Hobden, Fiona (2014). Symposion. In: Smith, Claire ed. Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. New York, NY: Springer, pp. 7189–7193.



Since the 1980s, the “symposion,” or drinking party, has been studied intensively as a major socio-political phenomenon in ancient Greece. Its origins probably lie in the fusion of local drinking culture with practices learned from the Near East in areas where trade opened up not just the transfer of goods but practices and ideas. However, as part of an Archaic Greek culture it developed its own distinctive rituals, forms, and functions. To understand its sociological, political, and psychological dimensions we must look at written, archaeological and iconographic material together.

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