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webinar > Art, Science, and Mythology of Wine in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures



webinar > Art, Science, and Mythology of Wine in Ancient Mediterranean Cultures

Domestication of the wild grapevine was a fundamental step in the history of agriculture and civilization. A product of nature and, above all, of mankind, wine is the protagonist of incredible stories dating back to the origin of the Mediterranean civilization. From the Ancient Near East to Etruria, Rome and the vineyards of Pompeii, this two-part presentation by Professor Giovanni Di Pasquale is a journey about millenniums of history: the cultural and religious basis, the geographic diffusion of viticulture, the agricultural technologies employed, production, transport, adulteration, and consumption of wine.

The second part of this presentation will be streamed on Wednesday, August 18.

This program is in support of the exhibition "Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave" at the Legion of Honormuseum, in partnership with the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.




from the ritual of communion to unwelcome intoxication, from suspicious cult to gateway to spirituality, the juice of the grape tells stories of distant lands with their crops, climate, and natural environments, throwing light on the dense network of relationships existing between nature, art, and technological innovation. Once again, Pompeii and the Vesuvian area play a fundamental role to help us to focus on a world of nameless people attending taverns and drinking a wide range of wines. The “graffiti” recording their opinion on wine and food on the wall of many Pompeian taverns are a fantastic picture on the daily life of a Roman city in the I century A.D. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. buried not only houses and streets, preserving priceless treasures of art and architecture, but also fields, gardens and vineyards, sealing their traces in the soil. The finding of wine-making apparatus and vegetal parts of grapevines, the discovery of holes left by the roots of the plants and their supporting poles, as well as the bunches of grapes appearing in frescoes, open an amazing window onto wine-growing two thousand years ago; to such an extent that, in some parts of the ancient city, it has even been possible to replant vineyards on their ancient sites.



Giovanni Di Pasquale graduated in Classics at the University of Florence with the grade of 110/110 cum laude and, since 1993, he has been conducting studies and research at the Galileo Museum. Institute and Museum for the History of Science in Florence. His research focuses on the history of science and technics between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. After obtaining his Ph.D. in history of science (University of Florence), he has got a research grant from the University of Cagliari and scholarships from the CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), CSIC (Consejo Superior Investigaciones Cientificas, Madrid), and the Max Planck Institut for the History of Science in Berlin.


Date: Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Time: From 5:00 pm To 5:45 pm

Organized by : Legion of Honor museum

In collaboration with : IIC and Italian Consulate General SF

Entrance : Free