When to say when: wine and drunkenness in Roman society

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When to say when: wine and drunkenness in Roman society

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/8100

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dc.contributor.advisor Marks, Raymond en_US
dc.contributor.author Martin, Damien, 1982- en_US
dc.coverage.spatial Rome
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-03T19:18:44Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-03T19:18:44Z
dc.date.issued 2010 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2010 Spring en_US
dc.identifier.other MartinD-051210-T3972 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10355/8100
dc.description Title from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on June 14, 2010). en_US
dc.description The entire thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical public abstract appears in the public.pdf file. en_US
dc.description Thesis advisor: Dr. Raymond Marks. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description M.A. University of Missouri--Columbia 2010. en_US
dc.description Dissertations, Academic -- University of Missouri--Columbia -- Classical languages. en_US
dc.description.abstract Not surprisingly, different people offered different opinions on the use of alcohol and the acceptability of drunkenness in Roman society. What certain people said on the subject - and the context they said it in - reveals inherent biases in the authors and the effect of those biases on social structure. The differences of opinion revolve around major shifts in Roman society, such as transition from paganism to Christianity and the influx of new cultures that comes with territorial expansion. In a culture that made wine a central feature of everyday life, there was a constant desire to maintain order and balance. The distinction between the inebriated man and the habitual drunk was an important one. There were limits set on the quantity and quality of wine consumed based on status and gender. Wine's symbolism was particularly important to Roman elegists. To Tibullus, the freeing quality of drunkenness was used to celebrate the earth's fertility and uphold traditional Roman values, rooted deep in the history of Italy, in festivals such as the Parilia. Horace wrote that poems written by water-drinkers couldn't possibly last, while Propertius boasted that laeserunt nullos pocula nostra deos. Harmful and offensive were just what early Christian writers considered drunkenness to be to their god, as Prudentius, in his description of sobriety's violent triumph over extravagance, and Tertullian, in his insistence on purification, made clear. Tertullian, though, rushed to the defense of Jesus when the latter was branded a potator. Cicero was virulently opposed to drunkenness when it was Antony's, more understanding of a young man's experimentation when defending Caelius and revealed his true feelings in philosophical works. Tacitus, in a moment of xenophobia, described Germans' fondness for beer then quickly pointed that if allowed to indulge as much as they wanted, Germans would be easily conquered. The message was clear: This little-understood foreign land is full of people with different customs from Romans. These people are therefore undisciplined and vulgar. This inequality was not limited to treatment of other cultures, but also guests of lower social status at convivia, who were routinely served vintages of lower quality than higher-ranking guests. Women and slaves were only allowed lesser quality drinks and could be justifiably punished - even killed - for overstepping their bounds by getting too drunk. This is in stark contrast to Propertius' urging Cynthia to drink more so that she'd get in the mood. The bias need not be overt. Suetonius revealed his about Augustus by what he left out of his biography of a ruler he liked. The historian related that Augustus vini quoque natura parcissimus erat, while Pliny the Younger reported Divus Augustus Setinum praetulit cunctis, and John H. D'Arms determined this predilection must have been an acquired taste from childhood. Suetonius went into enough detail about emperors' drinking habits to share that Tiberius was nicknamed Biberius Caldius Mero in youth, but completely glossed over Augustus' relationship with wine. en_US
dc.format.extent iii, 66 pages en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
dc.relation.ispartof 2010 Freely available theses (MU) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Drunkenness (Roman law) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Rome -- Social life and customs en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Rome -- Civilization -- History en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Drinking behavior en_US
dc.title When to say when: wine and drunkenness in Roman society en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Classical studies en_US
thesis.degree.grantor University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
thesis.degree.name M.A. en_US
thesis.degree.level Masters en_US
dc.identifier.merlin b7933782x
dc.identifier.oclc 648762249 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofcommunity University of Missouri-Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertations. Theses. 2010 Theses


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