- Purchase/rental options available:
This article examines the monastic diet during the high and late medieval periods. The evolution of this central aspect of daily life gives us greater insight into contemplative monks' increasing worldliness. Monks not only fell short of their forefathers' ideals, but also of their own codes of behavior. Their diet gradually became more akin to that of noblemen than to that of their ancient brothers and sisters. Frugality and temperance all too often gave way to indulgence and debauchery. Days on which one should have expected to endure the austerity of fasting were sometimes more reminiscent of the lavishness of feasts. In addition to mead, merriment, and music, meat invaded the cloister.