From field to table : visual images of food in the western Roman Empire
Tucker, Joan Romanosky
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Although studies have been made of visual representations of food in Greek and Etruscan art, no comparable study exists for the art of Rome. This study focuses on visual images of food production and consumption in the western Roman empire of the first through fourth centuries AD and correlates the images with the ancient literary sources. Chapter One focuses on rural life, Chapter Two on the city, and Chapter Three on the home. The fact that the Roman elite (in Italy and the provinces) frequently chose to represent food in mosaics and frescoes found in their homes and shops, as well as on funeral monuments, is evidence that food was important to them as a symbol of status. Romans could proclaim their Romanitas as providers of food for the vast empire, while at the same time displaying their wealth.
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