The Rise of the Greek Aristocratic Banquet

ISBN: 9780199684014
Liczba stron: 432
Rok wydania: 2014
Wydania: 1 (Oxford University Press)

Marek Węcowski

Ph.D. Habil., is associate professor at the Institute of History, University of Warsaw. He studied in Warsaw and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris (Ph.D. 2000) and was awarded a research grant of the Polish Science Foundation. Former fellow of the Polish-American Kościuszko Foundation (Columbia University), former junior fellow of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, former Fulbright visiting fellow at Princeton University (Fulbright Senior Research Award), and former visiting professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. His works include his book on The Rise of the Greek Aristocratic Banquet (Oxford University Press, 2014; shortlisted for Sir Steven Runciman Award in 2015) and the co-authored History of ancient Greeks, vol. ii (with B. Bravo, E. Wipszycka, and A. Wolicki): The Classical Period (Warsaw University Press, 2009). Author and co-author of several textbook and schoolbooks. Since 2013 he serves as one of the deputy directors of the College of Interdisciplinary Individual Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw.

In The Rise of the Greek Aristocratic Banquet, Wecowski offers a comprehensive account of the origins of the symposion and its close relationship with the rise of the Greek city-state or polis. Broadly defined as a culture-oriented aristocratic banquet, the symposion—which literally means 'drinking together'—was a nocturnal wine party held by Greek aristocrats from Homer to Alexander the Great. Its distinctive feature was the crucial importance of diverse cultural competitions, including improvising convivial poetry, among the guests. Cultural skills and abilities were a prerequisite in order for one to be included in elite drinking circles, and, as such, the symposion served as a forum for the natural selection of Greek aristocracy.

2015 - Sir Steven Runciman Award nominee for the book The Rise of the Greek Aristocratic Banquet