20 April-31 December 2011. This exhibition entitled Nutrire il Corpo e lo Spirito (Feeding the Body and the Spirit) is displayed in the 16th century crypt of the Church of S. Maurizio Maggiore inside the Archeological Museum.
It explores the symbolic meaning of food in the ancient world passing from the Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Christian and Indian world.
Eating is the primary act of human survival and a tangible sign of our mortal conditions. Therefore, the choice of food and its use has a strong symbolic value for all cultures.
In antiquity the human dependence on Mother Nature, giver of all foods, inspired numerous sacred rites and propitiatory ceremonies, meant to thank nature wash away blame for stealing, mowing and harvesting the fruits of the earth. For human beings of ancient times the life cycles of plants and crops mirrored and symbolically represented human life.
This exhibition is divided in two sections: the first one is entitled the aliments and the sacred, and the second feeding the body and the spirit. The first section investigates the symbolical, ritual and mythical meanings of some foods such as bread, cereals, wine, meat and fish and analyses the relationship between food and society. The second section focuses on the food and goods, the food and deaths, the food and philosophy.