The most discreet and delicate way of having the gods understand the irreversible, scourge of all mortals, was the libation: you poured a noble liquid onto the ground and lost it forever. It was an act of homage of course: the recognition of the presence and rights of an invisible power. But it was something else as well: an attempt to make conversation. As if men were saying to the gods, Whatever we do, we are this liquid poured away.
-Calasso, Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony (people have been pouring one out for the dead since ancient Greece)