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Old 14 July 2007, 02:16 AM
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Admiraldinty Admiraldinty is offline
 
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Default Plato Beer Quote

I had a t-shirt that read, "He was a wise man who invented beer. - Plato" I've seen this quote elsewhere, but never a reference to which dialogue it's from. Does anyone know? Is this even a real quote?

Last edited by Admiraldinty; 14 July 2007 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 15 July 2007, 06:49 PM
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Don't know about the quote, but there does exist a Plato Scale to measure the density of beer wort. It has nothing to do with the philosopher but was developed by German scientists Karl Balling and Fritz Plato.
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Old 15 July 2007, 09:18 PM
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I know Aristotle,Aristotle,was a bugger for the bottle,
Awfully fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart,
"I drink therefore I am",

God Bless Python
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Old 15 July 2007, 10:28 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Since beer is something like 4,000 years older then than Plato, I do not think he was talking anyone he knew. Beer was also more than just a drink in those days because of the sugars and grain extracts. It maybe considered a liquid food. So Plato day beer may have been a very important food in there diet. So it would not surprise me the Plato would compliment the inventor of beer.

Do a search on the quote turn up lots of site with ancient quotes and this one comes for the Plato list.
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Old 16 July 2007, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Do a search on the quote turn up lots of site with ancient quotes and this one comes for the Plato list.
Yes, I think that's the one he and Socrates came up with ca. 1996 A.D.

Bonnie "To-GA! To-GA!" Taylor
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Old 18 July 2007, 06:19 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Since beer is something like 4,000 years older then than Plato, I do not think he was talking anyone he knew. Beer was also more than just a drink in those days because of the sugars and grain extracts. It maybe considered a liquid food. So Plato day beer may have been a very important food in there diet. So it would not surprise me the Plato would compliment the inventor of beer.
Not only that, it was a way to keep water fresh and drinkable.
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Old 18 July 2007, 07:16 PM
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Hey, Trogberg. I've heard that a lot but have you seen evidence that in the ancient world beer production was used as a preservative for water.
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Old 18 July 2007, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
Hey, Trogberg. I've heard that a lot but have you seen evidence that in the ancient world beer production was used as a preservative for water.
In general the use of alchahol to make water potable was common.

Note that in the Odessy Odessius gets the cyclops drunk by giving him wine that had not yet been cut with water. This to me implies a common practice of mixing fresh water with a known alcaholic quantitiy to lessen the effects of the alchahol and make water that is unknown to you safe to drink.

Obviously people wouldn't know why this worked, but they could easily realize it did work through trial and error.

As to the use of beer specifically for this purpose I don't know, in general beer has a lower alchahol content than wine, so it is possible that it was more commonly drunk in place of water as opposed to being used as a mixer.
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Old 18 July 2007, 07:41 PM
Aud 1 Aud 1 is online now
 
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I need better evidence than that. Come on, this is snopes! You can't get by with "common practice".
I've pretty much debunked this for the Middle Ages and am curious about the ancient world.
I can get they used beer as a way to store carbs. I can get that it tasted yummy. I'm not sure that anyone automatically thinks water is foul. They might be particular about where it comes from - flowing water is better than still, up stream from where the animals are drinking is better than down stream but not that all (non-salt) water is nasty.

Sorry to hijack Dinty's thread. This is just one of my pet hanging munchkins.
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Old 18 July 2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
I need better evidence than that. Come on, this is snopes! You can't get by with "common practice".
I've pretty much debunked this for the Middle Ages and am curious about the ancient world.
I can get they used beer as a way to store carbs. I can get that it tasted yummy. I'm not sure that anyone automatically thinks water is foul. They might be particular about where it comes from - flowing water is better than still, up stream from where the animals are drinking is better than down stream but not that all (non-salt) water is nasty.

Sorry to hijack Dinty's thread. This is just one of my pet hanging munchkins.
Sorry The Odessy is my only site for this practice. So it is possible that people only sometimes mixed wine with water to cut the power of the wine.

As to water not necessarily being safe to drink in the ancient world, I'd have to say that it's probably a self regulating problem, though in any large community you are going to wind up with more foul water than fair water, so it's a safe bet that people did avoid water when drinking just by trial and error. The fact that alchahol will make foul water less so leads one to surmize that such a practice could easily have occured.

The problem with the ancient world is that people know that water goes bad, but they have no idea why. So exactly why they mix water with alchahol is probably never made clear, though there is evidence that such a practice existed.
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