World Thought and Culture
The Spice Trade
Book – The Sense of Eden.
The spice trade controlled the world’s economy for thousands of years. The spices in Ancient Egypt, the pyramids contained hieroglyphs demonstrating various uses of spices. Spice trade in the Bible, Solomon’s acquaintance, the Queen of Sheba brought camels laden with spices, around 1900 BC Joseph’s brothers sold him to a roving spice trade caravan. The Value of Spices:
Spices were kept under lock and key.
They were used for dowries…
They were left in wills…
Spices and the crusades.
Before the age of exploration, spices changed hands many times on their way to Europe- Spices changed hands as many as 100 times and would increase in value as much as 100%. Venice was super wealthy because spice trade came right into it. (St.Marks, 30 yrs to build, 30 to decorate) The invention of the Caravel,by the Portuguese, was a small ship with a 3masts, no galilees because of the Black Death. The Caravel could be fitted with canons. It held more cargo. These explorers, Vasco Digamma, blasted their way into small island nations. The Muslims previously dominated the spice routes, Buddah came to China on white elephant, Jesus came in on Canon Balls. By commandeering and imperialistically taking over they gave Christ a bad name. Sumatra had Pepper
Spice Islands – Banda (Malacca Islands) Nutmeg, Mace and Cloves the trinity of spices. Nutmeg and Mace come from the same plant. Why were these spices so valuable?
Bland, cover up spoilage... Europeans believed nutmeg was :
* An aphrodisiac – studies on most attractive scents, men: pumpkin pie, for women: black licorice. * A hallucinogen
* As a condiment
* And covers unpleasant tastes
* Nutmeg was a cure-all wonder drug, they wore mini grates around their necks * Spread around the outdoors when vip people visited.
* Was used to sent soaps
* Relieved arthritis
* 1 pound of Mace was worth 3 sheep...
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