1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World

Edited By Paul Erdkamp, Claire Holleran Copyright 2019
    380 Pages
    by Routledge

    380 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    List of Figures and Tables

    Note on Contributors

    1. Introduction
    2. Paul Erdkamp and Claire Holleran

      Section 1: Evidence and Methodology

    3. Textual Evidence: Roman Reflections of Realities
    4. Kim Beerden

    5. Visual Evidence
    6. Shana O’Connell

    7. Material Evidence on Diet, Cooking and Techniques
    8. L. M. Banducci

    9. Investigating Roman Diet through Archaeobotanical Evidence
    10. Alexandra Livarda

    11. The Contribution of Zooarchaeology
    12. Paul Halstead

    13. The Bioarchaeology of Roman Diet
    14. Chryssi Bourbou

      Section 2: Food and Drink

    15. Roman Meals in their Domestic and Wider Settings
    16. John Donahue

    17. Cereals and Bread
    18. F. B. J. Heinrich

    19. Pulses
    20. A. M. Hansen and F. B. J. Heinrich

    21. Olives and Olive Oil
    22. Erica Rowan

    23. Wine and other Beverages
    24. Wim Broekaert

    25. Meat and other Animal Products
    26. Michael MacKinnon

    27. Fish and Seafood
    28. Annalisa Marzano

      Section 3: Peoples and Identities

    29. Women, Children and Food
    30. Christian Laes

    31. Central and Northern Europe
    32. Tünde Kaszab-Olschewski

    33. Jews in Palestine
    34. David Kraemer

    35. Egypt
    36. Willy Clarysse

    37. The Impact of Christianity on Diet, Health, and Nutrition in Late Antiquity
    38. Emmanuelle Raga

      Section 4: A Forum on Energy, Malnutrition, and Stature

    39. Using Skeletal Remains as a Proxy for Roman Lifestyles: the Potential and Problems with Osteological Reconstructions of Health, Diet, and Stature in Imperial Rome
    40. Kristina Killgrove

    41. Comparative Perspectives on Nutrition and Social Inequality in the Roman World
    42. Geoffrey Kron

    43. Skeletons in the Cupboard: Femurs and Food Regimes in the Roman World
    44. Miko Flohr

      Section 5: Food on the Market and in Politics

    45. Market Regulation and Intervention in the Urban Food Supply
    46. Claire Holleran

    47. Famine and Hunger in the Roman World

    Paul Erdkamp




    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).