New in the Antiquaries’ Shoebox

Drawing of a pyxis from Smiths Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

Drawing of a pyxis from Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

Several years ago, LacusCurtius‘ Bill Thayer started to put online some articles from scholarly journals. He called this section of his website the Antiquary’s Shoebox, and every now and then, he adds to it. The articles may be a bit old, but at least you do not need an expensive JSTOR account.

If I have counted correctly, it now contains 140 articles. The latest contributions are on seven places in Italy called Ferentum and Ferentinum and on Roman Milestones and the Capita Viarum (which also deals with more than one place called Nuceria). Finally, it’s a somehow reassuring thought that someone has written an article on The Roman Craze for Surmullets.

2 Responses to New in the Antiquaries’ Shoebox

  1. rcantera says:

    Happy to see that somebody cared to explain that classical craze for mullets. As a modern mullet-lover I wondered why in the hell they preferred them big, save for the sake of some sort of absurd competition. Everybody knows that small mullets (salmonetes in standard Spanish) taste better than bigger ones and they are preferable not in the least because they are better adapted to deep-oil frying.
    As far as I know the red variety is also the less esteemed in Spain because it haves a slight slimy aftertaste. For those interested, mullets taste quite different from most fish, with a shrimp-like flavor and a tasty firm meat; they also give an attractive and distinctive salmon color to frying oil.
    If you ever go to Spain try salmonetes, preferably those from the Atlantic/Cantabric seas (cold water fish is invariably tastier). But beware, they are still an expensive fish.

  2. Bill Thayer says:

    Cantabria — I wonder whether you may have put the finger on just why mullets suddenly became popular when they did: the author of that article takes note of the fact, but doesn’t even try to explain it. Augustus of course spent time in Cantabria, personally conducting the war there (which was unusual for him); did he and his high-ranking staff learn of the cold-water mullet there, and on returning to Rome and their seaside villas in Italy try to breed them?

    On another note, though many of the Shoebox articles can be found in JSTOR, some cannot. I’m fortunate to have access, if somewhat indirectly, to the collections of one of the larger libraries in the US, and sometimes go browsing!

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