The Ancient Library

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And on the same occasion, the whole dinner, which consisted of vegetables, .was served up on a single platter (v. 2).

To r turn to our description, the dinner usually consisted of three courses: first, the promulsis or antecoena (Cio. ad Fain. ix. 20), called also c/iestatio (Petron. Sat. 31), made up of all sorts of stimu­lants to the appetite, such as those described by Horace (Sat. ii. 8. 9),

" Rapula, lactucae, radices, qualia lassum Pervellunt stomachum9 siser, alec, faecula Coa."

Eggs also (Cie. ad Fttm. ix. 20; Hor. Sat. i, 3. 6) were so indispensable to the first course that they almost gave a name to it (ab ovo Usque ad -mala). In the promulsis of Trimalchio's supper (Petron. 31) — probably designed as a satire on the emperor Nero — an ass of Corinthian brass is introduced, bearing two panniers, one of white, the other of black olives, covered with two large dishes inscribed with Trimalchio's name. Next come dormice (glires) on small bridges sprinkled with poppy-seed and honey, and hot sausages (toma-cula] on a silver gridiron (craticula), with Syrian prunes and pomegranate berries underneath. These, however, were imperial luxuries ; the frugality of Martial only allowed of lettuce and Sicenian olives ; indeed he himself tells us that the promulsis- was a refinement of modern luxury (JEp. xiii. 14, 1), Macrobius (Sat. ii. 9) has left an authentic record of a coena pontificum (see Hor. Carm. ii. 14. 28), given by Lentulus on his election to the office of flamen, in which the first course alone was made up of the following dishes: — Several kinds of shell-fish (echini, ostreac- crudae, pelo-rides, spondyli, glycomarides, murices purpurae, balani albi et niyri), thrushes, asparagus, a fatted hen (gallina aitilis), beccaficoes (fieedidae), nettles (urticae), the haunches of a goat and wild boar (lumbi copra-gini, aprugni), rich meats made into pasties (altilia ex farina inroluta), many of which are twice re­peated in the inventory.

It would far exceed the limits of this work even to mention all the dishes which formed the second course of a Roman dinner, which, whoever likes, may find minutely described in Bul'engerus. (De Conviviis, ii. and ni.) 0 birds, the Guinea hen (Afiu ams),the pheasant (phasiana, so called from Phasis, a river of Colchis), and the thrush, were most in repute ; the liver of a capon steeped in milk (Pliny), and beceafieoes (ficedulae) dressed with pepper, were held a delicacy. (Mart. iii. 5.) The peacock, according to Macrobius (Sat. ii. 9), was first introduced by Hortensius the orator, at an inaugural supper, and acquired such repute among the Roman gourmands as to be com­monly sold for fifty denarii. Other birds are mentioned, as the duck (anas, Mart. xiii. 52), especially its head and breast ; the woodcock (attagen), the turtle, and flamingo (plioenicopterus, Mart. xiii. 71), the tongue of which, Martial tells us, especially commended itself to the delicate palate. Of fish, the variety was perhaps still greater: the charr (scarus), the turbot (rhombus), the sturgeon (acipenser), the mullet (mullus], were highly prized, and dressed in the most various fashions. In the banquet of Nasidienus, an eel is brought, garnished with prawns swim­ming in the sauce. (Mart. Xenia, xiii.) Of solid meat, pork seems to have been the favourite dish, especially sucking-pig (Mart, xiii. 41) j the paps



of a sow served up in milk (sumen, Ibid, Ep. 44), the flitch of bacon (petaso, Ep. 55), the womb of a sow (vulva, Ep, 56), are all mentioned by Martial. Boar's flesh and venison were also in high repute, especially the former, described by Juvenal (Sat. i. 141) as animal propter convivia natum. Condiments were added to most of these dishes : such were the wmn'a, a kind of pickle made from the tunny fish (Mart. xiii. 103) ; the garum sociorum, made from the intestines of the mackerel (scomber}, so called because brought from abroad ; alec, a sort of brine ; faex, the sedir ment of wine, &c., for the receipts of which we must again refer the reader to Catius's learned instructor. (Hor. Sat. ii. 4.) Several kinds of fungi (Ibid. v. 20) are mentioned, trufles (boleti], mushrooms (tuberes), which either made dishes by themselves, or formed th > garniture for larger dishes, It must not be supposed that the artistes of im­perial Rome were at all behind ourselves in the preparation and arrangements of the table. In a large household, the functionaries to whom this important part of domestic economy was entrusted were four, the butler (promus), the cook (archi-magirus), the arranger of the dishes (structor\ and the carver (carptor or scissor). Carving was taught as an art, and, according to Petronius (35, 36), performed to the sound of music, with appro­priate gesticulations (Juv. Sat. v. 121),

" Nee minimo sane discrimine refert * Quo vultu lepores et quo gallina secetur."

In the supper of Petronius, a large round tray (ferculum, repositorium} is brought in, with the signs of the zodiac figured all round it, upon each of which the artiste (structor) had placed some ap­propriate viand, a goose on Aquarius, a pair of scales with tarts (scriblitae) and cheesecakes (pla­centae) in ea«h scale on Libra, &c. In the middle was placed a hive supported by delicate herbage. Presently four slaves come forward dancing to the sound of music, and take away the upper part of the dish ; beneath appear all kinds of dressed meats; a hare with wings, to imitate Pegasus, in the1 middle • and four figures of Marsyas at the corners, pouring hot sauce (garum piperatuni) over the fish,, that were swimming in the Euripus be­low. So entirely, had the Romans lost all shame of luxury, since the days when Cincius, in support­ing the Fannian law, charged his own age with the enormity of introducing the porcus Trojnnus (a sort of pudding stuffed with the flesh of other animals, Maerob. Sat. ii. 2).

The bellaria or dessert, to wMch Horace alludes when he says of Tigellius ab ovo Usque ad mala citaret, consisted of fruits (which the Romans usually ate uncooked), such as almonds (amygdalae), dried grapes (uvae passae), dates (palmidae, laryo-tae, daetyli) ; of sweetmeats and confections, called edulia mellita, dulciarioi, such as cheesecakes ,(ew-pediae, crustula, liba, placentae, artologani), almond cakes (copta#), tarts (scriblitae), whence the maker of them was called pistor dulciarius, placentarius, libarms, &c.

We will now suppose the table spread and the guests assembled, each with his mappa or napkin (Mart. xii. 29), and in his dinner dress, called coenatoria or cubitoria, usually of a bright colour (Petron. c. 21), and variegated with flowers. First they took off their shoes for fear of soiling the

couch (Mart. iii. 30), which was often inlaid with

. - ....

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