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Term (Greek sympósĭon; Latin symposium) for a drinking event accompanied by spirited conversation, jokes, songs, music, games and performances with moderate, controlled consumption of wine in ancient Greece. The earliest mentions of it come from the poet Xenophanes (570-470) from the 6th century BC, as well as from the historian Herodotus (482-425 BC) and the philosopher Plato (428/427-348/347 BC), who described the rules in his law book "Nomoi". The custom spread from Greece to Rome and Italy and was widespread until the end of antiquity, especially among the wealthy. The Greek term means "communal, social drinking". However, it should by no means be understood as just a boisterous drinking and eating binge, as the focus was on communal, godly, ritualised and civilised conviviality. The painting shows the famous work "Symposion" by Plato (428/427-348/347 BC) with the participants Aristophanes (450-380 BC) and Socrates (470-399 BC).

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

26,403 Keywords · 47,035 Synonyms · 5,323 Translations · 31,737 Pronunciations · 205,287 Cross-references
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