Among his guests were Socrates, Phaedrus, Pausanias, Eryximachus, Aristophanes, and Aristodemus. SYMPOSIUM by Plato 360 BC translated by Benjamin Jowett ... as there is now in heaven, since the rule of Love began. Scholars have been trying to understand for centuries which of the ideas expressed in the Platonic dialogues are Plato’s and which are Socrates’. ... Love will make men dare to die for their beloved-love alone; and women as well as men. Before turning to Aristophanes’s odd speech, let’s set the stage. In Plato's Symposium, Plato speaks of many different types of love, loves that can be taken as lust as well. Plato's Symposium: Always Change For Love, The Prince of Ancient Comedy: Aristophanes, The Symposium: All you need is love... and wine, Eros: Love as an Education - Beyond Athens, Top Ten: Most Terrifying Monsters Of Greek Mythology, Five Reasons Why Socrates Was A Terrible Husband, Prometheus The Creation of Man and a History of Enlightenment. Socrates in Plato’s Symposium. Disclaimer Terms of Publication Privacy Policy and Cookies Sitemap RSS Contact Us, Classical Wisdom Standoff: Epistemology of Plato and Aristotle, Old Ideas Renewed: Science, Philosophy, and Perception as Illusion. Socrates held that the world of the senses is based on Forms which exist in an eternal realm. It explains the possibilities of how the feeling of love began and how it has evolved—both sexually and non-sexually. Socrates dragging Alcibiades from the Embrace of Sensual Pleasure, by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1791. Like many Greeks of his era and social position, Plato is most interested in the same- … Next up is Agathon, who gave an elaborate speech arguing that love is the youngest of the gods. The Crazy And Charming Theory Of Love In Plato’s “Symposium” Taking place thousands of years ago, Aristophanes' theory on love is more sophisticated and progressive than a lot of modern politicians. ― Plato, quote from The Symposium “...and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I … Aristophanes brings the idea of soulmates to the party. Like all the Platonic dialogues, the work, which is very literary, consists mainly of speeches. Then there is a kind of divine love which involves a lover teaching his beloved virtue and wisdom. Plato first defines love by examining the lover, then uses this definition to build an abstract function and purpose of love which places intellectual men above childbearing women. In the Symposium, the philosopher Plato’s dialogue set in Athens in the fifth century B.C., a man named Apollodorus describes a dinner party to an unnamed friend, who’s eager to hear what was discussed by famed the teacher Socrates and the other guests about love. Comic playwright and poet of Ancient Greece, Aristophanes (c.444-c.385 BC) was a contemporary of Socrates (c.470-c.399 BC) and of Plato (c.428/427-c.348/347 BC). Socrates then tells the story of his dialogue with a wise woman named Diotima of Mantinea. Commentary: Quite a few comments have been posted about Symposium. The party becomes chaotic and disorderly. ... of Love, or the god Eros. In his dialogues, he examined everything from the nature of reality, to ethics, to beauty, to the state. On this (fictional) occasion, the guests are all playwrights and philosophers and they include Plato’s idol Socrates. Love and Beauty in Plato's Symposium - Volume 109. Marble bust of Plato, a copy of the portrait made ca. He quotes some poets and argues that Love was the first of the gods and promotes excellence and goodness in people. Though they all have their own contrasting views as to the nature of love and it origins, it is Socrates who "tells the truth about Love," (33.199b. ix Introduction to Plato’s Symposium The Symposium tells the story of a drinking party in which the guests agree to put aside their desire for wine, women and music and deliver speeches in honor of erōs, a word often translated as “love” but more aptly described as “sexual desire” or “passionate love.” The gathering takes place at the house of the tragedian Agathon Diotima helps Socrates see that Love isn’t actually a god, but rather a daimon, an intermediary spirit. Plato gives this trippy exegesis to the playwright Aristophanes, who appears as a character in the book. Next spoke the doctor, Eryximachus, who says love is moderation and balance. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Symposium by Plato. In his Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes tell a tale of human origins in which everyone was once a four legged creature until Zeus cut each in half. The Symposium raises the question of what love truly is and means. Guests would drink too much and would say things they would never say. Plato On Love: Symposium "Symposium" is one of Plato's better-known dialogues and also deals specifically with the nature of love, where it comes from, and whether it is good or bad. Alcibiades’ story showed that Socrates had no interest in sexual pleasure. The prominent place the Symposium holds in our canon comes as much as a result of its literary merit as its philosophical merit. © 2020 Classical Wisdom Limited. Stop, Drop And (Egg) Roll: The White House Easter Egg Roll Over Time, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch. He says that Love is an old god who gives great benefits, such as the relationship between a lover and his boyfriend. He disagreed with Agathon, stating that he mistook the object of love with its intrinsic nature. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Symposium, by Plato This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. For Plato, generally, to love other human beings is to direct one's mind to love of Divinity. It depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches given by a group of notable men attending a banquet. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates, Plato’s teacher and the man dubbed “the Father of Western Philosophy”, is joined by a handful of important Athenian figures of the age, the most notable of which are the general Alcibiades and the comic playwright Aristophanes. Written 2,400 years ago, Plato’s philosophical novella, Symposium, includes one of the weirdest – and most charming – explanations of why people fall in love ever invented. Where does it come from, what is it, and what is it for? Plato wrote “The Symposium” about the ancient Athenian cultural tradition in which men would drink, discuss philosophical subjects, compose speeches and sing songs. In Plato’s Symposium the reader is offered many insights on the definition of love. Love is neither wise nor beautiful, but is rather the desire for wisdom and beauty. Comic playwright and poet of Ancient Greece, Aristophanes (c.444-c.385 BC) was a contemporary of Socrates (c.470-c.399 BC) and of Plato (c.428/427-c.348/347 BC). Phaedrus was an Athenian aristocrat and a friend of Socrates. He makes me admit that, in spite of my great defects, I neglect myself and instead get involved in Athenian politics. Further he will not cease to love those lower manifestations of Beauty; on the contrary, he will be more anxious than ever to bring them to birth, having now the full backing of reason for creating virtue in man and in their institutions. Aristophanes says that at the beginning of the world human beings looked very different: “Primeval man was round, his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four hands and four feet, one head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike… He could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast.”, These weird, fused humans had three sexes, not the two we have today. Written by Ed Whalen, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom. He interrupted everyone to tell them how he tried to seduce Socrates. Our apologies, you must be logged in to post a comment. One man says it makes lovers brave, particularly homosexual soldiers who serve alongside each other in the army; their love would make them more valiant than the loveless. Socrates then spoke. Love is an innate desire of every human being, but how do you define it and what is its purpose in relationships? Plato on Love [Lysis, Symposium, Phaedrus, Alcibiades, With Selections From Republic, Laws] (Streaming Audiobook) : Plato : Plato's dialogue in the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love, explores the idea of love as a means of ascent to contemplation of the Divine. Love expresses itself through pregnancy and reproduction, either through the bodily kind of sexual Love or through the sharing and reproduction of ideas. I must confess that what in this section I am doing is attempting to put forward the reasons which I think lie behind the claim that Beauty is the primary object of love. Wealthy Athenian men have gathered, as they often did, to drink wine, eat, philosophize, and carouse with women, younger men, or each other. In the “Symposium,” several figures gather in an evening gathering that was commonly known as a symposium and give their views on the god of love. Plato’s theory of Love: Rationality as Passion Lydia Amir 'I … profess to understand nothing but matters of love.' “And in the pursuit of his love the custom of mankind allows him to do many strange things, which philosophy would bitterly censure if they were done from any motive of interest or wish for office or power. The Forms were the essence of things from which flow what we perceive as reality; they are called ‘ideas’ in some translations. Plato on Love: Lysis, Symposium, Phaedrus, Alcibiades, with Selections from Republic and Laws (Hackett Classics) - Kindle edition by Plato, Reeve, C.D.C., C. D. C. Reeve. Phaedrus, a young student of rhetoric, gives the first speech. Plot Summary. How so or how not? Socrates in Plato’s Symposium. The Symposium raises the question of what love truly is and means. Aristophanes or Love, Sexuality and Women in Plato's Symposium . Aristophanes says, “Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods.”, The gods met to discuss how they would deal with these circular attackers. The Symposium, which you can read in full here, is the summation of Plato’s ideas on love, and have proven very influential. Typically, there was a great deal of conversation and witty talk. Detail of Agathon from Feuerbach’s “The Symposium of Plato,” second version, 1873. And so now, in this new age of split selves, the two halves roam the face of the earth searching for one another. Plato’s theory of love is fleshed out in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. Plato’s Symposium contains a myth about the origins of human love, the Myth of Aristophanes.. Once upon a time, there were three kinds of … The “Symposium” is one example of Plato’s dialogues that address the subject of love. While other works among Plato's middle-period dialogues, such as the Republic and the Phaedo, contain more philosophical meat, more closely examining the Theory of Forms and intensely cross-examining interlocutors, none can match the dramatic force of the Symposium. Tags: Ancient Greek Philosophy, Dialogues, Plato, platonic love, socrates, Symposium. First, we’re at a dinner party. Source: Wikimedia. Plato's Symposium Access. Love expresses itself through pregnancy and reproduction, either through the bodily kind of sexual Love or through the sharing and reproduction of ideas. Instead, Plato builds on them, adding the views of Eryximachus (true love is is a biochemical balance that yields peace of mind) and Aristophanes (love involves a primal urge for … It is important to understand the characters in the dialogue in order to understand the philosophical arguments put forward by Plato. Love was a spirit, Socrates learned, that helped us to attain what we desired and needed. Essays for Symposium by Plato. Source: Cultural Institute. Symposium essays are academic essays for citation. Aristophanes addresses a duality in the context of love in Plato’s The Symposium. Download: A 116k text-only version is available for download. Originating with Plato’s writings on love (mainly the Symposium … It is one of the most important texts on love, and it provides insight into Plato’s philosophical system. This theory cannot be found in the Symposium, because Beauty is not the primary object of love there. Download: A 116k text-only version is available for download. Access Reading via Bb PDFs.. Journal Entries. The main character in the dialogues is the great philosopher Socrates, who inspired Plato. Reeve's Introduction provides a wealth of historical information about Plato and Socrates, and the sexual norms of classical Athens. Philosophy & Love Eros In Plato Alfred Geier uncovers the erotic side of Socratic philosophy.. According to Plato, the best way to love is to have something, to love wisdom. Male searching for male, female searching for female, and male and female searching for each other – it is all part of the same story, according to the playwright. He splits Love into Common and Heavenly Love, attributing the latter solely to homosexual, male relationships. He showed how love can help the human mind ascend to a higher, eternal realm, one beyond the temporal world of the senses. The men include the philosopher Socrates, the general and political figure Alcibiades, and the comic playwright Aristophanes. THE SYMPOSIUM BY PLATO. It is a discussion on the nature of love, taking the form of a group of speeches, both satirical and serious, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking gathering at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens. Alcibades being taught by Socrates, François-André Vincent, 1776. One of the most important Forms was the form of beauty, and Socrates said love can guide a person to its contemplation. Life is filled with dualities and opposing figures: love and hatred, light and dark, male and female, life and death. Phaedrus goes first. Thus, love is the desire or spirit which lifts the human soul to the knowledge of the Forms. 370 BC for the Academia in Athens. First of all this being alway iss, neither becoming nor perishing. The host of the banquet was Agathon, a tragic playwright. Plato explores and defends his view of love in the Symposium, specifically in the dialogue between Socrates and Diotima (Symposium, 204e ­ 209e). After recovering from a bout of hiccups, the playwright starts his speech. The symposium we are invited to took place at Agathon’s house. Plato offers a view of love that reaffirms his theory of the forms and directs those who follow the flow of the speeches to a more enlightened view of love and then offers us confirmation of his ideas by showing how Alcibiades was inspired by Socrates to appreciate Socrates for the beauty of his soul or spirit rather than for his body. Detail from the 1869 painting ‘Plato’s Symposium’ by Anselm Feuerbach on display at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, one of Germany’s more prestigious art museums. In the work, Plato rejected the idea that love is about desire and sexual gratification. Aristophanes or Love, Sexuality and Women in Plato's Symposium . The Symposium is among the most beautiful of the philosophical dialogues written by Plato, and it is very readable. Plato is regarded by many as the world’s greatest philosopher. Introduction One of the most influential traditions of love in the Western world is Platonism. Symposium By Plato. In a brief and very plain dialogue with Agathon in Plato’s Symposium, Socrates asks Agathon whether eros (= passionate love) is the sort of thing which is “of something” or “of nothing.” Agathon answers, “Yes, indeed it is [of something].” According to this tale, they were more powerful than today’s frail human creatures. In his dialogues, he examined everything from the nature of reality, to ethics, to beauty, to the state. In the Greek world, two-and-a-half millennia ago, writers and thinkers often viewed love with suspicion because it aroused passions that could drive a man to abandon responsibility, obsess, and/or go mad. The great comic playwright Aristophanes was also present at the banquet. Commentary: Quite a few comments have been posted about Symposium. He may pray, and entreat, an supplicate, and swear, and lie on a mat at the door, and endure a slavery worse than that of any slave…” –Plato (Symposium) John has been writing for All That Is Interesting since 2014 and now lives in Madrid, Spain, where he writes and consults on international development projects in East Africa. His Symposium is by no means a bouquet laid at the feet of Love: the duality of erôs is never far from Plato's mind, as the entrance of Alcibiades makes clear. Plato also writes of the origin of same and opposite sex urges. [Article revised on 4 May 2020.] Plato, specially in two of his dialogues, the Symposium and the Pha edrus, considered the nature of love, portraying at the same time different attitudes towards it, Michael Knowles and Spencer Klavan take you through one of the most collective philosophical texts on love in Western literature: Plato’s The Symposium. For Plato, generally, to love other human beings is to direct one's mind to love of Divinity. The Symposium, which you can read in full here, is the summation of Plato’s ideas on love, and have proven very influential. The Symposium by Plato Plot Summary | LitCharts. He praises Heavenly Love and discusses the role of law, justice, and customs in leading beloveds to make a virtuous choice regarding taking lovers. However, many of the speeches make valid points about love, and each one can be seen as taking us nearer the truth. [Article revised on 4 May 2020.] The Symposium, written around 370 BC, is the best-known work by Plato, the pre-eminent philosopher of antiquity.So-called from being discourse over wine after a banquet, it depicts a friendly contest of extemporaneous speeches about Eros, the god of love, between some mostly-famous Athenians. “And if they continue to be insolent and will not be quiet,” said Zeus, “I will split them again and they shall hop about on a single leg.”. Life is filled with dualities and opposing figures: love and hatred, light and dark, male and female, life and death. Plato’s Symposium is one of the most iconic works of literature in the Western tradition. “...and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment...” ― Plato, The Symposium 122 likes. Symposium By Plato. The gods decided to sever the humans in two. Some were male in both halves, some were female in both haves, and others had one male half and another female half. Plato is regarded by many as the world’s greatest philosopher. He writes about seven different points of view on love coming from the speakers that attend the symposium in honor of Agathon. He gets Agathon to agree that Love must be love of something that Love does not already possess. In literature, love is often portrayed as an object of deep human concern. In our fast-paced world, it’s tough to make reading a priority. Plato wrote “The Symposium” about the ancient Athenian cultural tradition in which men would drink, discuss philosophical subjects, compose speeches and sing songs. ... And so we walked, and talked of the discourses on love; and therefore, as I said at first, I am not ill-prepared to comply with your request, and will have another rehearsal of them if you like. By Plato . The Symposium Introduction + Context. An analysis of his doctrine on love in the Symposium and Phaedrus Platonic love is examined in Plato's dialogue, the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros generally. is a philosophical dialogue written by Plato sometime after 385 BC. This love of the truth is what distinguishes the philosopher. Plato's Symposium and Diotima's Ladder of Love Plato's dialogue the Symposium is one of the key texts of the Platonic tradition: it relates a series of speeches made in praise of Eros at a party thrown in celebration of Agatho's victory in the contest of Dramas in the Festival of Dionysus. He argued that there is also a lower sort of love, one based on desire and sexual gratification. This is what is known as Platonic Love: a love that unites souls by uniting them with the truth. The dialogue is original in at least two ways-in that it exposes the presupposi- Like “Even now I'm well aware that if I allowed myself to listen to him I couldn't resist but would have the same experience again. And finding that other, original part of yourself… That is love. The text has been credited with influencing how Western literature portrays and interprets love and beauty. Agathon invites his guests, to make a speech in praise of love. Plato’s views on love are a meditation on Socrates and the power his philosophical conversations have to mesmerize, obsess, and educate. Edited, annotated, and compiled by Rhonda L. Kelley . All Rights Reserved. THE DEFINITION OF LOVE IN PLATO'S SYMPOSIUM BY DONALD LEVY For anyone who wants to think philosophically about love, the only way to begin is to reflect on the problems first raised in Plato's Symposium. tags: love, plato, symposium. Plato's Symposium 700 Words | 3 Pages. Several suggested all-out slaughter. The Impossibility of Evil Without Ignorance and the Progression Toward Good; The Structure of Plato's Symposium; Plato's Psychology - The Tripartite Soul Plato discusses love (erôs) and friendship (philia) primarily in two dialogues, the Lysis and the Symposium, though the Phaedrus also adds significantly to his views.In each work, Socrates as the quintessential philosopher is in two ways center stage, first, as a lover of wisdom (sophia) and discussion (logos), and, second, as himself an inverter or disturber of erotic norms. This collection features Plato's writings on sex and love in the preeminent translations of Stanley Lombardo, Paul Woodruff and Alexander Nehamas, D. S. Hutchinson, and C. D. C. Reeve. Do such modern concepts of "homosexual" or "heterosexual" apply here? Symposium study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. For Socrates, love was a spirit that helps a person better understand the fundamental nature of reality, or Forms. While The Republic may be more famous, Symposium is the most graphic, intense, and dramatic of the dialogues. Plato’s Symposium contains a myth about the origins of human love, the Myth of Aristophanes.. Once upon a time, there were three kinds of … Aristophanes addresses a duality in the context of love in Plato’s The Symposium. Socrates arrives at the party late because he had been lost in contemplation. At this point, the notorious Alcibiades, who is very drunk and rowdy, butted in. The Symposium (Ancient Greek: ?????) A modern rendition of Plato’s Symposium, by Anselm Feuerbach. Introduction One of the most influential traditions of love in the Western world is Platonism. His Symposium is by no means a bouquet laid at the feet of Love: the duality of erôs is never far from Plato's mind, as the entrance of Alcibiades makes clear. The greatest knowledge of all, she confides, is knowledge of the Form of Beauty, which we must strive to attain. Translated by Benjamin Jowett . Originating with Plato’s writings on love (mainly the Symposium … The Symposium was named after the cultural and social practice of the same name, which was a post-banquet gathering in which men would drink, listen to music, and relax. In the case of The Symposium, the dialogue starts with the claims of Phaedrus (love enobles both lover and beloved) and Pausanias (there are at least two kinds or levels of love: sacred and profane) and never completely rejects them. SYMPOSIUM . The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον, Sympósion [sympósi̯on]) is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–370 BC. In Ancient Greece, sexual relationships between males were tolerated, and those between an older man and a younger man were considered praiseworthy. In the text, there are seven speakers, all based on historical characters. Plato's dialogue in the Symposium, which has as its topic the subject of love, explores the idea of love as a means of ascent to contemplation of the Divine. The Symposium is about love, eros more specifically. As Aristophanes concludes, “After the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one.”, The Crazy And Charming Theory Of Love In Plato’s “Symposium”. The greatest knowledge of all, she confides, is knowledge of the Form of Beauty, which we must strive to attain. Symposium By Plato Written 360 B.C.E ... Love will make men dare to die for their beloved-love alone; and women as well as men. The idea also comes ‘Platonic love’, of course from Plato himself. Pausanias was a legal professional and Eryximachus was a physician. The events portrayed in the Symposium dialogue took place in 385 BC. Plato’s theory of Love: Rationality as Passion Lydia Amir 'I … profess to understand nothing but matters of love.' Its legacy has been far reaching, inspiring religion and mysticism, to visions of art, the good, and the beautiful. The most memorable speech of the night – and the strangest – comes from Aristophanes. Moreover, given Diotima's views, there is no evident reason why a lover in … Aristodemus, a great admirer of Socrates, relays the events to Apollodorus, who in turn tells the story to the unnamed Athenian in Plato’s Symposium. Sections 2–4 primarily with the Symposium alone. Symposium 2020: Tickets are NOW Available! The gods halved the humans. Soon everyone passed out, except the philosopher, who left and went about his business. The Symposium is a philosophical text, by the Greek philosopher Plato, about love. Instead of an intellectual discourse, he tells a story, a myth of the origins of love. Love is neither wise nor beautiful, but is rather the desire for wisdom and beauty. A symposium scene on a 5th century BCE Greek cup currently housed in the State Antiquities Collection in Munich, Germany. But Zeus said that humanity simply needed to be humbled, not destroyed. In the dialogue, Plato, vis-a-vis Socrates, argued the highest love is the philosopher’s love of the truth, contained in the Forms. Symposium By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. They all gather to discuss the topic of love. Each half tried to reunite with its mate and this explains the nature of human beings: Next, it is not beautiful in part, nor only at certain times, nor in some respects, nor merely to some observers. Section 5 deals with the Phaedrus. In what follows, section 1 deals with the Lysis and Symposium. As the night progresses, the conversation turns to the meaning of love. It is a spirit or daimon and it mediates between the gods and men, reproducing itself either through the birth of new beings or new ideas. Before we consider this episode in greater detail, and before we examine as well Plato's warning, in Phaedrus , about the duality of erôs , we should linger a bit longer on the tyrannical man portrayed in Republic . 8 In fact, in the first of these cases (201e) Socrates is explicitly giving his own view, and in the second (204d) Diotima qualifies her remark with ‘ὡς σύ φῇς’. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Socrates held that the world ’ s odd speech, let ’ s frail human.! Is important to understand nothing but matters of love. and witty talk dialogue., and those between an older man and a younger man were considered praiseworthy Sensual... Helps a person better understand the characters in the text Symposium ( Ancient philosopher. 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Include Plato ’ s Symposium plato on love symposium reader is offered many insights on definition. Not be found in the context of love: a love that unites souls by them. Which exist in an eternal realm, according to Plato, generally to... Of divine love which involves a lover teaching his beloved virtue and wisdom love '' occurs in the world! Took place in 385 BC this love of the most important Forms was the first of all she! The comic playwright Aristophanes admit that, in spite of my great defects, I neglect myself and instead involved! Lydia Amir ' I … profess to understand nothing but matters of love in the.... Notorious Alcibiades, who gave an elaborate speech arguing that love is portrayed. Praise of love, Socrates learned, that helped us to attain the sharing and reproduction ideas... And Heavenly love, loves that can be seen as taking us nearer truth! Of classical Athens of soulmates to the meaning of love in Plato ’ s tough to a. Everyone passed out, except the philosopher, who says love is the youngest of the origins of with!

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