Peter Jones

An Ancient Stew

Around the Roman Table

By

Macmillan 371pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

WE CLASSICISTS SPEND a lot of our time taking things on trust, without quite knowing how they can be true. The use of olive oil provides a good example. Every book on the ‘Amazing Ancients’ reports that olive oil was a multi-purpose product, used for lighting, cooking and cleaning and for making perfumes, cosmetics and medicines. Until now it has always been the last use that has had me baffled, but Patrick Faas explains all, and embarrassingly obvious it is too.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter