[Sca-cooks] Fwd: TMR 08.10.03 Brubaker and Linardou, Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Sandra Kisner sjk3 at cornell.edu
Thu Oct 2 08:40:12 PDT 2008

A much-snipped excerpt from a review of a recent book that might be of 


>Brubaker, Leslie, and Kallirroe Linardou, eds. <i>Eat, Drink and Be
>Merry (Luke 12:19): Food and Wine in Byzantium. Papers of the 37th
>Annual Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, in Honour of Professor
>A.A.M. Bryer</i>. Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum, 2007. Pp. xxxv, 272.
>$99.95. ISBN 978-0-7546-6119-1.
>This is the thirteenth proceedings from the Annual Spring Symposium to
>be published by Ashgate in a series that showcases the work of UK
>Byzantinists and their colleagues. Each year the Symposium centres
>around a particular theme. In 2003 that theme was food and wine in the
>Byzantine world.
>Section 2 (practicalities) offers four articles on topics as varied as
>the processing of harvested produce ("Between the field and the plate:
>How agricultural products were processed into food," by Dionysios
>Stathakopoulos); storage ("Store in a cool and dry place: Perishable
>goods and their preservation in Byzantium," by Michael Grünbart);
>identification of aromatics ("Some Byzantine aromatics," by Andrew
>Dalby); and diet ("<i>Stew and salted meat</i>: Opulent normality in
>the diet of every day?," by Johannes Koder).
>Section 3 (dining) constitutes another set of four articles, three
>accompanied by illustrations. These range from the elite ("Dazzling
>dining: Banquets as an expression of imperial legitimacy," by Simon
>Malmberg; "A sultan in Constantinople: The feasts of Ghiyâth al-Dîn
>Kay-Khusraw I," by Dimitri Korobeinikov; "From glittering sideboard to
>table: Silver in the well-appointed <i>triclinium</i>," by Marlia
>Mundell Mango) to the monastic setting ("Mealtime in monasteries: The
>culture of the Byzantine refectory," by Alice-Mary Talbot).
>Section 4 (ideology and representation) again comprises four articles.
>These range from questions of purity ("What was kosher in Byzantium?,"
>by Barbara Crostini) to the moral consequences of overindulgence
>("Eat, drink...and pay the price," by Antony Eastmond and Liz James)
>to changes in the use of table equipment ("The changing dining habits
>at Christ's table," by Joanita Vroom) and the status of Venetian ware
>in late Byzantine Crete ("Fish on a dish and its table companions in
>fourteenth-century wall-paintings on Venetian-dominated Crete," by
>Angeliki Lymberopoulou).
>Section 5 (food and the sacred) comprises just two articles, the
>second of which is extremely brief. In the first ("Divine banquet: The
>Theotokos as a source of spiritual nourishment") Mary Cunningham
>details the culinary images of the Virgin that prevail in Byzantine
>hymns and homilies. The second piece ("Being a potential saint," by
>Patricia Karlin-Hayter) is little more than two anecdotes about
>feasting excerpted from the life of St Antony the Younger prior to his
>adoption of that name. These are recounted in an entertaining way
>without any accompanying analysis.
>The final section (outside the empire) brings together two articles on
>Byzantine food and wine beyond the empire's margins ("More Malmsey,
>your Grace? The export of Greek wine to England in the later Middle
>Ages," by Jonathon Harris; and "Record of Byzantine food in Chinese
>texts," by Chen Zhiqiang).

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