Publication details

Medieval Christian perspectives on kumiss consumption among the Mongols



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper discusses the perspectives of the various Christian denominations on kumis consummation in the Mongol empire. Kumis, a fermented mare’s milk, has been an important nutrient among the nomadic people of the steppe. Besides its nutritional role, kumis formed an essential part of the Mongol culture. Mongol feasts accompanied by drinking were not only social meetings but also occasions when supplies and rewards were distributed. Due to its multiple contexts and meanings, the consumpation of kumis was by some Christians perceived as a part of the Mongol ‘idolatry' and as such considered incompatible with Christian identity. The paper deals with the question, of how, did the various Christian groups living and travelling among the Mongols – namely Latin Christian friars, Russian, Armenian as well as ‘Nestorian' Christians approach kumis and what were the possible consequences of their position.
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