HIST 840 Discussion Materials (Spring 2017 – Week 7)

week 7: Sharing the Table


Reay Tannahill, Food in History, pp. 153-173 (Part Three: Introduction; Chap. 12: “Supplying the Towns”)

Margaret Visser, The Rituals of Dinner, pp. 79-89, 109-136 (excerpts from Chap. 4: “The Pleasure of Your Company;” plus notes on pp. 363-5), 326-337 (“The Proprieties of Posture and Demeanor,” plus notes on p. 376)

Mauricio Borrero, “Communal Dining and State Cafeterias in Moscow and Petrograd, 1917-1921,” in Musya Glants and Joyce Toomre, eds., Food in Russian History and Culture (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1997), pp. 162-176.


fresco from catacomb of San Pietro e Marcellino depicting “agape” scene:

banquet scene from the “Tomb of the Banquet”:

5th-cent. Roman mosaic (private collection; on display at the Château de Boudry) depicting a symposium and an “unswept floor”:

Depictions of food preparation, service, and eating:from the Maciejowski Bible (made in Paris for Louis IX, 1244 x 1254):

King David hosts a feast
detail: tableware
detail: panter slicing bread
detail: drinking cup
detail: carved table-end

what’s under the tablecloth?

The Duc du Berry at table, from Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry: January (1412-16):


clip from Boris Barnet’s “The House on Trubnaya Square” (silent film, USSR, 1928, 3:06 min.):
(original music by Vadim Sher and Dimitri Artemenko)

eating scene, from “Tom Jones” (3:31 min.):

King of Queens, “Hungry Man” clip (1:13 min.):