This is an introductory and interpretative study of Plato’s Symposium for those who have read or still read the work. It is also an invitation to the uninitiated to get to know one of the most enchanting texts of Greek literature. In the Symposium, philosophy puts on its festive face. A different Socrates, freshly bathed and dressed up, in the company of the other fine guests of the poet Agathonas, addresses the issue of love, but also the issue of philosophy’s effort towards the acquisition of knowledge, while Alcibiades presents a portrait of Socrates which will forever change our perception of the philosopher. Aristophanes’ resourceful myth about the dual human beings and the quest for our soul mate, the gradual transformation of the lover into a philosopher and his painstaking course towards the sighting of Beauty, Diotima’s myth about the birth of Eros, and Alcibiades’ attempt to seduce Socrates are only a few of the dialogue’s numerous elements which render it an unforgettable text. The author presents the theme of the ancient symposium, thoroughly analyses the argumentation of encomia of love, comments on Plato’s remarkable sense of humor and interprets the narrative mode the philosopher selected to present his views. The Symposium constitutes the starting point of the journey that Western thought embarked on in order to understand and interpret the complex phenomenon of love in its various aspects. The final chapter of the book summarizes the impact of the work, from Plato’s time to the present day, on philosophical and historical studies, on legal analyses, on ancient fiction and on contemporary novels, even on a rock opera. Richard Hunter is the royal professor of Ancient Greek at the university of Cambridge. He has published, inter alia, studies on Greek and Roman comedy, Hellenistic poetry, the comedy poet Eubulus, Apollonius of Rhodes, Callimachus, Herondas, Theocritus and Longus.
|Full title||Το Συμπόσιον του Πλάτωνα [Plato's Symposium]|
|Editing / Translation||G. M. Parassoglou (ed.), D. Koukouzika (transl.)