Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

• Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Imagine that you come to a guest who while eating eats with his right hand and at the same time blowing his nose to the left. It is unlikely that there would be hosts, victims such behavior at the table, and yet only five hundred years ago, a similar behavior was a sign of a wonderful person education ...

Meals in the Middle Ages consisted of meat, game, fish, breads, various pastries, as well as wine. Medieval cuisine there was hardly digestible for us. It was too rough and sharply flavored. Though expensive spices were used in excessive amounts, and illegible.

In the early Middle Ages had no idea of ​​table cloths did not know plates, forks, spoons, even. Heavy oak tables were on the smooth surface of the recess into which is decomposed and food.

Knights ate at the table, while the women took their meals in separate rooms. Accordingly, coarse manners were drinking: eat excessively and excessively, and even more drinking. Murder, at the table were not uncommon. And only in the XI century, when originated the cult of women and the ladies were invited to the table, began to thin and drinking habits. It has become mandatory to wash hands twice - before the feast, and after its completion.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Feast in the House of Job, Byzantine miniatures of the 14th century

Applied to society 11-13 centuries, we can talk about the rules of table manners and etiquette certain fixed. They feasted for the extended table, which sat at the head of the host, or more frequently at the tables in the form of letters T or P, where a small "head" table was intended for master and special guests of honor. guests rank determined by the proximity to the site owner, who served in the first sign that the dishes are not poisoned.

When all the seats at the table are occupied, there is the main manager and led the malchikov- pages, who carried the dishes out of the kitchen on huge plates. Main hot cutter butchered into portions using a thin knife handle with a richly inlaid Each knight was sitting next to his partner, and they ate from the same bowl and drank from the same glass. Meal with dishes ceremoniously took three fingers. The most noble and sophisticated men bulging with the ring finger and little finger to the side. It was considered a sign of good form until the XVI century.

Soups and sauces drinking directly from a vessel with handles on the sides for convenience, as a spoon steel used only by the end of the Middle Ages, and at first only in order to bring to the mouth candy.

Spoons produced by single specimens noble metal decorated with precious stones, and often brought away with a spoon expensive. In times minnesingers did not know napkins, but around the table was fixed collected on the edge of the crease in the linen cloth, which he wiped his mouth and greasy hands. In the XIII century, we began to use cutlery and towels.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Individual cutlery as such has not yet been: a man and a woman sitting in pairs, drank from the same cup and eat from the same plate, and if such was not the food laid on the flat loaves of bread, which, during the entire meal was used as a plates, and then thrown to the dogs. Meat cut her with a knife.

Tablecloths and napkins were widespread, often it is made of expensive fabrics and richly embroidered, but were not used at all as we are accustomed to: a tablecloth frequently wiped his hands and wipes can be used, for example, in order to wrap up the food and take away a that was not considered bad manners.

By this time table manners became more refined. Already considered indecent at the table gazing out to those puffing, emit a loud noise when eating, lean back (lean against the wall), place gnawed bones in the common dish, licking his mouth before drinking or drink with your mouth full.

Ladies ought to eat a hearty feast in the ladies' room to the table, they were treated to their gentlemen, giving them the best pieces. Ladies was improper to laugh loudly and too greedily and drink a lot. It was considered inappropriate to discuss the taste and quality of food. Guests were entertained by clowns and performers, and later given a real musical concerts with drums, horns and other instruments choral singing. After completion of the banquet tables were cleaned and carried out of the hall.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

The first rules of behavior at the table did not appear before the XV century in Europe, and many of these recommendations would seem to us wild.

Raised a guest should not have to offer his companions piece that started to eat himself, he was forbidden to scratch or examine the contents of his nose with the same hand, which he takes the dishes. high society representative should not have to put a piece back to the common dish, pick a knife in his teeth or eagerly pounce on the food.

Modern man, these rules seem to be signs that the medieval society was extremely rude, but they, on the contrary, improved standards of behavior at the table, taking into account peculiarities of the meal.

The concept of individual device appears only at the end of the 15th century. At this time, when the serving of table began to bring each plate, spoon, knife (used spoon can also bring with them), but other than soup, still ate her hands, wiping them on the garment or cloth.

In wealthy homes were served a bowl for rinsing fingers, sometimes after each change of dishes. Drinking vessels for a long time are not made for each guest individually, and the transition from one to another.

It was accepted to change the abundance of all kinds of dishes, as a rule, from different kinds of meat and game, but different kinds of food were served mixed at high common dishes. The number of changes in the lunches of the nobility could reach 15-20, and wine were served in abundance, but the art of cooking could hardly speak, and the amount of food was considered a sign of exquisite table.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

In the noble and wealthy homes were served on the table the whole bull, boar, deer carcasses stuffed with game and vegetables.

Nevertheless, even in the absence of basic cutlery existed the notion of good manners while eating. It considered indecent miss the best bits from the common dish, should carefully take the next piece, wipe hands on clothes, on a napkin or cloth, wipe the lips before drinking.

Using a knife and fork to eat (to cook food or to take it with food, it was known earlier) dates back to the 16th century and the greatest progress in the European table manners.

In the 16th century with the help of a fork eating in Italy, the rest of the European countries are in no hurry to accept this innovation: Anne of Austria took the beef stew hands; when the brilliant courtyard of her son Louis XIV fork consumption was discouraged and even directly forbidden by the king himself, prefers to see his courtiers takers food hands, as he did.

Montaigne did not use a fork, admitting that he often eats so fast that bites its own fingers.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Fork. Silver, rock crystal, engraving, gilding. OK. 1500 Germany.

Napkins and bowls for washing hands are extremely common, but apparently it did not make the then refined table manners when in the 17th century, it was recommended not to lick your fingers, do not blow your nose in the tablecloth, do not spit in your plate, do not throw the bones under the table.

In the Middle Ages the servants of noblemen was vested with certain powers. Thus, Butler made responsible for the farm, owned by a nobleman. Butler, in turn, obey the chief master of ceremonies - the main manager of lunch. Lower rank had servants.

The meal begins with the fact that the waiter brought bread wrapped in a napkin, Trencher, cutlery - spoon and special knives, the salt shaker. These items are intended for the owner. All are laid out on the main table in front of the master's place. Then the bartender checked the other tables.

The hall was filled with guests, but at this moment at the table were allowed to take only the owner. Majordomo, the cupbearer and the carver, outweighing towel over his shoulder, led the guests in a room for washing hands. Carver, bowing three times, was directed to the owner, getting in front of him on his knees, he took off the lid and pushed the salt shaker salt shaker to his master. carver is then released from the wipes bread, cut off from Trencher and the bread on a small tube - shot sample.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

At this time, serving tables were lined with dishes from which the sample was removed butler and chef-all in order to avoid the danger of poisoning Mr. This procedure is strictly followed the majordomo.

In the Middle Ages to decorate and slicing meats and poultry, there are many complex instructions and riding skill of the carver was the ability of meat as soon as possible, deftly and quickly to cope with the work.

Drinks too were subjected to tasting. After that, El (and for special guests of honor - wine) bring to the table, and certainly so that their supply coincided with the filing of the first meat dish. The sample was removed from the dishes older servants. He also instructed to monitor the progress of the feast: Do not allow someone from the invitees was poorly served. When the meal was over, the servants cleared the table.

From the 15th century more and more influence on the development of Western European etiquette has an extremely complicate ceremonial royal courts. Initially influenced by certain Spanish and Burgundian rituals, then with the development of absolutism began playing a major role in France.

At this time, there are numerous benefits to etiquette, which has become so complicated that the courts there is a special post of master of ceremonies, to monitor the implementation of all its subtleties and strictly regulate the entire life of the palace.

Family members of the monarch and the court had to get up at a certain hour, just mentioned, who was present at the monarch dressing, feeding the objects of his toilet, to accompany him on a walk, and so on. D.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

It has been determined with certainty how the audience ceremony, ceremonial exits, walks, dinners, balls. For example, when the Duke of Burgundy yard two or three times a week gave public audiences, where everyone could hand him a petition. All the courtiers were expected to attend, according to the rank of being placed on either side of the throne, and kneeling beside him were officials who read and consider petitions. Lush rites accompanied the birth, marriage and death at the royal court.

The higher the rank, the more difficult was the ritual. For example, the Queen of France during the year did not leave the chambers, where she was told about the death of a spouse and for the princesses, this period is limited to six weeks. Chambers were cleaned and draped in black, and the princess, dressed in mourning, had to spend six weeks in bed.

Apartments for a stay great lady after childbirth cleaned green silk, and all items in these rooms were certain ceremonial purposes.

The right to primacy in court etiquette becomes determinative. Question benefits someone is often a matter of life and death, as it was considered an unforgivable insult to exercise, even if unintentional, of another place or the entrance to the room before the person of higher rank. Matter who sits on anything, who has this or that service to the king.

The court or the ambassador of a foreign state, an award better place regarded as occupying a higher rank, which led even to international conflicts, as ambassador, whose coach at the royal outing ahead of another coach could consider it a humiliation of their country and its courtyard.

Therefore, all behavioral norms were carefully formalized. When Burgundian court yard was just ordered, what exactly the court ladies could go hand in hand, and whether (and how exactly) to encourage one another to such intimacy.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

There are cases where strict adherence to etiquette led to the sacrifice of human lives.

Spanish court of Philip II Queen once fell from his horse, stuck a foot in the stirrup. The horse dragged the Queen behind him, but no one dared to help her, so as not to offend her majesty by touching her leg. When two court nevertheless decided to save the half-dead queen, they immediately rushed to escape from the wrath of the king for a flagrant violation of the rules of etiquette. This system reached its apogee in the 17th century at the court of Louis XIV, where efforts were ritualized every detail. Ceremony at the time of the king offered up to the level of an inaccessible deity. In the morning, waking the king, on his worn bathrobe chief curator of the bedchamber and a few courtiers, and was painted not only someone what kind of services provided, but also their movement.

Then bedchamber door opened, and the king could see the court of higher rank, bent in a deep bow. King said a prayer and went into another room, where dressed while he waited again the representatives of the highest nobility, while the main court, entitled to do so, beheld this process, standing in the distance, in respectful silence.

The king then removed to the chapel at the head of the procession, and on his way rows were dignitaries, not awarded with the audience, repeating his petition in the hope that in passing, Louis XIV will hear them and even, perhaps, will say: "I'll think about it."

During the meal all the royal court were to stand, keeping silence. King was seated in a chair. The Queen and the princes, if they were present, had the right to sit on the chairs and other members of the royal family - in the stools. The king could have the greatest honor of a noble lady, letting her sit down on a stool; men this privilege was not, but all they wanted her for his wife.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

It is clear that in such circumstances, the principal emphasis was placed on the championship, and no one gave way, in the Middle Ages, of the privileges and rights of others. Anyone who honored a special honor (for example, to carry a candle in the royal bedchamber), could get more social and, last but not least, the material advantages over the other.

Ranks, mercy, money, estates - all of it was mined at the court, the crowd of courtiers, the slave of the strict hierarchy. The courtiers were forced to carry out daily standing for long hours of waiting, endure the boredom of the royal meal and humiliating duties servants to be seen the king. Years spent in this way, has a detrimental effect on their character and intelligence, but bringing tangible material benefits. It is obvious that the court demanded commitments from certain noble qualities. Retain instructions for behavior at the time, of which the best known is the treatise of Count Castiglione "The courtly." According to it, the court should be kind and attentive, to avoid gossip and lies zloyazychiya.

His manners were to look natural without embarrassment, he had to speak well in several languages, to be able to play cards, do not pay attention to the financial loss, singing, drawing, dancing, playing musical instruments, practice trendy while sports, but not the common game.

In war, it was recommended to avoid unnecessary risks, if he was out of the field commander. Courtesy of his was to increase depending on the rank of the interlocutor, and to the king his manners were reminded servant behavior in the master. It is clear that not all of these standards implemented in practice, but the rules of conduct in relation to the king had to be adhered to.

Popular in the Middle Ages there were feasts, of which modern historians know much more than a simple lunch. All feasts were organized in accordance with the then existing orders, tables, serve in a special way, in a special happening and accommodation at the table. Many details of how the medieval feasts, survived.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

In the long hall were placed tables - along the walls and in the center. At the end of the hall stood a dais, where he held the place owner, his family and some of the guests. They sat along the long table, turning to face the center of the room and a gallery on the opposite wall, where the musicians played.

So guests arrived and were directed to a huge table set in the middle of the great hall of the castle. Against each room for guests at the table were instruments: a spoon, a cup (gold or silver) and a knife. Meals were served in metal dishes wide. In addition, each cutlery put a piece of bread. The guests took their seats at the table and then wash their hands. To do this, the servants have made pitchers of water and towels. Only then proceeded to present the food. Tray meals to the table and waited on guests servants and squires. A man who closely followed the change of dishes, and the work of the servants, was specially appointed steward. He first tasted for delivering dishes to the table.

On the right hand the host table was placed, was meant for the guests of honor. On the table were fed the same food as for the hosts. Another table was located across the street. Less honored guests at the big feasts were generally placed in other rooms, the representatives of the wealthy nobles feasted in the main hall.

For gallery could find the door that led to the kitchen, in the cellar, pantry and pantry room where the serving tables were located. In the same room (or in the next) stored utensils, tablecloths and napkins.

As a first course at a dinner gala in medieval Europe were fed meat. It could be, for example, roasted deer, pieces have been previously laid out on a large platter and poured hot sauce. To the table could also serve roasted peacocks and swans.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

The servants and squires then poured into cups guests aromatic wines. Among other dishes, a medieval baron entertained their guests dishes such as ragout of venison, sausage meat capon, roast leg of lamb with saffron, wild boar with plums and raisins, fried rabbit and hare, poultry.

Next to the table tray cakes and dessert. Dessert could consist of fruit (figs, apples) and pastries. After dessert, the guests again taken for meat dishes, seasoned with plenty of spices: pepper, crushed nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

In the Middle Ages in Europe there were already rules of behavior at the table that had to do each of those present at the feast. For example, a set of rules was that guests should not eat food with his hands and talking with his mouth full. It is also forbidden to ask a neighbor for a favor cup, if its not devastated. Also invited to the dinner had to be modest and satisfied with the dishes that they offered to the owner .. Usually dinners invited guests of honor - the clergy. And for them, prepared a special menu in advance.

In general terms, any menu - regardless of the status of those for whom it was intended, consisted of two variables, each of which includes several dishes of fish, meat or poultry, and was supplemented with 2-3 sweet dishes. For special guests separate feed dessert dishes.

Those who sat at the head table, tray meals servants. For the rest of those present dishes exhibited at separate tables, from which the guests themselves imposed their own food on plates. Each dish in advance was divided into portions, and I must say that one portion was calculated at two (sometimes even four!) People.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

Sometimes the feast consisted of three meals and special treats. So, after every change comes the turn of the special treats, one of which was carved a sugar sculpture - "sotelte". It could even taste.

Sometimes, before the second change in the festive hall of a special group of people has contributed decorated swan or peacock. Toward the end of the evening the owner of the chief guests distributed in advance prepared gifts, and then comes the turn of the entertainment and drinks.

However, the grand dinner, for example. European castle in the medieval baron was limited not only to the absorption of food. Usually it is accompanied by the playing of itinerant musicians and singers singing, which is then followed by acrobats to amaze guests with its agility and plastic body. At the disposal of the musicians were at that time a variety of musical instruments: harp, harp, lute.

After completion of the dinner guests got up from the table, wash their hands and dispersed through the halls of the castle. In the evening, the host and guests convened warmly invited those present to go into the dining hall to listen to the artist there historical songs. His songs were dedicated to the glorious exploits of the legendary knights and saints. After completion of the performance servants were introduced into the candle room and put on the table again, but this time for the ceremonial dinner. Only after dinner, some of the guests were leaving the castle of Baron hospitable. According to the rules of etiquette, the owner ought to spend up to a horse or wagon of each of the guests. They drank wine goblet and said goodbye. Those guests, who for some reason did not want to leave, can spend the night in one of the chambers of the castle.

On the development of etiquette in Western Europe was greatly influenced by national customs and traditions of different countries, the ethical standards of various sectors of society, religious rituals, superstitions and prejudices. Etiquette history, its development and transformation over time can be traced back to the monuments of literature and culture.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

etiquette knowledge of history is important for our time, as many of today's rules of behavior has its origins in the distant past and often originally had an entirely different meaning. Some etiquette rules last changed almost beyond recognition, while others simply disappeared along with the rocks of their terms, but somehow all the accepted ritual behavior had an impact on the development of Western culture.

An integral part of every dinner was a table-talk, which is also subject to the requirements of etiquette. In the Middle Ages there was a custom to put men and women together, and then the custom of eating and drinking from a common instrument naturally leads to a conversation between neighbors often do not want to be heard.

Later, in the 15-16 centuries, when the noble houses spread custom for the host and the guests of honor to dine alone in a small living room, treating others in allied common room, table talk regulations continue to evolve.

It was not accepted to lead the table too serious conversations on politics, religion and other topics that can be controversial. Not welcomed by the manner of pronouncing long monologues: everyone had to have the opportunity and time to speak.

At all times it was believed that young people should have more silent, listening to the words of elders. For a young man of 15-16 centuries it was considered indecent chew when turning to him. At the same time it formed a rule that can not be at the table to whisper and have a conversation in preference to any one, and laugh, so no one could take it personally. The owner had to show modesty and in any case not to say anything that could be perceived as self-glorification. In the 18th century already it was considered bad form to speak too loudly, attracting too much attention, and talk a lot about themselves and stubbornly insist on their point of view.

Family Dining wisdom of the Middle Ages

In general, disputes never welcomed into the table-talk and it should be avoided. Perfect in the 18-19 centuries was considered a situation where all the guests were free to engage in conversation without burdening their monologues.

At that time, the behavior of the table regulated by the rules of etiquette, all the details of medieval illuminated in publications for the younger generation. Most of the rules of cleanliness concerned person, his behavior during a joint meal. (This refers to a situation where a portion of the total and was not meant for one person.)

Many of these rules have been preserved until the present time, some long forgotten, but the general principles of communication between people at the table have been preserved in our time - the conversation should be more or less general, and not to give displeasure to anyone of the guests.

Courtesy and cleanliness was paid a lot of attention: they were considered basic good manners. I must say that etiquette in the Middle Ages had such great significance - is that many nobles carefully copied the noble rules of conduct of the hand in order to later pass on to their descendants.