Old Roman name (lat. "Rex bibendi" or "Rex convivii") for a function during a drinking according to certain rules (commisatio); see below Satyricon,
The Roman poet Gajus Petronius Arbiter (14-66) wrote this 20-volume novel, only preserved in fragments. It portrays a funny, realistic, sometimes grotesque moral picture of the social situation in Rome in the first century. The main character and narrator is an educated, versatile young man named Encolpius who travels all over Lower Italy. Between many erotic and amorous adventures with people of both sexes and pranksters, he also travels to the coastal town of Puteoli (today's Pozzuoli in Campania ) devious. Here he takes part with his companion Giton, his friend Ascyltos and the rhetor Agamemnon in an extremely lavish and remarkable banquet by the newly rich and illiterate multimillionaire Trimalchio (a wine merchant).
This episode, known as "Cena Trimalchionis", forms the main part of the fragments. It is also an excellent source for the typical dishes, drinks and table manners of the upper class of Rome in the early imperial period. The cena was the main meal of the day for the higher classes and took place in the late afternoon (beginning 3 to 4 p.m.), usually after a bath. Especially the drinking culture Relevant passages in the present banquet with explanatory background information come from Christopher Daniel (work for the University of Erlangen), who has kindly given his consent for their use.
As a drink, water and wine played an important role in the everyday life of the Romans. Enjoying pure water was not common with a Cena (especially in rich circles), but was an essential part of every meal to dilute the wine. Wine was drunk with almost every meal (less often for breakfast), but especially with the main meal. Light wine was already enjoyed with the starters (gustatio), preferably the very popular honey wine Mulsum, Wine was considered a staple. Consumption was correspondingly high with a daily volume of 0.8 to 1 liter per male and 0.5 liter per female resident of Rome during the imperial period. Slaves were also entitled to this, although they certainly had to be content with simple quality.
At the "Cena Trimalchionis" the host instructs to mix a powerful pot (a large vessel) and to distribute full cups to the slaves....