"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”
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.