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Happy 15th birthday to the Apicius list!

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  • ivlianvs
    Hi all I just wanted to let you know that 15 years ago today, the first test message was sent on the Apicius-List (not sure anymore if it was on onelist or
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 26, 2014
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      Hi all

       

      I just wanted to let you know that 15 years ago today, the first test message was sent on the Apicius-List (not sure anymore if it was on onelist or egroups).

       

      Your moderator

       

      Julien

    • Correus
      WOW!!!!   Seems like only yesterday..... My first post was November 2, 1999, post #413 under my old e-mail Radar . Correus ________________________________
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 27, 2014
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        WOW!!!!   Seems like only yesterday.....

        My first post was November 2, 1999, post #413 under my old e-mail "Radar".

        Correus



        From: "julien.courtois@..." <julien.courtois@...>
        To: Apicius@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:59 AM
        Subject: [Apicius] Happy 15th birthday to the Apicius list!

         
        Hi all
         
        I just wanted to let you know that 15 years ago today, the first test message was sent on the Apicius-List (not sure anymore if it was on onelist or egroups).
         
        Your moderator
         
        Julien


      • Steve Thompson
        Congratulations to Apicius-List founders on the occasion of the list s 15th anniversary! Can anyone point to research done on fine dining in ancient Babylon?
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 27, 2014
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          Congratulations to Apicius-List founders on the occasion of the list's 15th anniversary!

          Can anyone point to research done on fine dining in ancient Babylon? More specifically, what luxury foods could have appeared on the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's table about 600BC? Persian royal menus of the same era would be equally helpful! I realise this stretches the parameters in which our list operates, but any leads appreciated!

          Steven Thompson
          Avondale College of Higher Education
          Cooranbong, Australia
        • Galefridus Peregrinus
          Not Babylonian, but Minoan and Mycenaean. I came across this book while researching the history of olives: Minoan and Mycenaeans: Flavours of Their Time. Greek
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 27, 2014
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            Not Babylonian, but Minoan and Mycenaean. I came across this book while researching the history of olives:

            Minoan and Mycenaeans: Flavours of Their Time. Greek Ministry of Culture, 1999.

            Way before Apicius, but a good window into the cooking, eating, and drinking habits of the ancient eastern Mediterranean.


            On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 01:56 PM, Steve Thompson wrote:

             

            Congratulations to Apicius-List founders on the occasion of the list's 15th anniversary!

            Can anyone point to research done on fine dining in ancient Babylon? More specifically, what luxury foods could have appeared on the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's table about 600BC? Persian royal menus of the same era would be equally helpful! I realise this stretches the parameters in which our list operates, but any leads appreciated!

            Steven Thompson
            Avondale College of Higher Education
            Cooranbong, Australia
          • Cathy Kaufman
            Stevenù You should take a look at some of the work that Jean Bottero has done with the Yale Babylonian Tabletsùadmittedly earlier, but he is the master of
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 27, 2014
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              Steven— You should take a look at some of the work that Jean Bottero has done with the Yale Babylonian Tablets—admittedly earlier, but he is the master of Mesopotamia.  That said, he has a fairly dim view of the quality of the food.  I’m not so pessimistic and have done a bit of research into the area (by no means on the same scholarly level), and have some additional sources to suggest (cited in my book, Cooking in Ancient Civilizations, Greenwood 2006, where you will also find adapted recipes if you needed to do any cooking). Wine would be the preferred drink for elites.

              From Edmund I. Gordon, Sumerian Proverbs: Glimpses of Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1959:

              1.50:  Fine flour is appropriate for women and the palace.

              1.52: In my budget, there is no place for anyone to bake cakes.

              1.59:  When a poor man has died, do not try to revive him.  When he had bread, he had no salt; when he had salt, he had no bread.  When he had a live lamb, he had no meat; when he had meat, he had no live lamb.

              1.190:  Meat with fat is too good!  Meat with suet is too good!  What shall we give to the slave-girl to eat?

              Slightly afield, Assurnasirpal’s stela records the ingredients for a victory feast in Assyria in 879 BCE. Among the foods recorded (to feed some 70,000 people, at least according to his propaganda):

              1,000 barley-fed oxen
              200 oxen and 1,000 young cattle 
              1,000 young sheep
              14,000 “common” sheep 
              1,000 fattened sheep
              1,000 lambs 
              500 each deer and gazelles
              an impressive array of geese, fowls, pigeons, doves, small birds, and several varieties undecipherable from the original cuneiform 
              10,000 eggs
              10 homers of eggplant (1 homer = roughly 100 gallons)
              10,000 fish (no variety specified), and
              10,000 locusts (served on skewers).
               
              3rd Century BCE temple inscriptions at Uruk also help just a bit:

              “They will take 486 liters of barley flour and 162 liters of spelt flour, from the mixture of which the cooks will prepare and bake 243 epu.”  (A type of bread)

              Also, Offer 1,200 biscuits fried in oil” along with a cake of dates— maybe like a dried fig torte?

              “Let the gods eat roasted meat, roasted meat, roasted meat.. . . After preparing a serving platter made of gold, place on it pieces of roasted meat.”

              We have a bit more for pastries: Records from Ur identify cakes “for the palace” as containing 1 sila of butter, 1/3 sila of white cheese, 3 sila of first quality dates, and 1/3 sila of raisins.  A sila equaled a little more than three cups. Also, Mersu was a widely known pastry.  Different inventories list different ingredients for mersu, so there were many recipes.  Mersu always seemed to contain first-quality dates and butter; beyond that, different records list pistachios, garlic, onion seed, and other seemingly incongruous ingredients.  Bakers who specialized in this treat were known as the episat mersi, so mersu-making  was probably an involved process. 

              Good luck—it is a difficult area to research.


               
              Cathy Kaufman
              cathykkaufman@...



              On Jan 27, 2014, at 1:56 PM, Steve Thompson <steve.thompson@...> wrote:


              Congratulations to Apicius-List founders on the occasion of the list's 15th anniversary!

              Can anyone point to research done on fine dining in ancient Babylon? More specifically, what luxury foods could have appeared on the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's table about 600BC? Persian royal menus of the same era would be equally helpful! I realise this stretches the parameters in which our list operates, but any leads appreciated!

              Steven Thompson
              Avondale College of Higher Education
              Cooranbong, Australia


            • Correus
              Well said Cathy!!! Unfortunately there really isn t a lot in this regard to Assyria or Babylonia - Bottero is the best bet as far as I know.  There are some
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 27, 2014
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                Well said Cathy!!!

                Unfortunately there really isn't a lot in this regard to Assyria or Babylonia - Bottero is the best bet as far as I know.  There are some other works out there that are not online and I have a handful of them.  If I can get my scanner to work again I'll scan and upload - DON'T LET ME FORGET!!!!  ;-)

                For now - here is supplemental material for you.

                Food and Diet in Assyria: http://www.nineveh.com/Food%20and%20Diet%20in%20Assyria.html

                Food in Ancient Babylonia: https://suite101.com/a/food-in-ancient-babylonia-a106611

                Now - if someone would kindly pass the Honeyed Locust and the Date wine....

                Correus


                From: Cathy Kaufman <cathykkaufman@...>
                To: "Apicius@yahoogroups.com" <Apicius@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 3:25 PM
                Subject: Re: [Apicius] Happy 15th birthday to the Apicius list!

                 
                Steven— You should take a look at some of the work that Jean Bottero has done with the Yale Babylonian Tablets—admittedly earlier, but he is the master of Mesopotamia.  That said, he has a fairly dim view of the quality of the food.  I’m not so pessimistic and have done a bit of research into the area (by no means on the same scholarly level), and have some additional sources to suggest (cited in my book, Cooking in Ancient Civilizations, Greenwood 2006, where you will also find adapted recipes if you needed to do any cooking). Wine would be the preferred drink for elites.

                From Edmund I. Gordon, Sumerian Proverbs: Glimpses of Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1959:

                1.50:  Fine flour is appropriate for women and the palace.

                1.52: In my budget, there is no place for anyone to bake cakes.

                1.59:  When a poor man has died, do not try to revive him.  When he had bread, he had no salt; when he had salt, he had no bread.  When he had a live lamb, he had no meat; when he had meat, he had no live lamb.

                1.190:  Meat with fat is too good!  Meat with suet is too good!  What shall we give to the slave-girl to eat?

                Slightly afield, Assurnasirpal’s stela records the ingredients for a victory feast in Assyria in 879 BCE. Among the foods recorded (to feed some 70,000 people, at least according to his propaganda):

                1,000 barley-fed oxen
                200 oxen and 1,000 young cattle 
                1,000 young sheep
                14,000 “common” sheep 
                1,000 fattened sheep
                1,000 lambs 
                500 each deer and gazelles
                an impressive array of geese, fowls, pigeons, doves, small birds, and several varieties undecipherable from the original cuneiform 
                10,000 eggs
                10 homers of eggplant (1 homer = roughly 100 gallons)
                10,000 fish (no variety specified), and
                10,000 locusts (served on skewers).
                 
                3rd Century BCE temple inscriptions at Uruk also help just a bit:

                “They will take 486 liters of barley flour and 162 liters of spelt flour, from the mixture of which the cooks will prepare and bake 243 epu.”  (A type of bread)

                Also, Offer 1,200 biscuits fried in oil” along with a cake of dates— maybe like a dried fig torte?

                “Let the gods eat roasted meat, roasted meat, roasted meat.. . . After preparing a serving platter made of gold, place on it pieces of roasted meat.”

                We have a bit more for pastries: Records from Ur identify cakes “for the palace” as containing 1 sila of butter, 1/3 sila of white cheese, 3 sila of first quality dates, and 1/3 sila of raisins.  A sila equaled a little more than three cups. Also, Mersu was a widely known pastry.  Different inventories list different ingredients for mersu, so there were many recipes.  Mersu always seemed to contain first-quality dates and butter; beyond that, different records list pistachios, garlic, onion seed, and other seemingly incongruous ingredients.  Bakers who specialized in this treat were known as the episat mersi, so mersu-making  was probably an involved process. 

                Good luck—it is a difficult area to research.

                 
                Cathy Kaufman
                cathykkaufman@...



                On Jan 27, 2014, at 1:56 PM, Steve Thompson <steve.thompson@...> wrote:


                Congratulations to Apicius-List founders on the occasion of the list's 15th anniversary!

                Can anyone point to research done on fine dining in ancient Babylon? More specifically, what luxury foods could have appeared on the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar's table about 600BC? Persian royal menus of the same era would be equally helpful! I realise this stretches the parameters in which our list operates, but any leads appreciated!

                Steven Thompson
                Avondale College of Higher Education
                Cooranbong, Australia




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