Monday, July 04, 2011

'Luxury' and Diet in the Roman Provinces of Europe

The changing definition of luxury items among the populations of central European Roman provinces reveals something about the notion of luxury itself.

'Luxury' is one of the most difficult social concepts to define. The four values which most frequently amount to luxury are perhaps: the exoticness of components, the extravagance of presentation, the prestige of preparation, and the exclusiveness of the surroundings of consumption. To this, one can note that a certain rareness and inaccessibility, and the use of luxury by an elite (driven by perceived aesthetic value) being able to access the inaccessible, are inherently important to the definition of luxury itself.

By Kevin Stoba

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