Zythum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zythum (from Latin), zythos (Greek: ζῦθος, zŷthos), or sisni (from Hebrew) was a kind of unfermented malt beer made in ancient Egypt.

Name[edit]

Its Greek and Latin names were transcriptions of its Egyptian name.[1]

Recipe[edit]

The recipe is mentioned in the third tractate of the Babylonian Talmud (42b).[2] According to Rav Yosef b. Hiyya, it contains ​13 barley, ​13 safflower seed and ​13 salt. Rav Papa substituted wheat for barley. The ingredients are steeped, roasted and ground before drinking.

Medicinal properties[edit]

Apart from recreational drinking, zythum was used as an ancient Egyptian medicine. It was said to work as both a laxative and antidiarrhoeal. Its use was thought dangerous for sick people and pregnant women.

Legacy[edit]

Among Orthodox Jews, it is forbidden during Passover because it contains barley, making it chametz, although the punishment of kareth is not applicable to its consumption.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marcus Jastrow. A Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature. 2.
  2. ^ Norman Solomon, ed. (2009). "Third Tractate Pesahim (The Passover)". The Talmud: A Selection. Penguin. pp. 148, 150. ISBN 978-0-14-144178-8.

External links[edit]