[Sca-cooks] Sugar and slaves
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Jan 3 11:55:49 PST 2007
On Jan 3, 2007, at 12:34 PM, Suey wrote:
> jenne at practicality wrote:
> "Slavery was uncommon, but not unknown. In 1434, the Portuguese
> African slaves into Europe."
> Someone else insinuated slavery practically ended in the 12th
> Century. I suppose we did not have emancipations of slavery until the
> 19th century in several European countries due to the fact court
> around here are a little slow. . .
We have been known to be a little Anglo-centric, which could lead to
some logical pitfalls, but I gather that in general, slavery was
tolerated by European countries under some rather controlled
circumstances past a certain point in the Middle Ages, and these
circumstances certainly seem not to include slavery being an everyday
economic expedient to the point where people living in population
centers (say, a medieval town or a manor) owned actual slaves. There
were serfs living in various forms of bonded obligation, but that's
not the same as having slaves running your sugar plantation that
isn't in your home country. There is also a fair amount of stress on
people being free, but, again, this is not necessarily in
juxtaposition to slavery.
> I give up! Ok Romans did not exist, Romans did not have slaves,
> did not take them to their domains in their Empire
As far as I know, they did all of these things.
> nor did they find
> sugar in Egypt which they cultivated from the 3,000 B.C but then of
> course Egyptians did not exist either.
<shrug> You'd think they would have known about sugar, but Pliny
_does_ assert that the people of Hind had this curious habit of
making honey from reeds. Certainly sugar isn't mentioned by Cato,
Apicius, or Columella, as best as I can recall.
> Romans introduced nothing to
> Europe. Arabs did not invade Spain in 711 nor did they dominate
> Spain or
> contribute anything to it for 700 years. As they did not have slaves
> they never thought of importing African slaves to cultivate
> sugarcane in
> Andalusia by the 9th Century nor did they export slaves to any
> lord north of the Pyrenees. Sugar did not exist until the 12th and
> only in Cyprus although it originated in China because the English did
> not import sugar from the Canaries or Madeira from the Spanish. New
> Guinea did not exist in 7,000 B.C. so sugar could not have originated
> there. Elizabeth I and all English countrymen in her era had 48
> lbs per
> person per year, sure thing. . .
I don't think you'd be able to quote anyone who said, at any time on
this list, any of the above. I know that I specifically mentioned one
reference for Elizabeth and her countrymen averaging a total
consumption of approximately one pound per year, and in spite of
Elizabeth's mostly-16th-century reign perhaps not being typically
medieval, it was mentioned specifically because your prior claim of
[I think] half a teaspoon per person per week seemed like it might be
an exaggerated manipulation of data.
> Yes, that seems to be what google is feeding you.
Google is not feeding anyone any of this, as far as I know. Hillary
Spurling and C. Anne Wilson, Pliny the Elder, etc., don't work for
Google. Rather, most of what we're being fed is coming either from
the very same, specific sources you mentioned, or others as good or
better, and they don't seem to fully support what you're saying. I
don't think anyone is claiming to be the world's foremost authority
on this subject, but most of us _are_ reasonably capable of
determining whether or not you've made an effective case for a
statement you chose, voluntarily, to make.
> Google is good for
> some things but in this area it displays such total ignorance that the
> subject is not worthy of debate considering manuscripts,
> analogies and other reliable sources available.
Well, it's kind of unfortunate if we've all read the same exchange
and this is how you're interpreting it. I did not see any special
reliance on Google for data, and you don't seem to be addressing some
of the questions about the sources you've used or made anecdotal
references to, and that does make it somewhat difficult to proceed on
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