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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?


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?


Sadly, no. From Wiktionary: "Borrowed from French croissant (“crescent”), present participle of croître (“to grow”). " The French is ultimately Latin in origin, but from the verb crēscere (again, "to grow"), not crustulum. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/croissant#English

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