The Loaded Table: Representations of Food in Roman Literature

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byEmily Gowers

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This book offers a novel and unconventional approach to Roman culture through food as it is represented in literature. Although food is not generally thought of as the noblest of literary subjects - and this view is a legacy from the Romans - it is curious that Roman writers chose sopersistantly to depict their society at the dinner table. Why this was so, and what effect the inclusion of food had on the status of the literary texts that contained it, are among the questions discussed. The author also looks into many of the problems that arise when a material subject istranslated into words, and interprets afresh many Latin texts, such as comedy, satire, epigrams, letters ,and iambics, that have been unjustly undervalued. She reaches the conclusion that, while often regarded as something trivial and gross, food was in fact one of the most suggestive images forRoman civilisation.`a feast in every sense' Joint Association of Classical Teachers Review`clever and elegantly written book...revealing the multi-valent significance of food in the works of various Roman authors' Religious Studies ReviewI`In exploring the many possibilities for artifice in the relationship between language, literature and eating, this impressive book is itself an elegant, cross-cultural construction' Classical Review`The persistence and ingenuity with which she seeks out underlying meanings, symbolisms,"codes", and all suchlike phenomena in her chosen texts is admirable...and her own writing is clear and sometimes witty' PPC`The book lives up to its promise of offering new interpretations of food in Roman literature...G's well-researched and wide-ranging bibliography (a major strength of this book) shows just how much work has been done on the cultural significance of food in general and on food in antiquity inparticular' Journal of Roman Studies

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From Our Editors

This book offers a novel and unconventional approach to Roman culture through food as it is represented in literature. Although food is not generally thought of as the noblest of literary subjects--and this view is a legacy from the Romans--it is curious that Roman writers chose so persistently to depict their society at the dinner-tab...

From the Publisher

This book offers a novel and unconventional approach to Roman culture through food as it is represented in literature. Although food is not generally thought of as the noblest of literary subjects - and this view is a legacy from the Romans - it is curious that Roman writers chose sopersistantly to depict their society at the dinner ta...

From the Jacket

This book offers a novel and unconventional approach to Roman culture through food as it is represented in literature. Although food is not generally thought of as the noblest of literary subjects--and this view is a legacy from the Romans--it is curious that Roman writers chose so persistently to depict their society at the dinner-tab...

Emily Gowers is at University College, London.

other books by Emily Gowers

Horace: Satires Book I
Horace: Satires Book I

Kobo ebook|Jan 12 2012

$32.39 online$41.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:346 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198150822

ISBN - 13:9780198150824

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From Our Editors

This book offers a novel and unconventional approach to Roman culture through food as it is represented in literature. Although food is not generally thought of as the noblest of literary subjects--and this view is a legacy from the Romans--it is curious that Roman writers chose so persistently to depict their society at the dinner-table. Why this was so, and what effect the inclusion of food has on the status of the literary texts that contained it, are among the questions discussed.

Editorial Reviews

This is a witty and engaging book, written with a certain vigor of conviction and purpose...The best thing about the book is G.'s fine literary sensitivity, spirited writing, humour, and openness to conflicting approaches to literature: she looks at old things in new ways...even at those timeswhen I cannot agree with her, she forces me to think and to reason why I cannot. This is a rich book without being fat.