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Table Culture in the Reports of Polish Diplomats about Journeys to Italy. From Stanisław Reszka to Stanisław Miński (1569-1607)

Dawid Barbarzak

Abstract

The dissertation shows the role of the table culture in the Polish diplomatic relations from Italy, basing on Stanisław Reszka’s works (Latin travel diary, correspondence, list of courtiers) and Stanisław Miński’s diplomatic treat, The Manner of Carrying Out the Legation. The descriptions of table sphere depended on the genre characteristics and the authors’ intention to publish the account or to leave it in manuscript. The table sphere was strongly immersed in the diplomatic activities. Both authors pay attention to the economic issues (the organization of the court and table service), but especially to the political context. They describe public feasts (e.g. after pledging obedience to the pope), accompanied by a complex etiquette expressing the hierarchy of power. Ostentation and allegorical table decoration were part of a wider propaganda and triumphal program, praising the power of the family, state or church. Showing hospitality through meals and gifts could facilitate the realization of public and private interests, but it also strengthened friendly relationships. The table was also strongly associated with religion (fasting, feeding the poor, holidays, Eucharist). It is not easy to precisely define the authors’ attitude toward Italian cuisine. Reszka’s letters are full of ancient and biblical references, nevertheless he present interest on contemporary Italian dishes and wines. The poem by Miński, Landowner’s Life (a paraphrase of Horace’s Beatus ille) reveals his attachment to simple Polish country cuisine. Both authors declare humanistic moderation and distance to luxury.
Record ID
UAMbe89de0197cf4b3ab75f69a9439928b6
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Title in Polish
Kultura stołu w relacjach polskich dyplomatów z podróży do Włoch. Od Stanisława Reszki do Stanisława Mińskiego (1569-1607)
Title in English
Table Culture in the Reports of Polish Diplomats about Journeys to Italy. From Stanisław Reszka to Stanisław Miński (1569-1607)
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Wydział Filologii Polskiej i Klasycznej [nowa struktura organizacyjna] (SNoJiL/WFPiK)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
1.5 literary studies
Year of creation
2021
Start date
2020
Defense Date
12-04-2021
Title date
12-04-2021
Supervisor
Pages
456
URL
https://hdl.handle.net/10593/26336 Opening in a new tab
Keywords in English
Polish diplomacy, travel diaries, Old Polish travels, table culture, Italy
Abstract in English
The dissertation shows the role of the table culture in the Polish diplomatic relations from Italy, basing on Stanisław Reszka’s works (Latin travel diary, correspondence, list of courtiers) and Stanisław Miński’s diplomatic treat, The Manner of Carrying Out the Legation. The descriptions of table sphere depended on the genre characteristics and the authors’ intention to publish the account or to leave it in manuscript. The table sphere was strongly immersed in the diplomatic activities. Both authors pay attention to the economic issues (the organization of the court and table service), but especially to the political context. They describe public feasts (e.g. after pledging obedience to the pope), accompanied by a complex etiquette expressing the hierarchy of power. Ostentation and allegorical table decoration were part of a wider propaganda and triumphal program, praising the power of the family, state or church. Showing hospitality through meals and gifts could facilitate the realization of public and private interests, but it also strengthened friendly relationships. The table was also strongly associated with religion (fasting, feeding the poor, holidays, Eucharist). It is not easy to precisely define the authors’ attitude toward Italian cuisine. Reszka’s letters are full of ancient and biblical references, nevertheless he present interest on contemporary Italian dishes and wines. The poem by Miński, Landowner’s Life (a paraphrase of Horace’s Beatus ille) reveals his attachment to simple Polish country cuisine. Both authors declare humanistic moderation and distance to luxury.

Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAMbe89de0197cf4b3ab75f69a9439928b6/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAMbe89de0197cf4b3ab75f69a9439928b6

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