Silk way of human history. Whether we passed it?
One of great variety of the Chinese legends about the birth of silk say: the empress Xi Lin Chi having early in the morning left in a garden of the palace and in beams of a rising sun having seen the web covered with small dewdrops it was struck with beauty, gloss, shine of a web and, of course, wished a cloth of the same ease in the sleeping rooms. Skillful hands of the Chinese skilled workers made it, however, not of a thread of a spider, and of a silkworm. But the empress was satisfied.
The name of the one who stood at the origins of production of silk cannot be learned - the most ancient found fragments of fabrics are dated in the second millennium B.C. And the word “ " silk; instantly causes in us association something thin bringing pleasant feelings cool.
Centuries the East kept a silk secret as an apple of the eye. But the case helped. In the 53rd year BC. on the bank of Euphrates the Roman regions entered fight against Parthian troops under supervision of Mark Crassus. It seemed, good luck accompanied Romans, but suddenly over parthians huge banners flashed. At superstitious Romans panic began and Kass`s troops were broken, and Crassus died. So there was a meeting of Europe with silk.
In several decades the Chinese silk made the whole boom in the Roman Empire. The Roman women were not stronger than the Roman soldiers.
Especially Cleopatra loved import fabric. It had a special workshop for tailoring of silk dresses and before guests on feasts she suited a peculiar fashion show, often changing dresses.
The first of men who put on silk clothes (by the way, despite a ban “ to humiliate man`s advantage with silk " clothes;) there was Kaligula.
The million sums were spent for this luxury, philosophers and statesmen vainly tried to bring to reason fellow citizens. Silk was even equated to temptations. This fashion was just epidemic.
If before it were able to afford only the upper class of the population, then now
hobby for silk stepped over all social borders. And by 400 silk was necessary already not only to Rome, but also barbarians. The king is ready, in 408 g having besieged Rome, demanded contribution. Together with gold and spices also 4000 silk tunics entered there.
But at the same time nobody in the empire knew what mysterious fabric is made of. Seneca considered that in the homeland of silk of fiber schesyvat from trees.
Having made the successful advertizing course: having effectively shown fabric to Romans, parthians adjusted sale of silk for the Roman gold. The Persian state infuriated three centuries Rome, but silk came to Rome through Parfiya. The measure of silk cost a measure of gold and even more. Of course, the price was big of - for intermediaries, only Parfiya took away to herself 25% in a look customs of duty, the truth provided on a measure with protection caravans.
The Roman Empire understood that trade through intermediaries is not favorable and looked for direct contacts with producers, but Parfiya was alert, and in every possible way intimidated ambassadors of the Chinese emperor by dangers of travel.
But the most interesting that China officially never sold silk! On edikta of the Chinese emperors silk could not be taken out from the country and to sell. Overseas powers could receive silk only in the form of the Chinese gifts in exchange for the provided tribute - i.e. having declared themselves vassals celestial. One obscure Roman merchant also used it. He in 166 arrived to the dvorukitaysky emperor and showed it the counterfeit diplomas “ the philosopher on a throne “ Marcus Aurelius Anthony (or the sir or was gone), having supported all this plentiful “ tribute “ - turtle bone, elephant tusks, gold. In reply received gifts of the emperor for him “ vassal “. All surprisingly descended smoothly: most likely, to the emperor it was flatter to receive one more subordinate, and can just counted the transaction favorable.
Anyway, but China without fight subdued great Rome and other countries Europe. As the historian Lev Gumilev considered - the hobby of Romans for luxury of silk played a role in falling of Rome. Outflow of a huge number of money, gold from the country was led by depreciation of money and a delay of payment of a salary, mercenaries began to leave troops and barbarians could overcome army which would crush them until recently! This theory can and it is primitive, simple, but for some reason Byzantium very much tried not to get in “ silk " networks;!!! And after fall of the Roman Empire tried to take out for itself a lesson: without refusing fabric, found out its secret.
The emperor Justinian sent in 552 to China two monks - spies. This expedition was very dangerous to monks, in China for a ferreting out of secret of production of silk, for export of eggs of a silkworm the death penalty threatened. Monks managed to outwit vigilant Chinese: they hid eggs of a silkworm and seeds of a mulberry in hollow bamboo road staffs and safely got home, having avoided death.
Also the modern history of silkworm breeding began, but already in a leading role Byzantium and the emperor - the monopolist who began production in Greece and constructed on it a huge fortune acted. The lord of Byzantium sought not only for personal enrichment and for this huge money, t. e the money received from sale of silk or even for silk (“ currency “ The Ancient world) he employed aggressive neighbors - barbarians instead of being protected from them by a sword. And huge Byzantium was strong and invincible.
But also in many years after other powerful governors of the countries of Europe supported silkworm breeding in the country. even in Russia Peter I gave lands to silkworm breeders and executed for felling of landings of mulberry trees, and John Adams (the sixth U.S. President) parted silkworms in the bedroom in the White House.
Indefatigability of worms of a silkworm inspired Marie Curie: “ These caterpillars. active, conscientious, working so willingly, so persistently, made big impression on me. Looking at them, I felt belonging to their breed. though, maybe, and not so well organized for work, as they. I too aspired all the time to one purpose. Something obliged me in the same way. The poor thing begins the cocoon even if cannot finish it - all the same works with invariable persistence “
And it is not surprising! During a cocoon wave the caterpillar makes up to 400 000 movements in the form of the eight with an amplitude of head up to 0,5 cm, at the same time all cocoon consists of one continuous thread which length reaches up to 2 km!
Having for the first time visited shelkovichny economy, Louis Pasteur told that caterpillars “ eat a leaf with noise, similar to a sound of the falling rain “. Actually such sound is caused by blows of the excrement falling on a leaf.
In two weeks since the beginning of a wave cocoons send to kokonosushilka. There the doll in a cocoon is killed with hot steam, and cocoons go on shelkomotalny factories. Dead dolls are sent to a forage to cattle: their little bodies are rich with a protein. Leave to only very small percent life. As it is very important that sort life was not interrupted. The butterfly into whom the caterpillar turned postpones until 800 eggs after mating dance and pairing, and then starves, having finished the full course of life full of metamorphoses. Death of a butterfly of a silkworm And. I. Mechnikov considered the natural death which is so seldom found in the nature. This happiness and in bondage drops out to units.
Having lived such short life, this small caterpillar gives to mankind a surprising product!
Silk fabric is very hygroscopic, it gives feeling of dryness, having even absorbed in itself moisture three times more body weight.
Silk fabric easily incorporates moisture of skin and easily gives it in air therefore silk - material not only banners, but also underwear., always smooth, it as if is created by erotic. There is no other fabric which would be on friendly terms with human skin.
Silk has disinfecting effect - it frightens off fleas, louses and other parasites. Probably, therefore officers of the German Reich had a linen from natural silk (for some reason gentle peach color).
Silk stood and at the origins of education - the first paper was made of waste of cocoons.
Silk. put in 16 layers stops a pistol bullet.
Silk in the operating room irreplaceable material.
Silk consists of proteins, and medicinal properties of these proteins are known long ago - they raise a potentiality, protect a liver, aggravates sight.
Silk by production of parachutes - it is weightless, letuch and is strong.
Silk in cosmetology - the grated cocoon of a silkworm added to cream has the stimulating and rejuvenating effect.
Silk - the material which is not created by the person, and only used by it in the purposes. It is always far better than the solution of the nature, than achievement of industrial progress.
Where it is required to the person distillation shops and tons of ammonia, a caterpillar of rather green leaf!
At the Nature one answer is in advance ready for all our questions.