In vino veritas
In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that translates “in wine [there is the] truth". The expression, together with its counterpart in Greek, “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” (En oinōi alētheia), is found in Erasmus' Adagia, I.vii.17. Pliny the Elder's Naturalis historia contains an early allusion to the phrase. The Greek expression is traced back to a poem by Alcaeus.
The phrase is often continued as, "In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas", i.e., "In wine there is truth, in water there is health."
Similar phrases exist across cultures and languages.
The Babylonian Talmud (תלמוד בבלי) contains the passage: "נכנס יין יצא סוד", i.e., "In came wine, out went the essence." It continues, "בשלשה דברים אדם ניכר בכוסו ובכיסו ובכעסו", i.e., "In three things is a man revealed: in his wine goblet, in his purse, and in his wrath." (In the original Hebrew, the words for "his goblet", "his purse", and "his wrath" rhyme, and there is a further play on words, as they all use the root "כס".)
- Round, round with the glass, boys, as fast as you can,
- Since he who don't drink cannot be a true man.
- For if truth is in wine, then 'tis all but a whim
- To think a man's true when the wine's not in him.
- Drink, drink, then, and hold it a maxim divine
- That there's virtue in truth, and there's truth in good wine!
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- See W. Barker, The Adages of Erasmus (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), pp. 100-103. Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια: Diogenianus, Cent. 4.81. See Andreas Schottus, Paroimiai hellēnikai (Antwerp: Plantin, 1612), p. 215.
- Nat. hist. 14, 141: "...volgoque veritas iam attributa vino est."
- Alc. fr. 366 Voigt: "οἶνος, ὦ φίλε παῖ, καὶ ἀλάθεα" (oinos, ō phile pai, kai alāthea), "Wine, dear boy, and truth...". Nothing is known about the poem except for these words, which are quoted by a later scholiast. See G. Tsomis, Zusammenschau der Frühgriechischen Monodischen Melik: Alkaios, Sappho, Anakreon (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1999), pp. 160-161.
- See Tractate Eruvin 65a (מסכת עירובין, פרק ו, דף סה,א גמרא).
- Id. at 65b (דף סה,ב גמרא).
- Warren, Thomas, ed. A collection of catches, canons & glees. Wilmington, Delaware: Mellifont Press, 1970. ISBN #0842000267. Reprint of a collection, originally in thirty-two volumes, of glees published by various publishers in London, from 1762 to 1793. Thomas Warren (ca. 1730–1974) was the original editor of the collection. The reprint is not complete. For more information, see the University of Michigan library's holding here.