Whacking Off Wards Off War

Dio Chrysostom, Discourse VI: Diogenes (17-20):

Diogenes said that the wealthy were like newly-born babies because they always needed swaddling clothes. The thing over which people had the greatest hassles and spent the most money, for which many cities were ruined and for the sake of which many of their peoples have been miserably wasted – to him, it was the least troublesome of all things, and certainly the cheapest. For he did not need to go anywhere for the sake venereal delights. Jokingly, he said that Aphrodite attended upon him straightaway in all placed, and that the poets slandered the goddess through their own licentiousness when they called her ‘golden’. Since a lot of people did not believe this, he jerked off in the open with everyone watching.

And he said that if all men did this, Troy would never have been taken, nor would Priam, king of the Phrygians and a descendant of Zeus, had been slain at that god’s altar. He added that the Achaeans were so stupid that they thought that even dead men still lusted for women, and killed Polyxena at the tomb of Achilles. He said that fish seemed a hell of a lot smarter than people: when they needed to blow a wad of sperm, they went out and rubbed themselves on something rough.

Indeed, he wondered that people wouldn’t pay a piece of silver to have their foot, or their hand, or any other part of their body rubbed, and even the very rich wouldn’t lose a drachma in this way. But that one part often cost whole talents of silver, and some people even wagered their lives for it. He joked that masturbation was the discovery of Pan. When he lusted after Echo but could not have her and wandered night and day through the mountains, Hermes took pity on his predicament and, since Pan was his son, taught him how to do it. When Pan had learned this, he was spared a lot of suffering, and shepherds learned how to do it from him.

“Wanna see a trick?”

ἔφη δὲ τοὺς πλουσίους ὁμοίους εἶναι τοῖς νεογνοῖς βρέφεσι· δεῖσθαι γὰρ ἀεί ποτε σπαργάνων. ὑπὲρ οὗ δὲ πλεῖστα μὲν πράγματα ἔχουσιν ἄνθρωποι, πλεῖστα δὲ χρήματα ἀναλίσκουσι, πολλαὶ δὲ ἀνάστατοι πόλεις διὰ ταῦτα γεγόνασι, πολλὰ δὲ ἔθνη τούτων ἕνεκεν οἰκτρῶς ἀπόλωλεν, ἁπάντων ἐκείνῳ χρημάτων ἀπονώτατον ἦν καὶ ἀδαπανώτατον. οὐ γὰρ ἔδει αὐτὸν οὐδαμόσε ἐλθεῖν ἀφροδισίων ἕνεκεν, ἀλλὰ παίζων ἔλεγεν ἁπανταχοῦ παρεῖναι αὐτῷ τὴν᾿Αφροδίτην προῖκα· τοὺς δὲ ποιητὰς καταψεύδεσθαι τῆς θεοῦ διὰ τὴν αὑτῶν ἀκρασίαν, πολύχρυσον καλοῦντας. ἐπεὶ δὲ πολλοὶ τοῦτο ἠπίστουν, ἐν τῷ φανερῷ ἐχρῆτο καὶ πάντων ὁρώντων· καὶ ἔλεγεν ὡς εἴπερ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οὕτως εἶχον, οὐκ ἂν ἑάλω ποτὲ ἡΤροία, οὐδ’ ἂν ὁ Πρίαμος ὁ Φρυγῶν βασιλεύς, ἀπὸ Διὸς γεγονώς, ἐπὶ τῷ βωμῷ τοῦ Διὸς ἐσφάγη. τοὺς δὲ ᾿Αχαιοὺς οὕτως εἶναι ἄφρονας ὥστε καὶ τοὺς νεκροὺς νομίζειν προσδεῖσθαι γυναικῶνκαὶ τὴν Πολυξένην σφάττειν ἐπὶ τῷ τάφῳ τοῦ ᾿Αχιλλέως. ἔφη δὲ τοὺς ἰχθύας σχεδόν τι φρονιμωτέρους φαίνεσθαι τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ὅταν γὰρ δέωνται τὸ σπέρμα ἀποβαλεῖν, ἰόντας ἔξω προσκνᾶσθαι πρὸς τὸ τραχύ. θαυμάζειν δὲ τῶν ἀνθρώπων τὸ τὸν μὲν πόδα μὴ θέλειν ἀργυρίου κνᾶσθαι μηδὲ τὴν χεῖρα μηδὲ ἄλλο μηδὲν τοῦ σώματος, μηδὲ τοὺς πάνυ πλουσίους ἀναλῶσαι ἂν μηδεμίαν ὑπὲρ τούτου δραχμήν· ἓν δὲ ἐκεῖνο τὸ μέρος πολλάκις πολλῶν ταλάντων, τοὺς δέ τινας ἤδη καὶ τῇ ψυχῇ παραβαλλομένους.ἔλεγε δὲ παίζων τὴν συνουσίαν ταύτην εὕρεμα εἶναι τοῦ Πανός, ὅτε τῆς ᾿Ηχοῦς ἐρασθεὶς οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαβεῖν, ἀλλ’ ἐπλανᾶτο ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσι νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, τότε οὖν τὸν ῾Ερμῆν διδάξαι αὐτόν, οἰκτείραντα τῆς ἀπορίας, ἅτε υἱὸν αὐτοῦ. καὶ τόν, ἐπεὶ ἔμαθε, παύσασθαι τῆς πολλῆς ταλαιπωρίας· ἀπ’ ἐκείνου δὲ τοὺς ποιμένας χρῆσθαι μαθόντας.

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