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Plutarch’s Moralia

146)ΤΩΝ ΕΠΤΑ ΣΟΦΩΝ ΣΥΜΠΟΣΙΟΝ

1. Ἦ που προϊὼν ὁ χρόνος, ὦ Νίκαρχε, πολὺ σκότος ἐπάξει τοῖς πράγμασι καὶ πᾶσαν ἀσάφειαν, εἰ νῦν ἐπὶ προσφάτοις οὕτω καὶ νεαροῖς λόγοι ψευδεῖς συντεθέντες ἔχουσι πίστιν. οὔτε γὰρ μόνων, Cὡς ὑμεῖς ἀκηκόατε, τῶν ἑπτὰ γέγονε τὸ συμπόσιον, ἀλλὰ πλειόνων ἢ δὶς τοσούτων (ἐν οἷς καὶ αὐτὸς ἤμην, συνήθης μὲν ὢν Περιάνδρῳ διὰ τὴν τέχνην, ξένος δὲ Θάλεω· παρ᾿ ἐμοὶ γὰρ κατέλυσεν ὁ ἀνὴρ Περιάνδρου κελεύσαντος), οὔτε τοὺς λόγους ὀρθῶς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν ὅστις ἦν ὑμῖν ὁ διηγούμενος· ἦν δ᾿ ὡς ἔοικεν οὐδεὶς τῶν παραγεγονότων. ἀλλ᾿ ἐπεὶ σχολή τε πάρεστι πολλὴ καὶ τὸ γῆρας οὐκ ἀξιόπιστον ἐγγυήσασθαι τὴν ἀναβολὴν τοῦ λόγου, προθυμουμένοις ὑμῖν ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς ἅπαντα διηγήσομαι.

D2. Παρεσκευάκει μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ἐν τῇ πόλει τὴν ὑποδοχὴν ὁ Περίανδρος, ἀλλ᾿ ἐν τῷ περὶ τὸ Λέχαιον ἑστιατορίῳ παρὰ τὸ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης ἱερόν, ἧς ἦν καὶ ἡ θυσία, μετὰ γὰρ τὸν ἔρωτα τῆς μητρὸς

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Dinner of the Seven Wise Men

The Dinner of the Seven Wise Men

1. It seems fairly certain, Nicarchus, that the lapse of time will bring about much obscurity and complete uncertainty regarding actual events, if at the present time, in the case of events so fresh and recent, false accounts that have been concocted obtain credence. For, in the first place, the dinner was not a dinner of the Seven alone, as you and your friends have been told, but of more than twice that number, including myself; for I was on intimate terms with Periander by virtue of my profession,a and I was also the host of Thales, for he stayed at my house by command of Periander. In the second place, your informant, whoever he was, did not report the conversation correctly; apparently he was not one of those at the dinner. However, since there is nothing that demands my attention just now, and old age is too untrustworthy to warrant postponing the narration, I will begin at the beginning, and tell you, without any omissions, the story which you all seem eager to hear.

2. Periander had arranged for the entertainment, not in the city but in the dining-hall in the vicinity of Lechaeum, close by the shrine of Aphrodite, in whose honour the sacrifice was offered that day. For Periander, ever since his mother’s love-affair which

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-moralia_dinner_seven_wise_men.1928