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Rex bibendi – Roman king of feast

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roberto Bompiani, Roman feast
Roberto Bompiani, Roman Feast

Roman feast (cena) preceded the choice of a specific king of feast (rex bibendi). It was either the host himself or a person known and recognized by fellow-members. The selection was made with a roll of dice: the best throw – called Venus – set the master of the ceremony among others trying to please the guests.

Rex bibiendi guided social games, performances of invited artists, offerings to the Gods, suggested talk topics, and also defined the proportions in which the wine was to be mixed with water. In addition, he had to ensure that none of the revelers ran out of wine in the cup.

  • Piszczek Zdzisław (red.), Mała encyklopedia kultury antycznej, Warszawa 1990

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