- 7 years ago
I just read an article in my Family Tree Magazine on the use of forks throughout history (too much time on my hands?) and thought I would post this tidbit as an example of how, slowly but surely, etiquette — and religious dogma — change over time.
“One tale of the introduction of the fork to Western Europe credits Maria Argyropoulina, the Greek niece of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, who brought a case of golden forks to Venice in 1004, when she was to be married… She shocked guests at the wedding feast by using a fork, leading one priest to comment, ‘God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks — his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metal forks for them when eating.’ Italian clerics viewed it as God’s vengeance when Argyropoulina died of the plague two years later.”