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Audio guide: An amphora depicting Dionysus and Ariadne at a Symposium

Audio guide stop: 2105

Crowdsourced transcription of the audio file

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The decoration of many Greek vases reflects their use at the Symposium, the Greek drinking party. The painted amphora takes wine-drinking as its central theme. And though it deals with divine and mythological figures, it also tells us a fair amount about the human symposium. Guests at an Athenian symposium were always male, but they are sometimes accompanied by courtesans.

Dionysus is shown here with his lover, the Cretan princess Ariadne. Her flesh is depicted in white, as was the custom for women on black figure pots. In an ancient account of a symposium, the Greek writer Xenophon describes how the guests watched a short erotic mime about Dionysus and Ariadne, which so inflamed them that most cantered home immediately to make love to their wives; all those that were unmarried swore that they would find a mate.

Co-production of this resource

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The transcription of the audio file for this stop was enabled by the AHRC funded crowd-sourcing platform MicroPasts. The below generously gave their time to transcribe the file.

Michael Adams, Michael Norman and Adi Levin

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