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No matter how much historians discuss the importance of the symposium; the truth is that it was no more than an excuse for men to party without their wives.(TM)

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Introduction

'No matter how much historians discuss the importance of the symposium; the truth is that it was no more than an excuse for men to party without their wives.' Is this a fair assessment of a symposium in Ancient Greece? At a glance it may seem that symposium was just a drinking party where men could abandon their wives just to enjoy themselves, but there was more to symposium than just this aspect, and they were to some extent fundamental to Athenian life. First of all, the symposium would commence with serious discussion about politics, business and important issues affecting Athens, the oikos and everybody's welfare in general. ...read more.

Middle

It was a chance for the men to wind down after a long day at work in the city, which the woman would not have had to do. It was also the only time that men from other households got together and catch up on how everyone else was getting on business-wise and socially. However, the women were excluded from these parties, when they were actually the ones who did not get to see or meet anyone else other than their family and were forced to stay at home. This seems rather unjust as the men would have got around much more and known much more people, as well as enjoyed being in the company of friends other than their family. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would appear to be like the men did only use symposia as and excuse for having sexual pleasure and for drinking whilst their wives were not there to stop them from doing so. In addition, they also played ridiculous games such as 'kottabos' where they flicked wine at each other. They wasted their time on unimportant things to pass the time, when they could have been at home with their wives and family or doing something productive. To conclude, I think that some aspects of symposium were important and were needed such as essential discussion and business-talk, but most aspects were a waste of time and were not required to lead a full and good life in Athenian times. ?? ?? ?? ?? Arta Ajeti 10B.2 11th December 2008 Classics Mrs Durham ...read more.

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