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MEALS.

384

stars which are favourable for various under­takings ; only fragments of this are pre­served. It is probable that he lived under the early Empire.

Meals. The greeks had three during the day; (1) the first breakfast, acrdtisma, consisting of bread which was dipped into unmixed wine; (2) the second breakfast, or luncheon, Griston, eaten about noon and consisting of wrarm 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. Mine), 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 hus­ bands' 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 they 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 paste of barleymeal dried in a dish, and moistened before it was eaten; properly baked bread of wheatmeal was considered a comparative delicacy. As relish (dpsOn) they had salad, leeks, onions, beans, lentils, and meat variously prepared; and espe­ cially 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 un- mixed wine was drunk in honour of the good genius (see agathodtemon)—none was served during the meal—and the hymn of praise (see p^ean) was sung. After the tables had been changed and the dessert, consisting of fruit, cheese, cakes sprinkled ' with salt, etc., had been served, the sympS- stum, or the drinking-bout, began. j

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 (bdslleus) or master of the feast (sympdsfarchus); 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, ieiunlum or iantaru-lum, 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 sit-

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