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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Unlike other applications, Word 2011 does not process all the instructions contained in the GreekKeys Unicode keyboards. Several keyboard shortcuts do not work (such as command-b, command-z, command-w), and the "terminator" definitions are ignored, so that following a deadkey diacritic with a mistyped letter, such as typing b (beta) instead of v (omega) after option-3 (circumflex), produces gibberish that requires an extensive deletion to remove.

During the preparation of GreekKeys 2015, it has finally been determined what is the proper format for identifying the keyboards as Greek, and once this identification is present, Word 2011 works properly.

Until the new version of GreekKeys is released later in 2015, a repair is offered for current users who have GKUall.bundle installed (the standard installation of GreekKeys Unicode 2008). Please visit

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/09/2015 - 8:56pm by Information Architect.

The Department of Classical Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will offer a 3-week, all-online, graduate-level course on Ovid (LAT 602) from July 6 to July 24, 2015. The course is an introduction to Ovid's poetry with readings from both the Metamorphoses and the Amores, focusing on important themes and connecting them to life and attitudes in Augustan Rome. The format of instruction is asynchronous.

LAT 602 is part of UNCG's online M.Ed. in Latin program, but you do not need to be enrolled in the degree program to take the class. Visiting (non-degree) students who have a B.A. and at least 6 hours of upper-level undergraduate Latin or the equivalent can sign up for the course through UNCG's Division of Continual Learning. Visiting students will also need the permission of the instructor, which is easily obtained by contacting the instructor, Prof. Hugh Parker. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students.

Questions about the course?

Contact Prof. Hugh Parker: (tel. 336.334.5703).

Questions about the Online M.Ed. in Latin program?

Contact Prof. David Wharton: (tel. 336.509.8172).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/02/2015 - 4:44pm by Information Architect.

This month’s column is the fifth part in a series I’m posting every other month about how we can apply and see in action the 7 principles of research-based pedagogy described in the excellent book How Learning Works, by Susan Ambrose, et al.  Last time was prior knowledge.  Before that came practice and feedback, motivation, and knowledge organization.  This month’s topic: mastery, ch. 4 of the book.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 01/28/2015 - 3:29pm by Adam Blistein.

Various French organizations involved in Greco-Roman Antiquity have launched Les États généraux de l’Antiquité to engage in a discussion concerning the future of classical studies; they have been joined by a great many, mainly European, organizations involved with the study of Classics and Ancient History.  I felt it was crucial for us to be part of this initiative despite – or because of – the differences in our educational systems. Nevertheless, all of us, in our different ways, recognize that we are at a critical juncture. We can both learn and usefully contribute to an international dialogue concerning the future of our field with colleagues in Europe and elsewhere. 

The SCS Board has agreed that we should join this effort, and on February 28th I will represent our organization in Paris where three plenary round tables are planned: 1. Classical Antiquity and Education; 2. Antiquity and European Culture; and 3) Classical Antiquity and Research. 

The organizers are urging participants to pose questions in the three areas listed above, and I encourage the membership of the SCS to forward to me questions and ideas that I can contribute to the discussion.  I will of course report on the meeting upon my return and envision an ongoing relationship with our colleagues abroad.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 01/28/2015 - 3:22pm by Adam Blistein.

The 2016 Annual Meeting will take place at the San Francisco Hilton Hotel from Wednesday through Saturday, January 6-9.  Please note the submission deadlines for proposals and abstracts which are somewhat earlier than they have been in the last few years. 

Monday, April 27 is the deadline for the submission of individual abstracts.

Wednesday, April 8 is the deadline for submission of materials for panels, i.e.,

2016 Annual Meeting: Proposals for

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2016 Annual Meeting:  Reports of 

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2017 Annual Meeting and Beyond:  Proposals to Receive Charters for

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/26/2015 - 1:17pm by Adam Blistein.

We are looking for help in preparing metadata for the Patrologia Graeca (PG) component of what we are calling the Open Migne Project, an attempt to make the most useful possible transcripts of the full Patrologia Graeca and Patrologia Latina freely available. Help can consist of proofreading, additional tagging, and checking the volume/column references to the actual PG. In particular, we would welcome seeing this data converted into a dynamic index into online copies of the PG in, the HathiTrust, Google Books, or Europeana. For now, we make the working XML metadata document available on an as-is basis. More info:

Gregory Crane

Perseus Project and the Open Philology Project
The University of Leipzig and Tufts University

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 9:13pm by Information Architect.

A new joint grant program by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seeks to give a second life to outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities by turning them into freely accessible e-books.  Over the past 100 years, tens of thousands of academic books have been published in the humanities, including many remarkable works on history, literature, philosophy, art, music, law, and the history and philosophy of science. But the majority of these books are currently out of print and largely out of reach for teachers, students, and the public. The Humanities Open Book pilot grant program aims to “unlock” these books by republishing them as high-quality electronic books that anyone in the world can download and read on computers, tablets, or mobile phones at no charge.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:43pm by Adam Blistein.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) invites applications for the fifth competition of the Public Fellows program. This year, the program will place up to 22 recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows will participate in the substantive work of these organizations and receive professional mentoring. Fellows receive a stipend of $65,000 per year, as well as individual health insurance.

This initiative, made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to expand the role of doctoral education in the United States by demonstrating that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide application, both within and beyond the academy. The ACLS Public Fellows program allows PhDs to gain valuable, career-building experience in fields such as public policy, international aid, conservation, arts and culture, and digital media.

ACLS seeks applications from recent PhDs who aspire to careers in administration, management, and public service by choice rather than circumstance. Competitive applicants will have been successful in both academic and extra-academic experiences.

Applicants must:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 01/14/2015 - 3:52pm by Adam Blistein.

October 15-18, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia

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