A Classical Suitcase

Introduction

"Then, when the wine is set, you will tell me many a tale...." (Ovid, The Amores II.xi)

Following the story of Roman wine will turn you into a time traveler, an inquisitive out-of-towner who may pause briefly, to stand in a lush vineyard nestled in the hills overlooking the Bay of Naples or among the shaded arcades of Rome's famous riverside Emporium. At one point, it will take you into a bustling Genoan marketplace, at another into a crowded hospital in a fort on the Rhineland frontier; indeed, to all sorts of places where Romans made, traded, or drank wine as part of their everyday life.

But first, like any good traveler, you will need reliable maps (in this instance, for both time and space) and an intellectual "suitcase" already partially filled with a few necessities of knowledge about the Roman World and about wine itself; a reasonably large suitcase, though, with plenty of room in it for all the new ideas you will be gathering up along the way.