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The Symposium

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published October 4th 2009 by Public Domain Books (first published -360)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Czarny Pies
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: This who already know the Platonic Socrates and want to see a second point of view.
Shelves: philosophy
Five stars because this is a book about Socrates by man who attended his banquets and knew the leading members of his entourage personally. The Presocratics were not truly philosophers in the modern sense. Socrates is the true founder of our philosophical tradition. Moreover as Nietzsche points out by choosing to die on a matter of principle Socrates is one of the most important mythological figures of our culture. Any contemporary work that sheds light on Socrates is inherently important.

Chakib Miraoui
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
witty prose, humorous dialogues attended to by Socrates and his clique in Piraeus, the port of Athens.

What does man pride himself for? wealth? poverty? beauty? intelligence? what?

This dialogue is surprisingly real, and portrays the bravery of Athenians in their prime.
Margaret Heller
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, humor
Socrates makes the point in this dialog that to love someone's soul is better than to love their body. A physical attraction is fine, but will not last, whereas to truly love someone you will seek always that which is best for that person. There are some pretty funny lines getting to this conclusion, and a quite erotic part right at the end. The dinner breaks up at this point as everyone rushes home to his wife or really wishes he had a wife.

What's nice about Xenophon's Socratic dialogs is that
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming. Humorous. Even mildly philosophically interesting.
Duncan Idaho
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standardno dobri Ksenofont
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
There was a reason I wasn't a classics major. I struggled to get through this, and I could not recall any of what I read if asked to do so tomorrow. ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Rarely do I read such a classic text, but it did remind me I once read Plato's Symposium (which I remember as more fun - maybe it was the fun stories of the origins of love).
This text is less philosophical, though the esteemed gentlemen lying around the table are having discussions - it's more of a light party, with undertones of how to be a good & beautiful man - from a moral perspective, not just looks, even though that is discussed, and the reason for the party is the host's love of a young m
James Miller
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than his Apology. The Symposium has hints of ideas one might expect in Platonic Socratic dialogues and if not rising to the heights of Plato's Symposium, it is interesting as a source on Socrates, on Symposia, on attitudes towards homosexuality and how these differed across Greece (Boeotia - Athens - Sparta). The discussions of different sorts of love, which is far less a theme of this than Plato's, is reminiscent of Plato's in its ideal of a less sexual love, but does not have all t ...more
Rick Davis
Socrates is hilarious.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must thank Nietzsche for delivering me this "Epic Shove" ( into Antiquity literature! This vast subject is now literally becoming my first aid kit: whenever I feel too depressed, a dose of Ancient Greek or Ancient Roman writing would fix everything! Thanks Nietzsche! You saved my life, bro!
Xenophon's style is so elegant and playful, and his Socrates is just, simply soooooo adorable! Very different from Platonic Socrates who could make you want to punch
Andrew Ives
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient
Xenophon's Symposium lightly touches upon plenty of philosophical questions whilst ostensibly seeming to be merely a short play about Socrates and a few lads exchanging banter in front of Attica's Got Talent. The titular symposium comprises of a dancer/harpist and piper brought to Callias' drinking party by a Syracusan impresario. At first, conversation is centred upon those philosophical stalwarts of what true nobility, wealth, happiness and virtue really are, why one is better than the other a ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this book was its brevity. I'm writing an essay on this book so I may post it here later, but I'll just say this was a group of sexist rich men talking a bunch of highfalutin nonsense about love who didn't know the first thing about it. Go home and observe your wives fellas and maybe you'll learn a thing or two if you can get off your high horse long enough to open your eyes to the everyday humble truths that surround you. ...more
Sintija Buhanovska
Interesants antīkās literatūras piemērs, kas ļauj iepazīt, kā sabiedrība atzīmēja svarīgus notikumus - šajā gadījumā tā ir uzvara spēka sacensībās - un rīkoja dzīres. Šo svinību galvenais tēls ir Sokrats, kurš dzīru dalībniekiem liek domāt ne tikai par miesiskām baudām, bet arī garīgiem prāta vingrinājumiem. Vērtīga lasāmviela no kultūrvēsturiskā viedokļa.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not very interesting.
Aaron Schuschu
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greco-roman
Xenophon writes about Socrates going to Autolycus’ dinner party where Socrates argues about beauty and there’s side conversations about how wealth affects attitude as the guests force the servant boy and servant girl to dance in such away as to throw themselves dangerously close to swords- which leads to a brawl when they are forced to make out. A guy from Syracuse leaves the brouhaha and comes back with a play about Dionysus and his lover (after Autolycus leaves for his daily walk); through whi ...more
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I prefer Plato's Symposium in terms of style, Xenophon's is rather disjointed but to be fair it does capture the banter of the drinking parties well, plus I like the typical Socratic monologue that concludes the piece.

In terms of Plato vs Xenophon's presentations of Socrates' ideas of Love, I found Xenophon's to be more... Forced? As though he were using Socrates as a mouthpiece for his anti-physical Love agenda. Much to ponder on.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For an antique piece of literature, very entertaining, lighthearted dialogues with marvelously crafted, fleshed out characters. In contrast to Plato, the emphasis does not lie on the argumentative skills of Socrates but on his tactfulness and humor. Should be read in contrast to Plato's Symposion. ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
The lesser Symposium
Nov 17, 2019 added it
Hm... ich glaube, ich werde mit den alten Philosophen nicht wirklich warm. Oder ich bin zu beschränkt dafür...
Sagribējās palasīt ko no antīkajiem darbiem. Ha, nekas pasaulē nav mainījies. Darbs par veču bariņu, kas iešmigo un gudri muld! :)
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Xenophon (Ancient Greek Ξενοφῶν, Modern Greek Ξενοφώντας; ca. 431 – 355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates. He is known for his writings on the history of his own times, preserving the sayings of Socrates, and the life of ancient Greece.

Historical and biographical works
Anabasis (or The Persian Expedition)

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