When folks refer to Apicius as the famous gourmet of first century Rome, They usually mean Marcus Gavius Apicus.
(42 v.C - 37 n.C) His life is likely more legend than fact, and the name Apicius became a nickname for a gourmet. The passion for wonderful food certainly was kindled in this time, and even though his recipes were for the elite, the art of preparing food trickled down into all levels of society.
The book bearing his name is a textbook including recipes survived all these centuries and is still in print.
Marcus Gavius Apicius is believed to have been a Roman gourmet and lover of luxury, who lived sometime in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Tiberius. He is attributed with the authorship of the Roman cookbook Apicius. The work was added to over time, and compiled by an editor (or several editors) during the 4th Century AD. He was the subject of On the Luxury of Apicius, a famous work, now lost, by the Greek grammarian Apion. M. Gavius Apicius apparently owed his cognomen (his third name or "nickname") to an earlier Apicius, who lived around 90 BC, whose family name it may have been: if this is true, Apicius had come to mean "amazing" as a result of the fame of this earlier lover of luxury.
Evidence for the life of M. Gavius Apicius derives partly from contemporary or almost-contemporary sources but is partly filtered through the above-named work by Apion, whose purpose was presumably to explain the names and origins of luxury foods, especially those anecdotally linked to Apicius.
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