The entire written history of humanity is also a history of humans getting drunk. Indeed the history of drinking alcohol extends back to at least the early Neolithic period (around 10,000 BC), as attested to by the discovery of beer jugs from towards the end of the Stone Age. Before I look at some products to augment your modern-day merriment, let’s take a brief look at the history of alcohol.
Needless to say, alcohol was a major part of the cultures of the ancient world, especially Egypt and Greece. Indeed, Egyptians even had their own gods for cellars and winepresses. Along with wine, the Egyptians also had many varieties of beers, both of which they would offer to their gods.
The ancient Greeks, despite their reputation for revelry – due mostly to the cult of the god Dionysus, the god of wine, madness and ecstasy – were actually praised by their contemporaries for being temperate: they stressed moderation and often diluted their wine with water.
“And wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.” – Homer
Instead of drinking for habit, the ancient Greeks would instead throw festivals and banquets. Nonetheless, there are no mentions in ancient Greek literature of large group inebriations; instead they scold their neighbouring foreign powers for their intemperance.
The Romans, on the other hand, were an empire of, well, empty bottles. As the empire expanded, the more Greek values of temperance subsided and a culture of drunkenness, cut-throat ambition and obscene practices like making yourself vomit in order to drink and eat even more. So just like fresher’s week, really. Indeed the Romans had a drinking game where you drank a number of cups of wine based on a dice roll.
Vinum incendit iram.
“Wine kindles wrath.” – Seneca
Jumping back to the here-and-now, we here at IWOOT have a great selection of Bar, Beer & Wine products to take your drink however you want, with Greek temperance or roman abandon. Here are my top 5, which could be great gifts for men this Valentine’s day.