The symposium Q
The symposia (literally “to drink together”) were social events of great importance for Greeks and Romans. They used to debate on a variety of topics while eating and drinking; the discussion was guided by the symposiarch who had also to decide how strong the wine served would have been accordingly to the depth of the theme discussed. During the symposia new friendships were built on common interests and enjoyable time spent together. I found that the spirit and the organization of the symposium Q “Bionanomaterials for imaging, sensing and actuating” in the Strasbourg conference was pretty much the same. The talks have been enjoyable and sometimes the discussions have been really exciting. At the same time the atmosphere on Wednesday evening was not far from Alcaeus’s drinking poem (fr. 346):
Let’s drink! Why are we waiting for the lamps? Only an inch of daylight left.Lift down the large cups, my friends, the painted ones;for wine was given to men by the son of Semele and Zeusto help them forget their troubles. Mix one part of water to two of wine,pour it in up to the brim, and let one cup push the other along…
One needs a town, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A town means not being alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the soil, there is something of yourself, that even when you’re not there it stays and waits for you. But it isn’t easy to live there and not be restless.