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Paper 1 - Gans 1 Ruth Mills Robbins Ronald Hock Interaction...

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Gans 1 Ruth Mills Robbins, Ronald Hock Interaction with wealth among Aristocrats, Social Marginals and Cynic Philosophers At first glance, the New Testament may seem to be a simple book filled with intelligible stories and parables. Though, fully understanding the New Testament involves a good grasp of the conventions of behavior that govern the social events, peoples and major philosophical ideas thriving during the time in which Jesus lived. Symposia - and the conventions of behavior that governed them - were a way of life for the elite population of aristocrats in the polis. Social marginals, who comprised everyone else not privileged enough to be a part of the aristocratic household, were the majority of the people to whom Jesus preached. Cynic Philosophy - holding that “the minimum is the optimum” - was one of the most influential and important philosophies of the New Testament. Fully exploring symposia, social marginals and cynic philosophy will aid us in our journey and analysis of the New Testament. Though the conventions of aristocrats at symposia, the experiences of social marginals and the tenets of cynic philosophy may not appear to interact, they can each be categorized by their different interactions with wealth. Aristocrats, social marginals and cynic philosophers interacted differently with wealth: they all used It differently, had varying amounts of it (if any), and cynic philosophers even contemplated the morality of wealth. Aristocrats at a symposium were probably the most decadent and grandiose of the lot; they had more money, liked to spend more of it, and were more frivolous with it. We get a good picture of how important a role money played in the life of an aristocrat when we look at their symposia. The symposium was a private drinking party, and was the most important social event of the polis, central to the lives of the aristocrats. The
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Gans 2 symposium typically took place in the andron , which was the men’s room, and it was usually the finest and most extravagant room in the house. Aristocrats held symposia very frequently within the polis, and there was usually at least one going on every night, held in a different aristocratic household each time. (Hock, Ronald) From The symposium, or the Lapiths , we see that a “marriage symposium” - in this case being held by Aristaenetus for the wedding of his daughter Cleanthis – catered to some of the most powerful aristocrats in the polis: “And so I praise Aristaenetus because he deemed it fitting, when celebrating the most-prayed-for festival, to entertain the wisest men before the others by adorning this festival with the chief representative of every school and discipline, not some and not others, but altogether.” We also see from this symposium aristocrats spared no expense in outfitting their parties with the most exquisite, haute cuisine: “In any case, we were dining
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Paper 1 - Gans 1 Ruth Mills Robbins Ronald Hock Interaction...

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