Sunday, January 28, 2018
Aeneas, his chief captains, and fair IülusNicholas Horsfall, Virgil, Aeneid 7: A Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2000), p. 114 (on line 109):
lay their limbs to rest under the boughs of a high tree,
and spread the feast; they place cakes of meal on the grass
beneath the food—Jove himself inspired them—
and they crown the wheaten base with fruits of the field.
Aeneas primique duces et pulcher Iulus
corpora sub ramis deponunt arboris altae,
instituuntque dapes et adorea liba per herbam
subiciunt epulis (sic Iuppiter ipse monebat) 110
et Cereale solum pomis agrestibus augent.
liba Technically a cake of far, oil and honey, used in offerings (so Serv. here and cf. Cato, Agr. 75; 'Opferkuchen' to Wissowa, passim): the size of small buns (Ryberg (615), 40 and pl. X, carried by the Aen. of the Ara Pacis, when about to sacrifice the sow), when used in such contexts and clearly not what V. has in mind here. 'Pizza' cries J. Ades (CJ 64 (1968/9), 268), 'chapatis' retorts Gransden (Virgil's Iliad (Cambridge 1984), 51), 'focaccia' asserts Ranucci (EV 3, 876f.). 'Pitta' counters Braun, cit.; at least he knows (as do I, as a regular consumer) what emmer bread tastes and looks like (not, indeed like pitta!). Bakery aside (not to mention emmer soup, still a delectable staple in rural Umbria), V. uses an archaising adj. and a noun from the lexicon of sacred offerings (a dozen instances in Ov. F., e.g.) for an item of quite different appearance (and 'pitta' will do very well for flat bread on which food is heaped) on an initially non-ritual occasion.Braun is Thomas Braun, "Barley cakes and emmer bread," in Food in Antiquity, ed. John Wilkins, et al. (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995), pp. 25-37.
James E.G. Zetzel, in his harsh review of Horsfall, Classical Philology 96.4 (October, 2001) 438-442 (at 440), objected to this note, among others, as unnecessary. Ades' suggestion seems to have been made half tongue in cheek. See:
- John I. Ades, "Vergil (Or Aeneas) et Pizza," Classical Journal 64.6 (March, 1969) 268
- John I. Ades, "The Pizza Plot," Classical Outlook 49.10 (June, 1972) 112-114
- Stephen Bertman, "The Half-Baked Theory of Pizza," Classical Outlook 50.8 (April, 1973) 88-89