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In his celebrated masterpiece, Symposium , Plato imagines a high-society dinner-party in Athens in 416 BC. The guests--including the comic poet Aristophanes and 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 a brilliant sketch of Socrates himself by a drunken Alcibiades, the most popular and notorious Athenian of the time. Engaging the reader on every page, this new translationconveys the power, humor, and pathos of Plato's creation and is complemented by full explanatory notes and an illuminating introduction.