Comments by chained_bear

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  • "Bread rolls were set at each place--new bread for the lord, one-day-old bread for the guests and three-day-old bread for the household--so that one's social position continued to be defined by the age and quantity of bread as much as for its colour. Slices of four-day-old bread trimmed into orderly squares by the pantler and known as trenchers, from the French 'trencher', to slice, were stacked along the tables for everyone's use; from these come our use of the word trencherman to denote a hearty eater."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 74

    January 8, 2017

  • "Each place would be set with a napkin for the guest to throw over his or her left shoulder and a knife and spoon of wood, horn, silver or pewter, though most diners continued to carry their own knife and the christening spoon given to them at birth--the origin of the expression about the wealthy being born with silver spoons in their mouths--often with a little knob or saint's head at the end so that they were known as apostle spoons."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 74


    See also Puritan spoon.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note (esp. for Saffron Walden) can be found in a comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on turnsole.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Boiled blood was used to color foods black, and a sandalwood-like bark known as sanders or mulberries or red alkanet were employed to turn them red or purple. Wheat starch, egg whites or crushed almonds were used for white; mint, spinach and parsley for green, and for blue the turnsole, or heliotrope, was mashed. Most desirable of all, egg yolks, dandelion petals or musty saffron were used to endore pie crusts and pottages. Saffron was a costly statement, with more than 50,000 hand-harvested crocus flowers needed for each pound of dried stamens. The fields around Saffron Walden in Essex must have been a mirage of smiling colour when in bloom, delighting thousands who could never hope to taste the kind of cooking in which they were used."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 58

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on erbolat.

    January 8, 2017

  • "In homes across Britain at Easter, real eggs were cracked into cooking pots or boiled and served in a green sauce to symbolise the banishment of thin fare, and the favorite tansy, or erbolat, appeared, an omelette coloured green with tart tansy juice or with spinach, fried golden in butter; if you were lucky, it might have a grating of nutmeg, a dash of cinnamon and a spoonful of cream or curds, but it was always a treat after the dietary rigours of abstention."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 71

    January 8, 2017

  • "In the 1200s the Countess of Leicester bought more than a thousand eggs for an Easter feast for her tenants at Dover Castle and rewarded her labourers and tenants with succulent roast meats and spiced custards or pain perdu--bread dipped in egg, fried in butter and sprinkled with sugar, the forerunner of our eggy bread."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 70

    I've not heard of eggy bread, but this bears more than a slight resemblance to what I know as French toast, which also, I was given to understand many years ago, is (or was?) called Mennonite toast in Canada.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The manuscript also gives us our earliest recipe for salad, using the smallest leaves of parsley, sage, borage, mint, fennel, cress, rosemary, rue and purslane mixed with minced garlic, small onions and leeks, and decorated with slivered and toasted nuts and glowing pomegranate seeds. The dangerous 'coldness' of the uncooked herbs was mitigated by a 'warming' dressing of oil and vinegar, a classic combination that would remain unchanged for centuries."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    Note: the manuscript in question is The Forme of Cury, which dates from the reign of Richard II, reigned 1377 to 1399.

    January 8, 2017

  • "One of the simplest recipes in The Forme of Cury was astoundingly modern for its time: proto-pastas boiled and layered with butter and cheese, known as macrows and not unlike modern macaroni cheese."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "Meats were often reduced to pastes, eaten on the point of a knife or with the fingers: like mortrews made from a base of pork or chicken flesh pulverised in a mortar, then boiled and thickened with bread, spices and egg. Rissoles, or raysols, were made by forming balls of minced pig's liver, bread, cheese and spices and baking them with a crusting of egg yolk and saffron."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 56-57

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on pandemaine.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on pandemaine.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The poor ate maslin: tough brown bread of roughly sieved wheat mixed with rye flour or even barley, millet, malt or beans, made at home or baked in the communal baker's oven. Wheat bread, known as pandemaine or, later, manchet, was the whitest and softest, but it was costly; everyone aspired to it, and the baker in William Langland's poem The Vision of Piers Plowman complained that even in times of dearth 'beggars refused the bread that had beans in it, demanding milk loaves and fine white wheaten bread.'"

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 49

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note in comment on dittany.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on dittany. Also:


    "When Catherine of Aragon was a young queen in England, salad plants were so rare that she had to send to holland for the lettuce she loved. Within thirty years, a wide variety of salad greens were available, including chicory, endive, mallow, purslane, fennel, smallage and peppery rocket. ... Small wonder that metal and earthenware colanders were becoming common."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 95

    January 8, 2017

  • "Neckam takes us right into the warmth of a high-class kitchen in the twelfth century, but he gives us more than a list of equipment, recommending cumin sauce for stewed ham, mentioning three kinds of sausage (andulyes, saucistres and pudingis) and giving fine directions for roasting pork with a little salt to make its rind really crunchy. In a separate work on horticulture called De naturis rerum, he catalogued an expanding range of tasty culinary herbs including parsley, fennel, coriander, sage, savory, hyssop, mint, sorrel, thyme, saffron, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuce, garden cress and the strong-smelling rue also used to treat snakebite and poor eyesight. Rosemary would arrive in the 1340s with Queen Philippa, but pumpkins, cucumbers and spinach-like orache were now cultivated in kitchen gardens, and we can assume that turnips and woody carrots known as skirrets were grown, though oddly they did not begin to appear in gardening treatises until the fifteenth century."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 48

    January 8, 2017

  • "Only the most courageous fishermen braved hostile seas to hunt whale for its flesh, bones and fat and for its tongue, which was served as a delicacy on fine tables; from the tenth century, salted whale known as craspois came instead from Rouen for the tables of the rich, arriving in sufficient quantity for Aethelred to tax it at London Bridge."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 43

    January 8, 2017

  • "Herring was so plentiful that the Abbey of St Edmond received a rent of 30,000 fish a year from the port of Beccles."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 69

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on mawmenee.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Stiff quince pastes, originally known as charedequynce, were the first marmalades--marmelo is Portuguese for 'quince'--and were accompanied by compotes of reduced fruit pulps mixed with wine and honey, salt and vinegar."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 68

    January 8, 2017

  • "... lordly roast venison with frumenty traditionally opened feasts, with boar's head or brawn and a peuerade, or pepper sauce. Roast meat smacked of privilege, taken for granted by those who could afford the fuel needed, the dripping pans, basters and turnspits, and prepared crispy and sticky on the outside and juicy in the middle--quite literally done to a turn."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 66

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on mawmenee.

    January 8, 2017

  • "There was also mawmenee, similar to blancmanger but more robustly flavoured with wine, sugar, fried dates, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. But it was frumenty, the ancient porridge of bruised wheat boiled in milk, that traditionally accompanied fresh mutton, venison or porpoise at feasts. Updated for medieval tastes, it was thickened with egg yolks, coloured with saffron and left to cool before being sliced like polenta."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 59

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Offal--livers, sweetbreads, lights and giblets--were all highly esteemed, and the original umble pies were not in the least bit humble, using a gallimaufry of entrails including testicles, tripe, hearts, palates (the tender roof of the mouth), gizzards, lambs' tails, cockscombs and fatty pigs' feet in a rich, spicy gravy. Valued as it was, offal was known as garbage, a word that would assume quite a different meaning as tastes changed."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 59

    January 8, 2017

  • "Kitchens expanded, their different offices arranged around a courtyard into separate larders, storerooms, cellars, butteries (for the wine and ale in butts), pantries (for bread) and sculleries (from escuelier, or 'keeper of dishes'). Passageways now linked the main hall to the kitchen and its departments, with serving or surveying places like those at Durham Castle, Knole, Eltham and Hampton Court where the steward would pass his eye over the food before it was presented."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 64

    January 8, 2017

  • "They and the scullions might have made their beds on the kitchen floor, but these rooms cooled fast and Norman laws ruled that all embers had to be covered at night with couvre feus, or curfews."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 65

    January 8, 2017

  • "Peacocks were carefully skinned, their meat seasoned with cumin before being roasted, cooled and stitched back into their feathers, sent to the table apparently alive, their necks supported by wires, their tails spread and a phoenix fire bursting from their gilded beaks. Clearly a health risk, peacocks in their feathers were a triumph of style over substance, since everyone admitted that the flesh was stringy; but that was beside the point. They were centrepieces, designed to delight the eye as much as the palate and to emphasise social power through magnificent display; more than a hundred of them were presented at the installation feast for Archbishop Nevill of York in 1467."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "The cockentrice was a fantasy animal from the forepart of a capon and the rear of a piglet stitched together, stuffed and roasted."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 57

    January 8, 2017

  • "Intensely sweet dried fruits were therefore crucial, and exotic raisins of Corinth (currants), prunes, figs and dates were all traded by spice merchants besides the sacks full of almonds needed for thickening sauces and stews or for use as a creamy alternative to milk on fast days."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • "Alice de Bryene's household account book reveals that in 1418, when prices had already dropped considerably, she purchased 3 pounds of pepper, 2 pounds of ginger, 2 pounds of cinnamon, a pound of cloves and another of mace, spending 56s at a time when a thatcher might earn 4 or 5d a day. These were large amounts, but when we consider that Alice provided for up to fifty householders and visitors each day, catering for almost twenty thousand people in 1418 alone, their use cannot have been heavy-handed."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • "It seems that what they were aiming for was a juxtaposition of the piquant with sweet fruits, nuts and sugars, the characteristic feature of many modern Moroccan recipes such as pastilla--a shredded-pigeon pie flavoured with mace, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, almonds and saffron, and powdered with icing sugar. If so much about the European Middle Ages seems bewilderingly remote, contemporary Moroccan food, robust and subtle by degrees, broadly unchanged for centuries, offers a hint of our own culinary past."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • See usage/historical note on grossarii, which will kick you over to cubebs for more.

    January 8, 2017

  • "The spicers, peppers and grocers (from grossarii because of their use of large weights) soon formed into powerful London guilds selling ready-ground mixes. ..."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 55

    More can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Just checking in. Gone but not forgotten. *sigh*

    January 8, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in a comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note can be found in a comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • Another usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs.

    January 8, 2017

  • "There was a variant known as cubebs, Celonese cinnamon and Chinese ginger with its relatives galangal and zedoary, as well as mace, gromwell, and aniseed. The spicers, peppers, and grocers (from grossarii because of their use of large weights) soon formed into powerful London guilds selling ready-ground mixes in small leather bags of various strengths known as powdor fort, powdor douce and powdor blanche--but if you could afford it and were wise you avoided adulteration by purchasing your spices whole."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54-55

    January 8, 2017

  • "Medieval cooks used aromatics that have since fallen from favour: borage with its hairy leaves that taste of cucumber or the medicinal costmary, also used to repel moths."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "A sauce egredouce (bittersweet) satisfied a particular craving in the medieval palate for mixing sweet and sour together, and even summer's heat could be alleviated with cool sauces of verjuice, vinegar or pomegranate."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "... chawdron--a sauce of blood and livers--was the perfect companion for roast swan."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 54

    January 7, 2017

  • "So excessive was Rome's appetite for conspicuous consumption that the first sumptuary laws attempted to regulate it. Both the Lex Orchia and the Lex Fannia restricted not only the kind of clothes people of different ranks could wear but the number of allowable dishes to three at dinner and five at a celebration; shellfish and 'strange birds from another world' were prohibited and, under a later law, the Lex Aemilia, stuffed dormice were banned."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 18

    January 7, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on hlaford.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Bread was the staple of the diet of the poor, growing coarser, darker and drier as it descended the social scale... By today's standards, vast quantities of bread were eaten: 4 pounds a day for the poor of all ages according to the canonised Bishop of Metz in his eighth-century Rule of Chrodegang. It was so much the staff of life that Old English words vibrate with its importance: the lord--hlaford--was literally the bread guardian or the bread-winner; the lady--hlafdige--was the bread-maker; and dependents--hlafaeta--were the bread-eaters."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 38

    January 6, 2017

  • "So rare are written records that we leap on the few survivors, including the rare Leechdoms, or manuscripts of wortcunning--magic herbals that brought together both charms and plant remedies."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 37

    January 6, 2017

  • "Deprivation rather than perpetual feasting was the norm, and much of the population was undernourished and dependent on food that could be foraged: the Old English word steorfan had not yet evolved into the word for 'starvation'; it simply meant 'to die'."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on garum. See also liquamen for more info.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Rome's taste for pungent flavours was typified by its favourite condiment, liquamen--or <i>garum</i> or <i>muria</i>, as it was also called--a murky-brown, salty relish made from fermented fish. Liquamen enhanced the taste of other foods and, sharing the putrid whiff of asafoetida, distinguished Roman cuisine more than any other ingredient. It was used liberally in recipes and added to salads, meats or seafood as frequently as we might turn to ketchup: Worcestershire sauce, which has a little asafoetida and much anchovy essence, or the Asian fish sauces <i>num pla</i> and <i>nuc nam</i> are probably the closest we come today to a taste anything like it."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on caroenum.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on caroenum.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Even the classical sources disagree on the reduction of each type, but, broadly speaking, caroenum was boiled to between half and two-thirds its original volume; defrutum to about a third and sapa to a thick, sweet syrup. Passum and mulsum were very sweet wine sauces made from reduced young wine with the addition of honey."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 27note

    January 6, 2017

  • "Mustard, garlic, horseradish and--always--pepper were used liberally, and to thicken sauces Apicius used breadcrumbs, eggs, crumbled pastry, rice imported from India or a wheat starch known as amulum, designing his creations not only to complement but sometimes to disguise a dish: we can almost hear him chuckle as he takes a well-salted liver and makes it taste exactly like a fish."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 27

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

  • "In such kitchens cauldrons hung from ornate chains alongside new equipment like frying pans, known as patellae, some with folding handles so that they could also be used in the oven and some with deep moulded rings to equalise the heat across the base."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 23

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on promulsis.

    January 6, 2017

  • "Marvellously known as promulsis, or promises, light dishes designed to tempt the appetite came first--such as olives, tripe, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, snails or asparagus. Then the first course, or primae mensae, of intensely symbolic sacrificial meat, rissoles, sausages or mixtures of fish and meat together with highly flavoured sauces. The secundae mensae of shellfish, fruit, nuts, flaky cheesecakes, fritters, honeyed custards or pastries often sprinkled with pepper closed the meal, but an optional symposium might also follow during which serious drinking, witty conversation and debate or music and dancing were applauded as was the grandest of all Italian wines, Falernian."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 22-23

    January 6, 2017

  • "Demand for liquamen was so high that its manufacture was the only large-scale factory industry in the ancient world, and almost every major port in Italy had its own distinct blend. Wherever it was made, the smell of fishy fermentation oozed through the sun-warmed markets and the backstreets, the olive orchards and the bath houses, mingling with the rising dust, joined by the stench from the murex factories that extracted royal purple dyes from spiny shellfish, each inviting and distracting the neighborhood cats. Sometimes liquamen's stench would reach such heights that even the local governors could stand it no longer and production would be temporarily suspended."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30


    Another usage/historical note can be found in comment on acetum. Synonyms include garum and muria.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on cena.

    January 6, 2017

  • "But dinner, or cena, taken at twilight, was abundant, often in the form of a convivium, or dinner party, that oiled the wheels of commerce, politics and friendship."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 22

    Elsewhere she says that women were never present at convivia.

    January 6, 2017

  • "The Vindolanda fragments mention a wide variety of foods.... Many were the fancy goods finding their way along a network of new roads linking remote areas for the first time: luxury vintage Massic wine; cooking vinegar called acetum, which was drunk heavily diluted by soldiers on the march; and liquamen, a universal fishy condiment."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 21

    January 6, 2017

  • "Even fish were bred in pools called vivaria, and edible frogs' bones have been found at Roman sites in York and Silchester."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 20

    January 6, 2017

  • "Dovecots, or columbaria, were widespread, providing a rich source of winter meat..."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 20

    January 6, 2017

  • "Dormice were raised in pottery vessels called gliraria..."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 20

    January 6, 2017

  • In ancient Rome, a place where rabbits were raised for food.

    January 6, 2017

  • "mulsum (a sweet wine sauce)"

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 19


    Another note can be found on caroenum.

    January 6, 2017

  • "To drink there was water, milk, and warming mead, the ancestor of all fermented drinks, made from honey and water, herbs and fruit."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 12

    January 6, 2017

  • "Few fish bones have survived, but we do have evidence of conger, bream, shark, skate, wrasse, ray, eel, haddock, limpets and other shellfish, most of which would have been impaled on sticks and set over glowing fires to cook."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 12

    January 6, 2017

  • "Elder and hazelnuts were both high in nutritious fats, and at the Glastonbury Iron Age site, hundreds of sloe stones were identified, as well as the remains of raspberries, blackberries, cornel cherries, strawberries, dewberries, and hawthorn."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 11-12

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on laver.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on laver.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on laver.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on laver.

    January 6, 2017

  • "... from rare archaeo-botanical remains, we do know that the Celts foraged for Britain's abundant wild, seasonal foods: laver and carrageen seaweeds on the coast, rock samphire and sea kale or scurvy grass not unlike asparagus. ..."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 11

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on wood sorrel.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on wood sorrel.

    January 6, 2017

  • "High-protein soft curds could be smoked, salted or flavoured with berries, nuts, honey or herbs like wood sorrel, myrtle or mint. It was an ancient practice: the Beaker People of 1800 BC had used perforated clay bowls to drain the whey from curd to make hard, long-lasting cheeses."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 11

    January 6, 2017

  • "In about 400 BC the invention of the rotary quern--made up of a static lower stone sandwiched to an upper twin by a wooden axle that passed through holes in both their centres -- began to transform the drudgery of grinding: the top stone could be rotated by a handle, speeding up the whole back-breaking process."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 9

    See also saddle quern (usage note on emmer).

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on emmer.

    January 6, 2017

  • Usage/historical note on emmer.

    January 6, 2017

  • "The earliest cultivated wheats were known as emmer and einkorn, both with tough ears that held on so tightly to their grain that they had to be toasted to loosen them; barley was also sown, though rye and oats appeared only as weeds among the crops. Once parched, the ears were threshed, winnowed and pounded to a rough flour using the ancient saddle quern, a bow-shaped stone with a rolling-pin-shaped grinder. The effort was enormous, and the bread, cooked on hot stones, was so gritty and dry that teeth were universally worn to stubs. In fact, early cereals were so gluten-light that they were far more effectively cooked in porridges."

    --Kate Colquhoun, <i>Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking</i> (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 8-9

    January 6, 2017

  • "... primitive ales were made from naturally fermenting grains, and perhaps their yeasty barm was at first simply used to flavour doughs, a practice that--quite by chance--led to the discovery of the airy magic of yeast in baking."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 9

    January 6, 2017

  • "During the same century (19th), as industrialisation raged alongside a new passion for collection and classification, many more extraordinary objects rose to the surfaces of bogs and were pulled from land that had lain untouched for thousands of years. ... Among the oldest was the Dunaverney Flesh Hook lifted from a bog north of Ballymoney, County Antrim in 1829. A 4-foot-long wooden and cast-bronze pole with sharp prongs designed to haul large pieces of meat from a boiler, it is gloriously adorned with bronze models of a pair of ravens and a family of swans. When first crafted in the tenth century BC, this must have been a prized possession."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 7-8

    January 6, 2017

  • "Downstream from London's Chelsea Bridge, as it began to rise from its construction site during the 1850s, the so-called Battersea Cauldron was dislodged from its muddy prison to rise to the surface of the Thames. Emerging into the modern world from that of the late eighth century BC, this splendid object was fashioned from seven sheets of carefully curved bronze riveted together to make a feasting vessel almost 2 feet wide. Its creation had required labour and skill; in its own day, the cauldron had proclaimed the wealth, power, and social status of its owner."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 8

    January 6, 2017

  • "Millennia before even Skara Brae, early humans acquired one of the very few things that set them apart from all other animals: fire."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 8

    January 6, 2017

  • Ugh! Thank heaven and Congress and Teddy Roosevelt for the Pure Food and Drug Act... fifty years later. Ugh!

    January 6, 2017

  • "In 1939, just two months after Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II, the Bürgerbräukeller became the scene of an assassination attempt that nearly ended the Hitler nightmare. Over a two-month period, wording at night after the beer hall was closed, a clever carpenter named Georg Elser, who wanted to 'improve the conditions of the workers and avoid a war,' had installed a time-delayed explosive into a support column right behind the Bürgerbräukeller speaker's podium. Elser knew that Hitler always spoke for at least one hour, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The bombmaker set his device to detonate at 9:20 p.m. But, because the Munich airport that night was socked in by fog, Hitler began his speech early, at 8 p.m. After speaking for an hour and seven minutes, he left the Bürgerbräukeller at 9:07 p.m. to catch a train back to Berlin. Thirteen minutes later, Elser's bomb ripped through the beer hall, killing eight people and wounding sixty. The spot where Hitler had been standing thirteen minutes earlier was devastated. 'Those thirteen minutes were the most costly in the history of the twentieth century,' wrote German author Claus Christian Malzahn. The Bürgerbräukeller is now gone, a victim of wartime bombing, neglect, and urban development. All that remains is a plaque on the spot where the support column stood, commemorating Georg Elser."

    --Peter Ross Range, 1924: The Year that Made Hitler (NY and London: Little, Brown and Co., 2016), p. 267

    January 4, 2017

  • "These documents are all bilingual. Living in the modern era, we have grown accustomed to multilingual documents of the European Community and other international organizations. There is something extraordinary, though, in seeing these bilingual grain tallies. In the eighth century, the reach of the Chinese state extended down to the lowest level; even the smallest payment of grain was recorded in Khotanese, the language of the local people, and in Chinese, the language of the rulers. Similarly, all the officials in the government had both Chinese and Khotanese titles. The Khotanese bureaucracy employed clerks who could translate Khotanese documents into Chinese; some Chinese-language documents refer to petitions in Khotanese form the local people that were translated so that Chinese officials could understand them."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 214

    January 4, 2017

  • "This three-way division of Xinjiang continued in the twelfth century, a period when Xinjiang nominally came under the rule of the Western Liao, a successor state to the Liao dynasty (907-1125) of north China. Under them, the Christian Church of the East increased its influence throughout Xinjiang, particularly among the Kereit and Naiman tribes of the Mongols."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 229

    January 4, 2017

  • Usage/historical notes can be found in comments on Kereit and Pax Mongolica.

    January 4, 2017

  • "Then in 1211 a Naiman leader named Küchlük took over the Western Liao. Originally an adherent of the Christian Church of the East, Küchlük converted to Buddhism and became a ferocious opponent of Islam. He attacked both Kashgar and Khotan, forcing the inhabitants of both cities to renounce Islam and adopt either Christianity or Buddhism. But Küchlük was the last ruler in the region to ban Islam. In 1218 he was defeated by Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan is the transliteration of the Persian spelling), who had unified the Mongols in 1206 and launched a series of stunning conquests. Chinggis rescinded Küchlük's religious policies.

    "The Mongol conquests continued after Chinggis's death in 1227; by 1241 the Mongols had conquered much of Eurasia, creating the largest contiguous empire in world history. They pursued a policy of general religious tolerance, giving support to all holy men while privileging their own shamanistic traditions. During the period of Mongol unification, sometimes called Pax Mongolica, it became possible--for the first time in world history--to travel all the way from Europe to China, on the easternmost edge of the Mongol Empire. Many people made the trip, and some left records of their travels. Most travelers began at the Crimean Peninsula and crossed the vast ocean of unbroken grasslands all the way from Eurasia to modern Mongolia. They did not use the traditional Silk Road routes around the Taklamakan.

    "Curiously, Marco Polo was an exception. He claimed to have taken the southern Silk Road route through Khotan, and no one knows why he did not take the more traveled grasslands route."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 229

    January 4, 2017

  • "The Kirghiz defeat of the Uighurs in 840 prompted the mass migration of the core Uighur populations out of Mongolia south to Turfan and Ganzhou, where they formed smaller successor states called the Uighur Kaghanates. In the aftermath of 840 another tribal confederacy formed: contemporary documents refer to them as 'khans' or 'kaghans,' and modern scholars call them the Karakhanids to distinguish them from other Turkic peoples. Sometime before 955 their leader Satuq Bughra Khan converted to Islam, and his son continued both his military campaigns and the effort to convert the Turkic peoples to Islam. In 960 Muslim chronicles record that '200,000 tents of the Turks' converted to Islam. The chronicles do not specify which Turks they mean or where exactly they were based, but modern scholars assume this passage refers to the Karakhanids, based in Kashgar, 350 miles (500 km) west of Khotan. After the Karakhanid conversion, they ordered their armies to destroy any existing non-Muslim structures, including Buddhist temples."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 226-227

    January 4, 2017

  • "In contrast, a group of some fifteen Khotanese-language documents preserved in cave 17 offer a wealth of detail about one mission ... possibly in the mid-tenth century. ...

    "The princes and their entourage set off with some 800 pounds (360 kg) of jade. In addition, they carried some leather goods, most likely saddles, harnesses, or other horse tack. Horses and jade were the most common tribute items from Khotan, and other recorded gifts include camels, falcons, yak tails, textiles, furs, medicines, minerals, herbs, some types of fragrances, amber, and coral. As was fitting in the subsistence economy of the time, rulers also presented slaves to one another."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 222, 224

    January 4, 2017

  • "The author writes to a business associate, apparently his superior, about different transactions involving sheep, clothing, spikenard (a plant used in medicine and scents), a saddle, stirrups, and straps. Most likely a merchant, he mentions wanting to know his 'profit and loss.' We do not know why he left Iran, but we can speculate that he (or his ancestors) moved east to escape the Islamic conquest, and he ended up in the Khotan region during a particularly turbulent time."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 217-218

    January 4, 2017

  • "This document records the sale of a camel for 8,000 Chinese coins by a Khotanese man to a Sogdian named Vagiti Vadhaga. (The word suliga, used to describe Vagiti Vadhaga, originally meant 'Sogdian' but later took on the broader meaning of 'merchant.')"

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 209

    January 4, 2017

  • "Khotan was famous for its jade (technically nephrite), large chunks of which the inhabitants found in the riverbeds around the oasis. Khotan's two largest rivers are named the Yurungkash ('White Jade' in Uighur) and the Karakash ('Black Jade'), and they merge north of the city to form the Khotan River. The jade found in the two rivers differs in color, and implements made from the lighter-colored Khotanese jade have been found in a royal tomb, dating to 1200 BCE, in the central Chinese city of Anyang."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 207

    January 4, 2017

  • "One letter begins by giving the total amount of cloth the agent is carrying: one hundred pieces of 'white' and nineteen pieces of 'red' raghzi cloth, which is used to make warm winter clothing. (Raghzi is a Sogdian word, meaning either wool or some other type of cloth made from fur.)"

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 195

    January 4, 2017

  • "Around the year 1000 Sogdian began to gradually die out. Sogdian ceased to be used as a written language, and many (but not all) former Sogdian-speakers turned instead to Turkish. A small group of documents from cave 17 offer a glimpse of this linguistic shift just as it was occurring. They are in Turco-Sogdian, which is basically Sogdian but with a strong Uighur influence, in the form of Turkic loanwords and, more importantly, Turkic constructions unknown in earlier Sogdian."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 195

    January 4, 2017

  • "With only a few mentions of dmar (the Tibetan word for 'copper,' which probably indicates bronze coins), the contracts record exchanges almost entirely in grain."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 185-186

    January 4, 2017

  • "One thousand and fifty of these bundles contained twelve or so scrolls in Chinese; in addition, there were eighty packets and eleven large texts written on leaf-shaped pages called pothi in Tibetan, the language introduced in 786."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 180

    January 4, 2017

  • "The most famous text from the library cave is the Diamond Sutra, which was not copied by hand but printed with woodblocks. The Chinese first developed this method in the early eighth century when they realized that they could take a sheet of paper with characters on it, glue it face-down on a block of soft wood, cut out the wood around the characters to form a reverse image, and then print the positive image using that block. The Diamond Sutra from Dunhuang consists of seven woodblock-printed sheets that have been glued together."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 179

    Also:

    "The documents about the princes' difficulties are among the forty thousand documents in multiple languages preserved in the library cave at Dunhuang, which was sealed sometime after 1002 and serves as a time capsule of Silk Road diversity. The Buddhist librarian-monks who saved the texts collected the teachings of their own religion, of course, but kept all scraps of paper in case they might prove useful in the future. They saved texts written in Sanskrit, Khotanese, Tibetan, Uighur, and Sogdian, and from the religions of Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. The Diamond Sutra is the most famous of all the writings from the library cave, because it is the world's earliest dated printed book, but other texts are arguably more unusual: think of the talisman made from a sheet of folded paper with excerpts in Hebrew from Psalms or the Manichaean hymns sung in Sogdian but written phonetically in Chinese characters. The entire cave embodies the tolerance of different religions that characterized Silk Road communities for nearly one thousand years."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 241

    January 4, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on Chang'an.

    January 3, 2017

  • Usage/historical note in comment on Chang'an.

    January 3, 2017

  • "The 4.4 ounces (126 grams) of gold dust probably had medicinal uses, as did a block of litharge, a lead oxide added to skin ointments to cure cuts and blemishes."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 154

    January 3, 2017

  • Historical note can be found in comment on Sasanian. Also, following:

    "Under the Tang dynasty, the capital remained at Chang'an except for brief intervals. ... Two markets, known as the Eastern and Western Markets, each occupied an area about 0.4 square miles (1 sq km). ... the Eastern Market tended to specialize in domestic goods, while the Western Market offered more foreign goods, many delivered by camel trains. Shops selling the same goods clustered together on narrow roads called <i>hang</i>. (Even today the Chinese word for expert is <i>neihang</i>, 'inside the row,' and for a layman <i>waihang</i>, 'outside the row.')."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 148

    January 3, 2017

  • "In a population of one million people, the majority of the residents were Chinese, but a sizable foreign community lived in the city as well. ... Some foreigners settled in China as the result of treaties. In 631, after the Eastern Turks surrendered to the Tang, nearly ten thousand households were ordered to move to Chang'an, and many of these households were Sogdians in the service of the Turks. When the Tang forces conquered different Central Asian kingdoms, they required their former rulers to send their sons to Chang'an as hostages, further swelling the numbers of foreigners in the city. Perhaps the most famous refugees were the descendants of the Sasanian emperors who fled Iran after the fall of their capital at Ctesiphon to Muslim forces in 651. The last Sasanian emperor, Yazdegerd III, died while in flight, but his son Peroz and grandson Narseh both moved permanently to the city."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 149

    January 3, 2017

  • "The Sogdian funeral beds and houses in China almost always depict the Sogdian swirl, a dance performed by both men and women at parties."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 145

    January 3, 2017

  • "The contract sets the terms by which two sons rent a mud-built 'eskase' location for burial from two brothers. ... Zoroastrians disposed of their dead first by placing them in a structure outside, called a Tower of Silence by modern Zoroastrians, where animals of prey could eat the flesh, and then placing the cleaned bones in a well, called an eskase in this contract. Yet, because no such burial wells have been found yet in the region of Sogdiana, others suggest the word may refer to a naus structure for the remains of the dead like those built in Panjikent."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 134

    January 3, 2017

  • "The realistic subject matter of the Afrasiab paintings distinguishes them from other Sogdian wall paintings depicting legends and deities found at Panjikent and the Varakhsha fortress outside Bukhara. They were painted between 660 and 661 during the reign of the Sogdian king Varkhuman. ... Now located in the Afrasiab History Museum, these paintings were salvaged in 1965 after a bulldozer digging a new road removed the room's ceiling."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 125

    January 3, 2017

  • "Two of the gold coins (and possibly a third) were found inside naus structures the Sogdians built to house the dead, usually members of the same family. These buildings were small, square, and made of mud brick; they held the cleaned bones in ossuaries. Zoroastrian texts do not mention naus buildings, which first appear in the Samarkand region--but not in central Iran--in the late fourth or fifth centuries."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 123

    January 3, 2017

  • "Although archaeologists have not found evidence of permanent buildings to house caravans, called caravanserai in Persian, anywhere in Sogdiana, some modern historians believe that the caravanserai originated in the region. The geographer Ibn H awqal described the ruin of a giant building that could house up to two hundred travelers and their animals, with food for all and room to sleep as well. Several Panjikent houses had courtyards large enough to house a caravan, and the word 'hotel' in Sogdian (tym) was borrowed from the Chinese word 'inn' (dian)."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 122

    January 3, 2017

  • "He describes several goods being sent by caravan from Guzang to other destinations, most likely Loulan, some 900 miles (1,400 km) away: 'white,' most likely ceruse, a cosmetic with a white lead base; pepper; silver; and 'rysk,' a term whose meaning is not clear. Certain goods traveled great distances: pepper and camphor could be purchased only in Southeast Asia or India, while musk came from the Tibetan border with Gansu."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 119

    January 3, 2017

  • "At Bulayik, a site to the north of Turfan, they excavated Christian manuscripts in Syriac, Sogdian, Middle Persian, modern Persian, and Uighur. ... Syriac was the primary language of worship, but some psalters and hymn collections have Sogdian headings in them. ... The dating of these manuscripts is uncertain; most likely they date to the ninth and tenth centuries, when Turfan was the capital of the Uighur Kaghanate."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 108-109

    January 3, 2017

  • "Manichaeism, a religion founded in Iran by the prophet Mani (ca. 210-76), held that the forces of light and darkness were engaged in a perpetual battle for control of the universe. The Uighur kaghan adopted Manichaeism as the official religion of his people and recorded his decision in a trilingual inscription (in Sogdian, Uighur, and Chinese) on a stone tablet. This was the first--and only--time in world history that any state named Manichaeism its official religion."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 108

    This was around 762 CE, BTW.

    January 3, 2017

  • "The scale-fee register lists thirty-seven transactions over the course of a single year. Brass, medicine, copper, turmeric, and raw sugar traded hands only once, while other goods appear more often: gold, silver, silk thread, aromatics (the term xiang refers broadly to spice, incense, or medicine), and ammonium chloride."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 99

    January 3, 2017

  • "The main item of trade mentioned in these documents is horses, which the Chinese bought from the nomadic peoples north of Kucha in exchange for one thousand catties (roughly 1,300 pounds or 600 kg) of steel or roughly 1,000 Chinese feet of cloth."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 80-81

    December 30, 2016

  • "The official history of the Wei dynasty, composed 551-54, ... reports the existence of an unusual natural resources: 'In the middle of the mountains to the northwest is a river formed from an ointment-like substance that travels some distance before it enters the soil. It is like clarified butter and has a foul odor. When applied to hair or teeth that have fallen out, it makes them grow back, and the sick who take it are all cured.' This mysterious substance has been identified as petroleum. Today Korla is one of China's most important oil fields."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 75

    December 30, 2016

  • "The two brothers eventually formed a dual Turkic kaghanate in which the founder retained control of eastern territories, while his brother, the leader of the Western kaghanate, accepted a subordinate role. Over time, this relationship grew more formal, and by 580 distinct Eastern and Western kaghanates had taken shape. Recognizing the Western kaghan as their overlord, the rulers of Kucha paid tribute to them and provided troops when asked."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 75

    December 30, 2016

  • "The longest manuscript in Agnean has twenty-five consecutive leafs with no significant gaps--unlike the individual leafs that survive in most cases. It is a jataka story with many of the same plot elements as the classic Coppélia tale...."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 73

    December 30, 2016

  • Usage note in comment on Coppélia.

    December 30, 2016

  • Additional historical note in comment on Twghry.

    December 30, 2016

  • "The colophon recorded that the text had been translated from the 'Indian language' into 'Twghry' and from 'Twghry' into Uighur. 'Twghry,' Sieg and Siegling concluded, had to be the Uighur name for the unknown language. Since the ... text existed only in Uighur and the newly discovered language, it was a brilliantly plausible identification.

    "Sieg and Siegling went on to argue that Twghry was the Uighur spelling of Tocharian, the language of the Tocharoi, the ancient people known to the Greeks who lived in the Bactrian region of Afghanistan, around the city of Balkh in today's Pakistan. ...

    "Although Sieg and Siegling were mistaken in linking the Twghry language with the Tocharoi peoples of Afghanistan, their name for the new language caught on."

    December 30, 2016

  • "One robbery victim, identified as a 'runaway,' reported the theft of 'four roughly woven cloths, three woolen cloths, one silver ornament, 2,500 masha (possibly Chinese coins), two jackets, two somstamni (most likely some kind of garment), two belts and three Chinese robes."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 50

    December 30, 2016

  • "The Kushans issued a gold coin called a stater (the soldiers of Alexander the Great originally introduced this Greek coin to the Gandhara region in the fourth century BCE), and some bronze stater coins have been found in Khotan, the oasis 150 miles (240 km) west of Niya. In addition, the Khotan kings minted their own bronze coins in imitation of the stater (with Chinese on one face, Kharoshthi on the other), which are called Sino-Kharoshthi coins."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 48

    December 30, 2016

  • "Migrants and indigenous peoples alike farmed and tended herds. They often exchanged animals, rugs, and grain for livestock--horses, camels, cattle--or slaves, a distinct social group. Children put up for adoption constituted a group between slaves and free people. Sometimes the adoptive parents made a payment, usually a horse, called a 'milk payment.' If they did so, then the new family member joined the family as an equal. But if no milk payment was made, then the adopted child was treated as a slave.

    "Women participated fully in this economy. They initiated transactions, served as witnesses, brought disputes to the attention of officials, and owned land. They could adopt children and give them away, too. One woman put her son up for adoption and received a camel as milk payment. When she discovered that her birth son's master was treating him as a slave, she took her son back and sued his adoptive father in court. The court found in her favor yet returned her son to his adoptive father, stipulating that the father henceforth had to treat the boy as his son and not a slave."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 48

    December 30, 2016

  • "Presuming that the ruler will issue written orders to his subordinates, it lists 'the characteristics of a good edict' and 'the defects' of bad edicts. It also gives the sources of law as dharma (a Sanskrit term usually understood as meaning correct conduct according to law or custom, but sometimes specifically indicating the teachings of Buddha), evidence, custom, and royal edicts. Since the royal edicts are assumed to coincide with dharma, they take precedence over the other sources of law."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 47

    December 30, 2016

  • "These official orders came from the king of Kroraina to the highest-ranking local official, or cozbo, the equivalent of governor. Assisted by a group of lower officials, the cozbo heard and adjudicated local disputes."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 47

    December 30, 2016

  • historical note in comment on picul and on Turco-Sogdian. Also, following:

    "The eight Sogdian-language letters found by Stein are largely intact. ... the workmen showed him what they had discovered: some colored silks, a wooden case, Chinese documents dating to the early first century CE, a piece of silk with Kharoshthi script on it from before 400 CE, and 'one small roll after another of neatly folded paper containing what was manifestly some Western writing.' The script resembled Aramaic ... Only later was the unfamiliar script identified as Sogdian...."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 116-117


    "Named one of the top ten archaeological discoveries of 2001, the tomb of An Jia is the only tomb of a Sogdian that had not been previously disturbed when archaeologists uncovered it. ... An Jia, as his epitaph reports, was descended from a Sogdian family from Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan) who had migrated to Liangzhou, what is now Wuwei ... An Jia was born in 537 to a Sogdian father and probably a Chinese mother from a local Wuwei family. ..."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 143-144

    December 30, 2016

  • "One wood slip, dated 330, reports that the Sogdians, traders originally from the Samarkand region, presented ten thousand piculs (each picul was approximately 1/2 bushel, or 20 L) of something (the word is missing), most likely of grain, and two hundred coins (qian) to the authorities."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 43

    December 30, 2016

  • "The going was not easy. Stein and his party had to stay on treacherous paths cutting through steep gorges hundreds of feet above icy rivers. They inched along cliff faces by walking on man-made supports, called rafiks, consisting of branches and rock slabs stuck in cracks on the face of the mountains. ... no pack animal could negotiate these torturous trails. After crossing into China at the Mintaka Pass (15,187 feet, or 4,629 m), they proceeded north to Kashgar and form there to Khotan and then Niya."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 30

    December 30, 2016

  • "The first identifiable drawings on the Karakorum Pass, made in the first to third centuries, show a round burial mound, called a stupa, with a ladder reaching up to them. Followers of Buddha, who died circa 400 BCE, walked clockwise around mounds containing his remains. These mounds changed shape over the centuries, becoming taller and more like columns; ultimately they took the form of pagodas in China and Japan. Early Buddhist art did not portray the Buddha, but drawings made in the seventh and eighth centuries depict different scenes in the historical Buddha's life, as well as other buddhas and bodhisattvas, who were believed to have turned back at the moment of attaining nirvana to help their fellow Buddhists still on earth. Zoroastrians, who adhere to the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zarathustra, made other sketches depicting fire altars."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 30

    December 30, 2016

  • Historical note in comment on Kharoshthi.

    December 30, 2016

  • Historical note/explanation can be found in comment on Kroraina.

    December 30, 2016

  • Historical note/explanation can be found in comment on Kroraina.

    December 30, 2016

  • Additional historical note/explanation on Kroraina.


    "Early travelers also left messages and graffiti in two Indic scripts: one thousand in Kharoshthi, the script used at Niya, and four thousand in Brahmi, which replaced Kharoshthi throughout central Asia around 400 CE. The use of Kharoshthi script indicates that many of the travelers came from Gandhara. Since the fourth century BCE, when Alexander of Macedon conquered the Gandhara region, it was home to a cosmopolitan population with roots in Greece, India, and East Asia."
    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 30

    December 30, 2016

  • "The wooden documents from the site and others nearby confirmed the existence of a small oasis kingdom stretching 500 miles (800 km) along the southern Silk Road route--all the way from the site of Niya to the salt lake of Lop Nor in the east. The Kroraina Kingdom flourished from around 200 CE to 400 CE. The native inhabitants spoke a language that was never written down and is totally lost (except for their names as recorded by outsiders).

    "The only reason we know anything about these people is due to the arrival of immigrants from across the mountains to the west--immigrants who did have a writing system, Kharoshthi. They used this script to record land deeds, disputes, official business, and thousands of other important events. The Kharoshthi script is the key unlocking the history of the Kroraina civilization and in particular the lost cities of Niya, where most documents were found, and a site even deeper in the desert, Loulan, that was the capital of Kroraina for part of the kingdom's history. Supplementing these documents are valuable Chinese texts dating from the Han dynasty....


    "The immigrants came from the Gandhara region of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The script they learned to write on wooden documents is the first proof of sustained cultural exchanges on the Silk Road in the late second century. These immigrants gave the kingdom its name, Kroraina; the Chinese name for it was Shanshan."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 26

    December 30, 2016

  • "Even though Buddhist regulations, or vinaya, prescribed celibacy for monks and nuns, many of these Buddhists at Niya married, had children, and lived with their families, not in celibate monastic communities, as is so often thought."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 21

    December 30, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on silk.

    December 30, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on silk.

    December 30, 2016

  • "The Chinese were indeed the first people in the world to make silk, possibly as early as 4000 BCE, if an ivory carving with a silkworm motif on it, from the Hemudu site in Zhejiang, constitutes proof of silk manufacture. According to the Hangzhou Silk Museum, the earliest excavated fragment of silk dates to 3650 BCE and is from Henan Province in central China. Skeptical of such an early date, experts outside of China believe the earliest examples of silk date to 2850-2650 BCE, the time of the Liangzhu culture (3310-2250 BCE) in the lower Yangzi valley.

    "In the first century CE, when the Periplus was written, the Romans did not know how silk was made. Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79) reported that silk cloth had made its way to Rome by the first century. ...

    "China was not the only manufacturer in silk in Pliny's day. As early as 2500 BCE, the ancient Indians wove silk from the wild silk moth, a different species of silkworm than the one the Chinese had domesticated. In contrast, the Indians collected broken cocoons that remained after the silk worms had matured into moths, broken through their cocoons, and flown away. Similarly, in antiquity, the Greek island of Cos in the eastern Aegean produced Coan silk, which was also spun from the broken cocoons of wild silk moths. Early on, the Chinese had learned to boil the cocoons, which killed the silk worms, leaving the cocoons intact and allowing the thread to be removed in long, continuous strands. Even so, Chinese silk cannot always be distinguished from wild silk, and it is possible that Pliny may have described Indian or Coan, not Chinese, silk."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 19

    December 30, 2016

  • "According to the law of the Han dynasty, which drew on even earlier precedents, anyone going through a checkpoint, on land or by water, needed a travel pass, called a guosuo (literally 'passing through a place')."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 17

    December 30, 2016

  • Historical note can be found in comment on paper.

    December 30, 2016

  • See historical note/explanation on Tocharian.

    December 30, 2016

  • See historical note/explanation on Tocharian.

    December 30, 2016

  • "Given the region in which they were used--the northern route of the Taklamakan--it was logical to assume that the two Tocharian languages were share many elements with the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages spoken in the neighboring regions of Iran and India. But the two Tocharian languages turn out to have much more in common with German, Greek, Latin, and Celtic than with any Iranian or Sanskritic languages. ... Adams's tentative phrasing suggests that sometime in the distant past, probably between 3000 and 2000 BCE, the language that would develop into Tocharian A and Tocharian B calved off from the mother language of Proto-Indo-European at a time between when German speakers and when Greek speakers left the Proto-Indo-European population. Given how little we know of ancient migrations, and the risks of using linguistic evidence to reconstruct migrations, we cannot identify a homeland for the ancient speakers of Tocharian before they moved to the Tarim basin. It is also possible that other Indo-European languages more similar to Tocharian A and B were spoken in Central Asia but that no material in these lost languages survives."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 72-73

    "Since the time of Sieg and Siegling (early 20th century), linguists have clarified the relationship between the two languages they called Tocharian A (more accurately called Agnean) and Tocharian B (now recognized to be Kuchean). ... By the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, then, Agnean ahd become almost entirely a written language used exclusively by Buddhists inside monasteries. Surviving Agnean texts display no regional differences, another sign that the language had largely ossified. Outside the monasteries, most of the people living in the region of Yanqi and Tufan were speaking either Chinese or Uighur. ... Kuchean and Agnean differ in important ways. The Kuchean language displays regional variants, the product of evolving use over time in different places, as well as clear stages of development: archaic, classical, late, and colloquial. ... Kuchean was still spoken at a time when Agnean had largely died out, but, after 800, Kuchean also fell from active use."

    ditto, p. 73, 74, 75



    December 30, 2016

  • "In 1890, the British officer Lieutenant Hamilton Bower traveled to Kucha, an oasis on the northern route around the Taklamakan, to investigate a murder. While there, he bought an ancient manuscript consisting of fifty-one leaves of birch bark with writing on them and announced the discovery to the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. Within a few years scholars identified it as a medical text from the fifth century CE, making it the oldest known Sanskrit manuscript in the world by almost one thousand years."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 10

    December 30, 2016

  • "Once across the desert, travelers faced towering peaks separating the Taklamakan from all points west and south. It is here that the earth's largest mountain ranges crash together in a Mardi Gras of snow and ice--the Pamir Knot--where the Himalayas, Tianshan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush meet. Once through, travelers descend west to Samarkand or south toward India."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 10


    "He began his trek in the Indian town of Kashmir. From there he crossed a region with over thirty mountains more than 25,000 feet (7,600 m) tall, the Pamir Knot which includes the treacherous Nanga Parbat, one of the fastest growing mountains on earth, rising 0.28 inches (7 mm) per year.


    "These mountains were formed some fifty million years ago when the continent of India collided with the Eurasian landmass, creating a spiral galaxy of massive peaks radiating clockwise into the Karakorum, Hindu Kush, Pamir, Kunlun, and Himalayan mountain ranges."

    ditto, p. 27

    December 30, 2016

  • "Travel was painfully slow. In 1993 a British officer and explorer named Charles Blackmore led an expedition on foot through the Taklamakan. His men and camels managed to cover 780 miles (1,400 km) across the Taklamakan between Loulan and Merket, southwest of Kashgar, in fifty-nine days, averaging just over 13 miles (21 km) a day. Walking over the dunes in the sandy part of the desert was strenuous, and they did not always make ten miles (16 km) in a day, but walking on the flat pebbled surface, they reached as much as 15 miles (24 km) per day. These rates give a good approximation of what travelers in previous centuries endured."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 9-10

    December 30, 2016

  • "Even with the Chinese military presence, there was no documented traffic between China and Rome during the years of the Roman Empire. Contrary to popular belief, Romans did not exchange gold coins directly for Chinese silk. The earliest Roman gold coins found in China are Byzantine solidus coins, including many imitations. ... They come from tombs dated to the sixth century, long after Emperor Constantine (reigned 312-37 CE) moved the empire's capital to Constantinople."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 9

    December 30, 2016

  • Usage/historical note in comment on Silk Road.

    December 30, 2016

  • "Another common trade item was paper, invented during the second century BCE, and surely a far greater contributor to human history than silk, which was used primarily for garments. Paper moved out of China via these overland routes first into the Islamic world in the eighth century, and then to Europe via its Islamic portals in Sicily and Spain. People north of the Alps made their own paper only in the late fourteenth century."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 5-6


    "... paper was first used as a wrapping material and not for writing. ... Not until four centuries later, in the second century CE, did paper come into widespread use as writing material in China. It took even longer for paper to replace wood and bamboo as the most common writing material along the Silk Road. Because paper was always expensive, people wrote on other materials like leather and tree bark. The documents at Xuanquan consist mostly of wooden slips tied together to form bunches (much like a placemat made from Popsicle sticks).


    "... The scribes at Xuanquan distinguished among different types of wood: they reserved higher-quality pine for the imperial edicts and used poplar and tamarisk, which warped easily, for routine documents and correspondence."

    ditto, p. 15

    December 30, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Silk Road.

    December 30, 2016

  • "Most of what we have learned from these documents debunks the prevailing view of the Silk Road, in the sense that the 'road' was not an actual 'road' but a stretch of shifting, unmarked paths across massive expanses of deserts and mountains. In fact, the quantity of cargo transported along these treacherous routes was small. Yet the Silk Road did actually transform cultures both east and west. ... 'Silk' is even more misleading than 'road,' inasmuch as silk was only one among many Silk Road trade goods. Chemicals, spices, metals, saddles and leather products, glass, and paper were also common. Some cargo manifests list ammonium chloride, used as a flux for metals and to treat leather, as the top trade good on certain routes."

    ... "The term 'Silk Road' is a recent invention. The peoples living along different trade routes did not use it. They referred to the route as the road to Samarkand (or whatever the next major city was), or sometimes just the 'northern' or 'southern' routes around the Taklamakan Desert. Only in 1877 did Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen coin the phrase 'Silk Road.' He was a prominent geographer who worked in China from 1868 to 1872 surveying coal deposits and ports, and then wrote a five-volume atlas that used the term for the first time."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 5 and 6-7

    And: 

    "The Silk Road was one of the least traveled routes in human history and possibly not worth studying--if tonnage carried, traffic, or the number of travelers at any time were the sole measures of a given route's significance.


    "Yet the Silk Road changed history, largely because the people who managed to traverse part or all of the Silk Road planted their cultures like seeds of exotic species carried to distant lands. Thriving in their new homes, they mixed with the peoples already there and often assimilated with other groups who followed. Sites of sustained economic activity, these oasis towns were beacons enticing still others to cross over mountains and move through oceans of sand. While not much of a commercial route, the Silk Road was important historically--this network of routes became the planet's most famous cultural artery for the exchange between east and west of religions, art, languages, and new technologies.

    "... Nothing unusual in the landscape would catch the eye of someone flying overhead. ... No one living on these routes between 200 and 1000 CE, the peak period for the Chinese presence, ever said 'the Silk Road.' 


    "These routes date back to the very origins of humankind. Anyone who could walk was capable of going overland through Central Asia. ... The earliest surviving evidence of trade goods moving across regions comes around 1200 BCE...." (page 235)

    More from the rest of the book: 

    "The evidence at hand makes it clear that Silk Road commerce was largely a local trade, conducted over small distances by peddlers. Technologies, like those to make silk and paper, and religions, like Zoroastrianism and later Islam, moved with migrants, who brought the technologies and religious beliefs of their motherland with them to their new homes, wherever they settled." (p. 139)


    "In 745 the Tang central government sent a payment of fifteen thousand bolts of silk in two installments to a garrison near Dunhuang. ... As the French scholar Éric Trombert astutely remarks, 'One has here a concrete example of two military convoys, each carrying more than 7,000 bolts of silk, that has nothing in common with the images of caravans of private merchants to which we are accustomed.' These individual payments ... are much higher than all the individual transactions recorded in the Turfan documents, which involved at most a few hundred bolts of silk. ... This record affords a rare glimpse of payments sent to the military before the An Lushan rebellion: the Tang government injected massive amounts of money--in the form of woven cloth--straight into the Dunhuang economy." (p. 184)


    "In the Dunhuang economy of the ninth and tenth centuries, locally produced goods circulated in small quantities. Traffic to distant places was limited, commodities of foreign origin rare. The trade had little impact on local residents, who continued to live in a subsistence economy. State-sponsored delegations played a key role in the movement of goods; envoys, including monks, are the one group that was certainly moving from one place to another. This picture of the Silk Road trade matches that given by the excavated materials from the other sites. Rather than trying to explain why the Dunhuang documents do not mention long-distance trade with Rome and other distant points, we should appreciate just how accurate their detailed picture of the Silk Road trade is." (p. 197)


    "While the Silk Road has long been viewed as a highway for a procession of camels led by a merchant in business for himself, the documentary record challenges this impression." (p. 226)

    December 30, 2016

  • "A trio of seventeenth-century naturalists converged on the idea that the solid bodies within rocks were actually remains of once-living organisms. Studying the teeth of a recently killed shark prompted Nicolaus Steno in 1667 to conjecture that the embedded material of fossils was initially liquid. He concluded that the strata in rock formation had once been horizontal to the earth, making its current placement a marker of geological time. ..."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 238

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage/quote in comment on Poinciana pulcherrima.

    December 28, 2016

  • Interesting historical note (and quote) found in comment on Poinciana pulcherrima.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Darwin carried Humboldt's Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions aboard the Beagle. ... The five-volume English translation appeared in 1825, when Darwin was 16. 'My whole course of life,' he subsequently wrote of Humboldt, 'is due to having read and re-read his Personal Narrative as a youth.' ...

    "Humboldt had managed to convey the exhilaration of watching closely as bugs, flowers, birds, and animals pursued their survival strategies with such writing as this: 'What a fabulous and extravagant country we're in ... fantastic plants, electric eels, armadilloes, monkeys, parrots .... What trees! Coconut palms, 50 to 60 feet high; Poinciana pulcherrima with a big bouquet of wonderful crimson flower, pisang and a whole host of trees with enormous leaves and sweet smelling flowers as big as your hand, all utterly new to us. As for the coloring of the birds and fishes--even the crabs are sky-blue and yellow.'"

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 233

    December 28, 2016

  • "Humboldt started using his instruments during the voyage. The faulty knowledge and ignorance about the New World exhilarated him. When the maps of the ship's pilot disagreed with one another, he used his instruments to clarify their position. Humboldt made his outbound voyage a feast of data collecting. Being well-equipped to examine almost anything that fell under his inquisitive gaze, he regularly measured the temperature of the seawater and the intensity of the magnetic force. He took frequent astronomical readings and used his cyanometer, an instrument designed to measure blueness, to observe the color of seawater."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 217

    December 28, 2016

  • "What seems surprising is that after many official Spanish explorations and the French Academy's geodesic expedition of the 1730s, little was still known about the interior of the South American continent. Setting sail from La Coruña, Spain, in the summer of 1799. Humboldt and Bonpland would correct this situation. During the next five years they carried the latest scientific equipment through tropics, rain forests, river basins, and up and up and down Andean peaks, covering almost 10,000 miles. Their brief stop in the Canary Islands on the way there had already disclosed Humboldt's penchant for seeing nature in its manifold relationships from the 'heart soothing song' of the capirote to the 'affinities' that might unite volcanoes like the one at Tenerife with Vesuvius and those in the Cordilleras of Peru and Mexico."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 216-217

    December 28, 2016

  • Joseph Banks "placed botanists on voyages scouring for plants in the Arctic, Brazil, Australasia, the West Indies, and Central America. He had tea plants and hemp shipped from China and, with a keen sense of commercial possibilities, he got hold of the Central American host plant for cochineal, the insect from which crimson dye is extracted. Banks believed that species from one tropical location could grow in another, a proposition that was soon to be tested with initially disastrous consequences."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 202

    December 28, 2016

  • Interesting historical note can be found on Lapérouse.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Louis XVI had been so enthralled reading Cook's <i>Voyages</i> that he sent out a French expedition to explore the Pacific.... Headed by Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, the expedition of 220 men set sail in two ships in 1785. More comprehensive than other expeditions, the proposed circumnavigation of the globe began with stops in Easter Island, Hawaii (the first European visit to Maui), then sailed to Alaska, down the coast of California, and across the Pacific Ocean to Macau, where the French sold the furs they had collected in Alaska. From there Lapérouse took his ship to the Kamchatka peninsula, where he received instructions to visit the new British settlement in Australia.

    "Nothing further was heard from any member of the Lapérouse expedition after its stop at the British colony at New South Wales in January 1788. A rescue was set in motion in 1791, although France was in the middle of a revolution. Not until thirty-five years later did an Irish sea captain sailing in the Solomon Islands find remains of the ships between some coral reefs. Subsequent investigative voyages involving dozens of scientists in 1964, 2005, and 2008 were able to identify Lapérouse's ships. The ill-fated voyage also contains a fascinating 'what might have been.' A sixteen-year-old Corsican cadet named Napoleon Bonaparte applied to join the trip, but failed to make the last cut when the crew was chosen."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 200-201

    December 28, 2016

  • Historical note on William Dampier.

    December 28, 2016

  • Historical note on William Dampier.

    December 28, 2016

  • Historical note on William Dampier.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Dampier was outstanding as both the first three-time circumnavigator of the globe and an adventurous naturalist. His popular travel journals introduced the words "barbecue," "chopsticks," and "avocado" to the English public. Some consider him the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe; others for Samuel Taylore Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.""

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 193

    December 28, 2016

  • "Commerson found many new plant specimens on the trip, including two that would spread to the New World. He rewarded the Bodeuse's captain by giving his name to the gorgeous bougainvillea shrub with blossoms in luscious colors of lavender, coral, magenta, and cream. Commerson also introduced Europeans to the hydrangea, which he found in China."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 191

    December 28, 2016

  • "Commerson's valet on the trip was Jeanne Baré, who dressed in male clothes. When Baré went ashore, the Tahitians gathered around, shouting that she was a woman. How they immediately discerned her sex, which had eluded her French compatriots living in close quarters for almost five months, remains a mystery. Baré told Bougainville that the prospect of going around the world had 'raised her curiosity.' Bougainville dryly commented that once her gender was disclosed, 'it was difficult to prevent the sailors from alarming her modesty,' but Baré completed the trip and became the first female circumnavigator."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 191

    December 28, 2016

  • "Bougainville's ship Bodeuse carried an astronomer aboard along with a well-known botanist, Philibert Commerson. None of them were prudish, so they responded to the Tahitians' easy, sensual living with appreciative delight."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 191

    December 28, 2016

  • "When the English lost an entire fleet just 20 miles off its coast on a foggy night in 1707, the flaws of dead reckoning became painfully conspicuous. The disaster had an even more piquant lesson to teach. The night before the accident, a common seaman approached the fleet's admiral, Cloudesley Shovell, to say that he had been keeping a record of the ship's position and believed that it was off course. The admiral responded to this news with alacrity. He charged the man with mutiny and had him hanged forthwith. The law was on the admiral's side. It quite explicitly forbade 'subversive navigation by an inferior,' confirming once more how officials discountenanced an inquiring spirit.

    "Within twenty-four hours the seaman's figures proved correct. All four ships ran directly into the Scilly Isles. The two thousand soldiers and sailors aboard perished. The admiral, one of two survivors, was murdered by a marauder on the beach, but perhaps not before he had time to contemplate his rectitude in punishing unauthorized ingenuity."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 172

    Long live his name in infamy.

    December 28, 2016

  • "In a poignant coda to the equatorial expedition, the last member arrived back in France in 1773--twenty-eight years after its departure. He was Jean Godin, cousin of the astronomer. He had joined the group as a general helper, scouting marker locations and sending signals for the principal investigators. He learned enough about natural phenomena from the expedition's experts to teach at the College of Quito at the end of the expedition. In 1741 he married the fourteen-year-old daughter of a local notable. After eight years of marriage, he learned of his father's death and decided to go to French Guiana--a trip down the Amazon like La Condamine's--to make arrangements for his family to return to France. Alas, neither the Spanish nor the Portuguese authorities would allow him to pass through their territory to retrieve his wife. Godin was in a quandary. He refused to go to France alone, and he couldn't get back to his wife. One lonely year after another passed--twenty-three in fact--while he pursued a succession of desperate schemes to reunite his family.

    "La Condamine, once back in France, was able to persuade the Portuguese king to help the distraught couple. Eager to please the French, the king sent a naval unit to fetch Isabel Grameson Godin, who had not received any word from Jean in all these years. When she learned that there was a boat waiting for her on the Amazon, she decided that she would meet it halfway. Her father and brothers did everything they could to dissuade her from taking such a dangerous trip. Unsuccessful in this effort, they joined her for what became a truly horrible journey. A succession of disasters killed all of her relatives, leaving her to wander alone through the snake-infested tropics for weeks.

    "People were more patient in those days. The ship captain sent to give Isabel passage to French Guiana waited for two years on the river. Two Indian couples rescued her and guided her to him. Jean described Isabel's truly remarkable survival and their joyous reunion in a lengthy letter to La Condamine, who received it as he was busy preparing a new edition of his Relation abregee. Always eager to usher a dramatic narrative into print, he added Jean Godin's letter to his text, giving the public a thrilling romance to add to their memories of these two stunning expeditions."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 169-170

    December 28, 2016

  • "When the French Academy of Sciences took up the task of making an accurate map of France, they were helped by Galileo's pioneering work that had turned the moons of Jupiter into a celestial timepiece through calculations involving triangulating from a baseline on earth. To achieve stability for the baseline for the French map, workers cut varnished wooden rods for the seven-mile distance between Paris and Fontainebleau. It took them two years to determine that a degree ran for 69.1 miles, a figure that still stands. Their findings led to surprising results with some cities relocated 100 miles away from their old cartographical positions. France, it seemed, had shrunk, causing Louis XIV, the project's funder to exclaim that the effort had cost him 'a major portion of my realm.' Accuracy had its price."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 171

    December 28, 2016

  • "On a side trip, La Condamine found the caoutchouc tree that produced the resin that Indians used for waterproofing, later called rubber. He also discovered an unusual metal that Indians used for their jewelry, later determined to be platinum...."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 168

    Marginally more info on La Condamine and polyglot.

    December 28, 2016

  • More info in comment on polyglot and caoutchouc, and a really cool story on Jean Godin.

    December 28, 2016

  • Information in comment on polyglot.

    December 28, 2016

  • "The sixteen months that it took to measure the length of a degree along a polar meridian hardly compares with the six years those who went to the equator spent in the Andes, but it was no picnic either. Maupertuis's team had to ferry themselves and their equipment up and down mountains and by way of rivers whose cataracts forced them into lengthy portages. Like the La Condamine party, Maupertuis's also relied on the labor of the local people, in this case a contingent of Finnish peasants in the Swedish army. Testimony to the polyglot world of eighteenth-century Europe, the group even included a translator who spoke Finnish, Latin, Swedish, and French."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 166

    This may sound amazing only to a 21st-century American...

    December 28, 2016

  • "Consistent with his criticism of the Linnaean system, Buffon disdained microscopic studies. He obviously believed in the Latin motto aquila non capit muscos (eagles don't catch flies), saying that only lesser men should occupy themselves with little things."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 155

    December 28, 2016

  • "A great many mysteries about natural phenomena remained to be solved in the eighteenth century, and confusion still reigned over the precise shape of the globe. It was so important that studying it had a word all its own--geodesy. Creating uncertainty about something as basic as the shape of the earth made the ground upon which Europeans stood no longer seem quite as solid as it had before the shape became a contested issue."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 160

    December 28, 2016

  • "If it is true that one should not, as Mark Twain noted, make an enemy of a man who buys his ink in gallons, it is even truer that one should not provoke someone who is in the business of naming members of the plant kingdom. Linnaeus named a common weed--the siegesbeckia--for an unlucky critic, Johan Siegesbeck. ...

    In happier examples than siegesbeckia, he named plants after famous contemporaries, hoping to entice Europe's most important botanists and zoologists into adopting his classification system."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 143

    December 28, 2016

  • "The Uppsala Science Society sent Linnaeus, just turning twenty-five, to Lapland to study its flora and fauna.... Many of Linnaeus's idiosyncratic qualities can be viewed through the lens of this excursion. ...

    "Back in Uppsala, Linnaeus was still poor and still intent on a medical degree. He proceeded to the University of Harderwijk in the Netherlands, something of a mail-order outfit, whose moderate fees and low standards appealed to him. The whole of medical science in the eighteenth century, it has been said, could be grasped by a quick student in eight days. Linnaeus earned his degree in less than a fortnight with a thesis on the cause of intermittent fevers in malaria. In this short time he defended the thesis, passed an oral exam, diagnosed a patient, and supervised the printing of his notes!"

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 140

    Another interesting tidbit can be found on siegesbeckia.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Another medical man, Jose Celestino Mutis, left his native Spain in 1760 to go to South America as the private physician of the new viceroy of New Granada. Already fascinated by herbal medicine, Mutis made a study of chinchona, the source of the quinine that Amerindians used to treat fevers. Seeing the great scope for studying botany in the New World, he proposed a royal expedition to collect specimens. Although he had to wait two decades for its authorization, Mutis was able to spend the remaining twenty-five years of his life in an exploration of some 5,000 square miles encompassing tropical, plateau, and mountainous areas. When Alexander Humboldt visited him in Bogota in 1801, Mutis had thirty artists who had been working for years painting his twenty thousand specimens."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 150

    December 28, 2016

  • See interesting historical context on Parmentier.

    December 28, 2016

  • "The potato needed more than Royal Society support to gain popularity. Rumors arose that its tubers spread leprosy or, more pleasantly, were an aphrodisiac. Its amazing yield recommended potatoes to King Frederick the Great of Prussia, who ordered his people to plant them during the famine of 1744, but it was Antoine-Augustin Parmentier who finally delivered the tuber from suspicion. Forced to eat nothing but potatoes while a Prussian prisoner during the Seven Years' War, he became an advocate of the despised vegetable. When he returned to his vocation as a pharmacist in Paris, Parmentier mounted one of the world's most successful advertising campaigns. He put security guards around his potato plot, then removed them when he thought he had sufficiently intimated their value to potential (and hungry) thieves. He entertained guests with all-potato menus. Thomas Jefferson, then the United States foreign minister to France, supposedly brought back the recipe for French fries, which he served over the next decade at the White House."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 125-126

    December 28, 2016

  • Hi sionnach. I echo your sentiments of god knows when since there aren't even dates on things anymore... But I've been adding a whole pile of words and usages myself. In case anyone visits again. (*sniff*)

    December 28, 2016

  • Brief story of John Tradescant sr. and jr. can be found in comments on connoisseur.

    December 28, 2016

  • Brief story of its origins can be found on connoisseur.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Often the agents of the wealthy, connoisseurs acquired both taste and knowledge through personal experience. They turned their 'eye' for quality into an asset. Two generations of Tradescants in England established one of the great agglomerations of wondrous objects in all of Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century. Using connections with a handful of great noblemen, the senior John Tradescant acted as the indefatigable scout and purchasing agent for several aristocratic patrons. He designed both gardens and cabinets of curiosities for his clients and in the process got to keep duplicates given to him.

    "Tradescant aimed at a comprehensiveness of both objects and global regions, and he passed on this obsession to his son. When John Jr. sought to prepare a catalog for the family museum, he got caught in the toils of a wily lawyer, Elias Ashmole. Ashmole wanted to perpetuate his own fame in a gift to Oxford, so he took possession of the collection after his client's death. The Ashmolean Museum is a living testament to the Tradescants' avidity for the rare and beautiful, whether a bird of paradise shrub or the wondrous dodo bird that could not fly."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 122-123

    December 28, 2016

  • "A self-taught scientist, the Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek came to science by way of a fascination with magnification. He was reared for the linen trade, where the regular inspection of cloths involved the use of a simple device that could enlarge the view of the thread three times. This instrument captured his imagination. From the ages of twenty to forty he experimented with spinning thin threads of glass under heat and made dozens of devices framing tiny glass beads in copper casing. His microscopes finally achieved magnification to the power of a thousand. Leewenhoek never disclosed his ingenious technique, so no one succeeded in duplicating it in his lifetime, but he let others see his world of invisible phenomena if they shared in his search for the truth about God's creations."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 114

    December 28, 2016

  • On the earliest connection between vitamin C and scurvy, see usage note on Melchisedech Thevenot.

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage note can be found on Melchisedech Thevenot.

    December 28, 2016

  • "Swammerdam corresponded with another naturalist, Melchisedech Thevenot, who was also putting his boundless curiosity, unflagging energy, and generous fortune to the cause of science. ... His studies resulted in Relations de divers voyages curieux. Published between 1663 and 1672, the four volumes presented a compendium of travel accounts that he had gathered and translated. ... As a patron of science, Thevenot helped found the French Academy of Sciences. His popular work on the art of swimming reached across the Atlantic in the next century to prompt a young Benjamin Franklin to become a lifelong swimmer. Thevenot recommended the use of lemon juice to counteract scurvy and introduced ipecac as an emetic for dysentery. His invention of the bubble level became a boon to carpenters, bricklayers, stonemasons, surveyors, and anyone else who wants to level a surface."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 112-113

    December 28, 2016

  • "Leiden native Jan Swammerdam began as an amateur collector of coins, fossils, and insects. After receiving his medical degree in 1667, he traveled through Europe in pursuit of specimens to slake his appetite for information about bugs. In the next seven years Swammerdam published three volumes on his research, challenging Aristotle's claim that insects were too beneath one's dignity to merit the study one might bestow on fish or snakes. Swammerdam felt differently and conducted experiments to show the similarities between the development of insects and other animals. He proved that insects like caterpillars and butterflies didn't undergo a change of type but rather proceeded through different life stages from larvae to mature insects. The reproductive processes of the honeybee eluded him, but he managed to locate them in wasps, ants, dragonflies, snails, worms, and butterflies.


    "What was even more important... was Swammerdam's use of the microscope in dissections and his experiments with frogs. He demonstrated how the brain worked through the nerves to move muscles. Swammerdam also had a talent for creating ingenious techniques, as when he injected wax into blood vessels to make them visible.... Many of his methods remained standard well into the next century."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 112

    December 28, 2016

  • "Blue jays, woodpeckers, hawks, crested curassows, and eagles had made the return voyage across the Atlantic with the earliest explorers."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 111

    December 28, 2016

  • "Until 1520, those who knew anything about the New World still thought it a part of Asia, so the pioneer ornithologist Pierre Belon gave both the duck and the turkey Asian origins. He reproduced drawings of the 'Muscovy' duck and described the turkey as from India, or 'd'Inde,' from which came dinde, the French word for turkey."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 111

    December 28, 2016

  • "With a kind of intellectual alchemy, relics that were once considered rubbish became precious collectibles. As traveling became more popular in the seventeenth century, going to see collections open to visitors became an integral part of travelers' itineraries. One enthusiast covering the breadth of Western Europe located 968 collections of antiquities alone. ... Bestiaries, herbariums, and lapidary exhibits abounded."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 100

    December 28, 2016

  • "In the seventeenth century there was a sharp increase in plantings of such novelties as sunflowers, nasturtiums, morning glories, passionflowers, dahlias, and petunias because horticultural enthusiasts now outnumbered the physicians and apothecaries who had dominated gardening before."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 109-110

    Interesting, since women were the ones who kept most gardens "before," but as in the culinary arts, where women do most of the cooking in the world, they are not considered chefs, so it is in this field, it seems.

    December 28, 2016

  • "When Tunisian traders on the Malabar Coast asked Vasco da Gama's sailors what had brought them so far, they replied 'Christians and spices.'"

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 96

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage note can be found on Richard Hakluyt.

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage note can be found on Richard Hakluyt.

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage note can be found on Richard Hakluyt.

    December 28, 2016

  • Usage note can be found on latex.

    December 28, 2016

  • "The Aztec athletes whom Cortes brought back to Spain played a very ancient kind of soccer, called Ulama, before the court at Seville. More amazing than their prowess at the sport were the rubber balls they used, for Europeans had only hollow balls made of leather. ... The Amerindians had been extracting latex from rubber trees for hundreds of years, perfecting a product that could be used to waterproof clothing as well as create bouncing balls."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 99

    December 28, 2016

  • "An interest in explorations, nurtured by their close cousins--geography, ethnography, botany, and zoology--acted like a magnet for new associations. Common interests cemented personal relationships, often maintained through correspondence. Books and letters linked enthusiasts across national borders. Like the humanists, bound by a love of ancient texts, those following the voyages of discovery introduced something new to European society: affinity groups. These avid readers formed a Republic of Letters in a world of monarchies."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 76

    December 28, 2016

  • "Chronicles of explorations, travel accounts, and maps had a chance to reach educated people throughout Europe because publishing had become a commercial and cultural phenomenon of growing importance in the sixteenth century. What appears remarkable in hindsight is the success of four extraordinary men who made careers out of publicizing the voyages of discovery. They were Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Theodor de Bry, and Richard Hakluyt--two Italians, a Ducthman, and an Englishman. Martyr published his magnum opus, De Orbo Novo, in 1519, and Hakluyt's The Principall Navigations appeared in 1589."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 74

    December 28, 2016

  • "Printing facilitated the preservation of records at the same time that it lured countless men and women to take up the challenge of writing about what they knew, observed, and experienced. It even allowed some erudite authors, like Erasmus, to earn enough from their publications to free themselves from patrons. The professional writer had arrived."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 74

    December 28, 2016

  • "To formulate his map Mercator used projections that retained key relationships for navigators while minimizing the distortions of flattening a curved object. Still used today, his maps played an important role in the subsequent navigations of the world's oceans and marked the passage of the center of mapmaking from Italy to the Netherlands. Mercator dropped Ptolomaic maps as a cartographic foundation, liberating mapmakers to build on information from contemporary explorations."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 67

    December 28, 2016

  • "Magellan's circumnavigation added the west coast of South America and the island clusters scattered across the Pacific to the places coming under observation. Officials in Seville gave one cartographer, Diego Ribeiro, access to the master records of discoveries from which he produced, in 1527, a beautiful map tracking the Victoria, the lone ship from Magellan's fleet that successfully completed the route he had laid out. Kept as a state secret, Ribeiro's map served as the template for the maps used for navigation by all Spanish vessels. Experts now consider it the first truly scientific world map. Still, no map fully evoked the vastness of the ocean until well into the seventeenth century."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 66-67

    December 28, 2016

  • "For both Columbus and Magellan writers played a critical role in sustaining their rightful place in history."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 66

    December 28, 2016

  • "Another great source of geographic knowledge came from portolans, sailing directions with charts and descriptions of harbors, designed for mariners. Starting in the middle of the fifteenth century, charts in the portolan tradition displayed the progressive stages of discovery from Cape Bojador on the west coast of Africa to China and from Labrador to the Straits of Magellan. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, cartographers could accurately draw the full outline of Africa. For southern Asia, they went as far as the Bay of Bengal. Portolan maps improved with each iteration, which was not true of printed maps based on Ptolemy."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 65

    December 28, 2016

  • "A witness described the eighteen survivors of the earth's first circumnavigation as wan and skinny; their boat having more holes than a sieve. When the Victoria arrived in Spain, its hold contained twenty-six tons of cloves, nutmegs, and cinnamon. Sold in Antwerp a year later, the returns covered the entire cost of the expedition plus a 6 percent profit."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 56

    December 28, 2016

  • "A witness described the eighteen survivors of the earth's first circumnavigation as wan and skinny; their boat having more holes than a sieve. When the Victoria arrived in Spain, its hold contained twenty-six tons of cloves, nutmegs, and cinnamon. Sold in Antwerp a year later, the returns covered the entire costs of the expedition plus a 6 percent profit."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 56

    December 28, 2016

  • "The nutmeg tree he compared to walnut trees, its fruit the same color and size as a quince. The brilliant red spice, he noted, 'is wrapped around the rind of the nut, and within that is the nutmeg.' ... Thus he was able to domesticate with comparisons these most exotic of all commodities for his European readers."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 55

    December 28, 2016

  • "The ever-nosy Pigafetta found roaming around Tidore a delight. At several of the stops, he sought out the plants that produced the wonderful spices and lovingly described them. The clove tree he depicted as tall and 'thick as a man's body' with leaves like those of the laurel, the cloves themselves growing at the end of twigs, ten or twenty to a cluster. 'When the cloves sprout they are white when ripe, red and when dried, black.' He went on to explain that those trees 'grow only in the mountains. ... No cloves are grown in the world except in the five mountains of those five islands."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 55

    December 28, 2016

  • "A French monk at the abbey of Ligugé argued that the rules developed for Eastern ascetics did not apply with the same force to a Frenchman, because, well, the French are different: 'That a Cyrenean can bear to eat nothing but cooked herbs and barley bread is because nature and necessity have accustomed him to eating nothing.' What was true of an Eastern eremite did not suit French conditions: 'We Gauls, we cannot live like angels.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 278

    December 6, 2016

  • "Having summarized the historically Spartan diet of the monks, Udalric of Cluny proceeds to tell of the apocrisarius, the treasure keeper, charged with supplying the monks 'if he can lay his hands on the ingredients, with well-peppered fishes, and piment.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 276

    December 6, 2016

  • "When Suger of Saint-Denis lay dying of malaria in 1137, he summoned the monks and decreed two pittances* of spiced wine, plus wheat and wine for the poor.

    *The original sense of a pittance was a bequest to a religious house, whence it came to designate a small dietary allowance to the monks. The sense here is of modest sufficiency."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 276

    December 6, 2016

  • What a name. See chrism.

    December 6, 2016

  • "To this day the Russian Church uses spices in its chrism. Over the course of Holy Week, the Moscow patriarchate prepares a year's supply, during which time a blend of oil, wine, flowers, and spices is stirred, boiled, and reduced, during the last three days to the accompaniment of nonstop gospel readings. There is no strict definition of the ingredients, but a typical mix is still built around the Exodus template of olive oil, cinnamon, and cassia, with the addition of other spices such as cloves, ginger, and cardamom. When the chrism is ready, it is blessed by the patriarch, poured into consecrated vessels, then distributed to dioceses around the country. Authority for the use of the spices stretches back to the time of Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, signifying 'the grace-giving aroma of the variegated gifts of the Holy Spirit.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 262-263

    December 6, 2016

  • "Beginning with Pepin's coronation, the Carolingian ritual of royal anointing self-consciously followed Old Testament coronation accounts, in which the holiness of the oil was integral to the symbolism of the ritual, conferring on God's anointed the stature of king and priest, his robes 'fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.' While the associations were sacred, the need was political. The problem was particularly pressing for the Carolingians, who despite holding effective power as mayors of the palace were constrained to recognize the divine right of the last surviving member of the Merovingian dynasty, an imbecile driven around in an oxcart. The solution was provided by the Church by anointing with the chrism, thereby confirming Pepin's legitimacy as both king and priest, more than a merely secular ruler."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 260

    December 6, 2016

  • Lots of historical notes/usages on spice trade. Also see comment on Sassanids.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Sassanids.

    December 6, 2016

  • "Midway through the sixth century, the Persian dynasty of the Sasanids (alternate spelling) closed the trade routes and entrepôts to Byzantine traders, forcing them to buy from the Persian state at exorbitant prices. In 575, the Persians shored up the last remaining gap in their monopoly with the conquest and annexation of the then-Christian kingdom of the Yemen, where the Romans had acquired the spices and incense used across Christendom. The East was now closed to the West."


    "... A more lasting defeat came in 642, when the Sasanids were utterly vanquished by the unstoppable armies of Islam and the spice routes passed under Islamic control. For the next thousand years, Christians relied on Jews and Muslims to supply aromas for their worship."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 258 and 259

    December 6, 2016

  • "The Constantinian basilica of Saint Peter's, the church to which the emperor donated the largest amount of spices, was entered via an atrium that was itself called Paradise,* enclosing a garden with fountains: a scaled-down version of the real thing. And if garden, waters, and enclosure of Paradise were imitated, why not its smell?

    *The word derives from the Persian, via Greek, meaning 'enclosure.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 258

    December 6, 2016

  • "Mark Pendergrast concluded his history of Coca-Cola with a leaked copy of the formula of the world's most popular and symbolic soft drink, which is, it would seem, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Earlier leaks fo the formula, while differing among themselves, suggest the same. If Pendergrast's source can be trusted, it would seem that spices remain as much the flavor of the age as they have ever been, albeit in disguise, hidden away int he basement of Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 310

    December 6, 2016

  • "For the sake of spices East and West had an ancient relationship. In light of the appearance of spices in the most remote periods, it is a reasonable possibility that it was because of spices that they first met. Yet so thoroughly implanted is the sense of the otherness of spices that native Mediterranean aromatics such as cumin, coriander, saffron, and fennel have come to be associated more with the cuisine of the countries that adopted them than with the lands of their origin--a reminder that the cultural traffic that traveled along the spice routes went both ways. ... Today, when spices are making a comeback ... it is often claimed that spices were introduced with the great wave of migration from the former colonies. It is a claim that would have startled the first Europeans who went to Asia, particularly since it was spice that lured many of them there."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 305-6

    December 6, 2016

  • see also comments on spice trade.

    December 6, 2016

  • "In the early days, Europe's pioneers in the East had little choice but to assimilate, Portuguese, Dutch, and English alike eating Indian food and developing their own fusion cuisine, of which vindaloo is perhaps the classic example.* Whereas in the days of the Raj there evolved a parallel white man's cuisine, the dreadful white and brown sauces that still linger on in some of India's wealthy households and boarding schools....

    *The name derives from the Portuguese for 'wine' (vinho) and 'garlic' (d'alho): wine and garlic sauce. The dish is effectively Portuguese India on a plate, the pork and vinegar of Europe married with the ginger and cardamom of India."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 305

    December 6, 2016

  • "One of the most interesting and unexpected survivals" of medieval cookery "lives on in Mexico's mole poblano, a fusion of American ingredients with the flavors of medieval Spain: turkey, chocolate, vanilla, and chilies married with almonds, cloves, and cinnamon. ... It is as though the tastes of Montezuma and the Catholic kings meet on the plate."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 303-4

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on spices but since that has so many comments, I'll just put it here too for convenience:

    "Spices hung on in isolated pockets, but they were not what they had once been. Today the astute culinary archaeologist can still find such relics as spiced bread in Devon, and further north there is a plethora of richly spiced puddings--Scotland's national dish, the spicy haggis, is essentially a medieval pudding. Scandinavia and the Baltic have preserved several remnants of medieval cooking, largely in biscuits, breads, cakes, and liqueurs...."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 303

    December 6, 2016

  • "Spices hung on in isolated pockets, but they were not what they had once been. Today the astute culinary archaeologist can still find such relics as spiced bread in Devon, and further north there is a plethora of richly spiced puddings--Scotland's national dish, the spicy haggis, is essentially a medieval pudding. Scandinavia and the Baltic have preserved several remnants of medieval cooking, largely in biscuits, breads, cakes, and liqueurs...."

    and... "... it was only with Pasteur's discovery of the microbe that the old fallacy of bad air was finally taken out of the equation. With the advance of empirical methods of medicine, subject to verification, humoral theory was dealt a deadly blow. Smells and miasmas, the invisible death-dealing airs that had hung over medical thought since antiquity, were dismissed as fallacious. As bad air and humoral theory were on the way out, with them went spices. ... By the start of the eighteenth century, the divorce between the physicians and apothecaries, descendants of the medieval spicers, was already well advanced...."

    and... "With irrelevance came innocence. The sense of spices' latent temptations, long framed in the medieval moral matrix of gluttony, lust, avarice, and worldliness, was downgraded to strictly individual issues of personal consumption. Falling costs and widespread availability would combine to strip spices of their symbolism.... In the modern world it tends to be the poor, not the rich, who eat spices."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 303, 307, and 309

    December 6, 2016

  • "There was no small irony in the fact that the Protestant powers were also the leaders in the spice trade. In the seventeenth-century Netherlands, even as the VOC brought back cargoes of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, Calvinist preachers railed against the corrupting influence of Eastern spices and their redolence of pagan sensualism. In Cromwell's England, propagandists took aim at seasonings along with bear baiting and theaters. ... The Commonwealth soon faltered, but its legacy in the kitchen endured long afterward.... Spices hung on in isolated pockets, but they were not what they had once been."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 303

    December 6, 2016

  • "With the Renaissance there was a reordering of the cosmos along less theological, less allegorical lines, with the result that spices lost their symbolism, their ancient significance of health and holiness. ... Meanwhile, the conspicuous outlets for consumption were increasingly channeled away from the table, to jewelry, music, houses, art, and carriages. The modern dinner was a more private affair than its medieval predecessor."


    and... "The age of the emergent nation-state was also the age of national cuisines, none of which had much room for spice. ... In the cookbooks of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, elaboration and costliness make way for economy and practicality. In Hannah Glasse's <i>Art of Cookery</i> of 1747, for nearly a hundred years the most popular cookbook in the Anglophone world, the use of spices is strictly limited. Pepper survives in much the same role as it has today, no longer the central element as in medieval black pepper sauces. Across the Atlantic, the trend was much the same. There were relics: galantine survived, now transformed from the original spicy sauce into a jelly. The general trend was to relegate spices to desserts such as mince pies and puddings. Which is where, until very recently, they remained."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 301, 302

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on tobacco.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on tobacco.

    December 6, 2016

  • "The chili was only one of several new stimulants competing for attention. A craving for tobacco swept the world in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with coffee and tea following not far behind. Although sugar had been known in the Middle Ages (classed, incidentally, as a spice and used largely for medical purposes), its consumption began to increase dramatically from the sixteenth century on. Late in the century, sugar began to be mass-produced in Brazil and somewhat later in the West Indies, the apparent result a general sweetening of the Western palate, an upward curve that has continued, much to the cost of our teeth and the profit of our dentists, to this day. The carousing cavaliers of the great Dutch artists endured a dental hell. Sugar had something of the glamour and forbidden attraction formerly reserved to spices, and its air of dangerous newness probably did no harm to its attraction."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 300

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on chili.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on chili.

    December 6, 2016

  • Another usage/historical note can be found on chili.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note (unfortunately capitalized) can be found on chili.

    December 6, 2016

  • "... After Columbus first returned with a sample, the plant spread so fast around the world that many Europeans assumed it was of Asian origin. Paprika put down roots from Spain to Hungary. Pepper, for which there had long been no substitute, could now be outgunned."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 300

    December 6, 2016

  • "It is probably no coincidence that this fall from favor occurred just at the time when spices had to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The world was getting smaller, and its bounty was coming to the dinner table. The advent of potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and peppers created new possibilities for cooks, at the same time lessening the workload of spices. American chili was both cheaper and stronger than pepper, and it could be grown practically anywhere...."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 300

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on aristolochies.

    December 6, 2016

  • "Eventually the nuns consulted a learned theologican, who tried an aromatic fumigation:

    'A new vessel, made of glass-like earth, was accordingly brought in, and filled with sweet cane, cubeb seed, roots of both aristolochies, great and small cardamom, ginger, long pepper, caryophylleae (gillyflowers), cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmegs, calamite, storax, benzoin, aloes-wood and roots, one ounce of triapandalis (a mix of various types of sandalwood), and three pounds of half brandy and water; the vessel was then set on hot ashes in order to distil the fumigating vapour, and the cell was kept closed....'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 256-57

    December 6, 2016

  • "On the site where Saint Peter's Basilica now stands, then occupied by an older church built by Constantine and his mother, Helena, the emperor donated a small tonnage of sacred equipment: gold, bronze, and porphyry, candelabra and gifts from the Eastern Church consisting of 225 pounds of balsam, 800 pounds of oil of nard, 650 pounds of unspecified aromatics, 50 corn measures of pepper, 50 pounds of cloves, 100 pounds of saffron, and 100 pounds of fine linen... In total, the emperor donated a staggering 150 pounds of cloves to various churches.... Either way these spices were evidently Church equipment; they were not there to be eaten, no more than the candelabras or censers with which they are grouped. To all appearances we are very close here to customs excoriated by earlier writers, not far from the cinnamon stored in a golden dish in a pagan temple on the Palatine or the dedication of cinnamon to Apollo at Miletus by King Seleucus. A little over one hundred years after Tertullian had railed against the sweet, demon-attracting bait, and within living memory of a time when martyrs had chosen death ahead of burning incense, God had reacquired his nostrils. Who had converted whom?"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 250

    December 6, 2016

  • "During the persecutions of the emperors Decius in 249-251 and Diocletian in 303-304, believers were identified and offered a chance to recant by sacrificing, offering a libation, or burning incense before an image of the emperor. On doing so, they were granted the appropriate certificate; if not, they were promptly executed (many Christians seem to have survived the persecutions by bribing corrupt officials). Those Christians who elected idolatry over martyrdom were sneeringly called the 'Turifurcati,' or incense burners. To Saint Jerome (ca. 347-419/420) the tag was a form of shorthand for the weak or vacillating Christian who was unwilling to die for his faith."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 247

    December 6, 2016

  • "Like Judaism, Islam emerged in conflict with a pagan universe, and the aromas that had once played such a part in pagan worship were expunged.... Within the Prophet's lifetime spices effectively disappeared from Arabian religion. No other major religion is so thoroughly devoid of aromatics or physical offerings.*

    *Although spices played no direct role in Muslim worship, medieval Islamic scholars produced perhaps the most poetic version of their origins. According to the great Islamic scholar at-Tabarî (ca. 839-923) and the Arab geographers who followed him, on Adam's expulsion from Paradise he was overcome by remorse and wept with grief. From his bitter tears sprang gems and spices, the medicines and consolation for mankind after the fall."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 246 and 246n

    December 6, 2016

  • "At the Mycenaean palace complex of Pylos, built sometime around 1300 B.C. and destroyed around 1100 B.C.--the era generally identified with the Trojan War--archaeologists found that no less than 15 percent of the clay tablets recording the palace inventories dealt with various herbs and aromatics. When the language of the tablets was deciphered and found to be an early form of Greek, the names of numerous aromatics emerged. Coriander was there, easily recognizable as ko-ri-a-da-na. Tablets from the contemporary palace complex at Mycenae, according to legend the home of King Agamemnon, Helen's brother-in-law, contain cumin (ku-mi-no) and sesame (sa-sa-ma), both words of Semitic origin."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 240

    December 6, 2016

  • "... the reliefs offer at the very least a clue as to why ... spices were so valued as to warrant a trade over such vast distances.* For a culture accustomed to thinking of trade in terms of profit, and of spices as mere seasonings, it is a reminder of how easily our assumptions glide into a past where they don't belong. The first identifiable impulse for maritime contact between Egypt and the world beyond, by any measure one of the defining moments in global history, appears to have come not from gourmets but from the gods."

    *Some scholars have long argued that not only this trade but all trade first existed in order to serve sacred purposes. When the word for 'merchant' first appeared in Mesopotamian texts of the second millennium B.C., it carried sacred associations, designating 'the official of a temple privileged to trade abroad.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 239, 239n, 240

    December 6, 2016

  • "... the reliefs offer at the very least a clue as to why ... spices were so valued as to warrant a trade over such vast distances.* For a culture accustomed to thinking of trade in terms of profit, and of spices as mere seasonings, it is a reminder of how easily our assumptions glide into a past where they don't belong. The first identifiable impulse for maritime contact between Egypt and the world beyond, by any measure one of the defining moments in global history, appears to have come not from gourmets but from the gods."

    *Some scholars have long argued that not only this trade but all trade first existed in order to serve sacred purposes. When the word for 'merchant' first appeared in Mesopotamian texts of the second millennium B.C., it carried sacred associations, designating 'the official of a temple privileged to trade abroad.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 239, 239n, 240

    December 6, 2016

  • "In the words of the accompanying inscription, these intrepid ancient mariners" (on history's first recorded merchant fleet between 2491 and 2477 B.C.) "brought back to the Nile 'all goodly fragrant woods of God's-Land, heaps of myrrh resin, with fresh myrrh trees, with ebony, and pure ivory, with green gold of Emu, with cinnamon wood, kheyst wood, with ihmut-incense, sonter-incense, eye-cosmetic, with apes, monkeys, dogs, and with skins of the southern panther, with natives and their children.'"
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 238

    December 6, 2016

  • "... the Egyptians themselves were scarcely any clearer on the source of their aromatics, a semimythical land they knew as 'Punt.' Located somewhere on the southern shores of the Red Sea, Punt was supplier to the temples and god-kings of the Nile for well over two thousand years. The earliest recorded expedition took place in the time of the pharoah Sahure, ruler from 2491 to 2477 B.C., although a slave from Punt appears in the court of Cheops (ca. 2589-2566 B.C.), builder of the great pyramid at Giza. For the sake of its aromatics, Punt was the destination of history's first recorded merchant fleet, a representation of which is still to be seen jinking an angular course around the walls of the temple of Deir al-Bahri, carved there by order of the female pharoah Hatshepsut around 1495 B.C. The reliefs depict a fleet of five ships, complete with sailors climbing aloft, teams of rowers, and steersmen fore and aft, navigating through a sea populated by giant squid and enormous fish. ... Modern scholarship generally concurs in situating Punt somewhere in the vicinity of modern Somalia, a voyage of some two thousand miles southward through the treacherous, reef-bound waters of the Red Sea."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 238

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Shezmou.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Shezmou.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Shezmou.

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Shezmou.

    December 6, 2016

  • "To the Egyptians, moreover, incense not only was pleasing to the gods but also came from the gods. Dating from much the same time is the famous manuscript of the Shipwrecked Sailor, a briny yarn of a castaway lost in the 'land of incense'--Arabia? Somalia?--where he is confronted by a terrifying serpent god who threatens to burn him to ashes. To appease his wrath, the terrified sailor offers the god a range of unidentifiable aromatics: 'I will cause ibi, hekenu, iudeneb, and khesait to be brought to thee, and incense of the temples, wherewith every god is content,' pleads the terrified sailor. But his offer is a case of coals to Newcastle, the god replying with a laugh that it is he who made them. So central were these notions to the Egyptian concept of worship that there was a professional class whose job it was to prepare the sacred oils and unguents. Among the bewildering, animal-headed pantheon of the Egyptians there was even a god of perfumers, Shezmou."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 237

    December 6, 2016

  • "... Burning incense releases chemicals similar to human steroids that are thought to play a role in human sexual behavior. If so, something along these lines might contribute to a sense of emotional uplift, a feeling of exhilaration amenable to mild religious transport. Less contentiously, perhaps, there is a consensus that smell disrupts and stimulates the conventional workings of the mind: certain aromas have powers of association that can bend perceptions of time and place. As Rousseau observed, smell is the sense of memory and desire, and such evocative powers are arguably not entirely removed from the experience of religious transport. Smell is as ineffable and elusive as the gods themselves, wafting beyond the reach of the rational intellect."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 234

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on sacrament.

    December 6, 2016

  • "Thyme takes its name from the Greek verb 'to sacrifice' or 'to make a burnt offering.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 233

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on sacrament.

    December 6, 2016

  • Historical/usage note on sacrament.

    December 6, 2016

  • "... not only spices but many other Mediterranean aromatics served as sacraments before they were seasonings. Saffron, fennel, and coriander all appear in a sacred setting long before there are records of their secular use. Thyme takes its name from the Greek verb 'to sacrifice' or 'to make a burnt offering.' Writing in the fourth century B.C., Theophrastus believed that spices followed incense and locally available herbs to the altar and censer, and no one has been able to come up with a better explanation since. The Egyptians and other cultures of the ancient Near East made use of Arabian and Levantine aromatics such as frankincense, myrrh, balsam, and terebinth* since at least the third millennium B.C. The name of the principal Phoenician deity, Baal Hammon, means 'lord of the perfume altar'; a Sumerian incense stand dating to about 2500 B.C. is shaped in the form of a priest with incense on his head. Throughout the temples and shrines of the ancient Mediterranean the effect of smell was understood more in spiritual than in aesthetic terms. A sweet smell was a form of 'inarticulate prayer.'

    * Terebinth is obtained from Pistacia terebinthus, a tree widespread in the Near East, and the source of Chian turpentine."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 233-34

    December 6, 2016

  • "Sailors and travelers carried portable incense burners known as thymiateria, often shaped in the form of figurines with a concave top; examples have been recovered from the wreck of the Lion Ship, excavated from the silt of Pisa harbor, where it sank early int he second century B.C."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 229

    December 6, 2016

  • An epic list, which is linked to on pellitory, except it brings up a 404 page. :(

    December 6, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on pyrether.

    December 6, 2016

  • "'If you wish the woman to be inspired with a great desire to cohabit with you, take a little of cubebs, pyrether,* ginger and cinnamon, which you will have to masticate just before joining her; then ...'

    *An aromatic North African root, sometimes known as pellitory. It has a light aroma and a persistent, pungent taste."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 222

    December 6, 2016

  • "The association" of spices with sexuality and seduction, dating from antiquity, "runs so deep as to have intruded into modern pop culture. In the late 1990s, the Spice Girls shot like a gaudy, squawking comet through the outer orbits of pop stardom before, in obedience to the Newtonian physics of celebrity, the acrimonious plummet back to Earth and bustup. Part of what made them spicy was ... their feisty sex appeal. Subliminally or otherwise, they honored a grand tradition. Here is the entry for 'spicy' in the Collins English Thesaurus: 'Aromatic, flavoursome, hot, piquant, pungent, savoury, seasoned, tangy, broad, hot, improper, indecorous, indelicate, off-colour, ribald, risqué, scandalous, sensational, suggestive, titillating, unseemly'--all in all, not a bad summary of the discussion at hand and the perfect epitaph, oddly enough, for the Spice Girls."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 221

    December 5, 2016

  • "... the modern perfume industry, with its breathless promises of sophistication and seduction, remains a major consumer of spices. Calvin Klein's Obsession contains nutmeg and clove; Opium by Yves Saint Laurent contains pepper, and there are many other such examples. Ginger, mace, and cardamom are all common additives. If we are to take the advertising at face value, spices remain as seductive as they ever were, even if we are less conscious of the fact.... In New York City there is a spice store called Aphrodisia--the name says it all."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 221

    December 5, 2016

  • "As the Song of Songs was to the poet, so this passage was to the predicant: as spices were the food of love, so were they tinder for the jeremiad. In an age saturated in scripture and not short of apocalyptic instincts of its own, it was hard, if not impossible, to look on them as innocent."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 217

    December 5, 2016

  • "As angels have wings and saints haloes, so the pagan gods of love had cinnamon."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 209

    December 5, 2016

  • "Spices had the added attraction of unrivaled potency and durability, for which reason they were critical ingredients for the perfumer, and they remained so until the equation was transformed with the invention of distillation and then the advent of the chemical age."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 209

    See also maceration for methods used by perfumers in antiquity.

    December 5, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on maceration.

    December 5, 2016

  • "Ancient perfumes and unguents were a good deal weaker than their modern equivalents, there being no way of isolating the powerful essential oils that enable modern perfumes to pack such a punch, based on alcohol, synthetic chemicals, and essential oils isolated by the process of distillation. In their place, the ancient perfumer obtained his perfumes by soaking aromatics in fat or oil, which was then gently heated (maceration) or left to sit unheated (enfleurage). The end product was commonly worn on clothes and hair or, alternatively, poured onto a brazier and burned (the modern word itself derives from the Latin per fumum, 'through the smoke')."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 208-9

    December 5, 2016

  • "Pliny mentions one choice perfume grandiloquently known as 'The Royal Unguent of the Kings of Parthia," a suitably regal mix of many exotic and expensive ingredients, some of which defy identification, but including cinnamon, cardamom, cassia, calamus, ginger grass, saffron, marjoram, and honey."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 207-8

    December 5, 2016

  • "In Lysistrata by Aristophanes (ca. 447 - ca. 385 B.C.), the comedy of a sex strike by the women of Athens, Myrrhine (her name means "Little Myrtle") drives her frustrated husband wild with desire with the help of a fragrant ointment."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 205

    December 5, 2016

  • "Egypt in particular was renowned for its scents, many of which found their way to the Athenian myropoleion, a part of the market dedicated to the purpose. Besides Peron's cinnamon formula, several of their brand names survive, among them Psagda and Megallus, each named after a celebrated parfumier."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 207

    December 5, 2016

  • "When the Eastern spices arrived, they slotted right in. They were certainly there by the fourth century, when Theophrastus, who wrote an entire book on the subject of perfumes, says that the necessary aromatics came from either India or Arabia, mentioning cassia, cinnamon, and cardamom by name. Other ingredients were nearer to hand, such as balsam of Mecca, storax, saffron, marjoram, and myrrh....

    * Storax is the aromatic resin obtained from the shrub Styrax officinalis, native to eastern Europe and Asia Minor. It was widely used in ancient incense."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 206

    December 5, 2016

  • Usage/historical note (sorta) can be found on Archithrenius.

    December 3, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on Archithrenius.

    December 3, 2016

  • "... in John of Hauteville's satirical twelfth-century poem Archithrenius, or The Arch-weeper, it is both the Eastern origins and the erotic quality of spices that single them out for condemnation. As the teary hero goes on his cheerless way to the abode of Gluttony, he meets with the belly worshippers or ventricolae, who egg on their lasciviousness with a diet of hot seasonings, their greed driving them beyond the Meridian to seek the spices of the Orient, ever searching for more novel delicacies from around the world and condiments that nourish the libido. (What would the arch-weeper have made of a curry house?)"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 196

    December 3, 2016

  • Very interesting usage/historical note relevant to crappuccino can be found on that page. Also on Coca-Cola.

    Also, "... The reference may be to a historical figure, the abbot of Broussin, a nutmeg addict who was mocked for putting the spice in all his sauces. Having long since anesthetized his taste buds with excessive spice, he was always in need of a stronger flavor that his jaded palate could recognize."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 300

    December 3, 2016

  • "Faith in the exotic tended to shade into faith in the out-and-out revolting, as was revealed in a curious witchcraft trial in the Danish town of Naestved in 1619. The accused, a young man, was charged with having taught a friend of his the trick of seducing a young woman with nutmeg. The idea was to eat an entire nutmeg and wait for it to reemerge at the other end, whereupon the semidigested nutmeg was grated into a glass of beer or wine, which was in turn administered to the unsuspecting object of the nutmeg crapper's affections. So primed, she was powerless to resist and likely, as the judge ruled, to do 'whatever he might desire.' She might even pay for the privilege. In the case in question the judge found that by such foul and insidious means the accused had robbed a young woman not only of her virtue but of the cash she had laid down for the unhappy experience."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 199.

    This really goes with the definition/explanation in the comments on crappucino, but since I spelled the damn thing wrong there (a hundred or so years ago), I thought I'd place it here instead.

    December 3, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Vitex agnus-castus.

    December 3, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on Vitex agnus-castus.

    December 3, 2016

  • "... a native Mediterranean aromatic known as agnus castus, Vitex agnus-castus. Classed as powerfully cold and dry, it was used by monks to incline their bodies and thoughts away from the flesh. Serapion, the hugely influential fourth-century monk and companion of the Egyptian hermit Saint Antony, one of the founding fathers of Christian monasticism, dubbed the plant 'monk's pepper,' because, as one medieval authority phrased it, 'it makes men as chaste as lambs.' To this day the plant is known as 'Monk's Pepper Tree.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 197-198

    December 3, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on this species' connection with the pandemic of 1348 can be found on bubonic plague.

    December 3, 2016

  • "In an age of limited horizons, the most likely culprit for introducing to Europe the pandemic of 1348 was none other than the same long-distance trade that brought spice from the East. First documented in China in the 1320s, bubonic plague is caused by a bacterium transmitted by the bite of a flea that has drunk the blood of an infected black rat, Rattus rattus. Originally a native of Southeast Asia, the Asian rat was probably first introduced to Europe by the Romans' seaborne commerce with India: a Roman rat was found at a site in London's Fenchurch Street dating from the fourth century. (The brown or Norwegian rat, which does not carry the fleas that transmit the plague bacillus, was not introduced into the greater part of western Europe before the eighteenth century. Its gradual supplanting of the black rat may explain the disappearance of the plague from Europe at much the same time.) Rattus rattus could not cross the deserts, but it could hitch a ride on the transoceanic pepper ships."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 180-181

    December 3, 2016

  • "Spices also had the merit of aesthetic appeal, being sufficiently strong and penetrating to exclude the odors of the medieval townscape, which was, at the best of times, a malodorous place; at times the crowded and filthy streets of hte cramped medieval cities must have smelled, to borrow a phrase from Melville, 'like the left wing of the day of judgment.' London was notoriously mephitic: in 1275, the White Friars who dwelt by the River Fleet in London complained to the king that the river's 'putrid exhalations ... overcame even the frankincense used in the services and had caused the death of many brethren.' The public privy of Ludgate was reported to smell so vilely that it 'rottith the stone wallys.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 178-179

    December 3, 2016

  • "One of the more intriguing spices mentioned in the Hebrew Bible is <i>shelet</i>, which Greek translators rendered as <i>onyx</i>, meaning 'claw' or 'nail'--was this the clove? It is a suggestive coincidence that in practically every major language group, East or West, the name for the spice means 'nail.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 243n

    Another usage/historical note, this one re: cloves treating smallpox, can be found on inoculation.

    December 3, 2016

  • Historical/usage note re: how cloves were used to treat smallpox, on inoculation.

    December 3, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on inoculation.

    December 3, 2016

  • "In India the Uzbek polymath al-Biruni (973-1048) witnessed the use of cloves against smallpox, which the Indians took for an airborne malaise from the land of Lanka across the sea:

    "'The Hindus who are the neighbors of those regions believe that the small-pox is a wind blowing from the island of Lanka toward the continent to carry off souls. According to one report, some men warn people beforehand of the blowing of this wind, and can exactly tell at what times it will reach the different parts of the country. After the small-pox has broken out, they recognize from certain signs whether it is virulent or not. Against the virulent small-pox they use a method of treatment by which they destroy only one single limb of the body, but do not kill. They use as medicine cloves, which they give to the patient to drink, together with gold-dust; and, besides, the males tie the cloves, which are similar to date-kernels, to their necks. If these precautions are taken, perhaps nine people out of ten will be proof against this malady.'

    "Apart from what looks like a garbled account of inoculation--generally credited to China, around 1200 A.D., but not used in the West before the early eighteenth century--his account is a fairly representative diagnosis: an airborne illness called for an aromatic prescription."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 176-177

    December 3, 2016

  • See usage/historical note on pomander, the English word that comes from this French phrase meaning "apple of amber".

    December 2, 2016

  • "One of the most esteemed defenses (against plague) was the pomander, from Old French pome d'embre or apple of amber, a lump of amber or ambergris aromatized with a mixture of spices so as 'to be worne against foule stinkyng aire,' as one authority phrased it. At the time of the great fourteenth-century outbreak of the Black Death, a pomander generally consisted of a soft, resinous substance--wax was the most common--bound together, studded, or sprinkled with spices, and enclosed within a portable metal or china container worn around the neck or attached to a belt or wrist. Simpler variants of the same were made from a hollowed-out piece of fruit. One popular seventeenth-century remedy was 'a good Sivill Orenge stuck with cloves,' long considered a defense against the pestilence but now downgraded to a folksy form of air freshener."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 179

    December 2, 2016

  • What do arugula and chickpeas have in common? See usage/historical note on page accidia.

    December 2, 2016

  • If you are interested in arugula, you really, really, really should read the usage/historical note on the page accidia. Really.

    December 2, 2016

  • "To Constantine the African (more on him in comment on the page electuary), the top hot-and-wet sperm and libido boosters were pepper, pine nuts, egg yolks, warm meats, brain, and arugula.* Chickpeas were another perennial favorite.

    *John Davenport (1789-1877) relates the salutary tale of an abbot whose monks suffered from that bane of medieval monastic life known as accidia, a combination of boredom, lassitude, and laziness conventionally but inadequately translated as 'sloth.' Hoping to stir them from their idleness, he fed them arugula, succeeding so well that they promptly abandoned the cloister for the brothel."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 192

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on spiced wine. See also different varieties of spiced wine: hippocras, clarry, vernage.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Spiced wines were a common feature of the medieval wedding, and it is a reasonable surmise that there was more to the combination of nuptials, wine, and spice than the desire to celebrate in style. Spiced wine, or piment, was, according to the hymnographer Marbode de Rennes (1035-1123), the voluptuary's drink of choice."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 188

    Other usage/historical notes on hippocras, clarry, and who knows where else.

    December 2, 2016

  • "He drinks hippocras, clarry, and vernage*

    Hot spices to kindle his lust,

    And many an electuary full fine,

    Such as the accursed monk, damned Constantine,

    Has written in his book,

    De Coitu--

    To eat them all he did not eschew.

    ... Spices were among the premier aphrodisiacs of the day, not least thanks to the author January turned to for his stimulants, 'damned Constantine.' More conventionally known as Constantine the African (ca. 1020-1087), Chaucer's 'cursed monk' was in fact one of the major intellectual figures of the age, his work occupying a central place in the canon of medical studies in European universities until the end of the fifteenth century."

    "*Strong spiced and sweetened wines."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 184

    December 2, 2016

  • Also an interesting usage on electuary.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on electuary.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Around the same time a plan of the Swiss Benedictine monastery of Saint Gall featured a cupboard for storing spices (armarium pigmentorum) attached to the doctor's quarters, its role to complement the locally grown herbs supplied by the garden."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 161

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting historical note/usage on theriac.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The best-known medieval medicines, and the lion's share of the spices, belonged to the rich. ... The poor man's theriac, according to Arnald de Vilanova, was garlic. By the twelfth century, the herb-spice differential seems to have been something of a cliché. John of Salisbury (ca. 1110-1180) cites 'an old proverb' that obtained 'among courtiers and physicians everywhere': In return for words we use mountain herbs; For things of value, spices and drugs.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 173

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note can be found on theriac.

    December 2, 2016

  • "It is a recurrent motif of the vitae (Lives of the Saints) to find the miracle-working saint having no need of spices, much to the astonishment and chagrin of the spice-reliant doctors. The plot is repeated time and again, the holy man or woman healing an illness that has defeated even the spices of the pigmentarius. ... A little more than a century before Bede's day, when Gregory of Tours sought a metaphor for divine intercession, he could think of none more apt than theriac, a legendary mix of herbs and spices reported to have saved the life of Mithridates VI, a king of Pontus in northern Anatolia who died in 63 B.C.* A hypochondriac, Mithridates took this secret mix every day, and so effective did it prove that when he tried to poison himself his most potent toxins were utterly nullified...

    " * The origin, incidentally, of the modern 'treacle.'"
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 162

    December 2, 2016

  • "Odd as the idea might seem, then, from the ancient world and through the Middle Ages spices smelled not only of other worlds but of worlds to come. In some unrecoverable sense, just as the wealthy dead smelled of spices, so spices smelled of death. The overlap was particularly pronounced in Latin, since the vocabulary was the same. To prepare a corpse for burial was literally to 'season' or 'spice' it, condire, whence condimentum, or seasoning. Moreover, the materials used on the embalmed were standard kitchen seasonings."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 157-158

    December 2, 2016

  • "The appeal probably had much to do with the odor of sanctity that by now was a commonplace of the religiosity of medieval Christendom, the spices being seen as proof of God's favor, symbolic evidence of special status. To lie among spices was to lie in the odor of the saints."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 153

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting usage/historical note on cinnamon used in burial rites in ancient Rome can be found on frankincense.

    Another one, unrelated (obviously) to burial rites, on Coca-Cola.

    December 2, 2016

  • "On the demise of the dictator Sulla in 79 B.C., after a slow and hideous death caused by worms devouring his flesh, an effigy of cinnamon was constructed in his image. 'It is said that the women contributed such a vast bulk of spices for the interment that, aside from what was carried on two hundred and ten litters, there was enough to make a large figure of Sulla, and that an image of a lictor (staff bearer) was molded from expensive frankincense and cinnamon.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 148

    Another usage/historical note can be found on mephitic.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The Egyptians were not alone in sending their dead to an aromatic grave. Although customs varied from one time and place to another, spices, resins, flowers, and aromatics were used by all the major cultures of antiquity, whether the body was mummified, buried, or incinerated.*

    " * The Mayans used allspice in embalming."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 148

    December 2, 2016

  • "The Egyptians were not alone in sending their dead to an aromatic grave. Although customs varied from one time and place to another, spices, resins, flowers, and aromatics were used by all the major cultures of antiquity, whether the body was mummified, buried, or incinerated.*

    " * The Mayans used allspice in embalming."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 148

    More on spices used in burial can be found on frankincense and saints.

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting historical note/usage on bdellium.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The use of myrrh, balsam, and bdellium* is documented from the early third millennium B.C. When Howard Carter examined the mummy of Tutankhamen, interred almost exactly a century earlier than Ramses, he found that the corpse had been treated with coriander and resins.

    " * Bdellium is a gum resin that oozes from one of several shrubs of the genus Commiphora. The dried product resembles impure myrrh."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 147

    December 2, 2016

  • "In London at the start of the third millennium, the best places to shop for spice tend to be in the poorer, immigrant areas of the city, whereas seven hundred years ago it was the exact reverse, with the business addresses of London's grocers and spicers concentrated in the (then) well-off areas of the City. Spice could be bought from a number of retailers in the wealthy parishes of Saint Pancras, Saint Benet's Sherehog, Milk Street, and Saint Mary-le-Bow; but no spicer saw fit to set up shop in the poorer area of Farringdon. Spices went where the money was."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 136

    December 2, 2016

  • "In England in 1284, a pound of mace cost 4 s. 7 d., a sum that could also buy three sheep--a whopping outlay for even the better-off peasantry. At much the same time, a pound of nutmeg would buy half a cow."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 136

    December 2, 2016

  • "In England in 1284, a pound of mace cost 4 s. 7 d., a sum that could also buy three sheep--a whopping outlay for even the better-off peasantry. At much the same time, a pound of nutmeg would buy half a cow."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 136

    December 2, 2016

  • "A rare exception to the generally upper-class tenor of medieval cookery books is the mid-fifteenth-century Liber cure cocorum, written for those who could afford to practice only economical 'petecure,' literally 'small cooking.'* The preface outlines the principles of cooking on a budget: 'This craft is set forth for poor men, that may not have spicery as they would like.' The history of cooking is the history of class cooking."

    "* from the Old French <i>petite queuerie</i>."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 136

    December 2, 2016

  • "One English culinary manuscripts gives details for the preparation of three variants of hippocras, specifying different quantities of spice according to rank and budget: pro rege, pro domino, and, with the least spice of all, pro populo."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 135

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting historical note on Rameses II can be found on peppercorn.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The first known consumer of pepper on whom we can hang a name did not use his spice to season his dinner, for he was long past any pleasures of the flesh. He was, in fact, a corpse: the royal skin and bones of Rameses II, arguably the greatest of Egypt's pharoahs, up whose large, bent nose a couple of peppercorns were inserted not long after his death on July 12, 1224 B.C.

    "The upper reaches of the pharoah's nose mark the beginning, for the time being, of one of the most important chapters in the history of spice."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 145

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on poivre chaut.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on poivre chaut.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on poivre chaut.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage/historical note on poivre chaut.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Of the various sauces, one of the oldest and most popular was black pepper sauce, in which the sharpness of pepper was offset by bread crumbs and vinegar. There was a hotter variant called poivre chaut, hot pepper, and another called poivre aigret, sour pepper, with verjuice and wild apples.... Another perennial favorite, often served with roasted poultry, known as galantyne, was made from bread crumbs, ginger, galangal, sugar, claret, and vinegar." ... One of the most popular sauces across the breadth of medieval Europe was camelyne, so called for its tawny camel color, the keynotes of which were cinnamon, vinegar, garlic, and ginger, mixed with bread crumbs and occasionally raisins. (The name was doubly apt, for much of the cinnamon so consumed would have done time on a camel's back while in transit through Arabia.)"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 112-113

    December 2, 2016

  • "(The beauty of the pig, so to speak, and the main reason behind its importance to the medieval diet, was that unlike sheep or cows it could be left to fend for itself, foraging on chestnuts and waste, whether in town or country; but even for pigs there was not enough food to go around through the lean months.)"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 109

    Additional text, in which this parenthetical is placed, can be found in a comment on November.

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting usage/historical note can be found in comment on November.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Medieval Europe lacked most of the high-yielding grass and root crops that are today used to feed herds through the winter and enable a year-round supply of fresh meat--the turnip, for instance, was still considered a garden vegetable. ... Only the largest and wealthiest households had either the pasture to keep their herds alive or the storage space to put aside sufficient hay to see them through the winter.

    "For all those who lacked this luxury, as soon as the frosts moved in and the pasture died off, a good proportion of the herd had to be slaughtered. Traditionally, the seasonal killing was set for Martinmas, or November 11--for which reason the Anglo-Saxon name for November was 'Blood Month.' What could not be eaten within a few days had to be salted down..."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 109-110

    (More can be found on spices.)

    December 2, 2016

  • Interesting usage/historical note on spices.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Medieval Europeans were no more hardened to the taste of putrid meat and fish than we are. The risk of unsafe ingredients was not taken lightly, and by the later Middle Ages municipal authorities across Europe were taking steps to crack down on sellers of bad meat and fish with harsh penalties. In comparison, the modern health inspector is a toothless creature. The pillory was primarily a punishment for crimes committed in the marketplace. ... Anyone willing to believe that medieval Europe lived on a diet of spiced and rancid meat has never tried to cover the taste of advanced decomposition with spices.

    "There were, however, other flavors that spices helped surmount. The offending taste was not of putrefaction but of salt, as mentioned earlier. ... What could not be eaten within a few days had to be salted down, with the result that most if not all the meat eaten from November through the spring was dry, chewy, and salty, requiring soaking and prolonged cooking to alleviate the taste. ... The one good word Rabelais can find for salted meat is that it worked up a fearsome thirst, the better to throw down the wine."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 109-110

    December 2, 2016

  • See usage, explanation, etc. in comment on clarry.

    December 2, 2016

  • "With the advent of the technology of the bottle and cork in the sixteenth century, the need for spices in wine was abruptly less pressing. Winemaking techniques and the quality of the end result improved. Yet of all of spices' uses in the medieval world, spiced wines were perhaps the most enduring, long outlansting the Middle Ages. Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) enjoyed an occasional glass of hippocras; it even gets a mention in Der Rosenkavalier. Neither clarry nor hippocras has ever quite disappeared, ultimately evolving into the vermouth, glögg, and mulled wine of today--still one of the best ways of dealing with a red on the turn, short of pouring it down the sink.

    "Spiced ale, on the other hand, has gone the way of the crossbow and the codpiece. In the Middle Ages, ale really was good for you--comparatively speaking. It was certainly better than the available water, an observation traditionally credited to Saint Arnulphus, bishop of Soissons and abbot of the Benedictine foundation of Oudenbourg, who died in 1087. Arnulphus is the patron saint of brewers, an acknowledgement of his realization that heavy ale drinkers were less afflicted by epidemics than were the rest of the population. Particularly in Europe's densely crowded towns, with their poor drainage and rudimentary public hygiene, untreated water was a daily reality and an extremely effective vector of infection. Though the effect of contaminated water was only dimly appreciated, the medical theory of the day added intellectual respectability to the wariness of water, classing it as wet and cooling and therefore potentially inimical to the body's natural balance of moderate warmth and moisture.... Given that the ale drinker was exposed to fewer microbiological nasties, Arnulphus's bias against water made perfect sense. The upshot was that ale was consumed in prodigious quantities."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 116-117

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage notes in comments on speciarius and spicer.

    December 2, 2016

  • See another interesting usage on speciarius.

    "In the medieval mind spices and medicines were effectively one and the same. Not all drugs were spices, but all spices were drugs. The identity was reflected in vocabulary: the Late Latin term for spices, (<i>pigmenta</i>) was practically synonymous with medicines, and so it remained through the Middle Ages. Apothecary and spicer were effectively one and the same: 'one who has at hand for sale aromatic spices and all manner of things needful in medicine,' in the words of a fourteenth-century manuscript at Chartres Cathedral. The apothecary took his name from the Greek term for a warehouse where high-value goods such as spices were stored. Even today one Italian word for pharmacist is <i>speziale</i>. He is the direct descendant of the medieval spicer (<i>speciarius</i>), whose wares were among the most sought after and esteemed medicines of the age."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 159

    December 2, 2016

  • "In wealthier households, the task of juggling these considerations fell to the speciarius, or spicer. Occupying a role midway between pharmacist and in-house health consultant, the spicer was considered an indispensable employee. In 1317, the household of the French king found room (or cash) for only four officers of his chamber: a barber, a tailor, a taster, and a spicer."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 125

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage and recipe (of a sort) in comment on spiced ale and more on clarry.

    December 2, 2016

  • "This was where spices came, yet again, to the rescue. The medieval popularity of nutmeg owed much to ale's perishability: as the clove and cinnamon were to wine, so the nutmeg was to ale--the context of Chaucer's reference to 'notemuge to putte in ale.' Here too, the medieval palate seems to have developed a virtue out of necessity, acquiring a taste for spiced ale to the point that the addition of spice became expected, even preferred; the spice was used 'wheither it (the ale) be moyste (fresh) or stale,' as Chaucer puts it. ... Some of these spiced ales survived until relatively recently, such as 'Stingo,' a variety of pepper-flavored beer popular in London in the eighteenth century. Russian writers of the nineteenth century mention sbiten', a spiced mead flavored with cardamom and nutmeg."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 118

    Another usage/historical note can be found in a comment on clarry.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Writing of the popular clove-flavored wine known as gariofilatum, John of Trevisa summarized the attractions of the spices: 'The virtue of the spices and herbs changes and amends the wine, imparting thereto a singular virtue, rendering it both healthy and pleasant at the same time ... for the virtue of the spices preserves and keeps wines that would otherwise soon go off.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 116

    December 2, 2016

  • "To a far greater extent than with solid foods, their (spices) use was dictated by a need to preserve against corruption, or at least cover its taste. ... Taken neat, medieval wine could be a harrowing experience, and the problem of foul wine was sufficiently common to inspire all kinds of complaints, as with the man-strangling 'hard, green and faithless' wines of the poet Guiot de Vaucresson. ... Geffroi de Waterford said of the variety known as vernache that it 'tickles without hurting'--faint praise indeed."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 114

    December 2, 2016

  • "This basic template (recipe in comment on hippocras) admitted almost infinite variation. Hippocras could also be made with cloves and nutmeg; another variant called for mace and cardamom. Clarry was much the same as hippocras, the chief difference (though not necessarily) being the use of honey in place of sugar."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 114

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage note on hippocras.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The methods of preparing spiced wine remained much the same throughout the Middle Ages. The basic technique was to mix and grind a variety of spices, which were then added to the wine, red or white, which was then sweetened with sugar or honey and finally filtered through a bag, bladder, or cloth. The latter was known as 'Hippocrates's sleeve,' hence the wine's name, 'hippocras.' A late fourteenth-century book of household management gives the following instructions:

    'To make powdered hippocras, take a quarter of very fine cinnamon selected by tasting it, and half a quarter of fine flour of cinnamon, an ounce of selected string ginger (gingembre de mesche), fine and white, and an ounce of grain (of paradise), a sixth of nutmegs and galangal together, and grind them all together. And when you would make your hippocras, take a good half ounce of this powder and two quarters of sugar and mix them with a quart of wine, by Paris measure.'"
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 113-114

    Additional note(s) on clarry.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage and note on word/culinary origins can be found on gingembras.

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage note in comment on gingembras.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Typically, these after-dinner spices were candied with sugar and fruit, like the Provencal orengat, fine slices of orange left to soak in sugar syrup for a week or so before being boiled in water, sweetened with honey, and finally cooked with ginger. The convention endured well beyond the medieval period, the candied and jellied fruits served today its direct descendants. Another survivor is gingerbread, which takes its name from the Middle English "gingembras," originally a composition of ginger and other spices. The modern 'bread' bears little resemblance to the original, which was more of a stodgy paste."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 113

    December 2, 2016

  • "To follow there were desserts such as frumenty, a sweet porridge of wheat boiled in milk and spices, and sugary confections of spices and dried fruits, washed down with spiced wine and ale..."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 105

    December 2, 2016

  • "Around this time guilds of spicers and pepperers began to crop up across the major towns of Europe. The speciarius became an increasingly common figure on the urban scene; by the thirteenth century he was part of the mercantile establishment. In Oxford in 1264, the shop of one William the Spicer was burned by boisterous students. In London, the Company of the Grocers is still in existence, having grown out of the older guild of the Pepperers; their coat of arms has nine cloves at its center. Guilds such as these were the remote ancestors of the supermarkets of the twenty-first century."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 103

    December 2, 2016

  • "The medieval mystic dreamed of spices in Paradise; the gourmand, in Cockayne. Indeed, for the true gourmand, Cockayne was Paradise. For as Paradise soothed and delighted the weary spirit, so Cockayne was tailor-made for the empty or, for that matter, the merely greedy stomach. Here the only virtues were gluttony, leisure, and pleasure, the only vices exertion and care. Doing nothing earned a salary, work was penalized, women were rewarded for sleeping around. A decent fart earned half a crown. Even in church the truest form of worship was to stuff oneself. Conveniently, the church itself was edible, its walls made of pastry, fish, and meat and buttressed with puddings."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 98

    December 2, 2016

  • "Yet if spices were becoming more familiar with every year, it was a familiarity that rested on a network of trade and travel that few could have comprehended. The reality was scarcely less wonderful than the fantasies of Paradise and Cockayne. A Rhineland nobleman int he eleventh century could order furs from Siberia, spices and silks from Byzantium and the Islamic world beyond, pepper from India, ginger from China, and nutmeg and clove from the Moluccas. Individuals such as Nahray ibn Nissim, a Tuinisan Jew settled in Egypt, were dealing in products as diverse as Spanish tin and coral, Moroccan antimony, Eastern spices, Armenian cloths, rhubarb from Tibet, and spikenard from Nepal. By this stage the trading guild known as the Karimis, a group of Jewish spice merchants based in Cairo, had their agents scattered across the Old World, from China in the east to Mali in the west."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 101-102

    December 2, 2016

  • "Cubeb, or 'tailed' pepper, Piper cubeba,, is a pepper look-alike native to the Indonesian archipelago, popular in medieval times as a seasoning, medicine, and aphrodisiac."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 98n.

    December 2, 2016

  • "History was repeating itself: a millennium after Rome had first sent its fleets to India and its moralizers had fretted whether spices were corroding its once steely ethics, the same concerns were resurfacing. Just as medieval Europe lived in the long shadow cast by Rome, drawing its water from still-functioning aqueducts and traveling its worn but still-workable roads, conducting its diplomacy and theology in Rome's language, so with its cuisine. The mingled fascination and revulsion spices provoked, the intertwining of taste and distaste, wound back in time as far as the Caesars."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 97.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The reputation of spices as luxuries confined to kings and great noblemen would begin to change, at a glacier pace, only as the millennium drew to a close. After a flurry of references around the time of Charlemagne, followed by a near century of silence, the trade returned to western Europe on a more solid basis toward the end of the ninth century.

    "Driving this increased consumption was a slow stirring of Europe's economy and the steady growth of its population. The revival of the metallurgy and textile industries in central and western Europe and the opening of silver mines in Germany's Harz Mountains went some way to remedying a chronic shortage of the precious metals needed to pay for high-value imports from the East. Increased surpluses in the hands of an emergent landowning class--kings and local strongmen, bishops and monasteries--brought with them a new level of demand for luxuries and the trappings of wealth.

    "Meeting this demand brought about one of the pivotal developments in European history. Through trade and travel Europe was exposed to a wider world from which it had been effectively isolated for centuries; and where goods and money flowed, books, people, and ideas followed. Exotic and expensive luxuries were, after piety and war, the chief expenses of the aristocracy. The trade that supplied them sparked a whole 'complex of activities'--economic, political, geographic, and technical--whose effects are still with us. Slowly, surely, Western Christendom developed from a sheltered, isolated backwater into an increasingly confident, assertive culture."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 94-95.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Via these two writers the Roman kitchen lived on in a strange half life in the halls of the early medieval nobility. Indeed, in one sense both Anthimus and Vinidarius represented an advance on Roman times, since they were aware of the clove, a spice apparently unknown to Apicius. That they were was due to the efforts of unknown others, the crews and merchants of the Arab dhows, Malay outriggers, and Chinese junks pushing east, many thousands of miles away, to the five tiny volcanic islands where the spice grew. By such obscure means the clove appeared in European cuisine the best part of a millennium before any European source makes mention of the Moluccas."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 89

    December 2, 2016

  • Historical note about the word origins in comment on spicarium.

    December 2, 2016

  • Historical note about the word origins in comment on spicarium.

    December 2, 2016

  • Historical note about the word origins in comment on spicarium.

    December 2, 2016

  • Historical note about the word origins in comment on spicarium.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The sixth-century laws of the Franks, Visigoths, and Alamanni all mention a spicarium, a warehouse where high-value goods were stored. By this route the word entered the ferment of Late Latin and Germanic dialects that in turn evolved into today's Romance languages. Hence, in short, the terminology that persists into the third millennium, at root unchanged since late antiquity: Spanish especia, Portuguese especiaria, French épice, Italian spezia."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 87

    December 2, 2016

  • Usage note in comment on cursus publicus.

    December 2, 2016

  • "Once Christianity became the official religion of the empire, senior churchmen had access to the cursus publicus, or government post, the imperial network of inns and warehouses supplying food, transport, and accommodation to all senior officials traveling on state business. A warrant granting access to the cursus survives from A.D. 314, addressed to three bishops en route to a church council at Arles. When they arrived at an inn along the route, the bishops could expect to be supplied with lodging, horses, carriages, bread, oil, chicken, eggs, vegetables, beef, pigs, sheep, lamb, geese, pheasants, garum, cumin, dates, almonds, salt, vinegar, and honey, along with an impressive array of spices: pepper, cloves, cinnamon, spikenard, costus, and mastic."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 84

    December 2, 2016

  • "The merits of the case need not detain us. More interesting is the moralizing thrust, which forms one of the central themes of the history of spice from from the days of imperial Rome practically to our own day. All of these themes would in due course resurface--often, ironically enough, in the form of Christian polemics directed at the decadent empire. As spices were sought after, so too were they seen as an insidious cancer eating away at Rome's personal and public vigor. (How the eastern half of the empire, which survived until 1453, was any less dissolute or less addicted to Eastern luxury than the western half is unclear. With its access to the trans-Eurasian caravan routes, there were more, not fewer, spices in Byzantium.) In this view it was not the barbarians or even the lead pipes but all that spice that caused the fall of Rome."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 83

    December 2, 2016

  • "So it was that spices failed the moralists' checklist of acceptability on all counts. They were expensive, enfeebling, Eastern, effeminizing. And as if this were not enough, they lacked any evident nutritional value, their sole apparent function being to stimulate the appetite into new excesses of gluttony. Pliny drew these themes together while affecting an air of lofty contempt for the taste for pepper then sweeping the empire...."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 82.

    December 2, 2016

  • "The comedies of Plautus (ca. 254-184 BC) and Terence (ca. 195-ca. 159 BC) are sprinkled through with references to seasonings (condimenta), one of their stock characters the boastful cook who can reel off all the exotic flavors at his disposal: Cilician saffron, Egyptian coriander, Ethiopian cumin, and, most tempting of all, silphium of Cyrene. This North African aromatic, ultimately harvested to extinction, turned Roman gourmets weak at the knees.*

    *By the middle of the first century AD, Nero could acquire just one specimen, apparently the last. Thus to his many crimes must be added an extinction."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 74

    November 30, 2016

  • Usage note in comment on spikenard.

    Another on acetum.

    November 30, 2016

  • "To modern eyes the most striking use of spices is in a huge variety of sauces, both hot and cold, either cooked as an integral part of the dish or added after cooking. There was a sharp sauce to cut fat.... A digestive sauce helped the meat go down with the sharp-sweet combination.... There was a green sauce of pepper, cumin, caraway, spikenard*, 'all types of mixed green herbs,' dates, honey, vinegar, wine, garum, and oil...."

    *Spikenard, Nardostachys jatamansi, a scented grass from which an aromatic oil is extracted, is native to northern India."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 70

    November 30, 2016

  • "... reliable information is in short supply. The one significant exception is the cookbook known by the unspectacular title of De re coquinaria, or Cookbook, the sole example of the genre to have survived from antiquity. Both the author and the date of composition are unknown, although traditionally it has been ascribed to a certain Apicius, a legendary gourmand of the first century AD."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 69

    November 30, 2016

  • "Archaeology reinforces the impression of a widespread taste. Silver pepper pots (piperatoria) dating from the early imperial period onward have been found practically all over the Roman world: at Pompeii; to the south in Corfinium and Murmuro in Sicily; at Nicolaevo in Bulgaria; at Cahors, Arles-Trinquetaille, and Saint-Maur-de-Glanfeuil in France."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 67

    Not to be confused with horrea piperataria.

    November 30, 2016

  • Not to be confused with piperatoria, or pepper pots.

    November 30, 2016

  • "Further along the Forum are the remains of the horrea piperataria, the spice stores constructed by the emperor Domitian in AD 92.... Two thousand years on, the assiduous visitor can still see the remains of Domitian's pepper warehouse, now no more than a few crumbling, shin-high walls and unimpressive piles of rubble.... They are, frankly, not much to look at, yet if there were such a thing, they would merit a mark on the culinary map of Europe. For the ruins of the horrea mark a beginning of sorts, as the oldest visible reminder of the serious advent of Eastern spices in European cuisine, the beachhead from which spices went on to conquer the palates of the Western world."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 66

    November 30, 2016

  • "In the time of the emperor Trajan (ruled AD 98-117), spices, collectively known as the pipera, or peppers, were sold in a market built into the flank of the Quirinal Hill, of which several walls and arches are still standing. Until the end of the Middle Ages, the memory of the spices once sold here endured in the name of the ancient road still visible from the Via IV Novembre, like many other ancient names corrupted via the medium of medieval Latin but easily recognizable as the Via Biberatica."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 65-66

    November 30, 2016

  • "A few weeks' sailing brought the pepper to Rome's great port at Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber. From here it was shipped upriver for distribution and sale in the city's 'Perfumers' Quarter,' the vicus unguentarius."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 65

    November 30, 2016

  • Usage note in comment on Wadi Menih.

    November 30, 2016

  • "During the course of one such crossing a returnee from the Indian voyage carved graffiti that may still be read on the walls of the Wadi Menih: 'C. Numidius Eros made this in the 38th year of Caesar's {Augustus's} rule, returning from India in the month of Pamenoth.' In modern terms the year was 2 BC, the month of February or March, precisely the time when the fleets were expected back on the winds of the winter monsoon."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 65

    November 30, 2016

  • Another usage note in comment on malabathron.

    November 30, 2016

  • "Costus is the aromatic root of Sassurea lappa, indigenous to Kashmir from which is extracted a powerful oil widely used in ancient perfumes and unguents."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 61n.

    Another usage note in comment on malabathron and cursus publicus.

    November 30, 2016

  • "The Romans called at any one of nineteen ports in which, in the words of Periplus, 'great ships sail ... due to the vast quantities of pepper and malabathron.* ... There were spices from the north, costus and nard from the Himalayan foothills, and still others arriving from further east (including, quite possibly, Moluccan cloves and nutmeg, although there are questions over their identification in Rome before the fourth century AD). But it was pepper that was Malabar's chief attraction."

    "*Malabathron is cinnamon leaf, sometimes called 'Indian leaf,' prized on account of its potent aromatic oil. It is the leaf of one of several relatives of cinnamon native to India."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 61

    November 30, 2016

  • "By the time of the geographer Strabo (ca. 63 BC-ca. AD 24) ... a fleet numbering some 120 ships set off annually for the year-long round-trip to India. The outlines of their journey are described in the document known as the Periplus, a pilot's guide to sailing in the Indian Ocean. Written by an anonymous Greek-speaking sailor sometime in the first century AD, the Periplus describes each step of the journey, identifying which harbors to stop in and which goods to acquire. His readers were the long-distance traders and trampers who serviced the ports and markets in what he calls the Erythraean Sea, by which he meant the huge expanse of water encompassing both the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean beyond."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 59

    --

    November 30, 2016

  • Comment on pepper, and a mind-blowing historical note on coriander.

    November 30, 2016

  • Comment on pepper. Also usage/historical note on sacrament.

    November 30, 2016

  • Comment on pepper

    November 30, 2016

  • "Outside the Essex town of Saffron Walden, few would guess that in medieval times England was long Europe's greatest producer of saffron."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 306

    Also see comment on pepper. Another usage/historical note on sacrament.

    November 30, 2016

  • Comment on pepper, and a mind-blowing (at least to me) historical note on coriander.

    November 30, 2016

  • "The Romans were not the first Europeans to eat pepper, but they were the first to do so with any regularity.... cuminsesame, coriander, oregano, and saffron are all mentioned in the Greek New Comedy of the fourth and third centuries B.C., but as yet no Eastern spices. It was not that the spices were unknown or that no one had yet thought to eat them, but rather than their exorbitant cost rendered them too precious for consumption by all but the very wealthy. There is a fragment by the Attic poet Antiphanes dating from the fourth century B.C.: 'If a man should bring home some pepper he's bought, they propose a motion that he be tortured as a spy.'--from which not much can be extracted other than a vague allusion to a high cost. Another fragment contains a recipe for an appetizer of pepper, salad leaf, sedge (a grassy flowering herb), and Egyptian perfume."
    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 58-59.

    November 30, 2016

  • "Galangal is the root of Alpinia officinarum, a native of eastern Asia related to ginger, with a similar though slightly more astringent taste. Still popular in Thai cuisine, it was widely used in Europe in the Middle Ages."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 46 (n)

    November 28, 2016

  • "Zedoary is an aromatic tuberous root of one of several species of Curcuma, related to ginger and turmeric. It was widely used in medieval medicines and cuisine."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 47

    November 28, 2016

  • "With toeholds on the tiny islands of Ai and Run, James I was, for a time, proud to style himself 'King of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Puloway and Puloroon.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 37

    November 28, 2016

  • "... Taking into account the loss of four of the five ships, the advances paid to the crews, back pay for the survivors, and pensions and rewards for the pilot, it emerges that once the Victoria's 381 bags of cloves had been brought to market the expedition registered a modest net profit. For the investors it was a disappointment, paltry in comparison with the astronomical returns then being enjoyed by the Portuguese in the East; but it was a profit nonetheless. The conclusion must rate as one of accountancy's more dramatic moments: a small holdful of cloves funded the first circumnavigation of the globe."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 36.

    November 28, 2016

  • Additional text on pages Ternate and Tidore.

    November 28, 2016

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