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Apicius: A Critical Edition with an Introduction and English Translation Paperback – 9 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Prospect Books (9 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903018137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903018132
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 842,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Apicius" is the sole remaining cookery book from the days of the Roman Empire. Though there were many ancient Greek and Latin works concerning food, this collection of recipes is unique. The editors suggest that it is a survival from many such collections maintained by working cooks and that the attribution to "Apicius" the man (a real-life Roman noble of the 2nd century AD), is a mere literary convention. There have been many English translations of this work (and, abroad, some important academic editions) but none reliable since 1958 ("Flower and Rosenbaum"). In any case, this edition and translation has revisited all surviving manuscripts in Europe and the USA and proposes many new readings and interpretations. The great quality of this editorial team is while the Latin scholarship is supplied by Chris Grocock, Sally Grainger contributes a lifetime's experience in the practical cookery of adaptations of the recipes in this text. This supplies a wholly new angle from which to verify the textual and editorial suggestions. This volume supplies a fully referenced parallel text (Latin and English) of "Apicius" and of the excerpts from "Apicius" done by Vinidarius.

There is an extensive introduction discussing both the art of cookery in the later Empire and the origins of this text, together with a new hypothesis as to its true date. There are then long appendixes discussing the vexed question of the true nature of the Roman store-sauces, garum and liquamem. There is also a full bibliography and extensive discussion of the meaning of technical terms found in the text. This book will set a new standard for Apician studies.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marran Grey on 16 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume is worth reading for interests' sake whether you are a believer, a writer or are simply curious about this subect matter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Worth every penny 19 Nov. 2007
By C. Muusers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's true that there are editions that cost less. But despite the steep price, it is worth every penny.
The cooperation between Latin scholar Grocock and recreatonal cook Grainger has resulted in a book that can be used for serious research as well as creating your own Roman meal. To do that however, you'll have to have some experience in interpretating recipes that give no amounts, cooking times or oven temperatures. If you want to have a ready-made Roman cookbook, I'd advise Cooking Apicius: Roman Recipes for Today, also by Sally Grainger. But then you won't have ALL the recipes, and you'll miss out on the thirty recipes from the 'Extracts of Apicius' by Vinidarius (5th century), who used another redaction of 'De re coquinaria'.
Worthwile extras: a glossary, original sources on Apicius, cooking and luxury dining, named recipes in Apicius, an article on garum and liquamen, and a concordance of recipes with earlier editions.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Over-priced retranslation of Apicius 10 Feb. 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No wonder they didn't want to release this into the open market. The publisher is way too proud of the packaging. Releasing this at a more reasonable price would have at least doubled or tripled the sales! The work is excellent, with many new insights on Roman cooking by two noted scholars in the field. The new and fresh look, the background data, the recipes themselves, are all worthy of your time, but the price of the book has kicked it out of the hands of the casual cook and put in into the price range of severely dedicated hobbiests and scholars, a great disservice to the many readers who have an interest in this subject. There are several almost as good works for a much more reasonable price. I'd wait for a used or discounted version, unless you are really into the subject! I confess, I am happy to own the book, but I did NOT and would not pay full cover price for this work!
For Serious Study 17 Nov. 2013
By S. Linkletter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a scholarly treatise on Apicius, complete with the entire text in Latin and its translation into English. The translation is printed on pairs of pages, with the Latin on the left-hand pages and English on the right-hand pages. Following that translation is another translation, of a later excerpt purporting to be from the same cookbook. This was written by Vinidarius. The Vinidarius document also contains tips on stocking your kitchen, meant for an ancient Roman audience. There is a glossary of uncertain Roman culinary terms, with a complete discussion of each. There is a detailed discussion of Roman kitchens, cooking, and cooks, and details about what linguistic decisions the author made when translating Apicius. There is a discussion of garum and how it evolved into several forms in ancient Rome. There is a concordance of recipe numbering systems by various modern authors, which can be helpful if you are trying to compare Sally Grainger's "Cooking Apicius" recipes with anyone else's.

I am very happy that I bought this book, and if I missed mentioning a good feature it is because there is so much of interest to me in the book that I keep skipping around in it.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
great for the culinarian 15 Dec. 2009
By Xavier D. Duclos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a must read for all pro chef!if your a nut of food and must know how it all started and why here you go !read slowly
4 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Big dissapointment for history buffs & culinary students. 8 Oct. 2009
By Benjamin Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was expecting more for the price. I guess the publisher had to charge for the labor.

Did it really take expert linguists that long to translate this:"Put some turnips into a jar with honey and savory. They should keep in a cool dry place." The recipes aren't specific, and most of them should be, because they are dealing with aged and preserved foods.

You'd be better off with a cheaper version of modifed ancient recipes. I would also suggest a book on how to pickle vegetables.
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