GRC30210 Eating and Drinking in Classi

Academic Year 2024/2025

*** Not available in the academic year indicated above ***

This module examines food and drink production and consumption in ancient Greece and Rome through a combination of archaeological remains, literary sources, iconography, and anthropological theory. From daily bread to pungent fish sauce, food consumption can be linked to wider social issues such as status and identity. These issues will be considered with reference to specific topics including feasting (Greek symposion and Roman convivium), sacrifice, taboos, and funerary meals, while case studies of olive oil, wine, cereals and fish will facilitate an understanding of food production in the ancient world. Tutorials include recreating Roman recipes and identifying spices. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to reflect on their own consumption habits and related contemporary issues. An optional visit to the UCD apiary is included.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
• understand the contexts of Classical food and drink production and consumption
• critically assess primary archaeological, literary, and iconographic data and modern scholarly interpretations
• recognise how consumption choices are linked to wider social patterns
• discuss contemporary and personal consumption habits and how they differ from those of the Classical past

Indicative Module Content:

Funerary food
Food taboos
Olive oil
Fish and fish sauce
NB - this list is indicative and some topics may change

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines lectures and tutorials. In both settings, students are actively encouraged to contribute to class with reflections on their own experiences of eating and drinking or other comments. Tutorials include some practical aspects, such as recreating a Roman recipe, and an optional visit to UCD apiary complements the session on honey and beekeeping. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Some familiarity with the Classical world may be advantageous but is not strictly necessary.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback will be provided to students individually within 20 working days of the assessment submission. Some general feedback will be given for Assessment 1 in class afterwards. Students are welcome to contact the module coordinator with any queries or if further details are required.

Peter Garnsey (1999) Food and Society in Classical Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Christine Hastorf (2017) The Social Archaeology of Food: Thinking about Eating from Prehistory to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Katheryn Twiss ( 2019) The Archaeology of Food: Identity, Politics and Ideology in the Prehistoric and Historic Past. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

John Wilkins and Shaun Hill (2006) Food in the Ancient World. Oxford: Blackwell.