Plut. Quaest. Conv. 3.9: Bere in/con armonia

TitlePlut. Quaest. Conv. 3.9: Bere in/con armonia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsVolpe Cacciatore, P
Ancient AuthorsPlutarchus Biogr., Phil. (TLG 0007)

This paper is concerned with the Plutarchean quaestio III.9 (657B-E), of which is proposed an analysis and a complete translation. The theme of the quaestio is the best mixture of water and wine in convivial meetings: of the three ratios between the two elements – 3:2, 2:1 and 3:1, compared, respectively, with the musical ratios of fifth (hemiolic ratio), octave (double ratio) and fourth (epitritic ratio) – the most 'harmonic' is concluded to be the first one. Yet the conclusion is ironical: the ration 3:1 is the sober one, and fits very well with that democratic style of life alluded to in quaestio II.10. The comparison examined is enough to show Plutarch's familiarity with musical issues and the specialized vocabulary of musical theory. [p. 209]

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