Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 370: 226-227

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Pliny: Natural History

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VIII. Genera autem vini alia aliis gratiora esse quis dubitet, aut non norit1 ex eodem lacu aliud praestantius altero germanitatem praecedere sive testa sive fortuito eventu? quamobrem de principatu se 60quisque iudicem statuet. Iulia Augusta lxxxvi2 annos vitae Pucino vino rettulit acceptos, non alio usa. gignitur in sinu Hadriatici maris non procul a Timavi3 fonte, saxoso colle, maritimo adflatu paucas coquente amphoras; nec aliud aptius medicamentis iudicatur. hoc esse crediderim quod Graeci celebrantes miris laudibus Praetutianum4 appellaverint 61ex Hadriatico sinu. Divus Augustus Setinum praetulit cunctis et fere secuti principes, confessa propter experimenta, non temere cruditatibus noxiis ab ea saliva nascentibus . . .5 nascitur supra Forum Appi. antea Caecubo erat generositas celeberrima in palustribus populetis sinu Amyclano, quod iam intercidit incuria coloni locique angustia, magis tamen fossa Neronis quam a Baiano lacu Ostiam usque navigabilem incohaverat.

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Secunda nobilitas Falerno agro erat et ex eo maxime Faustiano; cura culturaque id coegerat.6

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Book XIV

VIII. Who can doubt, however, that some kindsItalian vintages in order of merit. First-class wines. of wine are more agreeable than others, or who does not know that one of two wines from the same vat can be superior to the other, surpassing its relation either owing to its cask or from some accidental circumstance? And consequently each man will appoint himself judge of the question which wine heads the list. Julia Augusta gave the credit for her eighty-six years of life to the wine of Pizzino, having never drunk any other. It is grown on a bay of the Adriatic not far from the source of the Timavus, on a rocky hill, where the breeze off the sea ripens enough grapes to make a few casks; and no other wine is considered more suitable for medicinal purposes. I am inclined to believe that this is the wine from the Adriatic Gulf which the Greeks have extolled with such marvellous encomiums under the name of Praetutian. His late Majesty Augustus preferred Setinum to all wines whatsoever, and so for the most part did the Emperors who came after him, owing to the verdict of experience that because injurious attacks of indigestion do not readily arise from this liquor. . . . It grows just above Foro Appio. Previously Caecuban wine had the reputation of being the most generous of all; it was grown in some poplar woods on marshy ground on the Bay of Amyclae, but the vineyard has now disappeared owing to the neglect of the cultivator and the confined area of the ground, though in a greater degree owing to the ship canal from the lake of Baiae to Ostia that was begun by Nero.

The second rank belonged to the Falernian district,second-class wines. and in it particularly to the estate of Faustusa in consequence of the care taken in its cultivation; but

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938