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Topics in Medieval Mediterranean History: Food in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean

An image of a medieval manuscript graphic featuring people sitting around a table at a feast

From sumptuous banquets in the Caliph’s palace to the meager lunch of a Byzantine peasant, this seminar course will introduce you to the incredibly rich and varied food of the medieval Eastern Mediterranean. Focusing on the three major food cultures of the post-Roman Mediterranean – Italy, Byzantium and the Islamic Caliphate – students will explore the ingredients, dishes, and dining practices that developed in these areas, and will have the opportunity to design their own historically-accurate meals. The course will make extensive use of primary texts, including historical cookbooks and travellers’ accounts, as well as modern investigations into the history of taste and consumption. Although dishes and ingredients are fascinating in themselves, the course texts will shed light on the wider economies, belief systems, and trade relations which both united and divided this dynamic region. Ever wondered where pasta actually comes from? Is Greek salad really Greek? Find out here.

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.