BRACE, Defined

Brace, -es? (f) – a type of Gallic grain (emmer? spelt?); equivalent to Roman “scandalam”

This grain was grown by the Gauls that yielded far more bread (in weight) per modius (a dry measure) of grain (see here). Brace appears in several Latin texts that were written later than Pliny, mostly in the Medieval period. Nelson (2001, 119-123) details the diachronic use of this word, showing that, by the 9th c. CE, brace was not a variety of grain per se, but a Celtic word for malted grain, that was primarily used in brewing contexts. Earlier, he argues, the word likely represented a type of malted hulled emmer that was used for the production of cerevisia, and later came to mean any type of malted grain.

Nelson, M.C. 2001. “Beer in Greco-Roman Antiquity.” Ph.D. diss., U. of British Columbia.


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