Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Meals in a Social Context

Aspects of the Communal Meal in the Hellenistic and Roman World

A part of the series Aarhus Studies in Mediterranean Antiquity (1) , and the subject area

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248 pages ill., 2nd ed.
ISBN 87 7934 006 7

Edited by

With contributions by
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About the book

This collection of outstanding essays gives an in-depth look at the role of meals in creating a sense of family and community in the Mediterranean world in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

By looking at the dining habits of Greeks and Romans, Jews and Christians, Essenes and Therapeutes, an international cadre of scholars provides insight into how social mores and etiquette were passed on to children, how family life increased in importance for Christians, the conflict in styles when Greeks and Romans met, and how meals attained and sustained religious significance.

Other topics include funerary banquets; the etiquette of a formal dinner; the position of women at meals; royal feasts; the development of the Eucharist as a separate ritual; the architecture of the Greek andron and the Roman triclinium, early synagogues and temples; the diets of each culture.

A separate chapter discusses the provision of food for the hungry and the public ownership of the sea, salt and fish.

Table of contents


Introduction, Inge Nielsen and Hanne Sigismund Nielsen

Salt, Fish, and the Sea in the Roman Empire, Peter Ørsted

The Roman Family at Dinner, Keith Bradley

Roman Children at Mealtimes, Hanne Sigismund Nielsen

Eating with the Dead: the Roman Funerary Banquet, Hugh Lindsay

Ut Graeco More Biberetur: Greeks and Romans on the Dining Couch, Katherine Dunbabin

Royal Banquets: the Development of Royal Banquets and Banqueting Halls from Alexander to the Tetrarchs, Inge Nielsen

The Sixth Hour is the Mealtime for Scholars: Jewish Meals in the Roman world, David Noy

The Common Meal in the Qumran-Essene Communities, Per Bilde

Sacred Meal and Social Meeting: Paul's Argument in 1 Cor. 11.17-34, Geert Hallbäck

Regulating Fellowship in the Communal Meal: Early Jewish and Christian Evidence, L. Michael White



Index of Names

Index Locorum

Sanne Lind Hansen


MA in ethnography and classical archeology and trained at the Danish School of Journalism. Sanne primarily works with anthropology, archeology and early history. She is also responsible for foreign sales and commission agreements, and she was once employed at the National Museum (Antiquities).

Sanne Lind Hansen


Telephone: + 45 53 55 07 59


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