Mar 25, 2023  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2022-23 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2022-23
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CARS 2170 - Food, Drink and Identity in the Ancient World

Through myth, literature, religion, art and archaeology, this course investigates different kinds of evidence for the food cultures of the ancient Near East, the Greek world and the Roman Empire. Specific types of food and drink and occasions at which they were shared formed the social and religious ties at the heart of these civilizations, and helped shape modern Western values concerning food production and consumption. Food security, human fertility, sense of community, relation to the gods and proper social order are all themes that reappear in the myths, literature and art of these major civilizations.

Credit Hours: 3
OHIO BRICKS Arch: Constructed World
General Education Code (students who entered prior to Fall 2021-22): 2HL
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will be able to identify the main crops and animals in Mediterranean agriculture and explain how they make up a flexible and sustainable agricultural system.
  • Students will be able to explain myths and rituals centered on food and drink in their wider literary, iconographic and cultural contexts.
  • Students will be able to analyze the ways in which food, drink and dining etiquette are used in different cultures to maintain status and identity.
  • Students will be able to evaluate critically the roles that food and alcohol play in defining transgressive behavior related to class, ethnicity and gender in different ancient literary genres.
  • Students will be able to analyze gender and status markers in scenes of banqueting from different cultures and test interpretations in light of literary and archaeological evidence.
  • Students will be able to explain the main causes of food insecurity in the ancient Mediterranean, and analyze the strategies developed at different levels of society to alleviate its effect.
  • Students will be able to integrate their analysis of texts and material culture to develop a complex evidence-based reconstruction of past foodways that recognizes complexities, and acknowledges limitations.
  • Students will be able to explain aspects of ancient food cultures using principles, methodology and terminology drawn from Classical studies and archaeology.

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