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They say that myths and legends have their basis in truth. Who knows for sure? But the tales of many cultures around the world are fascinating, and even if they are truly just stories (and lets face it, most stories have at least *some* grain of truth somewhere), they are illustrative to one level or another of the culture from which they arise. In any case, there many tales that contain references to mead. I collect these, and will post them here as I find them. If you have a legend or historical tale about mead to share, email it to me, and we'll post it. 

Popular Myths (no documentation is available to support these premises)

Viking holding mead cup - copyright 2002 GotMead.com

One of the persistent legends is this: It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month or what we know today as the honeymoon.
NOTE: I have not yet found supporting documentation for this popular belief. If you have documentation, please let us know so we can post it here.

It is said that mead has aphrodisiac qualities. So many believe this that even magazines are getting into the game. Stuff Magazine listed mead as its' 'Best Alcohol to Seduce Someone' with.

Also take a look at the Mead in Literature page. A lot of information is cross-referenced between here and there, and we've additional references on that page that might help you.

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Tales and Legends in Various Cultures

Europe

Asia

  • From the Rig-Veda, a collection of Hindu Sanskrit hymns, it is said: "In the wide-striding Vishnu's highest footsteps there is a Spring of Mead." It is believed that this spring had the power of fertility, and that mead could bring on sons.
  • The Yajur Veda: KANDA IV, THE PILING OF THE FIRE ALTAR, PRAPATHAKA I

Scandinavia

The Mediterranean

  • It is a little known supposition that Bacchus, the well-known god of Wine, was the God of Mead long before he got into wine. Virgil and Homer both wrote of mead, and also of 'ambrosia', which, it is thought, might have been a mead liqueur of some kind. (Well we know how ambrosia-like mead can be! –Ed.)
  • Legend has it that the Greeks held Dionysias, festivals at which much mead was served, and which often ended in wild orgies.
  • Hippocleides, having gotten rather messed up on mead, reportedly got naked, and stood on his head and sang, thereby ticking off his father to the point of forbidding him to marry.
  • Pollio Romanus, stationed in the British Isles during the time of Julius Caesar, wrote that he attributed part of his robust sexual prowess to imbibing in the local Welsh metheglin.

The Americas

Africa

  • The Moors reportedly would serve mead at weddings, and believed honey to be a 'love stimulant'.
Vicky Rowe
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Vicky Rowe

Vicky Rowe has been active as a promoter and supporter of the mead industry since the mid-90's with Gotmead.com, and is totally serious about seeing the mead industry take its rightful place as a popular craft beverage on the world recreational drinking stage.

She is also an experienced marketing coach and consultant who has recently decided to focus her marketing expertise exclusively on the craft beverage market to help meaderies, cideries, breweries and distilleries expand their business and get more customers while doing what they love.
Vicky Rowe
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