This month’s selection is Plato’s Symposium, a discussion or series of speeches that takes place at a feast or banquet, in which the participants discuss Eros, or Love/Desire.
In his “Introduction to the Symposium,” W.R.M. Lamb says:
The Symposium of Plato holds an acknowledged place among those few masterpieces of human art which unveil and interpret something of the central mystery of life. It has been a source of light and inspiration to successive ages … and is revisited by the same reader at different times of life with fresh wonder and praise. … In the proportions of its design and the texture of its style the Symposium stands out from even the best writings of Plato as a marvel of artistic ease and grace.
He also tells us that the setting of the banquet is 416 BCE, with the introductory conversation about 16 years later.
You may read any translation you like. Here are links to some that are available online for free:
- Harold N. Fowler, to read online, at Perseus
- Benjamin Jowett, to read online or download, at archive.org
- W.R.M. Lamb, to read online or download, at archive.org
Discussion will start and continue in the Forum, and we will meet via Zoom at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 1. The link will be posted on the day.