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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Deipnosophists

From Book XII, Love of Pleasure:
For there if any man invites another
To any banquet, eighteen others come;
Ten chariots, and fifteen pairs of horses,
And for all these you must provide the food,
So that 'twere better to invite nobody.

"Philosophers at Dinner"
The Deipnosophistae (deipnon, "dinner", and sophistai, "professors"; original Greek title Δειπνοσοφισταί, Deipnosophistai, English Deipnosophists) may be translated as The Banquet of the Learned or Philosophers at Dinner or The Gastronomers. The Deipnosophists is a long work of literary and antiquarian research by the Hellenistic author Athenaeus of Naucratis in Egypt, written in Rome in the early 3rd century AD. The protagonist is Ulpian, the host of a leisurely banquet whose main purpose is literary, historical and antiquarian conversation. Characters include grammarians, lexicographers, jurists, musicians and hangers-on.
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