SYMPOSIUM (Gr. ffviMTrtxnov, a drinking party, from <Tv/j.mvtw, to drink together, avv, with, and irivtiv, to drink, root iro, cf. Lat. polar -e, to drink, poculum, cup), the convivial drinking which took place alter a great banquet, accompanied by intellectual or witty conversation, and by music or dancing performed by slaves or attendants. 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.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)