Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Greek Royal Etiquette

Early Greek etiquette... Even Socrates, a founder of Western philosophy and famed for his simple clothing and preference for going unshod, is said to have smartened himself up for banquets, even wearing sandals. – The Greek historian Xenophon recounts in his Symposium that Socrates was once out walking with friends when approached by Callias, a wealthy Athenian. “I am about to give a dinner party ... and I think my entertainment would shine much brighter if my dining room were graced with the presence of men like you, whose souls have been purified.” At first, the disheveled Socrates thought Callias was mocking him, but the great man insisted. They thanked him for the invitation, without promising to go, but upon seeing Callias’ disappointment, they agreed to attend. They spent the evening in his home—eating, drinking, and talking—in one of the most characteristic social fixtures of the classical world: the symposium. Etiquette at the time required banquet guests to bathe and groom themselves before arriving. According to Aristotle, it was “inappropriate to come to the symposium covered with sweat and dust.” – Source National Geographic History

Personality of the King of Greece

“The Royal Family of Greece” is the subject of a paper by Benjamin Ide Wheeler in the “Century.” Professor Wheeler says: Personally the King is a sociable, companionable man, fond of a joke, particuarly susceptible to the flavor of fine American humor, and not at all stringent in the minutiae of official etiquette; he sometimes gives one the impression that he will be glad when the formal part of the ceremony is over. 

He is often seen walking in the parks or on the sidewalks of his Capital, and in the seclusion of his garden rejoices in the use of an American bicycle, which no interpretation of royal license would permit him to ride upon the highways. 

He is, however, a rigid disciplinarian, and his children have been brought up to feel the full force of the authority of the Teutonic house-father. The Crown Prince, now 28 years old and father of a family, still looks to him, as do all his other children, for permission and advice in regard to all their goings and comings.– Century Magazine, 1897

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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