The Gaza Story

Introduction

"Because she was never in doubt that, through thre mercy of the Lord, her deceased husband would repose in Paradise on the day that she made an offering to the Lord on behalf of his soul, she always presented a pint of wine from Gaza to the sanctuary of the holy church." (Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Confessors.LXIV)

The Negev region, to the south and east of Gaza and Elusa, like many others scattered throughout the coastal plains and low hillsides of the provinces of Judaea and Syria, had been producing quality wine for centuries before the Romans arrived. But the small size and structural simplicity of earlier wine presses suggest that production levels were quite low and geared towards satisfying demand no more distant than the nearest city.