About the Lecture

Using mainly archaeological evidence, James Higginbotham has recently shown in Piscinae (UNC: 1997) that "during the later Roman Republic and the early empire, the practice of raising fish, or pisciculture, reached an impressive level of complexity." His work springs from earlier studies. The late 1950's saw the beginning of research about the methods and economics of the production of fish sauce or garum in the work of Thomas Corcoran, and this interest has continued. John D'Arms' book, Romans on the Bay of Naples (1970) brought out pisciculture's cultural aspects. Thus stands the scholarship in classical studies regarding the archaeological record. The literary evidence from Graeco-Roman antiquity also bears scrutiny for it had an impact upon readers in later periods. In the fashion of the ancients, fish were used as symbols and metaphors, both social and religious, and as a means to indulge in forms of "conspicuous consumption."

Dr. Ronnick's lecture will provide an overview of the topics mentioned above, offer a brief survey of the literature, and then show how some of these elements reappear in seventeenth-century England (Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler and his circle of friends) and in seventeenth-century New England (verse of Samuel Danforth).

This material was placed on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz of Monmouth College, If you have any questions, you can contact him at toms@monm.edu.

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