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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



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Lucian, Salaried Posts In Great Houses, 42
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1. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 3.38-3.48 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.38. 1.  But now that we have examined with sufficient care Ethiopia and the Trogodyte country and the territory adjoining them, as far as the region which is uninhabited because of the excessive heat, and, beside these, the coast of the Red Sea and the Atlantic deep which stretches towards the south, we shall give an account of the part which still remains — and I refer to the Arabian Gulf — drawing in part upon the royal records preserved in Alexandria, and in part upon what we have learned from men who have seen it with their own eyes.,2.  For this section of the inhabited world and that about the British Isles and the far north have by no means come to be included in the common knowledge of men. But as for the parts of the inhabited world which lie to the far north and border on the area which is uninhabited because of the cold, we shall discuss them when we record the deeds of Gaius Caesar;,3.  for he it was who extended the Roman Empire the farthest into those parts and brought it about that all the area which had formerly been unknown came to be included in a narrative of history;,4.  but the Arabian Gulf, as it is called, opens into the ocean which lies to the south, and its innermost recess, which stretches over a distance of very many stades in length, is enclosed by the farthermost borders of Arabia and the Trogodyte country. Its width at the mouth and at the innermost recess is about sixteen stades, but from the harbour of Panormus to the opposite mainland is a day's run for a warship. And its greatest width is at the Tyrcaeus mountain and Macaria, an island out at sea, the mainlands there being out of sight of each other. But from this point the width steadily decreases more and more and continually tapers as far as the entrance.,5.  And as a man sails along the coast he comes in many places upon long islands with narrow passages between them, where the current rises full and strong. Such, then, is the setting, in general terms, of this gulf. But for our part, we shall make our beginning with the farthest regions of the innermost recess and then sail along its two sides past the mainlands, in connection with which we shall describe what is peculiar to them and most deserving of discussion; and first of all we shall take the right side, the coast of which is inhabited by tribes of the Trogodytes as far inland as the desert.   3.39. 1.  In the course of the journey, then, from the city of Arsinoê along the right mainland, in many places numerous streams, which have a bitter salty taste, drop from the cliffs into the sea. And after a man has passed these waters, above a great plain there towers a mountain whose colour is like ruddle and blinds the sight of any who gaze steadfastly upon it for some time. Moreover, at the edge of the skirts of the mountain there lies a harbour, known as Aphroditê's Harbour, which has a winding entrance.,2.  Above this harbour are situated three islands, two of which abound in olive trees and are thickly shaded, while one falls short of the other two in respect of the number of these trees but contains a multitude of the birds called meleagrides.,3.  Next there is a very large gulf which is called Acathartus, and by it is an exceedingly long peninsula, over the narrow neck of which men transport their ships to the opposite sea.,4.  And as a man coasts along these regions he comes to an island which lies at a distance out in the open sea and stretches for a length of eighty stades; the name of it is Ophiodes and it was formerly full of fearful serpents of every variety, which was in fact the reason why it received this name, but in later times the kings at Alexandria have laboured so diligently on the reclaiming of it that not one of the animals which were formerly there is any longer to be seen on the island.,5.  However, we should not pass over the reason why the kings showed diligence in the reclamation of the island. For there is found on it the topaz, as it is called, which is a pleasing transparent stone, similar to glass, and of a marvellous golden hue.,6.  Consequently no unauthorized person may set foot upon the island and it is closely guarded, every man who has approached it being put to death by the guards who are stationed there. And the latter are few in number and lead a miserable existence. For in order to prevent any stone being stolen, not a single boat is left on the island; furthermore, any who sail by pass along it at a distance because of their fear of the king; and the provisions which are brought to it are quickly exhausted and there are absolutely no other provisions in the land.,7.  Consequently, whenever only a little food is left, all the inhabitants of the village sit down and await the arrival of the ship of those who are bringing the provisions, and when these are delayed they are reduced to their last hopes.,8.  And the stone we have mentioned, being found in the rock, is not discernible during the day because of the stifling heat, since it is overcome by the brilliance of the sun, but when night falls it shines in the dark and is visible from afar, in whatever place it may be.,9.  The guards on the island divide these places by lot among themselves and stand watch over them, and when the stone shines they put around it, to mark the place, a vessel corresponding in size to the chunk of stone which gives out the light; and when day comes and they go their rounds they cut out the area which has been so marked and turn it over to men who are able by reason of their craftsmanship to polish it properly.   3.40. 1.  After sailing past these regions one finds that the coast is inhabited by many nations of Ichthyophagi and many nomadic Trogodytes. Then there appear mountains of all manner of peculiarities until one comes to the Harbour of Soteria, as it is called, which gained this name from the first Greek sailors who found safety there.,2.  From this region onwards the gulf begins to become contracted and to curve toward Arabia. And here it is found that the nature of the country and of the sea has altered by reason of the peculiar characteristic of the region;,3.  for the mainland appears to be low as seen from the sea, no elevation rising above it, and the sea, which runs to shoals, is found to have a depth of no more than three fathoms, while in colour it is altogether green. The reason for this is, they say, not because the water is naturally of that colour, but because of the mass of seaweed and tangle which shows from under water.,4.  For ships, then, which are equipped with oars the place is suitable enough, since it rolls along no wave from a great distance and affords, furthermore, fishing in the greatest abundance; but the ships which carry the elephants, being of deep draft because of their weight and heavy by reason of their equipment, bring upon their crews great and terrible dangers.,5.  For running as they do under full sail and often times being driven during the night before the force of the winds, sometimes they will strike against rocks and be wrecked or sometimes run aground on slightly submerged spits. The sailors are unable to go over the sides of the ship because the water is deeper than a man's height, and when in their efforts to rescue their vessel by means of their punting-poles they accomplish nothing, they jettison everything except their provisions; but if even by this course they do not succeed in effecting an escape, they fall into great perplexity by reason of the fact that they can make out neither an island nor a promontory nor another ship near at hand; — for the region is altogether inhospitable and only at rare intervals do men cross it in ships.,6.  And to add to these evils the waves within a moment's time cast up such a mass of sand against the body of the ship and heap it up in so incredible a fashion that it soon piles up a mound round about the place and binds the vessel, as if of set purpose, to the solid land.,7.  Now the men who have suffered this mishap, at the outset bewail their lot with moderation in the face of a deaf wilderness, having as yet not entirely abandoned hope of ultimate salvation; for oftentimes the swell of the flood-tide has intervened for men in such a plight and raised the ship aloft, and suddenly appearing, as might a deus ex machina, has brought succour to men in the extremity of peril. But when such god-sent aid has not been vouchsafed to them and their food fails, then the strong cast the weaker into the sea in order that for the few left the remaining necessities of life may last a greater number of days. But finally, when they have blotted out of their minds all their hopes, these perish by a more miserable fate than those who had died before; for whereas the latter in a moment's time returned to Nature the spirit which she had given them, these parcelled out their death into many separate hardships before they finally, suffering long-protracted tortures, were granted the end of life.,8.  As for the ships which have been stripped of their crews in this pitiable fashion, there they remain for many years, like a group of cenotaphs, embedded on every side in a heap of sand, their masts and yard-arms si standing aloft, and they move those who behold them from afar to pity and sympathy for the men who have perished. For it is the king's command to leave in place such evidences of disasters that they may give notice to sailors of the region which works to their destruction.,9.  And among the Ichthyophagi who dwell near by has been handed down a tale which has preserved the account received from their forefathers, that once, when there was a great receding of the sea, the entire area of the gulf which has what may be roughly described as the green appearance became land, and that, after the sea had receded to the opposite parts and the solid ground in the depths of it had emerged to view, a mighty flood came back upon it again and returned the body of water to its former place.   3.41. 1.  The voyage along the coast, as one leaves these regions, from Ptolemaïs as far as the Promontories of the Tauri we have already mentioned, when we told of Ptolemy's hunting of the elephants; and from the Tauri the coast swings to the east, and at the time of the summer solstice the shadows fall to the south, opposite to what is true with us, at about the second hour of the day.,2.  The country also has rivers, which flow from the Psebaean mountains, as they are called. Moreover, it is checkered by great plains as well, which bear mallows, cress, and palms, all of unbelievable size; and it also brings forth fruits of every description, which have an insipid taste and are unknown among us.,3.  That part which stretches towards the interior is full of elephants and wild bulls and lions and many other powerful wild beasts of every description. The passage by sea is broken up by islands which, though they bear no cultivated fruit, support varieties of birds which are peculiar to them and marvellous to look upon.,4.  After this place the sea is quite deep and produces all kinds of sea-monsters of astonishing size, which, however, offer no harm to men unless one by accident falls upon their back-fins; for they are unable to pursue the sailors, since when they rise from the sea their eyes are blinded by the brilliance of the sun. These, then, are the farthest known parts of the Trogodyte country, and are circumscribed by the ranges which go by the name of Psebaean.   3.42. 1.  But we shall now take up the other side, namely, the opposite shore which forms the coast of Arabia, and shall describe it, beginning with the innermost recess. This bears the name Poseideion, since an altar was erected here to Poseidon Pelagius by that Ariston who was dispatched by Ptolemy to investigate the coast of Arabia as far as the ocean.,2.  Directly after the innermost recess is a region along the sea which is especially honoured by the natives because of the advantage which accrues from it to them. It is called the Palm-grove and contains a multitude of trees of this kind which are exceedingly fruitful and contribute in an unusual degree to enjoyment and luxury.,3.  But all the country round about is lacking in springs of water and is fiery hot because it slopes to the south; accordingly, it was a natural thing that the barbarians made sacred the place which was full of trees and, lying as it did in the midst of a region utterly desolate, supplied their food. And indeed not a few springs and streams of water gush forth there, which do not yield to snow in coldness; and these make the land on both sides of them green and altogether pleasing.,4.  Moreover, an altar is there built of hard stone and very old in years, bearing an inscription in ancient letters of an unknown tongue. The oversight of the sacred precinct is in the care of a man and a woman who hold the sacred office for life. The inhabitants of the place are long-lived and have their beds in the trees because of their fear of the wild beasts.,5.  After sailing past the Palm-grove one comes to an island off a promontory of the mainland which bears the name Island of Phocae from the animals which make their home there; for so great a multitude of these beasts spend their time in these regions as to astonish those who behold them. And the promontory which stretches out in front of the island lies over against Petra, as it is called, and Palestine; for to this country, as it is reported, both the Gerrhaeans and Minaeans convey from Upper Arabia, as it is called, both the frankincense and the other aromatic wares.   3.43. 1.  The coast which comes next was originally inhabited by the Maranitae, and then by the Garindanes who were their neighbours. The latter secured the country somewhat in this fashion: In the above-mentioned Palm-grove a festival was celebrated every four years, to which the neighbouring peoples thronged from all sides, both to sacrifice to the gods of the sacred precinct hecatombs of well-fed camels and also to carry back to their native lands some of the water of this place, since the tradition prevailed that this drink gave health to such as partook of it.,2.  When for these reasons, then, the Maranitae gathered to the festival, the Garindanes, putting to the sword those who had been left behind in the country, and lying in ambush for those who were returning from the festival, utterly destroyed the tribe, and after stripping the country of its inhabitants they divided among themselves the plains, which were fruitful and supplied abundant pasture for their herds and flocks.,3.  This coast has few harbours and is divided by many large mountains, by reason of which it shows every shade of colour and affords a marvellous spectacle to those who sail past it.,4.  After one has sailed past this country the Laeanites Gulf comes next, about which are many inhabited villages of Arabs who are known as Nabataeans. This tribe occupies a large part of the coast and not a little of the country which stretches inland, and it has a people numerous beyond telling and flocks and herds in multitude beyond belief.,5.  Now in ancient times these men observed justice and were content with the food which they received from their flocks, but later, after the kings in Alexandria had made the ways of the sea navigable for the merchants, these Arabs not only attacked the shipwrecked, but fitting out pirate ships preyed upon the voyagers, imitating in their practices the savage and lawless ways of the Tauri of the Pontus; some time afterward, however, they were caught on the high seas by some quadriremes and punished as they deserved.,6.  Beyond these regions there is a level and well-watered stretch of land which produces, by reason of springs which flow through its whole extent, dog's-tooth grass, lucerne, and lotus as tall as a man. And because of the abundance and excellent quality of the pasturage, not only does it support every manner of flocks and herds in multitude beyond telling, but also wild camels, deer, and gazelles.,7.  And against the multitude of animals which are nourished in that place there gather in from the desert bands of lions and wolves and leopards, against which the herdsmen must perforce battle both day and night to protect their charges; and in this way the land's good fortune becomes a cause of misfortune for its inhabitants, seeing that it is generally Nature's way to dispense to men along with good things what is hurtful as well.   3.44. 1.  Next after these plains as one skirts the coast comes a gulf of extraordinary nature. It runs, namely, to a point deep into the land, extends in length a distance of some five hundred stades, and shut in as it is by crags which are of wondrous size, its mouth is winding and hard to get out of; for a rock which extends into the sea obstructs its entrance and so it is impossible for a ship either to sail into or out of the gulf.,2.  Furthermore, at times when the current rushes in and there are frequent shiftings of the winds, the surf, beating upon the rocky beach, roars and rages all about the projecting rock. The inhabitants of the land about the gulf, who are known as Banizomenes, find their food by hunting the land animals and eating their meat. And a temple has been set up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians.,3.  Next there are three islands which lie off the coast just described and provide numerous harbours. The first of these, history relates, is sacred to Isis and is uninhabited, and on it are stone foundations of ancient dwellings and stelae which are inscribed with letters in a barbarian tongue; the other two islands are likewise uninhabited and all three are covered thick with olive trees which differ from those we have.,4.  Beyond these islands there extends for about a thousand stades a coast which is precipitous and difficult for ships to sail past; for there is neither harbour beneath the cliffs nor roadstead where sailors may anchor, and no natural breakwater which affords shelter in emergency for mariners in distress. And parallel to the coast here runs a mountain range at whose summit are rocks which are sheer and of a terrifying height, and at its base are sharp undersea ledges in many places and behind them are ravines which are eaten away underneath and turn this way and that.,5.  And since these ravines are connected by passages with one another and the sea is deep, the surf, as it at one time rushes in and at another time retreats, gives forth a sound resembling a mighty crash of thunder. At one place the surf, as it breaks upon huge rocks, rocks leaps on high and causes an astonishing mass of foam, at another it is swallowed up within the caverns and creates such a terrifying agitation of the waters that men who unwittingly draw near these places are so frightened that they die, as it were, a first death.,6.  This coast, then, is inhabited by Arabs who are called Thamudeni; but the coast next to it is bounded by a very large gulf, off which lie scattered islands which are in appearance very much like the islands called the Echinades. After this coast there come sand dunes, of infinite extent in both length and width and black in colour.,7.  Beyond them a neck of land is to be seen and a harbour, the fairest of any which have come to be included in history, called Charmuthas. For behind an extraordinary natural breakwater which slants towards the west there lies a gulf which not only is marvellous in its form but far surpasses all others in the advantages it offers; for a thickly wooded mountain stretches along it, enclosing it on all sides in a ring one hundred stades long; its entrance is two plethra wide, and it provides a harbour undisturbed by the waves sufficient for two thousand vessels.,8.  Furthermore, it is exceptionally well supplied with water, since a river, larger than ordinary, empties into it, and it contains in its centre an island which is abundantly watered and capable of supporting gardens. In general, it resembles most closely the harbour of Carthage, which is known as Cothon, of the advantages of which we shall endeavour to give a detailed discussion in connection with the appropriate time. And a multitude of fish gather from the open sea into the harbour both because of the calm which prevails there and because of the sweetness of the waters which flow into it.   3.45. 1.  After these places, as a man skirts the coast, five mountains rise on high separated one from another, and their peaks taper into breast-shaped tips of stone which give them an appearance like that of the pyramids of Egypt.,2.  Then comes a circular gulf guarded on every side by great promontories, and midway on a line drawn across it rises a trapezium-shaped hill on which three temples, remarkable for their height, have been erected to gods, which indeed are unknown to the Greeks, but are accorded unusual honour by the natives.,3.  After this there is a stretch of dank coast, traversed at intervals by streams of sweet water from springs; on it there is a mountain which bears the name Chabinus and is heavily covered with thickets of every kind of tree. The land which adjoins the mountainous country is inhabited by the Arabs known as Debae.,4.  They are breeders of camels and make use of the services of this animal in connection with the most important needs of their life; for instance, they fight against their enemies from their backs, employ them for the conveyance of their wares and thus easily accomplish all their business, drink their milk and in this way get their food from them, and traverse their entire country riding upon their racing camels.,5.  And down the centre of their country runs a river which carries down such an amount of what is gold dust to all appearance that the mud glitters all over as it is carried out at its mouth. The natives of the region are entirely without experience in the working of the gold, but they are hospitable to strangers, not, however, to everyone who arrives among them, but only to Boeotians and Peloponnesians, the reason for this being the ancient friendship shown by Heracles for the tribe, a friendship which, they relate, has come down to them in the form of a myth as a heritage from their ancestors.,6.  The land which comes next is inhabited by Alilaei and Gasandi, Arab peoples, and is not fiery hot, like the neighbouring territories, but is often overspread by mild and thick clouds, from which come heavy showers and timely storms that make the summer season temperate. The land produces everything and is exceptionally fertile, but it does not receive the cultivation of which it would admit because of the lack of experience of the folk.,7.  Gold they discover in underground galleries which have been formed by nature and gather in abundance not that which has been fused into a mass out of gold-dust, but the virgin gold, which is called, from its condition when found, "unfired" gold. And as for size the smallest nugget found is about as large as the stone offruit, and the largest not much smaller than a royal nut.,8.  This gold they wear about both their wrists and necks, perforating it and alternating it with transparent stones. And since this precious metal abounds in their land, whereas there is a scarcity of copper and iron, they exchange it with merchants for equal parts of the latter wares.   3.46. 1.  Beyond this people are the Carbae, as they are called, and beyond these the Sabaeans, who are the most numerous of the tribes of the Arabians. They inhabit that part of the country known as Arabia the Blest, which produces most of the things which are held dear among us and nurtures flocks and herds of every kind in multitude beyond telling. And a natural sweet odour pervades the entire land because practically all the things which excel in fragrance grow there unceasingly.,2.  Along the coast, for instance, grow balsam, as called, and cassia and a certain other herb possessing a nature peculiar to itself; for when fresh it is most pleasing and delightful to the eye, but when kept for a time it suddenly fades to nothing.,3.  And throughout the interior of land there are thick forests, in which are great trees which yield frankincense and myrrh, as well as palms and reeds, cinnamon trees and every other kind which possesses a sweet odour as these have; for it is impossible to enumerate both the peculiar properties and natures of each one severally because of the great volume and the exceptional richness of the fragrance as it is gathered from each and all.,4.  For a divine thing and beyond the power of words to describe seems the fragrance which greets the nostrils and stirs the senses of everyone. Indeed, even though those who sail along this coast may be far from the land, that does not deprive them of a portion of the enjoyment which this fragrance affords; for in the summer season, when the wind is blowing off shore, one finds that the sweet odours exhaled by the myrrh-bearing and other aromatic trees penetrate to the near-by parts of the sea; and the reason is that the essence of the sweet-smelling herbs is not, as with us, kept laid away until it has become old and stale, but its potency is in the full bloom of its strength and fresh, and penetrates to the most delicate parts of the sense of smell.,5.  And since the breeze carries the emanation of the most fragrant plants, to the voyagers who approach the coast there is wafted a blending of perfumes, delightful and potent, and healthful withal and exotic, composed as it is of the best of them, seeing that the product of the trees has not been minced into bits and so has exhaled its own special strength, nor yet lies stored away in vessels made of a different substance, but taken at the very prime of its freshness and while its divine nature keeps the shoot pure and undefiled. Consequently those who partake of the unique fragrance feel that they are enjoying the ambrosia of which the myths relate, being unable, because of the superlative sweetness of the perfume, to find any other name that would be fitting and worthy of it.   3.47. 1.  Nevertheless, fortune has not invested the inhabitants of this land with a felicity which is perfect and leaves no room for envy, but with such great gifts she has coupled what is harmful and may serve as a warning to such men as are wont to despise the gods because of the unbroken succession of their blessings.,2.  For in the most fragrant forests is a multitude of snakes, the colour of which is dark-red, their length a span, and their bites altogether incurable; they bite by leaping upon their victim, and as they spring on high they leave a stain of blood upon his skin.,3.  And there is also something peculiar to the natives which happens in the case of those whose bodies have become weakened by a protracted illness. For when the body has become permeated by an undiluted and pungent substance and the combination of foreign bodies settles in a porous area, an enfeebled condition ensues which is difficult to cure: consequently at the side of men afflicted in this way they burn asphalt and the beard of a goat, combatting the excessively sweet odour by that from substances of the opposite nature. Indeed the good, when it is measured out in respect of quantity and order, is for human beings an aid and delight, but when it fails of due proportion and proper time the gift which it bestows is unprofitable.,4.  The chief city of this tribe is called by them Sabae and is built upon a mountain. The kings of this city succeed to the throne by descent and the people accord to them honours mingled with good and ill. For though they have the appearance of leading a happy life, in that they impose commands upon all and are not accountable for their deeds, yet they are considered unfortunate, inasmuch as it is unlawful for them ever to leave the palace, and if they do so they are stoned to death, in accordance with a certain ancient oracle, by the common crowd.,5.  This tribe surpasses not only the neighbouring Arabs but also all other men in wealth and in their several extravagancies besides. For in the exchange and sale of their wares they, of all men who carry on trade for the sake of the silver they receive in exchange, obtain the highest price in return for things of the smallest weight.,6.  Consequently, since they have never for ages suffered the ravages of war because of their secluded position, and since an abundance of both gold and silver abounds in the country, especially in Sabae, where the royal palace is situated, they have embossed goblets of every description, made of silver and gold, couches and tripods with silver feet, and every other furnishing of incredible costliness, and halls encircled by large columns, some of them gilded, and others having silver figures on the capitals.,7.  Their ceilings and doors they have partitioned by means of panels and coffers made of gold, set with precious stones and placed close together, and have thus made the structure of their houses in every part marvellous for its costliness; for some parts they have constructed of silver and gold, others of ivory and that most showy precious stones or of whatever else men esteem most highly.,8.  For the fact is that these people have enjoyed their felicity unshaken since ages past because they have been entire strangers to those whose own covetousness leads them to feel that another man's wealth is their own godsend. The sea in these parts looks to be white in colour, so that the beholder marvels at the surprising phenomenon and at the same time seeks for its cause.,9.  And there are prosperous islands near by, containing unwalled cities, all the herds of which are white in colour, while no female has any horn whatsoever. These islands are visited by sailors from every part and especially from Potana, the city which Alexander founded on the Indus river, when he wished to have a naval station on the shore of the ocean. Now as regards Arabia the Blest and its inhabitants we shall be satisfied with what has been said.   3.48. 1.  But we must not omit to mention the strange phenomena which are seen in the heavens in these regions. The most marvellous is that which, according to accounts we have, has to do with the constellation of the Great Bear and occasions the greatest perplexity among navigators. What they relate is that, beginning with the month which the Athenians call Maemacterion, not one of the seven stars of the Great Bear is seen until the first watch, in Poseideon none until second, and in the following months they gradually drop out of the sight of navigators.,2.  As for the other heavenly bodies, the planets, as they are called, are, in the case of some, larger than they appear with us, and in the case of others their risings and settings are also not the same; and the sun does not, as with us, send forth its light shortly in advance of its actual rising, but while the darkness of night still continues, it suddenly and contrary to all expectation appears and sends forth its light.,3.  Because of this there is no daylight in those regions before the sun has become visible, and when out of the midst of the sea, as they say, it comes into view, it resembles a fiery red ball of charcoal which discharges huge sparks, and its shape does not look like a cone, as is the impression we have of it, but it has the shape of a column which has the appearance of being slightly thicker at the top; and furthermore it does not shine or send out rays before the first hour, appearing as a fire that gives forth no light in the darkness; but at the beginning of the second hour it takes on the form of a round shield and sends forth a light which is exceptionally bright and fiery.,4.  But at its setting the opposite manifestations take place with respect to it; for it seems to observers to be lighting up the whole universe with a strange kind of ray for not less than two or, as Agatharchides of Cnidus has recorded, for three hours. And in the opinion of the natives this is the most pleasant period, when the heat is steadily lessening because of the setting of the sun.,5.  As regards the winds, the west, the south-west, also the north-west and the east blow as in the other parts of the world; but in Ethiopia the south winds neither blow nor are known at all, although in the Trogodyte country and Arabia they so exceptionally hot that they set the forests on fire and cause the bodies of those who take refuge in the shade of their huts to collapse through weakness. The north wind, however, may justly be considered the most favourable of all, since it reaches into every region of the inhabited earth and is ever cool.
2. Lucian, Essays In Portraiture, 9 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. So far we may trust our sculptors and painters and poets: but for her crowning glory, for the grace —nay, the choir of Graces and Loves that encircle her — who shall portray them?Poly. This was no earthly vision, Lycinus; surely she must have dropped from the clouds.— And what was she doing?Ly. In her hands was an open scroll; half read (so I surmised) and half to be read. As she passed, she was making some remark to one of her company; what it was I did not catch. But when she smiled, ah! then, Polystratus, I beheld teeth whose whiteness, whose unbroken regularity, who shall describe? Imagine a lovely necklace of gleaming pearls, all of asize; and imagine those dazzling rows set off by ruby lips. In that glimpse, I realized what Homer meant by his ‘carven ivory.’ Other women’s teeth differ in size; or they project; or there are gaps: here, all was equality and evenness; pearl joined to pearl in unbroken line. Oh, ’twas a wondrous sight, of beauty more than human.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
dialogue,between late hellenistic and imperial texts Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
diodorus siculus,experientiality of literature Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
ecphrasis Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
experientiality Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
lucian,de mercede conductis Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
lucian,imagines Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
lucian,pro imaginibus Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
metalepsis Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
periplus Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
philostratus the elder,imagines Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
reader response' König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
reader response Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117
red sea Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 117