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The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World



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The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World
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The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World presents a comprehensive overview of the sources, issues and methodologies involved in the study of the Roman diet. The focus of the book is on the Mediterranean heartland from the second century BC to the third and fourth centuries AD. Life is impossible without food, but what people eat is not determined by biology alone, and this makes it a vital subject of social and historical study. The Handbook takes a multidisciplinary approach in which all kinds of sources and disciplines are combined to study the diet and nutrition of men, women and children in city and countryside in the Roman world. The chapters in this book are structured in five parts. Part I introduces the reader to the wide range of textual, material and bioarchaeological evidence concerning food and nutrition. Part II offers an overview of various kinds of food and drink, including cereals, pulses, olive oil, meat and fish, and the social setting of their consumption. Part III goes beyond the perspective of the Roman adult male by concentrating on women and children, on the cultures of Roman Egypt and Central Europe, as well as the Jews in Palestine and the impact of Christianity. Part IV provides a forum to three scholars to offer their thoughts on what physical anthropology contributes to our understanding of health, diet and (mal)nutrition. The final section puts food supply and its failure in the context of community and empire.

Author Biography

Paul Erdkamp is Professor of Ancient History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. His research interests focus on the demography and economy of the Roman world, including living standards and food supply. In addition he has published on Republican historiography and Roman warfare. He is author of Hunger and the Sword. Warfare and Food Supply in Roman Republican Wars (1998) and The Grain Market in the Roman Empire (2005) and edited A Companion to the Roman Army (2007), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Rome (2013) and, with Koen Verboven and Arjan Zuiderhoek, Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World (2015). Claire Holleran is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, UK. Her research interests focus on Roman social and economic history, particularly the city of Rome, urban economies, the retail trade and demography. She is the author of Shopping in Ancient Rome: The Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate (2012), and co-editor with April Pudsey of Demography and the Greco-Roman World (2011), and with Amanda Claridge of A Companion to the City of Rome (2018).
Release date Australia
October 26th, 2018
Edited by Claire Holleran Edited by Paul Erdkamp
Country of Publication
United States
16 Line drawings, black and white; 24 Halftones, black and white; 33 Tables, black and white
CRC Press Inc
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