Brill’s New Pauly

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Alcohol, consumption of
(1,278 words)

[German version]

I. Introduction

Ethanol (C2H5OH, drinking alcohol) was unknown to the ancients in its pure form. There is thus no word for alcohol in Greek or Latin. The term is derived from the Arabic (al-kuḥl, etym. traceable to the Akkadian guḫlu [1. 272]) and originally denoted a fine, black antimony gloss used to dye the eyebrows. It was Paracelsus (1493/4-1541) who first used the term to refer to the volatile constituent of wine (Alco(h)ol vini). Alcoholic drinks of Antiquity were mead (Greek ὑδρό…

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Schulze, Christian (Bochum), “Alcohol, consumption of”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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