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As religion is the great basis of the ordinary usages of life, I shall here remark that it is considered improper to offer libations to the gods with any wines which are the produce of an unpruned vine, or of one that has been struck by lightning or near to which a dead man has been hung, or of grapes that have been trodden out by sore Feet, or made of must from husks that have been cut,1 or from grapes that have been polluted by the fall of any unclean thing upon them. The Greek wines are excluded also from the sacred ministrations, because they contain a portion of water.

The vine itself is sometimes eaten; the tops of the shoots2 are taken off and boiled, and are then pickled in vinegar3 and brine.

1 After the grapes had been trodden and pressed, the husks were taken out and their edges cut, and then again subjected to pressure: the result was known as "tortivum," or "circumcisivum," a wine of very inferior quality.

2 He alludes to the young shoots, which have an agreeable acidity, owing to acetic and tartaric acids.

3 Acetic acid; the result, no doubt, of the faulty mode of manufacture universally prevalent; their wines contained evidently but little alcohol.

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