Roman Dining

Katherine M. D. Dunbabin and William J. Slater

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Roman Dining

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Historical Archaeology


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This article describes the dining customs and practices of the Romans. It begins with a discussion of the history of Roman dining practices and looks at the architecture and placement of the dining room. Social dining, the presence of women in social banquets, the preparation rituals, and the dining apparatus used are also studied. It shows that social dining can involve entertainers and other forms of frivolities, and public banquets were held by a benefactor for a large group of people. The article also takes a look at the ideals and ethics involved in the convivium. Other types of social dining events are described.

Keywords: dining; customs; practices; history; architecture; placement; preparation; dining apparatus; entertainers; ethics

Article.  9937 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Historical Archaeology

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