Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.666358
Title: Constructive drinking in the Roman Empire : the first to third centuries AD
Author: Mudd, Shaun Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 7688
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This thesis explores ancient ideas regarding the constructive properties of intoxicating drinks, as presented in Greco-Roman sources from the first to third centuries AD. In doing so, it responds to Mary Douglas' Constructive Drinking (1987), which emphasised that, contrary to anthropological findings, many societies' authorities tend to focus upon, and overemphasise, the destructive aspects of alcohol consumption. This pattern is particularly prevalent in modern Western scholarship. The same trend can be detected within both Greco-Roman society and classical scholarship. Although many Greeks and Romans undoubtedly consumed quantities of wine, on a regular basis, in a manner which was widely considered 'moderate', the literary evidence from this period tends to focus most heavily upon excessive and/or destructive drinking. Similarly, much of the modern scholarship which addresses drinking in the Roman Empire focuses upon drunkenness and the destructive aspects of drinking. Yet it is clear that Greco-Roman society considered wine consumption to be significantly beneficial, in a wide variety of ways, provided that moderation was employed. The destructive consequences of drinking were almost exclusively associated with excessive and inappropriate consumption. In reaction to this bias in the sources and scholarship, this thesis undertakes a re-reading of the ancient evidence through the 'Constructive Drinking' lens. It identifies and explores the ways in which the Greeks and Romans of this period considered drinking to be important, useful, or otherwise 'constructive' to the individual and society. Where possible, this thesis attempts to identify how important and widespread such beliefs were. This thesis has two main areas of focus. First, the ways in which intoxicating drink was considered to be constructive for an individual's health and wellbeing. Second, the ways in which intoxicating drink was considered to be of social benefit to both individuals and groups. This thesis accordingly provides a fresh perspective on drinking in antiquity, and illustrates the methodological significance of the Constructive Drinking lens for future research.
Supervisor: Wilkins, John; Pitts, Martin Sponsor: Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.666358  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rome ; Roman Empire ; Drinking ; Alcohol ; Intoxicating Drink ; Greece ; Greco-Roman ; Ancient History ; Mary Douglas ; Constructive Drinking ; Anthropology ; Symposium ; Convivium ; Wine
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