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HIS 177 W — The History of Wine

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 13
Refund Deadline: Jul 1
Unit: 1
Tuition: $440
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Limit: 60
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jun 28—Aug 13
7 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 1
1 Unit
Patrick Hunt
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Viticulture has traditionally been closely connected with the development of Western culture. Archaeological evidence shows that wine became a social force in the Celtic world when chiefs gained greater status by offering imported wine to their warriors. We also know that Plato’s Symposium connected wine to philosophizing, and the cultural work of bards, poets, dancers, and musicians was often accompanied by wine rituals. Archaeology now also confirms the locus of wine origins around the Caucasus and Armenia, as hinted in The Epic of Gilgamesh and the biblical story of Noah.

In this seven-week course, we will take a deep historical look at the development of winemaking and its relationship to Western civilization. According to archaeological findings, viticulture began in the Neolithic period more than six millennia ago. Carbonized grape seeds have been found in Neolithic sites, and wine chemical residues remain in some of the oldest pottery known. Ancient literature confirms the gradual spread of viticulture from the Near East to Egypt, Crete, and the broader Mediterranean world, including France and other regions of Europe. From the Greeks and Romans it continued down through the Medieval and Renaissance periods and into modern times. Drawing on science, history, literature, and art, we will explore and examine the locales and differences of major global wine varietals.

Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine

Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty-four books and a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.