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Transcript
ANATOMY OF A ROMAN DINNER PARTY
Roman dinner parties were similar but more sumptuous than those of today. Hors d'oeuvres were served,
followed by six or seven main courses, then several kinds of dessert, with a lot of drinking underscoring
the whole affair before, during, and after the actual dinner. A small army of slaves usually dealt with the
whims of the guests as well as serving watered-down wine throughout the proceedings. Some hosts
served their best wine to start with and then lesser vintages as guests became more intoxicated. In the
early days of Rome, women were discouraged from drinking wine altogether, unless it was well watereddown, but this stricture was dropped during the empire. At any dinner party it was considered polite to
belch.
PHASE OF THE DINNER
PARTY
Hors d'oeuvres
Main Course
LATIN
NAME
TYPICAL FOOD
SERVED
Salads, radishes,
gustatio
or
mushrooms, eggs,
promulsio oysters, sardines
prima
mensa
OTHER NOTES
followed an initial drink of
wine sweetened with honey
There might be several hors
d’oeuvres at an elegant
dinner party
Fish included eel,
turbot, mackerel, tunny,
mullet, eels, prawns,
oysters, other shellfish.
Poultry dishes
included: chicken,
goose, ostrich, crane,
There might be several main
duck, partridge,
courses in an elegant dinner
pheasant, pigeon, dove, party
and--for the rich-peacock. Meat included
boar, venison, wild
goat, mutton, lamb, kid,
sucking pig, hare,
dormice, and sausage
Offering to the Household
Gods
?
None
Involved a short silence while
an offering of wheat, salt, and
wine was made to the
household gods on the family
altar
Dessert
secunda
mensa
every kind of honeysweetened cakes and
fruit.
Two favorite desserts were
stuffed dates and honeyed
bread; another was poppyseeds mixed with honey.
Wine mixed with water
During the rest of the party,
music, song, dancing girls,
conjurors, dwarfs, and
acrobats were sometimes
provided as entertainment
After Dinner Drinking and
Entertainment
?
The Invitation
Every great party has to start with an invitation. You are a rich Roman who wants to show off all
of the decadence you have. You need to throw a dinner party in order to prove to Rome how much
power and wealth you possess. Design an invitation that:





explains why you are throwing the party
has a menu for the guests
tells about the entertainment
is colorful and makes people want to attend your party
optional: has a seating chart
You will be graded on the rubric below:
Reason for Party
_______/1
A valid reason for the party is given according to the social structure and norms of Roman society
Menu
_______/2
An authentic menu of Roman foods are given
Entertainment
_______/1
Real roman entertainment is explained and offered
Colorful
_______/1
Bedazzeled
Total Score
_______/5