Symposium

In a traditional Ancient Greek banquet, particularly amongst the aristocratic society, the symposium was the part of the evening following the meal. The term, which translates to “to drink together”, suggests well which was the main occupation during these events, and drinking was accompanied by music, recitals, games and conversation. It was an exclusively male affair and the symposium was also an important tradition for hosting debate, celebration, plotting or otherwise convene and converse. Participants would recline on couches, though it was proper for young men to sit upright. The proceedings of the symposium would be overseen by a symposiarch, a master of celebrations who would decide how strong the wine would be depending on the intentions of the group for serious discussion or otherwise. Given the centrality of drinking to the symposium, it was a popular subject for Greek pottery and a chief function of which as it was used during symposiums, especially the amphora used to hold wine, the krater to mix it and the oinochoe to pour it. Such pieces may also depict Dionysus or other scenes related to drinking or celebration.