Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Printable Version

+- RomanArmyTalk (
+-- Forum: Research Arena (
+--- Forum: Ancient Civ Talk (
+---- Forum: Food (
+---- Thread: Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class (/showthread.php?tid=13271)

Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Julilla - 07-29-2008

Salvete! A few months back I threw my pileus in the ring and offered to teach a class on ancient Roman cuisine and today found that the culinary symposion organisers have taken me up on my offer, so now must buckle down and get to work Confusedhock:

As I prepare my syllabus, I'd appreciate feedback and suggestions from anyone who's interested in the subject (even more so if you've found yourself lecturing). What do you consider essential to include in a decent two-hour overview? I'm no stranger to the subject of Roman cuisine and have experimented quite a bit, but haven't had anyone else to reflect on the subject

Some of the topics I've considered covering include:

. Common ingredients and their sources
. Misconceptions about Roman cuisine
. From Everyday meals to the Roman Orgy
. Table manners & Etiquette at a Roman feast

Suggestions cheerfully accepted!

Re: Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Carlton Bach - 07-30-2008

It depends on how you want to go about it. My favourite approach is from the general to the specific

- Foods the Romans knew - a tour of the market with introduction to argicultural practises and trade networks

- The Roman culinary tradition - batterie de cuisine and common taste, including status values and such.

- Eating habits - the organisation of meals and food preparation, who ate and drank when, how and with whom.

- Specific recipes - examples, going back to previous aspects where necessary.

Two hours isn't going to be more that a tour d'horizon, so you definitely need to make a bibliography and bring books to class. Otherwise, people won't know where to look for more and likely won't muster the energy to do their own research.

Will you be able to show pictures or artifacts? It helps engagement and learning to hae a lot of nonveral input in my experience.

Will the audience be experts or amateurs? Will they understand culinary terms, or do you have to tell it in simple words?

It sounds fascinating!

Re: Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Julilla - 07-30-2008

Vielen danke Herr Bach! Excellent suggestions. Chances are that the audience will be a mixed bag, with few Roman students. I will certainly incorporate your suggestions, particularly the nonverbal cues (I'd been thinking along the lines of that too).

Re: Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Iulia Cassia Vegetia - 08-27-2008

I would LOVE to attend, wish I lived closer! Perhaps you can also bring a simple dish for the class to try.

Re: Help requested: Ancient Roman Cuisine class - Julilla - 11-26-2009

A series of unfortunate events prevented me from teaching last year, but happily, two weeks ago, I was able to offer up my two hour class on Roman cuisine. I lectured for two hours, fleshing out my agenda from recommendations so kindly offered here, and instructed the class on creating two of the older recipies: Mixtura cum Nicleis Pineis (Columella) and Epyterium Varium (Cato).

The class was very well received: I had eight students (the average was 2-3) and much interest in further classes. One of the key points which made this a success was placing Roman food and dining in the context of the culture, particularly as it relates to dining practices.

A most satisfying experience, all in all! I look forward to offering the second phase in the future.