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Posted 21 May 2011, by Staff, BookPhaze, bookphaze.com
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 pre 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.
Summary: Follows culinary explorations through four great ancient civilizations
College-level collections with strong holdings in either ancient history or culinary history will want to take a close look at Food In The Ancient World, part of Greenwood’s ‘Food Through History’ series: it follows culinary explorations through four great ancient civilizations – Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Celtic – and uses the writings of classical ancient authors along with archaeological findings to follow the lives of ancient civilizations through agricultural and culinary habits. Discussions of available ingredients, different foods by civilization, food preparation and serving habits, and more reveals social, religious and culinary trends alike.