Author: laurencetotelin

Local recipes for local people: Reading recipes in the classroom (and the pub!)

By Lucy-Anne Judd As a PhD researcher exploring regional examples of recipe manuscripts in the local archives, I was thrilled when two opportunities to talk about my research with two very different local audiences recently arose. The first, for the wonderful Nottingham PubhD audience, and the other, in a nearby…

Temporality in John Dauntesey’s Recipe book (1652-1683)

by Melissa Schultheis In May and June of this year, I had the opportunity to research recipe books and midwifery manuals at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. One manuscript, inscribed “John Dauntesey 1652,” contains several manuscript copies of printed medical texts, including information on gynecology and alchemy, along with…

Wormy beer and wet nursing in the Roman Empire

As pointed out by Elaine Leong in a recent post, beer is a favourite topic at The Recipes Project. As a Belgian, I felt I should perhaps add something to the subject. As a classicist, however, I rarely encounter beer. Famously, the Greeks and Romans were wine drinkers, and considered…

The funeral of Mrs Potato: a round-up of World War I recipes

A few days ago, while visiting the exposition ’14-18 – it’s our history’ at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, Belgium, one document particularly caught my attention: an obituary notice for the passing … Continue reading →

The funeral of Mrs Potato: a round-up of World War I recipes

A few days ago, while visiting the exposition ’14-18 – it’s our history’ at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels, Belgium, one document particularly caught my attention: an obituary notice for the passing … Continue reading →

Say – horse – cheese

By Laurence Totelin Last time I blogged for the Recipes Project, I talked about mares. I’d like today to return to mares, their milk and the cheese made with it. These were not delicacies that the Greeks and Romans themselves … Continue reading →

Horse love pills

  By Laurence Totelin In the seventh century BCE, Semonides of Amorgos wrote his now infamous poem on the races of women, each one worse than the next. The mare-woman is perhaps my favourite, the ultimate high-maintenance lady: Another type a … Continue reading →    

Cold, dry and bald

  By Laurence Totelin A few months ago, I read with fascination – and surprise – a post by Jennifer Evans on the treatment of baldness in the early modern period. According to one of her sources (William Drage, a physician and … Continue reading →    

Garlic and fertility testing in the Greek world

  By Laurence Totelin In my last blog post, I discussed some ancient gender tests. This month, I turn to Greek fertility tests. In the Greek world, women only entered full womanhood upon conception and delivery of a child, preferably a … Continue reading →    

Gender Testing in Antiquity

By Laurence Totelin In my last post for this blog, I examined the role of rennet (in particular, seal’s rennet) in Greek and Roman medicine. As it often happens in research – or at least in mine – once I … Continue reading →

Eating of curds and whey: rennet in ancient medicine

Last month, I examined the issue of ‘curdled milk in the breast’ in Greek and Roman medicine. The texts I quoted all used the words ‘cheesy’ (turōdēs) or ‘to make cheesy’ (turoō) – they did not refer to rennet (putia), … Continue reading →

A recipe fit for a king

By Laurence Totelin One of my favourite characters in the history of ancient pharmacology is Attalus III, king of Pergamum (ruled from 138 to 133 BCE). As a king, he is remembered for bequeathing his small kingdom to Rome at … Continue reading →

Because she is worth it

By Laurence Totelin Recently, I started experimenting with Greek, Roman and Byzantine recipes for pharmacological and cosmetic concoctions. My most adventurous attempt so far was recreating the ‘soap used by the Patrician Pelagia’, a recipe preserved in the writings of Aetius of Amida (sixth century CE): Soap the Patrician [i.e. noble]…