Apicius - De re coquinaria

Urb.lat. 1146 - Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)

Alternate Titles:

On the Subject of Cooking, Über die Kochkunst, Apicio - De Re Coquinaria

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

On the Subject of Cooking
Über die Kochkunst
Apicio - De Re Coquinaria

Type
Extent / Format

124 pages / 23.5 x 19.0 cm

Origin
Date
843-851
Style
Genre
Content

Collection of Roman cookery recipes

Language
Patron

Abbot Vivian

Artist / School

Author: Caelius Apicius

Former owners

Charles the Bald
Montefeltro family

Short description

The famous Roman cookbook by Apicius in one of only two surviving 9th century manuscripts! The 1st century work by the Roman gourmet Apicius is steeped in history and was probably supplemented and streamlined in the 4th century and is considered today to be a priceless testimonial to Roman cuisine and culture. This splendid manuscript was created around the middle of the 9th century in the famous scriptorium of St. Martin de Tours, which presents the text of Apicius in a luxurious edition. A wonderful historical inside view and still a feast today for modern gourmets!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Apicius - De re coquinaria

The famous Roman cookbook by Apicius in one of only two surviving 9th century manuscripts! The 1st century work by the Roman gourmet Apicius is steeped in history and was probably supplemented and streamlined in the 4th century and is considered today to be a priceless testimonial to Roman cuisine and culture. This splendid manuscript was created around the middle of the 9th century in the famous scriptorium of St. Martin de Tours, which presents the text of Apicius in a luxurious edition. A wonderful historical inside view and still a feast today for modern gourmets!

The Cuisine of Ancient Rome

Stuffed dormice, pig teats, vegetable gratin and asparagus pancakes, fried rays and fish sauce. All of this and more delicacies both typical and unusual are assembled in the cook book by Apicius, De re coquinaria. The text is attributed to a certain Caelius Apicius, a Roman gourmet from the 1st century. Having said this, this name has been handed down and attributed to at least three people in the most varied of sources – Seneca, Tacitus, and in the Historia Augusta – who were considered to be gourmets and who could be associated with the text of the cookbook. The name Apicius was a quasi-synonym for a gourmet in ancient Rome.

A First-Century Cookbook in a Carolingian Manuscript

The oldest surviving cookbook of Roman antiquity is attributed to this Apicius. This collection of 400 recipes is a continuously appended collection of recipes, which was presumably begun in the 1st century and was completed sometime in the 3rd or 4th century. De re coquinaria is a manual for all social classes, containing both everyday recipes as well as fine cuisine. Sauce recipes receive special attention, but numerous complete meals are also depicted. Today, the work only survives in Carolingian manuscripts.

A Coveted Collector’s Item

The famous manuscript of Apicius’ cookbook in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana is a work of Carolingian illumination. It originated in the years 843-851 in the trailblazing scriptorium of St. Martin de Tours. This luxurious edition with its lavish adornment and abundant use of gold was probably a gift for Charles the Bald (823-877). The manuscript finally made its way to Bologna by 1464 and was then acquired by the library of the Dukes of Urbino. Duke Guidobaldo loaned the magnificent cookbook to Angelo Poliziano (who wanted to compare it with his own Apicio, which is found today in St. Petersburg). It came into the Biblioteca Vaticana in 1658 as a part of the library of the Duke of Urbino, it is stored there today under the shelf mark Urb.lat. 1146.

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