Meat and other Animal Products

Authored by: Michael MacKinnon

The Routledge Handbook of Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9780815364344
eBook ISBN: 9781351107334
Adobe ISBN:


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Given our biological need for food, any reconstruction of this basic necessity for past societies must consider the range of materials available to, and exploited by humans. Although vegetarian resources arguably comprised the bulk of the ancient Roman diet across the empire, meat and other animal products, including fat, milk, cheese, and eggs, were also consumed. Moreover, as with many foodstuffs, their contribution fluctuated temporally, geographically, environmentally and socioculturally. A wider appreciation of the types of animal resources available, the variation among scales of production in raising, herding, manipulating, and using these animals, and the host of techniques involved in the acquisition, preparation, and consumption of edible products from these animals helps provide a more nuanced reconstruction of the ancient Roman diet across time and space.

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