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This opening presentation will introduce listeners to the history of wine – the first archaeological evidence, its role in the commerce, literature and art of the Mediterranean. Then, through archaeological evidence, poetry, and art, we’ll look at how Rome expanded and drastically improved the wine industry with important innovations that still affect winemaking practices today. Wine has long played a significant role in religion as the clergy required it for the Mass. This lecture will explore the centrality of wine to the rise of Christianity, and how it went from being the start of the symposium to the core of Christianity.