There was nowhere on the table where they did not put meats, lamb, kids [i.e. the lamb-type kids], pork, veal, and poultry, along with many types of bread – some made from wheat and others of barley. When someone who was of good cheer wished to drink to someone, he drew the other to the krater [i.e. drinking cup], and, bending over, drank heartily like an ox. They also give to the leader the honor to take whatever he wants.


This is in the same village visit as the previous Anabasis passage and an appropriate follow up to recent posts on Armenian beer. In this section, Xenophon parties with an Armenian chief as they all get their eating and drinking on.


Despite Xenophon’s avoidance of the Greek word for beer, this scene has “beer” written (spilled?) all over it. The act of bending over and rapaciously slurping is highly suggestive of the use of straws for drinking very un-wine-like beverages in Armenia.

All things considered, this sounds like a great party. This blog author, at least, has never shied away from various and sundry table meats, especially when accompanied by a barley (and pulse) quaff. One question, though: is it borderline cannibalism to eat veal, when drinking like an ox?

Author’s Note
Xenophon (ca. 430-354 BCE)
See previous



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