In message <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, John O'Flynn <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes
Greetings to the list.

Why, in Georgics 1.295, is the peasant woman boiling the must?

Thomas's note ad loc. leaves me entirely mystified:  "The boiling down
of must was a means of bypassing fermentation."  How on earth can you
make wine without fermentation?  If you boil down the must you'll simply
end with concentrated grape juice.
In reading the _Georgics_, the first resource, especially on these rural matters, should always be Mynors, who writes on p. 68 of his posthumous edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990):

'we turn back from the long winter evenings to a busy spell in October, when selected must from the wine-press is boiled down into a sweet syrup of various strengths, to blend with natural wines in order to improve them and make them keep (Col[umella] 2.21.4 'uinum defrutare'), or for use in home medicine or in the kitchen, or for sale. Varro [De Vita Populi Romani lib. I, cited by Nonius p. 551M [= p. 885 Lindsay, s.v. sapa], says that reduction by one-half produced _sapa_ (which is a festive drink in Ovid _fasti_ 4.780), and by two-thirds the _defrutum_ of _G[eorgics] 4.269. Pallad[ius] 11.18 adds _caroenum_, from redction by one-third; but there is some variety in the names used. In the full description in Col. 12.19-21, the boiling liquor is skimmed with bunches of fennel tied on sticks (V's _follis_), or with strainers plaited from rushes or broom. _dulcis_ is noted by Quintilian 8.2.10 as an example of the well-chosen epithet.'

Mynors goes on to discuss the use of _Volcano_ as metonym for fire and the hypermetric elision _umor(em)_. On the next line he notes at _aƫni_:

Col. 12.20.2 and Pliny 14.136 advise the use of lead for the vessel rather than bronze.

and considers a possible echo from the _Erga_ of Menecrates of Ephesus.

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Leofranc Holford-Strevens
67 St Bernard's Road                                         usque adeone
Oxford               scire MEVM nihil est, nisi ME scire hoc sciat alter?

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