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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wine - Use it Aright

"Mnesitheus [Ancient Greek physician] said that the gods had revealed wine to mortals, to be the greatest blessing for those who use it aright, but for those who use it without measure, the reverse.

For it gives food to them that take it, and strength in mind and body. In medicine it is most beneficial; it can be mixed with liquid drugs and it brings aid to the wounded. In daily intercourse, to those who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer; but if you overstep the bounds, it brings violence. Mix it half and half, and you get madness; unmixed, bodily collapse.

Wherefore Dionysos is everywhere called Latros (Physician).’ The Delphic priestess, too, has directed certain persons to call Dionysos Hygiates (Health-Giver).

Euboulos makes Dionysos say: ‘Three bowls only do I mix for the temperate – one to health, which they empty first, the second to love and pleasure, the third to sleep. When this is drunk up wise guests go home. The fourth bowl is ours no longer, but belongs to violence the fifth to uproar, the sixth to drunken revel, the seventh to black eyes. The eight is the policeman’s, the ninth belongs to biliousness, and the tenth to madness and hurling the furniture.

Too much wine, poured into one little vessel, easily knocks the legs from under the drinkers."

- Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae
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