« السابقةمتابعة »
that were mixed with wines. In the Odyss. lib. iv. 220, he tells us that Helen prepared for Telemachus and his companions a beverage, which was highly stupefactive and soothing to the mind. To produce these qualities, he says, that she threw into the "wine delirious drugs, which were—
Νηπενθες τ' αχολον τε, κακων επιληθον απαντων, grief-assuaging, rage-allaying, and the oblivious antidote for every description of misfortune." He adds, that the person "who drunk the bowl that she had mingled, from morn to eve, would not shed a single tear, although his father and mother utterly perished, or he saw his brother, or his own darling son, slain before his eyes." He further tells us, that "Helen had acquired the knowledge of these poisonous drugs from Egypt." The following translation of this passage by Pope, though free, is fully borne out by the original :
“Meanwhile, with genial joy, to warm the soul,
Tempered with drugs of sovereign power to assuage
To clear the clouded front of wrinkled care,
And dry the tearful sluices of despair.
Charmed with that virtuous draught, the exalted mind
The man, entranced, would view the deathful scene.
Here, then, we learn not only that, as early as the Trojan war, the Greeks mixed their wines with drugs, but that this custom came from Egypt, and therefore that the practice was
very ancient. Bishop Lowth, in his notes on Isaiah i. 22, quotes the verses from Homer which I have just given, and observes,
“The Hebrews generally, by mixed wine, mean wine made inebriating by the adoption of higher and more powerful ingredients, such as spices, myrrh, mandragora, opiates, and other strong drugs. Such were the exhilarating or rather stupefying ingredients which Helen mixed in the bowl together with the wine for her guests, oppressed with grief, to raise their spirits, the composition of which she had learned in Egypt. Such was the spiced wine and juice of the pomegranates mentioned Cant. viii. 2. Thus the drunkard is described as one who seeks "mixed wine," and is "mighty to mingle strong drink." And hence the Psalmist took the highly poetical and sublime image of the cup of God's wrath, called by Isaiah "the cup of trembling," causing intoxication and stupefaction, containing, as St. John (Rev. xiv. 10) expresses in Greek the Hebrew idea with the utmost precision, though with a seeming contradiction in the terms, 66 KƐкƐpаσμevov akρaтov, mixed, unmixed wine," the unmixed juice of the grape rendered stupefying by a mixture of powerful ingredients. "In the hand of Jehovah," saith the Psalmist, Psalm lxxv. 8, " there is a cup, the wine is turbid, it is full of mixed liquor, he poureth out of it. Verily, the dregs thereof, (the thickest sediment of the strong ingredients merged with it,) all the ungodly of the earth shall wring them out and drink them."-Lowth on Isaiah, p. 235.
In the ninth book of the Odyssey we have a passage equally conclusive respecting the character of these early wines. Ulysses there tells us, that he took into his boat a goat skin of sweet black wine, a divine drink, which Maron the priest of Apollo had given him." Describing this beverage, he says that "it was sweet as honey; that it was imperishable, or would keep for ever; that when it was drunk, it was diluted with twenty parts water; and that from it a sweet and divine odor exhaled."
These facts are very important, because, 1. The wine was sweet as honey, it was divine or resembling nectar, and therefore could not have fermented, otherwise the sugar would have been destroyed. 2. It was boiled, otherwise it would not have
been so exceeding sweet, and at the same time have retained its great sweetness for so long a time, and been capable of “keeping for ever," in the various temperatures to which it was exposed. 3. When drank it was diluted with twenty times its amount of water: this was necessary on account of its great sweetness, its consequent thickness, and the high degree to which it was drugged; and, 4. It was exceedingly aromatic, affording incontestable evidence of the spices, &c. with which it was mixed. He intimates that, diluted with so large a quantity of water, still its odor was most temptingly delicious. He says that this wine was both "black and red; probably it was of a very deep and beautiful purple. In the 10th book of the Odyssey, the same poet tells us, that Circe mixed Pranmian wine with pernicious drugs, by which means those who drank it became swine." In the Iliad, the wine that Hector's mother advised him to drink, but which the hero refused, was sweet as honey, and yet produced "lethargy and forgetfulness ;" a plain proof that it was not fermented, but drugged. Every chimist knows that the reasoning here employed is in exact accordance with the facts of modern science. There can be no doubt that the wines drunk by Noah and Lot were drugged, as we shall hereafter show.
The following recipe for drugging sapa and defrutum, from the 20th chapter of the 12th Book of Columella, "De Re Rustica," will give the reader an idea of the ancient custom of manufacturing wine. After having given directions to boil ninety amphoras of Must, or about 720 gallons, down to the third part, or to thirty amphoras, he says, "Tum demum medicamina adjicito, quæ sunt aut liquida, aut resinosa, id est picis liquidæ nemeturcæ, cum eam diligenter ante aqua marina decocta perlueris, decem sextarios, item resina terebinthæ sesquilibram. Hæc cum adjicies, plumbeum peragitabis, ne adurantur, cum deinde ad tertias subsederit coctura, subtrahe ignem, et plumbeum subinde agitabis, ut defrutum, et medicamina coeant, deinde cum videbituar mediocritur calere defrutum, reliqua aromata contusa et cribrata paulatim insperges, et jubebis rutabulo ligneo agitari, quod decoxeris, dum defrigescet. Quod sinon ita, ut præcipimus, permiscueris subsident aromata et
adurentur. Ad prædictum autem modum musti adjici debent ii odores, nardi folium, iris Illyrica, nardum Gallicum, crocum, palma, cyperum, schoenum, quorum singulorum selibræ satisfacient. Item, myrhæ quincunx, calami pondo libram, casiæ selibram, amomi pondoquadrans, croci quincunx, cripæ pampanacæ libram. Hæc, ut dixi, arida contusa, et cribrata debent adjici, et his commisceri rasis, quod est genus crudæ picis, eaque quanto est vetustior tanto melior habetur, nam longo tempore durior facta, cum est contusa in palvere redigitur, et his medicaminibus admiscetur." The reader may be told that the quotation just given is by no means a solitary example of the ancient mode of adding various herbs and drugs to wine. If he will consult Varro, Cato, Palladius, Pliny, and others, he will find that nothing was more common than the addition of different medicaments to the juice of the grape. Mr. Buckingham, in his articles on "ancient wines," in the Athenæum, says, that the Romans added to their wines, "pitch, rosin, assafoetida, sea water, tar, bitumen, myrrh, aloes, cassia, gums, pepper, spikenard, poppies, wormwood, milk, chalk, cypress, bitter almonds." These ingredients he appears to have quoted from Athenæus, Plutarch, &c.
Pliny in the 16th chapter of Book XIV. says, “That there were wines made from millet, dates, and the lotus-tree; from figs, beans, pears, all sorts of apples, pomegranates, cornels, medlars, sorb-apples, mulberries, pine-apples, the leaves, berries, and twigs of myrtles; from rue, asparagus, savory, organy, sutherwood, parsley seed, wild mint, turnips, pennyroyal, wild thyme, horehound, squills, flowers and leaves of roses, Gallic and wild nard. Spiced and aromatic wines, made from a composition of spices, from myrrh, Celtic nard, and bitumen. Calamus, bulrush, Syriac nard, balsam, Jerusalem or lady's rose, cassia, cinnamon, palm, gum-benjamin, pepper and honey, pomwater, elecampane, citron, walwort, wormwood, hyssop, hellebore, scammony, wild sage, gentian, wild fig, dittany, wild carrot, heal-all, garden flag, flea-bane, thyme, mandrake, ithacomel, pitch, cedar, cypress, laurel, pine, juniper, turpentine, mastic, olivella, ground pine, and ground oak," were all added, in different proportions, to the juice of the grape, for the purpose of rendering it medicinal, stu
pefying, or aromatic.
Numerous as are the ingredients just mentioned, I believe that they might be double from the writings of Pliny alone. Now we know that the Romans borrowed most of their arts from the Greeks, and the Greeks from Asia Minor, Tyre, Palestine, and Egypt, so that there is reason to believe that none of these modes of manufacturing or drugging wine were inventions of the age in which Pliny, or Cato, or other writers on this subject, lived. These practices had probably been handed down from father to son, from the days of the deluge. Indeed the Greek and Roman writers on these subjects often refer to the ancient or foreign authorities whence they derived their knowledge and information. Mago, the Carthaginian is a great favorite with them all.
From what has been said, the reader may be prepared for the conclusion, that the wines of the ancients were very different from ours, and that the taste and appetite of the tipplers of antiquity were far from being similar to the drinking mania of the moderns; and these opinions, which he may have formed, will be fully borne out by the testimony of ancient writers.
The wines of the Greeks and Romans not only differed from ours, but also from each other. Pliny, Lib. xiv, cap. 22, says, that human ingenuity had produced " one hundred and ninety-five different kinds of wine, and that if the species of these genera were estimated, they would amount to almost double that number." Virgil, after having enumerated various descriptions of wine, cuts short the subject by saying,
"Sed neque quam multæ species, nec nomina quæ sint
Est numerus ; neque enim numero comprehendere refert,
Discere quam multæ zephyro turbentur arenæ :
Geor., lib. II.
Here we are told that it was impossible to number the various species of wine then in use, and that to attempt it would be as hopeless a task as to endeavor to tell the sands of the Lybian coast, which the west wind agitates, or the waves of the Ionian sea, which are rolled to the shore; and after making every allow