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date: 02 December 2022

Athenaeus (1), of Naucratislocked

Athenaeus (1), of Naucratislocked

  • S. Douglas Olson

Summary

The Deipnosophistai (“Learned Banqueters”) of Athenaeus of Naucratis (fl. c. 200 ce)—nominally an account of a great dinner party or series of dinner parties in Rome—preserves an enormous number of fragments of otherwise lost Greek literature. On a superficial level, the text is concerned with luxury, and it accordingly offers rich anecdotal treatments of banqueting customs, fish, cakes, cups, sexuality, and the like, along with a wealth of detailed philological observations. Its larger interest is in recalling the extraordinary wealth of the Greek literary and cultural tradition, and in using that tradition to discuss contemporary intellectual, literary, and social issues. The text is preserved in a single manuscript whose gaps can be partially filled from an ancient epitome.

Subjects

  • Greek Literature

Updated in this version

Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

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