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"crustulum" in English as spoken here

'Crustulum' is translated as 'cookie' which has no precise meaning here. If I lived 25 miles north in Scotland it is a small bun. If I were to be offered a cookie, I would expect a biscuit. What would a Roman soldier living by Hadrian's Wall expect of a crustulum? Can I use 'biscuit' as an appropriate translation.

November 6, 2019



I found that the Latin course accepted "biscuit" when I typed that instead of "cookie".

Roman army biscuits were the type often called "hard tack", made to last without going off in whatever the weather - even the unpleasant (for the Romans) climate of Britain up by Hadrian's Wall.

Sadly missing from the Latin course (so far) is the Roman's love of British snails. Tens of thousands of snail shells are found in excavations of Roman sites in Sussex and Hampshire, gathered from the area around Chichester Harbour where the edible snails are still found.

Although the Romans left a lot of new food ideas in Britain that were adopted by the British, the love of snails wasn't one of them. I wonder why?


Not an expert on Roman Military food as such. But I haven't read of crustulum in use. Isn't it more a modernism. Caesar and the first invasion the troops would always complain if there wasn't enough wheat. It's not that they didn't eat meat. But they were far happier if they had the means to make their own bread. If it wasn't provided by allies they would forage from fields at harvest time. Another reason not to fight campaigns in the Winter.

Though for a place that far out. The officers would still be Roman but the actual soldiers would only become Roman citizens after they finished their term bit like the French Foreign legion.

The Wall was supposedly quite a cosmopolitan place and Scotland has long had a greater affinity with France than with England and with deep frying their own cuisine entirely. I withdraw the last in case a mod is reading.


A crustulum is defined by the OLD as a small cake or pastry, i.e. a cookie (or as you might call it, a biscuit). Roman soldiers wouldn't have enjoyed crustula, but would far more likely eat something like tracta (basically hard tack). Roman bakers did sweeten a lot of their breads, usually with things like honey or fruit. If a modern cookie were presented to the Romans, it would be likely received as a crustulum a little (sweet), crusty thing.


Is there any connection to a croissant?

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