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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October 15-18, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 01/13/2015 - 11:00am by Information Architect.

We are please to announce the following results from the surveys that were sent to all those who were registered for the recent Annual Meeting in New Orleans on January 9, 10, and 11.


Best session overall:

  • Session #5 New Fragments of Sappho

Honorable mention

  • Session #6 What Can Early Modernity Do for Classics?
  • Session #13 The Impact of Moses Finley
  • Session #16 Breastfeeding and Wet-Nursing in Antiquity,
 Organized by the Women's Classical Caucus
  • Session #21 Empire and Ideology in the Roman World

Best session chairs:

  • Session #6 What Can Early Modernity Do for Classics? Ariane Schwartz, University of California, Los Angeles and Pramit Chaudhuri, Dartmouth College, Organizers
  • Session #21 Empire and Ideology in the Roman World

Honorable mention

  • Session #5 New Fragments of Sappho, André Lardinois, Radboud University Nijmegen, Organizer
  • Session #27 Humoerotica, 
Organized by the Lambda Classical Caucus, Ruby Blondell and Kathryn Topper, University of Washington, Organizers

Best papers, morning sessions:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 01/12/2015 - 9:34pm by .

The Kinfolk Brass Band will play at Thursday's Night's Joint Opening Night Reception in New Orleans.  Tickets will be available at the door.  See details here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:06am by Adam Blistein.

The AIA-SCS Conference App is now available.  For details about downloading and using the app, please visit this page on the AIA web site.  As noted there, anyone may download the app or view its contents in an Internet browser, but only conference registrants can sign in and activate its custom scheduling and in-app messaging features.  All conference registrants should have received an e-mail providing log-in instructions for those special features.  If you have difficulty with the app, send questions to

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 01/05/2015 - 8:24pm by Adam Blistein.

In November’s column, I evaluated how the Roman comedy of Plautus and Terence bears out, mutatis mutandis, Harriet Jacobs’ claim in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl that American slavery “makes the white fathers cruel and sensual; the sons violent and licentious; it contaminates the daughters, and makes the wives wretched.”  In this month’s column I trace the path from slavery through citizen cruelty and licentiousness to the central problem of the genre’s plots, the rape of unwed citizen girls.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/05/2015 - 12:07pm by .
Please note that the following language has been changed for Vergilian Society Scholarships, which are intended to aid those interested in Vergilian Society tours:

"Vergilian Society scholarships are available for people who teach some form of classical languages or civilization at the elementary or secondary level as well as those who teach at the college level in an instructor or adjunct position. VS scholarships may provide full or partial tuition support. Applications from those at the adjunct level are particularly encouraged.

The deadline for applications is March 1st.
A full list of available tours can be found here:
View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 11:31am by Adam Blistein.

This online course shows how the Latin language and genres of writing such as legends, biographies, letters, and poetry developed during the period 500-1500 CE, following the fall of Rome in 476 CE.  Thus it provides continuity from the study of ancient Roman culture, prose, and poetry, which spread throughout the empire, was preserved in manuscripts and printed books, and developed in new forms.  The course includes reading and translation, an introduction to paleography or handwriting styles in manuscripts, and lesson plans for teaching.  It is designed especially for students planning to teach or teachers seeking certification credits in Latin. 


1) Gain understanding of the differences between Classical and Medieval Latin;
2) Expand knowledge of genres of writing and their cultures in the Middle Ages;
3) Practice reading a variety of styles of Medieval Latin;
4) Explore the development of handwriting from Roman capitals to later hands, from inscriptions to manuscripts;
5) Develop lessons for teaching in a high school classroom.

Prerequisites:  Latin 201 (Intermediate I) or equivalent.

Dates Offered:  Summer 2015, for six weeks, June 8-July 13, as an online course. 

Enrollment Limit:  15

Instructor:  Elza C. Tiner, Professor of Latin & English, at Lynchburg College.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Sat, 01/03/2015 - 9:31pm by Adam Blistein.

The Council for European Studies is still accepting applications for the “Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship” and the “Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship.”

The Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and includes a $25,000 stipend, as well as assistance in securing reimbursements or waivers in eligible health insurance and candidacy fees. Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships are intended to facilitate the timely completion of the doctoral degree by late-stage graduate students focusing on topics in European Studies in the humanities.

Applications are due (along with all supporting materials) on or before January 26, 2015.  

For more information, visit:

The Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship includes a $4,000 stipend, the opportunity to publish in Perspectives on Europe, a semi-annual journal of the Council for European Studies, and other professional development activities. CES Pre-Dissertation Fellowships fund two months’ travel to Europe to conduct the exploratory phase of a projected dissertation project in the social sciences or humanities which will require a subsequent stay in Europe.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 01/03/2015 - 9:23pm by Adam Blistein.

This NEH Summer Institute for School Teachers, is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and offered by The University of Texas at El Paso with the cooperation of Dr. Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen of the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK. This is a four-week experience for twenty-five NEH Summer Scholars in K-12 education, who are interested in making connections between their disciplines and the humanities, classics, history, and social sciences. It will take place in Rome, Italy, from July 6 to August 3, 2015. During the Institute we will study the city as we read in translation the works of Cicero and various English writers to experience how Rome served as a world intellectual center that contributed to the emerging national and global identity of the English people.

The deadline for applications is March 2, 2015.  Applicants will be notified by March 30, 2015 and – if selected – must commit to the program by April 3, 2015.

Applications will only be accepted electronically. Use the Submit Application link, and read more about the Institute here

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Sat, 01/03/2015 - 9:22pm by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classical Studies at the College of William and Mary is currently accepting applications for students interested in pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Classical Studies.  This is a flexible program of study for students who have an undergraduate degree and who wish to pursue an intensive course of study in the Classical languages in preparation for graduate studies, teaching, or personal enrichment. The program features:

  • Diverse and rigorous courses in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilization to suit individual interests and needs
  • Close student-faculty interaction and the opportunity to study with distinguished teacher-scholars
  • Competitive tuition rates
  • Summer study abroad opportunities in Greece and Italy
  • Opportunity to study at America’s second oldest college and one of only eight “Public Ivies” in the country
  • Historic campus in beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia, only an hour from Richmond and three hours from Washington, DC

For additional information, please visit our website at:; or contact Lily Panoussi, Director, Post-Baccalaureate Program at or at 757-221-2993.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Sat, 01/03/2015 - 9:15pm by Adam Blistein.


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