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polytheist extractions

Lucian, Amores 13-14

“When we had enjoyed the plants to our fill we entered into the temple. The goddess is sited in the middle, a most beautiful artistic work of Parian marble, smiling a little sublimely with her lips parted in a laugh. Her whole beauty is uncovered, she has no clothing cloaking her and is naked except in as far as with one hand she nonchalantly conceals her crotch. The craftsman’s art has been so great as to suit the opposite and unyielding nature of the stone to each of the limbs. Kharikles, indeed, shouted out in a mad and deranged way. ‘Happiest of all gods was Ares who was bound for this goddess’, and with that he ran up and stretching his neck as far as he could kissed it on its shining lips. But Kallikratidas stood silently, his mind numbed with amazement.

“The temple has doors at both ends too, for those who want to see the goddess in detail from the back, in order that no part of her may not be wondered at. So it is easy for men entering at the other door to examine the beautiful form behind. So we decided to see the whole of the goddess and went around to the back of the shrine. Then, when the door was opened by the keeper of the keys, sudden wonder gripped us at the beauty of the woman entrusted to us. Well, the Athenian, when he had looked on quietly for a little, caught sight of the love parts of the goddess, and immediately cried out much more madly than Kharikles, ‘Herakles! What a fine rhythm to her back! Great flanks! What a handful to embrace. Look at the way the beautifully delineated flesh of the buttocks is arched, neither too wanting and drawn in too close to the bones themselves, nor allowed to spread out excessively fat. No one could express the sweetness of the smile of the shape impressed upon the hips. How precise the rhythms of thigh and shin extending right straight to the foot. Such a Ganymede pours nectar sweetly for Zeus in Heaven! For I wouldn’t have received a drink if Hebe had been serving.’ As Kallikratidas made this inspired cry, Kharikles was virtually transfixed with amazement, his eyes growing damp with a watering complaint . . .” – Lucian, Amores 13-14

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