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In Greek mythology a good spirit of the cornfields and vineyards, to whom libations of unmixed wine were made at meals. In works of art be is represented as a youth, holding in one hand a horn of plenty and a bowl, in the other a poppy and ears of corn. (Comp. EVENTUS.)
EVENTUS 92.46%
In Roman religion, a god of rural prosperity, like the Greek Agathodaemon, whose image was in later times transferred to the Italian deity. In the course of time Bonus Eventus gained the more general meaning of the friendly fortune which secures a lucky issue to undertakings. The god had a temple of his own on the Campus Martius, in the neighbourhood of the Pantheon.
MEALS 10.98%
The GREEKS had three during the day; (1) the first breakfast, acratisma, consisting of bread which was dipped into unmixed wine; (2) the second breakfast, or luncheon, ariston, eaten about noon and consisting of warm dishes; and (3) the principal meal, deipnon, which took place before sunset. In the Homeric times, men sat down when eating, a custom preserved by the Cretans. In later times men reclined at the table, usually only two together on a couch (Gr. kline), in such a way that the left arm was supported on a cushion while the right arm remained free. The women and children, who were, however, excluded from real banquets, sat on stools; the former might also sit on the couch at their husbands' feet. Before the meal, slaves took off the sandals of the guests and washed their feet; water and a towel was then handed to them for washing their hands, and this was repeated after the meal, as no knives and forks were used; there were only spoons, usually of metal. While eating thev cleaned their hands with the crumb of bread or with a kind of dough. The common food of the lower classes was the maza, a pastea of barleymeal dried in a dish, and moistened before it was eaten; properly baked bread of wheatmeal was considere a comparative delicacy. As relish (opson) they had salad, leeks, onions, beans, lentils, and meat variously prepared; and especially fish, mostly from the sea, which in later times formed the chief object of the gourmand's attention. After the meals the tables were cleared away (every pair of guests usually having a table to itself), the remnants that had fallen to the ground were swept up, and the hands were washed with scented soap; then a libation of unmixed wine was drunk in honour of the good genius (see AGATHODAeMON)-none was served during the meal-and the hymn of praise (see PAeAN) was sung. After the tables had been changed and the dessert, consisting of fruit, cheese, cakes sprinkled with salt, etc., had been served, the symposium, or the drinking-bout, began. The wine was diluted with warm or cold water; in the latter case snow was frequently used to cool it. It was deemed barbarous to drink unmixed wine, and a mixture of equal parts of wine and water even was uncommon, the usual proportion of water to wine was 3:1. They were mixed in a large bowl (krater), from which it was poured into the goblets by means of a ladle. First three mixing-bowls were filled, and from each of them a libation was offered, the first to the gods of Olympus, the second to the heroes, the third to Zeus the Saviour. How the drinking was to be carried on (e.g. how many goblets each guest should have) was settled by a president, who was chosen by the others or by casting the dice, and called the king (basileus) or master of the feast (symposiarchus); he also enforced penalties, such as emptying a goblet at a single draught. The guests amused themselves with merry talk and riddles, impromptu songs (see SCOLIA), games, more especially the cottabus (q.v.), mimetic dances, the playing of women on flutes and lyres, etc. The bout was terminated by a libation to Hermes. For the meals of the Spartans, cp. SYSSITIA. The ROMANS also had three meals during the day. Breakfast, ieiunium or iantaculum, at about 9; followed in early times by the principal meal (cena) at 12, and by the vesperna in the evening; but afterwards the multiplied occupations of city life, that extended over the early hours of the afternoon, necessitated a different arrangement; lunch, prandium, was accordingly taken at noon, and the cena after bathing, at about 3. The ieiunium consisted of bread dipped in wine or eaten with honey, salt, or olives, the prandium of a plentiful supply of warm and cold viands, with wine. At the cena originally nothing was eaten but the peculiarly Roman puls, a kind of porridge, and other simple food, especially common vegetables; meat was not usually eaten, and prolonged dinners were only permissible on grand occasions. From the 2nd century B.C. onwards the importation of dainties from every country to Rome made extravagance in eating so universal that it was vainly attempted to check it by law, and at the same time the cena was prolonged over the whole of the latter end of the day; it was looked upon as a remarkable instance of economising time, when it was told of a man like the older Pliny that he only spent three hours reclining at table [Letters of the Younger Pliny, iii 5 § 13]. In the course of time reclining had been substituted for sitting in the case of men, as in Greece; women and children sat at meals, but (unlike the Greek custom) they shared them, even when invited guests were present, the women sitting on the couch (lectus) of the master of the house, the children by their side or at a separate table and on stools. Masters and servants originally had their meals in common in the atrium; as time went on special dining-rooms, triclinia (see TRICLINIUM) were built. At a banquet (convivium) the very lightest dress was worn, in which it was not considered correct to appear in the street, and sandals (soleoe), which were taken off by a slave, brought for this purpose, before one reclined, and what, was called the synthesis (q.v.). Before the meal, and between courses, water was banded round for the hands. Napkins (mappoe) came to be used in the reign of Augustus, but only at fashionable parties. As among the Greeks, no knives and forks, but only spoons, were used; the viands were out up by a special slave, the scissor. The dishes of which the various courses consisted were served on a tray (repositorium) and handed round by slaves. The meal, preceded by an invocation of the gods, was regularly divided into three parts: (1) the gustus or gustatio, also called promulsis, because a drink (mulsum) made of must and honey was handed round with the food (boiled eggs, salads, vegetables prepared in a way to stimulate the appetite, fresh or cooked crabs, etc., and salt fish). (2) The cena proper. Originally (and later also among people of small means) it only consisted of a single course, afterwards of three and more, which were distinguished by the names of prima, altera, tertia cena. During this-contrary to the Greek custom-wine was drunk, though in moderate quantities, and mixed with warm or cold water to suit the taste of each guest. Then came a pause, in which all were asked to be silent while the offering was made to the Lares, and (3) the third part of the meal, the dessert, was served. It consisted of pastry, cakes, fresh and preserved fruits. Roman luxury prescribed the greatest variety in the dishes of the cena, both with regard to their nature and to their mode of preparation. In early times only oil, honey, salt, and vinegar, but afterwards the most varied and piquant spices of other countries, and particularly foreign fishsauces, were employed. Pork had always been a favourite meat; fifty ways of dressing it were known. Under the Empire, when a dish was so prepared that even a gourmand was puzzled to tell what he was eating, it was held to be a chef d'oeuvre of the culinary art. The art was practised by slaves, for whom considerable prices were paid. The later Romans were on the whole much more immoderate in eating and drinking than the Greeks; a not unusual way of making further eating possible was to take an emetic in the morning, or else after bathing, or after the meals. After the cena, either at the dessert or not till later in the evening, the drinking proper, or comissatio began. It was done more Groeco, that is, according to the Greek manner: the guests were anointed and crowned with wreaths, and one was chosen by casting dice to be the master of the drinking (magister or arbiter bibendi), also called rex (or king), who regulated the proportion of water to wine, and the number of goblets each person was to drink. As a rule the wine was mixed with warm water, as this was considered more wholesome. Many, however, preferred the cold mixture, and drank it with ice, or else cooled it in cold water. Conversation, varied with the music of the flute and the lyre, was held by the earlier Romans to constitute the charm of dining; at a later time, intellectual pleasures gradually declined in favour more and more, and there was an ever-increasing craving for the exciting entertainments of mimes, jesters, jugglers, and female singers, dancers and flute players, who were mostly slaves of the family. Even the Campanian custom of witnessing gladiatorial combats during meals was adopted in a few Roman houses. The development of these baneful habits was all the more deplorable in its effects, as the women and children were present at the debauches of the table.
Type: Standard
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