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Anthimus was a Greek doctor condemned by the Emperor in Constantinople to a life of exile at the court of Theodoric the Ostrogoth, barbarian ruler of Italy at the beginning of the 6th century AD. In the course of his life in Ravenna, he was sent as ambassador to the King of the Franks and wrote, perhaps as a sweetener to his fierce yet royal host, a letter about foods, describing in detail which were good for you, which were bad, and, sometimes, how to cook and serve them. Anthimus' text may reasonably be called the first French cookery book; and this is a new and more accurate modern language edition, printed with the Latin and English in parallel on facing pages.
Mark Grant provides a general historical introduction, which corrects various errors of fact in earlier editions, a Latin text based on the editio princeps of 1864, a modern English translation, and a full commentary on Anthimus' work itself, complete with many cross-references to classical medical treatises, the literature of classical cookery, and modern scholarship insofar as it knows anything of the food and cookery of the early Merovingian Franks.
This work by Anthimus has long been studied for the light it sheds on the linguistic transition from classical to medieval Latin, but rarely has it been treated for what it was: a cookery and medical treatise. It shows cooking on the cusp between the bread, vegetable and oil based cuisine of the Mediterranean and the meat dominated cookery of the northern forests. This short treatise is essential to an understanding of the development of West European medieval and early modern cooking. This version was first published by Prospect Books in 1996 and is being brought back into print due to continuing demand.
Buy Anthimus. De Observatione Ciborum: On the Observance of Foods (Anthimus) by Mark Grant from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781903018521 & 1903018528
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