History : Jan-Feb 2017
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 45 w T he Greek historian Xenophon recounts in his Symposium that one day Socrates was out walking with some friends when they were approached by Callias, a wealthy Athenian. “ Iamabouttogiveadinnerparty...andI think my entertainment would shine much brighter if my dining room were graced with the presence of men like you, whose souls have been purified.” At first, Socrates thought Callias was mocking his disheveled appearance, but the great man insisted. They thanked him for the invitation, without promising they would go. But when they saw his disappointment, they agreed to attend. They spent the evening at his home—eating, drinking, and talking—in one of the most characteris- tic social fixtures of the classical world: the symposium.
March April 2017