History of Legal and Illegal Drugs from 5000 B.C. to 1500 A.D.
About the history of legal and illegal drugs from 5000 b.c. to 1500 a.d. in particular the use of opium, alcohol, tea, the Bible, medicine.
A Synoptic History of the Promotion and Prohibition of Drugs
c. 5000 B.C. The Sumerians use opium, suggested by the fact that they have an ideogram for it which has been translated as HUL, meaning "joy" or "rejoicing."
c. 3500 B.C. Earliest historical record of the production of alcohol, the description of a brewery in an Egyptian papyrus.
c. 300 B.C. Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.), posed origin of the use of tea in China.
c. 2500 B.C. Earliest historical evidence of the eating of poppy seeds among the Lake Dwellers of Switzerland.
c. 2000 B.C. Earliest record of prohibitionist teaching, by an Egyptian priest, who writes to his pupil: "I, thy superior, forbid thee to go to the taverns. Thou art degraded like the beasts."
c. 350 B.C. Proverbs 31:6-7: "Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more."
c. 300 B.C. Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.). Greek naturalist and philosopher, records what has remained as the earliest undisputed reference to the use of the poppy juice.
c. 250 B.C. Psalms 104:14-15: "Thou dost cause grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man."
350 A.D. Earliest written mention of tea, in a Chinese dictionary.
4th century St. John Chrysostom (345-407), bishop of Constantinople: "I hear man cry, 'Would there be no wine! O folly! O madness!' Is it wine that causes this abuse? No. For if you say, 'Would there be no wine!' because of drunkenness, then you must say, going on by degrees, 'Would there were no night!' because of the thieves, 'Would there were no light!' because of the informers, and 'Would there were no women!' because of adultery."
c. 450 Babylonian Talmud: "Wine is at the head of all medicines; where wine is lacking, drugs are necessary."
c. 1000 Opium is widely used in China and the Far East.
1229 The ecclesiastic authorities of Toulouse declare: "We also forbid the laity to possess any of the books of the Old or New Testament . . . that any should have these books translated into the vulgar tongue we strictly forbid."
1382 John Wycliffe completes his translation of the Bible into English.
1493 The use of tobacco is introduced into Europe by Columbus and his crew returning from America.
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