Posts Tagged ‘Eryximachus’

Welcome to our new unofficial*  Open University A396 2009 blog for discussing Plato’s Symposium.  I am hoping this is going to be as simple as setting up some categories with very basic posts about the different sections of the Symposium and inviting all you knowledgable poeple to comment about them.  I was thinking of having sections for

1 The Framing Narrative

2 Phaedrus’ Speech

3 Pausanias’ Speech

4 Eryximachus’ Speech

5 Aristophanes’ Speech

6 Agathon’s Speech

7 Socrates’ Speech

8 Alcibiades’ Speech

9 The Conclusion

How does that sound to the rest of you?

I think you will be able to leave comments without logging in but the first one will need to be approved before it appears – I will try not to take too long 🙂

*NB This is not an official Open University site – it is provided by students for students but anyone is welcome to contribute 🙂

[This content was provided by Mairsmagic]


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Ancient Greek Medicine Wheel from GreekMedicine.net Click the Wheel to go to Explanation

Ancient Greek Medicine Wheel from GreekMedicine.net Click the wheel to go to explanation

Eryximachus’ speech I have found the most difficult so far to understand. He seeks to extend Pausanias’ idea of a good and a bad Eros, affecting human life only, into a general principle bearing on all existence, by which conflicting elements are brought into harmony. Being a doctor, he considers, first, medicine and the human body. The idea, I suppose, is that Eros tries to keep a body healthy by maintaining a balance between Hippocrates’ four humours, but his account, to my understanding, is less than lucid. He proceeds to music, in which sounds previously in discord are harmonized, education, meteorology and, finally, divination, which establishes good-will between gods and men.

The commentators are not kind to Eryximachus, seeing him as a pompous, self-important pedant, and his speech, in Hamilton’s word, ‘poor stuff’. He has, however, played his part in extending the concept of Eros into a universal principle. I feel I shall understand Eryximachus, and Plato’s intent, better, when I know more about contemporary Greek science.

[Mageiros kindly provided this summary]

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