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Cheese

(552 words)

Author(s): Englund, Robert K. (Berlin) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Cheese, together with grain and fish, was one of the most important foods for the people of the ancient Orient. After the oil in the butter (Sumer. ì.nun, Akkad. ḫimētu) had been completely removed, the buttermilk was processed into a fat-free cheese that therefore kept well for a long time; it is similar to the hard cheese called kašk in the modern Middle East. Cheese was also mixed with various ingredients (grain, dates, wine and numerous spices) and then brought as an offering to the gods, often, as is to be expected, t…

Fat

(162 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Fluid, semi-solid or solid material obtained from vegetable or animal cells, and of great importance to human  Nutrition as a source of energy and vehicle of flavour. In early antiquity  Butter, lard and suet predominated. Use of these animal fats subsequently remained at a high level in antiquity, especially in northern regions; in the Mediterranean region, olive oil eventually gained absolute pride of place. Although relatively expensive (CIL III 2, p. 827 3,1-3; 4,10-11; p. 828…

Meat dishes

(495 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] A collective term for dishes made from the muscle tissue and innards of mammals and birds. In Antiquity, a minor number of meat dishes was made using birds (e.g., blackbird, thrush, duck, goose, chicken, pigeon, quail) and game (especially rabbit, red deer ( Deer), wild boar ( Pig); in the Roman period also rabbit and dormouse). However, most meat dishes were prepared from domestic animals - sheep, pig, cattle and goat. The pig must be particularly emphasized in this group because…

Thalassius

(456 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) | Portmann, Werner (Berlin) | Leppin, Hartmut (Hannover) | Savvidis, Kyriakos (Bochum)
(Θαλάσσιος; Thalássios). [German version] [1] Follower of Constantius [2] II, 4th cent. AD (Thalassius). Praefectus praetorio Orientis 351-353, from a family of curiales [2] of the East. Little is known about his career, but T. was obviously a loyal follower of Constantius [2] II: in 345, he acted as the emperor's comes in Aquileia; in 351, he held a high office at his court in Cibalae (Zos. 2,48,5); still in the same year, T. - probably a Christian - entered into the office of praetorian prefect of the East (Artemii Passio…

Spices

(470 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ἡδύσματα/ hēdýsmata; Latin condimenta). Flavouring ingredients of food and drink, mostly from particular parts of indigenous wild and garden plants and exotic ones. A great abundance of spices was known in antiquity, although availability and use differed from period to period to a considerable extent. In the 1st century AD Caelius [II 10] Apicius used in total sixty spices, of which ten were imported ( cf. the lists of spices in Plin. HN 12; 19,101-175; Ath. 2,68a; Apici excerpta a Vinidario 1 André). The most important indigenous spic…

Vicarius

(645 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
generally a 'representative' (Cic. Verr. 4,81; Liv. 29,1,8 f.; Quint. Decl. 9,9; CIL I 202). [German version] [1] Military-political office (military-political office). In the realm of the Roman political administration (VIII.), vicarii began to appear especially in the High Imperial Period when state responsibilities were increasing and individual civil and military officials were no longer able to single-handedly carry out the duties of their jurisdiction. The emperor assigned men to replace or represent them in certain si…

Food

(643 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (τροφαί / trophaí; Lat. alimenta). Name for nutritious solid and liquid substances which can sometimes be eaten or drunk raw, but which are not normally suitable for consumption without preparation and are therefore further processed into meals in the kitchen. A systematic classification of food is offered by Galen's treatise ‘On the Powers of Food’ ( De alimentorum facultatibus libri III), one of the few ancient dietary specialized writings that are completely extant. Galen classifies food on the principle of its place in natural history…

Polenta

(144 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (ἄλφιτα/ álphita). Barley groats, flour or bread. The Lat. term polenta describes on the one hand the groats of hulled, roasted barley kernels; on the other, the mash mixed or cooked with these groats together with water, salt and other ingredients (Plin. HN 18,72; Pall. Agric. 7,12). Barley mash, served with accompaniments such as oil or vegetables, was among the most important staples of the diet in Greece until the Hellenistic Period. By contrast, in Italy (with the possible exception of Cisalpine Gaul (Plin. HN 18,85)), emmer mash ( puls) was preferred, the nation…

Vinegar

(142 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (ὄξος/ óxos, acetum). Means of flavouring and conserving, usually obtained by fermenting wine, occasionally also the juice of fruits such as dates and figs. Vinegar existed in various qualities, with that from Alexandria being particularly valued (Plin. HN 14,102). Vinegar, which at the beginning of the 4th cent. AD cost less than ordinary wine (Edict. Diocletiani 3,5), contributed to the sweet-and-sour taste of many dishes; Apicius often used it for sauces for meat and fish dishes …

Beer

(444 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the ancient Orient, beer was a well-known and popular drink that had been brewed in Mesopotamia and Egypt since the end of the 4th millennium BC at the latest. The basic ingredient in manufacture was above all barley malt [1. 322-329], other ingredients were emmer and sesame. In the 1st millennium BC a type of date beer became important in Babylon [2.155-183]. In Egypt texts from the older period mention not just date beer but also carob tree beer and poppy beer.…

Secundus

(301 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
Common Roman cognomen, originally designating the second-born child. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [1] Saturninius S. Salutius Praef. praet. Orientis 361-365 and 365-366 ( iterum), from a non-senatorial family in Gallia, a non-Christian. Between 324 and 350, he held several offices at court as well as governorships in the western part of the empire. In 355-359, he held the quaestura sacri palatii at the court of Caesar Iulianus [11] (CIL VI 1764 = ILS 1255) in Gallia who came to trust S. and, upon his rise to Augustus after the death of Co…

Soup

(180 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] was prepared by boiling solid food (such as corn, vegetables, pulses, fish, meat or fruit) in water or other liquids. There were no clear or light soups in ancient cooking, nor was there a term for it. The main reason for this lies in ancient eating habits: although Greeks and Romans did have large spoons ( ligula), they were accustomed to eat with their hands; also as a rule there was no individual cutlery (Table utensils). Thus there were only thick soups in both the simple cooking and the haute cuisine of antiquity: stews, porridges ( pultes; Apicius 5,1), fricassees ( minutal…

Olybrius

(207 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
Late antique personal name in the Anicii family: Anicius [II 13] Hermogenianus O. ( cos. in AD 395), Q. Clodius Hermogenianus O. [1] ( cos. in 379), the emperor of the year 472, Anicius [II 15] O. and Flavius Anicius O. ( cos. in 526). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [1] Q. Clodius Hermogenianus O. Official, 4th cent. AD Praefectus praetorio Orientis from AD 378 to 379. A Christian from a respected family, presumably from the city of Rome, O. had a brilliant career (CIL VI 1714). After he had been governor of Campania he probably became pr…

Probus

(1,292 words)

Author(s): Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] [1] Imperator Caesar M. Aurelius Probus Augustus Roman emperor AD 276-282 Roman emperor 276-282 AD. Born on 19 August 232 AD in Sirmium; the information about his father in SHA Probus 3,2 and in [Aur. Vict.] epit. Caes. 37,1 is probably fictitious. P.'s career prior to his elevation to emperor in the East in the summer of 276 (Zos. 1,64) (in SHA Probus he is confused with a dux Tenagino P.) is unknown. During his six-year reign ( cos. I-III 277-279, cos. IV 281, cos. V 282) he fought first on the Rhine against the Alamanni, then against the Franci, Burgundiones an…

Praefectus urbi

(328 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Town prefect <of Rome later also of Constantinople>; Greek πολίαρχος/ políarchos). According to Roman tradition, by the early Roman period a PU ('town administrator' in [4. 663]) who was authorized first by the king and then by the highest magistrate, supervised the business of the state, mainly the administration of justice in their absence (Liv. 1,59,12; 3,3,6; Tac. Ann. 6,11; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 5,75).The post - should it have ever existed - must have become insignificant with the introduction of collegiality ( collega ) in senior magistr…

Modestus

(247 words)

Author(s): Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] [1] Sab(inius?) M. Governor of the province of  Moesia inferior in AD 241, documented by coins of the city of Nicopolis [1. 504-518 nos. 2040-2107]. Accordingly he must previously have held the office of suffect consul. Franke, Thomas (Bochum) Bibliography 1 F. Imhoof-Blumer (ed.), Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, vol. 1, 1898. PIR S 2  A. Stein, Die Legaten von Moesien, 1940, 100f. [German version] [2] Flavius Domitius M. Praefectus praetorio Orientis, from 369/370 to 378 (?) AD. Praefectus praetorio Orientis from AD 369/370 to 378 (?). Originally f…

Salgama

(121 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ἁλμαῖα/ halmaîa). Collective term for pickled vegetables, herbs, and fruit. From the Greek period on, people enjoyed preserving plant foodstuffs by pickling them in brine (Colum. 12,4,4), often with the addition of vinegar, spices and other ingredients such as milk and honey (Plin. HN 19,153; Dioscorides 2,174 Wellmann). Columella (10,117; 12,9 f.) has recipes for pickling capers, lettuce, herbs, onions, European cornels, plums and various kinds of apples and pears. In simple cuisine, salgama were eaten with bread or cereal porridge; at more lavish meals, sa…

Nebridius

(290 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster) | Groß-Albenhausen, Kirsten (Frankfurt/Main) | Schindler, Alfred (Heidelberg)
[German version] [1] Praefectus praetorio Orientis, AD 365 Praefectus praetorio Orientis in AD 365. N. was born in Etruria. His career led through lesser offices, held prior to 354, via the comitiva Orientis 354-358 and the quaestura (sacri palatii) at the court of the Caesar Iulianus [11] 359(?)-360 and finally to the Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul (Lib. Epist. 1315). N. attained this office in 360, but withdrew into private life as a loyal follower of Constantius [2] II in 361, when Julian was readying himself for a campaign again…

Vegetables

(523 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] Mostly annual plants, parts of which are suitable for eating, either raw or cooked. In the ancient world, there were large numbers of vegetables; there is evidence for Imperial Italy alone of fifty garden species and fifty wild species. Today largely unknown or uncommon, in ancient sources they were divided into three large groups: 1. legumina (primarily the protein-rich pulses, such as beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins; cf. the lists in Columella 2,7,1-2; Plin. HN 18,117-136); 2. olera (especially the vitamin- and fibre-rich leaf-vegetables, tubers,…

Mead

(220 words)

Author(s): Gutsfeld, Andreas (Münster)
[German version] (Greek ὑδρόμελι/ hydrómeli, Latin [ aqua] mulsa). A beverage usually made of one part honey and two parts water (Columella 12,12; Dioscorides, De materia medica 5,9 Wellmann) that was usually consumed fermented with an alcohol content of 15% but occasionally also unfermented. Apart from beer, mead was the oldest intoxicating drink in the Mediterranean. When wine arrived in the historical period, mead was supplanted first in Greece and then largely in Italy, especially because grapes wer…
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