/sim poh"zee euhm/, n., pl. symposiums, symposia /-zee euh/.1. a meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject, esp. a meeting at which several speakers talk on or discuss a topic before an audience.2. a collection of opinions expressed or articles contributed by several persons on a given subject or topic.3. an account of a discussion meeting or of the conversation at it.4. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation.5. (cap., italics) a philosophical dialogue (4th century B.C.) by Plato, dealing with ideal love and the vision of absolute beauty.[1580-90; < L < Gk sympósion drinking party, equiv. to sym- SYM- + po- (var. s. of pínein to drink) + -sion n. suffix]
* * *In ancient Greece, an aristocratic banquet at which men met to discuss philosophical and political issues and recite poetry.It began as a warrior feast. Rooms were designed specifically for the proceedings. The participants, all male aristocrats, wore garlands and leaned on the left elbow on couches, and there was much drinking of wine, served by slave boys. Prayers opened and closed the meetings; sessions sometimes ended with a procession in the streets. In Plato's famous Symposium, an imaginary dialogue takes place between Socrates, Aristophanes, Alcibiades, and others on the subject of love. Aristotle, Xenophon, and Epicurus wrote symposium literature on other subjects.
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