Did Spice Make the Ancient World Go Round?

David Rosenthal reviews Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner, a new book which theorizes that spice brought about the downfall of Rome.

Did spice contribute to the "flabby decadence" of Rome, thereby causing its downfall? Did the spice trade bring plague along with pepper from the Middle East? Jack Turner thinks so, and writes about it in his new book.