Excessive Consumption

In Ancient Greece, the origin of alcholism can be traced back to the Mythical age. Dionysos was credited with the discovery of wine after traveling to Egypt. The Greeks had a tendency to represent drunkenness as a goddess or demigoddess. For example, there is an epigram in the "Greek Anthology" atrributed to Antipater. It described the image of Drunkenness as, "I am Drunknness, the work of a cunning hand, and it is on an amethyst that U am engraved. The stone is strange to the subject, but i belong to Cleopatra, and on the hand og a queen even a drunken goddess must be sober."

Regular drunkenness was unusual amoun the Greeks. They frowned upon drunknness but they promoted drinking in modertaion. It was common to see intoxication at banquets and the Dionysia. Even Plato thought that a man should be drunk at the Dionysia.  Total abstinence was looked down upon amoung Greeks and Romans. According to Lucian, the Cynic philospers didn't drink wine and had water instead, "just like animals" (Synicus 5). Water drinkers were regarded with dislike, especially by the poets.

The Ancient Greeks were aware of the dangers of wine. Wine was viewed as a neutral spirit and it could create good or evil depending on how it was used. Xenophon, Plato, and Cato the Elder all promoted drinking in moderation. They thought intoxication brought people closer to thwir diety. Pliney recognzied many of the features if alcohol dependence such as hand tremors and blackouts. People believed that alcohol had supernatural and mood altring properties. Harmful patterns were known and there was concern for them, but it is difficult to know at what point alcohol consupmtion became a problem since it was used in social, medicinal, and religious contexts.

Greeks and Romans has three reasons of what caused drunkenness. The first reason was that it was caused by something in the drinker's nature or "human cause". The second was that drunkenness was caused by somthing in the wine. The first two reasons are a more scientific approach to the reason behind drunkenness. The thrid reason, which was the most popular, was that drunkenness among Greeks and Romans was spiritual. They believed that drunkenness was the work of the god of wine, Dionysus, and that the drinkers took in the god.