Agariste of Sicyon
Who is Agariste of Sicyon?
Agariste was the daughter, and possibly the heiress, of the tyrant of Sicyon, Cleisthenes. Her father wanted to marry her to the "best of the Hellenes" and, subsequently, he organized a competition, whose prize was the hand of his own daughter in marriage. According to his declaration, all the eligible young men had to appear in Sicyon within 60 days. Finally, twelve competitors appeared and Cleisthenes held a banquet in his guests' honour.
Cleisthenes preferred the former archon Hippocleides but, during the dinner the suitor embarrassed himself. According to Herodotus, Hippocleides became intoxicated and began to act like a fool; at one point, he stood on his head and kicked his legs in the air, keeping time with the flute music. When Hippocleides was informed that he had "danced away his bride," his response was οὐ φροντίς Ἱπποκλείδῃ,. Herodotus' description insinuates a bawdy pun: the phrase "danced the bride away" may also be read as "displayed your testicles", in reference to Hippoclides standing on his head while wearing a tunic, which would have exposed his genitals to the guests.
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on July 23, 2013
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