Central and Northern Europe

Authored by: Tünde Kaszab-Olschewski

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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This chapter focuses on the territory of Roman Britain, Gaul and Germania as far as the provinces of Raetia, Noricum and Pannonia during the first to the third centuries AD. This part of Europe is bordered by major rivers such as the Rhine and the Danube as well as the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, which configured the border (limes or ripa) of the Roman Empire. The landscape is strongly diversified, because every kind of geographical region from seashores through to fertile plains to mountain and alpine mountain ranges can be found here. The majority of those living in this region belonged to the Celtic (or Gaulish) peoples. North or northeast of them on the right side of the Rhine (but also on the left), and north of the Danube lived mainly tribes who were known under the collective name Germans (so-called Rhein-Weser-Germans and the Elbgermans or Suebi). In addition, a variety of other ethnic groups could be found in the region, for example Sarmatians (Iazyges) or Dacians. Due to the size of the area considered here, only a brief overview can be offered, and the focus will be primarily on the German provinces, inter alia, because of their central location.

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