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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Food in the Ancient World

Food in the Ancient World

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The ways of life of four great ancient civilizations-- Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Celtic--are illuminated here through their foodways. As these cultures moved toward settled agriculture, a time of experimentation and learning began. Cities emerged, and with them consumer societies that needed to be supplied. Food Culture in the Ancient World draws on writings of classical authors such as Petronius, Galen, and Cato, as well as on archeological findings, to present intimate insight into ancient peoples. This volume will be indispensable as it complements classical history, cultural, and literature studies at the high school and college levels and will also inform the general reader.

The book begins with an overview of the civilizations and their agricultural practices and trade. A full discussion of available foodstuffs describes the discovery, emergence, usage, and appraisals of a host of ingredients. A subsequent chapter covers food by civilization. Chapters on food preparation, the food professions, and eating habits provide a fascinating look at the social structure, with slaves and women preparing and serving food. Accounts of the gatherings of slaves and freedmen in taverns, inns, and bars and the notorious banquet, symposium, feast, and convivium of the elite are particularly intriguing and crucial to understanding male society. Other aspects of ancient life brought to life for the reader include food for soldiers, food in religious and funerary practices, and concepts of diet and nutrition. Many Classical recipes are interspersed with the text, along with illustrations.

Author: Joan P. Alcock
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: 12/01/2005
Pages: 312
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.37lbs
Size: 9.30h x 6.52w x 1.13d
ISBN: 9780313330032

Review Citation(s):
Choice 07/01/2006 pg. 2012
Rec Ref Bks for Small/Med Libr 01/01/2007 pg. 280
American Reference Bks Annual 01/01/2007 pg. 560

About the Author

Joan P. Alcock is an archeologist and historian and an Honorary Fellow of London South Bank University and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is the author of Life in Roman Britain (1996) and Food in Roman Britain (2001), among other works.

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