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June 26, 2015 / Althir

#311: Reality Ensues

"And they don't want us to work plastered, so no straight wine either."

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Medieval hygiene standards. Just throw your waste out of the window or into the river. Drinking alcohol to stave off sickness has a long tradition, already back in ancient Rome did soldiers get a daily ration of wine so they don’t get sick from drinking water. In medieval times, booze was omnipresent in one form or another. Even children would drink regularly, albeit – as here – watered down. It’s quite simply the healthy way. Plus, the water in large cities was often very, very filthy up until very recently (aided by the rather polluted industrial revolution, no doubt), the Thames is infamous for it and the direct inspiration for the river Ankh in Sir Pterry’s Discworld – quite possibly the only river from which you could take footprints, and you’d need a pickaxe if you wanted to drown yourself.

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