I DID SOME MATH FOR YOU. I had to.
The scholar didn’t finish the job. (Sorry, you get a B+, which is fine. It would have been an A- if the math problem hadn’t shown up on the lead page.)
I’m talking about an article in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review: “The Ancient Diet of Roman Palestine” (March/April 2019). The writer used the ancient food measurements of “qab” and log.”
She did interpret them, though.
- 1 log would fill six empty eggs
- 1 qab equals 4 logs, which would fill 24 eggs
So I looked up how many ounces and cc’s are in an average egg:
- 1.5 liquid ounces or 44 cc
- 3 tablespoons when measuring dry food like grain or chickpeas
- And, you need to know that there are 16 tablespoons in a cup.
Menu for single woman, separated
An ancient Jewish source of guidance called the Mishnah suggests the following menu as the minimum weekly allotment of food for a woman separated from her husband.
Wheat: 9 cups (144 tablespoons/48 eggs/2 qabs)
Beans, lentils, peas: 2¼ cups (36 tablespoons/12 eggs/1/2 qab)
Olive oil: ½ cup (9 tablespoons/1/2 log/3 eggs)
Dried figs: 4½ cups (72 tablespoons/24 eggs/1 qab)
That’s a menu guaranteed to keep the little lady little.
Scholars speculate that most of the diet was bread—somewhere between 50-75 percent.
It takes about two cups of flour to make a loaf of bread. The little lady could bake perhaps four or five loaves.
But what’s a lady to do with just half a cup of cooking oil?
I’d write more about this, but it’s suppertime.
My wife is frying pork chops (no pun intended toward my Jewish friends) and homemade macaroni and cheese.
I’m hungry. No jest. Stomach just growled. If I had any figs, I’d be eating one now. All I have are a few Atomic fireballs. One of which, several weeks ago, cracked a crown.
I’ve got to resist the temptation to chew those suckers. (Pun intended.)
PS. Check my math, please. It’s not my strength.