Symposiacs, by Plutarch

Table of Contents

Book I.

  1. Whether at Table It is Allowable to Philosophize?
  2. Whether the Entertainer Should Seat the Guests, or Let Every Man Take His Own Place.
  3. Upon What Account is the Place at the Table Called Consular Esteemed Honorable.
  4. What Manner of Man Should a Director of a Feast Be?
  5. Why It is Commonly Said that Love Makes a Man a Poet.
  6. Whether Alexander Was a Great Drinker.
  7. Why Old Men Love Pure Wine.
  8. Why Old Men Read Best at a Distance.
  9. Why Fresh Water Washes Clothes Better Than Salt.
  10. Why at Athens the Chorus of the Tribe Aeantis Was Never Determined to Be the Last.

Book II.

  1. What, As Xenophon Intimates, are the Most Agreeable Questions and Most Pleasant Raillery at an Entertainment?
  2. Why in Autumn Men Have Better Stomachs Than in Other Seasons of the Year.
  3. Which Was First the Bird or the Egg?
  4. Whether or No Wrestling is the Oldest Exercise.
  5. Why, in Reckoning Up Different Kinds of Exercises, Homer Puts Cuffing First, Wrestling Next, and Racing Last.
  6. Why Fir-Trees, Pine-Trees, and the Like Will Not Be Grafted Upon.
  7. About the Fish Called Remora or Echeneis.
  8. Why They Say Those Horses Called [Greek Omitted] are Very Mettlesome.
  9. Why the Flesh of Sheep Bitten by Wolves is Sweeter Than that of Others, and the Wool More Apt to Breed Lice.
  10. Whether the Ancients, by Providing Every One His Mess, Did Best or We, Who Set Many to the Same Dish.

Book III

  1. Whether It is Fitting to Wear Chaplets of Flowers at Table.
  2. Whether Ivy is of a Hot or Cold Nature.
  3. Why Women are Hardly, Old Men Easily, Foxed.
  4. Whether the Temper of Women is Colder or Hotter Than that of Men.
  5. Whether Wine is Potentially Cold.
  6. Which is the Fittest Time for a Man to Know His Wife?
  7. Why New Wine Doth Not Inebriate As Soon As Other.
  8. Why Do Those that are Stark Drunk Seem Not So Much Debauched As Those that are But Half Foxed?
  9. What is the Meaning of the Saying: Drink Either Five or Three, But Not Four?
  10. Why Flesh Stinks Sooner When Exposed to the Moon, Than to the Sun.

Book IV.

  1. Whether Different Sorts of Food, or One Single Dish Fed Upon at Once, is More Easily Digested.
  2. Why Mushrooms are Thought to Be Produced by Thunder, and Why It is Believed that Men Asleep are Never Thunderstruck.
  3. Why Men Usually Invite Many Guests to a Wedding Supper.
  4. Whether the Sea or Land Affords Better Food.
  5. Whether the Jews Abstained From Swine’s Flesh Because They Worshipped that Creature, or Because They Had an Antipathy Against It.
  6. What God is Worshipped by the Jews.
  7. Why the Days Which Have the Names of the Planets are Not Arranged According to the Order of the Planets, But the Contrary. There is Added a Discourse on the Position of the Sun.
  8. Why Signet-Rings are Worn Chiefly on the Fourth Finger.
  9. Whether We Ought to Carry in Our Seal-Rings Effigies of Gods, or Those of Wise Personages.
  10. Why Women Do Not Eat the Middle Part of Lettuce.

Book V.

  1. Why We Take Delight in Hearing Those that Represent the Passions of Men Angry or Sorrowful, and Yet Cannot Without Concern Behold Those Who are Really So Affected?
  2. That the Prize for Poets at the Games Was Ancient.
  3. Why Was the Pine Counted Sacred to Neptune and Bacchus? And Why at First the Conqueror in the Isthmian Games Was Crowned With a Garland of Pine, Afterwards with Parsley, and Now Again with Pine.
  4. Concerning that Expression in Homer, [Greek Omitted] (“Iliad,” ix. 203.)
  5. Concerning Those that Invite Many to a Supper.
  6. What is the Reason that the Same Room Which at the Beginning of a Supper Seems Too Narrow Appears Wide Enough Afterwards.
  7. Concerning Those that are Said to Bewitch.
  8. Why Homer Calls the Apple-Tree [Greek Omitted], And Empedocles Calls Apples [GREEK OMITTED].
  9. What is the Reason that the Fig-Tree, Being Itself of a Very Sharp and Bitter Taste, Bears So Sweet Fruit?
  10. What are Those that are Said to Be [Greek Omitted], And Why Homer Calls Salt Divine?

Book VI.

  1. What is the Reason that Those that are Fasting are More Thirsty Than Hungry?
  2. Whether Want of Nourishment Causeth Hunger and Thirst or the Change in the Figures of the Pores.
  3. What is the Reason that Hunger is Allayed by Drinking, But Thirst Increased by Eating?
  4. What is the Reason that a Bucket of Water Drawn Out of a Well, If It Stands All Night in the Air that is in the Well, Is, More Cold in the Morning Than the Rest of the Water?
  5. What is the Reason that Pebble Stones and Leaden Bullets Thrown Into the Water Make It More Cold?
  6. What is the Reason that Men Preserve Snow by Covering It with Chaff and Cloths?
  7. Whether Wine Ought to Be Strained or Not.
  8. What is the Cause of Bulimy or the Greedy Disease?
  9. Why Does Homer Appropriate a Certain Peculiar Epithet to Each Particular Liquid, and Call Oil Only Liquid?
  10. What is the Reason that Flesh of Sacrificed Beasts, After Being Hung a While Upon a Fig-Tree is More Tender Than Before?

Book VII.

  1. Against Those Who Find Fault with Plato for Saying that Drink Passeth Through the Lungs.
  2. What Humored Man is He that Plato Calls [Greek omitted]? And Why Do Those Seeds that Fall on the Oxen’s Horns Become [Greek omitted]?
  3. Why the Middle of Wine, the Top of Oil, and the Bottom of Honey is Best.
  4. What Was, the Reason of that Custom of the Ancient Romans to Remove the Table Before All the Meat Was Eaten, and Not to Put Out the Lamp?
  5. That We Ought Carefully to Preserve Ourselves From Pleasures Arising From Bad Music and How It May Be Done.
  6. Concerning Those Guests that are Called Shadows, and Whether Being Invited by Some to Go to Another’s House, They Ought To Go; and When, and to Whom.
  7. Whether Flute-Girls are to Be Allowed at a Feast?
  8. What Sort of Music is Fittest for an Entertainment?
  9. That It Was the Custom of the Greeks As Well As Persians to Debate of State Affairs at Their Entertainments.
  10. Whether They Did Well Who Deliberated Midst Their Cups.

Book VIII.

  1. Concerning Those Days in Which Some Famous Men Were Born; and Also Concerning the Generation of the Gods.
  2. What is Plato’s Meaning, When He Says that God Always Plays the Geometer?
  3. Why Noises are Better Heard in the Night Than the Day.
  4. Why, When in the Sacred Games One Sort of Garland Was Given in One, and Another in Another, the Palm Was Common to All. And Why They Call the Great Dates [Greek omitted].
  5. Why Those that Sail Upon the Nile Take Up the Water They are to Use Before Day.
  6. Concerning Those Who Come Late to an Entertainment; and From Whence These Words, [Greek omitted] and, [Greek omitted] are Derived.
  7. Concerning Pythagoras’s Symbols, in Which He Forbids Us to Receive a Swallow Into Our House, and Bids Us As Soon As We are Risen to Ruffle the Bedclothes.
  8. Why the Pythagoreans Command Fish Not to Be Eaten, More Strictly Than Other Animals.
  9. Whether There Can Be New Diseases, and How Caused.
  10. Why We Give Least Credit to Dreams in Autumn.

Book IX

  1. Concerning Verses Seasonably and Unseasonably Applied.
  2. What is the Reason that Alpha is Placed First in the Alphabet, and What is the Proportion Between the Number of Vowels And Semi-Vowels?
  3. Which of Venus’s Hands Diomedes Wounded.
  4. Why Plato Says that Ajax’s Soul Came to Draw Her Lot in the Twentieth Place in Hell.
  5. What is Signified by the Fable About the Defeat of Neptune? And Also, Why Do the Athenians Omit the Second Day of the Month Boedromion?
  6. Why the Accords in Music are Separated Into Three.
  7. Wherein the Intervals Melodious Differ From Those that are Harmonic.
  8. What is the Cause of Accord? And Also, Why, When Two Accordant Strings are Touched Together, is the Melody Ascribed to The Base?
  9. Why, When the Ecliptic Periods of the Sun and the Moon are Equal in Number, the Moon Appears Oftener Eclipsed Than the Sun.
  10. That We Continue Not Always the Same, in Regard of the Deflux of Our Substance.
  11. Is It More Probable that the Number of the Stars is Even or Odd?
  12. A Moot-Point Out of the Third Book of Homer’s Iliads.
  13. Some Observations About the Number of the Muses, Not Commonly Known.
  14. That There are Three Parts in Dancing: [Greek omitted], Motion, [Greek omitted], Gesture, and [Greek omitted], Representation.
  15. What Each of Those is and What is Common to Both Poetry and Dancing.

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Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 16:24