. There were three ancient Romans of this name, all very illustrious; not for genius, for virtue, for great or good qualities, but for gluttony: or, if we may soften the term in complaisance to the growing taste of the times we write in, for the art of refining in the science of eating. The first lived under Sylla, the second under Augustus and Tiberius, and the third under Trajan. The second however is the most illustrious personage of the three, and is doubtless the same of whom Seneca, Pliny, Juvenal, Martial, &c. so much speak. Athenaeus places him under Tiberius, and tells us, that he spent immense sums in gratifying his appetite, and invented divers sorts of cakes, which bore his name. We learn from, Seneca, that he lived in his time, and kept as it were a school of gluttony at Rome; that he spent two millions and an half in entertainments; that, finding himself very much in debt, he was forced at length to look into the state of his affairs; and that, seeing he had but 250,000 crowns remaining, he poisoned himself from an apprehension of being starved with such a sum. Dion relates the same story. Pliny | mentions very frequently the ragouts he invented, and calls him the completest glutton that ever appeared in the world: “nepotutn omnium altissimus gurges.” The third Apicius lived under Trajan: he had an admirable secret to preserve oysters, which he shewed by sending Trajan some as far as Parthia, very fresh when they arrived.

The name of Apicius was applied long after to several sorts of meat: it made also a sect among the cooks. There is extant a treatise, “De re culinaria,” under the name of Caelius Apicius, which is judged by the critics to be very ancient, though they do not suppose it to be written by any of the above three. A fair edition of it was given by Martin Lister, with the title of “De obsoniis et condimentis, sive de arte coquinaria,London, 1705, 8vo, and reprinted at Amsterdam in 1709, 12mo. Bernhold published a new edition at Lubeck, in 1791, 8vo. It was humourously ridiculed by Dr. King in his “Art of Cookery.1


Gen. Dict.—Fabric. Bibl. Lat.—Saxii Onomasticon.