Eastern Wines on Western Tables

Consumption, Trade and Economy in Ancient Italy


Eastern Wines on Western Tables: Consumption, Trade and Economy in Ancient Italy is an interdisciplinary and multifaceted study concerning wine commerce and the Roman economy during Classical antiquity. Wine was one of the main consumption goods in the Mediterranean during antiquity, and the average Roman adult male probably consumed between 0,5 - 1 litre of it per day. It is therefore clear that the production and trading of wine was essential for the Roman economy. This book demonstrates that wines from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean region in particular, played a crucial part in wine commerce. Moreover, it sheds new light on economic dilemmas that have long puzzled scholars, such as growth and market integration during antiquity.

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Paulina Komar, Ph.D. (2015), Wrocław University, is an archaeologist educated in Warsaw, Liverpool and Wrocław. She is currently an assistant professor at Warsaw's Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University. Her primary research interests concern wine consumption, trade and economics in Classical antiquity.
"Komar offers an exemplary analysis of the Eastern Mediterranean wine trade and its role in the wider economy. Debates over the scale and organisation of the Roman economy are bedevilled by the disjunction between archaeology and history. By an exhaustive study of a wide range of archaeological, epigraphic, literary, comparative and oenological evidence for a single commodity, Komar provides an authoritative analysis and an exemplar of the potential that this has for our understanding of the social and economic functioning of the Roman world." Benedict Lowe, The Classical Review 71.2 479–482.
List of Figures and Tables

In Search of Lost Wines: Perspectives and Limits
 1 History of Investigations
 2 Sources and Methodology
 3 Primary Commodity or Multi-purpose Containers?
 4 Reuse—Exception or Rule?
 5 Identifying the Origin of Amphoras
 6 Identifying the Content of Amphoras
 7 Tituli picti
 8 Pros and Cons of an Interdisciplinary Approach
 9 Synopsis

1 Vinum contra temetum: the Role of Wines from the Eastern Mediterranean in the Origins of Viticulture and Winemaking in Italy
 1 From vitis silvestris to vitis domestica
 2 Wine: a Local Invention or a Foreign Influence?
 3 The Beginnings of the Consumption of Wines from the Eastern Mediterranean
 4 The Economic Transformation of Italy during the 5th and 4th c. BC
 5 Eastern Wines in Italy: Types and Chronology
 6 Conclusions

2 De gustibus disputandum est—‘Fame’ or Ordinary Wines?
 1 In Search of Lost Tastes—Wines in Classical Antiquity
 2 Republican Wines of Some Repute
 3 Imperial Common Imports
 4 Epigraphic Enigmas
 5 Conclusions

3 Mass or Limited? Wine Importations to Italy during the Early Imperial Age
 1 Roma—the Eternal City
 2 Campania felix
 3 Portus and Its Neighbourhood
 4 Adriatic Italy
 5 ORBIS Transport Costs and Wine Importations
 6 Conclusions

4 Aristocratic Luxuries or Mass Beverages?
 1 Luxuries for the Elite
 2 Wines for Common People
 3 Conclusions

5 Petty Traders or Wealthy Wholesalers? Who Imported Wines to Italy?
 1 Free Romans and Local Elites
 2 Italian Freedmen
 3 Free Greeks, Slaves and Greeks with Roman Citizenship
 4 Incerti
 5 Conclusions

6 Twilight or Bloom: Eastern Mediterranean Wines in Italy during Late Antiquity
 1 Amphoras or Barrels?
 2 Late Roman Wines in the Urbs
 3 Late Roman Wines in Adriatic Italy (Aquileia, Verona, Padua)
 4 ORBIS Transport Costs and Wine Importations
 5 Conclusions

Conclusions: The Economics of the Wine Trade

Appendix 1: A Catalogue of Greek and Latin Texts That Mention Wines from the Eastern Mediterranean
Appendix 2: List of Authors That Mention Eastern Mediterranean Wines Quoted by Athenaeus
Appendix 3: Catalogue of Amphoras Classified as Wine Containers Discovered in Italy between the 1st c. BC and Late Antiquity
Anyone interested in wine history, ancient Italy or ancient trade and economics. The book's interdisciplinary character makes it globally appealing and relevant for researchers/students of archaeology, Classics and history.
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