In yesterday’s post, “Explorers of the Egyptian Desert”, I reprinted Sir Patrick Clayton-East-Clayton’s Times article on his and Almásy’s April 1932 expedition to the Gilf Kebir in search of the lost Zerzura Oasis. Two days after the article appeared on 6th July 1932, The Times published the following letter. Personally, I have no sympathy at all for Martial. The local water was bad and wine should be drunk neat by all civilised men, anyway.
From Egypt to Ravenna
CHIANTI SAVES WATER
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir,- The incident, “Chianti saves Water,” described in the article on “The Lost Oasis” in The Times of July 6 recalls two epigrams of Martial about a similar state of affairs at Ravenna, where the water of the marshes was unwholesome. I quote the second (III., 57) :-
Callidus imposuit nuper mihi copo Ravennae:
…Cum peterem mixtum, vendidit ille merum.
The other day at Ravenna the tapster turned a cheat:
I asked for wine and water, and he gave me the village neat.
I am your obedient servant,
F. S. SALISBURY.