Food in the Ancient World

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9780631235514: Food in the Ancient World
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In Food in the Ancient World, a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking.



  • 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.

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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.

About the Author:

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)

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John M. Wilkins, Shaun Hill
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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Food in the Ancient World , a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking. 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. Seller Inventory # AAH9780631235514

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Food in the Ancient World , a respected classicist and a practising world-class chef explore a millennium of eating and drinking. 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. Seller Inventory # AAH9780631235514

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