In the Gospel of John, the seven-day Passover festival does not begin until after Jesus is crucified, ruling out the possibility that the Last Supper was a Passover ritual.


Cilicia was not the only source of passum, but the raisin wines produced in Cilicia, on Crete and in North Africa were considered the best varieties. Recent research has shown that that Cilician passum was shipped in Pinched-handle (Zemer Type 41) amphoras. Cretan passum was shipped in a differently shaped vessel (see Antigone Marangou-Lerat, Le vin et les amphores de Crète, Ètudes Crétoises 30 [Athens: Ècole Française d’Athènes, 1995], Type AC1). The kind of vessel used to ship African passum has not yet been identified.


Those seeking further information about the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project may visit its Web site at


At least by the early rabbinic period (second century C.E.), wine made or bottled by Gentiles was forbidden to strictly observant Jews. So severe was the interdiction against the drinking of non-Jewish wine that even wine in a container accidentally touched by a Gentile was prohibited. There were several exceptions, however, such as boiled wine and certain wines with honey or spices. Perhaps the rich, sweet passum was also excepted.



Although recent scholarship suggests that the Seder did not formally become part of the Passover celebration until after the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., important rituals invariably evolve from long-standing cultural practice. See Jonathan Klawans, “Was Jesus’ Last Supper a Seder?” Bible Review, October 2001; B. Bokser, The Origins of the Seder: The Passover Rite and Early Rabbinic Judaism (Berkeley: University of Cailfornia, 1984); and Eliezer Segal, “The Seder as a Living Tradition,” Jewish Star (Calgary, Canada), March 11, 1988.


See Halaka-Yomi 49: 1–14, “The Blessings for Wine”; and Encyclopedia Judaica, “Wine.” A wine called oenogarum (“wine-garum”), a word clearly related to the Hebrew enogeron, was produced elsewhere in the Roman world; the Roman gourmet Apicius advises readers to use oenogarum to counteract the saltiness of garum.


See Avshalom Zemer, Storage Jars in Ancient Sea Trade(Haifa: National Maritime Museum Foundation, 1977), pp. 52–54.


Not all of the grapes cultivated in the classical period were used to make wine. In De Re Rustica, for instance, Columella mentions Rhodian grapes as among the best for eating.


Caroline Williams, Anemurium: The Roman and early Byzantine pottery (Toronto: Subsidia Mediaevalia 16, 1989), p. 94.


See John Lund, “The ‘Pinched-handle’ Transport Amphorae as Evidence of the Wine Trade of Roman Cyprus,” Praktika tou Tritou Diethnous Kyprologikou Synedriou (Lefkosia, 16–20 April, 1996), vol. 1: Archaion Tmema (Lefkosia, Cyprus: Etaireia Kypriakon Spoudon, 2000), pp. 565–578; and J.W. Hayes, Paphos III: The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery (Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 1991), p. 91 (Type III).


Lund assembles the evidence for the distribution of Pinched-handle amphoras in “The ‘Pinched-handle’ Transport Amphorae,” pp. 570–571. For the neck fragment from the Gulf of Fos, see Martine Sciallano and Patricia Sibella, Amphores: Comment les identifier? (Aix-en-Provence: Èdisud).


See the translation of Apicius by John Edwards, The Roman Cookery of Apicius (Washington, DC: Hartley and Marks, 1984), which includes discussion of passum. A more recent adaptation of Apicius also includes frequent references to passum: Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome (Chicago and London: University of Chicago, 1992).


On Athenaeus’s quotation from Polybius and the drinking of passum by women, see F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius (Oxford: Clarendon, 1957), vol. 1, pp. 671–672.


See G.E. Bean and T.M. Mitford, “Sites Old and New in Rough Cilicia,” Anatolian Studies 12 (1962), p. 206, no. 30.


See Clement, Paedogogus 2.33.1-4G. Clement decries the habit of gulping wine and belching.