Feasting, wine, revellers and dancing girls- the modern image of ancient Greek symposia is an enduring one. Many symposia were more formal affairs- drinking-parties after which a komos, or procession of revellers often took place, with much protocol involved. Many accounts survive in ancient literature, as well as depictions on vase paintings. There has been a considerable amount of modern research on the symposium, especially on its archaeological evidence. However, the komos has not received as much attention, and the connection of either celebration with comedy has not been studied to any great extent.
This book looks at the symposium and komos in Aristophanes and the comic fragments from two angles, considering the use of these forms to celebration to help shape a plays plot or to depict characters, and discussing the information found in comedy on some practical sympotic matters. The context of relevant scenes, the activities shown, their humour, and the social status of their characters are also explored. This second edition has been revised to take account of new research. All the Greek and Latin is translated or paraphrased to make the book more accessible for students of Aristophanes who do not read these languages.