The History of Inebriation and Reason from Plato to the Latin Middle Ages

Project: Research

Project Details


This project aims to uncover the undetected but pervasive dichotomy between spiritual inebriation and physical drunkenness from antiquity to the Middle Ages. While Christian theologians, inspired by Plato, celebrated inebriation as a metaphor for a hyper-rational state in which the soul transcends the limitations of reason, Christian moralists, inspired by Stoic philosophy, condemned physical drunkenness as fall from reason. The project will analyse the cultural and intellectual history of inebriation with the aim of changing appreciation of how medieval thinkers inherited and transformed pagan classical ideas about drinking. Inebriation provides a hitherto unexplored path to rewriting the history of reason, urging us to consider our culturally-ingrained reactions to drinking.
Effective start/end date2/01/1830/05/21