Gift-giving as one of the fundamental cultural mechanisms of human societies has been in focus of the researchers of pre-modern Europe for several decades. This field of research has developed and surpassed Maussean discussions of reciprocal exchange, yet there are numerous aspects of the gift-giving that have remained undiscovered or not sufficiently discussed. In his influential book Liquid Assets, Dangerous Gifts Valentin Groebner stated that the late medieval gifts were media of communication and they, even if made in secret, strove for audience. Until now too little attention has been drawn to gifts as material objects in rituals, ceremonies, feasts, and performances and their role in the symbolic communication with different audiences: those present, those reading and listening to descriptions of gift-giving.
PhD Gustavs Strenga
School of Humanites