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[45] But why speak of others? Let me now return to myself. In the first place I have always had my club companions. Moreover, it was in my quaestorship 1 that clubs in honour of Cybele were organized, when the Idaean worship was introduced at Rome, and therefore I used to dine with these companions— in an altogether moderate way, yet with a certain ardour appropriate to my age, which, as time goes on, daily mitigates my zest for every pleasure. Nor, indeed, did I measure my delight in these social gatherings more by the physical pleasure than by [p. 57] the pleasure of meeting and conversing with my friends. For our fathers did well in calling the reclining of friends at feasts a convivium, because it implies a communion of life, which is a better designation than that of the Greeks, who call it sometimes a “drinking together” and sometimes an “eating together,”2 thereby apparently exalting what is of least value in these associations above that which gives them their greatest charm.

1 i.e. in 204 B.C.

2 Cicero thus translates συμπόσιον and σύνδειπνον.

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