Title: Symposium: A new translation by Robin Waterfield
Author: Plato (translated by Robin Waterfield)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In his celebrated masterpiece, Symposium, Plato imagines a high-society dinner-party in Athens in 416 BC at which the guests – including the comic poet Aristophanes and, of course, Plato’s mentor Socrates – each deliver a short speech in praise of love. The sequence of dazzling speeches culminates in Socrates’ famous account of the views of Diotima, a prophetess who taught him that love is our means of trying to attain goodness. And then into the party bursts the drunken Alcibiades, the most popular and notorious Athenian of the time, who insists on praising Socrates himself rather than love, and gives us a brilliant sketch of this enigmatic character. The power, humour, and pathos of Plato’s creation engage the reader on every page.