Rus Articles Journal

Why rich men were called " pepper bags;?

After Romans on travel and wars learned about the tart and exciting east seasonings from spices, they could not do without spices any more. It is difficult to present, but before the late Middle Ages the northern food was absolutely fresh and monotonous. After addition of a pinch of the Indian spices in it - pepper, a nutmeg, ginger or cinnamon - in a mouth there is pleasant, there is nothing not comparable, feeling. Medieval people begin to eat very pereperchenny, hot and caustic dishes, and so season wine with spices that each its drink is compared to fire.

Spices used not only in kitchen and and in perfumery. Women, are bewitched by exotic smells, gave big money for the teasing sensuality of musk and excessive sweetness of ambergris. An incense kernel for churches passed very long way from Arabia. Drugstores could not do without such Indian spices as opium and camphor any more, demand for them was very big. East goods were very popular of - for exoticism, remoteness, a rarity and high cost.

Inscriptions Arab or Persian affected people as hypnosis. But spices enjoyed the greatest popularity, though were very expensive. For example, pepper, was on sale on kernels and was regarded worth its weight in gold. Used it as money, for pepper bought the land plots and the rights of nationality. Rich men were called " pepper bags;. Cinnamon and pepper were weighed on jeweler scales and watched that any precious particle did not fall.

The price of spices was very big of - for difficulties of delivery. The distance between the East and the West was almost insuperable in those days. The way of each kernel from a bush of the Malay Archipelago on the European counter was very risky, many dangers dropped out on the ships and caravans. But in the homeland of spices, they were not so rare and not expensive. The centner of spices on the Malayan islands costs also as a pinch of the same spices in Europe.

But their very long is expensive. It begins with hands of the slave - the Malayan who collects mature fruits in a basket, this the robot to him is not paid at all. In the owner the goods are bought by the merchant, and then it is lucky it under the scorching sun from the Moluccas to Melaka for 10 days. The owner of harbor takes duty on a goods overload from the merchant. Then the vessel is started up in swimming which lasts several months, the goods are transported after two or three seas. At this time, one of five vessels sinks from - for storms, or to fall prey of pirates.

In Egypt the new type of transport of spices begins, camels with bales go a caravan under the scorching sun long months. Here precious freight pirates of sand - bedouins trap. If the merchant was lucky, and his goods did not become a profit of these robbers, the Egyptian sultans collect big duties from spices. After them, the Venetian fleet, profits on precious freight. Then the goods go to Rialto, there, it is sold at auction to brokers. So fruits, in two years of travel, are delivered to dealers who sell it to the consumer.

Despite all dangers, spices in the Middle Ages were considered the most favorable to trade as small volume was combined with big money. Martin Beykham in 1492 wrote that four of five ships loaded with goods went on a bottom, from 256 people 200 did not come back home, but if one of five ships came back with freight, all losses paid off. The pepper bag in the 15th century was more expensive for human lives.