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Domitian

The Roman Emperor Titus Flavius Domitianus (51-96) had the first Limes ramparts built between the Rhine and Danube as a border guard. During his reign the Germanic parts of the empire became independent provinces. In 79, the city of Pompeii was completely destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius, thus drying up the most important source of wine for the Romans. As a result, many new vineyards were planted around Rome and cornfields were cleared for this purpose. In his famous edict in 92, Domitian probably therefore prohibited the planting of new vines in Italy and ordered the destruction of at least half of all vineyards in the provinces. A second edict prohibited the planting of small vineyards in the cities. His main aim was to solve the food problem of the big cities and to ensure grain production. The second thesis is that he wanted to create advantages for the big wineries. However, the ban could not be fully implemented or maintained. It was therefore not fully in force until it was lifted by Emperor Probus (232-282) in 280. See also under Ancient wines and Ancient grape varieties.

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