Apicius was already a legend in his life-time
(42 v.C - 37 n.C). Truth and myth around his person are hard to keep
apart. He wasn't a 'cook', as it is still sometimes assumed, but a very
wealthy Roman citizen. He didn't choose a life that befitted his position,
like a political carreer or that of a land-owner, nor did he devote
is time to philosophy or litterature. Instead he did something that
wasn't unique in his days, but which was frowned upon by most of the
Romans wroters we know: he became one of the founders of gastronomy.
We are told he squandered his entire patrimony on fine food, wrote books
about it and obviously he shared his knowledge and passion with others.
His name survived in the names of specific dishes, he is known as the
inventor of ‘foie gras’ and a extensive collection of recipes
dating from the 4th century a.C. still carries the name of Apicius.
Even nowadays a great number of restaurants bear his name.