Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 370: 228-229


Pliny: Natural History

exolescit haec quoque culpa1 copiae potius quam bonitati studentium. Falernus ager a ponte Campano laeva petentibus Urbanam coloniam Sullanam nuper Capuae contributam incipit, Faustianus circiter iiii milia passuum a vico Caedicio, qui vicus a Sinuessa vi m. passuum abest. nec ulli nunc vino maior auctoritas. solum vinorum flamma accenditur. 63tria eius genera, austerum, dulce, tenue. quidam ita distingunt, summis collibus Caucinum gigni, mediis Faustianum, imis Falernum. non omittendum autem nulli eorum quae celebrentur iucundum saporem uvae esse.


Ad tertiam palmam varie venere Albana urbi vicina,2 praedulcia ac raro austera,3 item Surrentina in vineis tantum nascentia, convalescentibus maxime probata propter tenuitatem salubritatemque. Tiberius Caesar dicebat consensisse medicos ut nobilitatem Surrentino darent, alioqui esse generosum acetum, C. Caesar, qui successit illi, nobilem vappam. certant Massica atque a monte Gauro Puteolos 65Baiasque prospectantia. nam Falerno contermina Statana ad principatum venere non dubie, palamque fecere sua quibusque terris tempora esse, suos rerum


Book XIV

the reputation of this district also is passing out of vogue through the fault of paying more attention to quantity than to quality. The Falernian district begins at the Campanian bridge as you turn left to reach the Colonia Urbana of Sulla lately attached to Capua, and the Faustus estate begins about four miles from the village of Caedicium, which is about six miles from Sinuessa. No other wine has a higher rank at the present day. It is the only wine that takes light when a flame is applied to it. It has three varieties, one dry, one sweet and one a light wine. Some people distinguish three vintages as follows—Caucinian growing on the tops of the hills, Faustian half-way up them, and Falernian at the bottom. It must also not be omitted that none of the grapes that produce the celebrated vintages are agreeable to eat.

The third prize is attained in various degrees by theThird-class wines. vines of Alba in the neighbourhood of the city, which are extremely sweet and occasionally dry, and also by those of Sorrento which only grow in vineyards,a and which are very highly recommended for convalescents because of their thinness and health-giving qualities. The Emperor Tiberius used to say that the doctors had made a corner to puff the Sorrento vintage, but that except for that it was only a generous vinegar, and his successor the Emperor Gaius called it best quality flat wine. Its place is contested by the vineyards of Monte Massico and the slopes of Monte Barbaro looking towards Pozzuoli and Baiae. For the Statana vineyards adjoining the Falernian territory unquestionably once reached the first place, and established the fact that each locality has its own period and its own rise and decline of

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938