Dissolved Pearl Drinks
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Dissolved Pearl Drinks (Revelation 18.9-10)

"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry, 'Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!'" (Revelation 18.9-10)✞

Ancient Roman Society

CleopatraDissolved pearl drinks were a sign of "luxury" in ancient Roman society. Cleopatra (BC 69-30) is said to have drank dissolved pearls worth $160,000 in wine and vinegar. Dr. William Barclay (1907-1978) in the "The New Study Bible" tell us that, "Valerius Maximus (14-37 AD) at one feast set a pearl to drink before every guest, and he himself, Horace tells us, swallowed dissolved pearls from Metalla's ear ring so that he might be able to say that he had swallowed a million sesterces (or approximately $1.35 million) at a gulp." A sesterce was equivalent to about 2.5 cents. This was an age of extraordinary gluttony and luxury. Dishes of peacock's brains and nightingale's tongues were set before the guests at many of the banquets.✞

Extraordinary Gluttony

Emperor VitelliusVitellius (15-69 AD), who was emperor for less than a year, succeeded in spending $14,000,000 mainly on food. Emperor Suetonius (70-130 AD) tells of his favorite dish, "In this he mingled the livers of pike, the brains of pheasants and peacocks, the tongues of flamingos, and the milk of lampreys, brought by his captains from the whole empire from Parthia to the Spanish strait."

"Dissolved Pearl Drinks"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

^Top Page Next Previous