The young Toledo born writer will be making her debut in literary matters with 'La historia del vino en la Antígua Roma' (The History of Wine in Ancient Rome), which is set to be 'baptized' at FENAVIN
The Historian and Researcher for the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) Manuel Espadas Burgos, will be presenting an interesting editorial feature at FENAVIN, 'La historia del vino en la Antígua Roma' (The History of Wine in Ancient Rome), written by the Journalist and Writer Elena Díaz Funchal. The author's first book, which is an easy read and truly pleasurable and after a painstakingly long bibliographic and documentary revision, is set to be 'baptized' at the National Trade Fair on Wine, indeed the best possible scenario and in a country in "which wine is a very important element, not only because of its gastronomic and cultural aspect, but also because of its religious standpoint", commented Manuel Espadas, who is also Doctor of History by the Complutense University of Madrid.
In the opinion of Espadas Burgos, who is visiting FENAVIN for the first time, this is a book that must be read in order to find out what significance wine has had in European culture, in particular in the Roman Civilization of which he is personally very knowledgeable due to his profession and because he actually lived in Rome for nine years.
There is no doubt that this will be an interesting presentation in which the Ciudad Real born Historian will be regaling the audience with anecdotes of his visits to Vil-la Adriana, Pompeii or The House of the Chaste Lovers, historical locations from where it is possible to closely follow what wine really represented in Roman culture, as "the walls are overflowing with representations of banquets, culinary presentations, cellars, presses, taverns..". Even nowadays, he recalled, roman dinners are hosted with dishes that have been obtained from ancient Latin texts and the wines that were consumed at the time, "which were very difficult to conserve" are currently also being made known, the Researcher added.
On her part, Elena Díaz Funchal (Toledo, 1979), is a journalist who is making her debut in literary matters with her very first book, describing the same as "a compendium of knowledge on how they used to cultivate, produce and drink wine 2000 years ago and how this food product had an influence in the literature of the time, in medicinal and gastronomic traditions and in art itself." She also indicated that the project came to be by pure chance, the same championed by the editor Jesús Ayuso.
Despite admitting that she is not precisely an expert in wine, during her research for the book she was in fact caught off guard when she discovered the legacy that the Romans had left behind them in European culture and the great ties and links that exist between wine and religion, "as wine marked the calendar of festivities and was present in all sorts of ceremonies and offerings made to the gods."
The encounters around wine or the "Symposium"
The author's idea with this book that carries the subheading of 'El vino como alimento del espíritu de la civilización occidental' (Wine as Food for the Spirit of Western Civilization) was to attract the reader's curiosity, understanding the reader in the broadest of categories "as I have not written a book for the specialized public, but quite the contrary, for all those who want to immerse themselves, in an entertaining and accurate manner, that is in as far as dates are concerned, in the significance that wine had for the Romans." Civilization that, according to Díaz Funchal, inherited its customs from the Etruscans, Greeks and Carthaginians, among others, with some of these customs represented in the fact that women were not allowed to drink wine, the encounters among the more noble classes around Baco's nectar, which were denominated Symposiums or how those wines considered as sacred were stored in meticulously clean amphorae.
In the opinion of Díaz Funchal, Journalist for the magazine Revista Castilla-La Mancha, pertaining to the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha, it was the Roman civilization that actually turned cultivation of the vine into a profession, profiting from the "vineyard farming" and in turn spreading the culture of wine throughout Europe in the measure that the soldiers extended the empire's domains. A tradition, which despite the fall of the Roman Empire a thousand years later, continued dominant in the Christian world, "because it was a consecrated element, which gave rise to the ceremony of the Eucharist; apart from the fact that the monks perpetuated cultivation of the vine." In her book she also introduces the reader to the Last Supper in which the Sacraments of the Eucharist were established, underlining various hypotheses on the type of wine that Jesus Christ might have used during the ceremony.
The presentation of 'La historia del vino en la Antigua Roma' (The History of Wine in Ancient Rome) will be taking place on the first day of FENAVIN, on May 10th, at 6:00 p.m. in Lecture Hall 2. The book's editor, Jesús Ayuso, will also be present at the event, describing the edition of the book as "a very valid journey through ancient Rome, with wine representing the thread of the story." Jesús Ayuso, Gold Medal to Merit in Work and laureate of the Regional Plate to Merit of Castilla-La Mancha, pointed out that the Endymion publishing house has made a very painstaking and elegant print run of one thousand copies, with a book cover that is allusive to the mythology of wine in Roman times.