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The Deipnosophists, or Banquet of the Learned of Athenæus   By:

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In Athenæus' profound work, "The Deipnosophists, or Banquet of the Learned," readers are transported back to ancient Greece, where a group of intellectuals engage in a thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating banquet. This unique piece of literature is not a story or narrative; rather, it is an anthology of conversations, exchanges, and arguments between learned men of various disciplines.

The book is structured in the form of a dialogue, capturing the essence of the Socratic method. Athenæus presents his readers with a rich tapestry of intellectual discussions centered around food and dining, showcasing the deep interconnections between gastronomy, erudition, and culture. These dialogues cover a wide range of topics, from politics and philosophy to history, poetry, and even gossip.

One of the remarkable aspects of "The Deipnosophists" is Athenæus' meticulous research and knowledge of a vast array of literary sources. He draws on a multitude of authors, spanning different historical periods and geographical locations, to provide an extensive repertoire of quotes, anecdotes, and references. Athenæus skillfully weaves in these snippets of wisdom throughout the conversations, creating a tapestry of knowledge that is both impressive and enlightening.

As readers delve deeper into the book, they will find themselves immersed in a world rich with minute details about ancient Greek banquets, customs, and traditions. Athenæus demonstrates his expertise in gastronomy through descriptions of lavish feasts, recipes, and the intricacies of culinary practices. This attention to detail adds a distinct flavor to the text, making it a valuable resource for historians and food enthusiasts alike.

However, despite its many strengths, "The Deipnosophists" can also be a challenging read. The sheer breadth of its content, combined with the intricacy of its structure, can be overwhelming for readers unfamiliar with ancient Greek history and literature. Moreover, the lack of a central narrative thread makes it easy to lose track of the conversations or become entangled in the diverse range of ideas presented.

Nevertheless, Athenæus' "The Deipnosophists" remains a fascinating and significant work, particularly for those with an interest in intellectual history, gastronomy, and the ancient world. Its unique format, scholarly rigor, and valuable insights into the intellectual discussions and cultural practices of ancient Greece make it a compelling and enlightening read. Through this book, Athenæus immortalizes the spirit of intellectual curiosity and reminds us of the enduring power of discourse and debate.

First Page:

Transcriber's Notes: Greek words in this text have been transliterated and placed between =equal signs=. Words in italics in the original are surrounded by underscores . A row of asterisks represents either an ellipsis in a poetry quotation or a place where the original Greek text was too corrupt to be read by the translator. Other ellipses match the original.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original.

There are numerous long quotations in the original, many missing the closing quotation mark. Since it is often difficult to determine where a quotation begins or ends, the transcriber has left quotation marks as they appear in the original.

A few typographical errors have been corrected. A complete list follows the text. Other notes also follow the text.

THE

DEIPNOSOPHISTS

OR

BANQUET OF THE LEARNED

OF

ATHENÆUS.

LITERALLY TRANSLATED BY C. D. YONGE, B.A.

WITH AN APPENDIX OF POETICAL FRAGMENTS, RENDERED INTO ENGLISH VERSE BY VARIOUS AUTHORS, AND A GENERAL INDEX... Continue reading book >>




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