Gastronomy/Food in antiquity/House of the Deer, Herculaneum

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Dates and figs House of the Deer, Herculaneum

KalendisDactyli.jpg


Roman custom of giving dates, figs, honey, and small coins to celebrate the New Year on the 1st of January. Here are dates with small coins and figs on the fresco from the House of the Deer, Herculaneum (before 79 AD, 4th style)

Ovid, Fasti 1, 185-190 (published 8 AD)

  • 'quid volt palma sibi rugosaque carica' dixi
  • 'et data sub niveo candida mella cado?'
  • 'omen' ait 'causa est, ut res sapor ille sequatur
  • et peragat coeptum dulcis ut annus iter.'
  • 'dulcia cur dentur video: stipis adice causam,
  • pars mihi de festo ne labet ulla tuo.'

Martial 13, 27 (Xenia, published 84 AD around Saturnalia)

XXVII Petalium caryotarum[edit]

  • Aurea porrigitur Iani caryota Kalendis;
  • Sed tamen hoc munus pauperis esse solet.