KORMA, Defined

Κόρμα, ατος (n)

1. Barley beer
2. Wheat beer

See also: κοῦρμι, κορμᾶ
Latin (corma, curmen, curmi)


The earliest reference to κόρμα is by Poseidonius (in Athenaeus) who briefly describes the fermented, barley beverage of the lower status Gauls (modern France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain). The word is likely Celtic in origin and is cognate with later Celtic words, such as the Old Irish cuirm and the Welsh cwrw.

Poseidonius tells us that the masses drank their beer neat. This practice distinguishes them from the upper classes who either drank wine or mixed their beer with honey when serving.



Sources: Hornsey, I.S. 2003, A History of Beer and Brewing, pp. 158-160; Nelson, M. 2001, “Beer in Greco-Roman Antiquity,” pp. 61-64; Liddell and Scott, A Greek Lexicon.

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