Lowell Edmunds, in Johns Hopkins Magazine (Dec. 1987), 203 White- head Hall, Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md. 21218.
The dinner party, says Edmunds, a classics professor at Johns Hopkins University, "was a prime form of self-expression" for the Roman aristoc- racy. But what did hosts want their banquets to say about themselves? The answer, Edmunds believes, is that meals were a means to transmit and preserve traditional virtues.
Hosts usually invited nine men to dinner; guests reclined...