BOTTLES AND BATTLES
The Rise and Fall of the Dionysian Mode of Cultural Production. A Study in Political
Anthropology and Institutions in Greece and Western Europe. Bjørn Qviller. Oslo
This work by Bjørn Qviller is an investigation into the political functions of sacrifice,
and in particular libation rituals. The work draws on material from a great
comparative context, from Mesopatamia and other archaic cultures, as well as from
anthropological materials, but most of all from archaic and classical Greek materials.
In this way Prof. Qviller describes how the symposia, the drinking clubs of elite
groups, develop into political clubs, and how these gradually are transformed into
formal political institutions and even the ancient Greek forms of democratic
institutions. Thus the work is also a political history of the production and drinking of
wine, always one of the most sought for luxury items of the elites. The further
development of politics throughout the middle ages are also seen in the same
perspective, including the Christian sacramental use of the wine.
Pp. xvi + 293pp. Cloth. ISBN 82 8034 050 5. Price: NOK 380.- (Approx. Euro 50,
US $ 65.-)