By far the segment most familiar to us of Roman society is probably the upper class. When we hear about life in ancient Rome and the food/cooking, it is the lavish dinner parties, or orgies, given by these people that come to mind. or Perhaps Animal House.
But The Romans didn"t build their empire on "orgies" of the popular concept though- The Romans called their "orgies" convivia. cenue (banquets). or comissationes (revels). As there were no Five-Star restaurants in ancient Rome. all the best cooks belonged to wealthy. aristocratic households, and here is where the gourmet dinner parties and banquets (as well as "orgies") took place. .
Because they were the regular" form of social contact. the Roman orgies were in the main quite tame and under" control. with moderate drinking, an occasional dirty joke. a few classy men. mistresses. or "flute-girls" AND THEY PLAYED MORE THAN JUST A FLUTE THEY WERE (prostitutes). Some banquets were down right educational. the only titillation being the exchange of ideas and philosophical yearnings. Other banquets were devoted to political or business negotiations. Some Romans also cherished a real ORGY, featuring boys that were used for anal intercourse. prostitutes. naked or near naked slave girls and boys, and indeed, sex acts both speakable and unspeakable.
One important fact of ancient Greek and Roman orgies was that the sex act itself was normally done behind closed door"s, Even the insanely lewd emperor" Caligula would withdraw to his bedroom for this purpose. If Caligula happened to be on your guest list, definitely don"t bring your spouse. He used to lead his fellow diner"s wives away between courses, then return to chat pleasantly about the good and bad points of their performance.
Not surprisingly Drinking at such orgies was excessive, and occasionally to the point of fatality. Plutarch tells of a Macedonian drinking wine in which the winner.