The goal of this document is to investigate the performative and musical aspects of Fragment 1 of Sappho’s poetry, also called by the unofficial title Ode to Aphrodite. Research into the identity of Sappho, the music of Ancient Greece including instruments, meter, melody, and theory, and a translation of the fragment all combine to create a reconstruction of an Ancient Greek song.
This thesis looks into the character of Eros that Diotima presents in Socrates’ speech by beginning to explore his nature, and connecting it to Diotima’s female identity and the way that she embodies femininity within the text. I work through her speech, looking at both the specific language and the more general metaphors and myths using feminine language in her description. By connecting Eros to Diotima’s femininity and female nature, I attempt to illustrate that her version of Eros is not only dependent on the language that she uses, but also how the language is dependent on her female identity. Socrates’ character, and the fact that he does not change the format or perspective of Diotima in his account of her lesson, begins to show how the words she uses to describe Eros cannot be separated from her female identity, and how, therefore, Eros is tied to Diotima’s femininity.
Though the official purpose of hosting symposia in ancient Greece changed from the Archiac period to the Hellenistic Age, its association with luxury remained constant, while the focus on display of personal wealth grew more important. The introduction of the reclining posture from the aristocratic symposia of the Near East in the 7th century BCE was the catalyst for the increase in Greek symposiasts’ engagement in indulgent extravagance and desire to be distinguished as individuals among peers. Although drinking and homosexual love are essential to the symposium, this thesis paper will examine symposia through written sources, visual representations, surviving furnishings, and architectural settings.