Michaelmas, September, 29th, the Feast of St, Michael, was an important day in the Medieval calendar. It marked a close to the harvest season. With the end of autumn farm work, it was a time of feasting and going to market. Like other early Christian holidays, it masked a Pagan celebration of the same time—the autumnal equinox.
Appropriately to this feasting holiday, I received two books in the mail today—Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink, by Ann Hagen and Food in Roman Britain, by Joan P. Alcock. I'll review these fully after I read them. I haven't seen any online reviews of Food in Roman Britain, so I'll be especially sure to discuss that book. I quick skim shows that book to be a very accessible to the general audience. There is an extensive bibliography, but chapters are lacking citations. Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink is much more voluminous and scholarly, but just as readable. It's assertions are well cited with footnotes on every page.
(Did Medieval people wish each other, "Happy Michaelmas"? Probably not, but it makes for a nice blog post title.)
For more on Michaelmas and the Medieval farming seasons see:
Life in a Medieval Village, by Frances and Joseph Gies. This is book is an enjoyable read. My local library had a copy, and on amazon.com it is available used for less than $2.00!