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Antiquity At Table

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With the Empire began that epoch of Bplendid gluttony which has no parallel. The history of tho Casars, with sorae exeeptions, ia a narrativo of a continual orgie. Take the aotorious group it rainlom - Commodus, Caligula, Tiberius, Verus, Vitellius, Nero, Heliogabalus, Domitian. These men spenl their livi-s iu a round strpus (!i'h.-uu-];c-]-'.-;. The d ; night, we are assurod, were not ion euoiigh for their reveis. Verus, the first to increase 1lie number oí guests from nine to twelve, prolonged liis suppera throughout the niglit. Nero sat at table from niidday to midmght. Tiberius s]jei)t Iwo daya and a niht at the festive board, They had hujie appetites - not only the gigantic Maximiiian, who devoured forty pounds of llesh nieat and drank five gallons of wine at a meal, but finical dandies likeGommodus, who ate even in the bath; Vitellius, who ceased eating only while he slept; Domitian, who ate "out of his hand" to stay his stomach in the intervals of regular repast. Heliogabalus, was, perhaps, the most elabórate, telliusthe most extravagant, in his dr.ilj faro. The latler gquandered in seven months seven millions sterling, chiefly on his table. The total staggera belief; but let us examine the figures on the other side. The Roman epicure is reported to have paid L05 or so for a mullet; a brace of pigeons coat L1 I2s. At an entertainment giren to Vitelliua by his brother, tivo thousand of the rarest Ssb and seven thousagd of tiie most curioua birda wcre served up. - One individual spent L5,000 on a single disk, made of the tongues of the oostliest singing birds. The Roman bon vivant, supping on the brains of peacocks and pheasants, the tongues of nightingales and the roes of the most delicate fisbes swallowed thousands of jjounds at a meal; and we need only multiply the individual expense by the numbêr of the gnesta toförm the notion of the cost of a iiigh-elass dinner in the days of the Caesars. A supper in the Appollo meant a couple of thousand pounds thrown to the purveyors. But the Emperors were certainiy tlie most reckless in the profligacies of tlietaolc. Séneca and Tacitas are among the authorilies 1 1 1 at. teil ns that Heliogabalus s]ent L20,000 on one Bupper; that Nero, master of "the House of Gold," ate a disb that cost over L30,000, and drank a bumper still more precious. It is asserted further that the Emperor Verus treated twelve friends to afeast whioh cost L46,000; and Séneca is rcsponsibl rj ihu staiemerrt tliut Caligtíía típeut


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