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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 31.163


nan Then again, take the mode you affect in dress — which perhaps to some appears ridiculous — the width of the purple stripe; we come now to things still more noticeable — your remaining silent as you watch the games, your applauding by making a clucking sound with your lips — all these manners lend your city dignity, they all cause you to be looked upon as superior to the others, for all these customs you are admired, you are loved; more than by your harbours, your fortifications, your shipyards are you honoured by that strain in your customs which is antique and Hellenic, so that when anybody comes among you he recognizes instantly on disembarking, even if he happens to be of barbarian race, that he has not come to some city of Syria or of Cilicia. But in other cities, unless the stranger hears some one mention the name of the place he sees, that it is called, let us say, 'Lyceum' or 'Academy,' they are all alike to him! <


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 1.38, 11.62, 25.9, 31.159-31.160, 32.41-32.44, 32.56, 33.41, 35.18-35.24, 49.7-49.9 (1st cent. CE

31.159.  Therefore, just as, when a prosperous and great family has been left desolate and only one male descendant survives, everything depends upon him, and if he errs in any way and bears a bad name, he destroys all the glory of his family and puts shame upon all who preceded him, so too is your position now in respect to Hellas. For you must not take it for granted, Rhodians, that you hold first place in Hellas, nay you must not. For it is only those Hellenes who still live and are sensible of the difference between honour and dishonour of whom it is possible for any to be first. But all the former are past and gone, have perished in an utterly shameful and pitiable way; and as to the rest, it is no longer possible to form a conception of the pre-eminence and splendour of their deeds and, as well, their sufferings, by looking at the men of the present time. 31.160.  Nay, it is rather the stones which reveal the grandeur and the greatness of Hellas, and the ruins of her buildings; her inhabitants themselves and those who conduct her governments would not be called descendants of even the Mysians. So to me, at least, it seems that the cities which have been utterly destroyed have come off better than those which are inhabited as they are now. For the memory of those men remains unimpaired, and the fame of those noble men of the past suffers insult for naught; just as it is true, methinks, with the bodies of the dead — it is in every way better that they should have been utterly destroyed and that no man should see them any more, than that they should rot in the sight of all! 32.41.  What, then, do you suppose those people say when they have returned to their homes at the ends of the earth? Do they not say: "We have seen a city that in most respects is admirable and a spectacle that surpasses all human spectacles, with regard both to beauty and sanctuaries and multitude of inhabitants and abundance of all that man requires," going on to describe to their fellow citizens as accurately as possible all the things that I myself named a short while ago — all about the Nile, the land, and the sea, and in particular the epiphany of the god; "and yet," they will add, "it is a city that is mad over music and horse-races and in these matters behaves in a manner entirely unworthy of itself. For the Alexandrians are moderate enough when they offer sacrifice or stroll by themselves or engage in their other pursuits; but when they enter the theatre or the stadium, just as if drugs that would madden them lay buried there, they lose all consciousness of their former state and are not ashamed to say or do anything that occurs to them. 32.42.  And what is most distressing of all is that, despite their interest in the show, they do not really see, and, though they wish to hear, they do not hear, being evidently out of their senses and deranged â€” not only men, but even women and children. And when the dreadful exhibition is over and they are dismissed, although the more violent aspect of their disorder has been extinguished, still at street-corners and in alley-ways the malady continues throughout the entire city for several days; just as when a mighty conflagration has died down, you can see for a long time, not only the smoke, but also some portions of the buildings still aflame. 32.43.  Moreover, some Persian or Bactrian is likely to say: "We ourselves know how to ride horses and are held to be just about the best in horsemanship" — for they cultivate that art for the defence of their empire and independence — "but for all that we have never behaved that way or anything like it"; whereas you, who have never handled a horse or mounted one yourselves, are unable to restrain yourselves, but are like lame men squabbling over a foot-race. That may explain why, cowards and slackers though you are, you have won so many cavalry battles in the past! 32.44.  And take heed lest these people prove to have spoken more truthfully about you than Anacharsis the Scythian is said to have spoken about the Greeks — for he was held to be one of the sages, and he came to Greece, I suppose, to observe the customs and the people. Anacharsis said that in each city of the Greeks there is a place set apart in which they act insanely day after day — meaning the gymnasium — for when they go there and strip off their clothes, they smear themselves with a drug. "And this," said he, "arouses the madness in them; for immediately some run, others throw each other down, others put up their hands and fight an imaginary foe, and others submit to blows. And when they have behaved in that fashion," said he, "they scrape off the drug and straightway are sane again and, now on friendly terms with one another, they walk with downcast glance, being ashamed at what has occurred. 33.41.  well then, suppose that a man were to judge you too by the sound that came to him from a distance, what kind of men would he guess you were and what your occupation? For you haven't the capacity for tending either cattle or sheep! And would any one call you colonists from Argos, as you claim to be, or more likely colonists of those abominable Aradians? Would he call you Greeks, or the most licentious of Phoenicians? I believe it is more appropriate for a man of sense to plug his ears with wax in a city like yours than if he chanced to be sailing past the Sirens. For there one faced the risk of death, but here it is licentiousness, insolence, the most extreme corruption that threatens. 35.18.  For in India, according to the report, there are rivers, not of water as in your land, but one of milk, one of translucent wine, another of honey, and another of olive oil. And these streams spring from hills near by, as if from the breasts of Mother Earth. And also these products are immeasurably superior to those we have both in flavour and in potency. For what we have in our country we gather in scanty measure and with difficulty from certain animals and plants, crushing the fruits of trees and plants and extracting the food of living creatures by milking and by robbing the hive; while the products of India are altogether purer, untainted, methinks, by violence and ruthlessness. Moreover, the rivers flow during one month for the king, and that constitutes his tribute, while for the rest of the year they flow for the people. 35.19.  So every day the Indians assemble with their children and their wives at the springs and river-banks, sporting and laughing as if in expectation of a feast. And by the banks there grows the lotus — a sturdy plant and, one might say, the sweetest of all foods, not, as the lotus in our land, mere fodder for quadrupeds — and also much sesame and parsley, at least as one might judge from the outward similarity of those plants, although for quality they are not to be compared. And that country produces also another seed, a better food than wheat and barley and more wholesome. And it grows in huge calyxes, like those of roses but more fragrant and larger. This plant they eat, both root and fruit, at no expense of labour. 35.20.  And there are many canals which issue from the rivers, some large and some small, mingling with one another and made by man to suit his fancy. And by their aid the Indians convey with ease the fluids I have named, just as we convey the water of our gardens. And there are baths also close by at their disposal, the water of which in the one case is warm and whiter than silver and in the other it is blue from its depth and coldness. In these they swim, women and children together, all of them beautiful. And after the bath, I dare say, reclining in the meadows they sing and hum. 35.21.  And there are in that land meadows of utter beauty and a variety of flowering trees that provide shade from high above, though they bring their fruit within reach of all who wish to pluck it as the branches nod. And the birds charm them by their song, some seated in the meadows, a great flock of them, and some high up among the topmost branches, their notes more tuneful than those of our musical instruments. And a gentle breeze is ever blowing, and the climate is nearly constant throughout the year, and it resembles most closely that of early summer. And what is more, not only is their sky clearer, but also the stars are more numerous and more brilliant. And these people live more than four hundred years, and during all that time they are beautiful and youthful and neither old age nor disease nor poverty is found among them. 35.22.  So wonder­ful and so numerous are these blessings, and yet there are people called Brachmanes who, abandoning those rivers and the people scattered along their banks, turn aside and devote themselves to private speculation and meditation, undertaking amazing physical labours without compulsion and enduring fearful tests of endurance. And it is said that they have one special fountain, the Fountain of Truth, by far the best and most godlike of all, and that those who drink their fill thereof have never been known to lie. Regarding conditions in that land, then, it is a true story that you have heard. For some of those who have been there have vouched for it; though only a few do go there, in pursuit of trade, and they mingle only with the people of the coast. 35.23.  And that branch of the Indian race is in low repute, and all the others say harsh things of them. It must be admitted that the people of India are more fortunate than you are, but that you are more fortunate than all the others — with the exception of just one more race of mortals, namely, those most rich in gold. And their gold is obtained from ants. These ants are larger than foxes, though in other respects similar to the ants we have. And they burrow in the earth, just as do all other ants. And that which is thrown out by their burrowing is gold, the purest of all gold and the most resplendent. Now there are close to one another a series of what might be called hills of gold dust, and the whole plain is agleam. Therefore it is difficult to look thereon in the sunlight, and many of those who have made the attempt have lost their sight. 35.24.  But the people who live near that land, having traversed the intervening territory (desert land of no great extent) in chariots drawn by horses of greatest speed, arrive at midday, at which time the ants have gone underground; and then these men seize the gold that has been cast forth and flee. And the ants, becoming aware of what has happened, give chase, and, having overtaken their quarry, fight until they either meet their death or kill the foe — for they are the most valiant of all creatures. And so these at any rate know what their gold is worth, and they even die sooner than give it up. 49.8.  the Celts appointed those whom they call Druids, these also being devoted to the prophetic art and to wisdom in general. In all these cases the kings were not permitted to do or plan anything without the assistance of these wise men, so that in truth it was they who ruled, while the kings became are servants and the ministers of their will, though they sat on golden thrones, dwelt in great houses, and feasted sumptuously. And indeed it is reasonable to expect that man to administer any office most capably who, occupying continuously the most difficult office of all, can show himself free from error.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aphrodisias (caria), basilica Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
aphrodisias (caria) Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
architecture Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
barbarian/barbarians Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
barbaroi, vs.greeks Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
barbaroi Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
benefactor Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
bon sauvage Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
demeter Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
dio chrysostomus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
diplomacy Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
dress, coan Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
encomium, visual Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
encomium Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
founder Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
gordios Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
graeci Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
hellenism(e) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
hero, eponymos Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
identity, local/regional Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
identity (greek) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
image Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
india Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
myth, foundation Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
myth, local Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
myth-history Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
mythologie Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
ninos Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
novel Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
paideia Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
sacrifice Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
sagesse (dorigine divine) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
semiramis Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43
stéréotypes (barbares) Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
tyrannos' Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 109
virtue Borg, Paideia: the World of the Second Sophistic: The World of the Second Sophistic (2008) 43