The Mead Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England
Communal meals were an important part of Anglo-Saxon society. They were enjoyed by nobles and yeomen, warriors, farmers, churchmen and laity. Some of the feasts were informal communal gatherings (gebeorscipe) while others were formal ritual gatherings (symbel).
Using the evidence of Old English texts - including the epic Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles - Stephen Pollington shows that the idea of feasting remained central to early English social traditions long after the physical reality had declined in importance.
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Review: The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England (None)User Review - Heather Rose - Goodreads
This makes a nice companion volume to Ann Hagen's work on Anglo-Saxon foodstuffs. Polligton's book focuses more on the physical environment of AS dining: the furniture, the arrangement of the hall, the social organization around eating. Read full review
Review: The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England (None)User Review - Torthred OR - Goodreads
This is a great book and essential for anyone interested in Germanic culture, although it is a bit exhaustive for the casual reader. Being a good sized book on a subject with very little surviving ... Read full review