Feasting in Homeric Epic

by Susan Sherratt

Hesperia, Volume 73, Issue 2
Page(s): 301-337
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4134897
Year: 2004


Feasting plays a central role in the Homeric epics. The elements of Homeric feasting--values, practices, vocabulary, and equipment--offer interesting comparisons to the archaeological record. These comparisons allow us to detect the possible contribution of different chronological periods to what appears to be a cumulative, composite picture of around 700 B.C. Homeric drinking practices are of particular interest in relation to the history of drinking in the Aegean. By analyzing social and ideological attitudes to drinking in the epics in light of the archaeological record, we gain insight into both the prehistory of the epics and the prehistory of drinking itself.