By Rod Phillips
No matter if as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a continuing and sometimes debatable position in social lifestyles. In his leading edge e-book at the attitudes towards and intake of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year cultural and fiscal background, uncovering the tensions among alcoholic beverages as fit staples of day-by-day diets and as gadgets of social, political, and spiritual nervousness. within the city facilities of Europe and the US, the place it used to be visible as more healthy than untreated water, alcohol won a foothold because the drink of selection, however it has been extra regulated by means of governmental and non secular specialists greater than the other commodity. As a possible resource of social disruption, alcohol created unstable barriers of applicable and unacceptable intake and broke via boundaries of sophistication, race, and gender.
Phillips follows the ever-changing cultural meanings of those effective potables and makes the astounding argument that a few societies have entered "post-alcohol" levels. His is the 1st e-book to ascertain and clarify the meanings and results of alcohol in such intensity, from international and long term perspectives.
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Extra info for Alcohol: A History
It ignores the reality that in most ancient societies, until Greece and Rome came into their own, the elites themselves must have drunk far more beer than wine. If they produced longer-lasting artifacts and ideas than the masses, they did it with the aid of beer, at least as much as of wine. So far was beer from being considered an inferior beverage that Mesopotamia’s classic piece of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh, identified beer-drinking as essential to being human, as the process of humanizing Enkidu, the wild man, shows: “Enkidu does not know of eating food; of beer to drink he has not been taught.
It is located in Gordion, now in central Turkey but formerly the capital of the Phrygian empire over which Midas ruled. The burial chamber contained the skeleton of a sixty- to sixty-five-year-old male laid out on dyed textiles in a log coffin surrounded by 150 bronze vessels. More than 100 drinking bowls littered the chamber, and there were also three 150-liter vats, which probably held the beverage that was poured into bronze jugs and from there into individual bowls. ) The crowd of mourners implied by the number of pieces in this drinking set could not possibly have fitted into the burial chamber, so the wooden furniture and the bronze bowls, plates, and vats must have been placed around the body after the banquet (probably held outdoors) was over.
The Code of Hammurabi, issued in Babylon about 1770 BC and one of the earliest known codifications of law, regulated the price and strength of beer. Although these laws refer to “wine-shops,” it is clear that, for the most part, these establishments sold beer. 20 This is an early expression of themes that run through the longer-term history of alcohol: the production of alcoholic beverages by women and the association of alcohol with sexuality. Not only did beer become relatively plentiful in the ancient world, but (unlike most modern beers) it was remarkably nutritious.