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The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England (None)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
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 Pol ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Anglo-Saxon Books
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Mary Catelli
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A big topic even if the evidence has to be pieced together from archaeological digs and literary remains. To be sure virtually every surviving piece of Anglo-Saxon literature does have some evidence about the matter.

It covers the feast itself, and who did what, from the seating of the guests to the lady's giving the drink. The social structure behind it -- kinship was counted on both sides, so there were not cohesive kinship groups. The great loyalty was to the lord. Accounts of fighting depicte
...more
Gunnar Runa
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Mead hall is excellent,
Steven Pollington has written this book in such a way that anyone interested in this subject can gain an understanding of the importance of the mead hall in the Anglo Saxon age, You don't need to be a scholar or have a degree in anthropology to follow along,
as a practicing Heathen it really helps to understand the reasons and importance of holding a symbel feast, and how the ancients and Ancestors viewed it,
Pollington has shown me sound reasoning and expertise in this
...more
Torthred OR
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 historical descriptions, every possible angle is explored which makes it fascinating. It allows one to examine your own contemporary approaches to food, drink and socialising and how we can rediscover the attitudes of our illustrious ancestors. As my father-in-law says, "culture is eating"!
Kathy Duffy
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a ton of excellent information presented in this book and the author made the material easy to read while given a depth and breadth of information. The architecture of the mead-hall, the importance of gifting and even the vessels used at the table was discussed. The comparisons to various literary pieces from the middle ages and their importance in understanding the history of this time period was very well done. I gained a great deal of knowledge from this title.
Heather Jones
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 A-S dining: the furniture, the arrangement of the hall, the social organization around eating.
Heather
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good archeology book about cooking and feasting in Anglo-Saxon times.
Sid Simpson
Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A complete picture- the starting point for so many good things. Everyone who is focusing on Dark Ages reenactment needs to read this. Heathens need to read this. Pagans need to read this.
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