Re: Re: silk

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Ok i admit i could have phrased some of that a bit better.I didn't really think a Byzantine (or Chinese! Imagine that! What a journey. In your face Marco Polo) merchant was going to go all the way from Constantinople to Britain to trade silk for something. I figured it would have been done bit by bit. The silk would have been traded for something to another group who then trade it on to others and so on. It's simply that i find it incredible that a luxury item that was probably rare and expensive, used to make the clothes of emperors and kings when they could get hold of it, ended up being mentioned in a off hand way to be used as a wound binding in the leech book. How much of the stuff was lying around in Britain? What precious commodity did they have loads of that someone from the Mediterranean was willing to travel all the way up there to get in exchange for silk? Or that a European lord would want enough to swap a fantastic display of his wealth and power for. I suppose one way someone might find out would be to look at the other end of the trade. What was arriving in southern Europe for instance that might have come from Britain? I'm guessing they might have kept better trade records. This was the area where Venice and Genoa were starting to become trading empires after all.Then again maybe i'm totally wrong. Maybe there was far more silk floating around than i'm assuming. I just find it a little hard to believe. The secret of the production of silk was a national secret in China punishable by death. Justinian had to smuggle silkworms out of China possibly putting the entire trade in jeopardy if found out; then he restricted all processing to imperial control only. This doesn't strike me as something to do for a product that there's a surplus of.Not that i'm implying you have to provide all the answers for me Jamie (but wish you did :D). You have a lot to do what with podcasting, family and that Christmas thing. I'm just throwing all my thoughts in and trying to see what comes of them.I'm rambling. And, i notice, focussing on one small thing. It just raises a few questions of how interconnected the world was.Thanks and hats off to anyone who read through all that. I do go on a bit.Alex