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date: 27 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter discusses ancient Greek dietetic theory and practice; for Greek physicians and patients, diet was one of the primary means of medical intervention. Diet was treated along with exercise, as well as sleep, massage, drugs, and sex. The many authors of the Hippocratic differed about diet, and Galen favors his own advice. We have mere scraps from Hellenistic authors such as Diocles of Carystus, Archestratus, Mnesitheus of Athens, Diphilus of Siphnos, and Phylotimus. The late antique Latin cookbook “Apicius” (likely named for the first-century ce gourmand), promotes a style of cookery that survived into the mediaeval world: blending numerous seasonings and the characteristic balance between sweet and sour, still redolent in the traditional agrodolce sauces of Italian cuisine. Theories of diet and digestion varied enormously as well, Hippocrates claiming concoction, Erasistratus thinking of mechanical grinding and dispersion, and others deciding upon distribution, the more dominant theory in late antiquity.

Keywords: Apicius, Archestratus, Diocles of Carystus, Diphilus of Siphnos, Erasistratus, Galen, Gargilius Martialis, Hippocrates, Mnesitheus of Athens, Phylotimus

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