CEREVISIA, Defined

Cerevisia, -ae (f.)

1. Beer, originally Celtic
(alternate spellings: cervisia, cervesia, cerbesia, cerevisa, cervesa, cervisa, cervissa)

Commentary

The first attestation of “cervesia” in Latin is by Pliny the Elder (1st c. CE). The word is likely Celtic in origin and was later adopted by the Romans to describe the beverage of their neighbors and soon-to-be subjects of their soon-to-be Roman Empire. Unlike the other Romance languages, Spanish and Portuguese retain the root word in their modern words for beer, “cerveza” and “cerveja.” Unfortunately, there are no known references to the addition of limes to cerveza in antiquity.

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