Cassius Dio, Historiae Romanae 49.36

οἱ δὲ δὴ Παννόνιοι νέμονται μὲν πρὸς τῇ Δελματίᾳ, παρ᾽ αὐτὸν τὸν Ἴστρον, ἀπὸ Νωρικοῦ μέχρι τῆς Μυσίας τῆς ἐν τῇ Εὐρώπῃ, κακοβιώτατοι δὲ ἀνθρώπων ὄντες ῾οὔτε γὰρ γῆς οὔτε ἀέρων εὖ ἥκουσιν: οὐκ ἔλαιον, οὐκ οἶνον, πλὴν ἐλαχίστου καὶ τούτου κακίστου, γεωργοῦσιν, ἅτε ἐν χειμῶνι πικροτάτῳ τὸ πλεῖστον διαιτώμενοι, ἀλλὰ τάς τε κριθὰς καὶ…

Classical Beer Review: Alfa Lentebok

The next up for review in the supermarket series (see here and here for earlier posts in the series) is Alfa Lentebok. Lentebok is the Dutch version of the better-known German Maibock, a strong pale hoppy lager. I am not very familiar with this style, so I went in without any preconceived notions of this…

HBW: Xenophon Beer Experiment Returns!

This is a continuation of the much explored pulse-beer experiment that follows Xenophon’s description of an Armenian beverage in his Anabasis. For an overview of all previous posts (and the original passage), see below: Xenophon Passage Overview Germinating and Drying Brew Day (All Lentil Beer and Pseudo-Xenophon) Fermenting and Tasting Part 2: Grains/Pulses remaining in the…

Hecataeus, in Athenaeus 10.12-13

Αἰγυπτίους δὲ Ἑκαταῖος ἀρτοφάγους φησὶν εἶναι κυλλήστιας ἐσθίοντας, τὰς δὲ κριθὰς εἰς ποτὸν καταλέοντας. Hecataeus says that the Egyptians are bread-eaters, eating kullestas, an Egyptian bread, and grinding grain into a drink. Background This excerpt is part of a discussion about over-eating. It places the Egyptians against Lydians and Thracians who are(were?) notorious gluttons. Commentary This is the…

Classical Beer Review: Cornelia Wit

Two weeks ago, I did a Classically-themed beer run at my local supermarket chain and reviewed the first of the ‘supermarket series’. It is, therefore, apt that I continue the series with a brew by the supermarket’s own beer brand of Cornelius and Cornelia beers! The first of the Cornelius and Cornelia beers were brewed…

TRITICUM, Defined

Triticum, -i (n) – wheat Wheat was the grain of choice for many Romans and Greeks. It was considered a healthy food by Celsus and was often distributed to citizens as part of their state-sponsored rations (annona). Wheat was also used for some ancient beers (even in Germany) – it isn’t just a modern practice!  Still, barley remained…

Celsus, De Medicina 2.20-21

Boni suci sunt triticum, siligo, halica, oryza, amulum, tragum, tisana, lac, caseus mollis, omnis venatio, omnes aves, quae ex media materia sunt, ex maioribus quoque eae, quas supra nominavi; medii inter teneros durosque pisces, ut mullus, ut lupus; verna lactuca, urtica, malva, cucumis, cucurbita, ovum sorbile, portulaca, cocleae, palmulae; ex pomis quodcumque neque acerbum neque…

Classical Beer Review: Pandora Dutch Pale Ale

Way back in October, BCS asked around for some recommendations of Classically-themed beers. We were able to assemble a list of must-tries, but it turned out less than easy to come across some of these beers. In fact, it took me until December before I was able to review the first beer on the list…

HBW: Parabie Tasting (Millet-Barley-Elecampane Beer)

Over the past few months, BCS has frequently discussed millet and inula/elecampane in beer. For an anthology of these discussions, see below: Hecataeaus Passage Millet Beer HBWs (Strabo Passage; Brew Day; Tasting) Konuza/Inula defined; Parabias defined. Pliny on the dietary and medicinal qualities of inula Historic uses of Elecampane in Beer/Alcohol Brew Day Tasting Judgement Day. How did…

FRUMENTUM, Defined

Frumentum, -i (n) – grain (generally) This is a general term and can include wheat, barley, etc. or several varieties at once. In English, the word “grain” offers an excellent equivalent. Frumentum, however, can also refer to “crops” more broadly. In Celsus (and other authors), beer is referred to as “potio ex frumento” (lit. “a drink from…

Aulus Cornelius Celsus, De Medicina 2.18.11-12

Ex potionibus vero quaecumque ex frumento facta est, itemque lac, mulsum, defrutum, passum, vinum aut dulce aut vehemens aut mustum aut magnae vetustatis valentissimi generis est. At acetum et id vinum, quod paucorum annorum vel austerum vel pingue est, in media materia est; ideoque infirmis numquam generis alterius dari debet. Aqua omnium inbecillissima est; firmiorque…

Classical Beer Review: Plato 18.25

As our transatlantic stash of Classically-themed beers is dwindling swiftly, I headed over to my local supermarket to see if – through some miracle – they would have the sought-after goods. While the supermarket has recently turned into somewhat of a craft-beer Olympus (sorry, no Walhalla, need to keep to the theme), it still came as…