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Feasting with Royalty: Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, and Caesar

Feasting with Royalty: Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, and Caesar

3-Session Evening Series on Zoom

3 sessions, from August 19 to October 21, 2024
Code: 1D0058
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$60
Member
$75
Non-Member

The 3 programs included in this series are:

From the elaborate banquets of ancient civilizations to the lavish soirées of the Renaissance, feasts have revealed both the culinary delights of their time and the social hierarchies, power dynamics, and cultural exchanges that have shaped our past. In an evening series, food historian Francine Segan uncovers the meaning behind the food, drink, and rituals that have defined such gatherings and spotlights the unique foods of royal tables in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This session focuses on ancient Egypt in the time of Cleopatra.

From the elaborate banquets of ancient civilizations to the lavish soirées of the Renaissance, feasts have revealed both the culinary delights of their time and the social hierarchies, power dynamics, and cultural exchanges that have shaped our past. In an evening series, food historian Francine Segan uncovers the meaning behind the food, drink, and rituals that have defined such gatherings and spotlights the unique foods of royal tables in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This session focuses on ancient Greece in the time of Alexander the Great.

From the elaborate banquets of ancient civilizations to the lavish soirées of the Renaissance, feasts have revealed both the culinary delights of their time and the social hierarchies, power dynamics, and cultural exchanges that have shaped our past. In an evening series, food historian Francine Segan uncovers the meaning behind the food, drink, and rituals that have defined such gatherings and spotlights the unique foods of royal tables in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This session focuses on ancient Rome in the time of Caesar.

Still Life with Lobster, Drinking Horn and Glasses by Willem Kalf, 1653

From the elaborate banquets of ancient civilizations to the lavish soirées of the Renaissance, feasts have left an indelible mark on human culture and society. They reveal the culinary delights of their time and the social hierarchies, power dynamics, and cultural exchanges that have shaped our past.

Food historian Francine Segan uncovers the hidden layers of meaning behind the food, drink, and rituals that have defined such gatherings throughout the ages and spotlights the distinctive foods of royal tables in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In each session, participants receive a list of recipes for delicious dishes from across antiquity to make at home.

August 19  Dinner with Cleopatra

Journey back to ancient Egypt for an entertaining and informative foray into its foods and lush dining. Discover fascinating tidbits about Cleopatra’s dinner parties, including why guests wore wax cones; how Egyptians kneaded dough with their feet; and the must-serve foods for pyramid builders. Learn about the ancient Egyptian trick for tying a cord around the waist to prevent overeating; the foods harvested from the fertile Nile Valley; and the centuries-old health secrets and remedies of the pharaohs, including the many aphrodisiacs and foods that accompanied them in their tombs.

September 16  Dinner with Alexander the Great

Segan, author of The Philosopher’s Kitchen, offers tantalizing tales about the foods and dining customs of ancient Greece, including philosophical writings on wine, health, and even dinner party seating. Explore the Greek food myths on everything from how Athens got its name to why Zeus punished honeybees. Besides learning the origins of traditions such as candles on a birthday cake, flower girls at weddings, throwing a pinch of salt over the shoulder, and what the first Olympic athletes ate, uncover the health secrets of Hippocrates, Plato, and Socrates and discover the ancient roots of many popular modern-day Greek delicacies.

October 21  Dinner with Caesar

Roast peacock or flamingo tongue, anyone? Travel to ancient Rome for a peek at daily life in the time of the Caesars—when gluttony ruled. Examine citizens' routines such as workouts and steam baths at the public gymnasiums; amphitheater events; strolls through marketplaces; and evenings spent at lavish feasts. Learn about the delicacies, etiquette, and dining oddities of the time; hear the latest jokes and gossip that would have been shared at meals; and trace the origins of today’s Italian favorites including pizza and pesto

3 sessions

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