Food in the Ancient World
February 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Map of the Mediterranean.
1. An Overview of Food in Antiquity.
2. The Social Context of Eating.
3. Food and Ancient Religion.
4. Staple Foods: Cereals and Pulses.
5. Meat and Fish.
6. Wine and Drinking.
7. Food in Ancient Thought.
8. Medial Approaches to Food.
9. Food in Literature.
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)
- An evocative account of food in antiquity written by a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef.
- 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.
- Considers the role of food in ancient literature from Homer to Juvenal and Petronius.
"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”