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Food in Ancient Greece: The Culinary Culture of the Hellenic World
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Food in Ancient Greece: The Culinary Culture of the Hellenic World (Hardback)

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Food is essential to life. To live, we need to eat. Yet eating amounts to a great deal more than biological necessity, since what and how people ingest varies greatly from society to society. These social and cultural differences are nowadays laden with meaning about our place in the world as human beings; and, as Joanna Day shows, they have a long and venerable history. How, for example, were vegetarians perceived in ancient Greece? Why were the Pythagoreans forbidden from eating fava beans? And what was it that made eating such a significant part of the funerary practices of antiquity? Exploring these and other questions, the author blends material and textual evidence to demonstrate the social importance of food from the Bronze Age (where she concentrates on the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations) to the Classical era. Introducing as it does little-known archaeological material from the Iron Age and early Archaic period, this is an authoritative and comprehensive treatment of food in the ancient world. The book fills a notable gap in the literature, and will have strong appeal to students and scholars of classics, social and cultural historians and to anyone interested in why food, and all that it entails, means so much to us today.

Joanna Day is Lecturer in Classical Archaeology and Classical Museum Curator at University College Dublin. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Trinity College Dublin, where she obtained her PhD in Classical Archaeology. Her research has appeared in the journals American Journal of Archaeology, Hesperia and Oxford Journal of Archaeology and she is the editor of Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology.

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