Foreign goods Mar 31, 2006 9:40:28 GMT -5
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Mar 31, 2006 9:40:28 GMT -5
To prove my economics is not totally irrelevant (;D), I took care to ensure that the goods were as "factually" correct as I could figure them. e.g. salt & fish in Venice, meat in Parma & Bologna, wine in Asti, tools in Milan, grain in Cremona, pottery in Lodi & Faenza, iron in Brescia & Bergamo, linen in Como & Pavia, wool in Verona, oil in Modena, etc. were not arbitrarily chosen, but correspond quite closely to economic reality. The merchant dialogs try to explain it a bit.
(Although I have to readjust it a bit because it they were devised before the inclusion of the six new cities).
If you're curious about what the foreign goods are & where they're from, here's a brief run-down:
First the cloths:
-- Baldachin (gold-threaded cloth), was usually imported from Egypt and Persia, was used principally for church & royal canopies and processional robes for high-end bishops & kings. Molto expensive.
- Damask (pattern-weaved cotton cloth, used for altarcloths & really, really fancy curtains & clothing for the uber-rich) was imported from Damascus (Syria).
- Muslin (coarse-weaved cotton cloth, typically used for robes, women's clothes & head-dresses) was imported from Mosul (Iraq)
- Gauze (loose-weave "breathable" cotton cloth, as used to patch stuff in hospitals) was imported from Gaza (Palestine)
- Silk (well, y'know) was imported from Persia and Constantinople (silk later became a notable Italian industry in its own right, centered in Lucca, after they stole silkworms from the ultra-secret workshops in Constantinople).
Another set of foreign stuff are dyes:
- alum (necessary to "fix" dyes) was found in the Papal States and also imported from Asia Minor.
- brasilwood (a bright red wood, for making red dye) was imported from as far away as east India IIRC. Hyperexpensive.
- dyestuff is supposed to be saffron (that's the pic I used; it looks red, but it was for making yellow dye), imported from the east; can also be thought of as including other imported dyes (e.g. woad from France, & madder from elsewhere.)
The other stuff:
- high-quality leather (what was called "cordwain") was imported from Spain ("Cordoba").
- cotton was imported from Egypt, Persia & India
- rice originally imported from the east as well (although Italians would eventually develop their own rice plantations (arborio rice) in the region around Novara & Vercelli.)
- wax was also usually imported, from eastern europe mainly.
- all sorts of balm (medicine), incense, perfumes & precious stones were typically imported from the Mid-East.
- marble was imported from Tuscany (Carrara) or further afield (Greece, Turkey)
- Glazed tiles were imported from the Mid-East/Spain, used not only decoratively, but also practically to "cool" building interiors (esp. useful in hot summers). The Italians eventually figured out how to make glazed tile & porcelain themselves. Faenza ("faience") & Lodi being the principal center of that industry.
Wool was raised in the Veronese March, but demand by the Italian cloth industry soon outstripped local supply and wool began being imported en masse from England. But since M & B treats it as native, I kept it native.