The Getty Villa
Lecture and wine tasting
In ancient Greece the symposion was a social institution for men of status to meet, converse, and drink wine. Learn more in a lecture by Oswyn Murray, then taste wines inspired by ancient wine making techniques in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Villa.

Date: Saturday, July 21, 2012
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium and Inner Peristyle

symposion wine cup
Symposion is Greek for "drinking together"—reclining on couches and enjoying the famous triad of "wine, women and song." The ancient Greeks adapted rituals of communal drinking from the Near East, but they turned them into a style of life: this was euphrosyne (bliss), the highest form of pleasure, and the focus of aristocratic Greek art and culture. Even when the symposion lost favor in Athens, it was never abandoned, and was transmitted through trade and cultural contact to the Etruscans and the Romans. The western history of pleasure begins here—and has never escaped its origins.

Explore this ritual of conviviality in a lecture by historian Oswyn Murray of Oxford University, then enjoy "drinking together" around the inner peristyle garden of the Getty Villa with a tasting of four distinctive wines selected with ancient traditions in mind. Three wines are from vintners who are fermenting grapes using terracotta vessels partially buried in the ground, similar to methods used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The fourth wine is made from grapes indigenous to the Greek Islands dating back 3,500 years. Appetizers are included, and the galleries will be open before and after the lecture where vessels used in a symposion are on view.

Wine list:
2001 Gravner Anfora Bianco Breg, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy
2009 Azienda Agricola COS Pithos, Sicily, Italy
2009 Del Dotto Clay Vessel Zinfandel, Napa Valley, California
2010 Domaine Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri, Santorini, Greece

About Oswyn Murray
Oswyn Murray is an emeritus fellow of Balliol College at the University of Oxford, England, where he taught ancient history from 1968 to 2004. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Danish Academy and the Scuola Normale di Pisa in Italy, and he has held visiting posts in the United States at Bryn Mawr University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1984 Murray began research on ancient Greek drinking customs, provoking a major new field of research in archaeology, art history, Greek literature and Greek history. He has edited the proceedings of two conferences in Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion (1990, 1994), and In Vino Veritas (1995). He is currently preparing a volume of his collected essays on the Greek symposion.

Planning your visit
The Getty Villa and its galleries are open to the public from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Cafe is open for lunch service from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. With your program ticket, you may arrive up to one hour prior to the start time of the program. For earlier arrival, a separate general admission ticket is recommended. The auditorium opens at 4:30 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first served basis. The lecture is expected to run approximately 50 minutes with time for questions afterwards. Guests must arrive no later than 6:30 p.m.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.