The History of the World in Six Glasses

Topics: Alcoholic beverage, Wine, Slavery Pages: 6 (2332 words) Published: August 20, 2013
Chapters 1 & 2
Q. How did beer lead to the development of cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt? A. Beer started out as gruel, and as the gruel fermented it turned into beer. Now it was not the first form of alcohol, but it was an important kind of alcohol. Beer was made from cereal crops, which were very abundant, and because it was so abundant it could be made whenever it was needed. They then found an even easier way to make beer by using beer-bread. Beer bread is basically everything needed to make beer in a loaf, making it convenient to store the raw beer materials. Beer started as just a social drink but then blossomed into a “hallmark of civilization”, as seen by the Mesopotamians. Grain was the basis of the national diet, it was basically edible money. Beer was something that distinguished the Mesopotamians from savages, beer made them completely human. Beer was associated with a settled and orderly lifestyle, not hunters and gatherers in prehistoric times. Beer defined them as the first great civilizations. Beer then became a way of payment and currency. Officials and people in the work force were paid in silas of beer as part of their ration. And because they were using beer and not actual money they were more prosperous, being able to use money for development. No matter what age you were, you drank beer. It was a staple for their life.

In the beginning, beer was just a social thing. It was used for special occasions, and because of that they were more social making them more civilized. “Beer has brought people together since the dawn of civilization.” Then beer became very popular it was used for more than just a social drink, more than a drink at all! They used it as currency, as trade and used it to barter with. Because they had an abundance of grain, this was convenient. Using it as currency, in turn, saved them money. They then could use that money to develop cities and expand.

Chapters 3 & 4
Q: Describe the role that wine plays in Greek or Roman society in relation to social class. A: In Greece, wine was seen as a religious and social beverage, making it widely desired. Lucky rulers had empires that encompassed wine-making regions. Wine production and volume of wine being traded increased, making wine available over a longer geographical area. As volumes grew and prices fell, wine became accessible to a broader segment of society. In the beginning the higher up in class that you were the more common it was to drink wine, and the lower you were the less wine was drunk. At this point even slaves drank wine. It no longer mattered if you drank wine, what mattered was what kind of wine it was. This then turned into what its age was rather than its vintage. Wine drinking indicated how cultured you were. What kind of wine and its age showed how civilized and refined you were. The Roman has different view of it. To them wine embodies both where they had come from and what they had become. The Romans, like the Greek, regarded wine as a universal staple. The richest Romans drank the finer wines, the poorer you were the lesser vintages you drank, and the same for the rest of the social ladder. At a Roman banquet, different wines would be served based on their positions in society. Most of the views on wine are very similar in the Greek and Roman ways. Throughout time the views on wine have changed. In the beginning it was weather you drank it. Once everyone drank it, it became on the vintage, and then turned into its age. And some of this still stands today. All though any one is able to get any type of wine, the richer you are the more likely you are to try different kinds of wine, the more expensive kinds of wine. But it all started with the highest class drinking wine. So your social status decided if and what type of wine you drank. Chapters 5 & 6

Q: Explain how alcohol is related to African slave trade.
A: During the time that Europeans opened the world’s sea routes, new...
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