Gluttony throughout history
September 27, 2012 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Looking for examples of gluttony throughout human history.

These examples do not need to be 100% verified fact. For example, the death of Tycho Brahe works, as does the death of Henry I. Can also be general like "Bacchanalian orgies". Dark in tone preferred.
posted by nathancaswell to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by evil_esto at 7:21 AM on September 27, 2012

Lake of wine and forest of meat from ancient China.

The preferred way to eat an ortolan.
posted by subtle-t at 7:23 AM on September 27, 2012

Also duke Huan of Qi.

Relevant bit: Yi Ya (易牙) served the Lord (公) Huan of Qi with his culinary talent. The lord said, "the only thing which I have yet to taste is steamed infant." Then, Yi Ya steamed his first-born and offered him to the lord.
posted by subtle-t at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2012

King Adolf Frederick of Sweden.

There's a lot if "throughout human history" includes current times. Especially if you include wealth along with food and drink in your definition of gluttony.
posted by Houstonian at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2012

Fabulous feasts in history.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2012

posted by bq at 8:02 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Diamond Jim Brady
posted by brujita at 8:03 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

A.J. Liebling's "A Good Appetite" - collected in Between Meals - is an account of the author's gluttonous adventures with French playwright Yves Mirande.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2012

You might be interested in this essay on the Catholic definition of gluttony as any form of excess in general, including fastidiousness and the desire to control others:

"Gluttony: How Much Pleasure is Enough?"
Catechism of the Catholic Church: the Disorder of Covetous Desires

On film, there's always the unforgettable scene from the 1955 "Dementia" where a greasy Bruno Vesota eats fried chicken in front of a demented Beatnik lesbian serial killer hooker (scene starts at 26:42). Great stuff!
posted by doreur at 8:20 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by Specklet at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2012

Cena Trimalchionis (The Banquet of Trimalchio) from the Satyricon of Petronius.
posted by doreur at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2012


This is not correct. The Romans were amazing gluttons, though! Petronius, linked above, is the classic example.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:29 AM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think the vomitorium (as in, a place intended for vomiting) thing was debunked.
posted by subtle-t at 8:29 AM on September 27, 2012

Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell
posted by doreur at 8:32 AM on September 27, 2012

An aside on vomitoria - the ancient romans may not have had them, but Kloster Andechs near Munich (a monastery-cum-beer-hall) still has some in their restroom area. With handles to hold on to...
posted by The Toad at 9:59 AM on September 27, 2012

Beer Street and Gin Lane.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on September 27, 2012

I am also reminded of this FPP on Andre the Giant and the related Modern Drunkard article.
posted by subtle-t at 12:32 PM on September 27, 2012

I see that ortolan buntings were already mentioned by subtle-t, but you really must read this Esquire article by Michael Paternini on François Mitterrand's famous "Last Meal."
posted by pineappleheart at 12:49 PM on September 27, 2012

Ahem. Michael Paterniti.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:50 PM on September 27, 2012

I was about to mention Henry I, but then I saw it in your question. Another example: Attila the Hun, who was said to have died from a nosebleed after getting too drunk on his wedding night (although he may have been poisoned), which then led to more feasting on the part of the Huns.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2012

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