Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 13.54 (Kaibel) and Xenophon, Memorabilia 3.11.1

In this passage Athenaeus quotes Xenophon about Theodote of Athens.
By clicking on the name of Xenophon (in yellow), you can see a reference to the passage of the Memorabilia; by clicking on the reference you can highlight the corresponding words in Athenaeus and in Xenophon.


Bibliography on the passage:

  • D. Ambaglio, ‘I Deipnosofisti di Ateneo e la tradizione storica frammentaria’, in «Athenaeum» 78.1 (1990), pp. 62-63
  • C. Maisonneuve, ‘Les «fragments» de Xénophon dans les Deipnosophistes’, in Athénée et les fragments d’historiens. Actes du colloque de Strasbourg (16-18 juin 2005), éd. par D. Lenfant, Paris 2007, pp. 92-93


Athenaei Naucratitae Dipnosophistarum Libri XV, rec. G. Kaibel. Vol. III Lipsiae 1890 pdf_icon


Ath. Deipn. 13.54 (588d) τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ καὶ Σωκράτης ἐμαντεύσατο περὶ Θεοδότης τῆς Ἀθηναίας, ὥς φησι Ξενοφῶν ἐν Ἀπομνημονεύμασιν· “ὅτι δὲ καλλίστη εἴη καὶ στέρνα κρείττω λόγου παντὸς ἔχοι λέγοντός τινος, ‘ἰτέον ἡμῖν, ἔφη, θεασομένοις τὴν γυναῖκα· οὐ γὰρ δὴ ἀκούουσιν ἔστιν κρῖναι τὸ κάλλος.’ ”

Xenophon. Memorabilia. Oeconomicus. Symposium. Apology, ed. E.C. Marchant. Cambridge, Ma 1923


Xen. Mem. 3.11 (1) Γυναικὸς δέ ποτε οὔσης ἐν τῇ πόλει καλῆς, ᾗ ὄνομα ἦν Θεοδότη, καὶ οἵας συνεῖναι τῷ πείθοντι, μνησθέντος αὐτῆς τῶν παρόντων τινὸς καὶ εἰπόντος ὅτι κρεῖττον εἴη λόγου τὸ κάλλος τῆς γυναικός, καὶ ζωγράφους φήσαντος εἰσιέναι πρὸς αὐτὴν ἀπεικασομένους, οἷς ἐκείνην ἐπιδεικνύειν ἑαυτῆς ὅσα καλῶς ἔχοι, Ἰτέον ἂν εἴη θεασομένους, ἔφη ὁ Σωκράτης· οὐ γὰρ δὴ ἀκούσασί γε τὸ λόγου κρεῖττον ἔστι καταμαθεῖν. καὶ ὁ διηγησάμενος, Οὐκ ἂν φθάνοιτ’, ἔφη, ἀκολουθοῦντες.


Ath. Deipn. 13.54 (588d) Socrates, also, divined the same promise in the case of Theodote of Athens, as Xenophon says in his Memorabilia: “When someone remarked that she was very beautiful and had a bosom beyond the power of any tongue to describe Socrates said, ‘We must go to see the woman; for it is not possible to judge her beauty by hearsay.’ ” (trans. Gulick) Xen. Mem. 3.11 (1) At one time there was in Athens a beautiful woman named Theodote, who was ready to keep company with anyone who pleased her. One of the bystanders mentioned her name, declaring that words failed him to describe the lady's beauty, and adding that artists visited her to paint her portrait, and she showed them as much as decency allowed. “We had better go and see her,” cried Socrates; “of course what beggars description can't very well be learned by hearsay.” (trans. Marchant)