With so many of us having experienced lockdown due to the Coronavirus this year, it is no surprise that home-baked bread has become a global trend.
In 2013 the British Museum asked renowned chef, Giorgio Locatelli, to recreate a loaf of bread based on an archaeological discovery from Herculaneum in 1930. The carbonised loaf found, scored into eight sections, looks very similar to a modern round loaf, and the ingredients are still used in breadmaking today.
You can watch the video and make the recipe yourself to get a taste of Ancient Rome. Buon appetito!
One of the many things that history teaches us is the importance of perspective.
When a series of outbreaks of bubonic plague ravaged northern and central Italy from 1629 – 1631 Galileo, who lived in Tuscany, was forced into quarantine. A friend of Galileo’s reflected on the three year period feeling “like a thousand years.”
In 1633, Galileo book Two Systems was banned by the Catholic Church and he was accused of heresy for using science to prove the Copernican theory that the Sun is at the centre of our Solar System. His journey to Rome to attend the trial took over three weeks and included mandatory quarantine.
Galileo was found guilty of ‘suspected heresy’ and sentenced to house arrest for life. During this time his daughter Virginia, who had become a nun in a nearby convent, cared for him remotely by sending him remedies to prevent him from contracting the plague and also regular correspondence to cheer him up.
Living and working through the challenges posed by a pandemic are certainly not new, but we are able to glean some inspiration and knowledge by being attentive students of history. At the very least, we should appreciate that our struggles, and the ways to get through them, are neither new nor unique. The most effective of these now during the COVID19 pandemic, as in Galileo’s time, rely on all communities working together and supporting those who are most vulnerable and struggling the most.
The word “quarantine” originates from the word for “forty” in the Venetian dialect (quarantena). This is due to the 40-day isolation of ships, people and goods entering a port as a means of disease prevention during the time of the black death (Bubonic plague) which spread through Europe between 1348 and 1359 killing 30% of Europe’s population!