sumptuary laws love


from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. laws intended to restrain or limit the expenditure of citizens in apparel, food, furniture, etc.; laws which regulate the prices of commodities and the wages of labor; laws which forbid or restrict the use of certain articles, as of luxurious apparel.


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  • "So excessive was Rome's appetite for conspicuous consumption that the first sumptuary laws attempted to regulate it. Both the Lex Orchia and the Lex Fannia restricted not only the kind of clothes people of different ranks could wear but the number of allowable dishes to three at dinner and five at a celebration; shellfish and 'strange birds from another world' were prohibited and, under a later law, the Lex Aemilia, stuffed dormice were banned."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 18

    January 7, 2017