Plato's Symposium sees Socrates and other participants discuss various philosophic topics, from the nature of love to the origins of mankind.
As well as being an influential text of philosophy, the Symposium is important for how it sheds light upon the social scene of Ancient Athens. The dialogues are set at a gathering of men at a drinking party, discussing the various topics over wine. When love is discussed, each man must give a speech with his definition of the concept, the contribution of each being taken by Socrates into the overall philosophic argument.
Although almost certainly a work of fiction, the setting is thought to mirror that of a typical gathering of Plato and his contemporaries. The style of writing is quite plain and accessible, with the love discussed being that of homosexual love between the philosophers and other members of the general entourage. The discussion feeds into Plato's general theory of the Forms, which would be developed and matured later in his writings within works such as The Republic.
Translated by Oxford scholar and prolific translator Benjamin Jowett, this edition of Plato's Symposium is perfect for those wishing to benefit from the myriad insights and ideas of Platonic dialogues at a low cost.