The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet: Images of Wine and Ritual (Princeton Legacy Library)
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In deepening our understanding of the symposium in ancient Greece, this book embodies the wit and play of the images it explains: those decorating Athenian drinking vessels from the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. The vases used at banquets often depict the actual drinkers who commissioned their production and convey the flowing together of wine, poetry, music, games, flirtation, and other elements that formed the complex structure of the banquet itself. A close reading of the objects handled by drinkers in the images reveals various metaphors, particularly that of wine as sea, all expressing a wide range of attitudes toward an ambiguous substance that brings cheer but may also cause harm.
Not only does this work offer an anthropological view of ancient Greece, but it explores a precise iconographic system. In so doing it will encourage and enrich further reflection on the role of the image in a given culture.
Originally published in 1990.
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1.25, 51. 52 Today it is in London at the British Museum. For a transcription of the inscrip tion, see Dittenberger, Sylloge 3, no. 2; see also the commentary by M. Guarducci in G.M.A. Richter, Archaic Gravestones of Attica (London, 1961), 165—168. The double text can be translated as follows: "I am from Phanodikos, son of Timokrates of Prokonesos; he has given a krater, a pedestal and a strainer to the pryta neion at Sigeum. / I am from Phanodikos, son of Timokrates of Prokonesos; I too have
aiming at a target set 202—207; Suetonius, Des Jeux Grecs, ed. J. Taillardat (Paris, 1967), commentary pp. 166—167. 36 Antiphanes ap. Athenaeus, 15.667a (= fr. 55, line 15 Kock). The Greek says Aulettkos dei karkinoun tous daktulous (you must crab up your fingers like a flute player). On the relation between the crab and the flute, see Beazley, ARV 224/1, Karkinos painter. 27 Red-figure oenochoe: Berlin, F2416; Beazley, ARV 1020/99. 28 Red-figure cup: private collection; M. Vickers, Greek
armi della persuasione," D. Arch. (1979): 78-97, and J.-C. Poursat, "Les Representations de danse armee dans la ceramique attique," BCH 92 (1968): 550-615. Reflections 82. Red-figure cup, Poseidon painter, ca. 500. ephebes' martial dance. Once again, the figural interplay proves to be unusually rich and complex, revealing both the importance of imagery at a symposion and the painters' awareness of this impor tance. In its ingredients the symposion includes the image that cir culates with
final valedictory, when the magistrates are mistaken for savior gods who 8 Timaeos ap. Athenaeus, 2.37b—e (= FGrHist 566), trans. Gulick. CHAPTER 6 have appeared on earth (epiphaneis). Dionysus himself is the god of stunning epiphanies.9 It must have been quite a giddy trireme in Agrigentum. Beyond the poetic metaphors that overzealous drinkers take literally, Greek, like English, can play on the multiple meanings of the word "vessel." A number of vases have ships' names, and the comic poets
Black-Figure Vase-Painters. Oxford, 1956. Beazley, ARV: J. D. Beazley, Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters. Oxford, 1963. CVA: Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (followed by the number of the fascicle and the plate by city and, between parentheses, by the numbers of the fascicle and the plate by country). The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet Chapter ι The Greek Experience of Wine When speaking about wine, the Greeks were inexhaustible. Drinkers' dialogues, experts' discussions, lyric poems, and