Felix convivum : platters and transformations of dining behavior in the Roman world
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Most people in the Roman world used ceramic tableware, despite its absence in iconographical and in literary sources. This observation leads to many questions about how the iconographical, literary sources and archaeological material reflect actual dining practices during the Roman period. In this thesis, I will examine the presence, or absence, in the archaeological record of large-sized platters in conjunction with the iconographical and literary records in order to trace the development and transformation of one aspect of Roman dining behavior. In order to use pottery to examine transformations in dining behavior, it is necessary to examine a shape found in several different wares with a specific function related to dining. I believe that large-sized platters with a diameter of 0.40 m. more fulfill this requirement because the large size of these vessels indicates that they were used during a communal meal. Additionally, the presence of large-sized platters is limited to specific points in time during the Roman period and by investigating the limited chronological presence of these vessels within a broader social context may reveal changing attitudes and tastes towards dining behavior in a way that other vessels cannot
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