The Athenian Symposium

Symposium scene on red figure Attic kylix, wine cup, 5th cent. BC. ©Mike Andrews/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection Copyright: Mike Andrews/AAA Collection

Symposium scene on red figure Attic kylix, wine cup, 5th cent. BC.
©Mike Andrews/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection

An Athenian symposium (drinking party) was conducted on a set of accepted rules. The all-male guests reclined on couches round three sides of the reception room, which was both comfortable and practical since the guests, however drunk, could not fall over if they were lying down already. The guest of honour was furthest to the right, the host furthest to the left, and the guests would democratically decide how much water should be added to the wine, which was rarely drunk neat. Dancing girls and musicians might be offered (a lyre and a pipes are shown on this kylix) or intellectual debate might be chosen, as Plato describes in the most famous symposium of all. Written by Dr Anne Ward

 



古代ギリシャ、アテネの知識層の間で、ワインを飲みながら討論を楽しむ、ということが盛んでした。シンポジウムと呼ばれ、ルールに従ってパーティが催されました。全員男性の招待客が、応接間の3隅に置かれた長いすに横たわります。この長いすは心地よくかつ実用的で、客がどんなに酔っていてもこの椅子から落ちることはありません。主客は部屋の右奥に、ホストは左奥に、そして客たちが民主的にどれくらいの水でワインを割るかを決めます。その当時ワインをそのままで飲むことは稀でした。ダンサーやミュージシャンが宴を盛り上げたり、あるいはプラトンの有名な著書 饗宴、で書かれているような、インテレクチュアルな議論が交わされます。