The Oldest Feast

Jean Bottéro

in Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780748613878
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653584 | DOI:
The Oldest Feast

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In Mesopotamia, it is perfectly clear that it was first and foremost the wealthy, the beneficiaries of the haute cuisine, who enjoyed sumptuous and frequent banquets – to say nothing of the gods, a great part of whose worship was concerned with the servicing of their table. From Mari, for instance, several hundred calendar tablets bearing the list of provisions supplied, day after day for several years, mainly by shops selling cereal products, oil and dried fruits, but also by ‘butchers’, for the daily fare of the king, who seems to have had a very comfortable life. On more than one occasion the feasts given by rulers, especially for their staff and troops, are evoked for us. These ‘great banquets’ were often accompanied by distributions of reward-presents, perfumed unguents for a toilette that would be worthy of the ceremony.

Keywords: Mesopotamia; haute cuisine; banquets; gods; Mari; calendar; tablets; feasts; presents; unguents

Chapter.  5885 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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