Plutarch, Moralia. Table-Talk

LCL 424: 510-511

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Plutarch’s Moralia

(696)διὰ ξηρότητα· τὸ δ᾿ ἔλαιον, ὅλκιμον πανταχῆ καὶ μαλακόν, ἄγεται περὶ τὸ σῶμα χριομένοις καὶ Dσυνεπιρρεῖ πορρωτάτω δι᾿ ὑγρότητα τῶν μερῶν μηκυνομένων, ὥστε καὶ παραμένειν δυσεξίτηλον. ὕδατι μὲν γὰρ1 βρεχθὲν ἱμάτιον ἀποξηραίνεται ῥᾳδίως, ἐλαίου δὲ κηλῖδας οὐ τῆς τυχούσης ἐστὶ πραγματείας2 ἐκκαθᾶραι· μάλιστα γὰρ ἐνδύεται τῷ μάλιστα λεπτὸν καὶ ὑγρὸν εἶναι· καὶ γὰρ οἶνον κεκραμένον δυσχερέστερον ἐξαιροῦσι3 τῶν ἱματίων, ὡς Ἀριστοτέλης φησίν, ὅτι λεπτότερός4 ἐστι καὶ μᾶλλον ἐνδύεται τοῖς πόροις.

ΠΡΟΒΛΗΜΑ Ι

EΤίς αἰτία, δι᾿ ἣν ψαθυρὰ γίνεται ταχὺ τὰ ἐκ συκῆς κρεμαννύμενα τῶν ἱερείων

Collocuntur Aristio, Plutarchus, alii

5 Ἀριστίωνος εὐημέρει6 παρὰ τοῖς δειπνοῦσι μάγειρος, ὡς τά τ᾿ ἄλλα χαριέντως ὀψοποιήσας καὶ τὸν ἄρτι7 τῷ Ἡρακλεῖ τεθυμένον ἀλεκτρυόνα παραθεὶς ἁπαλὸν ὥσπερ χθιζόν,8 νεαρὸν ὄντα καὶ πρόσφατον. εἰπόντος οὖν τοῦ Ἀριστίωνος, ὅτι τοῦτο γίγνεται ταχέως, εἰ σφαγεὶς εὐθὺς ἀπὸ συκῆς κρεμασθείη, τὴν αἰτίαν ἐζητοῦμεν. ὅτι μὲν δὴ πνεῦμα τῆς συκῆς ἄπεισιν ἰσχυρὸν καὶ σφοδρόν,

510

Table-talk VI.

of their own dryness. But olive oil, which is soft and ductile to any extent, is spread over the body when we anoint ourselves, and is carried farther than any other liquid as its particles grow longer on account of their liquidity. Accordingly, it also resists evaporation and does not easily disappear. When a garment happens to be soaked with water, it dries easily, but an oil stain requires more than ordinary effort to remove. Oil stains enter deepest into the fabric because the refinement and liquidity of oil is greatest. As Aristotlea says, wine is also more difficult to remove from cloth when mixed, because it is then of finer grain and settles more deeply into the pores.

Question 10b

Why sacrificial meat when hung from a fig tree quickly becomes tender

Speakers: Aristion, Plutarch and others

Aristion’s cook made a hit with the dinner guests not only because of his general skill, but because the cock that he set before the diners, though it had just been slaughtered as a sacrifice to Heracles, was as tender as if it had been a day old. Aristion said that meat cures rapidly if, immediately upon killing, it is hung on a fig tree; and we went on to discuss why this should be so. Two things indicate that a strong, intense exhalationc is given off by the fig tree; first,

511
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-moralia_table_talk.1961