or even the laws and magistrates and kings, who fears nothing, admires nothing, courts nothing, but can even endure to gaze on ‘the forked lightning,’120 yet directly he looks on his love ‘he crouches like a cock with drooping feathers,’ and his boldness is broken and his pride is cowed. And among the Muses it would not be amiss to mention Sappho; for as the Romans say Cacus the son of Hephæstus vomited out of his mouth fire and flames, so she really speaks words that burn like fire, and in her songs shows the warmth of her heart, as Philoxenus puts it, ‘by euphonious songs assuaging the pains of love.’ And if you have not in your love for Lysandra forgot all your old love-songs, do repeat to us, Daphnæus, the lines in which beautiful Sappho says that ‘when her love appeared her voice failed and her body burned, and she was seized with paleness and trembling and vertigo.'” And when Daphnæus had repeated the lines, my father resumed, “In the name of Zeus, is not this plainly a divine seizure? Is not this a wonderful commotion of soul? Why, the Pythian priestess on the tripod is not moved so much as this! Who of those inspired by Cybele are made beside themselves to this extent by the flute and the kettledrum? Moreover, while many see the same body and the same beauty, only the lover is taken by it. Why is this the case? We get no light on it from Menander’s words, ‘Love is opportunity; and he that is smitten is the only one wounded.’ But the god is the cause of it, striking one and letting another go scot-free. But I will not pass over now, ‘since it has come into my mouth,’ as Æschylus says, what perhaps would have been better spoken before, for it is a very important point. Perhaps, my friend, of all other things which we do not perceive through the senses, some got believed through legend, some through the law, some through reason; whereas we owe our conception of the gods altogether to the poets and legislators and philosophers: all alike teaching the existence of gods, but greatly differing as to their number and order, nature and power. For the gods of the philosophers ‘know nothing of disease or old age or pain, and have not to cross the resounding Acheron;’ nor do the philosophers accept as gods Strifes, or Prayers, which are found in poetry;121 nor will they admit Terror and Fear as gods or as the sons of Ares. And on many points also they are at variance with the legislators, as Xenophanes bade the 56Egyptians, if they regarded Osiris as mortal, not to honour him as a god; but if they thought him a god not to mourn for him. And, again, the poets and legislators will not listen to, nor can they understand, the philosophers who make gods of ideas and numbers and units and spirits. And their views generally are very different. As there were formerly three parties at Athens, the Parali, the Epacrii, and the Pediei, all at variance with one another, yet all agreed to vote for Solon, and chose him with one accord as their mediator and ruler and lawgiver, as he seemed indisputably to hold the first place in merit; so the three parties that entertain different views about the gods are all unanimous on one point, for poets legislators and philosophers all alike register Love as one of the gods, ‘loudly singing his praises with one voice,’ as Alcæus says the people of Mitylene chose Pittacus as their monarch. But our king and ruler and governor, Love, is brought down crowned from Helicon to the Academy by Hesiod and Plato and Solon, and in royal apparel rides in a chariot drawn by friendship and intimacy (not such as Euripides speaks of in the line, ‘he has been bound in fetters not of brass,’122 shamefully throwing round him cold and heavy necessity), and soars aloft to the most beautiful and divine things, about which others have spoken better than I can.”
§ xix. When my father had spoken thus much, Soclarus began, “Do you see that a second time you have committed the same fault, not cancelling your debts as you ought to do—for I must speak my mind—but evading them on purpose, and not delivering to us your promised ideas on a sacred subject? For as some little time back you only just touched on Plato and the Egyptians as if unwilling to enter on the subject more fully, so now you are doing again. However, as to what has been ‘eloquently told’123 by Plato, or rather by the Muses through Plato’s mouth, do not tell us that, my good friend, even if we ask for it; but as to your hint that the Egyptian legend about Love corresponded with Plato’s views, you need not discuss it fully and minutely, we shall be satisfied if we hear a little of 57such mighty matters.” And as the rest of the company made the same request, my father said, “The Egyptians, (like the Greeks) recognize two Loves, the Pandemian and the Celestial, to which they add the Sun, they also highly venerate Aphrodite. We also see much similarity between Love and the Sun, for neither is a fire, as some think, but a sweet and productive radiance and warmth, the Sun bringing to the body nourishment and light and growth, and Love doing the same to the soul. And as the heat of the Sun is more powerful when it emerges from clouds and after mist, so Love is sweeter and hotter after a jealous tiff with the loved one,124 and moreover, as some think the Sun is kindled and extinguished, so also do people conceive of Love as mortal and uncertain. Moreover, just as without training the body cannot easily bear the heat of the Sun, so neither can the untrained soul easily bear the yoke of Love, but both are equally out of tune and suffer, for which they blame the deity and not their own weakness. But in this respect they seem to differ, in that the Sun exhibits to the eye things beautiful and ugly alike, whereas Love throws its light only on beautiful things, and persuades lovers to concentrate their attention on these, and to neglect all other things. As to those that call Aphrodite the Moon, they, too, find some points in common between them; for the Moon is divine and heavenly and a sort of halfway-house between mortal and immortal, but inactive in itself and dark without the presence of the Sun, as is the case with Aphrodite in the absence of Love. So we may say that Aphrodite resembles the Moon, and Love the Sun, more than any other deities, yet are not Love and the Sun altogether the same, for just as body and soul are not the same, but something different, so is it with the Sun and Love, the former can be seen, the latter only felt. And if it should not seem too harsh a saying, one might argue that the Sun acts entirely opposite to Love, for it turns the mind away from the world of fancy to the world of reality, beguiling us by its grace and splendid appearance, and persuading us to seek for truth and everything else in and round it and nowhere else. For as Euripides says,
‘Too passionately do we love the Sun,
Because it always shines upon the earth,
From inexperience of another life,’125
or rather from forgetfulness of those things which Love brings to our remembrance. For as when we are woke by a great and bright light, everything that the soul has seen in dreams is vanished and fled, so the Sun is wont to banish the remembrance of past changes and chances, and to bewitch the intelligence, pleasure and admiration causing this forgetfulness. And though reality is really there, yet the soul cleaves to dreams and is dazzled by what is most beautiful and divine. ‘For round the soul are poured sweet yet deceiving dreams,’ so that the soul thinks everything here good and valuable, unless it obtain divine and chaste Love as its physician and preserver. For Love brings the soul through the body to truth and the region of truth, where pure and guileless beauty is to be found, kindly befriending its votaries like an initiator at the mysteries. And it associates with the soul only through the body. And as geometricians, in the case of boys who cannot yet be initiated into the perception of incorporeal and impassive substance, convey their ideas through the medium of spheres, cubes, and dodecahedrons, so celestial Love has contrived beautiful mirrors of beautiful things, and exhibits them to us glittering in the shapes colours and appearances of youths in all their flower, and calmly stirs the memory which is inflamed first by these. Consequently some, through the stupidity of their friends and intimates, who have endeavoured by force and against reason to extinguish the flame, have got no advantage from it, but filled themselves with smoke and confusion, or have rushed into secret and lawless pleasures and ingloriously wasted their prime. But as many as by sober reason and modesty have abated the extravagance of the passion, and left in the soul only a bright glow—not exciting a tornado of passion, but a wonderful and productive diffusion, as in a growing plant, opening the pores of complaisance and friendliness—these in no long time cease to regard the personal charms of those they love, and study their inward 59characters, and gaze at one another with unveiled eyes, and associate with one another in words and actions, if they find in their minds any fragment or image of the beautiful; and if not they bid them farewell and turn to others, like bees that only go to those flowers from which they can get honey. But wherever they find any trace or emanation or pleasing resemblance of the divine, in an ecstasy of pleasure and delight they indulge their memory, and revive to whatever is truly lovely and felicitous and admired by everybody.”
§ xx. “The poets indeed seem for the most part to have written and sung about Love in a playful and merry manner, but have sometimes spoken seriously about him, whether out of their own mind, or the god helping them to truth. Among these are the lines about his birth, ‘Well-sandalled Iris bare the most powerful of the gods to golden-haired Zephyr.’126 But perhaps the learned have persuaded you that these lines are only a fanciful illustration of the variety and beauty of love.” “Certainly,” said Daphnæus, “what else could they mean?” “Hear me,” said my father, “for the heavenly phenomenon compels us so to speak. The rainbow127 is, I suppose, a reflection caused by the sun’s rays falling on a moist cloud, making us think the appearance is in the cloud. Similarly erotic fancy in the case of noble souls causes a reflection of the memory, from things which here appear and are called beautiful, to what is really divine and lovely and felicitous and wonderful. But most lovers pursuing and groping after the semblance of beauty in boys and women, as in mirrors,128 can derive nothing more certain than pleasure mixed with pain. And this seems the love-delirium of Ixion, who instead of the joy he desired embraced only a cloud, as children who desire to take the rainbow into their hands, clutching at whatever they see. But different is the be60haviour of the noble and chaste lover: for he reflects on the divine beauty that can only be felt, while he uses the beauty of the visible body only as an organ of the memory, though he embraces it and loves it, and associating with it is still more inflamed in mind. And so neither in the body do they sit ever gazing at and desiring this light, nor after death do they return to this world again, and skulk and loiter about the doors and bedchambers of newly-married people, disagreeable ghosts of pleasure-loving and sensual men and women, who do not rightly deserve the name of lovers. For the true lover, when he has got into the other world and associated with beauties as much as is lawful, has wings and is initiated and passes his time above in the presence of his Deity, dancing and waiting upon him, until he goes back to the meadows of the Moon and Aphrodite, and sleeping there commences a new existence. But this is a subject too high for the present occasion. However, it is with Love as with the other gods, to borrow the words of Euripides, ‘he rejoices in being honoured by mankind,’129 and vice versa, for he is most propitious to those that receive him properly, but visits his displeasure on those that affront him. For neither does Zeus as god of Hospitality punish and avenge any outrages on strangers or suppliants, nor as god of the family fulfil the curses of parents, as quickly as Love hearkens to lovers unfairly treated, being the chastiser of boorish and haughty persons. Why need I mention the story of Euxynthetus and Leucomantis, the latter of whom is called The Peeping Girl to this day in Cyprus? But perhaps you have not heard of the punishment of the Cretan Gorgo, a somewhat similar case to that of Leucomantis, except that she was turned into stone as she peeped out of window to see her lover carried out to burial. For this Gorgo had a lover called Asander, a proper young man and of a good family, but reduced in fortune, though he thought himself worthy to mate with anybody. So he wooed Gorgo, being a relation of hers, and though he had many rivals, as she was much run after for her wealth belike, yet he had won the esteem of all the guardians and relations of the young girl.130 * * * *
§ xxi. * * * Now the origins and causes of Love are not peculiar to either sex, but common to both. For those attractions that make men amorous may as well proceed from women as from boys.131 And as to those beautiful and holy reminiscences and invitations to the divine and genuine and Olympian beauty, by which the soul soars aloft, what hinders but that they may come either from boys or lads, maidens or grown women, whenever a chaste and orderly nature and beauteous prime are associated together (just as a neat shoe exhibits the shapeliness of the foot, to borrow the illustration of Aristo), whenever connoisseurs of beauty descry in beautiful forms and pure bodies clear traces of an upright and unenervated soul.132 For if133 the man of pleasure, who was asked whether “he was most given to the love of women or boys,” and answered, “I care not which so beauty be but there,” is considered to have given an appropriate answer as to his erotic desires, shall the noble lover of beauty neglect beauty and nobility of nature, and make love only with an eye to the sexual parts? Why, the lover of horses will take just as much pleasure in the good points of Podargus, as in those of Æthe, Agamemnon’s mare,134 and the sportsman rejoices not only in dogs, but also rears Cretan and Spartan bitches,135 and shall the lover of the beautiful and of humanity be unfair and deal unequally with either sex, and think that the difference between the loves of boys and women is only their different dress? And yet they say that beauty is a flower of virtue; and it is ridiculous to assert that the female sex never blossoms nor make a goodly show of virtue, for as Æschylus truly says,
‘I never can mistake the burning eye
Of the young woman that has once known man.’136
Shall the indications then of a forward wanton and corrupt 62character be found in the faces of women, and shall there be no gleam of chastity and modesty in their appearance? Nay, there are many such, and shall they not move and provoke love? To doubt it would be neither sensible nor in accordance with the facts, for generally speaking, as has been pointed out, all these attractions are the same in both sexes…. But, Daphnæus, let us combat those views which Zeuxippus lately advanced, making Love to be only irregular desire carrying the soul away to licentiousness, not that this was so much his own view as what he had often heard from morose men who knew nothing of love: some of whom marry unfortunate women for their dowries, and force on them economy and illiberal saving, and quarrel with them every day of their lives: while others, more desirous of children than wives, when they have made those women they come across mothers, bid farewell to marriage, or regard it not at all, and neither care to love nor be loved. Now the fact that the word for conjugal love differs only by one letter from the word for endurance, the one being στέργειν the other στέγειν, seems to emphasize the conjugal kindness mixed by time and intimacy with necessity. But that marriage which Love has inspired will in the first place, as in Plato’s Republic, know nothing of Meum and Tuum, for the proverb, ‘whatever belongs to a friend is common property,’137 is especially true of married persons who, though disunited in body, are perforce one in soul, neither wishing to be two, nor thinking themselves so. In the second place there will be mutual respect, which is a vital necessity in marriage. For as to that external respect which has in it more of compulsion than choice, being forced by the law and shame and fear,
“Those needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,”138
that will always exist in wedlock. But in Love there is such self-control and decorum and constancy, that if the god but once enter the soul of a licentious man, he makes him give up all his amours, abates his pride, and breaks down his haughtiness and dissoluteness, putting in their place modesty and silence and tranquillity and decorum, 63and makes him constant to one. You have heard of course of the famous courtesan Lais,139 how she set all Greece on fire with her charms, or rather was contended for by two seas,140 and how, when she fell in love with Hippolochus the Thessalian, ‘she left Acro-Corinthus washed by the green sea,’141 and deserted all her other lovers, that great army, and went off to Thessaly and lived faithful to Hippolochus. But the women there, envious and jealous of her for her surpassing beauty, dragged her into the temple of Aphrodite, and there stoned her to death, for which reason probably it is called to this day the temple of Aphrodite the Murderess.142 We have also heard of servant girls who have refused the embraces of their masters, and of private individuals who have scorned an amour with queens, when Love has had dominion in their hearts. For as in Rome, when a dictator is proclaimed, all other magistrates lay down their offices, so those over whom Love is lord are free henceforward from all other lords and masters, and pass the rest of their lives dedicate to the god and slaves in his temple. For a noble woman united by Love to her lawful husband would prefer the embraces of bears and dragons to those of any other man.”
§ xxii. “Although there are plenty of examples of this virtue of constancy, yet to you, that are the festive votaries of the god,143 it will not be amiss to relate the story of the Galatian Camma. She was a woman of most remarkable beauty, and the wife of the tetrarch Sinatus, whom Sinorix, one of the most influential men in Galatia, and desperately in love with Camma, murdered, as he could neither get her by force or persuasion in the lifetime of her husband. And Camma found a refuge and comfort in her grief in discharging the functions of hereditary priestess to Artemis, and most of her time she spent in her temple, 64and, though many kings and potentates wooed her, she refused them all. But when Sinorix boldly proposed marriage to her, she declined not his offer, nor blamed him for what he had done, as though she thought he had only murdered Sinatus out of excessive love for her, and not in sheer villany. He came, therefore, with confidence, and asked her hand, and she met him and greeted him and led him to the altar of the goddess, and pledged him in a cup of poisoned mead, drinking half of it herself and giving him the rest. And when she saw that he had drunk it up, she shouted aloud for joy, and calling upon the name of her dead husband, said, ‘Till this day, dearest husband, I have lived, deprived of you, a life of sorrow: but now take me to yourself with joy, for I have avenged you on the worst of men, as glad to share death with him as life with you.’ Then Sinorix was removed out of the temple on a litter, and soon after gave up the ghost, and Camma lived the rest of that day and following night, and is said to have died with a good courage and even with gaiety.”144
§ xxiii. “As many similar examples might be adduced, both among ourselves and foreigners, who can feel any patience with those that reproach Aphrodite with hindering friendship when she associates herself with Love as a partner? Whereas any reflecting person would call the love of boys wanton and gross lasciviousness, and say with the poet:
‘This is an outrage, not an act of love.’
All willing pathics, therefore, we consider the vilest of mankind, and credit them with neither fidelity, nor modesty, nor friendship, for as Sophocles says:
‘Those who shall lose such friends may well be glad,
And those who have such pray that they may lose them,’145
But as for those who, not being by nature vicious, have been seduced or forced, they are apt all their life to despise and hate their seducers, and when an opportunity has presented itself to take fierce vengeance. As Crateus, who murdered Archelaus, and Pytholaus, who murdered 65Alexander of Pheræ. And Periander, the tyrant of the Ambraciotes, having asked a most insulting question of his minion, was murdered by him, so exasperated was he. But with women and wives all this is the beginning of friendship, and as it were an initiation into the sacred mysteries. And pleasure plays a very small part in this, but the esteem and favour and mutual love and constancy that result from it, proves that the Delphians did not talk nonsense in giving the name of Arma146 to Aphrodite, nor Homer in giving the name of friendship147 to sexual love, and testifies to the fact that Solon was a most experienced legislator in conjugal matters, seeing that he ordered husbands not less than thrice a month to associate with their wives, not for pleasure, but as states at certain intervals renew their treaties with one another, so he wished that by such friendliness marriage should, as it were, be renewed after any intervening tiffs and differences. But you will tell me there is much folly and even madness in the love of women. Is there not more extravagance in the love of boys?
‘Seeing my many rivals I grow faint.
The lad is beardless, smooth and soft and handsome,
O that I might in his embraces die,
And have the fact recorded on my tomb.’
Such extravagant language as this is madness not love. And it is absurd to detract from woman’s various excellence. Look at their self-restraint and intelligence, their fidelity and uprightness, and that bravery courage and magnanimity so conspicuous in many! And to say that they have a natural aptitude for all other virtues, but are deficient as regards friendship alone, is monstrous. For they are fond of their children and husbands, and generally speaking the natural affection in them is not only, like a fruitful soil, capable of friendship, but is also accompanied by persuasion and other graces. And as poetry gives to words a kind of relish by melody and metre and rhythm, making instruction thereby more interesting, but what is injurious more insidious, so nature, 66investing woman with beautiful appearance and attractive voice and bewitching figure, does much for a licentious woman in making her wiles more formidable, but makes a modest one more apt thereby to win the goodwill and friendship of her husband. And as Plato advised Xenocrates, a great and noble man in all other respects, but too austere in his temperament, to sacrifice to the Graces, so one might recommend a good and modest woman to sacrifice to Love, that her husband might be a mild and agreeable partner, and not run after any other woman, so as to be compelled to say like the fellow in the comedy, ‘What a wretch I am to ill-treat such a woman!’ For to love in marriage is far better than to be loved, for it prevents many, nay all, of those offences which spoil and mar marriage.
§ xxiv. As to the passionate affection in the early days of marriage,148 my dear Zeuxippus, do not fear that it will leave any sore or irritation, though it is not wonderful that there should be some friction at the commencement of union with a virtuous woman, just as at the grafting of trees, as there is also pain at the beginning of conception, for there can be no complete union without some suffering. Learning puts boys out somewhat when they first go to school, as philosophy does young men at a later day, but the ill effects are not lasting, either in their cases or in the case of lovers. As in the fusion of two liquors, love does indeed at first cause a simmering and commotion, but eventually cools down and settles and becomes tranquil. For the union of lovers is indeed a complete union, whereas the union of those that live together without love resembles only the friction and concussion of Epicurus’ atoms in collision and recoil, forming no such union as Love makes, when he presides over the conjugal state. For nothing else produces so much pleasure, or such lasting advantages, or such beautiful remarkable and desirable friendship,
‘As when husband and wife live in one house,
Two souls beating as one.’149
And the law gives its countenance, and nature shows that 67even the gods themselves require love for the production of everything. Thus the poets tell us that ‘the earth loves a shower, and heaven loves the earth,’ and the natural philosophers tell us that the sun is in love with the moon, and that they are husband and wife, and that the earth is the mother of man and beast and the producer of all plants. Would not the world itself then of necessity come to an end, if the great god Love and the desires implanted by the god should leave matter, and matter should cease to yearn for and pursue its lead? But not to seem to wander too far away and altogether to trifle, you know that many censure boy-loves for their instability, and jeeringly say that that intimacy like an egg is destroyed by a hair,150 for that boy-lovers like Nomads, spending the summer in a blooming and flowery country, at once decamp then as from an enemy’s territory. And still more vulgarly Bion the Sophist called the sprouting beards of beautiful boys Harmodiuses and Aristogitons,151 inasmuch as lovers were delivered by them from a pleasant tyranny. But this charge cannot justly be brought against genuine lovers, and it was prettily said by Euripides, as he embraced and kissed handsome Agatho whose beard was just sprouting, that the Autumn of beautiful youths was lovely as well as the Spring. And I maintain that the love of beautiful and chaste wives flourishes not only in old age amid grey hairs and wrinkles, but even in the grave and monument. And while there are few such long unions in the case of boy-loves, one might enumerate ten thousand such instances of the love of women, who have kept their fidelity to the end of their lives. One such case I will relate, which happened in my time in the reign of the Emperor Vespasian.
§ xxv. Julius, who stirred up a revolt in Galatia, among several other confederates had one Sabinus, a young man of good family, and for wealth and renown the most conspicuous of all the men in those parts. But having attempted 68what was too much for them they were foiled, and expecting to pay the penalty, some committed suicide, others fled and were captured. Now Sabinus himself could easily have got out of the way and made his escape to the barbarians, but he had married a most excellent wife, whose name in that part of the world was Empone, but in Greek would be Herois, and he could neither leave her behind nor take her with him. As he had in the country some underground caves, known only to two of his freedmen, where he used to stow away things, he dismissed all the rest of his slaves, as if he intended to poison himself, and taking with him these two trusty freedmen he descended with them into those underground caves, and sent one of them, Martialis, to tell his wife that he had poisoned himself, and that his body was burnt in the flames of his country-house, for he wanted his wife’s genuine sorrow to lend credit to the report of his death. And so it happened. For she, throwing herself on to the ground, groaned and wailed for three days and nights, and took no food. And Sabinus, being informed of this, and fearing that she would die of grief, told Martialis to inform her secretly that he was alive and well and in hiding, and to beg her not to relax her show of grief, but to keep up the farce. And she did so with the genius of a professional actress, but yearning to see her husband she visited him by night, and returned without being noticed, and for six or seven months she lived with him this underground life. And she disguised him by changing his dress, and cutting off his beard, and re-arranging his hair, so that he should not be known, and took him to Rome, having some hopes of obtaining his pardon. But being unsuccessful in this she returned to her own country, and spent most of her time with her husband underground, but from time to time visited the town, and showed herself to some ladies who were her friends and relations. But what is most astonishing of all is that, though she bathed with them, she concealed her pregnancy from them. For the dye which women use to make their hair a golden auburn, has a tendency to produce corpulence and flesh and a full habit, and she rubbed this abundantly over all parts of her body, and so concealed her pregnancy. And she bare the pangs of travail by herself, as a lioness bears her whelps, having hid herself in the cave with her69 husband, and there she gave birth to two boys, one of whom died in Egypt, the other, whose name was Sabinus, was among us only the other day at Delphi. Vespasian eventually put her to death, but paid the penalty for it, his whole progeny in a short time being wiped off the face of the earth.152 For during the whole of his reign he did no more savage act, nor could gods or demons have turned away their eyes from a crueller sight. And yet her courage and bold language abated the pity of the spectators, though it exasperated Vespasian, for, despairing of her safety, she bade them go and tell the Emperor, ‘that it was sweeter to live in darkness and underground than to wear his crown.'”153
§ xxvi. Here my father said that the conversation about Love which took place at Thespiæ ended. And at this moment Diogenes, one of Pisias’ companions, was noticed coming up at a faster pace than walking. And while he was yet a little way off, Soclarus hailed him with, “You don’t announce war, Diogenes,” and he replied, “Hush! it is a marriage; come with me quickly, for the sacrifice only waits for you.” All were delighted, and Zeuxippus asked if Pisias was still against the marriage. “As he was first to oppose it,” said Diogenes, “so he was first to yield the victory to Ismenodora, and he has now put on a crown and robed himself in white, so as to take his place at the head of the procession to the god through the market-place.” “Come,” said my father, “in Heaven’s name, let us go and laugh at him, and worship the god; for it is clear that the god has taken delight in what has happened, and been propitious.”
62 The allusion is to Plato’s “Phædrus,” p. 230, B. Much, indeed, of the subject-matter here is, we shall find, somewhat similar to that of the Phædrus.
63 It is difficult to know what the best English word here is. From the sly thrust in § ix. Pisias was evidently grey. I have therefore selected the word gravest. But the most austere, the most sensible, the most solid, the most sedate, all might express the Greek word also. Let the reader take which he likes best.
64 In a Greek house the women and men had each their own separate apartments. This must be borne in mind here to explain the allusion.
65 That is, from interested and selfish motives.
66 On Lais and Aristippus see Cicero, “Ad. Fam.,” ix. 26.
67 Pausanias, i. 19, shows us that there was at Athens a Temple of Hercules called Cynosarges. But the matter is obscure. What the exact allusion is I cannot say.
68 Fragment of Æschylus. See Athenæus, xiii. p. 602, E, which explains the otherwise obscure allusion.
69 That is the son of Hera alone, who was unwilling to be outdone by Zeus, who had given birth to Pallas Athene alone. Hesiod has the same view, “Theog.” 927.
70 ὀπώρα is so used also in Æsch. “Suppl.,” 998, 1015. See also “Athenæus,” 608, F. Daphnæus implies these very nice gentlemen, like the same class described by Juvenal, “Curios simulant et Bacchanalia vivunt.”
71 I omit καὶ κοπίδας as a gloss or explanation of the old reading μακελεῖα instead of ματρυλεῖα. Nothing can be made of καὶ κοπίδας in the context.
72 “Works and Days,” 606-608.
73 I follow here the reading of Wyttenbach. Through the whole of this essay the reading is very uncertain frequently. My text in it has been formed from a careful collation of Wyttenbach, Reiske, and Dübner. I mention this here once for all, for it is unnecessary in a translation to minutely specify the various readings on every occasion. I am not editing the “Moralia.”
74 “De Œnantha et Agathoclea, v. Polyb. excerpt, l. xv.”—Reiske.
75 Thespiæ. The allusion is to Phryne. See Pausanias, ix. 27; x. 15.
76 Reading with Wyttenbach, ὥσπερ δακτύλιον ἰσχνοῦ ὡ μὴ περιῤῥυῇ δεδιώς.
77 Perhaps cur = coward, was originally cur-tail.
78 One of the three ports at Athens. See Pausanias, i. 1.
79 Iolaus was the nephew of Hercules, and was associated with him in many of his Labours. See Pausanias, i. 19; vii. 2; viii. 14, 45.
80 I read συνοαρίζοντας. The general reading συνερῶντας will hardly do here. Wyttenbach suggests συνεαρίζοντας.
81 What the διβολἰα was is not quite clear. I have supposed a jersey.
82 The women of Lemnos were very masterful. On one memorable occasion they killed all their husbands in one night. Thus the line of Ovid has almost a proverbial force, “Lemniadesque viros nimium quoque vincere norunt.”—Heroides, vi. 53. Siebelis in his Preface to Pausanias, p. xxi, gives from an old Scholia a sort of excuse for the action of the women of Lemnos.
83 Probably the epilepsy. See Herodotus, iii. 33.
84 Euripides, “Bacchae,” 203.
85 Euripides, Fragment of the “Melanippe.”
86 I take Wyttenbach’s suggestion as to the reading here.
87 This line is taken bodily by Aristophanes in his “Frogs,” 1244.
88 The first line is the first line of a passage from Euripides, consisting of thirteen lines, containing similar sentiments to this. See Athenæus, xiii. p. 599, F. The last two lines are from Euripides, “Hippolytus,” 449, 450.
89 Compare Lucretius, i. 1-5.
90 Hesiod, “Theogony,” 116-120.
91 Euripides, “Danae,” Frag. Compare Ovid, “Cedit amor rebus: res age, tutus eris.”
92 Sophocles, Fragm. 678, Dindorf. Compare a remark of Sophocles, recorded by Cicero, “De Senectute,” ch. xiv.
93 Sophocles, Fragm. 720. Reading καλὰ with Reiske.
94 “Iliad,” v. 831.
95 Connecting Ἄρῃς with ἀναιρεῖν.
96 The Saint Hubert of the Middle Ages.
97 Æschylus, Frag. 1911. Dindorf.
98 Odyssey, v. 69.
99 Fragm. 146, 125.
100 Hermes is alluded to.
101 All these four were titles of Zeus. They are very difficult to put into English so as to convey any distinctive and definite idea to an English reader.
102 Enthusiasm is the being ἔνθεος, or inspired by some god.
103 From Æschylus, “Supplices,” 681, 682.
104 “Iliad,” vii. 121, 122.
105 Like the character described in Lucretius, ii. 1-6.
106 Sophocles, “Trachiniae,” 497. The Cyprian Queen is, of course, Aphrodite.
107 Hence the famous Proverb, “Non omnibus dormio.” See Cic. “Ad. Fam.” vii. 24.
108 Above, in § xiii.
109 See Sophocles, “Antigone,” 783, 784. And compare Horace, “Odes,” Book iv. Ode xiii. 6-8, “Ille virentis et Doctæ psallere Chiæ Pulchris excubat in genis.”
110 The “Niobe,” which exists only in a few fragments.
111 This was the name of Dionysius’ Poem. He was a Corinthian poet.
112 “Iliad,” xiii. 131.
113 Reading according to the conjecture of Wyttenbach, ὡς τὸν Ἔρωτα υὁνον ἀήττητον ὄντα τῶν στρατηγῶν.
114 Something has probably dropped out here, as Dübner suspects.
115 Fragment from the “Sthenebœa” of Euripides.
116 Anytus was one of the accusers of Socrates, and so one of the causers of his death. So Horace calls Socrates “Anyti reum,” “Sat.” ii. 4, 3.
117 Homeric Epigrammata, xiii. 5. Quoted also in “On Virtue and Vice,” § I.
118 Odyssey, xix. 40.
119 I adopt the suggestion of Wyttenbach, εἶπεν ῶ Δαφναῖε.
120 Pinder, “Pyth.” i. 8.
121 See for example Homer, “Iliad,” xi. 3, 73; ix. 502.
122 Euripides, “Pirithous,” Fragm. 591. Dindorf.
123 An allusion to Homer, “Odyssey,” xii. 453.
124 So Terence, “Andria,” 555. “Amantium iræ amoris integratiost.”
125 Euripides, “Hippolytus,” 194-196.
126 The lines are from Alcæus. Thus Love was the child of the Rainbow and the West Wind. A pretty conceit.
127 Greek iris.
128 The mirrors of the ancients were of course not like our mirrors. They were only burnished bronze. Hence the view in them would be at best somewhat obscure. This explains 1 Cor. xiii. 12; 2 Cor. iii. 18; James i. 23.
129 See Euripides, “Hippolytus,” 7, 8.
130 Here the story unfortunately ends, and for all time we shall know no more of it. Reiske somewhat forcibly says, “Vel lippus videat Gorgus historiam non esse finitam, et multa, ut et alias, periisse.”
131 Like Reiske we condense here a little.
132 Reading with Reiske ὀρθῆς και ἀθρύπτου.
133 I read εἰ γἁρ.
134 See “Iliad,” xxiii. 295. Podargus was an entire horse.
135 See Ovid, “Metamorph.” iii. 206-208.
136 Æschylus, “Toxotides,” Fragm. 224.
137 A very favourite proverb among the ancients. See Plat. “Phaedr.” fin. Martial, ii. 43.
138 Soph. Fragm. 712.
139 On Lais, see Pausanias, ii. 2. Her Thessalian lover is there called Hippostratus. Her favours were so costly that the famous proverb is said to owe its origin to her, “Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.”
140 The Ægean and Ionian. Cf. Horace, “Odes,” i. 7, 2.
141 On Acro-Corinthus, see Pausanias, ii. 4. The words in inverted commas are from Euripides, Fragm. 921.
142 On Lais generally, and her end, see Athenæus, xiii. 54, 55.
143 See § I. The Festival of Love was being kept at this very time.
144 This story is also told by Plutarch, “De Mulierum Virtutibus,” § xx.
145 Sophocles, Fragm. 741. Quoted again in “On Abundance of Friends,” § iii.
146 A Delphic word for love. Can it be connected with ἅρμα?
147 Very frequent in Homer, e.g., “Iliad,” ii. 232; vi, 165; xiii. 636: xiv. 353, etc.
148 See Lucretius, iv. 1105-1114. I tone down the original here a little.
149 Homer, “Odyssey,” vi. 183, 184. Cf. Eurip. “Medea,” 14, 15.
150 This means when the moustache and beard and whiskers begin to grow.
151 The whole story about Harmodius and Aristogiton and how they killed Hipparchus is told by Thucydides, vi. 54-59. Bion therefore practically called these sprouting beards tyrant-killers, tyrannicides.
152 “Scriptus igitur hic libellus est post caedem Domitiani.”—Reiske.
153 Vespasian certainly was not cruel generally. “Non temere quis punitus insons reperietur, nisi absente eo et ignaro aut certe invito atque decepto….. Sola est, in qua merito culpetur, pecuniæ cupiditas.”—Suetonius, “Divus Vespasianus,” 15, 16
Translated with notes and index Arthur Richard Shillitoe, MA. The copyright for the original of this document is held in the Public Domain. Font, formatting, spelling modernizations, typo/transcription corrections, and explanatory footnotes for this version of Plutarch’s “Morals” Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.