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The wines and herbs in the land of Pan

By Stavroula Kourakou

A survey of ancient Greek sources reveals the surprising properties of certain wines that continue to provoke the curiosity of scholars today. In early December, the interdisciplinary Oino Istoro (or Talking Wine) group and Ktima Spyropoulos winery held the “Symposium of Arcadian Wine Talk.” I presented a paper there, which I want to summarize here. The inspiration for this paper came from an extract from “The Deipnosophists” by Athenaeus, which refers to certain wines with unusual qualities: “Theophrastus says that in Heraia, Arcadia, they produce a wine which when drunk stimulates men and makes women get pregnant. He also says that in Keryneia in Achaia, there grows a vine variety from which is made a type of wine that makes pregnant women miscarry; they even miscarry if they eat its grapes. The wine of Troezen makes those who drink it infertile. In Thassos they make a wine that is a soporific and another that causes insomnia.”

Read the original article at: The Kathimerini

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