Monday, July 12, 2021

The Ancient Greek Way of Drinking Wine

The Ancient Greeks believed that only barbarians drink wine unmixed with water. They believed that drinking unmixed wine can cause insanity and even death. They preached that mixing water in wine before drinking is the hallmark of a civilized person. Since the Macedonians and the Thracians drank their wine unmixed (according to the Athenian accounts), the Athenians and the Spartans regarded them as barbarians, and tried to avoid their company.

Ancient Greek mythology has reflected on the barbaric impact of unmixed wine. For instance, there is the mythological story of Lapiths battle with the Centaurs

The centaurs become drunk after taking too much unmixed wine during the wedding feast of Pirithous at the city of Thessaly. They start misbehaving with the women at the feast. Centaur Eurytion tries to abduct the bride. Other centaurs try to abduct other ladies. The men rush to save their women, and a major battle ensues. The Homeric Demigod Theseus joins the battle on the side of the men and the centaurs are defeated. The nose and ears of Eurytion and other centaurs are cut and they are banished from Thessaly.

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