166 pages in The Mediterranean. I'm reading about overland routes through Russia right now, and how they affected the Mediterranean trade. I've already read about trade through the southern, desert lands. This is just the first of three volumes in this set (Folio Books -- expensive but wonderful books).
This set of books is a world builder's dream, by the way. The narration covers everything from climate and geography to how those help shaped history for the region. I believe that the later parts of the work focus on the 16th and 17th century history of the Mediterranean area, but this first part covers far more. The relationship between the people living in the mountains close to the sea, and the shore villages fascinated me. I used part of that in Paid in Gold and Blood. There's something to rewrite...
No, not now. I am on book three out of eight. I have quite a ways to go before I can turn to work like that again. But it gives me a reason to keep pushing, doesn't it?
The insecurity of the southern roads, because of the Tartars, also played a part So there was a decline in the long-distance overland trade which since the thirteenth century had brought to Poland from the Black Sea, particularly from Kaffa, the produce of the Levant, chiefly spices and pepper -- The Mediterranean, Volume I, page 166
Now there's a little bit of added world building for a story. War and raids in another part of the land cutting off the spices needed to make food palatable for the nobility. What? You mean we have to eat food like the peasants make?
It might well be enough to swing a noble to one side or another in a war.