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Adapted from Hanson, David J. Preventing Alcohol Abuse: Alcohol, Culture, and Control. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995.

1. For additional information on alcohol among the Babylonians, see Lutz (1922, pp. 115-133).

2. Individuals could choose to consecrate themselves to God for a period of time and become Nazarites, after which time they could again drink wine (Numbers 6:1-4; Numbers 6:13-20; Speigel, 1979, pp. 12-13).

3. For additional documentation on the views of Jesus and the early church see Hewitt (1980, pp. 14-19) and Raymond (1927, pp. 27-91). For references to alcohol in the Old Testament categorized into positive and negative and into realms (physical, psychological, social, religious or economic), see O'Brien and Seller (1982).

4. Christianity became the sole and official religion of the Roman Empire in 395 A.D. (Wallbank and Taylor, 1954, p. 230).

5. While hops may have been used in Bavaria as early as around the mid-eighth century, exactly when and where brewing with hops began is unclear (Mathias, 1959, p. 4; Cherrington, 1925, v.l, p. 405). However, hopped beer was actually "a new drink altogether, a product of the technique of precise fermentation using only barley, and in which addition of hops ensured an agreeable taste and the possibility of better conservation" (Claudian, 1970, p. 10; Austin, 1985, p. 87). It might be noted that old recipes added such ingredients as "poppy seeds, mushrooms, aromatics, honey, sugar, bay leaves, butter and bread crumbs" (Braudel, 1967, p. 167).

6. Although some suggest that it was the Chinese who discovered distillation (e.g., Hyams, 1965, p. 226), others believe it was the Italians (e.g., Braudel, 1967, p. 170) and some name the Greeks (e.g., Forbes, 1948, p. 6), most assert that it was the Arabians (e.g., Patrick, 1952, p. 29; Lichine, 1974, p. 6). But if it was indeed the Arabians, was it the physician Rhazer (8527-932?) (Waddell & Haag, 1940, p. 58) or the alchemist Jabir in Hayyan around 800 A.D. (Roueche, 1963, p. 171)? Perhaps it was all of the above:

"That spirit could be distilled from fermented matter was undoubtedly independently discovered (possibly by accident) in many parts of the world" (Doxat, 1971, p. 80). It might be noted parenthetically that alcohol (at kohl or alkuhl) is Arabic in name (Hyams, 1965, p. 198; Roueche, 1963, p. 171).

7. Amaldus of Villanova (d. 1315), a professor of medicine, is credited with coining the term aqua vitae: "We call it [distilled liquor] aqua vitae, and this name is remarkably suitable, since it is really a water of immortality. It prolongs life, clears away ill-humors, revives the heart, and maintains youth" (Amaldus de Villanova, The Earliest Printed Book on Wine, Now/or the First Time Rendered into English, and with an Historical Essay by H.E. Sigerist, with Facsimile of Original Edition, 1478. New York: Schuman's, 1943, cited by Roueche, 1963, p. 172). These were modest claims compared to those made much later by the fifteenth-century German physician, Hieronymus Brunschwig:

It eases the diseases coming of cold. It comforts the heart. It heals all old and new sores on the bead. It causes a good color in a person. It heals baldness and causes the hair well to grow, and kills lice and fleas. It cures lethargy. Cotton wet in the same time and a little wrung out again and so put in the ears at night going to bed, and a little drunk thereof, is of good against all deafness. It eases the pain in the teeth, and causes sweet breath. It heals the canker in the mouth, in the teeth, in the lips, and in the tongue. It causes the heavy tongue to become light and well-speaking. It heals the short breath. It causes good digestion and appetite for to eat, and takes away all belching. It draws the wind out of the body. It eases the yellow jaundice, the dropsy, the gout, the pain in the breasts when they be swollen, and heals all diseases in the bladder, and breaks the stone. It withdraws venom that has been taken in meat or in drink, when a little treacle is put thereto. It heals all shrunken sinews, and causes them to become soft and right. It heals the fevers tertian and quartan. It heals the bites of a mad dog, and all stinking wounds, when they be washed therewith. It gives also young courage in a person, and causes him to have a good memory. It purifies the five wits of melancholy and of all uncleanness." (H. Brunschwig, Liber deArte Distillandi: De Simplicibus, Strasbourg, 1500, quoted by Roueche, 1963, pp. 172-173).

8. The Russians preferred their grain spirit without the juniper flavor, and chose to name it "vodka," or "little water" (Roueche, 1963, p. 174).

9. Alarmist tracts exaggerated the extent of problems and "the popular press was full of terrifying accounts of the woes of prostitution and infanticide . . ." (Sournia, 1990, p. 21). An influential engraving by William Hogarth pictures a society destroyed by gin. Life on "Gin Lane" is portrayed a living hell in which, among other things, an intoxicated mother neglects her child, who is seen falling on its head, and an impoverished man gnaws on the end of a bone (bearing a suspicious resemblance to a human femur) while a hungry dog chews at the other end. A drunken brawl can be seen in the background and a dead woman, who presumably succumbed to gin, is being placed in a coffin. "Gin Lane" has been reproduced in numerous publications, including Sournia (1990, illustration #9), Babor (1986, p. 18), Watney (1974, illustration #2), Watney (1976, illustration #1), and Younger (1966, p. 334).

10. The Act attempted to create a de facto prohibition, especially among the poor, but was far from successful:

As was proved in the U.S.A. in our own times, try to prohibit liquor and you end by encouraging it. The fact that gin was largely illegal made it the more attractive and undoubtedly this fact alone caused some who would not otherwise have touched it to be tempted to try it and possibly thus to become addicted to it. Illicit gin shops flourished, and though some 12,000 persons were found guilty, it was difficult to enforce fines: the prisons were too crowded anyway. Informers, who alone could provide evidence, tended to suffer mysterious and often fatal accidents. The law was brought into contempt, always a bad thing (Doxat, 1972, pp. 99-100).

11. To the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons, heaven was not a place to play harps but a place to visit with other departed and drink plentiful and endless draughts of delicious ale (Watney, 1974, p. 15).

Readings and References

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario. "It's Best to Know" about Alcoholism. Toronto, Ontario: Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, 1961.

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario (booklet), 1961.

Ashton, Thomas S. An Economic History of England: The Eighteenth Century. London: Methuen and Co., 1955.

Austin, Gregory A. Alcohol in Western Society from Antiquity to 1800: A Chronological History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC - Clio, 1985.

Babor, Thomas. Alcohol: Customs and Rituals. New York: Chelsea House, 1986.

Balazs, Etienne. Chinese Civilization and Bureaucracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1964. (Translated by H. M. Wright).

Baron, Stanley. Brewed in America: A History of Beer and Ale in the United States. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1962.

Blacker, Edward. Sociocultural factors in alcoholism. International Psychiatry Clinics, 1966, 3, 51-80.

Blum, Richard H., and Associates. Society and Drugs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, 1969.

Boffeta, Paolo, and Garfinkel, Lawrence. Alcohol drinking and mortality among men enrolled in an American Cancer Society prospective study. Epidemiology, 1990, 1, 342-348.

Braidwood, Robert J., Sauer, Jonathan D., Helbaek, Hans, Mangelsdorf, Paul C., Cutler, Hugh C., Coon, Careton S., Linton, Ralph, Steward, Julian, and Oppenheim, A. Leo. Symposium: Did man once live by beer alone? American Anthropologist, 1953, 55, 515-526.

Braudel, Femand. Capitalism and Material Life, 1400-1800. Translated by Miriam Kochan. New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1974.

Chafetz, Morris E. Liquor: The Servant of Man. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1965.

Cherrington, Ernest H. (Ed.) Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. 6 vols. Westerville, OH: American Issue Publishing Co., 1925-1930.

Claudian, J. History of the Usage of Alcohol. In: Tremoiliers, J. (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Section 20, vol. 1. Oxford: Pergamon, 1970. Pp. 3-26.

Darby, William J., Ghaliounqui, Paul, and Grivetti, Louis. Food: The Gift of Osiris. Vols. 1 and 2. London: Academic Press, 1977.

DeLabry, Lorraine 0., Glynn, Robert J., Levenson, Michael R., Hermos, John A., LoCastro, Joseph S, and Vokonas, Pantel S. Alcohol consumption and mortality in an American male population: Recovering the U-shape curve-findings from the Normative Aging Study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1992, 53, 25-32.

Doxat, John. The World of Drinks and Drinking. New York: Drake Publishers, 1971.

Fei-Peng, Zhang. Drinking in China. The Drinking and Drug Practice Surveyor, 1982, No. 18, 12-15.

Forbes, R. J. Short History of the Art of Distillation. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1948.

French, Henry V. Nineteen Centuries of Drink in England: A History. 2nd. edition London: National Temperance Publication Depot, 1890.

Gastineau, Clifford F., Darby, William J., and Turner, Thomas B. (Eds.) Fermented Foods in Nutrition. New York: Academic Press, 1979.

Gavaler, Judith S. and Van Thiel, David H. The association between moderate alcoholic beverage consumption and serum estradiol and testosterone levels in normal post menopausal women: relationship to the literature. Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research, 1992, 16, 87-92.

Gemet, Jacques. Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion 1250-1276. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1962. (Translated by H. M. Wright).

Ferme Ghaliounqui, Paul. Fermented Beverages in Antiquity. In: Gastineau, Clifford F., Darby, William J., and Turner, Thomas B. (Eds.) Fermented Food Beverages in Nutrition. New York: Academic Press, 1979. Pp. 3-19.

Granet, Marcel. Chinese Civilization. London: Barnes and Noble, 1957.

Hewitt, T. Furman. A Biblical Perspective on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol and other Drugs. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Human Resources, Pastoral Care Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 1980.

Hucker, Charles 0. China's Imperial Past. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1975.

Hyams, Edward. Dionysus: A Social History of the Wine Vine. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Jackson, Rodney, Scargg, Robert, and Beaglehole, Robert. Alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease. British Medical Journal, 1991, 303, 211-215.

Jellinek, E. Morton. Drinkers and Alcoholics in Ancient Rome. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1976, 37, 1718-1741, 1976.

Katz, S. H. and Voigt, M. M. Bread and beer: The early use of cereals in the human diet. Expedition, 1987, 28, 23-34.

Keller, Mark. The great Jewish drink mystery. British Journal of Addiction, 1970, 64, 287-296.

King, Frank A. Beer Has a History. London: Hutchinson's Scientific and Technical Publications, 1947.

Klatsky, Arthur L., Armstrong, Mary Anne, and Friedman, Gary D. Risk of cardiovascular mortality in alcohol drinkers, ex-drinkers and nondrinkers. The American Journal of Cardiology, 1990, 66, 1237-1242.

Lausanne, Edita. The Great Book of Wine. New York: World Publishing Co., 1969.

Lazar, Irving, and Ford, John. Untitled reaction of review panel. In: Lauderdale, Michael L. An Analysis of the Control Theory of Alcoholism. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States, 1977. Pp. 29-34.

Lichine, Alexis. Alexis Lichine's New Encyclopedia of Wines and Spirits. 2nd, edition. New York: Knopf, 1974.

Lucia, Salvatore P. A History of Wine as Therapy. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott, 1963a.

Lucia, Salvatore P. The Antiquity of Alcohol in Diet and Medicine. In: Lucia, Salvatore P. (Ed.) Alcohol and Civilization. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963b. Pp. 151-166.

Lutz, H. F. Viticulture and Brewing in the Ancient Orient. New York: J. C. Heinrichs, 1922.

Magee, Malachy. 1000 Years of Irish Whiskey. Dublin, Ireland: O'Brien Press, 1980.

Marciniak, Marek L. Filters, Strainers and Siphons in Wine and Beer Production and Drinking Customs in Ancient Egypt. Paper presented at Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol. Toronto, Ontario: May 30-June 5, 1992.

Mathias, Peter. The Brewing Industry in England, 1700 - 1830. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959.

Miller, G. J., Beckles, G. L. A., Maude, G. H., and Carson, D. C. Alcohol consumption: Protection against coronary heart disease and risks to health. International Journal of Epidemiology, 1990, 19, 923-930.

Monckton, Herbert A. A History of English Ale and Beer. London: Bodley Head, 1966.

O'Brien, John M., and Seller, Sheldon C. Attributes of Alcohol in the Old Testament. The Drinking and Drug Practices Surveyor, 1982, No. 18, 18-24.

Patai, Raphael. From "Journey into the Jewish Mind" - Alcoholism. In: Blaine, Allan (ed.) Alcoholism and the Jewish Community. New York: Commission on Synagogue Relations, Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, 1980. Pp. 61-87.

Patrick, Charles H. Alcohol, Culture, and Society. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1952. Reprint edition by AMS Press, New York, 1970.

Popham, Robert E. The Social History of the Tavern. In: Israel, Yedy, Glaser, Frederick B., Kalant, Harold, Popham, Robert E., Schmidt, Wolfgang, and Smart, Reginald G. (Eds.) Research Advances in Alcohol and Drug Problems. Vol. 4. New York: Plenum Press, 1978. Pp. 225-302.

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Raymond, Irving W. The Teaching of the Early Church on the Use of Wine and Strong Drink. New York: Columbia University Press, 1927.

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