Apicius, L' art culinaire, texte établi, traduit et commenté par J. André, Paris 1987 (I ed. 1974) (Collection des Universités de France).
The philologist T. C. Schuch first attributed the title De re coquinaria to this work in his edition of 1867 on the basis of a letter from Carlo de’ Medici, attesting that the collection was in fact already circulating under that name during the Renaissance. The text is preserved in two manuscripts of the 9th c. (V and E), which seem to have been written at Tours and Fulda, respectively. The original work must have comprised two volumes, one dedicated to cooking in general and the other to sauces; successive transcribers later combined these volumes into a single collection containing 468 recipes, subdivided into ten books. The core of the collection derives from the 1st c. AD, perhaps originating with the Apicius mentioned by Seneca and Pliny the Elder; this increased over time until its present redaction, which can be dated in all likelihood to the end of the 4th c., a period to which we can date the excerpta compiled by an otherwise unknown Vinidarius. Proof for the heterogeneity of the cookbook, which dates to well after the age of Tiberius, can be found in a number of dishes that appear to have been inspired by or dedicated to people who lived after the 1st c. AD (e.g. the emperors Trajan and Commodus). Each book treats a single theme, which is signaled by a Greek title - a fact that suggests it underwent repeated rearrangements. The first book contains rules for preserving food; the second treats the preparation of raw sausages and sweetbreads; the third deals with vegetables; the fourth treats quiches and mince pies; the fifth covers beans; the sixth deals with poultry and fowl; the seventh treats charcuterie; the eighth discusses lamb, pork, and game; the ninth covers fish and crustaceans; the tenth book rounds off the collection with recipes for sauces and condiments, most of which derive from fish. The treatise thus constitutes a valuable repertory not only for food, but also for numerous tools that were ubiquitous in ancient kitchens, but that cannot always be identified easily today. The manner of presentation is rather formulaic: the language of the recipe is generally simple, lacking elegance, and often employs syntax that departs from normal usage; a representative example of this tendency is the predominance of the indicative in place of the subjunctive or imperative. [A. Borgna; tr. C. L. Caterine].