Overindulgence

Detail of a wall fresco
Pompeii
Late 1st century B.C.

Despite all the good and moral advice, as is true today, once a Roman had drunk just that little bit too much, inhibitions often were set aside and good sense abandoned. That was true of the common folk and playrights alike, and of senators and satirists as well.

"Come, boy, you who serve out the old Falernian, fill up stronger cups for me, as the law of Postumia, mistress of the revels, ordains; Postumia more tipsy than the tipsy grape. But water, begone, away with you, water, destruction of wine, and take up your abode with scrupulous folk." (Catullus, PoemsXXVII)

Once such folk had drunk to excess and the damage was done, many the following day would seek out the proverbial 'dog-that-bit-them' and "...go to their accustomed haunts, thinking to expel and dispel wine with wine, and headache with headache." (Plutarch, Table Talk: Advice about Keeping Well.127). At that stage, who would argue with the wry comment of one Greek playwright:

"If the headache only came to us before we drank to intoxication, no one would ever indulge himself in wine immoderately." (Athenaeus, Banquet of the Philosophers x.429, attributed to Alexis' The Phrygian)