In Greek and Roman times, women were not permitted to drink -- except for a sweet wine made from raisins, called passum. Some men took the injunction quite seriously. Historians report that in the second century B. C. husbands were known to murder their wives if they were discovered sneaking down to the wine cellar for a drop. By the first century A. D, such strictures were lifted, at least for the likes of Livia Augusta, the wife of the emperor Augustus. She credited her long life (86 years) to wine drinking.