CFP: Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Food and Drink in the Ancient World

Rutgers University, May 31 - June 1, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Kristina Killgrove, UNC Chapel Hill

Human activity is regulated by the constant need to acquire and consume food. Assuredly, food and drink played a significant role in antiquity just as now, and, since we all must eat and drink, we naturally become curious about what and how our distant ancestors ate and drank (Alcock 2006). The study of food and drink in the ancient world expanded tremendously in the 1990s and has continued to do so in the decades following (e.g. Davison 1997, Garnsey 1999, Wilkins and Hill 2006). This resultant trend is partly owed to a focus in research less preoccupied with the great deeds of great men, but one open to seeing antiquity as a period that offers a wealth of information on the varied life of the everyday world (Donahue 2015).

One does not need to look far in the corpus of classical literature to find mention of viands—there is animal sacrifice in the epics of Homer and Vergil, ever-flowing wine in the sympotic and love elegies of Alcaeus and Horace, conceited cooks in the comedies of Aristophanes and Plautus, and indulgence in the elite banquets of theDeipnosophistai and Satyrica. Beyond these portraits, there are ancient treatises specifically devoted to the topic of food and drink—both philosophical, such as Porphyry’s On Abstinence from Animal Food, and medical, e.g. Galen’s On the Power of Foods. In supplementation of investigations based on literary texts, archaeology has produced an immense amount of information for our understanding of consumption in antiquity. From grand tomb finds to the more ordinary discoveries of kitchen utensils, excavations have dramatically clarified our picture of ancient dining. Archaeozoology and archaeobotany have helped answer questions about ancient diets, as have the osteological analyses associated with bioarchaeology.

We invite abstracts for papers that explore the topic of food and drink through various disciplines, such as Classics, Archaeology, Anthropology, Food Science, and related fields. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

 -  The Ancient Mediterranean Diet

      -   Staple foods in the Mediterranean (wine, oil, and bread; cereals and legumes)

      -   Meat consumption, availability of seafood

      -   Specialized diets, medical approaches to nutrition (e.g. for the military, athletes, infirm)

 -  The Social Context of Food and Drink

      -   Sacrifices and offerings, public and communal meals

      -   Variations in diet based on social class

      -   Food supply and shortages, grain doles (e.g. frumentatioannona)

 -  Food as a Point of Contact, Creator of Identity, Delimitation of Otherness

      -   Import and markets, especially for spices and exotic ingredients

      -   Horticulture, soil chemistry, and cultivation of local specialties

      -   Taboos (e.g. beer and milk as barbarian; cannibalism as historical fact or political slander)

 -  Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

      -   Wine and viticulture (e.g. merummulsum, and conditum)

      -   Access to potable water, aqueducts

      -   Drinking vessels (e.g. kylikesskyphoikantharoi, and their images)

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Dr. Kristina Killgrove, teaching assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, research scholar at the Ronin Institute, and senior contributor to Forbes. Dr. Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist, will deliver a talk on Roman diet and its correlation to disease, climate change, and migration.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding bibliography) by February 1st, 2019 to Be sure to include any audio-visual needs in this email. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Please include in the email your name, affiliation, and contact information. The abstract itself should be anonymous. Questions may be sent to the same email. Successful applicants should expect to hear back from conference organizers by February 28th, 2019. In addition to providing accommodation, we are looking forward to hosting an ‘ancient’ feast for the conference organizers and speakers.

(Written by Emmanuel Aprilakis and Nicole Nowbahar [PhD Students, Rutgers University])


(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)


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The UCLA Department of Classics is delighted to announce the award of a $700,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Division of the Humanities to support the preparation and training of young scholars in post-classical Latin for graduate programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The program has been funded for three years and will have a post-baccalaureate and graduate fellowship component. The administrative Director of the UCLA Mellon Program in Post-Classical Latin will be Professor Robert Gurval.

The post-baccalaureate program in post-classical Latin is intended for students who have completed B.A. degrees and who seek to pursue Ph.D. programs requiring study and proficiency in late Latin texts and documents. A cohort of up to four students will be chosen each year by a faculty subcommittee. All university fees and a stipend of $18,000 will be provided to allow the admitted students to spend a year at UCLA participating in  the post-classical Latin curriculum as well as taking existing courses in Classical Latin and, more broadly, in undergraduate and graduate courses in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Participating departments include English, History, Art History, Italian, Philosophy, French and Francophone Studies, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The program offers a pro-seminar in the Fall Quarter to introduce students to UCLA faculty and to prepare them for successful applications to top-ranked Ph.D. programs.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 04/01/2015 - 2:51pm by Adam Blistein.

I have noticed a troubling pattern in some recent English-language cinematic and television productions that adapt written texts.  In these adaptations, the movie or TV show changes its source material in order to heighten the violence against women depicted in the original or to add in such violence not previously present.  In my view, each of the works that fit this pattern (including Fifty Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and 300: Rise of an Empire — spoiler alert!) do so not for the purposes of genuine social critique or commentary but for mere sensationalism and enhanced titillation for certain viewers.  And so I term it “sinister adaptation.”  These sinister adaptations stand in marked contrast to some ancient Roman adaptations of Greek drama, including Terence’s Hecyra and Eunuchus and Seneca’s Hercules Furens, whose heightened violence against women highlights the adaptors’ criticisms of their societies.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 03/31/2015 - 1:29pm by .

You are invited to participate in a study into the research practices of humanities scholars in North American and European research libraries, and how you find and retrieve resources in both open and closed stack libraries.  This survey is intended for faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or other researchers in the Humanities, who have done research in both open and closed stacks research libraries.

To be a part of this study, please complete a 10-minute web-based survey. On any computer that can access the Internet, please click on this link to enter the study website:

Please contact the Principal Student Investigator, Marisa Ruccolo,, (514) 402-3275, her faculty advisor Professor Joan Bartlett,, (514) 398-6976 at any time, with any questions, concerns or comments about this research. 

Marisa Ruccolo
MLIS Candidate, 2015
School of Information Studies
McGill University

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:23am by Adam Blistein.

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS), founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association, seeks proposals from academic institutions interested in hosting a six-week seminar in the Summer of 2017 during which ten graduate students enrolled in programs in classical philology or ancient history will increase and improve their ability to use the art and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world in their scholarship and teaching.  This seminar has been funded by generous grants from the Samuel H. Kress and Henry Luce Foundations and will take place over dates to be selected by the host institution in the summer of 2017.  SCS will also sponsor a seminar of this nature in the Summers of 2016 and 2018.  The 2016 seminar will be funded by the Getty Foundation and will take place at the Getty Villa.  In 2016 the SCS will issue another call for proposals to organize the 2018 seminar, which will be supported by the Leon Levy Foundation.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 03/24/2015 - 3:02pm by Adam Blistein.

As described here, the SCS Board asked Past President Jenny Strauss Clay to represent the Society at a meeting convened by several French classics organizations.  Prof. Clay has now submitted her report on this meeting.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 03/20/2015 - 1:07pm by Adam Blistein.

On November 6-7, 2015 the Department of Classics at Florida State University, Tallahassee, will host a Langford Conference on the topic:


Participants and topics covered will include:

  • Prof. Cynthia Damon (University of Pennsylvania): Suetonius
  • Dr Flore Kimmel-Clauzet (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3): Greek poetic biography
  • Prof. Federicomaria Muccioli (Università di Bologna): Ruler cult and ancient biography
  • Prof. Stefan Schorn (KU Leuven): Nicolaus of Damascus
  • Prof. Rex Stem (University of California, Davis): Cornelius Nepos
  • Dr Alexei V. Zadorozhnyi (University of Liverpool): Plutarch

We invite junior faculty to submit brief proposals (300 words) for 20 minute supplementary papers. The department will be able to provide two nights of hotel accommodation and meals for those whose proposals are accepted.

The Langford Seminars and Conferences have been regular events at Florida State University for over two decades. Among the contents of PLLS volumes 11-15 are revised papers first presented at these events.

Papers presented at the Langford Conference of November 2015 will (after revision) be considered for inclusion in PLLS 17.

For further information about previous Langford events, go to:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 03/12/2015 - 10:21am by Information Architect.

This is an academic program organized by the University of Pisa in collaboration with /Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici/ /dell’Abruzzo/ (central Italy).  The aim of our course is to increase awareness and competencies about archaeological and methodological issues through an intensive four weeks program of lectures, laboratory experience and field activity.

School activities will  be carried out in Abruzzo, one of the most beautiful region in central Italy, from July 12th to August 9th, 2015.  Field activities will take place in two important sites: S. Stefano (Neolithic period) and Alba Fucens (Roman site), in order to furnish a transversal and complete knowledge in archaeology.

To register complete and send the application form (downloadable from the website) by the deadline of May 12, 2015

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:26pm by Adam Blistein.

Each year the Department of Classics at the University of Virginia takes part in the Summer Language Institute, putting on a Latin intensive that covers four semesters of study—the equivalent of the beginning and intermediate year (12 units)—in eight weeks.  Students spend the first month learning morphology and syntax, while beginning to acquire reading skills through copious translation exercises.  Original Latin texts are introduced very early, with selections that start small and grow into substantial passages of poetry and prose.  During the second month, the focus shifts entirely to reading ancient Latin.  We will spend one week each on continuous excerpts from Cicero, Vergil, Livy, and Ovid, supplementing these with shorter passages that will provide insight into the context and significance of the main reading. 

Throughout, our explicit emphasis will be on the skills of independent sight reading, in order to facilitate success in advanced classes, on competency exams, or in research.  Students at any level are welcome to apply and no prior experience is required, though the course can also serve as an excellent refresher for anyone returning to Latin after a long hiatus.  More information can be found here:  Please send any questions to the director, Jennifer LaFleur, at

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Fri, 03/06/2015 - 4:10pm by Adam Blistein.

This conference will take place at the Centro de Estudios Helénicos, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (Argentina) on 23-26th June 2015.

Sessions are open to all those interested in sharing their current research on Classical Languages, Classical Genres -Rhetoric, Epic, Tragedy, Comedy, Lyric-, Ancient Philosophy, Ancient History, Cultural Studies, Classical Reception, Classical Archaeology, etc.  Email address:  URL:

Submission deadline is 30 March 2015.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 03/06/2015 - 1:53pm by Adam Blistein.

The Department of History and Classics at Swansea University (UK) is pleased to announce that its first Summer School in Ancient Languages will take place from 19 July till 1 August 2015.

One- and two-week intensive courses are available in Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Latin and Greek, Beginners Hieroglyphs, Greek epigraphy, Medieval Latin, and the Intermediate Latin course is also available through the medium of Welsh.  A two-week course is the equivalent of one full academic term of language tuition.

More information and the online payment form can be found on our website:  For more information, please contact Dr Evelien Bracke (Director of the Summer School) at

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Thu, 03/05/2015 - 8:36am by Adam Blistein.


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