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The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice

The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the world’s peoples were irrevocably brought together as a result of the spice trade. Before the great voyages of discovery, Venice controlled the business in Eastern seasonings and thereby became medieval Europe’s most cosmopolitan urban center. Driven to dominate this trade, Portugal’s mariners pioneered sea routes to the New World and around the Cape of Good Hope to India to unseat Venice as Europe’s chief pepper dealer. Then, in the 1600s, the savvy businessmen of Amsterdam “invented” the modern corporation–the Dutch East India Company–and took over as spice merchants to the world.

First Taste: St. Albans

Part 1. Venice

Part 2. Lisbon

Part 3. Amsterdam

Epilogue: Baltimore and Calicut

Bibliography