The Two Drinking Ideologies of Ancient Europe
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The Two Drinking Ideologies of Ancient Europe book
As we have seen, the Greeks considered wine and beer to be very different sorts of intoxicating substances. Wine was a pure, hot, manly beverage, which had its own particular effects on the drinker (heavy-headedness according to Aristotle) while beer was a corrupted, cold, effeminate beverage, which had different effects on the drinker (stupefaction according to Aristotle). But the typical Greek drinking ideology, at least as far as it can be reconstructed from the writings of elite Athenians of the ﬁfth and fourth century BC, did not end with the supposition of the superiority of wine over beer. It also involved two other important notions: moderation and discrimination. And it was the philosopher Plato who was the ﬁrst to clearly distinguish an Athenian drinking ideology from that of foreigners in terms of the ﬁrst notion, that of moderation.