What does the phrase “Lucullian feast” (or banquet) mean and Where does it originate?

The phrase “Lucullian feast” means a feast of inordinate magnificence; a terrific spread.

L. Licinus Lucullus was a great Roman general in the early part of the first century B.C., and was at first famous for his victories over Mithridates.

His victories brought him great wealth, and after his retirement he embarked upon an unprecedented scale of living and sensual indulgence.

“A single supper in the hall,” according to Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology and Biography, “was said to cost the sum of 50,000 denarii.”

Such prodigality, especially when frequently repeated, was notable even in a period marked by magnificence.

Thus, though his military prowess is almost forgotten, his name still lives in the language through his reputation as a glutton.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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