Plato's Symposium

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Plato's Symposium, one of the Greek philosopher's most celebrated works. Written in the 4th century BC, it is a dialogue set at a dinner party attended by a number of prominent ancient Athenians, including the philosopher Socrates and the playwright Aristophanes. Each of the guests speaks of Eros, or erotic love. This fictional discussion of the nature of love, how and why it arises and what it means to be in love, has had a significant influence on later thinkers, and is the origin of the modern notion of Platonic love.


Angie Hobbs
Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

Richard Hunter
Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge

Frisbee Sheffield
Director of Studies in Philosophy at Christ's College, University of Cambridge.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 2 Jan 2014 21:30

Related topics


Angie Hobbs at the University of Sheffield


Richard Hunter at the University of Cambridge


Frisbee Sheffield at the University of Cambridge


Frisbee Sheffield on Platonic Love


Symposium (Plato) - Wikipedia





Richard Hunter, Plato's Symposium (Oxford University Press, 2004)


Richard Kraut (ed.), Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge University Press, 1992), especially the chapter ‘Platonic Love’ by G.R.F. Ferrari


J. Lesher, D. Nails and F. Sheffield (eds.), Plato’s Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception (Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 2006)


Plato (trans. Christopher Gill), The Symposium (Penguin, 2003)


Plato (ed. M. Howatson and F. Sheffield), The Symposium (Cambridge University Press, 2008)


Plato (trans. A. Nehamas and P. Woodruff), Symposium (Hackett, 1989)


Plato (trans. Robin Waterfield), Symposium (Oxford World's Classics, 2008)


Gerald Press (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Plato (Bloomsbury, 2012), especially the chapters ‘The Symposium’ and ‘Women’ by Angie Hobbs


Frisbee Sheffield, Plato’s Symposium: The Ethics of Desire (Oxford University Press, 2009)


W. H. Werkmeister (ed), Facets of Plato’s Philosophy (Van Gorcum, 1976), especially ‘Platonic Love’ by L.A. Kosman



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestAngie Hobbs
Interviewed GuestRichard L Hunter
Interviewed GuestFrisbee Sheffield
ProducerThomas Morris

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