Saturday, December 07, 2013


The Tarentines

Theopompus, fragment F 233 Jacoby, quoted by Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 4.166 e-f (tr. Charles Burton Gulick):
The city of Tarentum offers sacrifices of oxen and holds public banquets nearly every month. The mass of common people is always busy with parties and drinking-bouts. And the Tarentines have a saying of some such purport as this, that whereas the rest of the world, in their devotion to work and their preoccupation with various forms of industry, are always preparing to live, they themselves, with their parties and their pleasures, do not put off living, but live already.

ἡ πόλις ἡ τῶν Ταραντίνων σχεδὸν καθ᾽ ἕκαστον μῆνα βουθυτεῖ καὶ δημοσίας ἑστιάσεις ποιεῖται. τὸ δὲ τῶν ἰδιωτῶν πλῆθος αἰεὶ περὶ συνουσίας καὶ πότους ἐστί. λέγουσι δὲ καί τινα τοιοῦτον λόγον οἱ Ταραντῖνοι, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους διὰ τὸ φιλοπονεῖσθαι καὶ περὶ τὰς ἐργασίας διατρίβειν παρασκευάζεσθαι ζῆν, αὐτοὺς δὲ διὰ τὰς συνουσίας καὶ τὰς ἡδονὰς οὐ μέλλειν, ἀλλ᾽ ἤδη βιῶναι.

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