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  • feedwordpress 08:01:04 on 2018/05/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Medieval, , , trade routes, ,   

    “How does it happen that trade, which after all is nothing more than the exchange of products of various individuals and countries, rules the whole world”*… 


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    Expandable version here

    The map above is probably the most detailed map of Medieval Trade Routes in Europe, Asia and Africa in the 11th and 12th centuries you can find online. It includes major and minor locations, major and minor routes, sea routes, canals and roads.

    martinjanmansson [see here] explains that:

    Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope…

    Explore the global markets of the Middle Ages at: “An Incredibly Detailed Map Of Medieval Trade Routes.”

    * Karl Marx, The German Ideology

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    As we contemplate commerce, we might spare a thought for Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire; he died on this date in 1778.  The Father of the Age of Reason, he produced works in almost every literary form: plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works– more than 2,000 books and pamphlets (and more than 20,000 letters).  A social reformer, Voltaire used satire to criticize the intolerance, religious dogma, and oligopolistic privilege of his day, perhaps nowhere more sardonically than in Candide.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:16 on 2017/06/06 Permalink
    Tags: Castile, , Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of England, Henry I, , , Medieval, plans, ,   

    “The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand”*… 


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    Build your own with The Medieval Fantasy City Generator

    * Italo Calvino

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    As we wander within the walls, we might spare a thought for Henry I, King of Castile and Toledo; he died on this date in 1217 when a loose roof tile fell on his head.  He had become the monarch two years earlier, at age 10, when his father (Alfonso VIII of Castile) passed away.  His mother was Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:19 on 2015/02/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , bestiary, , , King George VI, Medieval, , Queen Elizabeth II,   

    “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!”*… 


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    According to the Aberdeen Bestiary: “There is an animal called the Yale. It is black, as big as a horse, with the tail of an elephant, the jaws of a boar and unusually long horns, adjustable to any movement the animal might make. For they are not fixed but move as the needs of fighting require; the Yale advances one of them as it fights, folding the other back, so that if the tip of the first is damaged by a blow, it is replaced by the point of the second.”

    Also from the Aberdeen Bestiary, “in Asia an animal is found which men call Bonnacon. It has the head of a bull, and thereafter its whole body is of the size of a bull’s with the maned neck of a horse. Its horns are convoluted, curling back on themselves in such a way that if anyone comes up against it, he is not harmed. But the protection which its forehead denies this monster is furnished by its bowels. For when it turns to flee, it discharges fumes from the excrement of its belly over a distance of three acres, the heat of which sets fire to anything it touches. In this way, it drives off its pursuers with its harmful excrement.”

    From a 13th century Bestiary by Hugh of Fouilloy: “There is a beast in the sea which is called a Sawfish, and has immense wings. When this beast has seen a ship making sail on the ocean, it raises its wings above the water and competes with the ship in sailing. (But when it has competed in sailing or racing against the ship) for 30 or 40 furlongs, being unable to sustain the exertion, it gives up, and lowering its wings draws them in. And the waves of the sea carry it back again, tired out, to its own place in the deep.”

    These and other curious critters that may or may not have ever existed– but were featured in medieval Bestiaries– at “Ten Strange Medieval Animals You Might Not Have Heard Of.”

    * William Golding, Lord of the Flies

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    As we contemplate cryptozoology, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953, on the death of her father, George VI, that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, became Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom (and of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations), and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

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