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On this page: Symbuli – Symmoria – Symphoreis – Symposium



that the object of the Athenians in bringing such causes to Athens was, not to give the allies a "better or speedier means of obtaining justice, but to secure certain advantages to the imperial city. (Xenoph. de Republ. Ath. i. 16.) It is, however, not improbable that the arrangement was called cru/igoAa, for the very purpose of softening the harshness of the measure, by giving an honourable name to that which in reality was a mark of servi­tude. For the same reason the confederate states were called o-u^a^oi, allies, while in point of fact they were rather utttjkooi or sulyects.

These causes were tried in the summer months, Avhen the voyage to Athens was more convenient, and (like all other Si/ecu airb ffv^SoXtov) belonged to the jurisdiction of the Thesmothetae. We have but one example of such a cause preserved to us, viz. the speech of Antiphon on the death of Herodes, where both the prosecutor and the de­ fendant are natives of Mytilene. (Harpoc. s. v. 2#/x£oAa: Thucyd. i. 77. c. not. Goeller ; Platner, Proc. und Klag. vol. i. pp. 105—114 ; Meier, Ait. Proc. pp. 67, 773 ; Schb'mann, Ant. jur. ptibl. Gr. p. 376.) [C.R.K.]

SYMBULI (o-v/j.€ov\oi). [paredri.]

SYMMORIA (o-vwopia). [eisphora ; trierarchia.]

SYMPHOREIS (o-uju^opels). [ExERciTus, p. 485, b.]

SYMPOSIUM ((TUjUTrofnoi/, comissatio^ convi-viuin), a drinking-party. The trUjUTrJcrtov, or the tt^to?, must be distinguished from the Scrrriw, for though drinking almost always followed a dinner­party, yet the former was regarded as entirely dis­tinct from the latter, was regulated by different customs, and frequently received the addition of many guests, who were not present at the dinner. For the Greeks did not usually drink at their dinner, and it was not till the conclusion of the meal, that wine was introduced, as is explained under coena [p. 306, a]. Thus we read in the Symposium of Plato (p. 176, a.) that after the dinner had been finished, the libations made, and the paean sung, they turned to drinking (rpe-vrecrddi irpbs t^v ttotov).

Symposia seem to have been very frequent a.t Athens. Their enjoyment was heightened by agreeable conversation, by the introduction of music and dancing, and by games and amusements of various kinds: sometimes, too, philosophical sub­jects were discussed at them. The Symposia of Plato and Xenophon give us a lively idea of such entertainments at Athens. The name itself shows, that the enjoyment of drinking was the main object of the Symposia : wine from the juice of the grape (divas a/XTreAu/os) was the only drink partaken of by the Greeks, with the exception of water. For palm-wine and beer [cerevisia], though known to many of the Greeks from inter­course with foreign nations, were never introduced among them ; and the extraordinary cheapness of wine at Athens [ViNUM] enabled persons even in moderate circumstances to give drinking-parties to their friends. Even in the most ancient times the enjoyment of wine was considered one of the greatest sources of pleasure, and hence Musaeus and his son supposed that the just passed their time in Hades in a state of perpetual intoxication, as a reward of their virtue (j]yf](rap.evoi /caAA(crroj> up€Tys /ntcrdbv pedrjv cd&viov. Plat. Leg. ii. p. 363, c. d.). It would appear from the Symposium of


Plato, that even the Athenians frequently con­cluded their drinking-parties in rather a riotous manner, and it was to guard against this that such parties were forbidden at Sparta and in Crete. (Plat. Min. p. 320, a.)

The wine was almost invariably mixed with water, and to drink it unmixed (oLKparou) was con­sidered a characteristic of barbarians. (Plat. Leg. i. p. 637, e.) Zaleucus is said to have enacted a law among the Locrians, by which any one who was ill and drank of unmixed wine without the command of his physician, was to be put to death (Aelian, V. H. ii. 37); and the Greeks in general considered unmixed wine as exceedingly prejudicial to physical and mental health. (Athen. ii. p. 36, b.) The Spartans attributed the insanity of Cleo-menes to his indulging in this practice, which he learnt from the Scythians. (Herod, vi. 84.) So universal was it not to drink wine unless mixed with water, that the word dlvos is always applied to such a mixture, and whenever wine is spoken of in connection with drinking, we are always to understand wine mixed with water, unless the word faxpaTos is expressly added (rb Kpa/j.a9 icairoL {jSaros ^ere^o^ TrAetovos, olvov ica\ov/j.€V, Pint. Conjug, Praec. 20).

The proportion, in which the wine and water were mixed, naturally differed on different occa­sions. To make a mixture of even half wine and half water (icrov fay} was considered injurious (Athen. L c.), and generally there was a much greater quantity of water than of wine. It appears from Plutarch (Symp. iii. 9), Athenaeus (x. p. 426), and Eustathius (ad Od. ix. 209. p. ] 624), that the most common proportions were 3 : 1, or 2 : 1, or 3 : 2. Hesiod (Op. 596) recommends the first of these.

The wine was mixed either with warm or cold water : the former, which corresponded to the Calida. or Ccdda of the Romans [calida], was by far the less common. On the contrary, it was endeavoured to obtain the water as cool as possible, and for this purpose both snow and ice were frequently em­ployed. [psycter.] Honey was sometimes put in the wine (Athen. i. p. 32, a.), and also spices, (Id. p. 31, e.) : in the latter case it received the name of rptyu/xa, and is frequently mentioned by the writers of the New Comedy. (Pollux, vi. 18.), Other ingredients were also occasionally added.

The mixture was made in a large vessel called the Kparrjp [crater], from which it was con­veyed into the drinking-cups by means of oiVo%oai or KvaQoi. [cyathus.] The cups usually em­ployed were the KuAi£, <jE>zc£A?7, Kap%7j(T(ov, and Kdvdapvs, of which an account is given in separat?. articles. The puroV, or drinking-horn, was also very commonly used. We find several craters on vases representing drinking scenes. (See for ex­ample Mus. Borbon. vol. v. t. 51.)

The guests at a Symposium reclined on couches and were crowned with garlands of flowers, as is explained under coena. A master of the revels


usually chosen to conduct the Symposium ystv <Tv[j.Tr6(rioi'y Plat. Leg. i. p. 641, a. b.), whose commands the whole company had to obey, and who regulated the whole order of the entertain­ment, proposed the amusements, &c. The same practice prevailed among the Romans, and their Symposiarch was called the Magister or Rex Con-vivii or the Arbiter Bibendi. The choice was

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