Creating Community With Food and Drink in Merovingian Gaul

Overview

Displaying, consuming and abstaining from food were powerful social metaphors in the early days of Christianity and were widely open to manipulation. The clergy in particular used occasions of feasting and fasting to define relationships between themselves and the laity and enforce their authority and power over them. These five essays by Bonnie Efros look for evidence of the use of food and drink in the literary works of early medieval Gaul, including saints' Lives , canonical legislation, theological tracts, ...
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Overview

Displaying, consuming and abstaining from food were powerful social metaphors in the early days of Christianity and were widely open to manipulation. The clergy in particular used occasions of feasting and fasting to define relationships between themselves and the laity and enforce their authority and power over them. These five essays by Bonnie Efros look for evidence of the use of food and drink in the literary works of early medieval Gaul, including saints' Lives , canonical legislation, theological tracts, religious manual and so on. She explores the many different roles of food, for example in defining gender and authority, as a source of healing and power, as an important part of commemoration and celebration in funerary contexts, and as forms of hospitality that could be granted or denied.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312227364
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/4/2003
  • Series: The New Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Effros is Assistant Professor of History at Binghamton University (SUNY), and during 2001-2002, Sylvan C. Colman and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellow in the Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• The Ritual Significance of Feasting in the Formation of Christian Community
• 1. Saints and Sacrifices in Sixth-Century Gaul; 2. Saints and the Provisioning of Plenty; 3. Defining Christian Community through the Fear of Pollution; 4. Conclusion
• Food, Drink, and the Expression of Clerical Identity
• 1. Defining Masculinity without Weapons: Amicitia among Bishops; 2. Monks and the Significance of Convivia in Ascetic Communities; 3. Amicitia between Clerics and Laymen; 4. Bishops and Civitias in Late Antique and Early Medieval Gaul; 5. Conclusion
• Gender and Authority: Feasting and Fasting in Early Medieval Monasteries
• 1. Feasting and the Power of Hospitality; 2. The Claustration of Nuns in Sixth-Century Gaul; 3. Caesarius' Rule for Nuns and the Prohibition of Convivia ; 4. Radegund of Poitiers' Relationship to Food and Drink; 5. Conclusion
• Food as a Source of Healing and Power
• 1. Healing Alternatives in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages; 2. Christian Cures: Blessed Oil and Holy Relics; 3. Anthimus' Guide to a Proper Diet for a Merovingian King; 4. Conclusion
• Funerary Feasting in Merovingian Gaul
• 1. Ancient Sources and Early Medieval Practices; 2. Christian Attitudes to Funerary Meals in Early Medieval Gaul; 3. Interpreting Early Medieval Archaeological Evidence for Feasting; 4. Future Directions for Research

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