Between a literary topos and reality: The diet of the inhabitants of Germania in the light of Tacitus’ account Cover Image
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Między literackim toposem a rzeczywistością Dieta mieszkańców Germanii w świetle relacji Tacyta
Between a literary topos and reality: The diet of the inhabitants of Germania in the light of Tacitus’ account

Author(s): Judyta Rodzińska-Nowak
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Jerzy Kolendo; archaeology; Poland; Europe; University of Warsaw; Polish Academy of Sciences
Summary/Abstract: Through an analysis of Tacitus’ account of the diet of the inhabitants of Germania, provided in the 23rd chapterof Germania, it has been demonstrated that it is presently diffi cult to clearly distinguish literary topos fromthe reality of every-day life of the Barbaricum tribes. Tacitus’ references to their simple meals that only staveoff hunger, to eating forest fruit and wild game as well as sour milk were supposed to show the crudeness ofthe Barbarians, while in the light of more recent studies on the diet of the inhabitants of the Central EuropeanBarbaricum they seem to a certain degree credible. Despite the growth of agriculture and animal husbandry,which has been proven by archaeological and botanical sources, the inhabitants of barbarian Europe made useof various natural resources by cultivating, gathering, hunting and fi shing. Perhaps, this situation was the effectof some more general determinants, both ecological and social, of the food economy of the prehistoric and earlyhistoric communities.

  • Page Range: 328-334
  • Page Count: 6
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English, Polish, German