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Ne Quid Nimis

Ne Quid Nimis Mount Terrible winery wall

Dionysus: “Three bowls do I mix for the temperate: one to health which they empty first, the second to love and pleasure, the third to sleep. When this bowl is drunk up, wise guests go home. The fourth bowl is ours no longer, but belongs to violence, the fifth to uproar, the sixth to drunken revel, the seventh to black eyes, the eighth is the policeman’s, the ninth belongs to biliousness and the tenth to madness and hurling the furniture.”

The Old God knew a thing or two about over-doing it. His prescription, that three glasses are usually enough, finds an interesting echo in medical advice of today.

Mount Terrible bottle and glass

If you are interested in the life of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, particularly their foods and the wines they drank, you might care to visit our sister website Vinum Vetustum. where food and wine in the ancient world are discussed at (much) greater length.

The motto, Ne Quid Nimis, that appears above the door of the Mt Terrible winery and on the wine cases is Latin. It means, literally: Nothing too much – Do not go to extremes, Don’t overdo things, or, at the risk of over-free translation: Enjoy wine in moderation, Don’t over-extract, Don’t rely too heavily on the primary fruit, Enough about funky leather upholstery with grace notes of borage and whortleberries…

Like poetry this is condensed language, somewhat ambiguous, incorporating shades of meaning meant to provoke thought. It wasn’t expressed in Latin originally, it’s actually a translation by the Roman poet Terence of one of two famous Greek maxims (Meden agan – Nothing too much and Gnoothi se auton – Know yourself) that were carved on the lintel of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo stood – in apposition to his wild half-brother Dionysus – for all that was cool and rational in life. The virtue of wine, however, was one thing they both agreed on.