[Sca-cooks] Drugs and tobacco

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Mar 3 18:02:33 PST 2008

Suey asked:

<<< Conversing with friends we tried to remember when drugs and tobacco
entered Europe.

  Today's conversation turned
into a void as we have no references between the 16th and the 19th C so
to speak, off hand. >>>

Did you check the Florilegium? :-)

smoking-msg       (16K)  1/28/08    Period smoking of tobacco and  
other plants.

"Actually, in the Middle East, virtually every medical text from period
describes treatments that involve smoking herbs wrapped in silk or paper
(the pictures look remarkably like cigarettes).  The most common  
in them, I believe, will get you in rather more trouble than hemp.

Comes from poppies."

Further back:
"I once got to smoke a herb called "Tussilinge" the person who let me
smoke it says the Romans smoke it. and this person has done a master's
thesis in history about herbal uses in the Antiquity."

"Sir Walter Raleigh popularized tobacco smoking in the Elizabethan  
era. Before
the discovery of the New World, indeed throughout history, until the  
third of this century, the most common smoking herbs were cannabis in  
form of hashish and opium."

"> --Herodotus, in his "History of the Persian Wars", describes how the
 > Scythians got high by inhaling the smoke of cannabis.  They did  
not use
 > pipes, instead they would gather in a closed tent and throw leave,
 > flowers, and seeds onto burning coals.--

Might want to add that Galen talks about how inhaling the smoke of  
hemp loosens the muscles, the sinews, and 'what flows'."

"1493.  IIRC (from the Diario), Columbus brought tobacco back on the  
voyage which ended early in 1493.  Because we have a detailed  
account, we
can fix a date for the initial arrival of tobacco in Europe.  Of  
course, we
have no idea what they did with the sample."

hemp-msg          (48K)  1/20/08    Use of hemp in period. In ropes,  
as an
                                       intoxicant, clothing. Recipes.

There is even this in the coins-msg file:
"If you start examining some of the prices for things at the time,  
you wind up
with some very interesting estimates.  For example, the value for a  
(whether new or used) seems to be about 3-5 shillings which is  
something like
$75-$150.  Not bad.  However, a price I found for Tobacco, in (as I  
the 1570s placed it at about the equivalent of $75 an ounce (or roughly
twenty times more than I pay currently). I'm not sure I love my pipe  

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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