Today is Thanksgiving Day. It is the venerable holiday, decreed way back in 540 C.E., by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, for the giving of thanks, the celebration of the comfort of family and the mass consumption of unhealthy food. I thought it was worth reproducing the actual text of Justinian’s proclamation here, just to enervate our appreciation of this ancient and hallowed tradition, which, like anything else worthwhile, the Byzantines invented:

“Imperator Caesar, Flavius Justinianus, pious happy renowned conqueror and triumpher, ever Augustus, greets his people in the glory of God. Governing under the authority of God our empire, which was delivered to us by His Heavenly Majesty, we hereby set aside the fourth Thursday in November beginning in this year and continuing for each year thereafter, so that the happy people of our empire may give thanks for their families, their God, their Imperator and their blessings; that they may celebrate with great feasts, consuming the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea and the beast of the field for the glory of God; that they may spend the day, when not consuming, witnessing great spectacles of sporting prowess; and that they may argue over politics and pointless family squabbles believed to have been forgotten in foregoing years; and that they may, in all things, observe this day of thanks forevermore.”

Okay, I just made all that up. The Byzantines didn’t invent Thanksgiving, but they should have. Here’s hoping everyone has a terrific holiday.

This will be the only post today. Back tomorrow!

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