Drinking Horn (Rhyton) with a Lion-Griffin (detail), 500-400 BC, Achaemenid. Silver with gilding. The Wyvern Collection, United Kingdom, 2467

Bacchus Uncorked: Drinking (and Eating) with Greeks and Persians


Outer Peristyle

This is a past event

Wine was an important symbol and valuable social lubricant for Greeks and Persians alike in the period from 600–350 BC. Historian John W. I. Lee explores drinking practices and related food through the eyes of Xenophon, a Greek mercenary in Persia who wrote many stories of food and drink. Following his talk, wine educator Diego Meraviglia introduces the selection of wines to be served that are inspired by Persian and Greek traditions. Enjoy a summer evening sipping wine while taking in the Villa’s architecture and gardens.

Bacchus Uncorked LogoTickets: $90, includes wine and appetizers. 21 and over. Parking fee: $20; $10 after 3:00 p.m.

Complements the exhibition Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World, on view through August 8, 2022.

John W.I. Lee is professor of history at UC Santa Barbara. He grew up in Asia and Hawai’i, studied history at the University of Washington (Seattle), and received his PhD in history from Cornell University. His publications include A Greek Army on the March: Soldiers and Survival in Xenophon’s Anabasis (Cambridge University Press, 2008), The Persian Empire (The Great Courses, 2012), and The First Black Archaeologist: A Life of John Wesley Gilbert (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Plan your visit

The lecture takes place in the Auditorium and the wine tasting takes place in partially covered outdoor spaces of the Outer Peristyle; please dress accordingly. Plan to arrive early to visit the exhibition Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World as the galleries will not be open during wine tasting.

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