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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: January 2010

1 - Preliminary Talks

from I - CHORICIUS, PRELIMINARY TALKS

Summary

[I]: THIS PRELIMINARY TALK, BOLDER THAN USUAL, OPPORTUNELY SEEKS THE GOODWILL OF THE AUDIENCE

[1] Since the occasion allows us to be somewhat playful – for we are having a festival, and a single pleasure and cheerfulness are diffused over the whole crowd – well, I myself shall make a display [of my oratory] before those I love. [2] Come, then, O eloquence, for splendor befits feasts: if you have ever taken pride in me at another contest, come forth all the more on this occasion, very well crowned, gracefully garbed, and ready to serve up a manifold feast. [3] For when it is not a public festivity that banqueters are attending, they tolerate even bad food, I think. If a host has been negligent, every guest keeps his criticisms to himself; those who eat the host's food do not show their disapproval. But as it is, this is a lavish [public] festival, and the tables everywhere are laden with delicacies, so we will need many cooks and many wine-pourers to pour the wine in a refined and elegant manner.

[4] Now at Sparta, when the Hyacinthia is celebrated – for the citizens of Sparta honor the youth [Hyacinthus] – a chorus of individuals of the same age as the honorand sing to the accompaniment of lyre and pipe, and maidens dance to the rhythm of the song; for people who live a martial life are not well versed in celebrating by means of oratory.