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.
The same distinction is found in Xenophon's Symposium (viii.
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."
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.