What did drinking wine symbolize in ancient Rome?
Those who could afford to drink and offer wine to their guests symbolized an economic status. Obviously, the wealthy patrician class of ancient Rome were able to serve wine to all of their guests (friends and foe alike). The common people drank beer. However, during the time of Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.E) the high custom of serving wine as a status symbol began to trickle down into the plebeian class in ancient Rome. Several conclusions can be drawn from this period in ancient Roman history:
1. The plebeians took advantage of Caesar's popular politics.
2. As the patrician hierarchy weakened, there was greater acceptance of plebeian behavior.