considered improved itsflavour, having previously boiled it. IMs custom is said to have originated in the efforts of a slave to prevent detection, who, having robbed his master's wine-cask, filled it up with salt water. The Eomans also mixed with their wine assafoetida, tar 3 myrrh, aloes, pepper, spikenard, poppies, worm- wood, cassia, milk, chalk, bitter almonds, and cypress ; and they also exposed their wines to the action of smoke in a sort of kiln, which thickened and matured it. These mixed wines were taken in a peculiar kind of vessel called a " murrMne eup/ J which was said to impart a peculiar flavour to them; and though the sub- stance of which these cups were made is not known, it is fair to surmise they were made of some aromatic wood similar to the " bitter cup " of the present day, which is made from the wood of quassia tree. The customary dilution among the Greeks appears to have consisted of one part of wine to three parts of water,—the word fc nympha >J being used in many classical passages for water, as for example in a Greek epigram the literal translation of which is, "He de- lights in mingling with three Nymphs, making himself the fourth ;" this alludes to the custom of mixing three parts of water with one of wine. In Greece, the wines of Cyprus, Lesbos, and Chio were much esteemed \ those of Lesbos are especially mentioned by Horace as being wholesome and agreeable, as in Ode If, Book I.:— " Hie innocentis poetila Lesbii Duces sub umbra,"
u Beneath the shade you here may dine, And fnaff the harmless Lesbian wine.* 1
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