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Alcoholic beverages as a whole have had a sanitary role for long: in the antiquity water generally was not drinkable and alcohol having antibacterial properties made beverages safe for drinking. The bible does not give water a beverage, and only a few Greek texts talk about it. In the east, on the other hand, water was boiled to make tea, which killed pathogens [hist 7].

English honey mead
German Honig Met
Polish miód miód
Russian mjod mjod
Dutch   mede
 
French miel hydromel
Italian   idromele
Spanish    
 
Sanskrit mādhu
Latin mel hydromel
Greek meli (mèli) meqh (méthē)
melikatoz (melíkātos)
udromeli
(hudrōmeli)
 
Gaul   zythus, corma
Welsh   meddyglyn
Breton   chouchen
 
Finnish   mesi
Swedish   mjöd
Norvegian honning mjød
Danish   miød

"honey" and "mead" in various languages (after hist1 chapter 2)

References


January 25th 2003