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The Roman scholar and statesman Gaius Plinius Secundus Major - better known by his nickname "Pliny the Elder" (23-79) studied in Rome philosophy and the right, beat followed by a state military career and achieved high ranks under Emperor Titus (39-81) . He was governor of several Roman provinces and last commander of the Roman fleet in the Tyrrhenian Sea. From the 55th Age he had his residence near Pompeii . He then came while trying to rescue the population at Vesuvius eruption killed. About the Trinkfreudigkeit of Pompey the brink of destruction, he described a vivid portrait of manners: you can boil in the hot bath until they are also worn unconscious while waiting others can not, until they come to the table, not even create their garments, but still heave up naked and panting huge drinking vessels, as they wanted to show their strength and to pour the entire contents into itself, so that they once everything comes up again and then take another deep train. They treat it a second and third time, as if they were just born to waste wine and pour the wet as if you could not unlike the detour through the human body.
Pliny was a contemporary of the famous Roman wine-authors Columella (1st half of the 1st century), whether they knew each other and influence is not known. Especially during the reign of Nero dedicated Pliny intensive scientific studies. Of his voluminous works, the Emperor Titus dedicated Natural History "Naturalis Historia" is obtained. In 37 books it includes an overview of the entire knowledge of the time. In this cosmos, earth, humans, animals and plants are described. The 14th Book is entirely devoted to the subject of wine, the 17th Book contains descriptions of viticultural techniques and at the beginning of the 23 Book contains explanations about the healing power of wine. Including, for example, is the famous story about the Romilius Pollio, who allegedly by regular consumption of honey wine Mulsum had become over 100 years old. Pliny also drew from older sources, for example, of the Carthaginian Mago (who lived around 500 BC), and especially the Roman authors Varro (116-27 BC). The work was published in new editions to the Middle Ages. Today, it is especially interesting from a historical perspective.
The former Ancient wines of Italy are ranked according to their quality. Pliny describes, among other wines Caecuber (Campania), Caulinum (Capua, Campania), Falernian (Campania), Genoa (Liguria), Hadrianum (Atri-brands), Haluntium (Syracuse, Sicily), Luna (Tuscany), Mamertinum (Messina and Sicily), Massicum (Campania), Praetutium (Ancona-brands), Pucinum (Friuli), Raeticum (Verona, Veneto), Surrentinum (Sorrento, Campania), Trebellicanum (Naples, Campania), as well as wines from the current French territories Beaumes de-Venise , Clairette de Die and Gigondas (the latter was supposed to be Favorite wines ). Of the Vocontiern - a living between Marseille and Lyon tribe - he reported that these artificial Trockenbeerenauslese manufactured. They turned to grapes on a stick or cut the stalk one to the core, so that the grapes one rock magnet. So generated is also the raisin wine Passum .
On certain varieties, he writes: "You will not read more than it has frozen up." This points to deliberate and not just random production of Icewine out. Pliny mentions a total of 91 varieties, as he calls important Aminea (of which there were five types), and Balisca (also Cocolubis or Biturica, originally from Spain) and Nomentana . He comes to the interesting conclusion that especially the area and the soil determine the wine quality. Pliny mentioned earlier, the technique of sulfur and gave the (albeit fatal) Council, sour vintages lead to sweet. Wooden barrels he described as his contemporaries (still) unknown Wine vessels . And he was also in theory with the Distillation (production of alcohol).
His nephew and stepson Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus Minor (61-113) is known commonly referred to as "Pliny the Younger". He was a Roman official, writer, and a major speaker. In his culture historically important letters he describes the eruption of Vesuvius. In one of the letters, he raves about the "bee wine" from the Muscat grape in today Roussillon . This was the predecessor of the Muscat de Rivesaltes .