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Food in the Ancient World

Food in the Ancient World

Paperback Ancient Cultures

By (author) John M. Wilkins, By (author) Shaun Hill

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  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 20mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 10 February 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Chicester
  • ISBN 10: 0631235515
  • ISBN 13: 9780631235514
  • Sales rank: 835,275

Product description

In "Food in the Ancient World", a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking. This book explores a millennium of food consumption, from c.750 BC to 200 AD; shows the pivotal role food had in a world where it was linked with morality and the social order; concerns people from all walks of life - impoverished citizens subsisting on cereals to the meat-eating elites; describes religious sacrifices, ancient dinner parties and drinking bouts, as well as exotic foods and recipes; and, considers the role of food in ancient literature from Homer to Juvenal and Petronius.

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Author information

John M. Wilkins is Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Euripides: Heraclidae (1993) and The Boastful Chef: The Discourse of Food in Ancient Greek Comedy (2000) and has edited several books on Greek literature and food in the ancient world. Shaun Hill is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. He is chef and former owner of the Michelin-starred Merchant House and works as an independent food writer. His books include Cooking at the Merchant House (2000), How to Cook Better (2004), and Cook (with others, 2005). John Wilkins and Shaun Hill have co-written several books and articles including Archestratus: The Life of Luxury (1994)

Review quote

"[A] fascinating tour through Greek and Roman eating habits." The Guardian "This learned and often amusing work will help to establish the importance of this field of study [food history]. Covering the period of antiquity from 750 BC to AD 200, it is a fruitful joint effort between a classicist, Wilkins, and Hill, a distinguished chef... By contrasting the ancient world with our own, this book shows how little human nature has changed in three millennia." BBC History Magazine "A delight in every sense -- learned, but written with a real delight in its subject matter, packed with beguiling information and drawing cunning parallels between the ancient and modern food worlds." Matthew Fort, Food & Drink Editor, The Guardian "A clear and comprehensive introduction that will be useful both for teachers and for anyone wishing for an overview of a complex, but absolutely central, aspect of Greek and Roman life. This book will certainly whet the reader's appetite to learn still more." Susan Alcock, Brown University "A delicious feast of a book... Unlike many other books of its type, Food in the Ancient World has been written with the combined talents of a respected classicist and a world-class chef to cover a millenium of food consumption from c.750 BC to 200AD... a valuable addition to any writer's reference collection." The New Writer "Outstanding Title... The authors incorporate an impressive range of ancient sources, modern classical scholarship, and studies in the history of food... Highly recommended" Choice

Back cover copy

In "Food in the Ancient World," a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking. The book focuses on ancient Greece and Rome, but also looks at Persian, Egyptian, Celtic and other cultures. It embraces people from all walks of life, from impoverished citizens subsisting on cereals, chickpeas and even locusts, to the meat-eating elites whose demands drove advances in gastronomy. The authors reveal how food - used to uphold the social system and linked by philosophers to moral character - played a pivotal role in the ancient world. They describe religious sacrifices, ancient dinner parties and drinking bouts, as well as exotic foods and recipes. Extending from Syria to Spain, and from the steppes of Russia to the deserts of North Africa, this evocative account gives readers a taste of the ancient world.

Table of contents

Figures. Preface. Timeline. Map of the Mediterranean. Introduction. 1. An Overview of Food in Antiquity. Introduction. 2. The Social Context of Eating. Introduction. 3. Food and Ancient Religion. Introduction. 4. Staple Foods: Cereals and Pulses. Introduction. 5. Meat and Fish. Introduction. 6. Wine and Drinking. Introduction. 7. Food in Ancient Thought. Introduction. 8. Medial Approaches to Food. Introduction. 9. Food in Literature. Recipes. Bibliography. Index.