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In the Homer era, the Greeks took breakfast early in the morning, which consisted of pitta-type (unleavened) bread dipped in wine mixed with water.
At midday, lunch was served. It consisted of meat, bread and wine. The last meal was dinner, and the same dishes were eaten, but in smaller portions. In the following centuries, the tables and the menu were slightly changed. Breakfast was also served early, except that the wine wasn’t mixed with water anymore. In the Hellenistic era, the breakfast became even richer.
Drunknesses and orgies were not allowed in the city of Sparta and this is reported in Plato’s texts by a Spartan ”Our law is driving out of the country all that leads to strong satisfaction, shamelessness and irrationality. Neither in the villages nor in the cities you will see parties …Whilst in Athens I saw carts with partying people, and in Tarant I saw the entire city drunk during Dionysos celebrations. We do not have such things”.
No one was allowed to drink during the day – maybe only for physical exercise or in case of illness. It was not allowed to drink at night either, given conception … (Plato, Laws, I). However, these prohibitions were only considerations of the philosophical theory: throughout Greece, except for Sparta, people drank as much as they wanted.
Even in Homer’s era, no party would take place without wine. Wine mixed with water was the most important drink, just like kykeon – wine mixed with honey, goat cheese, barley meal, and sometimes onions, salt and various herbs.
In ancient Greece, the wine was produced in sufficient quantity to satisfy domestic demand, but also to export. In the ancient world, wines from the islands of Rhodes, Lesbos, Samos, Kos and Hios were particularly appreciated. They were classified according to their colour: black (dark), red, white, golden. Taste and strength were also important. Hence, light wines, fine wines, strong wines and sweet wines existed. The wines matured for many years were most appreciated, but of course they were consumed by wealthy people. The poor and the slaves drank wine „ pressed a second time” i.e. made from wine marc from the first fermentation.
Wine mixed with water was served in three kraters to symposium participants. The wine of the first krater was sacrificed to the gods, the second to the heroes, and the third to Zeus. The sacrifices were made solemnly, under the accompaniment of the flute, and the flute players stayed at the party to entertain the guests.
Even the finest wine did not prevent the participants to discuss philosophical and literary themes.

Source: Ludzie, zwyczaje, obyczaje starozytnej Grecji i Rzymu, Panstwowe wydawanictwo naukowe, Warszawa, 1983.


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