Monday, August 14, 2006


Philoxenus and Other Solitary Eaters

Chrysippus, quoted by Athenaeus 1.5e, on Philoxenus (tr. Charles Burton Gulick):
I remember a certain gourmand, who was so far lost to all feelings of shame before his companions, no matter what happened, that in the public baths he accustomed his hand to heat by plunging it into hot water, and gargled his throat with hot water that he might not shrink from hot food. For they used to say that he had actually won the cooks over to serving the dishes very hot, his object being to eat up everything alone [μόνος καταναλίσκῃ], since nobody else was able to follow his example.
See also Athenaeus 1.8e:
Yet the notion of eating alone [τὸ μονοφαγεῖν] was not unknown among the ancients. Antiphanes: "You eat alone [μονοφαγεῖς]! That's a wilful injury to me." Ameipsias: "To the devil with you, solitary eater [μονοφάγε] and housebreaker!"
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