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échanson

See below cupbearer,

Name (also Hofschenk) for the function at stately yards or noble houses for the provision and tasting of beverages like above all Wine, Because of the constant (and often justified) fear of intrigue and attempts to poison this responsibility was mostly conferred on noble persons whom the sovereign placed full trust in. Already in the Bible in the 1st book of Moses (Genesis) a cup-bearer of Pharaoh is mentioned. At the court of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) Iolaos (son of the general Antipatros) worked as a cup-bearer. According to a hypothesis that is no longer credible today, he is said to have poisoned Alexander on behalf of his father. In the Middle Ages the bouteiller was responsible for the cellar and drinks at the princely courts (Latin: Buticularius or Pincerna, English: Butler). The Échanson (waiter) was responsible for tasting the beverages before consumption....

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