Estudos em homenagem ao Professor Doutor José Amadeu Coelho Dias
O azeite e a vida do homem medieval
Maria José Azavedo Santos
AbstractFollowing an introduction on the cultivation of olive trees and on the production of olive oil from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, this paper proceeds with an analysis, based on administrative documentary sources, of the significant role that olive oil played in the daily lives of the Medieval people. It focuses on the professional occupations of olive-oil producers and traders, who were generally highly stigmatized by society, especially the former. Highly esteemed and rather expensive, olive oil had multiple functions. We discover that olive oil was first and foremost used in the Middle Ages to light churches (altars) and manor houses. Its contribution as a food comes second, for various reasons. Furthermore, it is interesting to note how it was used as an ingredient in some traditional remedies against several maladies and diseases. All in all, we can conclude that owning olive groves and olive oil was a clear sign of economic wealth.
Last Update: 2013-05-18
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