By Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan
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Additional info for Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1: A-G
Another public feast, called a convivium, in its simplest form was based on the symposium of the Greeks although it could follow the symposium pattern. It was a meal for friends, held outside a household, and was intended both to express a relationship between equals as well as be an opportunity for patrons to entertain clients and show off their wealth. Freedmen and slaves were not admitted but they could eat together in guild (collegium) dinners. Joining a guild protected these men, who had no family ties, provided like company for entertainment, and ensured that they would be given a decent funeral with the correct rites.
Alexander had spread Greek culture throughout his empire. In many areas the influence of Greek culture was superficial, and local customs continued to exist. C. left a vacuum, and his generals fought amongst themselves to establish their own territorial rights. Eventually three kingdoms were created. Macedonia, in the north, was formed under the Antigonid dynasty. In the south, Egypt was ruled by the Ptolomies, and in the east, Turkey, central Asia, Babylonia, and Syria were ruled by the Seleucids.
Seneca argued that the Roman people loathed private luxury, especially extravagant banquets, but they loved public splendor and expected some share in it. Cicero claimed that Cato the Elder disapproved of feasts, not surprisingly indicating that feasts could be seen as bribery to promote goodwill by providing food. Not all political intentions got results. Quintus Aelius Tubero was asked by his cousin Quintus Fabius Maximus to organize a funerary banquet for the people of Rome on the death of his uncle, Scipio Aemilius.