Talk:Ancient Rome and wine

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Secondary sources[edit]

I have a suspicion this is full of nonsense, taken from secondary sources. I removed the most egregious item I saw on my quick fly-by: the bit about Pliny the Elder saying that Pompeiian bathers ran out of the baths naked to git them some wine. Nowhere does Pliny say anything of the sort, whether about Pompeii or any other baths. The closest he comes is a general remark (23.29) that must should not be drunk immediately after a bath without a breather, it'll kill you. As far as I can tell, he never mentions the baths at Pompeii at all; and I haven't found any story about anyone running naked out of baths. Bill (talk) 19:55, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I did use secondary sources from some of the most respected and reliable wine historians and experts. The particular Pliny references comes from Hugh Johnson's Vintage pg 64 where he describes Pliny being amused by the Pompeians and then quotes Pliny directly-
While Johnson doesn't say which section of Pliny's work it came from in the source (Outside of noting he was using Rackham's 1938 translation), a google search quickly found this. In reading that section I do note that Pompeii itself is not mentioned in this particular part. I can accept that Johnson might have been combining sources to say that this Pliny quote was describing Pompeiian bathers and will gladly accept correction and improvement. However I do think it is a bit of a stretch to have suspicions that this entire article is full of nonsense. While no source is infallible, I think if you take the time to look a little deeper, you will find that this sources are very credible and reliable. AgneCheese/Wine 20:38, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Old saying?[edit]

Growing up, my father once told me of a Roman saying, "only a barbarian would drink straight wine" (or something like that). Is there any validity to that? Or is it a little bit of urban legend? —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 23:03, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

While I don't know the source or validity of the saying itself, the Romans (and Greeks) were quite fond of diluting and mixing their wines with various ingredients. I can see them naturally assuming that anything they do is the "civilized way" with the opposite (drinking the wine straight) being barbaric. AgneCheese/Wine 01:23, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Roman Writings on Wine[edit]

The Apicius, an ancient Roman cookbook, presents many ways the Roman's used wine in food preperation. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apicius. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MVossen (talkcontribs) 18:12, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Amount of Wine drunk per psrson[edit]

The phrase "about a bottle of wine per citizen" is misleading. Wine was drunk by slaves on a daily basis, and slaves vastly outnumbered citizens. So the average amount of wine drunk per PERSON is much lower, less than a glass a day. This should be made clear in the article, for accuracy and so prospective alcoholics are not enabled. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.141.37.103 (talk) 12:44, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Roman women and wine[edit]

The article's claim, "Husbands were legally allowed to kill or divorce their wives if caught committing such an offense" (i.e., drinking wine) is probably based on Aulus Gellius' statement (in Attic Nights 10.23.3) that Cato the Elder "reports that women were not only judged put also punished by a judge no less severely if they had been guilty of drinking wine than if they had been guilty of unchastity and adultery." Once Gellius quotes Cato's own words, however, it becomes clear that Cato said no such thing: "The husband ... who divorces his wife is her judge, as though he were a censor. ... [I]f she has drunk wine, she is punished; if she has done wrong with another man, she is condemned to death." (Gellius, Attic Nights 10.23.4). Note that Cato nowhere says that women may be killed for drinking wine, only for committing adultery.

Moreover, we have evidence that women drank wine even in archaic Rome. Brigette Ford Russell, "Wine, Women and the Polis: Gender and the Formation of the City-State in Archaic Rome", Greece & Rome 50.1 (2003) 77-84, esp. 80 and 84, points out that 7th-century women in Latium were buried with "the paraphernalia of feasting and drinking: mixing bowls on folding bronze stands, and Punic amphorae containing imported Sardinian wine" (p. 80). Moreover, the Lucretia story in Livy (1.57.9) shows aristocratic "Roman women of the archaic period, socializing at a sumptuous banquet with their friends (in convivio luxuque cum aequalibus)" (p. 84). Xiphophilos (talk) 21:01, 18 July 2013 (UTC)