If you want to stuff in more food during a banquet, then eat while reclining on your left side. That allows your stomach to stretch to fit – just one of the useful pieces of information available at the Ashmolean’s terrific new show, Last Supper in Pompeii.
The show is mostly set in the culinary quarters of a typical Pompeiian villa in the last few hours before Vesuvius erupts and extinguishes all life. It thus combines a thought-provoking mix of food and death, fascinating on the minutiae of Roman dining (the Romans held dinner parties pretty similar to our own, they frequented the tabernae equivalent of a gastro pub and dined al fresco with the help of a portable oven that contained a compartment big enough for a pizza), the food consumed, the wine drunk, but also on the placating of the what turned out to be, implacable Gods, and the swift, unforeseen extinction that arrived during that last supper
Last Supper in Pompeii, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until January 12, visit ashmolean.org/event/last-supper-in-pompeii