Brill’s New Pauly

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Cookery books
(807 words)

[German version]

I. Near East and Egypt

Although there is copious epigraphical and graphic evidence for a highly developed  table culture at the courts of oriental rulers in antiquity, cooking recipes are known to us so far only from Mesopotamia: 34 from the 18th cent. BC (gathered from three clay tablets), one from the 6th/5th cents. BC. They offer practical instructions in the manner of medical prescriptions.

The reason why the recipes were preserved in writing is not clear. They deal predominantly with …

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Renger, Johannes (Berlin) and Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris), “Cookery books”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 22 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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