Appalling drinking customs from the past: Skull cups

Excerpted from Cups and their Customs (1863), by H. Porter, available as a free ebook at Scribd, where you can also download an MP3 of the book read by what sounds like a robot with a rather sexy English accent:

There is no lack, in old chronicles, of examples illustrative of that most barbarous practice of converting the skull of an enemy into a drinking cup. Warnefrid, in his work "De Gestis Longobard.," says, "Albin slew Cuminum, and having carried away his head, converted it into a drinking-vessel, which kind of cup with us is called Schala." The same thing is said of the Boii by Livy, of the Scythians by Herodotus, of the Scordisci by Rufus Festus, of the Gauls by Diodorus Siculus, and of the Celts by Silius Italicus. Hence it is that Ragnar Lodbrog, in his deathsong, consoles himself with the reflection,"I shall soon drink beer from hollow cups made of skulls". (SPARBER)

1 comment: said...

I've heard of this... very creepy but darkly intriguing... in a Nosferatu kind of way, of course...

xo TLM