Pliny the Elder 18.12.68: Beer for Bread

Galliae et hispaniae frumento in potum resoluto quibus diximus generibus spuma ita concreta pro fermento utuntur, qua de causa levior illis quam ceteris panis. When the grain of Gaul and Spain – the types of which we spoke about earlier – is made into a drink, they use the foam that forms during fermentation [for…

Florus, Epitome Bellorum Omnium Annorum 1.34

Sic redacto in disciplinam milite commissa acies, quodque nemo visurum se umquam speraverat factum, ut fugientes Numantinos quisquam videret. Dedere etiam se volebant, si toleranda viris imperarentur. Sed cum Scipio veram vellet et sine exceptione victoriam, eo necessitatum conpulsi primum ut destinata morte in proelium ruerent, cum se prius epulis quasi inferiis implevissent carnis semicrudae et…

Emmer in Brewing: A Review

This is part of an ongoing homebrewing series about the brewing of ancient grains. Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) is a tetraploid, hulled wheat that was commonly grown in antiquity. Hulled wheats, like emmer and einkorn (a diploid wheat), are among the most ancient domesticated grains (Ozkan, et al. 2011; Marconi, et al. 2013; Emody, et al….

Strabo, Geographica 4.6.2

κατοικοῦσι δὲ Λίγυες ζῶντες ἀπὸ θρεμμάτων τὸ πλέον καὶ γάλακτος καὶ κριθίνου πόματος, νεμόμενοι τά τε πρὸς θαλάττῃ χωρία καὶ τὸ πλέον τὰ ὄρη. [. . .] ταῦτά τε δὴ κατάγουσιν εἰς τὸ ἐμπόριον τὴν Γένουαν καὶ θρέμματα καὶ δέρματα καὶ μέλι, ἀντιφορτίζονται δὲ ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον τὸν ἐκ τῆς Ἰταλίας: ὁ δὲ παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς…

Julian the Apostate, Epigram 1

εἰς οἶνον ἀπὸ κριθῆς. τίς πόθεν εἶς Διόνυσε; μὰ γὰρ τὸν ἀληθέα Βάκχον, οὔ σ’ἐπιγιγνώσκω. τὸν Διὸς οἶδα μόνον. κεῖνος νέκταρ ὄδωδε. σύ δὲ τράγον. ἦ ῥά σε Κελτοὶ τῇ πενίῃ Βοτρύων τεῦξαν ἀπ’ ἀσταχύων; τῷ σε χρὴ καλέειν Δημήτριον, οὐ Διόνυσον, πυρογενῆ μᾶλλον καὶ Βρόμον, οὐ Βρόμιον. On barley-wine (beer). Who and from where…

Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum 26.8.2

Ad quam obsidendam, cum huius modi pugnarum peritis, Vadomario misso, ex duce et rege Alamannorum, Valens Nicomediam pergit. Exindeque profectus, oppugnationi Chalcedonis magnis viribus insistebat, cuius e muris probra in eum iaciebantur, et irrisive compellebatur ut Sabaiarius. Est autem sabaia ex ordeo vel frumento, in liquorem conversis, paupertinus in Illyrico potus. To besiege the city,…

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…

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…

FERMENTUM, Defined

Fermentum, -i (n) – the cause of fermentation, leavening i.e. yeast [from ferveo/fervo – to boil, foam, enrage, agitate] This BCS “Defined” entry is brought to us by Pliny the Elder, whose fascinating discussion on leavened bread introduced us to this delightful Latin word. Although the causes of leavening in bread and alcoholic production in beer…

Pliny the Elder, Natural History 19.29(32)

Brevior his est et torosior amariorque inula per se stomacho inimicissima, eadem dulcibus mixtis saluberrima. Pluribus modis austeritate victa gratiam invenit. Namque et in pollinem tunditur arida liquidoque dulci temperatur, et decocta posca aut adservata vel macerata pluribus modis et tunc mixta defruto aut subacta melle uvisve passis aut pinguibus caryotis. Alio rursus modo cotoneis…

ATHENAEUS, DEIPNOSOPHISTS 1.61 part 2

διό καί Δίων ὁ ἐξ Ἀκαδημίας φιλοίνους καί φιλοπότας τούς Αἰγυπτίους γενέσθαι: εὑρεθῆναί τε βοήθημα παῤ αὐτοῖς ὥστε τούς διά πενίαν ἀποροῦντας οἴνου τόν ἐκ τῶν κριθῶν γενόμενον πίνειν: καί οὕτως ἥδεσθαι τούς τοῦτον προσφερομένους ὡς καί ᾁδειν καί πάντα ποιεῖν ὅσα τούς ἐξοίνους γινομένους. And Dio the Academic said that the Egyptians are lovers…

Julius Caesar, Civil War 2.11

Quo male perterriti subito oppidani saxa, quam maxima possunt, vectibus promovent, praecipitataque muro in musculum devolvunt. Ictum firmitas materiae sustinet, et quidquid incidit, fastigio musculi elabitur. Id ubi vident, mutant consilium; cupas taeda ac pice refertas incendunt easque de muro in musculum devolvunt. Involutae labuntur, delapsae ab lateribus longuriis furcisque ab opere removentur. The Marseillians…