A Handbook of Food Processing in Classical Rome: For Her by David Thurmond

By David Thurmond

Rome used to be capable of aid a major city inhabitants via supplying it with the rudiments of human meals within the type of processed meals. This quantity features a cautious research of these nutrients approaches. The paintings is geared up at the foundation of the presumed significance of these meals, starting with the so-called Mediterranean Triad of cereals (particularly wheaten bread), olive oil and wine, then facing plant items reminiscent of legumes, greens and end result, then animal items, and finishing with the condiments (salts, sugars, acids, spices) which have been themselves the brokers for the protection of alternative meals. The paintings combines research of literary and archaeological facts from antiquity with that of conventional comparative practices and glossy nutrition technological know-how.

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The so-called Porticus Aemilia, a huge horreum, or warehouse, along the Tiber River in the southwest part of the city, showing the Romans’ increasing confidence in barrel vaulting. (From William L. MacDonald, The Architecture of the Roman Empire (1982): Plate 1a. MacDonald’s photo of the model city at the Museum of Roman Civilization at Rome. Courtesy of Yale University Press). ”40 In short, a cool, dry, well ventilated edifice where bulk commodities of all sorts, including grains, could be safely stored.

24–29: “The humble farmer then calls his hands to the work [of milling], dividing it between them; the left hand is intent on serving, the right on the working of the mill. 75 The rotary quern is essentially two cylindrical millstones of the same diameter, one atop the other. On the top surface of the upper stone, the catillus, or along its circumference, is a socket to receive a hand crank. The adjoining surfaces of the millstones are radially grooved and may be sloped, perhaps to move the flour to one side, but they tend to become horizontal as time goes by.

One end of the shaft is attached to the so-called ‘pit-wheel’ or gear wheel. How the shafts of horizontal wheels were housed remains vague. Vitruvius clearly states that the gear or pit wheel should be larger than the drive wheel, which implies that the mill is geared down, that is, the shaft of the gear wheel and thus its extension the spindle rotate more slowly than that of the drive wheel, thus producing more power but less velocity. This has been doubted. But such an arrangement, if it existed, was doubtless soon replaced by a lantern pinion, one of which has actually been preserved, and whose use is clearly implied at the millworks at the Baths of Caracalla.

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