Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Andrew Dalby

I'm currently fasinated by Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, but the reason Mr. Dalby is in the news these days is his new book on Homer, which posits that the bard was (gasp!) a woman. I have the Homer book on request from the library, and will post when I have read it. For now, I'm hugely enjoying Dalby's book on the food of Ancient Greece. Here's a taste:

"Little will be said here of political history. The appearance of new foods and new methods of cookery has usually nothing to do with politics but much to do with trade; it usually comes from the interchange of peoples and ideas...It is necessary to set the scene by saying something of the social context in which these foods were eaten..."

Which makes his book an entertaining and efficient way to do writing research.

As he says on his website, "Food history and language history are the two focuses of my research, and Greek and Latin texts are often my primary sources. I call myself a historian and linguist."



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