A Companion to Food in the Ancient World (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)
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A Companion to Food in the Ancient World presents a comprehensive overview of the cultural aspects relating to the production, preparation, and consumption of food and drink in antiquity.
• Provides an up-to-date overview of the study of food in the ancient world
• Addresses all aspects of food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption during antiquity
• Features original scholarship from some of the most influential North American and European specialists in Classical history, ancient history, and archaeology
• Covers a wide geographical range from Britain to ancient Asia, including Egypt and Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, regions surrounding the Black Sea, and China
• Considers the relationships of food in relation to ancient diet, nutrition, philosophy, gender, class, religion, and more
day tuna fishing in Sicily and Paraskeuopoulou (date unknown) for a discussion of this type of fishery in the eastern Black Sea). The fish schools are intercepted on their migratory route by stationary capture devices, which involve a kind of labyrinth constructed by nets and wooden poles extending from the coast to some distance into the sea. The “thynneion”1, the tuna trap, is complemented by a watch tower, which either could be a wooden construction erected in the water or a high point on a
culture characterized by “undernourishment, drought and famines.” (Gernet, 1962, 135). Greek and Roman food cultures were certainly influenced by periods of shortage too. My point is that, in Western thought, the development of food habits seems to be described around the dichotomy Introduction 15 civilization/decadence, proper/popular. In my mind, we are fooled by the subjective signification of the word “civilization” or its equivalent: “great food culture.” Should we not drop the “great”
under a regime such as the tyrants of Syracuse in the fourth century bc (Goody, 1982, 102–5; Collin‐Bouffier, 2000, 197–8; Wilkins & Hill, 2006, 207). However, without well‐established facts and figures, we may not possess enough information to be entirely sure that cuisine indicated high culture. In preindustrial cultures, the majority of the population had to work hard to nourish their families and would have suffered from food shortages in frequent periods of scarcity. As Peter Garnsey once
the cook was a skilled worker who had to learn his trade as an apprentice under a master (Anaxipp. fr. 1; Euphro fr. 1; Posidipp. fr. 28; Sosip. fr. 1) that does not mean that he enjoyed high social standing (Nadeau, 2015b). Cooks in Greek comedy behave like great artists and intellectuals, but considering their social and working environment it is not easy to understand how cooking could achieve such prestige. In fact, we may have been fooled by the claims to greatness of comic chefs (Posidipp.
studies (see Auberger, 2000, 2001), Scholarship has focused mainly on the relationship between food consumption and sacrifice. The common view makes meat a rare commodity, and its production required mandatory ritual sacrifice (Jameson, 1988). For the Romans, the significance of the sacrifice was underlined only recently (Scheid, 2007b). The common view considers it a systematic ritual for the slaughtering of domestic animals. However, this does not imply that consumers had to wait for specific