Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
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14.9 CHAP. 9. (7.)—THIRTY-EIGHT VARIETIES OF FOREIGN WINES.

We will now, in a similar manner, give a description of the varieties found in the parts beyond sea. After the wines mentioned by Homer, and of which we have already spoken, [Note] those held in the highest esteem were the wines of Thasos and Chios, [Note] and of the latter more particularly the sort known as "Arvisium." [Note] By the side of these has been placed the wine of Lesbos, [Note] upon the authority of Erasistratus, a famous physician, who flourished about the year of the City of Rome 450. At the present day, the most esteemed of all is the wine of Clazomenæ, [Note] since they have learned to season it more sparingly with sea-water. The wine of Lesbos has naturally a taste of sea-water. That from Mount Tmolus [Note] is not so much esteemed by itself [Note] for its qualities as a wine, as for its peculiar sweetness. It is on account of this that it is mixed with other wines, for the purpose of modifying their harsh flavour, by imparting to them a portion of its own sweetness; while at the same time it gives them age, for immediately after the mixture they appear to be much older than they really are. Next in esteem after these are the wines of

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Sicyon, [Note] Cyprus, [Note] Telmessus, [Note] Tripolis, [Note] Berytus, [Note] Tyre, [Note] and Sebennys, this last is grown in Egypt, being the produce of three varieties of grape of the very highest quality, known as the Thasian, [Note] the æthalus, [Note] and the peuce. [Note] Next in rank are the hippodamantian [Note] wine, the Mystic, [Note] the cantharite, [Note] the protropum [Note] of Cnidos, the wine of the catacecaumene, [Note] the Petritan, [Note] and the Myconian; [Note] as to the Mesogitic, [Note] it has been found to give head-ache, while that of Ephesus is far from wholesome, being seasoned with sea-water and defrutum. [Note] It is said that the wine of Apamea [Note] is remarkably well adapted for making mulsum, [Note] like that of Præ- tutia in Italy: for this is a quality peculiar to only certain kinds of wine, the mixture of two sweet liquids being in

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general not attended with good results. The protagion [Note] is quite gone out of date, a wine which the school of Asclepiades has reckoned as next in merit to those of Italy. The physician Apollodorus, in the work which he wrote recommending King Ptolemy what wines in particular to drink—for in his time the wines of Italy were not generally known—has spoken in high terms of that of Naspercene in Pontus, next to which he places the Oretic, [Note] and then the Æneatian, [Note] the Leucadian, [Note] the Ambraciotic, [Note] and the Peparethian, [Note] to which last he gives the preference over all the rest, though he states that it enjoyed an inferior reputation, from the fact of its not being considered fit for drinking until it had been kept six years.



Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 14.8 Plin. Nat. 14.9 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 14.10

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