Published on 23/11/13 in Reading
"…She would touch nothing with her hands. Only after the eunuchs had cut her food up into tiny pieces, would she gracefully pick one up and put it in her mouth, using a small golden fork with only two tines…
It was like a meal at the Ducal Palace in Venice, where Maria Argyre had arrived as a newlywed after her marriage to the Doge’s son had taken place in Constantinople. The Byzantine princess, eating with her little golden fork, did not know that she would be changing western savoir manger forever. That is how the fork entered the lives of Europeans.
Where she grew up, in a court filled with eunuchs and women, she lived in the peaceful confines of her flowering gardens and the gurgling of the springs near the Emperor's palace. Upon coming in Venice, people felt her upbringing had been lax and pretentious because she didn’t want to wash herself in the common area and would make her servants collect rain water for her to bathe in, and she perfumed her room with wild thyme. So, Venetians felt she had brought on her own punishment when she was hit by the plague in 1006"... An excerpt from the book: My Venice
Image: The Dolce & Gabbana Vogue Fashion Week, Fall 2013, "Byzantine Princesses"
The e-book My Venice, illustrated with colour images, is available on:
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MNZTZPG
Kobo Books: http://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/my-venice
Google Play Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=xa2mBQAAQBAJ
YouTube My Venice book video: https://youtu.be/sNNnxyKHxP0