A multicourse dinner began with the gustatio ("tasting" or "appetizer"), often a salad or other minimally cooked composed dish, with ingredients to promote good digestion. Scientific American says that it is a common belief in popular culture that the Romans had a special room called the vomitorium where they would go during dinner parties in order to purge their bellies so that they could make room to indulge in more food. An ordinary upper-class dinner would include meat, vegetables, eggs, and fruit. The most famous Roman party of all time, though, is a fictional one. Pliny the Younger. Modern authors as different as Aldous Huxley and Suzanne Collins have often discussed the vomitorium as a literal place in the home as a symbol of Roman excess, indulgence, and disgusting luxury. You can probably put together that a bacchanal is a celebration of the god Bacchus, known also as Dionysus, the Greco-Roman god of wine and fertility. Ancient Roman Dinner Parties Roman Parties, or Orgies, in ancient Rome, were usually organized at home by the matrons of the house. The year is 176 and Marcus Aurelius, one of two Emperors of Rome, has been off expanding the Roman Empire. The more exotic and expensive the food, the more impressive the hosts were. The Romans did not sit on chairs around the table like we do today. Daily life of Plebeians in ancient Rome. Anyway, Apicius spent all his money on fancy food and killed himself when he went bankrupt. But sometime in the 19th century, people started taking the word literally and applied it to their pre-existing notion of the Romans as an indulgent and gluttonous people. What It Was Really Like To Party Like An Ancient Roman, As the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, as the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, As History and Archaeology Online explains. As these entertaining spaces were meant to be a delight to the senses, an upper-class triclinium would often have many decorative elements such as floor mosaics, sculptures or other pieces of art, and fancy furniture. What did ancient Romans do for entertainment at dinner parties? When the ceiling was tilted open, a flood of petals fell heavily upon the guests and smothered them to death. He has returned to the Imperial Palace in Rome for two reasons: the birthday party of his daughter, Lucilla, and to complete the marriage arrangement between his only surviving son, Commodus, and a young woman named Drusa Clovius. Saturnalia represented an upending of standard social order. As opposed to larger public festivals, the Roman dinner party known as the convivium generally took place in a private home. The dinner (cena), the main meal of the day, would be accompanied by wine, usually well-watered. This reputation for bacchanalia goes back to ancient times as well. Despite this decree, bacchanalia continued covertly in southern Italy for many years. The famously extravagant emperor Elagabalus wanted to shower his dinner guests with flowers, so he built a dining hall with a false ceiling that was then filled them. The Roman Dinner Party Dinner Parties - A means to an end T he affluent members of Celtic society had little choice in deciding their future status under the Romans. The low-status guests would have to settle for staring at the dining room's expensive and extravagant wall art. Did they use forks and spoons? As opposed to larger public festivals, the Roman dinner party known as the convivium generally took place in a private home. Most of the time, it consisted of noble families getting together, eating elaborate food dishes, and talking about everything from politics to the weather. Couch, somewhat ironically known as hetairai Throw a perfect dinner party known as lectisternium served and the it... 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