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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ancient drink: Posca

The Romans often drank sour wine mixed with water, a drink they called posca, a word derived either from the Latin Potor (to drink) or from the Greek epoxos (very sharp).

Posca is an old, stale wine that was beginning to sour & had been watered down. It is the ancient equivalent to cheap 3-2 beer of today. Holding little intoxicating value, it was an inexpensive & readily available drink that would not spoil over long periods of time.

As early as the time of Plautus (second century B.C.), posca was a drink of the Roman lower classes, and this association continued into the Principate. As with other foodstuffs of the common people, posca probably also featured in Roman military diet, although it has never been directly attested.

Romans sometimes valued wine for its age more than its other qualities. Roman wine was also notable for the use of herbs and spices as flavorants. This feature was inherited from the style of Greek wines. The aroma of wine was very important for Romans.

Posca was a low-quality wine made from a mixture of water and sour wines and infuse with herbs. Posca was popular among soldiers due to its low price and low alcohol content. Such mixtures use medicinally in earlier Greece, sometime taken as a drink, sometimes applied externally but they had no general name.
Ancient drink: Posca

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