Romans were forced to swtich to a 'peasant' diet of vegetable stews

Mail Online | 6/13/2019 | Victoria Bell For Mailonline
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The Vandals' sacking of Rome not only hastened the end of the Roman Empire but also caused widespread nutritional depletion.

Researchers suggest that political upheaval following the sacking in 455AD forced citizens Roman citizens to swap their luxurious meals for a basic 'peasant diet'.

Study - Romans - Plant - Proteins - Dishes

A study says that indulged Romans had to eat mainly plant proteins, like stew dishes instead of on meat, imported wheat, olive oil and wine.

The Vandals were a group of Germanic tribes who looted great amounts of treasure, knocked all of the city's water supplies and collapsed its infrastructure.

Study - Analysis - Food - Wheat - Grains

The study, based on analysis of food, like charred wheat grains, and human remains around the main port of Rome, found that diets changed after 455AD.

After the sack, the team saw clear shifts in imported foods and diet that tie-in with political changes following the breakdown of Roman control of the Mediterranean.

Researchers - Cambridge - University - Sacking - Century

Researchers, from Cambridge University, found that the sacking, together with the 6th Century wars between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines may have had a direct impact on food resources in the city.

They say that this was because their main port, Portus Romae, Rome's gateway to the Mediterranean, was compromised.

Years - Portus - Romae - Role - Imports

For more than 400 years, Portus Romae played a 'key role' in directing imports - such as food, animals, marble and luxury goods from across the Mediterranean.

The team analysed plant, animal and human remains, reconstructing both the diets and geographic origins of the Portus inhabitants.

Study - Author - Dr - Tamsin - O'Connell

Study lead author Dr Tamsin O'Connell, of Cambridge University, said: 'The human remains from the excavations at Portus belong to a local population involved in heavy, manual labour, perhaps the saccarii who unloaded cargoes from incoming ships.

'When looking isotopically at the individuals dating to between the early second to mid fifth centuries AD, we see that they have a fairly similar diet to...
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