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Péter Forisek


The paper compares the feasts and drinking binges of King Alexander III of Macedonia with the Greek symposia of the Classical Age. In the first part of the study, the Greek symposia are presented, highlighting the most important elements of the feasts. In general, the Hellenized Macedonians took over many elements of classical Greek feasts (sophisticated conversation, drinking after the dinner and the participation of the men only to the exclusion of the women, except the hetairai). Many have the idea that the Macedonian ruler had been a reckless and crapulous drinker, although he cannot be consideredan alcoholic in modern terms. Historians unanimously argue that Alexander was not an immoderate wine drinker, however, in some cases, heavy drinking culminated in tragedies, like in the two cases analyzed below: the burning of Persepolis and the murder of Cleitus.


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