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Nutrition in the ancient world

John Wilkins (University of Exeter)

Respondent: Laurence Totelin (Cardiff University)

8 July 2021, 16:00 p.m. (UK time)

The paper will explore the history of nutrition in Greece through the eyes of Galen of Pergamum, from Homer to the second century AD and beyond. I will look at the definition of nutrition, the use of food technologies, comparative data from archaeology, and many examples of foods from pancakes to salt fish. Not to mention the effects of a vegetarian diet and the dangers of eating certain foods at the wrong stage of a meal. 

John Wilkins is Professor Emeritus of Greek Culture at the University of Exeter. He has edited texts of Euripides and Galen, and has a long-standing interest in the history of food in Greek Culture, in the dramatic and literary record, in archaeology and in particular in the history of medicine. 

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