In vino veritas
Meaning of In vino veritas
The English meaning and translation of this Latin phrase 'In Vino Veritas' is as follows:
"In wine there is truth"
Definition of In vino veritas
The meaning and definition of this famous Latin expression relates to people telling the truth under the influence of alcohol. Drinking wine, or any alcohol, reduces inhibitions allows people to say what they truly think, rather than what might be prudent. It also suggests that emotions when drunk are more real than when sober hence "In Vino Veritas".
Origin of the Latin phrase "In vino veritas"
The famous Latin phrase "In vino veritas" was first coined by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and philosopher, in his work entitled the Naturalis Historia. This Latin phrase is often continued as, "In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas" meaning "In wine there is truth, in water there is health." In ancient times different people had different views about drinking alcohol. Germanic tribes always drank wine during council meetings, as they believed nobody could lie effectively when they were drunk. Other cultures ensured that any decisions made when drunk should be reconsidered when sober. In ancient Greece it was “considered barbarous to drink wine that was not diluted with water.” Excessive drinking of wine became such a problem in Rome that Emperor Domitius Ulpinus believed that wine would destroy the Roman empire and ordered half the vineyards in the empire to be destroyed.
In vino veritas
The Latin language spread throughout the western world and was taught in schools and spoken by the greatest scholars. The English composer and teacher Benjamin Cooke wrote a ditty about 'In vino veritas' in the 1770's:
"Round with the glass, boys, as fast as you can
Since he who don't drink cannot be a true man.
For if truth is in wine, then 'tis all but a whim
To think a man's true when the wine's not in him.
Drink, drink, then, and hold it a maxim divine
That there's virtue in truth
And there's truth in good wine!"