Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Greek drinks

During a lecture last year on wine and the wine trade in ancient Greece, I suddenly developed a question that the lecturer wasn't able to answer, but which I haven't properly pursued. She noted that there were few drinking options for the ancient Greek compared to today, and that in the main, the choice seems to have been between wine and water. My questions is this: if the Greeks were making wine, can we assume that they were also drinking fresh grape juice?

At 115a of his Critias, Plato says: ἔτι δὲ τὸν ἥμερον καρπόν, τόν τε ξηρόν, ὃς ἡμῖν τῆς τροφῆς ἕνεκά ἐστιν, καὶ ὅσοις χάριν τοῦ σίτου προσχρώμεθα – καλοῦμεν δὲ αὐτοῦ τὰ μέρη σύμπαντα ὄσπρια – καὶ τὸν ὅσος ξύλινος, πώματα καὶ βρώματα καὶ ἀλείμματα φέρων.

I've complied a few other references that I need to look over, but it seems from this reference that fruits were used to make drinks, and, presumably, these weren't all alcoholic. I'd specifically like to find a reference to using the grape for juice not intended to make wine.