In all cultures of the world there was and is a dining culture as well as a drinking culture with certain rituals and ceremonies as part of society. Especially Wine was always more than just a stimulant, but also a remedy, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, preservative, custody, power source, inspiration medium, sacrificial symbol, part of rituals, celebrations and contracts and in many religions a sacred medium with which you can relate in a mystical way God or the gods made.
In the "Codex Hammurabi", a law collection of the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1728-1686 BC), which according to the Sumerian tradition emanates from an inspiration of the sun god Šamaš, says: The wine is one of the most precious gifts of the earth. So he demands love and respect, we have to respect him. But that was probably beer even before the wine, the first alcoholic beverage that was brewed in the early civilizations at least 6,000 years ago. To be considered the cradle of viticulture Mesopotamia. Transcaucasia and / or according to recent research Southeastern Anatolia in the present day Turkey,
The popular saying about wine by the Greek poet Alcaeus (7th century BC) "In vino veritas" (In the wine lies the truth) expresses superficially that one speaks under the influence of wine (alcohol) the truth, because it is associated with a reduction of barriers. Wine (moderately enjoyed) simply helps to a different attitude. One is much more willing to give in to his emotions and is more open and communicative, which (assuming that one enjoys wine with reason) can have a very positive impact on interpersonal matters. However, there is a cross-cultural rule, namely the social rejection of lonely alcohol consumption. Positively understood consumption of alcohol is considered a social activity in order to establish human contacts and to cultivate communication. However, anyone who drinks alone or enjoys alcohol is generally regarded as being unsocial and is also suspected of being a drunkard.
The consumption of alcohol was often excessive. Because the intoxication was regarded by many ancient peoples as a special condition, which made the direct contact with a higher world possible and thus had a religious and mystical character. Thus, in Egypt, celebrations of pharaohs and priests were drunk to drunkenness, and unconsciousness after overconsumption was considered sacred and godly. The prophets who came in Israel gave oracles in the ecstatic state according to 1 Samuel 10.5. In the mysticism of Islamic Sufism and shamanism, the intoxication of the priest plays an important role. The Greek Pythia issued oracles caused by earth vapors. The wine of Cleopatra (69-30 BC) was treated with Rohopium and nightshade plants (henbane, mandrains) and was considered aphrodisiac,
After the Greek historian Herodotus (482-425 BC) was used by the Persians under the Achaemenid dynasty (559-331 BC), the alcoholic intoxication deliberately to discuss important issues to judge and then decide. They wanted to eliminate the ratio, promote creativity and informally discuss arguments and counterarguments, the intoxication served the disinhibition. However, the decisions taken had to be confirmed once more in the sober state (or vice versa). Only then did they attain validity and force of law. Similarly, Herodotus reports of the Greek symposia (Trinkgelagen), which also had a specific drunkenness to the goal. However, this was done to a moderate and controlled extent by limited serving quantities of water mixed with water.
Early in the morning antiquity Greeks and Romans produced an amazing variety of wines. In Greece in the 5th century BC they were in honor of God Dionysos held festivities marked by exuberance and licentiousness combined with stylized and heavy drinking. The aim of the intoxication was a purifying ceremonial with psychohygienic effect. The Romans took over this from the Greeks with those after the wine god Bacchus called Bacchanalia called boisterous parties. The Roman poet depicts a colorful moral portrait of the culture of eating and drinking of the Roman upper classes in the first century Petronius (+66) in his famous work Satyricon, Also in the 950 created Geoponika the ancient food and drink culture is described. The enjoyment of alcoholic beverages is governed to this day in many religions with rituals and ceremonies and takes place in the Christian churches at the Eucharist with the conversion of the bread into Christ's body and of the measuring wine culminating in Christ's blood. The central importance of viticulture and wine in the Christian religion is evidenced by 979 references to it in the Christian religion Bible,
The balance or the border between enjoyment (pleasure) and vice ( alcoholism ) has always moved people and already in the antiquity Many well-known personalities warned against abuse. The Roman poet Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) writes: As in freedom, wine temperance is also beneficial. And in the writing "From the peace of mind" he notes: Sometimes it may even come to a noise, not that it is us, but still submerge. For that scares away the worries, upsets the soul in its depths and, as with many illnesses, it is also a means against sadness. In the early Middle Ages a rush per month was seen as a means of purifying the body of spent spirits of life, renewing oneself and thus serving health. Due to the poor water quality, much more alcohol was drunk than it is today. Wine and beer were considered food, and regular alcohol consumption was considered normal.
However, efforts were made in the early Middle Ages to contain the excessive coal mines, which were often accompanied by violent conflicts. Not only was it limited to the simple stratum of the people, but besides, alcoholic drinks were often affordable only to the nobility. Significantly, every German Emperor was asked the question before the coronation in Rome: do you want to be sober with God's help? Charlemagne (742-814) issued prohibitions against compulsory drinking in companies. Especially from the side of church was quibbled against excessive alcohol consumption, which was less for health reasons, but mainly because of the associated moral decline. Very popular in all social strata was the custom of Zutrinkens, Prominent clergymen such as the Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546), as well as Johann quickly (1540-1612) and Abraham a Sancta Clara (1644-1709) fought against it in words and writing.
In many countries it is common to drink alcohol on festive occasions. In some, such as France, Greece, Italy and Spain, this is even part of everyday life, that is, it is also served without any special occasion alcohol. In the sphere of influence of Islam, however, absolute alcohol ban, But also in the western culture was and is tried again and again, the consumption by different Prohibition measures curb. Alcohol with reason, that is enjoyed in moderation, but also has positive effects. The wine has always inspired artists in their work. There are countless poems, songs and Quotes about the wine.
The big difference between a moderate Weingenuss with an exciting effect and excessive alcohol abuse describes an impressive essay by the Austrian poet Peter Rosegger (1843-1918), which amounts to a prosaic declaration of love to the wine. The opposite with some anecdotes and true stories about excessive consumption of alcohol as well as "famous drinkers" is under the keyword intoxication reported. Under Customs in viticulture is a list of relevant keywords related to rituals, festivals and other "wine related practices".