Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

It's one thing to know how its made - it's another to be able to make it in bulk. As the Byzantines found.

Has potential to sour Sino-Roman relations though.
 
“Jupiter be blessed ! This is stupendous news ! Do you think your lady might want to come to Rome ?”
Several thoughts.
1)These days, at least, silkworms don't live in trees, but on trays covered in mulberry leaves. I rather suspect that that was already the case at the time of the story.
Domesticated silkworms can't fly, so they have to be bred in captivity anyway. I just don't see people going around putting eggs out on trees to hatch and grow, and be eaten by every insectivore in the countryside.

2) were silkworm cocoons ever sold in the marketplace? I would have thought the silk would have been spun by those who raised the caterpillars. This is a gut feeling, so I could easily be wrong.

3) even if the young lady knows they feed on mulberry leaves, does she know which species? Do the Romans in China know that there are multiple species? Do they know that they might have to steal mulberry seeds as well as silkworm eggs?

4) can they get their hands on those eggs?

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Making the young lady's acquaintance breaks the silk puzzle open. There's still a LOT OF work that needs to be done before sericulture can be started in the Roman Empire.

Good start, though.
 
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Heh. Thought. Once you've stolen what you need, chop off the axe handle, and hide the eggs and seeds and instructions in the space in the middle of the bundle.

Oh. That's WHY you had a lictor discover the secret. !!!
Clever.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Some elements in answer to today's comments :

- This is not yet the whole story, far from it ! Really, why would a Chinese girl be attracted to a Roman anyway ? They are such barbarians...
- While no expert on silk, I understand that a lot of the silk was homespun even by people without their own gardens, so I would suppose there would be cocoon in the market.
- The Romans still have a lot to learn ! And that's if they get a cocoon and seeds and if they survive the long trip home...
 
After showing the maps in the morning, Clodius Albinus had shown goods from all those lands and told about their local cost and how rare they seemed to be. Statues, silks, jewels, weapons of all kind, spices, precious stones and numerous other products were shown to the senators. The secret of silk making was made known, although Clodius Albinus had to recognize that he’d been unable to bring any of the precious insects home.
The origin of silk was already known though. @Hecatee was this retconned?
 
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Hecatee

Donor
What do the Romans have that the Chinese might want?
The origin of silk was already known though. @Hecatee was this retconned?
Romans bring species, new types of jewelry or precious metal vessels, glass, spices bought on the way in India/the Islands.

As for the origin, not retconned, but not widely known : lictors are not in the secret and while the propraetor knows the secret, he also knows that the Chinese don't really like to make it public and are quite jealous of their exclusivity... so his emotion is more from fear that the lictor has done something wrong than from excitation that he might become rich... But as I said this is only part of a story... ;)
 
Didn't someone point out that Korea had silk production too and it would be much easier to get it from them than the Chinese. And while I am familiar with the fact that Chinese took effort to keep silk production exclusive is that viable when Romans are walking freely in their capital? Well seems not, but my point is that silk production would have leaked much sooner than this and probably with less effort.

Still I am fine with this development.
 
Korean Kingdoms would make for good trade partners too, though since their ports are not nearly as rich as Chinese ones the Roman traders will definitely prefer China over Korea. If Imperial relations suffer though, Romans might find Korean trade restrictions much easier to stomach than the Chinese ones. Plus southern Korea was a net exporter of gold during these times, so the specie loss won't get lop-sided as it will with a spiteful China.
 
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Both Korea and the Kingdoms of the tarim basin had silk production for hundreds of years by now. Honestly I'd say you'd have a better time smuggling them out by land rather than sea which seems to be the principal method of contact.

Also minor nitpick but the chinese pronunciation changes and the era appropriate pinyin for the words can be found online.
 
Both Korea and the Kingdoms of the tarim basin had silk production for hundreds of years by now. Honestly I'd say you'd have a better time smuggling them out by land rather than sea which seems to be the principal method of contact.
??
Googles. Indeed Korea about 200 bce. Even Japan got silk about 200 CE. So getting silk out by sea from one of those places might work. Of course, how long do silkworm eggs take to hatch? Probably a lot shorter period of time than a sea voyage....
Getting some eggs from the Tarim basin, mentioned earlier, part way down the silk road, would likely help with the amount of time taken.
 
Yes, he did rule in the end, and yes being a Caesar does not prevent from early death, including stupid ones ;)
I just caught up with this thread, and I'm certain Avidius Casius got crushed under a horse in the first battle with the Goths.

His heir then took his place as Caesar.

Edit: Also, when Clodius reported to the Senate after the 1st expidition he says he discovered how Silk was made, but was unable to aquire any of the worms.
 

Hecatee

Donor
I would like to publicly extand my biggest thanks to Dain for his amazing work !

I just caught up with this thread, and I'm certain Avidius Casius got crushed under a horse in the first battle with the Goths.

His heir then took his place as Caesar.

Edit: Also, when Clodius reported to the Senate after the 1st expidition he says he discovered how Silk was made, but was unable to aquire any of the worms.
Oups, mea culpa, I'll correct the list :(

As for the silk, yes, but there is a subplot here I don't want to spoil ;)
 
The Vistula River calls to me as the prettier border.
Fools! Truly only the Borysthenes is the only true acceptable notheastern border of the Empire!

No but seriously if the pacified peoples can be trusted to not immediately revolt then there isn't much stopping Rome from going further east besides environmental conditions which an army of German Auxiliaries would have much less trouble dealing with than some squeamish roman cityboy.

Also when is Britain going to be fully pacified? Oh and can we have a segment on Roman exploration of the Baltic?
 
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