), ale or beer,
a beverage scarcely ever drunk by the ancient Greeks and Romans, although it
was very generally used by the surrounding nations, whose soil and climate
were less favourable to the growth of vines ( “in Gallia, aliisque
Plin. Nat. 22.164
; Theophrast. de
6.11; Diod. 4.2
; Strab. 17.2, 5; Tac. Germ.
Herodotus's statement that the Egyptians drank “barley-wine” is
supported by the inscriptions, in which it is called hak,
and by Strab. 17.1, 14, and
, who describes it as a beverage
almost as fragrant as wine and calls it ζῦθος
: while Columella (10.114) tells us that the radix Assyria
and lupine entered into its
composition, the former doubtless to give it fragrance, the latter to serve
the same purpose as the modern hop. But the methods of its preparation
varied (Strab. 2.5). A similar drink was made by the Ethiopians from millet
and barley (ib. 17.2, 2).
The beer or barley-wine of Crete was known as κόρμα
A similar beverage passed under the name of βρῦτον
in the North of Greece and Asia Minor, being made of
barley by the Phrygians and Paeonians, of barley or of roots by the
Thracians, while the Paeonians also made παραβίας
and fleabane (κόνυζα
). Of the barley drink
Aristotle tells us that those
inebriated by it fall on the back and on no other part of the body(Athen. 10.447
). We are told by
Xenophon that the Armenians, instead of drinking their ale or beer out of
cups, placed it before them in a large bowl (κρατήρ
). This being full to the brim with the grains as well as
the fermented liquor, the guests, when they pledged one another, drank
together out of the same bowl by stooping down to it, although, when this
token of friendship was not intended, they adopted the more refined method
of sucking up the fluid through tubes of cane (Xen.
was the drink of Lusitania (Strabo, 3.3,
7); in Spain it was known as caelia
cf. Ath. 1.16
c), while cervesia
was the name used in Gaul, where other drinks of the sort
were common (Plin. l.c.;
25). Thus Posidonius, ap. Athen.
c, says that while the richer classes in Gaul import wine
from Italy and the district of Marseilles, the poor drink a beer made from
wheat with or without the addition of honey, which is called κόρμα.
This Gallic use of beer is illustrated by
a curious circular bottle found in Gaul and preserved in the
Musée Carnavalet at Paris: it bears the legend “ospita
reple lagona Cervesa” (Renue
1868, xviii. p. 226; cf. Gazette
iii. p. 176; Daremberg and Saglio, s.
The beverage of the Germans was made from barley or wheat (Tac.
23). The beer of Illyria and Pannonia was called
5.19; cf. D. C.
; Priscus, Ecl. Hist. Goth.
p. 183 Nieb.); and at
the court of Attila in Pannonia a beverage called, in the tongue of the
(mead?), or one made from
barley and called κάμον,
(Müller, Fragm. Hist. Gr.
iv. p. 83). The contempt
felt by the Greeks and Romans for this barbarian drink is expressed in an
epigram of the Emperor Julian (Anth. Pal.
9.365):--Τίς; πόθεν εῖς Διόνυσε; μὰ γὰρ τὸν ἀληθέα
Βάκχον οὐ ς᾿ ἐπιγινώσκω: τὸν Διὸς οῖδα μόνον: κεῖνος ϝέκταρ
ὄδωδε, σὺ δὲ τράγου,
In the Edict of Diocletian (2.11, ed. Waddington) the maximum for cervesia
fixed at 4 denarii the sextarius, for zythum
2 denarii, while even vinum rusticum
at 8 denarii. As an illustration of the low esteem in which it was held by
the physicians, the following opinion of Dioscorides may serve:--(ζῦθος
) διουρητικὸς καὶ
νεφρῶν καὶ νευρῶν ἁπτικὸς, καὶ μάλιστα μηνίγγων κακωτικὸς,
πνευματωτικός τε καὶ γεννητικὸς κακοχυμιῶν καὶ ἐλεφαντιάσεως