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Wine-Making After Pliny: Viticulture And Farming Technology In Late Antique Italy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses a range of archaeological and literary evidence to reconstruct the state of wine-making technology and the organization of the wine trade in late antique Italy. Continuity of commercial wine production in many regions of Italy and continuing trade in Italian wines both inside and outside Italy is clear up to the Lombard invasions. Technological continuity with the earlier Roman period is strong, with horizontal lever presses, using stone weights, remaining in common use. There is little evidence for technological innovation during this period. Vertical and direct screw presses, which become common in the East at this time, are rarely found at farms in late antique Italy. Modern accounts of Roman wine and wine-making technology have tended to pay little attention to the centuries after Pliny.

Keywords: late antique Italy; lever presses; Pliny; Roman period; wine-making technology



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