Olives, bread, meat and wine: it is deceptively easy to evoke ancient Greece and Rome through a few items of food and drink. But how were their tastes different from ours? How did they understand the sense of taste itself, in relation to their own bodies and to other modes of sensory experience? This volume, the first of its kind to explore the ancient sense of taste, draws on the literature, philosophy, history and archaeology of Greco-Roman antiquity to provide answers to these central questions.
By surveying and probing the literary and material remains from the Archaic period to late antiquity, contributors investigate the cultural and intellectual development towards attitudes and theories about taste. These specially commissioned chapters also open a window onto ancient thinking about perception and the body. Importantly, these authors go beyond exploring the functional significance of taste to uncover its value and meaning in the actions, thoughts and words of the Greeks and Romans. Taste and the Ancient Senses presents a full range of interpretative approaches to the gustatory sense, and provides an indispensable resource for students and scholars of classical antiquity and sensory studies.
Kelli C. Rudolph is Lecturer in Classics and Philosophy at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She has research interests in ancient perceptual theories and the relationship between Presocratic and Hellenistic philosophy, and is currently working on theoretical approaches to the senses in antiquity.
Dedication List of Figures and Tables Acknowledgements Notes on Contributors Introduction: On the Tip of the Tongue: Making Sense of Ancient Taste Kelli C. Rudolph 1. Tastes of Greek Poetry: From Homer to Aristophanes Sarah Hitch 2. Tastes of Reality: Epistemology and the Senses in Ancient Philosophy Kelli C. Rudolph 3. Tastes in Ancient Botany, Medicine and Science: Bitter Herbs and Sweet Honey Laurence Totelin 4. Tastes of Homer: Matro's Gastroaesthetic Tour Through Epic Mario Telo 5. Tasting the Roman World Emily Gowers 6. Tastes from Beyond: Persephone's Pomegranate and Otherworldly Consumption in Antiquity Meredith J. C. Warren 7. Tastes of Roman Italy: Early Roman Expansion and Taste Articulation Laura Banducci 8. Tastes and Digestion: Archaeology and Medicine in Roman Italy Patricia Baker 9. Tastes of Meat in Antiquity: Integrating the Textual and Zooarchaeological Evidence Michael MacKinnon 10. Tastes in the Roman Provinces: An Archaeobotanical Approach to Socio-Cultural Change Alexandra Livarda 11. Tastes of Wine: Sensorial Wine Analysis in Ancient Greece Thibaut Boulay 12. Tastes of the Extraordinary: Flavour Lists in Imperial Rome John Paulas 13. Tastes of Danger and Pleasure in Early and Late Antique Christianity Beatrice Caseau Bibliography Index