Spices Of The Ancient Roman World

This exhibit explores spices of the Roman Empire: their origins, whether imported from exotic places, or the seasonings they would have had available in their own gardens, and the evidence for the use of these in their cooking. We drew from ancient sources as much as possible, especially Pliny’s Natural History and the ancient recipes and critiques of Apicius, as authorities on how spices traveled from place to place, their various properties, and how people in ancient Rome would have used them in cooking. We also wanted to incorporate information compiled by the Getty Museum for their experimental recreation of a Roman herb garden, and selected a few common herbs the Romans grew themselves that are still widely used in cooking today.



Ella McCafferty Wright, Clara McCafferty Wright, and Lauren Phillips