The Learned Banqueteurs or The Deipnosophists? About the Anti-Philosophical Significance of Athenaeus’ Dialogue

Marian Andrzej Wesoły

In recent translations of Athenaeus the title is rendered as The Learned Banqueteurs, thereby it loses the traditional sense of a controversy between sophists and philosophers. However, the deipnosophists were learned men or scholars neither in the ancient nor in the modern understanding of the term. Unfortunately, almost all translations erroneously render the instructive remark of the Byzantine Epitomator that “Athenaeus imitates Plato in his dramatization of the dialogue” (see below the motto). As a matter of fact, the Epitomator refers to the fact that Athenaeus jealously competes with Plato’s mimetic dramatization and aims completely to overcome it. We may, therefore, highlight here the entire anti-philosophical message of this spectacular and sophisticated dialogue.

Keywords: Atenajos · sofiści · antyplatonizm · Deipnosofiści · filozofia starożytna

Marian Andrzej Wesoły – Prof. ordinarius in the Institute of Philosophy at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Th e Head of the Research Center for Ancient and Byzantine Philosophy. Editor-in-chief of the PEITHO journal. Author of over 150 publications, mainly on the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle and Greek philosophy in Byzantium. He also translated into Polish several Hippocratic writings (with an introduction and a commentary) and the fragments and doxography of Presocratics (in print).   »  

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