FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1 AD to 1199
23 AD Pliny The Elder was born. Roman author of the 37 volume 'Natural History'. It was a digest and compilation of over 2,000 ancient books from nearly 500 authors. He included material whether it was accurate or not, thus leaving an invaluable record of ancient theories on subjects ranging from astronomy to zoology.
54 AD Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, Emperor of Rome A.D. 41-54, died. Known as Claudius I, supposedly he was poisoned with mushrooms by his wife Agrippina, after her son Nero was named as his heir.
64 AD The Great Fire of Rome begins and burns for a week. Rumors accuse Emperor Nero of ordering the burning of the city while he played his lyre as 70% of the city was destroyed.
79 AD Pliny The Elder Died. (see 23 AD)
100 AD The world's oldest surviving cookbook, De Re Coquinaria ("On Cookery"), is attributed to the 1st century Roman, Apicius.
100 AD The first mechanical dough mixer was supposedly invented in the 1st century AD by Marcus Virgilius Euryasaces, a freed slave. It 'consisted of a large stone basin in which wooden paddles, powered by a horse or donkey walking in circles, kneaded the dough mixture of flour, leaven, and water.' (Encyclopedia Brittanica)
2nd Century A.D. Athenaeus, a Greek gourmet, writes 'Deipnosophistai' (‘The Learned Banquet’). A dialogue between two banqueters who discuss food and recipes over a period of several days.
336 The first recorded celebration of Christmas on December 25.
408 The Visigoths attacked Rome and demanded 3,000 pounds of pepper as part of the city's ransom.
450 The Chinese invented the wheelbarrow by this date.
461 AD Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and the 'Apostle of Ireland' died. (The year is uncertain).
536 AD A dust fog blankets the earth for almost 2 years, temperatures plummet worldwide and crops fail causing a global famine. The cause is now thought to be an impact from a comet.
742 Charlemagne was born. Charlemagne, Charles I, Charles the Great, King of the Franks, Charles le Grand, Carolus Magnus, Karl Der Grosse, King of the Lombards, master of Western Europe, Emperor.
Some of the food related 'facts' I have come across related to Charlemagne:
• the peacock was first served in Europe during his reign; • Sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne
• Roquefort cheese was a favorite of his
• the knife began to be used to eat food for the first time during his reign (rather than the fingers)
• Roses were used to cover tables for meals.
I have no real corroboration for any of these 'facts'.
800 Coffee beans are being consumed in various ways in North Africa, but are not yet used to brew a beverage.
812 Charlemagne ordered imperial farms in Germany to grow anise, fennel, and fenugreek.
814 Charlemagne died. (see 742)
900 Fish are being farmed raised in China
1000 Roasted coffee beans are now being brewed to make coffee in Arabia.
1100 People began farming in small population groups near Red Wing, Minnesota.
1135 King Henry I of England (1068-1135) died, supposedly from indigestion caused by eating moray eel.
1137 Louis VI "The Fat" died. (King of France).