Frontispiece to the 1657 edition of the Deipnosophists, edited by Isaac Casaubon, in Greek and Jacques Daléchamps' Latin translation

The Deipnosophistae is an early 3rd-century AD Greek work (Ancient Greek: Δειπνοσοφισταί, Deipnosophistaí, lit. "The Dinner Sophists/Philosophers/Experts") by the Greco-Egyptian author Athenaeus of Naucratis. It is a long work of literary, historical, and antiquarian references set in Rome at a series of banquets held by the protagonist Publius Livius Larensis[1] for an assembly of grammarians, lexicographers, jurists, musicians, and hangers-on. It is sometimes called the oldest surviving cookbook.[2]


The Greek title Deipnosophistaí (Δειπνοσοφισταί) derives from the combination of deipno- (δειπνο-, "dinner") and sophistḗs (σοφιστής, "expert, one knowledgeable in the arts of ~"). It and its English derivative deipnosophists[3] thus describe people who are skilled at dining, particularly the refined conversation expected to accompany Greek symposia. However, the term is shaded by the harsh treatment accorded to professional teachers in Plato's Socratic dialogues, which made the English term sophist into a pejorative.

In English, Athenaeus's work usually known by its Latin form Deipnosophistae but is also variously translated as The Deipnosophists,[4] Sophists at Dinner,[2] The Learned Banqueters,[5] The Banquet of the Learned,[4] Philosophers at Dinner, or The Gastronomers.

Other Languages
brezhoneg: Deipnosophistai
italiano: Deipnosofisti
Nederlands: Deipnosophistae
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Deipnosophistae