Lecture 3 Tuesday, September 24, 2013
• The book is here! Catch up on the readings.
• The test: if you’re in Ottawa, do the test at 6pm on October 22, in a different room. CUOL
will e-mail the room where you’ll do the test.
• The book review: thoughtful reading of a book, a reaction to the book.
o First: read the book carefully.
o Read the introduction (find the argument, the aim), go to the conclusion (what the
author thinks he accomplished).
o Writers don’t often write from beginning to end. They figure out the introduction at
the end to state their argument, and the conclusion is not much different.
o Middle: test the author as to whether he did what he set out to do. Look at the
evidence, the way the argument was structured.
Ex. If they said they’d study alcohol among Native Americans, did they
study all of them or choose certain communities? Were these good
decisions? Were these communities representative of all Native
Did they cover the whole period from earliest contact to 20 century? Or
did they just look at 1600s, 1700s?
Is there evidence from government sources, does the author
acknowledge that this could be biased?
How do they handle the difficulties of using evidnce, did the yuse it well?
Did they use other types of evidence?
o Get over the idea that you can’t criticize a professor’s book. Sometimes people
o You can find other reviews of the book, can compare it to the rest of the literature
to show whether it added something significant. It could place your book in
o Could take up 1/3 of essay (1000 words) to describe the book—author sets out to
argue this, he does it through this. The rest of the essay is analytical.
o Read the book again quickly to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
o **If time, give the professor a draft of the book review. If he gets it in time (like a
week before), he’ll have a look at it and give some feedback.**
• Middle Ages!
• No fixed chronology. Somes tart in 500AD up to 1000AD. Distinction between Early
Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages. • We’re going to cover 500AD to 1500AD.
• The church was important institution. Important to establish religious doctrines when it
comes to alcohol—they’re so influential through to the 20 century.
• They play a role indirectly in the development of alcohol policies, even when they’re
brought by the state
• Alcohol and religion
o Alcohol played important part in Jewish ritual and imagery—wine was important,
the grape vine is most commonly referred to plant and wine most commonly
refered to drink. People don’t mention water in the Bible. Christ performed the
miracle in order to avoid drinking wate.r
o Wine became important in Christian ritual and symbolism—symbolized the blood
of Chrsit, aprt of communion.
o Very controversial within Christianity.
o Other religions (Islam) rejected alcohol altogether.
o Early Chrsitain church embraced alcohol. 16 century Reformation: Protestant
churches embraced it but were suspicious in a way that the Catholics were not.
Argument that Catholic church was lax when it came to morals: sexuality and
drinking (closely linked). View that women drinking become sexual, but also
men’s sexuality closely linked to alcohol. Protestant churches brought down more
rigorous rules for consumption of alcohol.
o Scandinavia and lower countries, northern Germany, Swtizerland, England—
affected by this—Protestant.
o Easy to maket he claim that Christianity had positive view of alcohol, but it’s not
an unqualified positive view. There’s recognition that wine was important in the
Bible and has close tie to Christ. At the same time, there’s concern about
overindulgence. The Catholics and Protestants had belief that moderate drinking
is okay but excess is bad. What they had different was what consituttes excess.
o 19 century: Christian denominatiosn that rejected alcohol completely—Mormons
(Church of Latter Day Saints), Jehova’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists. These
are mainly American denominations. Rejected alcohol because they associated it
with immoral, disruptive behavior. 19 century was the century of temperance
and prohibition—much more restrictive laws on drinking, eventually prohibition in
US and elsewhere. Cultural framework that was anxious about alcohol and
fundamentally opposed. In the UK: Salvation Army also rejected it.
o Christians anxious about alcohol had to deal with the fact that Christ turned water
into wine. How do you square that circle? Christ turned water into wine, wine is
You could distinguish between making the wine and drinking it… You could say not to read the story literally. Read it allegorically…
**In the 19 century, they developed the two-wine theory:
• When wine is referred to in the Bible in a negative way, it’s wine
with alcohol in it.
• When it’s referred to in a positive way, it’s not really wine at all. It’s
Ad from late 19 century, when Salvation Army, etc. tried to get
mainstream churches (Catholic, Pentecostal) to stop using wine—move
to grape juice instead. That’s because pasteurization occurred, it could
heat grape juice and prevent it from fermenting.
Before pasteurization, grape juice would have almost always fermented.
Given the climate in the Middle East, that grape juice would have
fermented anyway unless you boiled the yeast away.
Anyway, the point was that the good wine in the Bible was grape juice and
the bad wine was real wine.
o The mainstream churches rejected this, but it’s important to remember that
although prof mentions that Christianity embrace wine, that’s not necessarily so.
• Early Middle Ages: emphasis on alcohol, particularly on wine, by the Church.
o As Christianity spread through Europe, missionaries established churches,
followings amongst Europeans—took wine with them
o We can credit the Romans for spreading viticulture throughout Europe by 100AD,
within 2-4 centuries of beginning of Christian era, Christian missionaries spread
viticulture even more densely. There were vineyards in places like Spain, France,
Germany, Hungary, Romania, Poland, as well as the areas where you’d expect
vineyards to be (Italy and Greece).
o Monasteries became important producers of alcohol from beginning of Christian
era. Wine, but also important producers of beer.
o Picture of monks bringing wine I nbaskets, other monks treading the wine. Many
pictures of wine production in manuscripts and books. Reinforces the notion that
the Church was very involved in wine production, more than beer production.
o Importance of wine to Christianity has led some historians to suggest that
drinking wine became symbol of conversion to Christianity. Many of the regions
the missionaries penetrated were beer-drinkers. Conversion of Chirstianity meant
that you stop drinking beer and move on to drinking wine.
o That doesn’ts eem to be true. Monasteries made beer as well, didn’t look down at
it or regard it as un-Christian. They privileged wine for symbolic or ritual
purposes, but didn’t see beer as pagan. o But there was this fear around 500AD when the barbarians arrive din Europe.
General image of the Roman/Wetern empire being invaded by barbarians: Gauls,
Huns, Goths, Vandals.
o Negative images that they gained as they entered into Western Europe. There
was a fear that they’d sweep in, destroy the wine industry, drink all the wine, be
unable to make any more, etc.
o Unde these new states that were established by these central European
population, viticulture flourished. They put in place legislation to preserve
vineyards. Visigoths in Spain and Saxon sin England had legal codes (6 -8
centuries) protect the vineyards, punished anyone who destroys them.
o Even the Vikings became important traders in the wine trade, began to control it
in certain parts of Europe (like the Mafia).
o Different picture from 500AD than people expected (weakning and destroying the
wine trade)—surface of land covered by vineyards expanded during this period
o But there was one difference, in terms of networks of commerce. During Roman
period, there were systems of commerce—they broke down. Instead of one
unitary empire,t here were larger number of smaller states, each of them
dominated by these central ruopeans. Tended to inhibit development of trade
o The barbarians didn’t do the kind of damage that everyone expected.
o They did turn over these vineyards to the Church. Probably reinforced the role of
the Christian church in wine production.
o We know less about beer in this time—the records aren’t there. The monasteries,
churches, cathedrals were much more interested in wine because they needed it
o People made beer locally, in small lots, drank it frequently.
o There was no beer trade. There could be wine trade because it lasted longer and
could be transported great distances. Possible to move it in barrels and establish
wine trade. Beer couldn’t last long, wasn’t worth transporting because people
could make it anywhere.
• Most people continued to drink beer
o Especially Northern Europe
o Didn’t drink wine all that much—cost of importing it
o **division between northern (beer-drinking, later spirits-drinking region) and
southern (wine-drinking, could produce more wine, people coul dmake their own
or purchase/barter from neighbours)
o Some wine consumption among the elites • Patterns of wine consumption—we don’t know how much wine/beer people drank.
Especially beer because the records aren’t there. We don’t know how much beer they
made, how much they had access to.
o We know that nuns and monks had access to ration of alcohol on daily basis.
Order of St. Benedict allowed daily measure of wine for each monk. But Benedict
suggested that monks should not drink wine…at least agree to drink temperally.
A hermina (0.5L) a day is sufficient for each. But those upon whom God bestows
abstinence will have a reward.
o Also had beer rations
o Also recognition of medical advantages of wine—a monk who was sick got a
second ration of wine.
o But we don’t know the alcohol level—maybe 8-9%. It’s not the same as drinking
0.5L of wine today, which is 12-13%.
o Skipping to 8 and 9 centuries: monks drank about 1.5L of alcohol a day each,
nuns drank a bit less (1.38L).
o We don’t know about the lay people…we have a variety of sources. Lay people
drink between 0.6L and 2.3L of wine a day. Probably there was increase in
alcohol consumption during festivities (parties, weddings, feast days). Probably
less during periods of penance (reflecting upon sinfulness, like Lent).
• Illustration of a monk going down to the cellar to get wine for dinner for his fellow monks.
Filling a pitcher but also helping himself to some extra wine.
o A reminder that even though the clergy were limited in the amount they were
suppose dto drink, there was thougth to be a widespread drinking problem
among the clergy. During penance,s they’re quite aware of drinking issues with
o **Penitentials: book. When Christians of this time did penance (confessed their
sins at confession), priest told them what penance they had to do. These
penitentials were guidebooks for priests, saying what the penance should be for
each sin. Written by theologians, church fathers in early church, vary from place
o But there’s a general sense that some sins are worse than others. Drinking to
excess is a sin—look at how they’re treated in pentitentials. Punishment for
members of clergy was tougher than that imposed on lay people. They’re meant
to be models to their parishioners. Expected to have geater self-discipline.
o When it changes the state of the mind, and the tongue babbles, pain in the
stomach…consume no wine or meat for three days if yo’re a layman. If a priest,
seven days. If a monk, two weeks. If a deacon, three weeks. If a presbyter, fou
weeks. If a bishop, five weeks.
o Gradation of penances gets higher the higher you are in he clergy. o Another book from Spain: a cleric who got drunk was to do penance for 20 days.
If he vomited, he was to do it for 40 days. If he vomited up the Eucharist by
drinking too much at communion, penance for 60 days.
o Laypeople: penance is half of what it is for a cleric.
o Penances to do with alcohol are pretty severe.
o Penitentials covered other areas of social life and social activity as well. Including
sexual activity. Serious book in sexuality in Middle Ages—right in the middle is a
o Analysis of the penitentials and their policies on sexual activity. Feeling randy?
Are you married? Is this your wife? Have you been married for more than three
days (waiting period)? Is wife menstruating (unclean, dangerous)? Is wife
pregnant (could cause spontaneous abortion)? Is wife nursing child (could sour
the milk)? Is it Lent (penance? Is it Advent (penance)? Is it Whitsun week? Is it
Easter? Is it a feast day? Is it a fast day? Is it Sunday? Is it Wednesday? Is it
Friday? Is it Saturday?
o ALL OF THESE were reputed to be days of penance in various places!
o Is it daylight? Are you naked (only be as naked as necessary)? Are you in Church
(there was no privacy, everyone knew everything that was going on…the church
was the one private place, place to store firewood and keep animals in the
winter…sex in church was a major and frequent crime)? Do you want a child
(that’s the only reason to have sex)?
o THIS IS A SERIOUS MEDIEVAL HISTORIAN! “Go ahead! But no fondling, no
lewd kisses, no oral sex, no strange positions, only once, try not to enjoy it, wash
o **Gives you a sense of where the penitentials came from. These were the rules
that people lived under. You could see the same with alcohol—there were strict
rules, great deal fo socith surveillance. Very little privacy—that’s a prtty modern
concept. Not until late 18 century that we really get sense f privacy. You see it in
the structure of houses. Before late 18 century, to get to one room, had to go
through all the other rooms. Privacy: had a hallway. Could go from one room to
he other without going through the middle room.
o **These rule sdealing with alcohol were ones that people had to pay attention to.
The priest that doled out the penances were entitle dto do so…in the assizes, we
see drinking to excess/blaspheming were common. Prominent in 16 century
when they impose more rigorous legislation (Protestant), even more in America
when they set up institution called the Tithing Man (good man in community who
had to report on the sexual/drinking behaviours of families, report to the
authorities). Sense of public surveillance.
• High Middle Ages (from year 1000)
o Tipping point in European history—climate change. Europe got warmer. o When a river freezes over for the first time, people write about it. When glaciers
retreat or go forward, people recod it. Tree rings very important—
o Each tree ring: growing season. Can tell what kind of growing seaon it was base
don the darkness, width of the ring, etc.
o Crops, harvest dates—when the grape harvest is early, we know it was a hot
summer. When it happens late, we know it was cool—had to leave the grapes
o **”Climate Since the Year 1000”—things begant o warm up at year 1000.
Grdual increase in warmth over the year. Crops could be grown for the
first time in areas that had been too cold.
**climate change, not global warming
Grain grown even more widely, grapes could also be grown in new
regions—in England, northern Europe
o At the same time as this climate change na dpotential increase in wine/beer
production, increase in population
Grew from about 1,000 up to about 1,350 until the Black Death. That cut
the population by about 1/3, then it grew from about 1520 upt o 1600.
This perio dis important.