The Balkans

The Ritual Feeding in Antiquity (according to Data for the Balkan-Anatolian Region

Stefan Yordanov


The socio-political system of the tribal so-called age-set stratification embraces a refine mytho-ritual complex, including a specific ritual dietary manner, which namely is the object of study in the article. This ritual dietary manner or more precisely – a dietary manner during the initiatory period as well as during the initiatory rituality – formed in the ancient mytho-epic tradition the mythical image of peoples, which were presented as inhabiting the mythical limits, having a wild existence and consuming food typical for them. The data elucidating these two phenomena – the specific diets and the peoples following these diets – are presented in the article by some typical examples. The information of two authors belonging to the mytho-epic tradition of the Abioi of Homer – Homer himself and Aeschylus – is analyzed in greater detail. The author is of the opinion that it is Aeschylus who has recorded more precisely the name of this mythical people – Gabioi. The Thracian “roots” of the image of this mythical people are evidenced by this fact among others that the data of both Homer and Aeschylus describe not a nomadic style of existence but an initiatory way of life, mostly through the information about their specific dietary manner.


initiatory rituality, mytho-epic tradition, Abioi, Gabioi, Homer, Aeschylus, Thracian


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