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These differ greatly from culture to culture and through time.
They also depend upon the socio-economic class of the person who was eating.
For a long time luncheon was a very upper-class habit; ordinarily working people dined in the early evening, and contented themselves as they had done for centuries with a mid-day snack...
Supper now means a light evening meal that replaces dinner; such a meal is especially popular if people have eaten a heavy lunch..." ---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguid: New York] 1991 (p.
So it appears there was a main, midday meal, though this might be put back to mid-afternoon, or later, for which the term was ge-reordung or non-mete.
According to the Old English Rule of Chodegang, if preostas ate twice a day then it was a midday and evening, and at Aethelwold's monastery the monks had dinner and supper...
By the early nineteenth century, lunch, what Palmer in Moveable Feasts calls "the furtive snack," had become a sit-down meal at the dning table in the middle of the day.
Upper-class people were eating breakfast earlier, and dinner later, than they had formerly done..1808...dinner was now a late meal and supper a snack taken at the very end of the day before people retired to bed.
Morever, in large establishments, serving meals at set hours would have saved time.
If you are studying the meal times of a specific place/people/period please let us know.
American meal times were introduced by Old World settlers and evolved independently accordingly to fit cultural norms. , History Magazine Ancient Greek meal times "Meal times are variable, but a midday meal was usually called ariston lunch... The latter was perhaps typically the biggest meal of the day, and for some the only meal." ---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge: London] 1996 (p.
12) British meal times (overview) "In the beginning of the sixteenth century in England, dinner, the main meal of the day, used to begin at AM.
Meals tended over time to be eaten later and later in the day: by the eighteenth century, dinner was eaten at about PM...
From Whitsun until September 14 (apart from certain fast days which included Wednesdays and Fridays) and on all Sundays and feasts of twelve lessons there were also two meals a day but the prandium was not taken until none (3 p.m.).