Friday, August 25, 2006 AD

Platonic Love

Some time ago, I picked up a t-shirt at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Saint Louis. The breast has a small "'A' and Eagle" logo, the back bears a quote attributed to Plato. It reads, "He was a wise man who invented beer." While I agree with the sentiment, I'd like to know if this is a legitimate quotation and, if so, the source.

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Blogger Chaz said...

A worthy question. In other beer quotation news, I recently acquired a bottle opener at Big Sky Brewery that says on it, "We make water fun."

5:14 PM  
Blogger kjslutherisch said...

I can't seem to find the quote in any of his works and no work is ever cited when the quote is supplied. I did, however, find an interesting passage about the philosopher's attitude toward drinking:

Socrates took his place on the couch, and supped with the rest; and then libations were offered, and after a hymn had been sung to the god, and there had been the usual ceremonies, they were about to commence drinking, when Pausanias said, And now, my friends, how can we drink with least injury to ourselves? I can assure you that I feel severely the effect of yesterday's potations, and must have time to recover; and I suspect that most of you are in the same predicament, for you were of the party yesterday. Consider then: How can the drinking be made easiest?

I entirely agree, said Aristophanes, that we should, by all means, avoid hard drinking, for I was myself one of those who were yesterday drowned in drink.

I think that you are right, said Eryximachus, the son of Acumenus; but I should still like to hear one other person speak: Is Agathon able to drink hard?

I am not equal to it, said Agathon.
Then, the Eryximachus, the weak heads like myself, Aristodemus, Phaedrus, and others who never can drink, are fortunate in finding that the stronger ones are not in a drinking mood. (I do not include Socrates, who is able either to drink or to abstain, and will not mind, whichever we do.) Well, as of none of the company seem disposed to drink much, I may be forgiven for saying, as a physician, that drinking deep is a bad practice, which I never follow, if I can help, and certainly do not recommend to another, least of all to any one who still feels the effects of yesterday's carouse.

- Plato's "Symposium"

9:41 AM  

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