Cook (mageiros) in Byzantium. Was there any Female mageiros?

Authors

  • Ilias Anagnostakis Institute of Historical Research, Section of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation (Athens), Vassileos Konstantinou 48, Athens 11635, Greece image/svg+xml https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4041-1894
  • Maria Leontsini Institute of Historical Research, Section of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation (Athens) Vassileos Konstantinou 48, Athens 11635, Greece image/svg+xml https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8729-1012

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.12.32

Keywords:

Byzantine mageiros and mageirissa, opsopoios and opsartytēs, butcher and cook, the art of cooking, opsartytikē, gendered cooking, women’s culinary activities, feminized masculine nouns, mageiros in Rules (Typika) of monasteries and convents, female nouns for monastic duties

Abstract

The paper studies terms describing cooks and cooking activities that are preserved in Byzantine literature and draw their origins from the ancient Greek literature as well as from biblical and theological texts. Despite some development regarding the preference to the term opsopoios and opsartytēs without ceasing to use the term mageiros for the male cook, as well as the term demiourgos, only the latter is used for women to signal solely the preparation of pastries. It is proved that the conceptualization and connotations of the term mageiros, which are presented in detail, prevented its attribution to women. Further proof on the use of feminised masculine nouns for female professions or occupations in literature and the more concrete evidence on the services recorded in the typika of nunneries display the absolute abiding of the conscious avoidance of the term for women’s involvement in cooking.

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2022-12-30

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Anagnostakis, I., & Leontsini, M. (2022). Cook (mageiros) in Byzantium. Was there any Female mageiros?. Studia Ceranea. Journal of the Waldemar Ceran Research Centre for the History and Culture of the Mediterranean Area and South-East Europe, 12, 247–299. https://doi.org/10.18778/2084-140X.12.32

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