Apicius is a collection of ancient Roman recipes organized into 10 books: The Careful Housekeeper, The Meat Mincer, The Gardener, Many Ingredients, Pulse, Birds, The Gourmet, The Quadruped, The Sea, and The Fisherman (Vehling 67). The author, Marcus Gavius Apicius, was a well-known gastronome during the reign of Tiberius in the 1st century CE (Grout). Apicius contains over 450 recipes and complies works on agriculture, the household, and diets (University of Missouri). The recipes themselves were not complied until late 4th century or early 5th century (Grout). Although there is no indication of ingredient amounts, the book does have information on preservation and medicinal foods (Grout). Subjects were often separated into meat, vegetables, legumes, fowl, seafood, fish, and sauces (Grout). The preparation of recipies began with spices and herbs, mostly pepper and cumin (Grout).
Apicius is a primary indicator of ancient Roman cuisine, now and even in the 18th century. Martin Lister was a member of the Royal Society, a doctor to the British royal family, and a geologist. He printed a private edition of Apicius in 1709. He also included within his edition an extensively detailed commentary in addition to illustrations with various recipes (University of Missouri). Apicius not only gives us insight to spice use of ancient Rome, but also gives us an opportunity to observe how dining practices evolve over time.