A simple and delicious side dish that might have been served in Ancient Rome.
Peel or scrape the carrots. Cut into pieces 2 to 3 inches long, then cut the pieces lengthwise in quarters, sixths or eighths, depending on the size of the carrot. The goal is to have each piece be roughly the same size (so that they end up cooked the same).
Tear or chop the mint into pieces.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, cumin seeds and herbs. Cook for a short time until the fragrance of the spice and herbs are noticeable.
Add the carrots and toss well to coat with oil, mint and cumin.
Add the water, vinegar, and salt.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the carrots are tender (20-40 minutes). Ideally, the liquid will evaporate and form a glaze on the carrots. If all of the liquid evaporates before the carrots are tender, add more water.
Season with freshly ground black pepper and fresh mint leaves.
Adapted from The Savory Way, by Deborah Madison. Her recipe is probably based on one in De Re Coquinaria (On the Subject of Cooking), (a.k.a. "Apicius"), the most complete manuscript about food from the Imperial Roman era.
Ancient Romans didn't use the black pepper that we use today (Piper nigrum), but instead most commonly used used "long pepper" (Piper longum), which can be found at specialty spice shops. An article at Leite's Culinaria has more details on ancient Roman ingredients.