Must not those whose affection is mutual look at each other with pleasure and converse in amity;
must they not trust and be trusted, be considerate to each other, share pleasure in their successes and sorrow if anything goes wrong;
must they not continue in happiness so long as they are together and in good health, and if either falls ill, must not the other keep him company much more constantly;
and must they not care for each other even more in their absence than in their presence?
It’s this sort of conduct that maintains people’s mutual devotion to their friendship and their enjoyment of it even into old age.
THE DINNER PARTY, by Xenophon
from CONVERSATIONS OF SOCRATES
The Dinner Party (or Symposium) is a Socratic dialogue written by Xenophon in the late 360’s B.C. In it, Socrates and a few of his companions attend a symposium (a lighthearted dinner party at which Greek aristocrats could have discussions and enjoy entertainment) hosted by Kallias for the young man Autolykos. Xenophon claims that he was present at the symposium, although this is disputed because he would have been too young to attend. The dramatic date for the Symposium is 422 B.C. More…
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