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The Food Norm during the Bulgarian Renaissance

Author(s): Ivan Pavlov
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: Renaissance; European Enlightenment; Islamic charity; food norm

Summary/Abstract: Establishing the food norm is perhaps the most important study in the Renaissance world. Its fluctuations are connected with the most significant change in reglament reaching the highest possible social context. The base change in the manner of feeding was connected with the fasting periods after the Bulgarians were converted into Christianity when the transition from one culture to another was realised. As a specific model of fasting in the Christian Orthodox community the behavior of the Greeks whose Patriarchy was also the leading one for the Bulgarian Christians during the Renaissance. The fasting norm was observed and recovered by foreign travellers across the Bulgarian lands during this period. Fasting periods are the most stable religious ritual, which has remained essential in the Bulgarian mentality. During the period of the Turkish dependence the external signs of the Christian Orthodox church were strongly decreased. Some protection measures for preserving the fast were taken. A religious discourse was formed, nevertheless and it included some influences of ancient studies of Esculapus and Galaenus. By the respective food a given body status was achieved: prognosis and warnings to rule and regulate the body through following certain food and religious regime. This regime was based on a wide scope of hygiene, profilaxis, feeding and labour habits. The food control grew into everyday control. Thus gradually a church and monastery discourse was formed based on the requirements of the Christian Orthodox church in order to keep the fast in the first place. The fast dogmas were gradually slackened in the 10th century due to the penetration of the ideas of the European Enlightenment from Serbia, Greece, etc. It is worth noting the food norms of the Bulgarian craftsmen's guilds as well as the introduction of Turkish administrative food portions and forms of Islamic charity, connected with the feeding of the population irrespective of their faith.

  • Issue Year: 2000
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 96-112
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Bulgarian