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The Roman word for a baker, the Greek terms being ἀρτοποιός, “bread-maker,” and ἀρτοπώλης, “bread-seller.” The Latin term is from pinso, and means literally “pounder.” Bakers are first mentioned in Greece in the fifth century B.C., but do not appear in Rome before the early part of the second century. They were usually freedmen or citizens of the lower class; but, owing to the importance attached by the State to the trade, it became one of some standing. There was a collegium or guild of bakers under Augustus, which

Baker's Sign found at Pompeii. (Overbeck.)

served the State, and underTrajan it was formally organized with 100 members and special privileges. It was under the supervision of the praefectus annonae. (See Annona.) Bread was distributed at Rome at the public expense, at first monthly, but in the third century daily; and at the beginning of the fourth century there were 254 public bakeries in the city. These made only the coarser kinds of bread, the finer sorts being produced at the private establishments.

Baking was sometimes done in furnaces, as in the bake-shop (pistrina) excavated at Pompeii; or in the clibanus, a clay vessel, in which the dough was placed and then buried in hot ashes (Pet<*>. 35; see Clibanus). Wheat-bread (panis silig<*>eus) was the most common variety, as the ancients thoughtrye (secale) unfit to eat; and the quality of the flour determined the quality of the bread. Barley-bread (panis hordeaceus) was regarded as fit only for soldiers and slaves (Pliny , Pliny H. N. xviii. 74). Spelt (ζειά, far) was sometimes used for making a coarse bread.

The dough for bread was prepared by moistening the flour with water, by adding salt, and then by kneading (μάττειν, subigere, depsere) in a trough of wood or pottery. In large bakeries it appears to have been done by a sort of machine, the motive-power of which was supplied by an animal.

Baker selling Bread. (Pompeian Painting.)

The leaven (ζύμη, fermentum) was prepared from cakes of barley and water, or from the surplus dough of the preceding day's batch, which was kneaded with salt, put into water, and kept till it fermented. The dough was shaped either by hand or in moulds (artoptae), and then placed in the oven (ἰπνός, furnus) on a shovel (pala); but was sometimes baked on the hearth in the embers.

Cake and fancy-bread were made in various forms by special confectioners (πλακουντοποιοί, πεμματουργοί, clibanarii, dulciarii, crustularii, etc.), and were much used for sacrificial purposes. On these sweet preparations, see Athen. xiv. 643 e and f, and Pollux, vi. 75 foll. The sweetening was done with honey. See Blümner, Technologie, i. 1 foll.; and id. s. v. “Bäckerei” in Baumeister's Denkmäler.

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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 18.74
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