All About History (2013)

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Other periphrases were due to some elements of the sympotic ritual; see below, pp. 67–68 with n. 173 and p. 70. e. ‘over wine’ or ‘over the cups’. 25 For these terms, see below, pp. 196–202. The sheer fact that the term symposion does not figure in the Homeric epic, and that the noble ‘heroic feast’ in Homer in many ways contradicts the symposion itself, was a serious handicap in a genre as traditionalistic or conservative as archaic Greek elegy. g. synodos, synousia, synagōgion, synagōgimon; but also eranos, thiasos, xenismos, xenisis.

Most recently, cf. Schuitema (2008). 2. Introduction 5 of isolated or extremely distant pieces of the historical cloth. Moreover, what such pieces reveal is often dependent on the differing social and literary conventions characteristic of a given piece. Archaeology comes first in this study, followed by early epigraphic documents, the Homeric epics, and then various types of archaic lyric poetry in conjunction with the concurrent iconography of archaic vase painting. Different types of classical literature then come to the fore, including prose works explicitly set in a sympotic context, especially the Banquets of Plato and Xenophon.

In the specific terms of this study, earlier scholarship on the Greek symposion relied heavily on comparative thinking and evolutionary models. Most recently, Adam Rabinowitz (Rabinowitz 2004) ingeniously used Michael Dietler’s theory of ‘commensal politics’ (an idea to which I will return throughout this book) as an intellectual tool for studying early Greek commensality and its sociocultural implications. While fully aware of the risk of evolutionary thinking,11 Rabinowitz nevertheless tries to make sense of the archaeological record by correlating the anthropological categories or ‘modalities of feasting’ elaborated by M.

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