DE NATURALI VINORUM HISTORIA – 7 VOLUMES
Andrea Bacci, translated by Mariano Corino – ed. 1992 – Euro 350.00

Winner in 1993 of the international O.I.V. prize, this anastatic mediaeval Latin text written by Andrea Bacci was translated into Italian by Mariano Corino. A physician, philosopher, academic and writer, Bacci was born in 1524 at Sant’Elpidio a Mare in the Marche region of Italy. He began working as a physician in Serra San Quirico in the province of Ancona, but soon moved to Rome, where he proved himself worthy of the friendship and protection of Cardinal Ascanio Colonna, by whom he was introduced into the Vatican. From 1567 until his death in 1600 he held the chair of Botany at the Sapienza and the title of Chief Physician to the Pope awarded to him by Sixtus V. A very active researcher, the work which won him the greatest plaudits among his contemporaries was De Naturali Vinorum Historia, first published in Rome in 1596, and reprinted twice in Rome over the next two years and then in Frankfurt in 1607. Bacci’s work is divided into seven books of varying lengths, written in a conversational, mediaeval Latin. The first starts out from a series of references to what had been said about wine in ancient times, before moving on to considerations on the different types wine, on vinegar, and on how to prevent wine from going bad. The second book deals with the properties of young and aged wines, their bouquets and flavours, and the influence of land on the vine and wine. The third speaks of wine’s nutritional value, how it can be used by those suffering from various diseases, and finally drunkenness and the effects of wine on character and behaviour. In the fourth book, Bacci writes about meals taken in Rome and their distribution over the course of the day, drawing a comparison between the simple eating habits in his day with the abundance in ancient times; a section is then dedicated to the many containers used for wine in his day, and how and at what temperature it should be served. The fifth and sixth books contain a detailed examination of the wines of Italy, while the seventh is dedicated to the wines of Germany, France and Spain, and to drinks made from grain, such as beer.

 

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