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

Rachel Sarah Fox


A feast is a sensory, sacralised and social occasion. Its multAle resonances and experiences extend far beyond the nutritive consumption of food and drink by a group of people. To understand a feasting event more comprehensively, it is necessary to analyse the whole series of experiences that the original particAant 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. While the author examines the totality of feasting occasions in this book, her princAal focus lies on how feasts serve as an arena for social negotiations: the creation of obligations to a powerful host, the cohesion augmented between companions, the privileging of high-status individuals, the emphasised inferiority of those of lesser status, and the creation of new connections through shared emotive experiences. This work thus explores on a broad scale the multi-faceted use of feasting in mainland Greece by placing it in a diachronic perspective, commencing at the beginning of the Early Mycenaean period (MHIII/LHI) and continuing to the end of the Early Iron Age (EIA). This long-range study is given focus by viewing it specifically from the angle of social changes, developments and negotiations, in order to analyse how socio-political events in Greece throughout the nine centuries under consideration both affected commensal events and were directly or indirectly produced by them.