By Rod Phillips
No matter if as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a continuing and infrequently debatable position in social lifestyles. In his cutting edge ebook at the attitudes towards and intake of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and fiscal background, uncovering the tensions among alcoholic beverages as fit staples of day-by-day diets and as items of social, political, and non secular nervousness. within the city facilities of Europe and the United States, the place it was once noticeable as more fit than untreated water, alcohol won a foothold because the drink of selection, however it has been extra regulated by way of governmental and spiritual professionals greater than the other commodity. As a possible resource of social disruption, alcohol created unstable obstacles of appropriate and unacceptable intake and broke via boundaries of sophistication, race, and gender.
Phillips follows the ever-changing cultural meanings of those powerful potables and makes the mind-blowing argument that a few societies have entered "post-alcohol" stages. His is the 1st booklet to check and clarify the meanings and results of alcohol in such intensity, from worldwide and long term views.
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Extra resources for Alcohol: A History
23 So there must be some uncertainty about the consumption of wine by women in Rome, and if it were true that women were generally cut off from wine, males would have access to twice as much, a liter each day. But did all males drink wine? It is true that wine was consumed in all social strata; the well-off and the comfortable seem to have drunk wine regularly, and wine was also part of a soldier’s rations and a slave’s entitlement. Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of bars in Roman cities, and some 200 have been excavated in Pompeii, the major wine-shipping port buried when Mount 64 Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.
Within the remarkably short period between 500 BC and AD 100, wine production had spread throughout Europe, to regions ranging from Spain and Portugal in the west to modern Hungary in the east, and from England in the north to Crete in the south. Knowledge of grape cultivation and winemaking reached Greece from Egypt, by way of Crete. A wine trade between Egypt and Crete began as early as 2500 BC, and by 1500 BC 48 grapes were being grown and wine made on the island itself. There is also some evidence, in the form of jars and jugs that seem to have held a barley-based liquid, that the Minoan inhabitants of Crete produced and consumed beer.
Here was a graphic portrayal of the way a pleasurable activity could degenerate into a violent one, simply through the consumption of too much wine, even when it was well diluted. It is a graphic reminder of the historic tension between the positive and negative perceptions of alcohol. Wine was not merely the medium used for lubricating the sociability inherent to symposiums; its centrality to the occasion is suggested by the games the participants played. Some involved inflated wineskins, and in one game a skin was smeared with grease and players had to try to balance on it.
Alcohol: A History by Rod Phillips