Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2012

10 October 2012

Feasting Practices and Changes in Greek Society from the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age

Rachel Sarah Fox

Feasting Practices and Changes in Greek Society from the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age

City: Oxford

Year: 2012

Publisher: Archaeopress

Series: BAR International Series 2345

Description: Paperback, vi &155 p., 21 figures, 27 plates, 29,7x21 cm

From the introduction

A feast is a sensory, sacralised and social occasion. Its multiple resonances and experiences extend far beyond the nutritive consumption of food and drink by a group of people. To reduce the act of feasting to functional terms overlooks the vivid tastes and smells, the bonds created and broken between fellow-participants, the awe induced by dining in the presence of the dead, the gods or a powerful leader, and the embedding of bodily memories in the diners to be recalled long after the event. Real, individual people consume feasts, and as archaeologists dealing with a remote era it is easy to disregard this fact and concentrate solely upon the tangible debris of vessels and food remains. To understand a feasting event more comprehensively, it is necessary to analyse the whole series of experiences that the original participant would have undergone during the course of a feast, and to trace the footsteps of the diner through each stage of what was presumably a major event in his/her calendar.


List of Figures [iii]
List of Tables [v]
Acknowledgements [vi]  

Chapter 1: Introduction [1]

Chapter 2: Methodology [4]

Chapter 3: Feasting in the Early Mycenaean Period [10]

3.1. Tombs and Feasting – Funerary Dining [10]  
3.2. Vessels and Feasting – The Eloquence of Grave-Goods [15]  
3.3. Halls and Feasting – Consumption in the Sociopolitical Sphere [24]  
3.4. Gods and Feasting – Where are the Sanctuaries? [31]

Chapter 4: Feasting in the Palatial Period [36] 

4.1. Arrival at the Feast – Constructing Host-Guest Relationships [36]  
4.2. Consuming the Feast – Constructing Guest-Guest Relationships [40]
4.3. Consequences of the Feast – Constructing and Fulfilling Obligations [44] 
4.4. Expanding the Feast – Constructing Palace-Polity Relationships [47]  
4.5. The Feast in the Sanctuary – Juxtaposing Official and Popular Cults [49]  
4.6. The Feast in the Cemetery – Blending the Public and the Personal [54]

Chapter 5: Feasting in the Early Iron Age [59]

5.1. The Old and the New Feast – Commensality in LHIIIC [60] 
5.2. The All-Encompassing Feast – Commensality in the 10th to 8th Centuries [67]  
5.3. The Elite Feast – The Ideology of Commensality in the EIA [75]  
5.4. The Continuing Feast – Funerary Commensality during the EIA [79]  
5.5. The Mnemonic Feast – Tomb and Ancestor Cult in the 8th Century [83]  
5.6. The Transformed Feast – Sanctuary Commensality during the EIA [90]  

Chapter 6: Feasting in Homer and Hesiod [99]

6.1. Good Feast/Bad Feast – Paradigms of Dining in the Odyssey [101]
6.2. Basileus’ Feast – Dining as a Sociopolitical Device in Homer [104]
6.3. Hero’s Feast – Dining as an Elite Activity in Homer [106]
6.4. Peasant’s Feast – Dining in Hesiod’s Works and Days [109]  

Chapter 7: Conclusion [112]

Appendix I: Comparison of Ceramic and Metal Vessel Forms in the Mycenae Grave Circles [119]

Appendix II: Minimum Number of Diners at a Feast at Pylos [126]

Appendix III: Thoughts on Mycenaean Cooking Methods [128]

Appendix IV: Animals Consumed at Sanctuary Feasts during the Palatial Period [131]

Appendix V: The Decline of the Kylix [133]

Bibliography [138]


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