The name Apicius is synonymous with wealth and Roman cuisine, but there were three gastrophiles who bore this name in Imperial Rome. Marcus Gavius Apicius was the author of De Re Coquinara, the oldest known cook book in existence. He lived luxoriously at the resort of Minturnae during the reign of Tiberius. He reportedly spent 100 million sesterces on his lavish dinners, which eventually exhausted his fortunes. Unable to indulge his lavish appetites anymore, Apicius chose to commit suicide rather than eat like a peasant.

De Re Coquinara

Higgledy-Piggledy
Gifted Apicius
Jotted down recipes,
Left a great book;
Centuries later, we
Tongue-in-cheek-saucily
Say that the man was a
Chef, not a cook.


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