Thursday, August 17, 2006
Some Effects of Wine
The man who does not enjoy drinking is mad: in drink one can raise this to a stand, catch a handful of breast and look forward to stroking her boscage, there's dancing and forgetfulness of cares. Shall I not kiss such a drink and tell the bone-head Cyclops--and the eye in the middle of his head, too--to go hang?Here are just a few of many parallels about the effects of wine described by Euripides in this passage.
ὡς ὅς γε πίνων μὴ γέγηθε μαίνεται:
ἵν' ἔστι τουτί τ' ὀρθὸν ἐξανιστάναι
μαστοῦ τε δραγμὸς καὶ παρεσκευασμένον
ψαῦσαι χεροῖν λειμῶνος ὀρχηστύς θ' ἅμα
κακῶν τε λῆστις. εἶτ' ἐγὼ κυνήσομαι
τοιόνδε πῶμα, τὴν Κύκλωπος ἀμαθίαν
κλαίειν κελεύων καὶ τὸν ὀφθαλμὸν μέσον;
1. Wine prompts love-making:
- Panyasis, quoted by Athenaeus 2.37a (tr. C.B. Gulick): Yea, wine is the desired portion of the feast and of merry-making, of the tripping dance and of yearning love.
- Panyasis, quoted by Athenaeus 2.37a-b (tr. C.B. Gulick): But wine is the best gift of gods to men, sparkling wine; every song, every dance, every passionate love, goes with wine.
- Euripides, Bacchae 773 (tr. Moses Hadas and John McLean): If he [Dionysos, god of wine] exists not, then neither does Cypris [Aphrodite, goddess of love].
- Terence, Eunuchus 732: Without Ceres [goddess of grain] and Liber [god of wine], Venus [goddess of love] is cold (sine Cerere et Libero friget Venus), quoted also by Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods 2.23.60.
- Horace, Odes 3.21.1-3: O goodly jar, born with me when Manlius was consul, whether you bring complaints or jokes, or brawling and insane love affairs, or easy sleep (O nata mecum consule Manlio, / seu tu querelas sive geris iocos / seu rixam et insanos amores / seu facilem, pia testa, somnum).
- Tertullian, On Spectacles 10: But Venus and Liber agree well together. Those two are demons of drunkenness and lust, joined one to the other by oaths and plotting. (sed Veneri et Libero convenit. duo ista daemonia conspirata et coniurata inter se sunt ebrietatis et libidinis.).
- Panyasis (see above, #1).
- Homer, Odyssey 14.464-465 (tr. Richmond Lattimore): Wine sets even a thoughtful man to singing, / or sets him into softly laughing, sets him to dancing.
- Proverbs 31.6-7: Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
- Anon., Cypria fragment 13: Menelaus, the gods made wine the best thing for mortal men to scatter cares.
- Alcaeus, fragment 335 Voigt (tr. Anne Pippin Burnett): It's wrong for our minds to dwell upon care, for no man, heartsick, marches ahead. Bycchis, the finest tonic for man is to bring out the wine and get drunk.
- Pindar, fragment 124 ab (tr. William H. Race): O Thrasyboulos, I am sending you this chariot of lovely songs / for after dinner. Amid the company may it be a sweet goad / for your drinking companions, for the fruit of Dionysos, / and for the Athenian drinking cups, / when men's wearisome cares vanish / from their breasts, and on a sea of golden wealth / we all alike sail to an illusory shore; then the pauper is rich, while the wealthy...
- Euripides, Bacchae 279-283: He [Dionysus] discovered the moist drink of the grape cluster and introduced [it] to mortals. It relieves afflicted men from pain, when they are filled with the juice of the vine. It gives sleep and forgetfulness of daily evils, nor is there any other medicine for distress.
- Horace, Odes 1.7.30: Drive away cares with wine (vino pellite curas).
- Horace, Odes 1.18.3-4: In no other way [than by drinking wine] do biting worries flee (neque / mordaces aliter diffugiunt sollicitudines).
- Horace, Odes 2.11.17-18: Euhius [i.e. Bacchus, god of wine] scatters gnawing worries (dissipat Euhius / curas edacis).
- Horace, Odes 3.21.17: You restore hope to worried minds (tu spem reducis mentibus anxiis).
- Horace, Odes 4.12.19-20: Strong to erase the bitterness of worries (amaraque / curarum eluere efficax).
- Seneca, Dialogues 9.17.8: [The wine god] Liber is so called not from outspokenness, but because he liberates the mind from the slavery of cares and sets it free and quickens it and makes it bolder for every adventure (Liberque non ob licentiam linguae dictus est sed quia liberat servitio curarum animum et adserit vegetatque et audaciorem in omnis conatus facit).
- Palladas (Greek Anthology 11.55, tr. W.R. Paton): Give me to drink, that wine may scatter my troubles, warming again my chilled heart.
- Homer, Iliad 19.167-170 (tr. Richmond Lattimore): But when a man has been well fed with wine and with eating / and then does battle all day long against the enemy, / why, then the heart inside him is full of cheer, nor do his limbs / get weary, until all are ready to give over the fighting.
- Horace, Odes 3.21.18-20: And you give strength and vigor to the poor man -- after [tasting] you, he fears neither the angry crowns of kings nor soldiers' weapons (virisque et addis cornua pauperi / post te neque iratos trementi / regum apices neque militum arma).
- Macedonius the Consul (Greek Anthology 11.63, tr. W.R. Paton): Ye men who care for the rites of harmless Bacchus, cast away poverty by the hope the vine inspires. Let me have a punch-bowl for a cup, and instead of a cask a wine-vat at hand, the home of bright jollity. Then straight when I have drunk a bowl of my wine I will fight with the giants, the sons of Canastra, if thou wilt. I dread not the ruthless sea nor the thunderbolt, having the sure courage of fearless Bacchus.