Fjordman’s latest essay has been published at Tundra Tabloids. Some excerpts are below:
According to historian Chris Wickham, “Aristocratic clothing, marked by a large amount of gold and jewellery worn on the person and (for men) a prominent belt, similarly bejewelled, descended from the military costume of the Roman period, and so did the symbolism of the belt itself, which generally represented military or political office (though by now the belt was bigger and flashier than under Rome). Eligius of Noyon, when a secular official for Dagobert I in the 630s, was already saintly enough to give his ornamenta to the poor; Dagobert gave him another belt, however; he could not avoid wearing that.
Royal and aristocratic courts also had a different etiquette from those of the Roman world. The otium of the Roman civilian aristocracy, literary house-parties in well-upholstered rural villas, and the decorum of at least some imperial dinner parties, was replaced by what sometimes seems a jollier culture. This was focused on eating large quantities of meat and getting drunk on wine, mead or beer, together with one’s entourage, usually in a large, long hall. In Italy, drunkenness was possibly less acceptable, but north of the Alps it appears in every society.”
It is striking to notice that drunkenness was more widespread and socially accepted in many northern European societies than it was in some of the Mediterranean ones already during the Early Middle Ages, if not before. The same basic pattern remains in place nearly fifteen hundred years later: Drunkenness is currently more widespread, or certainly more socially acceptable, among the British, the Irish, the Scandinavians and the Russians in far northern Europe than it is among the Spanish, the Italians and the Greeks in far southern Europe.
Obviously, there may be cultural reasons for this pattern, too, but then culture itself quite frequently has a major genetic component. Could this be true here as well? We know that Italians are less lactose tolerant than Scandinavians. Is it possible that some of the populations in the south and especially southeast, who have had agriculture and wine drinking significantly longer than the populations in the far northern fringes of the Continent, have therefore developed stronger protection against alcoholism? Vice versa, is there a genetic basis for northern European drunkenness? Maybe the British and the Finns are semi-Eskimos?
Read the rest at Tundra Tabloids.