Italian Curiosities: what is Galateo and where does it come from?

Mar 08, 2022 311

Every Italian knows the word Galateo, but not many, I reckon, are acquainted with its rules. Actually, some of us may even be a tad confused about what it actually is: a book, a series of social norms, a historical treatise? In fact, it is a bit of all these things. But let us proceed with some order, from the beginning.

We should start by saying that the idea of teaching “good manners” isn’t an Italian invention but rather of the Greek theologian Clement of Alexandria who, some 200 years before Christ, proposed in his Pedagogue early rules of good behavior, from the way to dress properly and behave at the table, all the way to the use of perfumes.

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