Chrysothemis. Byzantine Gastronomy

Sub-Project Supervisor: Ηλίας Αναγνωστάκης, Διευθυντής Ερευνών ΙΙΕ/ΕΙΕ

Research Associate (adjunct): Παναγιώτης Ηλιόπουλος, Υποψήφιος Διδάκτωρ Φιλολογίας

Description: Chrysothemis is a database of food preparation methods in Byzantium, mainly of the Byzantine recipes, cooked food called mageiriai. Chrysothemis database consists of entries organized in alphabetical order and each entry is composed of the fields: a) the name, the heading of the entry, b) passages with reference to the source, c) comments, d) bibliography, e) keywords: terminology of method and type of preparation, f) iconography: Byzantine and modern illustrations. Drinks, sweets, pastries and with some exceptions dairy, baked goods are not included. Ingredients and flavourings used in preparations (oil, wine, vinegar, honey, spices and flours) are not indexed as independent entries and are examined alongside the preparations in which they are used. The large amount of information on food and cooking preparations provided by the late antique medical writers is not catalogued, neither Byzantine information when there is a clear reference to ancient writers or when entirely fictional preparations are concerned, as is the case of Byzantine romances. In specific instances ancient or late antique sources are cited (Athenaios, Galenos) because they offer etymological or hermeneutic insights into relevant Byzantine foodstuff and cooking methods. Some comments are extended studies investigating food preparation and standard of living over time and making comparisons not only among various social classes, but also among various ethnic and religious groups within and beyond the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire.