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Ancient Texts

De re coquinaria Our ideal gastronomic library begins with a Greek treatise by Archestrato, a celebrated cook, born in Siracusa (or in Gela), Sicily in the 4th century. Although a few fragments of his work, (possibly titled Edipatia, Deipnologia or Opsopeia) remain, he is acknowledged for having used the term gastronomia for the first time, referring to the art of the table. The word did not appear again until the 19th century, when it was used as it is today.
Other works by Greek authors worth citing include those of Hippocrates, Theophrastus, Galen, Dioscorides, all related to the medical-dietary field, and the fragments of Artemidorus Daldianus’ writings, which still exist thanks to careful preservation of Athenaeus.

The most important culinary text from the Latin world is De re coquinaria by Caelius Apicius (230 a.d.), published for the first time in Italian by Giambattista Baseggio in 1852 and printed by Antonelli under the title Delle vivande e condimenti ovvero dell'arte della cucina. However, there are many other Roman writers that wrote about the culinary arts, including the authors of Rei rusticae, or agricultural treatises, like Cato, Varro, Columella and Palladio. There are also a number of books on the subject, including De medicina (On Medicine)  by Celsus, Naturalis historia (Natural History) by Pliny the Elder, Saturnalia (about the Roman feast) by Macrobius, and the poetic works of Hesiod and Virgil, based on Homeric subjects.
After the Barbaric invasions, the foundations of ancient gastronomy were constructed during the Middle Ages. Food writing appeared in the form of medical books, large catalogues of herbs, plants and animals and in the agricultural treatises seen as nutritional and dietary advice. Occasionally, there is mention of the quality of products and their suitability for human consumption.

Regimen sanitatis The last major contributions from the ancient world include Regimen sanitatis, complied by the teachers of the celebrated Medical School of Salernitana in the 12th and 13th centuries and published in 1480, and Liber ruralium commodorum, written by Pietro de'Crescenzi (1230-1321) during the beginning of the 14th century.