Simposion Greeks. What is it?
could participate In the Greek meal from 3 to 9 sintrofos, that is them there had to be not less number harit, but it is no more than number of muses. (I will remind, in Ancient Greek mythology three harita are goddesses of fun and pleasure, and nine muses (Zeus`s daughters) - the goddesses patronizing arts and sciences.)
Feasting usually reclined on special beds - apoklintra . These chairs - stove benches were made in such a way that participants of a meal did not need to move at all. They leaned on the left part of a body. In Hellas the tradition on lunch beds appeared for three hundred years how it became popular in ancient Rome. Plank beds were ornated by an ivory, bronze and armors of turtles. For especially rich houses they were inlaid with precious kamenye and pearls of different color.
Guests who were invited to a meal before this event washed, rubbed with aromas and carefully put on. They were never late by the appointed o`clock. The number of stove benches could vary. Beds usually became covered by beautiful covers and were rather high. To climb up on apoklintr, offered guests small small benches. Beds had so that to bring closer all guests to each other: or a semicircle, or in the form of a horseshoe. Tables were square, then round in the beginning, they were much lower than plank beds. Besides, each bed had the small little table.
Guests were placed according to subordination. The guests of honor settled down to the right of the owner, the least esteemed accommodated in the distant end of the room. Invited often quarreled to whom what place to occupy. Wise Plutarch in the compositions advised the owner in order to avoid misunderstanding most to define the place for each guest.
At an entrance each invited removed footwear, slaves washed to guests of a leg. Then there were tables with food, the feast began. Guests did not use any tableware: spoons and forks then did not exist yet, the food was taken from trays hands. On the heads of feasting wreaths flaunted, before a meal it was necessary to wash hands in a special vessel. Before taste of the first cup of wine part it poured out on a floor, it symbolized the victim to gods. After that it was possible to start entertainments. Guests took food hands, and threw scraps on a floor.
Each guest could bring with himself the servant - the slave. If it did not do it, then it was served by master`s slaves. To look after all slaves - personal and others` - the special supervisor was appointed.
On each feast attractive young people and the most beautiful girls were cupbearers. They had an order from the owner not to refuse anything to sintrofosa. They put cosmetics on a face, rumyanitsya, cut hair in a special way. Their “trouble-free“ clothes consisted of transparent tunics, shorter in forward part. Historians believe that the hobby for attractive slaves and beauties - slaves led to the fact that benches and chairs were replaced with beds …
After acceptance of food and repeated libations conversation began. Before its participants served wine in three bowls where wine should be diluted water. From one crater wine was endowed to gods, from the second - to Zeus, from the third - to heroes.
These sacrifices took place very solemnly, under flute sounds. For this purpose invited flutists who until the end of a meal entertained guests the game.
For the organization of conversation chose the Supreme manager - of a simposiarkh in which problem entered to define scope of conversation, to monitor competition who will drink wine cups more how to award the winner. Conversations went on literary or philosophical subjects. Those guests who could skalamburit, add successfully the apt remark were most allocated or compose a short verse.
Descriptions of such conversations during a meal can be found at many Ancient Greek writers and philosophers. For example, Platon in the work “Feast“ described philosophical conversation where the question of true love was discussed. As always, Socrates was the main character of this work. The Ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch created the separate work “Table-talks“ which is examples of discussion of various subjects during junkets.
However it is not necessary to think that during meals Greeks were occupied only with highly intellectual conversations. It`s not true. They were ordinary people, and nothing human was alien to them. For example, in a rush of impetuous fun they began to bang with pleasure about a floor ware. One more of entertainments was the fact that after libations they could write on walls, clay bowls and dishes any frivolities. I found such amusing information: at excavation of one Ancient Greek house archeologists found on splinters of bowls for wine drink (kilika) of an inscription, made pyanenky Greeks. Inscriptions were read, it turned out that 95% of percent of contents were frankly improper!
Greeks were able to enjoy life. On simposiona the refined food moved. Light wines excited blood. Interesting philosophical conversations with companions on a meal were started. It as a hobby. Sweet music of flutists charmed hearing.
Messmates also did not forget about carnal joys, having before eyes of beautiful slaves in “a trouble-free uniform“.