In press: Taste and the Ancient Senses & Touch and the Ancient Senses

Forthcoming publications in the Senses in Antiquity series

Due out in August Taste and the Ancient Senses, edited by Kelli Rudolph.

About the Book

Olives, bread, meat and wine: it is deceptively easy to evoke ancient Greece and Rome through a few items of food and drink. But how were their tastes different from ours? How did they understand the sense of taste itself, in relation to their own bodies and to other modes of sensory experience? This volume, the first of its kind to explore the ancient sense of taste, draws on the literature, philosophy, history and archaeology of Greco-Roman antiquity to provide answers to these central questions.

By examining the literary and material remains from the Archaic period to late antiquity, contributors excavate the cultural and intellectual development of attitudes towards and theories about taste. These specially commissioned chapters also open a window onto ancient thinking about perception and the body. Importantly, these authors go beyond exploring the functional significance of taste to uncover its value and meaning in the actions, thoughts and words of the Greeks and Romans. Taste and the Ancient Senses presents a full range of interpretative approaches to the gustatory sense, and is an indispensable resource for students and scholars of classical antiquity and sensory studies.

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Tables


Notes on Contributors

Introduction: On the Tip of the Tongue: Making Sense of Ancient Taste

Kelli C. Rudolph

1. Tastes of Greek Poetry: From Homer to Aristophanes

Sarah Hitch

2. Tastes of Reality: Epistemology and the Senses in Ancient Philosophy

Kelli C. Rudolph

3. Tastes in Ancient Botany, Medicine and Science: Bitter Herbs and Sweet Honey

Laurence Totelin

4. Tastes of Homer: Matro’s Gastroaesthetic Tour Through Epic

Mario Telò

5. Tasting the Roman World

Emily Gowers

6. Tastes from Beyond: Persephone’s Pomegranate and Otherworldly Consumption in Antiquity

Meredith J. C. Warren

7. Tastes of Roman Italy: Early Roman Expansion and Taste Articulation

Laura Banducci

8. Tastes and Digestion: Archaeology and Medicine in Roman Italy

Patricia Baker

9. Tastes of Meat in Antiquity: Integrating the Textual and Zooarchaeological Evidence

Michael MacKinnon

10. Tastes in the Roman Provinces: An Archaeobotanical Approach to Socio-Cultural Change

Alexandra Livarda

11. Tastes of Wine: Sensorial Wine Analysis in Ancient Greece

Thibaut Boulay

12. Tastes of the Extraordinary: Flavour Lists in Imperial Rome

John Paulas

13. Tastes of Danger and Pleasure in Early and Late Antique Christianity

Béatrice Caseau



Due out in October 2017: Touch and the Ancient Senses, edited by Alex Purves

About the Book

Unlike the other senses, touch ranges beyond a single sense organ, encompassing not only the skin but also the interior of the body. It mediates almost every aspect of interpersonal relations in antiquity, from the everyday to the erotic, just as it also provides a primary point of contact between the individual and the outside world. The essays in this volume explore the ways in which touch plays a defining role in science, art, philosophy, and medicine, and shapes our understanding of topics ranging from aesthetics and poetics to various religious and ritual practices. Whether we locate the sense of touch on the surface of the skin, within the body or – less tangibly still – within the emotions, the sensory impact of touching raises a broad range of interpretive and phenomenological questions.

This is the first volume of its kind to explore the sense of touch in antiquity, bringing a variety of disciplinary approaches to bear on the sense that is usually disregarded as the most base and obvious of the five. In these pages, by contrast, we find in touch a complex and fascinating indicator of the body’s relation to object, environment, and self.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What and Where is Touch?

Alex Purves

1. Hands Know the Truth: Touch in Euryclea’s Recognition of Odysseus

Silvia Montiglio

2. Touching, Proximity, and the Aesthetics of Pain in Sophocles

Nancy Worman

3. Aristotle and the Priority of Touch

Rebecca Steiner Goldner

4. The Duality of Touch

David Sedley

5. Getting to Grips with Classical Art: Rethinking the Haptics of Graeco-Roman Visual Culture

Verity Platt and Michael Squire

6. In the Body of the Beholder: Herder’s Aesthetics and Classical Sculpture

Helen Slaney

7. The Contaminating Touch in the Roman World

Jack Lennon

8. The Touch of Poetry in the Carmina Priapea

Elizabeth Young

9. In Touch, In Love: Apuleius on the Aesthetic Impasse of a Platonic Psyche

Giulia Sissa

10. Noli me tangere: the Theology of Touch

Catherine Conybeare

11. Losing Touch: Impaired Sensation in Greek Medical Writings

Rebecca Flemming

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