The term has been applied in modern usage, due to Plato's Symposium, to a collection of opinions of different writers on a given subject.
In Plutarch's Symposium of the Seven Sages, at which Aesop is a guest, there are many jests on his original servile condition, but nothing derogatory is said about his personal appearance.
His prose works on various subjects - Prometheus, Symposium (a banquet at which Virgil, Horace and Messalla were present), De cultu suo (on his manner of life) - were ridiculed by Augustus, Seneca and Quintilian for their strange style, the use of rare words and awkward transpositions.
According to Plato (Symposium, 180), there are two Aphrodites, " the elder, having no mother, who is called the heavenly Aphrodite - she is the daughter of Uranus; the younger, who is the daughter of Zeus and Dione - her we call common."
The same distinction is found in Xenophon's Symposium (viii.
To quote from a useful work (National Education: a Symposium, 1901), " the commercial supremacy of England was due to a variety of causes, of which superior intelligence, in the ordinary business sense, was not the most important.