Traveling, in Theory: Movement as Metaphor in the Ancient Greek Symposium

Visiting Research Scholar Lecture

Hallie Franks (ISAW & Gallatin School, NYU)

Much scholarly attention has been paid to the imagery on Greek sympotic vases, which famously treats symposiasts to tricks of the eye, humorous puns, and metaphorical allusions. In this talk, I consider the potential of mosaic decoration in the Classical andron, the location of the private symposium, to participate actively in the sympotic context, like the drinking cups do. Considering certain mosaic iconography in combination with the circular motion of the cup of wine around the perimeter of the room, I argue that some andrones encourage the experience of sympotic space through the well-attested metaphor of the symposium as a journey at sea. In this way, the imagery of the andron both removes the symposiast's experience from the quotidian and offers a figurative counterpart for the intellectual journey that is the event's ideal result.

There will be a reception folowing the event.

This is a public event.

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