A History of the World in 6 Glasses Major Character Analysis

Tom Standage

A History Of The World In 6 Glasses

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A History of the World in 6 Glasses Major Character Analysis


Egyptian god of agriculture and king of the afterlife, the Ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris discovered how to ferment grain to make beer and passed the knowledge on to humans. This story highlights the connection, in ancient cultures, between beer and religion.

King Ashurnasirpal II

King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria was responsible for the introduction of wine growing into Mesopotamia. Under his rule, and that of his son, Shalmaneser III, the consumption of wine in Mesopotamia became so commonplace as to render wine unfit as a religious offering.


Plato was one of the most famous Greek philosophers, who regularly used the symposium as a template for his philosophical inquiries. Plato believed that drinking wine was a way to test oneself and revealed a person’s true character. As a result, he argued that his mentor, Socrates was the ideal drinker, and thinker, as he “uses wine in the pursuit of truth but remains in total control of himself and suffers no ill effects” (63).

Admiral Edward Vernon

Vernon was an English naval officer who ordered rum, which had replaced beer on British naval ships in the Caribbean, to be watered down to prevent drunkenness. His habit of mixing this watered sown spirit with sugar and lime juice was one of the world’s first cocktails. It was called grog, after Vernon himself, whose nickname was Old Grogram.

George Washington

When the future president of the United States of America ran for election to the Virginia’s local assembly in 1758, his campaign strategy included liberal gifts of alcohol. The political significance of spirits was to emerge again later in Washington’s career, when he sent federal forces to quash the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania in 1794. This move was an assertion of federal authority in the wake of the War of Independence.

King Charles II

Restored to the throne after the death of Oliver Cromwell, the king was suspicious of coffeehouses and their potential as hotspots of political dissent, partly because his own supporters had met in such places during Cromwell’s rule. However, his attempt to suppress coffeehouses was a dismal failure, resulting in public outcry.

Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu

A Frenchman who used…

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