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The fact of the existence of the Opimian wine gives undoubted proof that there were wine-lofts,1 and that wine was racked off in the year of Rome 633, Italy being already alive to the blessings she enjoyed. Still, however, the several varieties that are now so celebrated were not so in those days; and hence it is that all the wines that were grown at that period have only the one general name of "Opimian" wines, from the then consul Opimius. So, too, for a long time afterwards, and, indeed, so late as the times of our grandfathers, the wines from beyond sea were held in the highest esteem, even though Falernian was already known, a fact which we learn from the line of the Comic writer,2 "I shall draw five cups of Thasian and two of Falernian."

P. Licinius Crassus, and L. Julius Cæsar, who were Censors in the year from the Building of the City 665, issued an edict forbidding the sale of either Greek or Aminean wine at a higher price than eight asses the quadrantal3—for such, in fact, are the exact words of the edict. Indeed, the Greek wines were so highly valued, that not more than a single cup was served to a guest during the repast.

1 Apothecas. The " apothecæ" were rooms at the top of the house, in which the wines were placed for the purpose of seasoning. Sometimes a current of smoke was directed through them. They were quite distinct from the "cella vinaria," or "wine-cellar." The Opimian wine is mentioned in c. 4.

2 This writer is unknown.

3 Or amphora.

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