ITA234H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Pope Sixtus Iv, Symposium, Matteo Bandello
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November 3, 2015
Lecture #8 – Banquets from the Romans to the
Tavolo – table
Tavola – gathering eating around a table and enjoying one selves
Roman and Greek Festive Eating:
(Latin: “living together”): a general Roman feast
public feast open to all city residents (welcomed large numbers of
Elite private banquets, reserved for fewer guests, took place in one’s home
and were a “feast for th senses, during which the host strove to impress his
guests with extravagant fare, luxurious tableware, and diverse forms of
an appropriate description of the banquet even as it evolved over time.
To achieve a feast for the senses, dinner was comprised of entertainment + a
variety of courses
For optimal digestion, Romans and Greeks took to reclining on couches while
Lots of entertainment was present, even the waiters were chosen based on
9 guests in a room: 3 people / couch, 3 couches
Roman feasts permitted respectable
to join the
(drinking party) where women were only present if they were
entertainers (dancers) or courtesans.
Roman banquet - wine served throughout the meal as an accompaniment to
(main meal): focus on consumption of food, wine was
reserved for the
Greeks and Romans: mixed their wine with water prior to drinking.
For the Romans, wine was mixed according to guests’ preferences (in an
individual cup). Vs. Greeks’ practice of communal mixing for the entire party.
Utensils (serving trays, cups - the more ornate, the better) made for a
complete table service and were therefore employed by all (including by less
Spoons were the primary eating utensil used by the Romans