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A Roman emperor who entered Rome from Syria in 218 AD from Syria, in a chariot drawn by naked women, he was also sometimes found dressed as a woman himself, wearing the tiara of the priests of the sun god and surrounded by eunuchs, courtesans and clowns.

Of culinary interest was the fact that he was passionate about seafood, and maintained a fleet of fishing boats to catch eels, whose roe was prized in the same manner as sturgeon"s roe (caviar; - also available in ancient Rome) is prized today.

He fattened conger eels in tubs, feeding them the flesh of Christian slaves killed in the Coliseum. He is also said to have sent hunters to Libya to look for the phoenix bird, and to have had 600 ostriches killed for their brains, to make into a pie for one meal - there were few limits to his excesses and he practically emptied the coffers of Rome.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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