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Lecture: Dionysos Comes to Gaul—Wine, Culture, and Colonialism in the Ancient Mediterranean

February 11, 2016
Morton Auditorium
Free with museum admission

Wine, the beverage associated with Dionysos by ancient Greeks, was first introduced to Gaul in the late 7th century B.C. by Etruscan merchants, and the first wine production in France was by Greek colonists who founded Massalia (modern Marseille) around 600 B.C. Michael Dietler, University of Chicago, explores the role that wine played in the series of colonial encounters that took place between the indigenous Gauls and Etruscan, Greek, and Roman traders and colonists, showing how the colonial situation hinged for centuries on the wine trade and how the consumption of this alien beverage entangled Gauls and colonists in complex, unanticipated economic and political relations that eventually had an important impact on the culture of all those involved.  

Sponsored by the Boshell Foundation.

Hellenistic or Roman. Detail of Statue of Young Dionysos, 100 B.C.-A.D. 100. Anonymous loan