The symposium was the ultimate expression of male Greek culture in ancient times. It was almost universal no matter the city-state in which it was held, and was a space in which both guests and host could strengthen personal and political bonds.
More than that, however, the symposium can be a way to show that ancient people were a lot like us today: they had parties, danced, drank, laughed at bad humor, and, most importantly, had fun!
The images below are all from one kylix (shallow, wide-brimmed drinking cup) which depicts what we understand to be an average symposium. Links are placed on the image at points where we have gathered evidence and explained what aspects of the symposium they depict. Browse and learn at your own pace, and have enjoy finding out how weird (and fun) symposia could be for the men involved!
Kathleen Kelliher and Claire Romaine