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Food In Antiquity

Edited by John Wilkins, David Harvey and Michael J. Dobson

Food In Antiquity

Food as a cultural symbol was as important in antiquity as in our own times and Food in Antiquity investigates some of the ways in which food and eating shaped the lives and thoughts of the indigenous peoples of the ancient Mediterranean.

In this volume thirty contributors consider aspects of food and eating in the Greco-Roman world. This is the most comprehensive exploration of questions relating to food in antiquity in this country. The authors, some specialists in this field, others with expertise in other areas, use a range of approaches to investigate the production and distribution of food, social, religious and political factors, medicine and diet, cultural identity and contrasts with neighbouring cultures, and food in literature. The volume is designed for both Classicists and those interested in the history of food.

The aim is both to illuminate and to entertain, and at the same time to remind the reader that the Greeks and Romans were not only philosophers and rulers of empires, they were also peasant farmers, traders and consumers of foods who considered that what and how they ate defined who they were.

Contributions by
Gerhard Baudy, Jean Bottéro, Thomas Braun, David Braund, Anthony Bryer, Elizabeth Craik, Anthony Cubberley, Andrew Dalby, Shimon Dar, James Davidson, Alan Davidson, Enzo Degani, Hamish Forbes, Lin Foxhall, Joan Frayn, Dwora Gilula, Mark Grant, Veronika Grimm, David Harvey, Stephen Hill, Helen King, Mario Lombardo, Sarah Mason, Vivian Nutton, Catherine Osborne, Nicholas Purcell, Peter Reynolds, Robert Sallares, Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg, Jon Solomon, Brian Sparkes, Dorothy J. Thompson, K. D. White, John Wilkins and Louise Bruit Zaidman

Contents: Part 1 The production and preparation of cereals and staples: acornutopia, Sarah Mason; barley cakes and emmer bread, Thomas Braun; Roman bread and cereals, K.D. White; Byzantine porridge, Stephen Hill and Anthony Bryer; ethnoarchaeology and storage in the ancient Mediterranean, Hamish Forbes and Lin Foxhall; clibanus and sub testu in the Roman world, A.C. Cubberley; molecular biology and ancient history, Robert Sallares. Part 2 Meat and fish: the Roman meat trade, Joan Frayn; the Apician sauce, Jon Solomon; fish from the Black sea - classical Byzantium and the Greekness of trade, David Braund; the paradoxes of seafood, Nicholas Purcell; a pretty kettle of fish, Brian Sparkes. Part 3 The social and religious context of food and eating: cereal diet and the origins of man, Gerhard Baudy; ritual eating - the case of the parasite, Louise Bruit; ancient vegetarianism, Catharine Osborne; attitudes to fasting women, Veronika Grimm-Samuel; the control of foods by sumptuary laws, Liugi Gallo; revolutionary eating at Athens, James Davidson. Part 4 Foreign foods: food and frontier in the Greek colonies of Southern Italy, Mario Lombardo; Persian food - food stereotypes and political identity, Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg; Lydian food, David Harvey; food and archaeology in Romano-Byzantine Palestine, Simon Dar; food for Egyptian temple workers, Dorothy Thompson; the oldest recipes of all, Jean Bottero; Celtic foods, Peter Reynolds. Part 5 Food and medicine: hippokratic diaita, Elizabeth Craik; hippokratic gynaecology, Helen King; Galen and the traveller's fare, Vivian Nutton; Oribasius and medical dietetics or the three P's, Mark Grant. Part 6 Food and literature: archestratus where and when, Andrew Dalby; problems in Greek gastronomic poetry - on the attic banquet of Matro, Enzo Degani; the sources and sauces of Athenaeus, John Wilkins and Shaun Hill; comic food and food for comedy, Dwora Gilula.

"Because of what it tells us about the cultures that fashioned it into such strange rituals, food is now a respectable part of history . . ."
(Times Literary Supplement)

"To say that in the past there has been a chasm between classical studies as such on the one hand and food history studies on the other would be misleading . . . This book from Exeter . . . Provides a clear and welcome sign that the two fields are acquiring beneficial organic connections of a kind which had only rarely been glimpsed, or dreamed of, in the past."
(Alan Davidson (from the Foreword to the book))

David Harvey was, until his retirement, Lecturer in Classics, University of Exeter. John Wilkins is Professor in Greek Literature, University of Exeter. He is a specialist in the history of food in Greco-Roman culture, with current interests in literature (especially comic drama) and medicine (especially nutrition). His books include Food in Antiquity: Studies in Ancient Society and Culture (Exeter, 1996). Mike Dobson is Director of Humanities Computing and Director of Studies for Information Technology at the University of Exeter.

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 University of Exeter Press


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