The use of alcohol and alcohol abuse are not just modern scourges to society. These issues have been around since ancient times. Ancient records bemoan the use of alcohol and tell lavish stories of inebriated rulers and festivals in honor of alcohol deities. From the Sumerians to the Romans alcohol has been a beverage of choice. Perhaps that is why today there are alcohol detox centers to aid those who suffer from an alcohol addiction.
Ancient murals devoted to rulers and deities depict elaborate wine jugs. The Discovery of Neolithic fermented beverage containers are also evidence that alcohol consumption is not a modern plague. The worship of such deities as Osiris and Dionysius was also prevalent throughout ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Importance of Moderation
Alcohol has widely been used in secular and religious functions throughout history. Even with such popular consumption the topic of moderation was addressed. In ancient Egypt the importance of moderation was known, a sentiment that society tries to instill today. In ancient Egypt they didn’t feel that there was anything necessarily wrong with intoxication, but did warn against taverns and disproportionate drinking. These views although steadfast in Egypt perhaps, shifted considerably in the Greek and Roman venues. At the end of the day, the only way to beat alcohol addiction is with alcohol detox.
Practices dating back to the Neolithic times featured wine and alcohol in religious rites. There were many wine and alcohol deities who were widely celebrated such as Osiris and Dionysius, and festivals such as the Roman festival of Bacchanalia. Bacchus was the Roman version of Dionysius, the deity of wine and merriment. Modern day practices involving alcohol include pagan rituals with the ingesting of bread and imbibing of ale. Christian sects also feature the drinking of wine and/or the blood of Christ.
Although early ancient believes regarding alcohol consumption stressed the idea of moderation and temperance, the Greeks and Romans along with Macedonians blatantly accepted intemperance. There were many followers of the cult of Dionysius who was the god of wine. Wine was viewed as a blessing from the God and was celebrated vehemently.
Any jaunt on a college campus on a Friday or Saturday night will find plenty of drinking games, beer pong, beer battle ship, drinking card games, the list goes on. These however are not new ideas. They have been practiced since the early Roman period. One such drinking game included the drinking of as many cups of alcohol as possible at the throw of a dice.
The ancient Sumerians to the Romans had ideas regarding alcohol. These ideas widely varied depending on who was in charge at the time. Some historical heroes were honored for their moderation in regards to alcohol consumption while others were memorialized for their drunken ruling styles. Even as Christianity slowly invaded alcohol and wine continued to be used in rituals and festivals.
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