At which Oxford college does a trumpeter summon you to dinner? What does the appearance of a rose bowl signify? How would you use a grace cup as distinct from a sconce cup?
The custom of dining in formal hall at Oxford and Cambridge dates back to the earliest days of college life. Before each dinner, according to ancient statutes, grace must be spoken in Latin, and although the text and nature of the grace for each college may have changed over the years, it is a tradition which remains current to this day.
Following a historical introduction, the full Latin texts of the graces of the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge are given in this book, accompanied by a facing English translation. Special graces reserved for feast days are also included, along with an explanation of some of the traditions which accompany dining in college halls.
From an exploration of the twelfth-century monastic origins of the texts to the creation of two-word graces in the nineteenth century and new texts for the modern age, this meticulous collection reveals how the tradition of the Latin grace has survived and evolved over the centuries and offers a rare glimpse inside the private halls of Oxbridge.