'Highly recommended as a thorough examination of the commodity history of salt'-The Geographical Journal. Salt has been called the primordial addiction. It has been an object of almost universal consumption since Neolithic times. This book sets out to place the particular histories of salt in a global perspective and write the history of a human commodity as a theme in world history. From pagan man, through classical Rome, Byzantium, early Islam, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance to the modern world, the production, distribution, consumption and taxation of salt are examined. The author shows how a history of salt cannot be separated from the histories of commerce, medicine, diet, cooking, taxation, invention and war. Although taken for granted today, salt has been of critical economic and cultural importance to countries and peoples throughout history; the instigator and catalyst to actions and events ranging from the first maritime expedition of Muslim forces to Columbus's discovery of America. After Salt and Civilization salt can not be taken for granted again.
Preface - PART 1 SALT AND SOCIETY - Primitivity - Antiquity - The Dark and Light Ages - The Middle Ages - Late Tradition, Early Modernity - Modernity - PART 2 SALT AND THE STATE - The Venetian Salt Administration - The French Salt Administration - The Habsburg Salt Administration - The Ottoman Salt Administration - The Indian Salt Administration under the Raj - The Chinese Salt Administration under the Late Empire and Early Republic - Notes - Select Bibliography - Index