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Copy of Roman food preparation and cooking equipment

The upper part of the bronze apparatus was used to cook food or keep food warm in dining rooms. The lid of this top part shows a man on his knees with his arms chained. The separate lower part is used as a charcoal burner. Ancient Greek and Roman medicine was based on maintaining the balance between the four humours. Food was one of the many factors thought to influence an individual’s humours.

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Glossary: humours

The fluids of the body whose balance is essential to well-being. They are blood, choler (yellow bile), phlegm, and melancholy (black bile). The system of the humours was closely related to the theory of the elements by the Ancient Greeks (especially Hippocrates), who were the first society to widely embrace the theory and apply it to medical practice. In Ancient Roman culture, the theory of the humours was embraced by Galen. During the neo-classical revival in western culture, the theory of the humours was a dominant form of medical practice. Its legacy in the form of activities such as blood-letting continued in England into the eighteenth century.

Glossary: food preparation equipment

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