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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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Philostratus The Athenian, Lives Of The Sophists, 488
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1. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 13.4, 13.9, 32.31, 32.36-32.37, 32.59-32.60, 32.71, 32.95, 35.18-35.24, 47.10 (1st cent. CE

13.4.  And then I recalled Homer's Odysseus, who is always bewailing his lot, although he was a hero and quite able to endure. Yet he for all that says many unworthy things, and forever sits lamenting on the shore of the sea because he yearns for his native land; and finally, so the poet says, the longing came upon him to see smoke ascending from his own country, even if he should have to die straightway, and neither his former exploits could solace him nor a goddess very beautiful and good who cherished him, going so far as to promise to make him immortal; but all these things were outweighed by his yearning and love for his native land. 13.9.  Bearing in mind all these things I decided to go to the god's temple myself and consult him, as a competent adviser, according to the ancient custom of the Greeks. For surely, thought I, if he gives competent advice about sickness and, if children are not born to a man, about childlessness, and about harvests, he will not show any less ability about such a case as mine. And then when I consulted him, he gave me a strange sort of reply and one not easy to interpret. For he bade me to keep on doing with all zeal the very thing wherein I am engaged, as being a most honourable and useful activity, "until thou comest," said he, "to the uttermost parts of the earth." And yet lying is a harsh thing to impute and not consistent with even a man's standards, to say nothing of a god's. 32.31.  Who, pray, could praise a people with such a disposition? Is not that the reason why even to your own rulers you seem rather contemptible? Someone already, according to report, has expressed his opinion of you in these words: "But of the people of Alexandria what can one say, a folk to whom you need only throw plenty of bread and a ticket to the hippodrome, since they have no interest in anything else?" Why, inasmuch as, in case a leading citizen misbehaves publicly in the sight of all, you will visit him with your contempt and regard him as a worthless fellow, no matter if he has authority a thousand times as great as yours, you yourselves cannot succeed in maintaining a reputation for dignity and seriousness so long as you are guilty of like misconduct. 32.36.  For not only does the mighty nation, Egypt, constitute the framework of your city — or more accurately its ')" onMouseOut="nd();"appendage — but the peculiar nature of the river, when compared with all others, defies description with regard to both its marvellous habits and its usefulness; and furthermore, not only have you a monopoly of the shipping of the entire Mediterranean by reason of the beauty of your harbours, the magnitude of your fleet, and the abundance and the marketing of the products of every land, but also the outer waters that lie beyond are in your grasp, both the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, whose name was rarely heard in former days. The result is that the trade, not merely of islands, ports, a few straits and isthmuses, but of practically the whole world is yours. For Alexandria is situated, as it were, at the cross-roads of the whole world, of even the most remote nations thereof, as if it were a market serving a single city, a market which brings together into one place all manner of men, displaying them to one another and, as far as possible, making them a kindred people. 32.37.  Perhaps these words of mine are pleasing to your ears and you fancy that you are being praised by me, as you are by all the rest who are always flattering you; but I was praising water and soil and harbours and places and everything except yourselves. For where have I said that you are sensible and temperate and just? Was it not quite the opposite? For when we praise human beings, it should be for their good discipline, gentleness, concord, civic order, for heeding those who give good counsel, and for not being always in search of pleasures. But arrivals and departures of vessels, and superiority in size of population, in merchandise, and in ships, are fit subjects for praise in the case of a fair, a harbour, or a market-place, but not of a city; 32.59.  For you are always in merry mood, fond of laughter, fond of dancing; only in your case when you are thirsty wine does not bubble up of its own accord from some chance rock or glen, nor can you so readily get milk and honey by scratching the ground with the tips of your fingers; on the contrary, not even water comes to you in Alexandria of its own accord, nor is bread yours to command, I fancy, but that too you receive from the hand of those who are above you; and so perhaps it is high time for you to cease your Bacchic revels and instead to turn your attention to yourselves. But at present, if you merely hear the twang of the harp-string, as if you had heard the call of a bugle, you can no longer keep the peace. 32.60.  Surely it is not the Spartans you are imitating, is it? It is said, you know, that in olden days they made war to the accompaniment of the pipe; but your warfare is to the accompaniment of the harp. Or do you desire — for I myself have compared king with commons do you, I ask, desire to be thought afflicted with the same disease as Nero? Why, not even he profited by his intimate acquaintance with music and his devotion to it. And how much better it would be to imitate the present ruler in his devotion to culture and reason! Will you not discard that disgraceful and immoderate craving for notoriety? Will you not be cautious about poking fun at everybody else, and, what is more, before persons who, if I may say so, have nothing great or wonder­ful to boast of? 32.71.  And though you now have such reasonable men as governors, you have brought them to a feeling of suspicion toward themselves, and so they have come to believe that there is need of more careful watchfulness than formerly; and this you have brought about through arrogance and not through plotting. For would you revolt from anybody? Would you wage war a single day? Is it not true that in the disturbance which took place the majority went only as far as jeering in their show of courage, while only a few, after one or two shots with anything at hand, like people drenching passers-by with slops, quickly lay down and began to sing, and some went to fetch garlands, as if on their way to a drinking party at some festival? 32.95.  Maybe, then, like so many others, you are only following the example set by Alexander, for he, like Heracles, claimed to be a son of Zeus. Nay rather, it may be that it is not Heracles whom your populace resembles, but some Centaur or Cyclops in his cups and amorous, in body strong and huge but mentally a fool. In heaven's name, do you not see how great is the consideration that your emperor has displayed toward your city? Well then, you also must match the zeal he shows and make your country better, not, by Zeus, through constructing fountains or stately portals — for you have not the wealth to squander on things like that, nor could you ever, methinks, surpass the emperor's magnificence — but rather by means of good behaviour, by decorum, by showing yourselves to be sane and steady. For in that case not only would he not regret his generosity because of what has happened, but he might even confer on you still further benefactions. And perhaps you might even make him long to visit you. 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. 47.10.  But when some persons, exiles and homeless as they were, were actually annoyed by the prospect of having a fatherland and enjoying constitutional government in independence, but preferred to be scattered in villages like barbarians rather than to have the form and name of a city, would it be proper, I ask you, to feel surprise no matter what else annoys certain persons? Accordingly, just as Aristotle has written in his letter as one who has become sick and tired of his troubles — for he says he is holding up his fingers — you may consider that I too am holding up my own fingers, as well as any other fingers there are.
2. Philostratus The Athenian, Lives of The Sophists, 485-487, 489-492, 519-520, 537, 542-543, 484 (2nd cent. CE

3. Pliny The Younger, Panegyric, 31-32, 30 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandria, prominent in the roman empire Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
alexandria, residents of rebuked by dio chrysostom Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
allusion Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
antiochos of aigai Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 213
autopsy Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 155
baetis, river, barbarian Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
constantinople Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
constantius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
constantius ii Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
delivery, rhetorical Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212, 213
dio, of prusa, "chrysostom" Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 55
dio chrysostom Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212, 213; Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145; Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 153, 154, 155
dio of prusa (chrysostom) Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
dress Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212
emperors and egypt, trajan Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
ethiopians Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 155
ethnography Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 155
gadamer, hans-georg Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 154, 155
gestures, of orator Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212, 213
herodotus and the histories, ambiguity of Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 153
homer Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
imperialism Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
intertextuality Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 154, 155
julian Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
nicolaus of damascus Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 154
nile, indifferent Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
odysseus Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212
oration Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
pagan/paganism Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
paideia/παιδεíα Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
philostratus, author Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 55
philostratus Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145; Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 153
plato Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145; Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 154
polemo Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212, 213
prefocusing (priming) Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 213
revisionism, of egypt and the nile Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
rhetoric Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
rhetorician Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
second sophistic, as field of scholarship Manolaraki, Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus (2012) 241
second sophistic/δευτέρα σοφιστική Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
second sophistic Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 212, 213
sophist Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
themistius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
theodosius Fowler, Plato in the Third Sophistic (2014) 145
trajan, emperor (a.d . Bowersock, Fiction as History: Nero to Julian (1997) 55
voice, of orator' Cairns et al, Emotions through Time: From Antiquity to Byzantium 213