Università degli Studi di Perugia

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Archaeology and history of art
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Paolo Braconi
  • Paolo Braconi - Didattica Ufficiale
  • 36 ore - Didattica Ufficiale - Paolo Braconi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2017
Learning activities
Storia antica e medievale
Type of study-unit
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The course, devoted to the theme: Food and culture in ancient Rome.
Reference texts
Students who attend classes are only expected to know the contents of the lectures, and of all texts from ancient authors introduced and analysed during the course: the knowledge of these passages at least in Italian translation is compulsory (it will be appreciated if done in the original language). The basic knowledge of the ancient Roman history, and of the historical period that this course aims at examining in detail, can be refreshed by the handbook G. Geraci - A. Marcone, Storia Romana, Editio Maior, Le Monnier Università (Mondadori Education), Milano 2017 or by another advanced manual. Students who are unable to attend lectures must contact the Professor, who will provide them with an alternative learning programme.
Educational objectives
The main knowledge that Students are expected to acquire will be:
- deep knowledge of roman food history;
- knowledge of modern debate on the historical foods;
The main skills that will allow Students to apply their acquired knowledge will be:
- acquisition of a metodology to reconstruct the hystorical culinary events and to analyze the sources denoting some degree of autonomy;
- development of an appreciation of wide-ranging close examination of a specific period of a civilization.
In order to fully understand the contents of the course, Students must have the basic notions of ancient Roman history, with particular reference to the chronology and to the institutions.
Teaching methods
The course consists of frontal lectures.
Other information
Attendance at lectures is recommended, because class attendance can foster a better and deeper understanding of the topics that will be covered in the exam. Students are requested to find out where the assigned lecture hall is by consulting the lecture timetable.
Learning verification modality
Final oral examination that is aimed at ascertaining the achievement of the educational objectives.
Extended program
1. Introduction: the food as culture.
2. The food as language. Grammar and kitchen. The sources on the Roman feeding.
3. The food as metaphor: cooked or raw? Lévi Strauss and the Rome "latericia."
4. The humors of the food: the bases of the food as medicine.
5. The Roman meals: jentaculum. prandium, merenda and vesperna: times and places.
6. Cena sed non coena: errors of grammar of the feeding.
7. To feed the empire: the Romans' food between short chain and globalization.
8. Emmer wheat (farro) and the wheat, energy for the conquest. The bread and the pasta: inventions and myths.
9. Vegetables and fruit. Exotic fruits and geographical discoveries.
10. Over the clichéses: frugal Romanitas and carnivorous Middle Ages. The ambiguous statute of the meat: from the cannibalism to the de-sacralisation.
11. The distribution of the foods: internal consumption, market, provision system.
12. To feed the soldiers: the food in war and in peace.
13. To feed the gods: the food and the calendar.
14. Popinae, tabernae and the street food.
15. The Roman recipes and their replicability: raw material and systems of cooking
16. The sense of the historical foods. Reflections on "history branding".
17. The Roman recipes and their replicability: investigation on ancient food and modern market.
18. The case of Archeofood: experimentation of ancient (with final taste) foods.
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