The Barbarian Approach

Bronze wine vessels
Nijmegen, the Rhineland
4th century A.D.

Who didn't mix water with wine?—men bent on getting drunk, of course:

"Perish the man who discovered the heady grape and spoilt good water by mixing it with wine!...Let the table swim even more liberally with floods of Falernian, let it bubble more lusciously in your golden goblet." (Propertius, Elegies II.33b)

And "barbarians" who, in the Roman world-view, encompassed many foreign peoples such as the Gauls, the Scythians, and their kindred spirits:

"Chamaeleon of Heracleia, in his book On Drunkenness, writes of them thus: 'For the Laconians say that Cleomenes the Spartiate went mad from learning to drink unmixed wine, after associating with the Scythians.'" (Athenaeus, Banquet of the Philosophers x.427)